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November 2004 Archives

November 14, 2004

Jerri Blank: Back Again

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Ok, so some of you may remember my refference to Strangers With Candy, the 3 season television show on Comedy Central. As you know, I love this show. There is something about its sick, funny, non-pc humor that hits home with me. Recently I have aquired season 3 on DVD and I am so excited to share the wonderous world of Jerri Blank with Seton Hill University. I have also just been made aware that the stars have reached perfect allignment and hell has frozen over which means the unthinkably great is going to happen...there is going to be a full length Strangers With Candy Movie.

spinpill.gifSome 'SWC' Quotes To Think About:
"May all your showers be golden."
"I'm gonna make your pinky all stinky."
"You know...I cried when I had no shoes, and then I met a man that had no feet and I lauhged really hard."

Something that I can't get over is that Amy Sedaris is Jerri Blank. I mean come on they look so different. She looks human where as Jerri can be described as looking like a "distant relative of Swoosie Kurtz in Tammy Faye Bakker makeup and clothes that were tossed out by the Goodwill thrift shop." I'll post a picture of them both in the near future and you can be the judge.
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November 15, 2004

Photography anyone?

Ok, so I am sitting in El236 (Writing for the Internet) when all of a sudden I decide to look up Amy Sedaris on the google images search. I think I was looking for some pictures for my blog. Well low and behold I find some great shots and then some really cool photographs that I just had to share. The photographer does a lot of work with celebrities and his name is Nick Koudis and his work is incredible.
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Nick Koudis Home Studio
Jerri Blank Picture 1
Jerri Blank/Amy Sedaris Picture 2

Mr.Rogers: Marine Sniper

I was in study hall tonight and my friend Mark says to me, "You know, Mr.Rogers was a very famous marine sniper. And on top of that he had to wear long sleeves because of all the 'marine tattoos' covering his arms." I was like 'OK,' and went on about my business. It seemed logical enough and he believed this whole heartedly. There was no changing his mind. Later on I started to wonder the validity of this story. If it was true, how come I had never heard it before? I researched and this is what I found.
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The Truth About Fred Rogers

November 17, 2004

Tiny Dancer...Tony Danza

This is a little fun tid-bit for all you Tony Danza, Ben Folds and Elton John fans out in cyberspace. The true story behind Tiny Dancer...as told through the eyes of AOL Instant Messenger user scwaster.

scwaster (11:56:09 PM): As i stated before Tiny Dancer is supposed to be Tony Danza.
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scwaster (11:57:18 PM): Me and him (Elton) used to hang back in the day. He'd throw large gay parties I'd go for the open bar...

scwaster (11:57:59 PM): He was rich so I was manipulated into thinking he wanted to be my friend but no...he wanted to steal Tony Danza and make it Tiny Dancer.

scwaster (11:58:24 PM): Elton is an evil man, a cool person such as yourself should stay away from his devil words.

So Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
you had a busy day today

November 23, 2004

Braces...Let Them Shine

For some reason I have to say that braces are something that now more than ever fascinate me. I don't necesarily know why, but it seems like I see them on adults and my peers every day. In fact one of my very good friends, Jaynelle Stevens, is right here at Seton Hill University with her braces in tact.

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I guess it started with the whole Strangers With Candy episode, "Who Want's Cake?" in which Jerri Blank is forced to get braces and snare out a suspected retarded girl in her school. The whole tag from that show was that the retarded we attracted to shiny things and hence they were drawn to Jerri Blank's braces. I always joke around with Jaynelle about her braces and its like I can't stop talking about them. Really makes you think. They are just the topic of conversation for us. Its funny how SWC ties into like every aspect of my life. I mean when I had braces they were not fun nor were they funny...at least not to me. Oh well. Maturity is over-rated for sure.

The History of Braces
Famous Metal Mouths (Scroll down on this site to see a list of celebrities that wear/wore braces)

November 25, 2004

Visual Blog 1

This is a test/experiment to see people's responses to visual blogs. I will post two or three pictures on this entry and hope to spark a conversation or receive comments about them. This may be done several more times as well. Please feel free to comment as frequently needed. The first is my friend Lisa, and the second is my Dad.

Picture #1

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Picture #2

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Blogging: Social Action

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Blogging and and reality T.V shows have a lot more in common than I could have ever imagined. In class we discussed the parallels between the two forms of media/entertainment. The Real World on MTV for example markets televisions, cool clothes and fun vacations to the teenagers and young adults that watch the show. In the blog world, you can market products in a similar non-obvious way by mentioning a product you liked or didn't like in your blog. For example, if you reference a new line of hair care products which you enjoy and reccomend it, there is a likely chance that some people will take your reccomendation and try it. This increases the sale of the product and you have just marketed it.

Blogs have a great impact on society in a political sense and not all of them are necesarily personal blogs that reflect opinions or examine someones life in depth. Informative blogs can in fact be just as popular as the personal type which we all love so much because of its juicy details and gossip.

November 26, 2004

100 Mins Interactive Fiction

The interactive fiction game that I chose to play for an hour (actually longer in retrospect) was entitled I-0 (‘jailbait on the interstate’) by Adam Cadre which referred to Interstate 0. I was very skeptical about playing this game but the content seemed interesting. Originally I did not play this game as one of the 4 samplers but I decided to give it a look out of curiosity because I wanted to branch out from the traditional game genres that I had previously explored. In general I had not had very good prior experiences with Interactive Fiction games as a whole. There was something unexplainably hard about them that left me frustrated and completely confused. Going into this game I decided to just go with what I knew and wing it. Surprisingly that was exactly what worked.

The game is based on the premise that you are Tracy Valencia, a first year student in college that is going home on a four hour drive for Thanksgiving Day but your car has mysteriously broken down on the side of the interstate in the desert. The first time I played this game I was killed because of my lack of observation skills. At the start of the game I could not even get out of the car because I had not unbuckled my seatbelt yet. So I unbuckled my seatbelt and exited the car. I stuck out my thumb because my first instinct was to hitchhike. Cars were passing in my general direction but as the game put it they were “oblivious to my plight.” Finally a car stops, and this man named Jack asks me if I needed a ride. I should have realized this was trouble when he was “more interested in your breasts than conversation.” Well sure enough it is trouble and Jack pulls over to the side of the road and rapes Tracy and then murders her. The games ends and once again I feel like I have failed at interactive fiction.

Being determined to actually accomplish something in playing these games I end up playing I-0 for about 2 hours straight one night and figure out new things each time I play. One thing that I learned and will benefit me in many IF games is that anything can be a helpful clue. When I began in Tracy’s car I did not even think to look around, it was my initial thought to get out and get a ride to a gas station. Upon later review I discovered that in her glove box are a map of the surrounding area and a helpful pamphlet regarding the situation of being stranded in the desert. This pamphlet hinted at the later encounter that I had with a rattlesnake and informed me of how to survive it. Also in Tracy’s car is the key, cassette tape and her purse. The purse is another important item which I needed to open and search. There is pepper spray, Tracy’s license, and lip balm inside. The pepper spray can be used to fend of Jack and the balm to seduce a policeman out of busting you for murder. (I’ll get to that part in a second.)

When I did use the spray while Jack was driving he ran off the road and wrecked the car. Ironically I was thrown through the windshield and out onto the highway. By this point I was highly pissed off. Why couldn’t I win? Soon enough I realized that when I first got into the car I needed to buckle my seatbelt and I would survive the crash. Also in attempts to fight off Jack when he pulls the car over, I looked under the seat to find “The Club” and I hit him in the head with it, knocking him out. Eventually I figured out to search Jack’s car after the crash or after he was knocked out. I opened the glove box and searched Jack himself.

If you stick around the scene after the crash/knock out then the cops will come and at this point the lip balm seduction may come in handy. The furthest I got after this point was to a fast food restaurant called “Taco Junta” (basically a Taco Bell) where I made the mistake of spraying the server with pepper spray because I wanted to steal her car. She was too quick and knocked me out and then called the cops. In actuality I later found out that I was supposed to hide in the bed of her truck in the parking lot until nightfall and hitch a ride into my home town. I thoroughly enjoyed this game and the many twists and turns it allowed me to take. This game would likely be a challenge for even the most skilled IF player but it is worth it.

Helpful Hints For Playing IF Games

Panel 2-F: Into the Blogosphere 4

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News
Initially I never liked the idea of Wikipedia and now I really dislike the idea of Wikinews. With Wikipedia people could go onto the website and change any encyclopedia entry they wanted to without knowing two cents about the topic being explained. I am just not comfortable with that concept as a whole. Any bumbling fool could claim to be an expert about something. I can see the benefit of having so many different opinions in regard to the news and journalism though. The news is incredibly biased one way or the other in its current state and Wikinews would provide a window for each voice to be heard regarding an issue. Overall "citizen journalism" can have a plus side and a minus side just like any other controversial new thing. On one hand you are trying to eliminate the media bias towards the right wing or left wing, or whatever wing we are leaning to in any given week,but on the other hand you are allowing anyone, credible or not to write the news. Well I guess you can't really write the news anyway but you can report it. And to report the news in a particular way can influence the message you present. No matter how hard you try not to be biased there is always a hint of someone's personal opinion.

November 27, 2004

Panel 2-D: Into The Blogosphere 3

*Women and Children: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs
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Vicki's presentation on the users that blog was very informative. It is funny to think that the majority of bloggers were in fact teenage girls and that 40-50% of women are the ones that blog. I mean clearly we are the sex that dominates the population and for that reason this statistic makes sense. Now when they say that these teen girls are blogging it makes you think that they are just writing their online diaries and live journals, venting teenage angst and relationship troubles. I will admit that sometimes one teenager will say something profound but its unfortunately a rarity and I resent teenagers as a whole for that.

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I can say this because I am in fact still a teenager in the correct definition of the word. I am eighteen. 'Teenage' is usually associated with kids the age of 13-16, but somehow 17-19 is considered an adult by society. Being a teenager myself, I admit that the entries I post on my own blog are not always serious intellectual thoughts regarding worldly issues. In fact, I like to post things that bring me amusement and may entertain others. In class we discussed the evolution of one's writing from the time they begin blogging as a teenager (or specifically a teenage girl) to the time that they reach adulthood. I believe that it is not the evolution of their writing but rather a change in the subject matter which they discuss. I personally know that I have always had a unique style of writing and the ability to write, the only difference now is that I am learning a new style of getting my message across through online media journalism.

*Weblogs and the Public Sphere
Weblogs can often facilitate the debating of many offline topics and works and therefore have a very big impacy on the public sphere of existence. Blogs could have immense impact on political/legal domains as well as Art/Culture and Science/Technology. Popularity of a person's blog can grow with the addition of someone to a personal blog roll. I do not know how to actually add these links to my roll yet but as of right now I would like to give attention and credit to some exceptional bloggers in my Writing for the Internet class. I know that I am on at least one person's blog roll and that is an honor. Perhaps if I finally figure out how to work my own blog roll then I can somehow attract some more outsiders to visit my blog.

I hope to gain an audience outside of the SHU community eventually. The idea of the emergence of professional bloggers putting average bloggers out of business 'persay' is very interesting. What exactly would be the qualifications of a professional blogger? Would he or she have to be certified or an expert on a topic other than blogging as a whole? Another interesting point is the overlapping conversations that are BLOGS. A topic on one persons blog could continue on for many many more blogs and never stope being discussed. Repetition of this topic is not an issue.

*Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs
There are so many current visual trends in the blogosphere that bloggers follow in order to make their blogs more appealing to a mass audience. When the survey regarding the use of these strategies was completed 0% of the 154 blogs surveyed used music or video. I mean this is telling us something. The lack of these two elements reflects the sad fact that most people don't have super fast computers or internet that can load such high volume items quickly. The bloggers are aware that the mass audience does not have the ability to see or hear these things therefore they leave them off their blogs. The idea is to create something that people won't get fed up with or frustrated with if it does not load up. On my blog I use pictures constantly as well as a slightly modified stylesheet.

November 28, 2004

Panel 2-C: Into the Blogosphere 2

Personal Publication and Public Attenion
*The internet was definately influenced greatly and gained popularity from the use of AOL. (America Online) I know that when I first started learning about computers and using my own PC I heard only of AOL. TV commercials constantly promoted AOL and the new upgrades for it. As with the internet, blogs also gained a certain amount of popularity and soon became specialized to cater to the lower levels of technological knowledge of users. When technology and computers became readily available to a mass audience the shift of the internet from an economic, political and academic elite network was visible. Even View image">my Dad, one of the most computer illiterate people, learned how to use AOL and the internet. He has gone from knowing nothing to being a self taught computer user.

I don't know how I feel about the idea of classifying blogs and thinking less of the ones that are personal or written for entertainment. Its funny how blogging is a genre in itself, but there are so many sub-genres of it. The judgement of blogs reminds me of popular fiction in a sense. Critics and readers tend to highly critisize popular fiction novels as low brow reading. In the case of blogs, critics devalue the popular blogs which may be personal or fiction.

Parody Blogging and the Call of the Real
*I definitely agree that there is a difference between arguments and argumentation. When discussing a topic of heated debate on a blog one must be careful not to give way to argumentation. One produces un-necesary conflict, whilw the other promotes healty and respectful discussion of different viewpoints. At times on blogs conflict arises and debating turns into personal attacks. This could tell you a lot about the maturity level of the one making all the rude comments. Arguing is not necesarily the problem that we as Americans are afflicted with but rather arguing badly. We are all culprits of this crime at one time or another in our lives when we have wanted to feel right about something.

Remediation, Genre, and Motivation: Key Concepts for Teaching with Weblogs
*There is a very interesting concept brought up in this section of the article that refers to old media and genres becoming the content of new media. I agree from the reading that 2003 really was the year of the blog as blogging gained immense popularity in classes across the country. Before reading this article I did not know of the journal blog, notebook blog and filter blog. They were all foreign terms to me that I may have seen before but would not be able to recognize if they were put in front of me.

November 29, 2004

Panel 2-B:Into the Blogosphere 1

One issue in the three articles which we discussed was the use of image or picture blogs. Visual blogs are somewhat different from the traditional blog. Some visual blogs consist of only pictures. I personally am a huge fan of people putting pictures in their blogs. It really appeals to me as it does to most people. Images add to any entry and it is usually in a positive way. When I read someones blog I like to know what they are talking about and the incorporation of images helps me to better undestand some things that I may not have recognized in text but rather by sight.

When I blog about a movie I have seen I like to post a small movie poster in the middle of my my entry and this gives my readers something to identify with. If they goto a store and see the same cover on the movie box it may jog their memory and they may buy that movie. Other times that I like to use images on my blog are when I am telling a story. If I have pictures from that particular event that will explain my story better than words than I will post them. For example, if I wanted to tell the entire internet about my good friend Tyler from back home I would post a picture of him. He is a pretty cool and crazy guy. So I posted this picture of him that was a joke he sent to me. Take it any way that you like but its just a view of his silly sense of humor. I told him to send me a pic of him for me to have here at school and he sent me this.
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It is pretty insane that Bell Labs would try and make a map of the entire internet. I mean that has to be an almost impossible task. In fact this "map" is really just a representation of relationships and dispositions not an actual map. In regard to cultural geography of the internet, the blogosphere is a great example. Topics and discussions which occur on blogs are constantly changing as does the culture of the people who use them. Blogs may actually facilitate these changes.

November 30, 2004

Panel 2-A: Weblog Case Studies

*Kaycee Nicole*
The story of the Kaycee Nicole weblog is kind of a sick one in my mind. Who on this earth would pretend to be a cancer ridden young woman and then fake their own death? I cannot imagine the feelings of her loyal online friends and supporters after it was revealed that the entire thing was a "hoax". It sounds like there was not an intent to trick or hurt these people but its still over the line. What was the real point behind it all? Had I been one of those who had been tricked I would have been angry not only at this woman who fabricated the story but also at myself. I suppose the lesson behind this weblog case study is that not everything online should be taken as gospel. Anyone can put anything online and people may take it as truth. This shows you the power of weblogs and other forms of online media.
(The alleged cancer victim pictured below)

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*She's a Flight Risk*
This was a pretty cool. It was basically written as a fictional online story that was told through a blog. It was the tale of a rich heiress that ran away from her throne to escape and arranged marriage and she travels the world going from place to place trying not to get caught. She's an international fugitive and maintains a blog about her status and encounters. I'm not sure how many people took this story as truth but it was very well written. In fact the author was even sought out to publish this story and others in a book. The blog authors family has even shyed away from them lime light and requested that newspapers and reporters look no further into their lives.

*Dear Raed*
Blogs most definately started gaining a lot of coverage when America was at war with Iraq particularly from the blog entitled "Dear Raed" He is from Baghdad. At the point of its emergence; the consensus appeared to be that it was genuine -- although some critics and skeptics maintain that it may be a hoax or propaganda ploy. In the UK, The Guardian, had enough confidence in "Dear Raed" to run a text-only version of this blog on its own site.

Blog Portfolio

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This is the second installment of my Portfolio blogs. For those of you that did not follow my blog the first time around I will give you a brief exposition about me and my Movable Type cause. My name is Leslie Rodriguez and welcome to my weblog sponsored by Movable Type. I am a freshman at Seton Hill University and as part of my Writing for The Internet class and the New Media Journalism program I write and respond blog entries on various topics.

These entries are then posted for public view on my blog. This entry acts as an introduction to my blog portfolio which includes selected entries that reflect on our classes panel presentations, the three texts which we use in class. The following topics will be examined and discussed in my blog portfolio:

*Student Panel Blog Entries*
-A required set of blog topic entries for me to comment on. 5/6 total were chosen to be discussed in this Portfolio.

Panel 2-A: Weblog Case Studies
-An in depth look at three very different weblogs and their impacts on the internet community.

Panel 2-B: Into The Blogosphere 1
-Further examination of visual blogs and the Bell Labs internet map.

Panel 2-C: Into The Blogosphere 2
-Personal publication weblogging with public view. Teaching the blog & intro to parody blogging.

Panel 2-D: Into the Blogosphere 3
-Who blogs and why? The popularity of blogging with teens. Blogging and the public. Visually appealing blogs.

Panel 2-F: Into the Blogosphere 4
-Brief comment and reflection about Wikipedia News. (Wikinews)

*Various Class Blog Responses*
100 Mins Interactive Fiction
-Detailed look at the interactive fiction game I-0 which I played forever...=)

Blogging As A Social Action
-The influence of blogs on society, politics and entertaiment.

*Xenoblogging*
-The Primo Comment
-First response to Chris's post of some very interesting poetry.

Comment Grande
-An ongoing discussion on Evan's Blog which I felt the needed to partake in.

The Link Gracious
-I responded to the information regarding the Panel 2-D presentation on Vicki's blog. Linked to her article/entry.

*Wildcard Blog Entry*
-Discussion of the television show Strangers With Candy. In depth review/look at Season 3 on DVD.

About November 2004

This page contains all entries posted to Roamer's Zone in November 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2004 is the previous archive.

January 2005 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.