Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Recently, I used a software called Scratch, which is essentially a programming language that is very user friendly. Scratch can be used to create animations or games by dragging and dropping the commands you need into the script. It took me a while to get used to using the commands, but with a little experience, it became easier. When you have created your game or animation, you can put it online on the Scratch website. (Click to see my game on the website.)
Although Scratch is fairly simple, it can be very frustrating. if you make a mistake in your commands, the project won't function. It is usually very hard to find the root of any bug in the project, but if/when you find it, it is usually very simple to remedy.
If you plan to create a game that is incredibly complex, don't! Often the commands will be faulty, riddled with bugs, and if they are correct, the game will be slow as it takes a while to process a large number of commands.

All in all I have to say that making the game was fun. I'm just glad that the software made the process fairly simple. My game has some minor bugs, but they don't always occur. Usually they can be fixed by clicking the green flag (the start trigger) again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Video Games vs. Real Life

One of David Perry's students made a video disclosing his addiction to the audience at the TED talks. Not to a narcotic, but to the virtual reality of video games. With the improvements in technology and 3D imaging, games resemble more and more the real world and may one day become better than reality. Does this mean our society is doomed to waste away in front of a screen, cut off from reality, interested only in the game that is more exciting and interesting than the world in which we live? 

I think not. Most people, I believe, can maintain the line between reality and virtual reality. Video games will never be able to convey anything more than movies. Emotion, maybe, a connection to the characters, perhaps, but neither motion pictures nor video games can illustrate various senses. Smell, taste, touch beyond the vibration of a controller. All of our senses are necessary to fully convey a reality. In a war game, although in reality one would be in agony if hit by a bullet, in virtual reality there is only a mild vibration. In video games there is a reset button. Not so in reality, and I believe that most people recognize the ever thinning, but never breaking line between the two worlds. 

He discusses life altering experiences in virtual space. Who has not had a life lesson or life changing experience from the cinema. Many movies, and video games, are designed with a story line and characters to whom you can relate, connect with, and even mourn with. But a life changing experience is but an idea, a mindset. Seeing something unfold before you on screen can cause you to consider differently the world in which we live, but that does not mean that they are better than the real world. 

They are definitely part of the world, but the characters and events that take place in virtual space are entirely fictional. And anyone who cannot distinguish between fiction and nonfiction is the same person who believes that he is charging the beach at Normandy when in the real world he is pushing buttons and pulling triggers in accordance with the image on his TV screen.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

State of the Blogospere

Blogs have become a very important part of the world and the culture of our society. Blogs are of a number of such sheer quantity, that they as a group are one of the best ways to examine opinions and obtain information on certain topics of interest. All bloggers have their reasons, some because they feel it necessary to make an idea public, some because they find a subject of particular interest and desire their voice to be heard.
In a world in which the media influence opinions and beliefs dramatically, it is wonderful that the public can control the media and therefore control politics, news, and various information for which we used to depend on mainstream media. 
In a democratic society, such public control is necessary to maintain the relative neutrality and balance in the society, or else the term "democracy" hardly suits a society wherein the media is completely privatized, something that is held in check by the presence of independent bloggers online.

Photosource: Shavar's photostream

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ken Robinson

Is school killing creativity? is the question being asked by education expert Sir Ken Robinson. The educational hierarchy of the Industrial Revolution, placing the arts below mathematics and science are in his opinion crippling individual innovation and creativity.

The global education system, according to Dr. Robinson, is obsolete and does not suit the needs of today's world. I must say that I agree with much of what Robinson is saying. If calculation based subjects maintain priority over those which require creativity, such as the arts, it will be increasingly difficult for tomorrow's workforce to form new ideas or methods, eliminating individual thought and encouraging the concept of mental conformity towards a set of very narrow ideals, the main idea of late the eighteenth century factory system, everyone is just cogs in the machine of mass production, as opposed to the world as it is, whereas everyone is giving input to the think tank that is mass innovation.

Without individual talent or creative thought, the concepts of invention and change are eliminated, as without individuals, there cannot possibly be a group of any strength outside of the past's factory system. If each brick is weak, then the wall itself will fall, so students need to be given a chance to explore their own ability to strengthen their influence on the modern world.


DennisSylvesterHur d's photostream

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We Think

We Think is a video concerning the change from the 20th century's mass production to the mass innovation of the 21st century. We have gone from identifying ourselves by our possessions to by whatever we make public, in other words, we are what we share.

The internet allows us to broadcast our ideas to the world and receive ideas from anybody. This communication revolution has changed the world entirely. Now everyone is a news reporter, contributing to online forums, blogs, etc. Making news and opinions widespread and meaning that eyewitnesses describe the news they saw. There is not always a reporter on hand, but there is usually someone near the news who has access to these global forums.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shift Happens

"ShiftHappens" shows the rapidly growing society in which we live. Technology is doubling every two years, and soon computers will be able to exceed the ability to compute of the entire human species, an idea which some, including myself, find disturbing. The sheer magnitude of such a computer is staggering, and that is probably what is so disconcerting about the whole thing. Nevertheless, the facts are interesting and the movie is informative.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My experience as a writer

I do not consider online communication such as social networking, e-mail, or instant messaging as formal or real writing. It is merely casual conversation converted into easily typed shortcuts and perhaps incorrect but simpler spelling. However, that does not mean that my formal writing is as lax. It is the same as conversation. One converses differently for peers than for critics and teachers, the same goes for writing and written communication. In e-mails to my teachers, I use proper grammer and spelling, but in an e-mail to one of my frends, i wood spel words shortr and easy as I speak more casually with my friends.


BigBlue's photostream

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

  • Simple Weather is a tool on web 2.0 that allows one to enter a zip code and it will present the weather forecast for the week along with various data concerning the current weather.
  • It provides:
  • Humidity
  • Hour by hour forecast
  • Visibility
  • Barometric Pressure
  • Sunrise and Sunset times
  • And various other convenient data presented easily and simply.
  • No fancy maps, nothing confusing
I really have nothing to complain about. The website is easy to use and useful. I will probably use this tool in the future. 10 out of 10!


ms4jah's photostream

Monday, September 8, 2008

What makes a good blog post

A good blog post, in my personal opinion should be short enough to maintain readers' attention but long enough to establish one's point. Language used should enable easy reading for the target audience, and stay on the subject which interests said audience. For instance, on a baseball blog, do not go off on a tangent about NASCAR or something like that. Maintain the blog's purpose but keep the posts original, avoiding redundancy with prior posts. No one wants to read the same idea expressed in different terms by the same person, but if the blog strays from its original ideas, then its audience will dissolve, as it will still bear the label it was originally given, but will not interest those who take interest in the title.


Somewhat Frank's photostream

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I am writing this blog for my computer applications class. This blog for the class is going to be about various programs used in the class. Not really sure how its gonna go, i guess I'll find out at the end of the semester. Whoever is reading this probably has better comprehension of the subject matter we're studying, so don't take my word on any of this. These are purely opinions formulated from minimal exposure to this technology. For all intensive purposes, I know nothing or close to it.
Photo Source:

stuant63's photostream