Media Analysis & Keep in Touch

Hey everybody here is my media analysis.

My analysis reflects my experience in caving, climbing, and scuba over the years. You’ll get to see some pics of me from when I was active in scuba and climbing.  

Well, it’s been a fun class. I will miss this class. I’ve enjoyed everybody’s company this semester. I have never had a class where I was assigned to play video games and read comic books for homework. My family and friends are jealous of me. Then there was watching Sex Ed. videos from the the 50’s which was amusing. Anyways feel free to drop me a line anytime at madcrazyvtcaver@hotmail.com , jobensch@gmu.edu (I’m a graduating senior this spring. So, I may be losing access to the mason acccount in a little while. So, send to both the mason and hotmail accounts if you send me an email). There is always of course AIM which I’m addicted to.  My screen name is "RenaissanceCaver"  Hit me up anytime.

Take care, Happy Holidays, Party On! , Good luck on finals!

                                                                   Jason

American Memory and Hanging out with my historian friend

     The material I looked at deepest on the American Memory website was a selection of spirituals. I have studied various spirituals with my vocal teacher. I looked through the scanned music of these pieces. Maybe I could actually use some of these pieces in my study of voice with him or pieces from another database like it! I actually found a piece called Deep River which I studied in the past on the archive. I like spirituals because they have a lot of "soul and depth" to them. I have found in my study of voice that opera can be overly zealous and fancy. There can be more emphasis in opera on vocal virtualosity than actually singing with heart. 
     After class, I hanged out with some friends. My friend Steve is a Masters of History student at Mason. We talked about in class about how historians use archives for research and study. Steve is living this currently in his Master’s studies. He and I talked about the use of google and databases. He talked about how there are other databases you can use besides google. He showed me one called Heritage West (http://www.cdpheritage.org/collection/heritageWest.cfm) and the "Internet Movie Archive" (http://www.archive.org/details/movies). We tried to get into the Prelinger Archives from the movie archive but had problems. There was maybe a problem at the server of the archives or a connnection problem with the DSL connection we had. Not everything at the National Archives or Library of Congress is digitized. Steve will be doing research at the National Archives. He told me at the National Archives that they let you take digital pictures of the material you are looking at. So, we went off and looked for a digital camera that night. We went to Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. He ended up not buying one that night and probably will borrow a friends for the weekend. Eventually, I think he will buy one. Well, that it’s for this posting. Time to get ready for a weekend of gluttony, drinking, and time with friends & family  hehe….  

         Happy Turkey Weekend Everybody!        

Digital libraries and Digital stuff

     Various things went through my head as I read the Wired article and played with the archive. One, it talked about digitizing books. I took a history class last year and tried to get cliff notes of a book. The notes were either not sold at the stores I was looking for them at or were not in print anymore. I ended up actually getting a digital copy of the notes. Bookstore may someday become a relic of the past if books are eventually only published in digital form. The article made me think back to a story on tv about there possibly being a like online university or something similiar to that in the future on the internet. 

     After reading the Wired article, I went to the archive. I played aound with it for a while. I looked up various terms. Some of things I looked up were "climbing,"  "dance," "capoeira," and "contact improvisation." I came across various videos. I was not expecting to come across an video with eastern indian dance. I watched it because I had taken a semester of indian dance. There are a lot of videos on the archive. Not all the search results were accessible.  One to something had basically being reviewed by "Million Book Project." Maybe they are having copyright issue with it at this time and can’t display it. 

     The article and the archive are all about digital material. I am a trained musician in this digital age. One thing I have thought would be cool is to have is a digital music stand. In an orchestra, the conductor could write things into the music on the podium onto the music directly that would be seen by the rest of the musicians on their stands. The musicians could do the same and write stuff individually on their music. I am sure the technology for this idea exists but it would be expensive. I also own a composing program where I can save my music it’s written form as a webpage. An audible music file can be played as the music is looked at. Bascially, the day I write something, I can put it on the internet if I want to. However, I would only do this on music I don’t plan to try to make money on. Anything important / that I put a lot of work into, I would probably copyright before putting it online. 

Lexia to Perplexia & The Bomar Gene

You can’t exactly read Lexia to Perplexia. From previous experience with it in another class called Hypermedia Poetry, I learned the best way is to view the piece is to look at it holistically versus dissecting it. My hypermedia poetry class was basically said this piece is hypermedia taken to the extreme. There is the page "Exe. Termination." Boxes of text overlap each other here. It’s hard to read them. This reflects the title of the piece which is has "perplexia" in it. This section of the piece and the whole thing in general is perplex. The Metastrophe page made me think of the Unabomber because of the use of "Minifesto" in it. Programming languages are blended into the text of the piece. I think it might be html or java.

The Bomar Gene was much less ambiguous more easier to understand. It played on the idea of that everybody has a specific gene that is individual to him or her. I am taking a class right now called Science in the News and we have covered DNA in detail in it. The moving slide on top is made from DNA sheets. Each gene that can be clicked is a marker that is individual to a specific person. There were various genes. "The Laired Numbers of the Dead" gene caused someone’s head who be filled with numbers after the suicide of his neighbor. There was the "Yeh Spirograph Gene" that made someone into a math genius.

I like both of the pieces. There is the use of sound, text, animation, video, and images in The Bomar Gene. Lexia to Perplexia had animation, images, and text in it. It was meant to be perplexing while the Bomar Gene wasn’t. The creator of the Bomar gene I think is almost saying "beware of the use of DNA, cloning etc…. and where we are headed." The multimedia used allowed the readers to experience what it would be like to have the specific genes being described. There was a lady with "The Rosario Match Gene" who liked pictures. There was a matching game with pictures that you could play. It’s hard to get a meaning from Lexia to Perplexia. It often slams it’s readers with a large amount of graphics and text all at once. It can give a reader sensory overload. The graphics and text that overlap each other make it harder to understand than The Bomar Gene. It would take several hours to decipher and attempt to read all the text in it. It was as if the piece was saying "I am hypermedia / hypertext to the extreme and am here to confuse you. Hear me roar! ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAR!" If it’s creator’s goal was to do this, he definitely reached his goal.

Afternoon, a story

If you don’t quite know what to make of Afternoon, I suggest that you read through the directions, which you can get to from the very first screen (the "title page") by clicking the "Y" at the bottom of the StorySpace window.

Once you’re in the story, I encourage you to explore multiple paths by clicking on words within each lexia. Many words–especially names, places, and other weighty words–are hyperlinks (even though they’re not underlined or highlighted). It’s up to you, the reader, to figure out which words "yield" new lexia (to use Michael Joyce’s language).