Final Project

The Life and Times of Joe McSleazy:

What Kind of Character is He? American Hero, Visionary, or Just a Huckster?

You all know the type. Wicked smart and clever, sometimes too clever for his own good. He always has an angle on everything – how to get ahead in life, how to make tons of money, always ahead of the game. But he also seems to have a wicked streak – wants to manipulate people just for the pleasure of watching the puppets dance. Kind of like the guy who controls the marionettes on television.

Well, that describes Joe McSleazy perfectly. Never heard of him? I guess that’s the idea. That’s why the National Security Agency (the famous “NSA”) seems to be so infatuated with him. They think he can accomplish anything, anytime, and on a shoe-string budget. In fact, most of the budget seems to be spent on McSleazy himself. He always turns a profit – even when a project would be expected to cost a fortune!

Pokeman Go has certainly been in the news in 2016. It has been on the front page of nearly every major newspaper around the globe. You know the game that has hundreds of people rushing into a park to catch a Charizard.

Millions of people are having a great time collecting Pokeman and there is thought that the physical activity associated with rushing around town and finding virtual rewards can be important. From medical associations to diabetes support group, multiple health maintenance organizations continue to believe that increased physical activity by Americans will lead to longer lives and fewer heart attacks.

Let’s meet Joseph McSleazy in the upcoming video – but first, we need a few words of introduction to his side-kick Diego and you have to know something about the NSA.

Tyler Diego is the Director of the National Security Agency. He is apparently known internally as “the Spaniard” due to his frequent travels and wanderings in the Iberian Peninsula. He burst into national prominence in the mathematical and technology communities with his elegant number theory proof of “Diego’s Theorem” in which he demonstrated that there are no prime numbers which are also perfect squares. In any case, following a set of subpoenas that involved both him and Joe McSleazy, damning video evidence has been produced of Diego instructing McSleazy to gather information on American citizens. As stated in the video, “The NSA works my way.” McSleazy is seen in the video clip listening attentively to all his instructions and then makes some awkward claim saying that this will “all be fun” to do, as though the entire enterprise were just fun and games. Watch the shocking video we captured of the NSA Director instructing Joe McSleazy to spy on American citizens.

So, what happened next? How did McSleazy pull of the most amazing feat of espionage in the history of the United States? Or even in the world?  Let’s learn more about that.

Remarkably, an entire telephone conversation between McSleazy and a 17 year old programmer from Nintendo has been turned over to authorities for evaluation. Nintendo is claiming that the Pokemon Go! game could only be programmed by kids less than 18 years old, as is the case with the current successful version, and that minor children living in Japan are not subject to international laws, extradition, or criminal proceedings. In addition, the Japanese Prime Minister was quoted as saying, “you have to be kidding me, Pokemon Go! Is just a children’s game.” With respect to McSleazy, he just shrugs his shoulders and appears completely at ease in the face of withering attacks from his critics. His usual retort is, “Just try Pokemon Go! It’s really a fun game and you’ll just love it!” He has also be extensively touting the health benefits of physical activity and the social aspects of the game. Listen to the shocking conversation between the Director of Nintendo and McSleazy.

Interestingly, McSleazy has become one of America’s most wanted “persons of interest” in this entire affair and wanted posters have been displayed at museums, restaurants, and tourist attractions around the country. Clearly hiding in plain site, McSleazy lists his address and phone number on his Facebook page, with a comment stating, “Social is Good!”

Joe McSleazy
Joe McSleazy

Still, there are concerns among privacy groups. Some people do not believe that Americans should disclose their locations, habits, favorite websites, email addresses and other personal information to Pokeman Go and its associates. Apple Computer, ever the privacy leaders, assure its users that information on the IPhone is private, but they willingly admit that apps that collect information may pass it to others via web-based servers. McSleazy has specifically denied that he personally has read everyone’s data. He has stated, “no one could possibly read the hundreds of millions of data entries that Pokeman Go collects daily.” He has referred all questions of data analysis on to the National Security Agency, which he assures us is working to keep America safe and secure for the future. The Mugshots of McSleazy were given to us through a private source.

Joe McSleazy Mugshot
Joe McSleazy Mugshot


You may be wondering what ever happened to the main character and hero of our story, Joe McSleazy. Funny you should ask.

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling, found him NOT GUILTY of any charge. The Justices stated that Americans have a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In an unusual twist, the Justices ruled that pursuit of Pokeman was in the category of “pursuit of happiness” and therefore protected by the US Constitution. After that, Joe McSleazy became a bit of a counter-culture hero. He traveled a lot and was interviewed by lots of important people. Everyone wanted to know how he did it! Finally, 60 Minutes was granted special permission to speak with McSleazy and found out what exactly went on in the NSA. Watch it below:

So Joe McSleazy is now pursuing his own happiness by chasing Pokeman on the most beautiful beaches in the world. See the slide below for some examples of the great venues that Joe McSleazy now visits.

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As for Tyler Diego – he was also acquitted of all charges and plans to pursue further studies in Mathematics and Number Theory at the University of Mary Washington. I heard he likes to swim too…

Paddling into the Sunset
Tyler Diego paddling into the sunset

Reflection on the Course and Final Project Tutorials

My Favorite Thing to Do

My Aquatic Life

My Favorite Thing to Do Assignment– 3.5 Stars

Swimming has always been my favorite activity to partake in during free time. Throughout my swimming career I have swum competitively for CYAC Swim Team a local year round club team, which is based out of Charlottesville, Virginia,

Swimming for CYAC
Swimming for CYAC

the JSL summer league team Boar’s Head,

Swimming for Boar's Head
Swimming for Boar’s Head (BHSC)

as well as my high school’s (St. Anne’s Belfield) varsity team.

At a Meet with STAB
At a Meet with STAB

Since graduating high school, I joined the University of Mary Washington Varsity Swim Team.

At a meet with Mary Washington
At a meet with Mary Washington

Swimming was always an activity that has been extremely important to me. Since starting swimming, I have swum and trained with, Bolles School Swim Team, University of Virginia Varsity Swim Team, York Pennsylvania Swim Team. My love for swimming recently went international when I travelled to Sevilla, Spain and swam with Club Naútico as part of a study abroad trip.

Club Naútico en Sevilla, Esppaña
Club Naútico en Sevilla, España


I have had the privilege of swimming in the company of several 2016 Rio Olympians including, Ryan MurphyLeah Smith, and Townley Haas

On the Podium With Current Olympian Townley Haas (Right).
On the Podium With Current Olympian Townley Haas (Right).

Swimming has always been an outlet for me. I began swimming at the ripe age of 6 and since then have never been out of the pool more than a couple of months. I began swimming at the aforementioned Boar’s Head Sports Club, the place it all began. The Boar’s Head pool record in the 6 and under boys 25 meter freestyle set all the way back in 2001 is still standing strong!

Pool Record Set in 2001
Pool Record Set in 2001

So here’s the story behind the story of the “My Aquatic Life” assignment video. In this video production, I focused exclusively on swimming in the high-impact competitive events since I was in high school. As described in other blogs, competitive swimming takes a huge commitment of time, energy, financial resources, and just plain blood, sweat and tears. All of the important work is done in training, during dry-land exercises, and in staying healthy. Now it’s show time (as Magic Johnson would say).

This video is a montage of several of my biggest events. I created a mash-up of all the events as it seemed nostalgic to do it that way and it emphasizes the continuity of the sport. I have these videos because my parents came to these major swim meets and often filmed my races on their iphones. You will notice the lane lines changing colors and the meet venue suddenly switching. That’s the mash-up aspect – the fundamentals of swimming and training are always the same as the venues, my age, and the specific meets pass along my life’s timeline.

In many of these meets, I achieved my swimming goals. In some, I did not. That is the deep message of the sport. There are always faster swimmers out there that will crush you if you are not on your game. Or even if you are. In this video, you will hear the announcer at the Capital Athletic Conference Championships note that I am on record pace in the 500 freestyle. The record I was seeking was the all-time fastest 500 free in conference history. Another record was the fastest 500 free ever swum in the 27 year history of the conference championship meet. I missed the first record by 0.08 seconds. That is, of course, less than one tenth of one second after swimming 500 yards. But I did set the meet record which was two tenths slower than that. So success and failure can be two sides of the same coin. One goal accomplished, the other goal waits for my senior year at UMW.
Competitive swimming can be like that.

Swimming for me has even moved out of the competition pool and into the community as I have helped with the Ben Hair Just Swim for Life Foundation (BHSJL), a local charity, which teaches at risk children how to swim. 

Working with the BHJSL is really personal. My swimming teammate for many years and friend, Ben Hair, died in a traffic accident on December 13, 2009. He swam for CYAC and for Albemarle High School where he graduated with honors. He swam during college and received his B.S. degree from Virginia Tech before studying at Shenandoah University’s School of Pharmacy. Ben was a swimmer since the age of 18 months and was an accredited Life Guard, at the Meade Avenue pool and The University of Virginia Aquatic and Fitness Center.

After his death, my family helped to create the BHJSL. My brother, Ryan, and I have worked over the years to expand the foundation and its mission. Together, we have managed the BHJSL website which runs in JOOMLA. Ryan helped to set it up and I provide administrative support by putting up content as requested. My favorite activity is supporting the Ben Hair Open Water Swim Meet which is held annually at Lake Anna – it is one of the largest open water (in a lake in this case) swim meets on the East Coast. In the early years, I was Gordon Hair’s, Ben Hair’s father and foundation president, “right hand man” in assisting to set up the course at Lake Anna. This is no trivial task. We set up the buoys and lane markings around the lake. The starting/finish areas has to be set up and orchestrated. Tents for officials and parking for participants has to be established in a field adjacent to the lake. My friend, Dr. Pajeski, helps us to take photographs using his personal drone. Here are some of his spectacular photographs of the swim course.

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Then, of course, I also like to compete in the event and also to assist with safety functions in kayaks that are always in the water and around the swimmers. Money raised from the event supports swim lessons for kids who would otherwise never have the opportunity to learn to swim, ending the cycle of parents and children being afraid of the water.



How to Read a Movie

Reading: Angles and Cuts

The first video I watched was the video on the match cut. When I researched this further I realized it was also known as a “match on action.” A match on action is an editing strategy in which a singular action is seen from multiple different points of view or angles. This match cut type of editing is used to pull the audience into an action scene or to at least make it more interesting by cut the shots together in an interesting way. For example, if a scene of say a car chase is shot entirely from the point of view of one character it is likely to not be nearly as exciting as it could be. If that same car chase scene uses a match on action construction, which would allow the viewer to see it from the vantage point of the character running away, the character chasing, bystanders, or even an aerial shot, it will likely be much more exciting and interesting. If these match cuts are not edited together perfectly however, it may take away from the overall scene. Take this car chase scene from The Matrix Reloaded, it is basically one big match on action.

In this scene the main focus is on the car containing Morpheus, Trinity and the key maker. However, we see the car from just about every angle imaginable. There are many other characters interacting with the main car. Through match on actions we can see the car’s actions from the point of view of every character. This makes the scene much more interesting and exciting. If we only could see the car chase scene from any one character we would lose a lot of interesting shots and would not be able to clearly see exactly what is happening with the other characters.

A similar but different film technique that can be used to enhance a match cut is the camera placement itself. The placement of the camera decides the viewpoint. Different viewpoints can display different moods. If a single character is showing emotion for example, often times the camera is close up on the face, while if there is a group shot it has to be zoomed out. The camera angle and size of the shot is everything in the mind of a director. With close attention to the way a shot is sized and structured as well as editing them together to display a match on action is critical for developing an effective scene. Alfred Hitchcock was a director who, among many things, was famous for his work with camera angles. This scene from Psycho makes use of many different types of camera angles coupled with match cuts. 


Look, Listen, Analyze

How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes

Video Reflection on a Scene from The Matrix.


This “Red Pill Blue Pill” Scene from Wachowski’s The Matrix focuses on the conversation between Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Neo (Keanu Reeves). In the clip, Neo has become aware of the matrix, an artificial reality used to keep the human mind occupied to maintain docility, while the body is harvested for energy. Morpheus presents the opportunity for Neo to escape the matrix and see the real world by taking the red pill or to continue living in the matrix and not be bothered again by taking the blue pill.

In this scene, there are numerous different cinematographic techniques used. Since this is a clip that focuses primarily on the dialogue between Neo and Morpheus, much of the scene uses a straight on shot of Morpheus’s and Neo’s face with a shot reverse shot pattern to imply that they are speaking to each other. A shot reverse shot is a technique used in which only one character is on the screen at a time. One character is shown speaking in one shot then in the next shot the next character’s face is shown speaking. Even though we cannot see them speaking to each other directly it is implied by this style of editing.

First shot is of Morpheus
First shot is of Morpheus
Second Shot is of Neo
Second Shot is of Neo

These two images illustrate this shot reverse shot pattern that is prevalent throughout the scene. While only one character appears in each shot, it is implied that they are speaking to each other by the direction each character is looking. Is it by chance that the director has placed Neo on the right and Morpheus on the left? Ebert notes in his “How to Read a Movie” that “Right is more positive, left more negative…. The future seems to live on the right, the past on the left.” In this scene Neo is located on the right and Morpheus on the left. Neo in this scene is the character of innocence and naiveté while Morpheus is the knowledgeable and more cynical character. Additionally, Neo represents the future in that his mind is about to be freed from the matrix, while Morpheus is a resistance veteran who has freed minds his entire life. This set up is consistent with Ebert’s ideas.

In addition to the shot reverse shot used in the dialogue between Morpheus and Neo, we also see an eye line match. An eye line match in cinema is when two characters are on screen together and they are either looking each other in the eye directly or direct eye contact is implied. A common type of eye line match is when we can see one character’s back and another characters face in the same shot. In this case eye contact is implied.

Shot of Neo with Morpheus Visible
Shot of Morpheus With Neo to the Right

These two images, which are played one immediately after the other, illustrate this form of eye line match. Eye contact between the two characters is shown. This differs from a shot reverse shot pattern because now both characters are visible on the screen at the same time.

The scene also makes use of a wide angle establishing shot, which shows the viewer the room in which the scene is taking place.

Establishing Shot

This is a rather “zoomed in” establishing shot. Some establishing shots will show the outside of the building or even an entire city to show the viewer where the scene is taking place. This shot is also characteristic of the lighting that is used throughout the scene. There is not much light in the shot and the characters remain in an almost silhouette form. For every lighting scheme, the director wants to create a particular mood. This elicits a mysterious and foreboding response in the minds of the viewers. This scene is filled with mystery and fearful apprehension. The viewers of the film also do not have the knowledge of Morpheus so the lighting is made to put each viewer in the same mindset of Neo.

We also see a match on action occur when Neo takes the red pill from morpheus’s hand. A match on action is a technique in which the a shot of one action is cut to another shot of the same action taking place from a different angle or viewpoint.

The Gif above is the example of three match on actions from the clip. We can clearly see Neo reach for and grab the red pill in the reflection of Morpheus’s sunglasses. The pill, however, is taken from the point of view of Neo and is placed into his mouth from the point of view of Morpheus.

A minor detail is that Morpheus has a prop throughout the scene. A prop is defined as anything a character interacts with on camera. Morpheus is holding a small container with the red and blue pills.

Here we can see the container that he has been holding throughout the clip. Later, Morpheus is holding the pills in his hands.

Red Pill Blue Pill

Since Morpheus interacts with these items they are both considered props. The prop is small and is somewhat concealed in the hands of Morpheus. The prop raises questions in the scene. What is it? What does it contain? Why are the pills red and blue? Will they hurt Neo? These are all questions evoked by the props that add to the viewer’s mystery surrounding the scene.


The scene makes use of both diegetic and non diegetic sound. Diegetic sounds can be heard by the characters themselves. These usually include character’s voices or sounds made by objects in the story. Non-Diegetic sounds are not heard by the characters themselves in the clip. These sounds often include a narrator’s commentary, sound effects, or “mood music.” It is important to note that diegetic sounds and non-diegetic sounds frequently are played at the same time. This particular scene makes use of both forms of sound.

Below is a portion of the clip, which displays diegetic sounds.

The diegetic sounds in this clip are voices between Morpheus and Neo as well as the thunder and rain in the background. These sounds are all diegetic because they can all be heard by the characters in the clip. The thunder and rain are used from the very beginning to set the tone for the scene. The thunder immediately portrays the ominous ambiance.

Below is a portion of Non-Diegetic sounds from the clip

The background music is a non-diegetic sound that builds to a climax. This is non-diegetic because neither Morpheus nor Neo can actually hear the music. It is only heard by the audience watching the movie. This ominous music adds to the creepy aurora portrayed in the scene. The dialogue, however, is diegetic sound.

Although this scene is fundamentally just dialogue between two characters with the only prop being two pills, a glass of water, and a small box, the director has created an exciting, tense, interesting, and climatic scene through the use of different camera angles, dappled lightning, rich and voluminous diegetic speech and thunder sounds as well as non-diegetic background music.

Notes from The Matrix Scene

How to Video Project

Juggling: Literally and Figuratively

How to Video Project– 4.5 Stars

What is juggling exactly? According to the dictionary, to juggle is “to continuously toss into the air and catch (a number of objects) so as to keep at least one in the air while handling the others, typically for the entertainment of others.” While this is the literal interpretation of juggling, it is not going to be what I focus on in this story. Focusing solely on the literal interpretation of things is often times boring and if I had to assign a grade to someone who could only do things literally I would probably give him or her a C.

Below is my tutorial on how to literally juggle:

In order to go beyond the bounds of literalness, I am going to teach you about about figuratively juggling. Juggling activities. This summer I am “juggling” three major activities as captured in the image below.

The first activity I am juggling is a full time job. I am a full time summer swim coach for a summer league swim team. My job requires me to work close to 40 hours per week. There are practices every morning from 8:30am until noon and every afternoon from 4:00pm-6:00pm and meets every Wednesday night. In these meets, warm ups begin at 4pm and the final heat is usually not swum until well past 10 pm. Throw in meet entries, which are usually done on Sundays and the team cookouts, bowling trip, and other social events and you’ve got yourself a full time job.

My second activity, by the way these are not in any order of importance or difficulty, is my own personal competitive swim training and competition. I swim everyday except Sundays from 6:00 to 8:00 in the morning. This requires me to wake up at 5:15 every morning. My goal is to swim in both the Commonwealth Games in Waynesboro, Virginia as well as at the Virginia Senior Championship Meet. Senior Champs has “cut off” times (on pages 9-10) that are required to even enter the meet. Believe it or not this meet is swum in the same pool as the 2008 Olympic Trials, which were held in Omaha, Nebraska. The pool was then moved to Richmond, Virginia and is now in the GRAP facility. Don’t ask how they managed to move an entire long course pool half way across the country. 

Morning Alarms
Morning Alarms

Competitive swim training is a very significant physical and mental challenge. In addition to the many hours training in the water, usually 10-12 early morning hours of hard training per week, there is the significant “recovery time” for muscles and joints to rebuild and clear lactic acid. Even finding enough time to eat a properly balanced diet and getting enough sleep can be daunting on scorching summer days.

My third major commitment is taking Digital Storytelling 106. This course, which weirdly enough I am talking about within itself, is also a huge time commitment. It requires hours and hours of work in order to produce each assignment. However, each assignment is extremely satisfying to produce. In this course I have created tons of interesting media and have learned how to tell interesting stories that are bolstered by the media I have produced. So far I have produced visual assignments, design assignments, audio assignments and video assignments, which includes this page. I am especially enjoying learning new techniques in Word Press, Photoshop, Garageband, Audacity, and Imovie. Learning new software is challenging because the opportunities to improve your skills are seemingly endless.

So let’s put it all together and walk through an ordinary day. Wake up at 5:15 am to swim in practice from 6-8 am, rush to the pool were I coach the Fry’s Springs Beach Club and try to grab a bite to eat on the way, coach from 8:30 am until noon, eat lunch from 12:20 until 1. Nap from 1 until 2:30. Leave for afternoon practice at 3:30, coach from 4 until 6. Dinner from 6:20 until 7. Work on CPSC 106 from 7 pm until 10 pm. Sleep for a short while. Repeat. Last week’s Schedule is shown below.

Calendar Week of July 11, 2016
Calendar Week of July 11, 2016

Oh and isn’t there something people call a social life? I’m not sure, haven’t had one of those in a while… So while juggling some small spherical balls is a fun party trick, it is important to be able to juggle your life’s commitments also. 

I hope you can learn three things from me today.

  1. How to literally juggle. ✓
  2. How to figuratively juggle many different activities. ✓
  3. How to make a cool tutorial that teaches others how to literally juggle.

Below is a tutorial that explains how I made the original tutorial on how to juggle. So if you have not learned anything yet you still have one more chance! Watch the video below and you can learn how to make a cool tutorial video.

Tools Used: Imovie

Background video and song: Top Five Juggling: People Are Awesome, Circus Song.

*No poodles were harmed in this production.

Ghost Stories Audio Reflection

I chose to write my audio reflection on Season 10 Episode 9 of RadioLab entitled Ghost Stories.

Overall, how effective do you think audio was for telling the story(ies)? Overall I think audio storytelling can be as powerful or even more powerful than a story with visual aids. In a way, the lack of sight can enhance the suspense in a story. It can add a layer of fear because we cannot see exactly what is happening. It is almost like being dragged blindly through a scary situation. Imagine we were lost in a graveyard with a friend, unnervingly trying to find our way out. This would be plenty scary in and of itself. Now imagine that we are lost in that same graveyard with the same friend but your eyes have been blocked in some way. Now the only way out is to rely on your friend holding your hand and pulling you along with him. In my mind this would be far more scary because our only “sight” into the world would be to hear what our friend was telling us. This is how I see radio vs. film. In radio stories we only have our auditory sense to fill us in on the story, whereas in television we can see for ourselves exactly what is happening. In television nothing is left to the imagination. In contrast, auditory stories allow the listener to add his or her own imagination into the story because every detail  is not explained and it is up to each audience member’s imagination to fill in the gaps.

What types of audio techniques did the producers use — sound effects, layering of sounds, music, etc. — to convey their story?

The producers use sound effects when introducing their guest. At the 1:30 mark when introducing their guest Mary Roach they use a ghost sound effect. Another echoing sound effect was applied to the voice of Roach at the 3:10 mark to make her voice sound like that of a ghost. Additionally ambient sound is often added in the background to make the story more appealing to the ears of listeners. After hearing just speech for a few minutes it is somewhat soothing to hear some music even if it is just in the background. I also realized the speed in which the speakers talk actually can convey a different message. Even without changing the words we can insert mood into speech by changing the rate of speech and the pauses. When the rate and pauses in speech arecoupled with spooky background music it sets the mood just as well as having a visual. We sometimes hear the voice of people who do not belong to either of the two people reporting live. The other person is implied to not be physically in the main conversation however their role still contributes to the story.

What choices did they make that impacted your understanding of and feelings about the story?

In many cases the way each line was delivered hugely impacted the way I felt about the story. For example in the anecdote about the man taking his own life at the 3:40 mark the speaker slows down for dramatic effect, she spaces each word out more and more and there is a spooky gas leak sound effect in the background. All of these elements work together to make for a really bone chilling ambiance.

What are the techniques from the references above that you may not have noticed before?

Having never really listened to audio stories before I did not know much about them. I noticed how important the narrator is to the progression of the story. Many audio stories rely on the narrator to carry the theme and plot – a role that is very different than occurs in most movies. The narrator not only recounts past events, but can also add commentary and perspective to the story. I also noticed that the dialogue is much richer in audio stories and is presented with much greater thought. In many movies the dialogue is not at the forefront of the production. In movies, the dialogue may be secondary or even tertiary to the visual effects that truly catch your attention.

Reverse Audio Quiz

Tyler Gimple Has Come Unstuck in Time

Reverse Audio Quiz: 3.5 Stars

I have always been fascinated by TIME. Does Time really matter? Speaking of time… What is it exactly? In modern physics time is no more than a spatial dimension that is no different from up or left. It is explained as numbers and some other hieroglyphics that are only understood by those fluent in math. In mathematics, time is an exotic R4 is a differentiable manifold that is homeomorphic but not diffeomorphic to the Euclidean space R4. Oh now I get it… might as well have told me that in Ukranian. Would have made the same amount of sense.

Can you believe that guy Einstein? He turned the world upside down when he wrote in his 1920 manuscript defining General Relativity that “Every reference-body has its own particular time; unless we are told the reference-body to which the statement of time refers, there is no meaning in a statement of the time of an event.”


Here we see a Stereographic projection of a Clifford torus, which is the set of points (cos(a), sin(a), cos(b), sin(b)), which is a subset of the 3-sphere. This has to do with time somehow… So it goes. Так, наприклад, у реальному світі, контур тіні предмету — це проекція контуру цього предмету на пласку чи наближену до пласкої поверхню — проекційну площину. If you didn’t understand that second part particularly well, that actually was Ukrainian so don’t feel bad.

You may be wondering where the title came from, but then again you might not be. Anyway for the viewers in the former group here is the genesis of the title. One of my favorite books is the anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five, which is an anti-war protest of the fire-bombing of Dresden during the Second World War. In this book, Kurt Vonnegut is telling us how crazy and disjointed the world at war had become by distorting space and time itself. The famous line, “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time” is a focal point of the story.  He becomes “unstuck” at the moment he is captured,  taken as a prisoner of war and confined to a slaughterhouse, and starts having flashbacks and flash forwards to other phases of his life. The human mind depends on the arrow of time moving in only one direction and we are disoriented and confused when that arrow of time becomes unhinged. And that’s where the title comes from… so it goes. 

Persistence of Memory by Salvadore Dali

Salvadore Dali and Einstein agreed that we don’t really know what time is, however Dali expressed this in art and Einstein expressed it with math equations.

You’ll notice (if you haven’t lost interest before you listen to the audio file) that I quote Omar Khayyám, “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” I kinda like the guy.

Why time? Why 24 hours in a day 7 days per week 30 days per month except the months that don’t have 30 days and why 365 days per year except the years that don’t have 365 days. Why do we measure time by the duration of a rock spinning and orbiting a ball of burning fire? So… we have something (I guess it’s a thing, but that’s another conversation) that we can’t explain and it controls us, defines us, rules us, is us. Why does it go forwards? Well then again what is forwards in a spatial dimension that can’t be explained except by homeomorphic but not diffeomorphic spaces? What happens if time goes backwards? Well our music would be backwards too.

Finally I’m getting to the assignment, took me a lot of time didn’t it? You’ll notice (Dr. Polack) that the assignment itself is more than literally interpreting the assignment by playing a song backwards. I kind of thought it was more novel or even opposite interpretation of the assignment, and even justified in write up, showing experimentation with special features/techniques of tools; fine attention to media assemblage, graphic details, transitions, and sound levels.

The song you are guessing begins at the 3:03 mark.

Now it’s your turn for some action. Below are the hints for the song. Having a hard time reading it? Well time doesn’t always go forwards you know…

  1. .poem a as written Originally.
  2.  .total verses 4 Has
  3.  .Bowl Super The and Finals NBA the in victories championship their before immediately song this to listened Manning Peyton and Bryant Kobe Both

After you have thought about which song this is, leave a comment of your guess. Then see if you were right by clicking this link, Answer to the Quiz!

Make a guess. I knew you had it in you!

Tutorial and References on answer page.

Tags: AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments1332

Ira Glass Reflection

Words of Wisdom

It is interesting to hear Ira Glass describing how good stories are not like high school term papers or essays. He observes that high school papers are structured in a certain that include a topic sentence followed by a set of supporting arguments. In contrast, he tells us that an “anecdote” is a very important component of a great story because it immediately engages you as a listener. In addition to including a great anecdote, a great story will describe the circumstances and importantly the emotions surrounding the literal events. It is important that these two components, the anecdote and the emotional connection, work together. It is really important that the emotional elements add depth to the literal actions in a story to engage the listener’s imagination. The connected literal action and the emotional aspects are the two components that add suspense and make a story interesting.

In the first segment, Ira Glass provides an example of a story that simply recounts a person’s mundane morning in their home. However, we are told throughout each event that the house is extremely quiet. The simple fact that the house is very quiet builds suspense. It is a type of bait that pulls the listener into the story. The first time we hear that the house is “unearthly quiet,” we are engaged with the story because we want to learn more about why it is so quiet. Is it normally that quiet? Did something happen to make it that quiet? Is something wrong or is something going to happen? What makes it “unearthly quiet”? This foreshadowing insures that suspense is embedded in an otherwise unremarkable story.

Ira Glass also notes that in audio stories the content itself can be more important than the way it is presented. Great stories can sometimes tell themselves. He says that the majority of your time should be spent looking for and finding the best stories. This is very different from producing film in many cases. Many modern movies have meaningless storylines that are embellished by special effects, fast paced action scenes, or attractive actors and actresses. Action-packed car chase scenes appear in nearly every movie produced. In audio stories, in contrast, it is nearly impossible to hide a mediocre plot with special effects thus emphasizing that the storyline itself is a critical component of a great audio story. Ira Glass notes that a great story teller is like a detective searching through a large volume of boring material until just the write story is discovered. Finding great stories is a lot of work, but the diligent search is the critical element to producing a truly special story.

Ira Glass also makes the very interesting point that the rhythm and cadence of normal daily speech is very different from the way many people talk on the radio. He shows us an example in which a radio reporter is speaking using a emphasis on every third word, thinking this is adding suspense to the story when it is actually making the story seem unnatural. Additionally, Ira Glass directly exposed the triviality of much video content that is presented as if it were telling a great story. In this Ira Glass video, the actual video component is low quality, is highly pixelated, and the mundane backdrop is simply a broadcasting room. We can also note that Ira Glass is not wearing any fancy clothing. There is nothing in the video that appeals to the eye. I think this was done intentionally to demonstrate that video is not necessary to tell a great story or to teach a lesson well.

In the audio portion this week, we also have to tell stories with none to minimal visual aid.

Play DJ & Make a Song

Come See my Laptop, Live!

Assignment: Play DJ & Make a Song: 4 Stars

Music has gone from being created by instruments making natural air vibrations that sooth the ears to living entirely inside the world of a computer. Music in today’s day and age is primarily produced in music production applications on a computer. Lyrics have come and gone from music. A lot of popular rappers do not even attempt to say words anymore. In fact after listening to an evolution of rap video it’s apparent that rap has really gone down hill lately. I wanted to explore what some of the DJ’s who produce this music would be like in real life. The character in the video is a cross between an arrogant condescending DJ and a Donald Trumpian politician.

Scientists say that the human brain is programmed to create, listen to, and respond to many different types and sounds of music. Civilizations from around the world, including primitive cultures have all produced music. Music is very prominent in the Bible, for example, King David was well known for his interest in the harp or lyre. Genesis 4:21 describes Jubal as the inventor of musical instruments. 

As times have progressed, music has progressed with it. It has become more diverse, more ubiquitous and more sophisticated. Yet the origins of music are always present in the rhythms and melodies of music. The image below reflects this progression.

Music Evolution
Music Evolution

Music composition has undergone incredible transformation from spontaneous music to careful orchestration. In classical periods of music, there was mathematical precision to much of music, especially the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Even the appearance of music on the page can be beautiful.

Old Fashioned Sheet Music
Old Fashioned Sheet Music

Synthesizers were elaborate electronic devices that created modern electronic music. It is hard to trace the history of synthesizer because the instrument, if you could call a synthesizer an instrument, is not well defined. The first synthesizer came out in the mid 19th century. Modern day synthesizers like in the image below began being produced in the 1970’s. Complex circuitry drove these complex instruments. They did not exist solely within the confines of a computer program. They were actual physical machines. 

Early Synthesizer
Early Synthesizer

Then there is modern computer software using standard computer platforms that bring music creation to the desktop and makes it available to every school child or adult. Garageband is a particular favorite. It is incredible to note that in the last few years concerts and even entire music festivals are performed without a single instrument. Music made only on computers attract thousands of young music fans for Electronic music. The meme below shows how thousands of young music fans flock to these types of concerts simply to hear a computer play music. 

Come see my laptop Live!
Come see my laptop Live!

It is a sad commentary on our modern world to think that music has evolved from a fundamental aspect of human nature to a “commoditized product” pushed by an arrogant, obnoxious, and financially driven “music-industrial complex.” Even the live performance has been taken over by laptops and effects. I tried to emphasize this idea in the “Epic Battles of History” YouTube video comparing Mozart to Skrillex.

Finally it’s time to see what the jerky DJ’s, some of which I assume are good people, who create this type of music would be like in real life.

Presented below is my Play DJ & Make a Song Production.

(Drum Roll Please.)

Remember this is only a character :).

Tags: AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments1494

Software/Websites Used: Garage Band, Itunes, and Imovie