Watching: the iRack

Taking the piss out of George W Bush and the invasion of Iraq seems to get easier by the day but they're (we're :( ) still there so it just rolls on.

This is a clip from MadTV that I was sent, enjoy.


Asking: for your thoughts

I'm working on a big essay at the moment, which is relatively unstructured but quite interesting and I'd really like to hear any ideas you folks out there have on the subject.

The official topic is

Topic: What are the implications of the ‘Net Generation’ on the design of interactive multimedia learning resources?

This task requires you to submit an essay in which you critically analyse the current debate on the issue of the ‘Net Generation’ and consider what this phenomenon (if it indeed exists) means for those designing interactive multimedia resources.

So it is a fairly interesting subject - there has been so much in the media about the so-called Net-Gen a.k.a Gen Y a.k.a The Millenials etc - often in the context of the "moral panic" about YouTube bullying, MySpace predators, violent video games and the like. This on top of general generational harping about how Gen Ys are spoilt, self-centred, fame obsessed and walk into the workplace expecting to be made manager five minutes later.

These of course are the negatives and I did find a nice quote which pops up from time to time attributed to Socrates (by way of Plato) -

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

Apparently this is a bit of a misquote but it's indicative of the fact that perhaps the teens and 20somethings of any generation have always been looked down upon.

As far as technology, multimedia and education go, I think we can look at this generation as different in someways - Marc Prensky refers to them as digital natives (as opposed to digital immigrants) - people who have grown up knowing nothing other than the digital age. This is perhaps more the approach that I'm considering.

The predominance of the social web (MySpace, YouTube etc) as well as Computer mediated communications (Instant Messaging) and the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones will also come into play, I'm just unclear as to what it all means.

What better opportunity that to use the strengths of this social web to pick your brains dear reader and see what you think.

Please feel free to say anything, even (or especially) if you haven't commented before.


Listening to: Kimya Dawson - I like giants

Peter Raftos played a beautiful song on 2XX this morning that made me come straight to the computer to google the lyric and find out more. (I waited to see if he was going to back-announce the track but he went into a new one).

It was I like giants by Kimya Dawson (one time Moldy Peach)

I'm not 100% sure what it was about the song that grabbed me - it's a quickly sung anti-folk/punk-folk (remember that movement?) ditty about putting your life into context and it's just so quirky, poetic and thoughtful that I had to share it.

(Of course, the odds are now that I'm actually the last person online to discover this song and everyone else is going - yeah duh :)

Here's the last verse

we all become important when we realize our goal
should be to figure out our role within the context of the whole
and yeah, rock and roll is fun but if you ever hear someone
say you are huge look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun
look at the ocean and the desert and the mountains and the sky
and say i am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye
i am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye
i am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye
and i don't wanna make her cry

'cause i like giants.

You can listen to the nicely recorded version at her Myspace page - http://profile.myspace.com/kimyadawson

or if all that clicking is too hard, here's a version from YouTube. (The sound is a little muddy in this one though)


Talking about: a new radio show

I met up with 2XXfm music afficionado and all round good guy Jerry Schwab last night to chat about working together on a new show.

Apparently there is a slot on Thursday nights between 9.30 and 11pm that the current presenters are having trouble filling and we're looking at moseying on in if they decide to give it up.

There are a number of gaps in the 2XXfm programme, somewhat surprisingly when you think about it, so if you've ever had a hankering to do a bit of radio and share your musical tastes with the ACT community, the time is right.

Here are some of the finer details from an email Jerry has sent to station management

Provisional title: Lost Highway

It's hard to categorise the music we want to play but some of the terms that I've run across include: alt.country, americana, insurgent country, neotraditional, cowpunk,lo-fi country, roots rock, ...the list goes on and on.

I suspect we would have very little overlap with current 2XX programming.

Colin and I have different (though I think complimentary) tastes and my knowledge of music in this stream is probably North American focused; I think Colin will be able to extend my knowledge and the shows content to include more Australian artists. Some of the types of artists that I would play include Steve Earle, Paul Kelly, Lambchop, Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, The Handsome Family, Kathleen Edwards, Wilco, Son Volt, Be Good Tanyas, Neko Case, Calexico, Iron&Wine, Dave Alvin, Arcade Fire, Blue Rodeo, Kelly Joe Phelps...

Types of labels we would try to build links to: Lost Highway, Anti, YepRock, Nonesuch, Bloodshot.or their Australian distributors.

Stay tuned for more details - it could be interesting though - Jerry has a good ear for music and while this isn't the only type of music I like, there is a lot of interesting stuff in this scene that hopefully there is an audience for.


Making: a how to capture video with Movie Maker 2 video

This may not be the most fascinating thing to some people - although if you like to work with video and don't have access to the fancy schmancy video editing software like Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Vegas or Avid (to name but a few), this video could be pretty useful.

For my final assignment for Interactive Multimedia Design, I've created this movie about capturing video with Windows Movie Maker 2, the free video editing software that comes with Windows. (It's generally tucked away up in the Accessories/Entertainment section of the All Programs menu).

It's all pretty straightforward really, much less sucky to use that I had been expecting. (My experiences with Movie Maker 1 put me off this software for a long time).

Anyways, you can check the movie out here and here are a couple of screenshots for you.


Sharing: bedhair

I've been waking up with some pretty spectacular bedhair recently and thought it was a shame to deprive the wider community of its magnificence.

Pussycat thinks I'm a little nuts to be sharing this kind of thing with the world but everyone gets it and it's not as though I'm walking the streets with it or anything so I don't see that it's so bad.

In fact, I was even thinking that it would be fun to have a website where people can share similar pics. Unfortunately bedhair.com is taken - snaffled up by one of those sites that grab everyone short domain name they can think of and stick a bunch of links to sites on it.

I did a quick search on Flickr though and found 147 pics with the tag "bedhair". I think I'm doing ok but there's some pretty significant competition. What do you think? (Oh and feel free to send in your best bedhair pic too if you are of a mind, go on, it'll be cool :)

Thanks to MarenB, Stewf, Malavagma, normanhathaway and t-dawg.