Thursday, April 29, 2010

Final Projects for Class

This semester is drawing to a everyone knows (okay, maybe not everybody, but most people are in the know, and I could not resist the rhyme). First on the list are my half-page advertisements, both shown below. I mistakingly reversed the assignment--I made the typography assignment vertical, and the original image assignment horizontal.

For this one, I used an image taken a couple years ago by a roommate I had when I lived at Vista Place Apartments...I would not suggest the place, personally. It is set up wrong. Anyway, the screenshot on my old laptop is of my "Edit Posts" section from a few days ago.
The one on the right is my vertical half-page typography attempt. Not a lot to explain with this one. The text is a type of tag cloud, basically...and the rest is self-explanatory.
For the full-page advertisement, I used a few different images, such as the person from the Scream. The Capitol Hill and national seal are also used.
The magazine cover on the right is...there. Of all the assignments shown here, this one is my pride and joy--except the Capitol Hill implication above, but that is more like my favorite detail.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Telecom Presentation

So today, the group I am a part of in Intro to Telecommunications, "The 1080s," gave a presentation regarding HDTV technology. My portion was various types, such as LCD, plasma, DLP, LED, etc... It went all right, considering I harbor a disdain for group assignments. There is just something unsettling about putting your grade in the hands of others, especially when it comes to pass that your group is plagued by that one member epitomizing "half-ass dedication."

I realize it is a presentation for an intro course, but you NEVER (I repeat, NEVER) shine a laser pointer on the professor's neck expecting people to actually find it funny. Maybe in high school (not in my high school, mind you), but a person should already be past that point by the time he or she reaches college. It is not funny; it is the very definition of "asinine." Making matters worse, the rest of the group was trying to portray professionalism...apparently, the concept was beyond the person's grasp. It probably would not have bothered me, but I am in this group, and I do not want that kind of representation.

Either way, the professor noticed, so I apologized to him on my group partner's behalf. I am not mentioning his name, but anyone who was there knows who he is, and anyone who has participated in a group project knows the type of person I am referring to.

A couple good things that came out of the presentation: I had a topic for a vent blog, and I know more about HD technology than I did before. If I could afford an HD television, it would probably be this one...a Samsung 72-inch, 1080p DLP 3D-ready model. Through Amazon, and the link provided, the TV can be yours for around $2000. Considering DLP technology is used in movie theaters, LCD and plasma sets do not hold a candle to it, especially in stunning 1080p resolution. The image quality is worth the extra space any day of the week. For an extra $1400 ($3400 total price), you could also pick up an 82-inch Mitsubishi 3D-ready DLP...also 1080p. Samsung and Mitsubishi are the only television manufacturers licensed to use the Texas Instruments DLP technology, according to the website.

This is the 72" Samsung mentioned above. It is beautiful. It would also go great in my apartment. With my current stereo system, I have big sound with a moderate picture. If I had this thing, the image would match the sound.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Class Project [April 15]

This is my text art. The figure is Amun-Ra (original on the left). The outlining text (and the filler at the very top) was taken from here. It is a prayer to Amun-Ra, the Egyptian sun god. I did not know how it would look in the end, and my filler text vocabulary seemed to shrink more and more as I ran out of time. Anyhow, the finished product is the sunburst on the right.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Collateral Murder

In 2007, two Iraqi Reuters staff members were caught in crossfire between US forces and Shiite militias. A corresponding news article can be found here. Following the incident, Reuters requested a thorough enquiry into the deaths and surrounding circumstances. The two employees were photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40.

Saeed Chmagh (left) and Namir Noor-Eldeen (right)

Now to the messed-up part. A couple days ago, a friend pointed me to Apparently, the onboard video from a US apache tells a different story than news reports. In the video, decrypted by wikileaks after un-named sources leaked it, the viewer can clearly see two men carrying cameras...which the soldiers identify as weapons. A little later, one man (Noor-Eldeen) can be seen kneeling from behind a building, attempting to take pictures of something down the road. Soldiers in the helicopter mistake his camera for a weapon, and they claim they were taking RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) fire. However, it is obvious the apache was never fired upon. There are two men armed with guns in the video, but they do not pose an aggressive threat to the chopper. Still, all are gunned down, primarily by gunman "Crazy Horse 1-8." Commentary from soldiers reveals how eager they are to shoot something. One eerie detail of the video is how the crosshairs follow Chmagh.

Here, you can see the crosshairs on Chmagh, with Noor-Eldeen in the bottom-right corner (both have cameras).

Minutes later, a minivan pulls up along one of the journalists who is succumbing to his wounds on the side of the road. Two children can be seen in the front passenger side of the minivan. With unarmed samaritans picking up the barely-alive Reuters employee, command gives the choppers permission to fire. One of the shells hits the minivan and obliterates it. When it is realized that the US forces screwed up and shot kids, the two wounded children are deferred to Iraqi hospitals. One soldier remarks, "well it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle." To which the commander replies, "that's right."

Whistleblowers make the world go 'round.

Other relevant websites: - Committee to Protect Journalists
Namir Noor-Eldeen - Tribute to photojournalist killed - Website dedicated to the video

[NOTE: This line is meant only to separate my links from the automatic timestamp following the blog. This is the only way to keep them from blending together]

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oh...this is Kinda Funny

According to KAIT, a study revealed that teen girls are actually worse drivers than teen boys. I cannot really say this is surprising. The article, amidst gross over-usage of exclamation marks, contains several quotes from (I am assuming) female drivers. One of them even admitted to texting while driving, though not much. An interesting follow-up would be to examine how/if this pattern changes later in life. I am usually the driver, so I have not ridden shotgun with a female in a while. I can say from previous experience that a female driver behind the wheel of a car with a hard suspension is a combination to be avoided. I am not saying I am an excellent driver, myself. I am a bit biased when it comes to judging my own driving. I remember a couple times within the past five months or so when I noticed myself driving erratically beyond the normal speeding scenario. By "normal speeding," I mean 5mph over the limit. I am also sometimes guilty of texting while driving, but only when I am on the interstate with no cars around. Driving through town, I can usually wait to get home before texting.

Actually, I was pulled over about a month ago. The RPD officer accused me of driving through two stop signs. I told him I did not believe him, considering I knew he was behind me for one of the stop signs...not two. Regardless, I did not run two stop signs. When I denied it, he said I just failed to come to a complete stop (still B.S.). I have always heard this referred to as a "California stop." As I handed him my license/registration, I told him once more that I did not remember driving through two stopsigns. After a few minutes, he handed me my license/registration and told me to be careful. Then, he sped away. I guess he had bigger fish to fry. That was the first time I had been pulled over since 2006. My only speeding ticket is from when I was 16 (2004). I was returning to school from lunch and, trying to keep up with the crowd, got clocked going 48 in a 25 zone--2mph faster, and I would have lost my license. No speeding tickets since then, nor any documented violation (regarding my driving skill).

One thing that always gets my goat is when I see news stations running tips on how to avoid paying for a speeding ticket. If an officer writes you a ticket--be an adult and own up to it. I find it a low point whenever a news organization encourages viewers to avoid accepting responsibility for his/her actions...what a disappointment. If you are caught speeding, here is what you do. Go to court, stand in front of a judge and plead "no contest." Easy, right? Or, if you are at least 18 years old, you can mail the fine to the court clerk prior to the court date without having to appear.

And another thing...has anyone heard of a law existing, prohibitting officers from following a person for more than three turns? I have heard rumors, but I have seen nothing to legitimize it.

Picture is from a website with lots of pictures to waste your time...always kept me entertained during down-time back in high

Eine Schlange

A slithering escapee in Germany caused an apartment building to be evacuated for three weeks--and a 19-year-old's apartment to be practically torn apart. The antagonist? A 30cm monocled cobra. From what I have read/seen, the monocled cobra is pretty much king of the deadlies...a mean customer thou shalt not muck with. For more info, check out this Youtube video of some "David" guy on Animal Planet being bitten by a monocled cobra.

Anyway, the cobra escaped from his aquarium on March 18. Now that all is said and done, the 19-year-old faces fines of up to $133,590.50 for the ordeal--they had to tear his apartment apart and evacuate/seal the building because of the venomous snake. Firefighters then checked the building daily for any sign of the snake. Recently, they found the snake stuck to double-sided tape left by one of the firefighters. Authorities say the snake probably died of exhaustion. The article did not disclose the name of the snake.

This picture was taken from this blog. It shows a guy performing with three monocled cobras. The author of the blog apparently considers him to be a "friend," but the blog does not give his name.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lots of Tickets

As I was parking this morning at 9:30, I could not help but notice the Tech safety car pull up. Then, three officers jumped out as if it was a race against time. They wrote at least four tickets in the newly designated red hangtag parking at Tucker Coliseum. As I watched them jump out and quickly walk from car to car, I could not help but think of one person...

This is Farva from the movie, Super Troopers. He is the officer stuck on the station radio because he tries too hard to be a supercop and lost his street-roaming privileges. I am not saying the Tech safety personnel are a joke; I am saying they all had that look of, "All right! Let's write some tickets and make Tech some money! Yeah! Ready...BREAK!" I did not know Tech had a female officer...I also did not know Tech safety had that many ticket boards. That front row across the street from Rothwell Hall is the new hotspot. Signs are posted, there was a bulletin on Onetech and there was an officer in the parking lot, Monday, informing students of the change. The students have every right to be ticketed for ignoring all three. It sucks, but it is reasonable. I wonder how many students are registered as commuters. I also wonder how many yellow hangtag parking spaces are available. Nevertheless, parking in the wrong color area is a $20 fine...which is $20 I do not want to give to Tech--especially after giving Tech over $2,000 for tuition. Yesterday, there was a red hangtag car parked in the yellow zone...I parked beside it. Did they rush to give that car a ticket? Hell, no.