Week 6: Reading (Vasudevan)

Theft and Artistry

The article allowed me to comprehend in a more in-depth way the manner by which cultural appropriation is criticized. In response to the article, I know see cultural appropriation as the act of using another culture, apart from one’s own, to gain profit from the implementation of the foreign culture.

These situations tend to include an artist who fails to portray the culture in question appropriately, and instead, includes members of their own race to represent the cultural traits they seek to signal out.

The example given in the article was Beyonce’s and Coldplay’s song Hymn for The Weekends, whose music video was extensively criticized for wrongfully displaying Indian culture. Moreover, neither artist in a participant of the culture under scrutinization, which worsens the situation even more.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Response:

While I enjoyed exploring the roots of reggae music and its thereafter offspring, hip-hop, I was not too engrossed by the reading as I had previous background information regarding the topic. I am also not surprised to discover that reggae was originally created as a means to express political points of views, as this is also the case for most music genres.

Music has been a means to express political discontent for years. Many artists raise awareness of immoral situations worldwide through the lyrics and melodies implemented in their music.

However, I did find very intriguing the excerpt where the author mentions:

“Every Jamaican Politician knew what every Jamaican musician knew – the sound systems were crucial to their success” (page 30).

In the previous quote, not only does the author claim music can display political points of views, but they are also stating that musicians had a direct effect on the outcome of the polls.

I partially agree with the author’s opinion, since if lyrics disclose information which had been previously out-of-reach to the public, then such a situation can have a definite impact on elections’ outcomes.

Comic Project Nancy & Ori

http://192.168.50.184/~oda218/startuppage/

 

The comic we created is supposed to represent several aspects of a person’s life. Starting from the role of technology in an individual’s daily life (the penguin comic) to how college can affect a student’s life (panda comic).

 

We began the project with another idea in mind but began to change the comic’s design as we tried to add more interaction to the comic.

Our project begins at a start-up page where the user chooses the story they wish to observe. In total, there are 4 stories.

In the panda story, the idea is for the user to input their own chores into the panda’s list. As the list gets bigger, the panda’s eyes get darker, the Starbucks cups pile up, until the final comic strip, where the panda ends up knocked out. The inspiration behind the Panda’s eyes getting darker was due to the Chinese idiom “you have Panda eyes” whenever somebody hasn’t slept, is stressed, and has circles under their eyes.

The Starbucks cups simply represent the need to stay awake and get through all the work, while the knocked out panda shows how many can let stress take over them.

 

In the penguin comic, we wanted to portray two friends’ daily lives and thought through technology it would be the best way. We’ve reached a point in society where it is evident that in every meeting we will have phones present. Therefore, we made one penguin ask the other if they could take a picture. The user is meant to press a button to take the picture then, at the end of the comic, they choose the picture they like the most. However, the penguin dislikes all of them and rejects the user’s opinion.

 

Another comic is played when the fox is clicked upon. In this comic, we portrayed another friendship situation, yet discarded the existence of technology. Instead, we took it back a couple of years and displayed two foxes piecing together a puzzle. In this comic, the user is meant to help the foxes complete the puzzle.

 

Nancy & Ori Comic Page (Vasudevan)

WechatIMG1 WechatIMG2 WechatIMG3 WechatIMG4 WechatIMG5 WechatIMG6 WechatIMG11

We are currently working on the HTML page. We have the comic’s drawings established and have agreed on what animation and interaction each comic will have. For now, we still have to finish uploading the project to the web and establishing the page’s content. Once this is finished, we will work on the content’s design and thereafter move on to the animation and user interaction.

JavaScript Exercise 2 (Vasudevan) Nancy & Ori

We started off modifying the function, placing if and else properties. We focused on the mouse location first, making sure we had an outcome for every position the mouse adopted throughout the four squares.

Afterward, we began to play around with each squares’ background color and style. We thought that if we changed the background color to blue every time the user clicked on a square, we would be able to complete the exercise.

We also had a minor setback when we wrote the pixels measurement behind every number, which affected our outcome.

Once we finished modifying the style of the squares, we noticed that the color of the squares wouldn’t change so we began to explore other possibilities. Professor Roopa gave the class the hint of using the display:block attribute to complete the exercise, so we changed the style display to “block” for each time the user would click on a square. We also had to cancel out all the other squares by changing their display to display: “none”.

The display “block” allowed the style of the square to appear, which is what allowed us to finish the exercise.

Link:

http://192.168.50.184/~oda218/js-exercise-2/

 

With,

Nancy and Ori

 

Java Exercise (Vasudevan)

http://192.168.50.184/~oda218/js-exercise-1/

The changes I made to the website were minor. 

For the change a piece of the HTML script, I decided to substitute the first image. Once the first kitten image is clicked, another one appears on the site.

For the requirement to change the style of a section of the website, I decided to work on the “Kittens” heading, where upon clicking the title, the size and color of the font is modified.

Finally, I added a confirm box that appears whenever the “Hedgehogs” tag is clicked by the user.

Ori & Nancy Comics Project Presentation (Vasudevan)

For our Communication’s Lab project, we plan to first make a homepage that will reveal balloons in constant motion. These balloons will take up the first page of the site since they will be our main source of interaction with the user and will thereafter lead to our prime comics. From there, we will have each balloon represent feelings we encounter in our everyday lives such as friendship, love, happiness, sadness, etc. The feeling will most likely be elegantly written on the exterior of the balloon (these details are still to be confirmed). The main idea is to have the user pop each balloon. Once the balloon has been popped by the user, a comic will be revealed, representing the corresponding feeling the balloon had previously mentioned. The comics themselves will not have a plot, yet they will have short stories or dialogues with which the user can relate to that specific feeling.

For instance, we will have a dialogue amongst two people showing typical friendship support amongst those involved.

Dialogue:

Person A: “Megan why are friends?”

Person B: “Because we know secrets of each other that could end our social lives but we voluntarily choose not to share them”.

Person A: “So true! Remember that one time–”

Person B: “SH! That’s too loud!”

These short comics will be the main source of content for the website.

Hope you all like it!

-Nancy & Ori

Innovative Websites Week 3 (Vasudevan)

http://frankensim.animade.tv

I think this website is absolutely adorable. I love how the eye is always following the mouse. You have to play around to figure out what is interactive and what isn’t. The design of the page makes it seem as if it were an old computer’s screen and that makes it extra appealing.

Something I found out later is how it has the file, view, etc. options at the top of the screen and you can even make the webpage fullscreen. And the lice on the hair is super disgusting and funny at the same time. Loved it.

http://seeingdata.cleverfranke.com/corpus/#

My dream is to go into the journalism business which is probably why this site popped out from the rest. I’m interested in its content more than anything, the fact that they turned it into an interactive website just makes it 10 times better.

 

Week 3: Website CSS Styling Assignment (Vasudevan)

Process:

The hardest part of styling the webpage has been ordering the different selectors. Depending on the order I would write them in, sometimes the property would be reflected on my web page whereas at other times I’d have to switch the order around to have it work on my final project.

Regardless, once I had done the in-class exercise, things began to get easier as I could use the layout of the in-class exercise as a guide.

I began by sectoring my web page, creating different sections that would go together, grouping specific texts, etc. Once I had grouped everything together and had decided an order I would like for my web page I began shifting things around. Aligning them in the way I wanted to. I’ve used position: absolute throughout the most part of my web page since any other selector would end up rearranging my previous work.

I’ve also used as a reference all of the resources given to us through the IMA Website in order to more or less understand the format and layout the CSS attributes should have.

Another big issue was understanding the border property, which I’ve yet to completely comprehend. Finally, I’ve could not install animations onto my web page which I believe is due to the fact that my server did not support the animation I was going for: slide-in.

in-class exercise:

http://192.168.50.184/~oda218/in-class-done/

website-styled:

http://192.168.50.184/~oda218/panama2/

Week 3: Response to Understanding Comics (Vasudevan)

Understanding Comics, for one part, was a highly unique project. Using comics to explain the concept of comics themselves allowed the reader to profoundly understand the principles being developed by the author. Scott McCloud’s main purpose in Understanding Comics is to reconstruct the social image that has been given to comic books worldwide. He considers this pre-established notion of comic books to be negative and under meaning since it excludes many of a comic book’s attributes.

One of the features which caught my eye throughout McCloud’s description of the comics’ world was how the creators use closure so that the reader engages interactively with their work. Closure is when an individual mentally completes a scenario with past experiences. Such a concept completely blew my mind. In a way, the author of a comic book is using us to complete their own story. When a scene is left out from an action-to-action type of transition, we create a scenario in our minds which will fill up that space so that the comic makes sense. In other words, we might be reading the same comic book as the person next to us, yet their interpretation of the story plot itself can be completely different from ours. In the end, we may be reading two completely different stories!

However, Scott McCloud’s work did not help with clearing last week’s reading The Medium is the Message. If anything, it blurred Marshall McLuhan’s concept even more. According to Scott McCloud, we have to extract the medium—comics—from the message—the comic’s content—because those are two very different things. One, is the medium creators use to express their ideas, whereas the other are the ideas itself. This is exactly what I had pointed out in my response to McLuhan’s theory. I agree with McCloud that the medium itself is merely a channel used by the creator to broadcast his ideas, yet such should not be confused with the ideas themselves. As McCloud best described this notion: “Do not mistake the message for the messenger” (page 6).

Week 2: Response to Marshal McLuhan (Vasudevan)

There are three explanations as to why I cannot find myself to agree with Marshal McLuhan, author of The Medium is the Message. The first is the possibility that I was not open-minded enough throughout the article. The second may be that I have misunderstood the writing in its totality. And the third is the possibility that there is another perspective to McLuhan’s claim.

Such a point of view may not be the most agreeable, nor correct, yet I must say that I disagree with McLuhan’s claim of the medium as the message which “shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action” (152). In order to begin explaining my negative reaction to McLuhan’s writing, I must first provide a personal definition of medium. I regard a medium to be a channel/platform/object which holds a message’s content.

While a medium does have the particularity of shaping the content in some form or another, I believe the message itself will always be what is being displayed through the medium. For instance, a photograph will be given meaning once an image appears. Let’s use the example of polaroid pictures. Before the image is revealed on a polaroid picture, the film has no meaning whatsoever. Yet, once the image begins to surface on the polaroid picture, that particular film used is now special in some way. The film is now different from the others that still remain unused within the polaroid camera.

Another perfect example are newspapers. A newspaper is a medium used to provide the public with news. However, every newspaper’s reputation is shaped and tainted by the stories it decides to cover. In such a situation, the message is once again giving shape to the medium. TMZ and CNN, while both are means which inform an audience, have very different natures. One news outlet is pure entertainment, while the other provides its viewers with concrete and non-scandalous information. Here we can observe how two mediums which are exactly the same, vary in nature due to the messages they convey.

I hope I explained my confusion with McLuhan’s essay in a clear manner. I believe the author might have a point that I have failed to see. I will bring this issue up in class, in order to clear up all of the discombobulating thoughts I find myself immersed in.

Link to assignment 2

OriComm

This image was a very time consuming project. I mainly used the magnetic lazo tool, to go around the buildings and the flag. I also used the magic wand tool to select everything other than the buildings and delete the background. Then I tried cloning the image, but that did not work (hence that awkward blue “sky” in the middle. I know what I did wrong which complicated my entire process. Hopefully, it won’t happen next time.