A Grand Experiment

May 12, 2008 at 6:26 pm (Computers, Environment, Family, Travel)

My two fearless readers: I am about to request your participation in an experiment so thrilling, so dangerous, that I would not be surprised at all if you disowned me at the very first mention of it. Yes, I need your help testing… my geotagging.

“Your what?” you might say.

“My geotagging,” I would calmly reply, only the fires of anticipation glowing in my eyes to display my real excitement.
Read the rest of this entry »


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Classical Cartoons

February 28, 2008 at 9:11 pm (Arts, Computers, Education, History, Movies)

Good things come from Down Under. A friend of mine recently showed me this educational website from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Focusing on Ancient Greece and Greek mythology, the site has games, activities, cartoons and resources aimed at kids ages 6-12. However, the videos themselves are at least as entertaining for adults as they are for kids! I especially liked their take on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, which casts Orpheus as an indie rocker, and the whole quest as a music video. Click on the link for “Storytime,” then on the link for “Orpheus and the underworld.” If you actually read this blog, then I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it. :o)

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The Academy and Digital Publishing

November 28, 2007 at 7:29 pm (Computers, Economics, Education)

I’ve talked before about the resistance in academia, or at least in the Humanities, to digital publications. After a fascinating talk yesterday by Simon Tanner, of King’s College, London, a number of us got into a conversation about the subject. One of Simon’s key points is that we don’t live in an information economy, per se. There is valuable information, but there is also worthless information, and there’s more of it than anyone could ever hope to assimilate. What is limited, and therefore valuable, in our modern world is attention. That’s why we have news services, television, magazines, RSS, etc., to weed through the glut of information and find the tidbits that we consider worthwhile. Read the rest of this entry »

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Generation V

November 15, 2007 at 11:05 pm (Computers, Movies, Writing)

I have finally gotten myself a Youtube account, under the handle johnlynch1977. Can you believe that jlynch1977 was already taken? I’ve already uploaded two videos, one of Monkey playing fetch with a sponge (he’s funny like that) and the other of a little off-roading excitement during our recent trip to Joshua Tree National Park with Michelle and Omar (and hopefully I’ll find the time soon to create a Flikr account or the equivalent and get a few of the photos from that online; good times were had by all). I’m linking to them here.


Joshua Tree:

Unfortunately, I now have a problem, one that I really didn’t foresee but is suddenly driving me up the wall: How do I start using this ability to make and upload videos on a regular basis? It may sound silly, but if you’ve followed my thoughts on this blog, you know that I’m obsessed with storytelling in various media. I’ve been thinking about various video-related projects for a while, a couple that even involve Youtube, but these were complex projects involving planning and scripts.  I never really saw video as something just created on the fly, the way that I might take a picture. But both of these videos were just that, created on the spur of the moment. Heather was showing me Monkey’s new trick, and I grabbed the camera for kicks. I was photographing the Jeep’s situation, and just threw the camera into video mode for fun.  From actual event to digital form, ready for upload, within five minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Digital Locative Storytelling

October 24, 2007 at 2:45 pm (Arts, Books, Comics, Computers, Movies, Travel, Writing)

I’ve been thinking rather a lot about geotagging lately, not only because my new job is with a project to map cultural heritage data, such as archaeological sites and antiquities collections, onto Google Earth. In fact, it really starts with my recent trip to Spain (which maybe I’ll blog about one of these days, if I can ever get over my perfectionist streak), namely, the possibility of geotagging my photos to construct a locative narrative. For those of you who don’t know, “geotagging” is the act of adding longitude and latitude data to a photograph (or any digital object, really), which enables it to then be plotted on a map. And “locative” is a great linguistic term referring to units which mark a noun as a place at which something happens, and which I’ve borrowed to also describe any narrative in which geographic location is an important component (not just that the actors in the narrative travel, but that the viewer of the narrative travels, as well). I have two main questions. The first is, “Why?” and the second is “How?” Read the rest of this entry »

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A Creepy Week

July 1, 2007 at 2:29 pm (Computers, Horror, Humor)

There was a lot of creepy news this week, and mostly not the good kind of creepy.  No, I’m not talking about the events over the weekend in the UK, although those are indeed terrifying, and my heart goes out to everyone across the Pond right now.  No, I’m talking about that more subtle kind of terror, that gradually sneaks up on you, when you think everything is normal, or at least under control, and then you realize that it isn’t.  Take, for example, this story from Wired, which comes to you courtesy of the boys at Penny Arcade.  It’s  a long read, I’ll grant, but nothing will prepare you for the last two paragraphs.  It’s absolutely fascinating, at the same time that it’s thoroughly disturbing.  Or check this out, from Bryan at Infocult, about the recent Benoit murder/suicide story:  Apparently, someone posted a note about his wife’s death on Wikipedia, hours before the police found the body.  Ugh.  It sends shivers down my spine.

Luckily, even with creepy, there’s a bright side.  Anath at Applegeeks directed me to this choice tidbit, on page 10 of Something Aweful’s most recent Photoshop Phriday.  Wait for all the images to load, and then scroll down to the bottom.  All ten pages worth of images are pretty funny, if thoroughly offensive (maybe that’s why they’re funny!).  But, imho, this last one takes the cake.  Storytime, anyone?

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“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him.”

June 6, 2007 at 8:04 pm (Comics, Computers, Horror)

I’m a little too young to have watched the original Six Million Dollar Man; I didn’t discover him until my teenage years, when reruns appeared (to my utter joy) on the Sci-Fi channel. I do remember seeing one episode (probably a rerun, since the show aired in ’77 and ’78) of The Bionic Woman on TV when I was a kid, although what I remember most is being scared. As I remember it, the Bionic Woman crashed her car at the beginning of the episode because she saw the apparition of a Native American shaman of some sort dancing in front of her, and that was close enough to ghosts for me to get absolutely terrified and turn it off, to the point that I’m still getting a bit of a chill remembering it, over twenty years later. Read the rest of this entry »

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iPhoto and ACDSee

June 5, 2007 at 9:04 pm (Computers)

A number of years ago, I was introduced to ACDSee on the archaeological dig, and have been enamored ever since. ACDSee is a photo-editing and archiving program for Windows, and it is a professional-grade tool; one of its main advantages is that lets you do batch edits to your photos, saving you time if you have to make the same change to a lot of images. When we’d be renaming photos or something like that on the excavation, that ability came in handy.

Unfortunately, it is a Windows-only program, and anyway, when I first got the Mac, the PC had just died, anyway, so I copied my “My Pictures” folder from the old hard drive over to the laptop and started using iMovie, the free Apple photo management software. This created a number of problems for me, however, since iPhoto works differently than ACDSee does. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cross-Platform Computing

June 3, 2007 at 8:12 am (Computers)

When I bought my Macbook, I knew that integrating it with my PC at home was going to take a little bit of work. After all, all of my techie friends cringed when I asked them if they had any suggestions about syncing up the machines, and one of them even made the sign of the cross and yelled, “Back, back!” But a quick search on Google turned up a number of open-source software solutions, all of which were touted as “extremely easy” and “it just works,” so I figured, how hard can it really be?

Here’s a hint, dear readers: Whenever you have to ask that question, it’s going to be really freakin’ hard. Read the rest of this entry »

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After a long silence…

June 2, 2007 at 9:28 pm (Computers, General, Writing)

Well, after a long silence, I have returned to broadcasting on the inter-waves! I could in theory claim computer troubles, since I’ve had a lot of those lately, but I work in computers, so it isn’t like I don’t constantly have between two and fifty computers readily available for me to use. Really, blogging takes time (at least, at the level of quality at which I like to write), and I’ve been prioritizing my time elsewhere, specifically, writing my dissertation proposal and working out the aforementioned computer kinks. I’m hoping that by spending less time editing and more time writing, I’ll at least get regular updates out; we’ll see how it goes, and please forgive my shoddy writing!

EDIT: I just posted this last night, and already this morning I’ve gone through, rewritten part of this post as a new post, and am planning on doing the same for the last section. Sigh. It’s tough being obsessive-compulsive.

EDIT 2: I’ve now removed the second part and made that its own entry, too. Much better!

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