Category Archives: discussion

Glastonbury Festival

I lived in England for almost a year. Although a year isn’t so long, I enjoyed my first music festival there, which is the Glastonbury Festival. I had the most amazing time there, but sadly, I met hardly anyone as I lived in Pomona College who knew about this great show. So, since it has been so under-rated,

To give you a short background and history of the Glastonbury Festival, it began in the 1970s, and was heavily infuenced by the hippy movement and such shows like Isle of Wight Festival. The festival is located in southern England, about six miles above a little town called Glastonbury, and is held usually around the end of June.

For further information, you should check out the official website, which is:

http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

If you have enough time and money, you should definitely check it out.

Misfortune can be lucky…ask Mulan

When I was younger I vaguely remember a story my parents told me:

A man’s horse ran away, which he considered bad luck. However, a few days later, his horse returned home with a mate. What a instance of good luck! Later, when riding his horse, the man was bucked off and upon falling, broke his leg. He thought he had quite a bit of bad luck until government officials came to his town, requiring that all men go to war. Because his leg was broken, he didn’t have to go to war, which probably saved his life.

Recently I watched Disney’s Mulan again, and in it I noticed many elements of this story. There are many instances of people and things seeming unlucky that actually come back and save everyone.

The lucky cricket. Originally, the cricket ruined Mulan’s chances at impressing the matchmaker, so you think his name is ironic. However, the cricket helps Mulan save China- so you see, a little bit of misfortune can lead to a whole lot of good luck.

Other than that, the character of Mulan is interesting, yet very Disney in nature. She has not learned what is expected of her in ancient Chinese society; she’s spunky, free-willed and won’t accept unpleasant things that are out of her control. It is as if you placed a girl from the 21st century into ancient China. No wonder Mulan cannot impress the matchmaker in order to bring honor to her family- who she is on the inside does not match what people expect from her on the outside. In a different century, these traits would be valued much more.

So perhaps the theme of the movie is that “misfortune can bring you luck.” If that is true, I’m not sure I’m okay with that. That theme sounds like it belongs on the back of a fortune cookie, and it perpetuates the stereotype that all the wisdom of the Chinese culture can be spewed out in a bunch of one-liners

Final Project

Here is the Final Project Please do enjoy do let us know how you like the Blog and the Website. Thank you for being great.

Final Project!

Here is our final project!

It is a point and click adventure and was made by Max, Tommy, and myself.   Enjoy!

Final Proyecto

Here is our final project.  Nicola and I made a sophie project discussing how copyright laws affect creativity. In it we explore various ways that the law hinders musicians. We come to the general conclusion that, based on the opinions of mash-up artists and DJ’s, intellectual property is too strictly regulated. Alternatives to the law as we know it today are difficult to come by, let alone hypothesize. But, it is awful to think that artists are intellectually and creatively hampered. What does that say about the future of music?

Hooray

Feast your eyes, it’s our final project (we being Nate and Thomas).

Just download this zip file, then you can open it up in Sophie and explore the world of reality/identity crises. Just be sure to click on all of the green text (it’s linked to other stuff), because otherwise you will become very bored. Enjoy.

Even Pirates Pay

Here’s our (Than and Dorian) final project, Even Pirates Pay. We’ve designed this site to help you explore and struggle with the ethics of your file-sharing habits. The site mimics The Pirate Bay in appearance, but its functionality has been hacked in favor of directing you to articles that discuss issues of file-sharing and copyright. Enjoy!

http://peninsula.pomona.edu/cec/piratespay/

Here’s an informational video we put together to go along with everything else. It’s included as one of the random links.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqpvZ8Uekk8[/youtube]

Women in Technology

For our final project, we focused on a largely under- and mis-represented group in media: women. We discuss how women have empowered themselves, escaped social conventions, and made their voices heard through blogging and fan fiction. We also discuss how active women are in gaming, what a big influence they’ve had on the industry, and yet how female characters  in games  are still exploited and objectified. The evolution of women’s involvement in media and technology is broad and complex, and couldn’t possibly be covered here. Women are becoming more and more involved, and are a huge determining factor in the direction technology is moving. It’s important to analyze this evolution  and evaluate where they are now, so we can better determine the directions we need to move in the future.

In working on this project, it’s been cool to compare our skills now with when we began the class.  For previous projects, we were learning the basics of the programs. In this one, we actually got to take risks and fine-tune our creations. (We added music to the podcast and worked on changing the amplification, fading, etc. We played with the videos and cut them to more specifically match the music. And we’ve definitely improved our website, embedding audio and video players and manipulating images and colors.)  

Enjoy!

-Bianca & Lauri

“New Video Game Technology Finally Allows Rendering of Smaller Breasts”

Something that I was shocked by, working on our final project, was how women’s bodies are designed in video games. Think Lara Croft: not even Angelina Jolie looks like that. It’s definitely not your typical body type. There aren’t even slightly unattractive or overweight women. In many games, like SecondLife I think, you don’t even have the option of changing your character’s breast size. So it was ironic to come across this article on the Onion.

Illegally downloaded… books?

We’ve talked a lot about the copyright issues with music and videos, but haven’t touched on the legal issues of electronically reproduced books. I came across this article about Google Books and its issues with copyright laws. Under their plan to “create the largest library in the history of the world,” Google shows the full text of books old enough to have passed into the public domain, only a few pages of in-print books, and snippets of out-of-print books still covered by copyright laws.

Google Books has been great for readers, but definitely presents a threat to writers and publishers. Any time something can be accessed for free, obviously, sales rates for that product drop. How can Google create this amazing, huge online library for free? And without giving the final push to the tanking publishing industry?

Here’s what they proposed in a law suit settlement they reached with the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers:

“Under the new settlement, Google would allow American users to preview 20 percent of any title it has scanned. Public libraries and universities would enjoy even broader access; users there would be able to see the entire text of any book in the engine. Google will display ads alongside the books, and it will also offer users the chance to buy a digital copy of books they find.”

But this doesn’t solve the problem. How much money will they  really  be able to make from this? And how much will writers and publishes be able to make? There are bound to be similar sites that will create their own versions of Google Books, providing competition. I think the process is going to be a lot like what happened, and is happening, with music and videos. There will be copyright issues, there’s no win-win situation, but ultimately books are going to end up online. The question is whether or not the publishing industry will find a way to profit from it.