Monthly Archives: July 2011

It Had To Be Murder

I’ve been playing with animation timing in these two animated GIFs. I’m trying to find ways to use fewer frames and still tell the story I’m looking for. In this moment of Rear Window Raymond Burr finally realizes that he’s being watched by someone across the building court yard and James Stewart knows he’s found out.

The Robin Hood Bunch

I was inspired this morning by Lou McGill’s post which included animated GIFs of three close-ups from the final shoot-out in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Seeing the animated faces of Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach on a single webpage made my think of the Brady Bunch Opening with the nine family faces (you have to include Alice). And I thought, now wouldn’t that make a great animated GIF movie poster, placing major characters in the nine boxes.

I decided to use the 1938 swashbucking classic The Adventures of Robin Hood for this experiment for two reasons – one I love the melodramatic faces made in this film and second I happened to have the film on my computer (not sure what that says about me).


It was a bit laborious to build, using Final Cut Pro’s layers to place all the characters together and Photoshop to export the movie as a GIF. I chose Little John, Will Scarlet, and Friar Tuck to represent Robin Hood’s family. And for Prince John, I used Maid Marian (looking over to Robin Hood of course), Sir Guy of Gisbourne, and the Sheriff of Nottingham. I felt it was appropriate for King Richard to play the role of Alice, given  he’s glue that keeps all the disfunction happening.

It would be a lot of fun to match the original Brady Bunch show intro and write a new song for all these men in tights, but I’m not up to that this morning and will need someone to help with the musical accompaniment!

Dissociative Dr. Oblivion

Jim Groom was interviewed by Dr. Oblivion today and Jim plead that the ds106 community forgive him after banishing so many students during the Summer of Oblivion. It seemed to be a truly touching moment of closure for everyone that had fretted over the mental health of Jim Groom. Dr. Oblivion was retaking the helm of ds106 to complete the course. But in the final moment our hopes for ds106 sanity were dashed aside as Jim Groom had a massive dissociative break and has had to enter a treatment facility for the remainder of the summer.

Rest and recover Jim Groom/Dr. Oblivion. Serenity Now!

Schadenfreude – Making Me Feel Glad That I’m Not You

I finally had some time yesterday to make my video mashup assignment for ds106. I’ve done a few already as part of the sagas of Jim Groom and Dr. Obilivion, but wanted to do something a little less “ds106ish” this time. Though the recent revelations regarding Camp Oblivion and Martha Burtis will need some digital rehashing!

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This mashup uses two police videos – a dashboard cam which records the tasering of a driver and a helicopter pov cam of a police chase. These are mixed with audio from American Idol audition footage. Also I used some sound effects from

Both police videos and of course the American Idol audition have been broadcast on television and the web. Each recorded moment of embarrassment and/or suffering of the individual(s) is packaged to create an amusing experience for the audience.

The Germans have a word to describe how people derive pleasure from the misfortune of others – Schadenfreude. It’s actually a fairly common feeling – think about how you might respond to the media mogul and conservative, Rupert Murdoch, being grilled by Parliament today, “Now that’s Fair and Balanced dammit!”

Scientists that study schadenfreude described here in the New York Times, that it’s an emotion, however contemptible, “we are programmed to feel.” A couple of illustrative experiments ask subjects to respond to the failings of individuals which have either a certain amount of status or very little. Typically the subjects took pleasure when individuals fell from grace.

So we can’t help but resent those that have more than us at times and  we seem to find a certain amount of glee in their disgrace. (Especially men apparently, so another study shows, described in this NYTimes article.) But the humiliation videos shown on Cops that portray less-fortunate individuals behaving badly or the carnival like atmosphere created on American Idol making a freak-show out of awkward individuals – doesn’t seem as forgivable  a “schadenfreude” response. Yes these individuals have made their own decisions that brought them to these degrading places, but do we have to enjoy it? Is it making me feel glad that I’m not you?

Oblivion Report

You can visit a working version of the Oblivion Report on or on my Site.

I decided to rework the Drudge Report for my web-story, using was pretty great to work with as you could switch between the visual editor and HTML. Definitely easier than using Firebug, and hosting is provided. I also archived the HTML on my own site here.

I’ll admit no particular affinity for the politics of Matt Drudge, but I like the simplicity of his site, and the fact that somehow he’s avoided updating his code forever. It’s actually a dinosaur in terms of its antiquated HTML, CSS, and general web design asthetic. More importantly though, he toyed with news aggregation by creating his own headlines to linked stories. He’d often write little narratives across a sequence of linked headlines, usually tracking a particular story topic.

For the “Oblivion Report” I re-aggregated about 30 blog posts on the ds106 site. I forced myself to not skip any and worked backwards starting with yesterday’s posts until I ran out of steam. I hope people enjoy the playfulness in a number of the headlines.

Let’s End Jim Groom’s Pain

Mr. Groom –

It’s come to ds107’s attention that you are still not well. We understand we need to work together to help you.

How are we feeling today Jim?

Together we’ll find a process that brings us to a place that’s right for ds106. Your cousin’s misplaced anger isn’t your fault. It’s something we’ll talk about over the next few days.

Away Jim Groom

Jim Groom Professes His Monstrosity

Jim Groom finally lets the ds106 and ds107 communities know the truth about the monster within himself and how he has no ability to control it.

God help all of us in ds106 and ds107.
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The Exorcism of Jim Groom Begins

Jim Groom a beloved member of the ds106 community appeared to lose his senses when he assumed power over ds106 and banished anyone that questioned his authority. A small group formed a rebellion against the newly despotic Groom. They called themselves ds107.

Soon a number of ds106 expats believed that the Jim Groom they had known, a believer in the open distributed internet — where no one person can be in control — would never behave this way.

They began to speculate that Groom was no longer in control of his digital identity. They assumed another player had taken over his domain and decided to take action.

This is their record.

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Do It Now!

I have to admit this became more of a dabbling with “found sounds” rather than what I’d think normally as working with sound effect clips. But I couldn’t help myself as I really enjoyed looking through the open catalog of

This little piece started while trying to manage a moment of personal frustration. Not a good moment, so I started my search with the term “search.” A number of the tracks were recordings of police searches in which you heard the drone of helicopters hovering, intermittent siren bursts, and the clipped chatter on a radio scanner. Not an uplifting set of sounds imagining that there are likely individuals (good or bad) that are in a state of mental and emotional strain hiding from this noise.

But there were other ephemera that came up in my “search” – a person rustling through a pile of wrenches trying to find the right one, a turn of the radio dial looking for a good song for the road, and the ever hopeful imaginers that believe there might be signs of extraterrestrial life in a series of NASA SETI pulses. These are buoyant pieces, and can help bring you back up.

Do It Now DS106 by Not Trivial

This is a complete list of the sound samples used from

SETI Pulses NASA by Dynamicell

Radio Suche (finding a station) by mwirth

Rustling Wrenches by vibe_crc

Helicopter Police Search by daveincamas

Windorgan (Wind sounds at Sea) by klankbeeld

Mysterysnippets (How about now) by NoiseCollector

Pastor Steve Speaking by nicStage

Scare Kids by ERH

Direct Order Do it Now by ERH

For editing, I ended up using the video editor Final Cut Pro, using only the sound tracks, only because I’m really comfortable with it. I do hope to make some time to play around with Audacity though.