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The Blog Has Moved…Finally!

27 Feb

OK, so here is the big news everybody has been waiting for! The blog has finally been moved from wordpress to our official site http://thepeel.appstate.edu. It has been a dire struggle venturing through the almost endless sea of complicated php server systems, but our web guru Keegan has finally gotten a system online where everyone on the editorial board can edit and add posts straight onto our .appstate.edu url.

To keep following our blog please go to http://thepeel.appstate.edu/blog. If your worried that you haven’t had enough time to read all of our old posts you have nothing to fear. We also put a link to our old wordpress blog where you can check out all of our past entries!

I just wanted to talk about ska.

26 Feb

I realize a lot of my posts are about music, and that is probably not the most ideal thing to be blogging about, since I am a “writer” and my “blog posts” should “be about” things like “writing” and “writing-related activities.”  Instead, I’d like to talk about music, again.

In a few minutes, I’m going to leave my apartment and go play a show with the band I was in during high school.  We were/are a ska band, or we try to be at least.  If you were living under a rock in 1997 and have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a short history:  after World War II, Jamaicans started buying American rhythm and blues records in large numbers and started playing their interpretation of it.  Eventually, as the legend goes, the hot Kingston sun was too hot to play guitar at the speed ska required, so the guitarists chilled out and the sound slowed down, eventually becoming reggae.

In the later part of the seventies and the early eighties, British teenagers began discovering the old ska records and started infusing it with punk and New Wave, and this new pseudo-genre became known as Two Tone.

In the early to mid 90s, a similar rediscovery happened in America, especially in Southern California.  These new listeners continued to fuse ska with punk, and bands like Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Catch 22 exploded in popularity in 1997.

I don’t really remember where I was going with this.  I had a point, I promise.  Ska has fallen out of favor nowadays, and I have not listened to it very much since graduating high school, but it sure is fun to play.

 

-Bryan

Linocuts and You

24 Feb

Hey you guys,

I’ve been sick for the past week and have shirked all responsibility in lieu of laying in bed with a bottle of Nyquil. Not good for productivity, I can now say. Anyways, here is something that is inspiring and for those of you that also happen to be bedridden, its also quite entertaining.

This video shows Bill Fick creating a linocut. For those not familiar, a linocut is “a design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed.”

Enjoy!

 

Kristen

Web-Comics: Art Meets Story

24 Feb

Most of us have a web-comic we love to frequent.  Come on.  Name one.  I can name several.

XKCD

Dinosaur Comics

Garfield Minus Garfield

 

 

 

 

Penny Arcade

Cyanide & Happiness

The Perry Bible Fellowship

These are just a few.  They are sometimes nothing more than a short joke.  But sometimes web-comics are much, much more.  They can tell a story within the art of the comic.  One of my absolute favorite comics is Minus.  Here is why:

 

Empathy

19 Feb

Saturday is the worst day to blog, simply because I tend not to be thinking about anything in particular.  I’d like to say I’m one of those people who keeps their mind sharp no matter what day it is, but I tend to spend the better part of weekends doing nothing but sitting and dicking around on the internet.

While certainly not all of my peers are the same way, a good portion of them are.  This begs the question, which CNN so conveniently attempted to answer, as to what kind of an effect the internet is having on our generation.  Studies are finding that people between the ages of 17 and 23 are increasingly beginning to show a difficulty in registering empathy.  Having been exposed to countless of videos of people getting hurt on YouTube, not to mention the 2 Girls 1 Cup type shock sites that abound on the tubes has created a generation of people who cannot easily sense emotion in other people.

In a 2007 study of 197 students age 17 to 23 years, participants were asked to quickly identify the emotional expression of a face as it rapidly morphed from neutral to an angry or happy face. Happy faces were identified faster than angry faces, but when the volunteers played a violent video game before the facial recognition task, they were much slower to recognize the happy facial expression.

These kinds of results raise important issues about the merits of technology vs. the necessity of the human experience and emotions, and what the inevitable increase in reliance on technology means for us as human beings.

I haven’t got the answers, but I hope someone does.

full article here

-Bryan

currently playing: selfish whales – “platforms”

J.R.R. Tolkien: Wordsmith

17 Feb

Some people claim that reknowned Lord of the Rings author, J.R.R. Tolkien has invented more words than any man in recent history.  An entire Elven language, Dwarven language and many other things.  But…he also added onto our own English language.

Did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien invited the plural form of dwarf?  Dwarves.  Yep, it is normally just dwarfs, but according to an appendix in LOTR:

It may be observed that in this book as in The Hobbit the form dwarves is used, although the dictionaries tell us that the plural of dwarf is dwarfs. It should be dwarrows (or dwerrows), if singular and plural had each gone its own way down the years, as have man and men, or goose and geese. But we no longer speak of a dwarf as often as we do of a man, or even of a goose, and memories have not been fresh enough among Men to keep hold of a special plural for a race now abandoned to folk-tales, where at least a shadow of truth is preserved, or at last to nonsense-stories in which they have become mere figures of fun. But in the Third Age something of their old character and power is still glimpsed, if already a little dimmed: these are the descendants of the Naugrim of the Elder Days, in whose hearts still burns the ancient fire of Aule the Smith, and the embers smoulder of their long grudge against the Elves; in in whose hands still lives the skill in works of stone that none have surpassed.

Another weird fact:  Tolkien did record himself reading his works.  Even better?  Recordings of him singing elvish verses.  Tolkien.  Singing. (Click Here To Read More & Listen)

And now you know.  Aren’t you glad you learned that?  And I know what you’re thinking.  No, I did not have a date on Valentine’s Day.

http://uploads.neatorama.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/tolkien-150×212.jpg

Capturing the Already Captured

16 Feb

A German photographer, Michael Wolf, was praised for his work at the World Press Photo Contest this year. His “Series of Unfortunate Events,” basically consisted of him finding interesting/disturbing/funny/weird images from Google Street view, and then taking a picture…of the picture.  Like this:

Laying on sidewalk, manhole

Or this:

Pigeon in flight

His series is categorized as photojournalism, but some critics are skeptical.  He claims that “it doesn’t belong to Google, because I’m interpreting Google; I’m appropriating Google. If you look at the history of art, there’s a long history of appropriation.”

I think it’s an interesting concept, he’s making art out of something functional that was already there.

You can see more of his work, at http://www.photomichaelwolf.com/intro/index.html