Thursday, July 25, 2013

To be (hungry) or not to be (hungry)?

Assignment: Combine a cat pic with an appropriate Shakespearean quotation. 
Now this is a DS106 assignment I am all over. Being a daily LOLcat viewer I can definitely appreciate the value of a good LOL. Buster has filled my iPhone camera roll more than once with his antics, he's a curious red Burmese who rules the household. Not with aggression but with cuteness.

Today's LOL is a quote from Hamlet.

Here's the picture on the LOLcats website which you can view or vote on should you be so inclined.

If you'd like to see more of young Buster, he is very clever and has created his own Facebook page. Feel free to go ahead and become a fan of him. If you offer biscuits, he might even become a fan of you. Beware: you may wake up to find he's waiting on your pillow.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

RIP little earthworm: a true story.

Task: Take a photograph from the perspective of an earthworm.
Yesterday morning as I lounged in bed, work-poor on the first day of term, I heard a pattering up the hallway. Cats... yes... two of them. I went back to my book. A couple of minutes later I heard "oh geez where are the cats?" The builder had left the door open and the two beautiful Burmese inside cats had gone AWOL. I sighed, put on some runners and a jacket and ventured outside, assuring the builder that this was the moment those cats had dreamed of.

"Kitty kitty kitty..." we cajoled, cried and finally whimpered. As I rounded the corner of the house I saw two guilty felines nosing around in the wet earth. The builder approached from the other end. Wham! I caught Buster. Lillylilac eyed me up and down in a standoff. Would I catch her? Would she disappear over the fence never to be seen again? All the scenarios including me getting kicked out when their owner returned home ran through my head. I could feel the tension rising.

A wiggle of her bum gave her away and I brought my hand down just quick enough to pick her up by the skin on her back and hoist her under my arm. It was a long walk back to the door.


RIP little earthworms, you will be missed.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

This is what the world came to in my lifetime.

Task: Write Your Own Tw-Obituary (your life in less than 140 characters)
2 weeks underwater, 11 years asleep. Enjoyed travel, technology, taking photos. Will be missed by lolcat writers and McDonald's everywhere.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Say my name, ***ch!

Assignment: Find your name in the environment around you. Look for your first name, parts of your first name, or even the individual letters that make up your name in the environment around you. Take photos and crop them together. Share. Enjoy!

I go by the name of Caro mostly, so it was pretty fun when my cousin sent me this photo she took in Venice. With a name like Caroline I feature in an extraordinary number of songs - including those by Neil Diamond, Badloves, Outkast, Concrete Blonde, John Butler Trio, David Gray, Fleetwood Mac... that's just for starters, hell I just about crashed iTunes with a search. Out in the wild though I don't see too many references to my name, not anymore anyway. I'm like Bart Simpson in the numberplate shop nowadays, with only "Carolyn" available at best. I constantly get asked whether my name is spelled with a K (Where? Where would you put a K? Who spells it like that?) and a teacher once wrote Carloine on my test paper, a name by which I was called for at least 2 years after by my best friend. I have even been known as Carikube, but that's only when I was typing without looking at the screen and my right hand was off-centre.

When the tools you need are in your very own hands.

Task: Yellow Like The Summer Sun. Take a photo dominated by the solar color.
I read this morning's Daily Create and decided to go out in search of yellow things to photograph. On my way out the door I grabbed my iPhone (the best camera is the one you have with you, of course), my car keys and a bag of lolly bananas to snack on during the drive. It wasn't for at least another 2.5 minutes that I realised I was holding a prime subject in my very own hands.

Of course I couldn't just snap a photo of a lolly bag, that's too lazy even for me, so I ventured into the kitchen in search of something to photograph them in. A wine glass, perfect! But all the photos looked ridiculous with the toaster, table, cats etc in the background. I racked my brains for some sort of backdrop and remembered a roll of block printing paper I'd bought a couple of weeks ago. I've been meaning to mess around with makeshift studios to photograph students' artwork and now seemed like the perfect opportunity. I tried in a few different locations and came to the conclusion that I definitely need to refine my studio skills, probably using reflectors. But I did end up with a photo I liked:


I opened it in Aperture - yep, overkill for iPhone photos! - and played with the tools. Since the colour of lolly bananas is variable and these were fairly pale, I ramped up the saturation and decreased the vibrancy, which left yellow as the only colour in the photo.

I'm pretty happy with the result of 10 minutes' work and I think it will be a useful skill to refine and teach kids in the classroom.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Australia: we weep.

Task: Write a limerick about someone famous. Like really famous.

A Prime Minister ought to have class.
Julia Gillard was given the arse.
Kevin Rudd copped flak,
But then he came back,
Now the whole Labor Party's a farce.

I'm not normally a complete cynic but I couldn't help writing this limerick today. Australia's been in some chaos with our political parties lately and it's become a circus. Shamefully, respect for our leaders has dropped astronomically and I continue to hear young people say "I'm not voting this year, nobody deserves to win". This is unusual in Australia because voting is compulsory, so it means they are either willing to cop the fine, or will go all the way down to the polling booth and line up only to put in a "donkey vote" (a form which is either blank or completed incorrectly). It's a sad state of affairs, currently with only a dim flickering light at the end of the tunnel. This post is not a statement of my own political belief but a reflection of what I hear around me.

What is DS106?

Well, I guess we'll find out together. It's essentially designing and building an online profile to tell my "digital story". This is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that began at University of Mary Washington in the USA and is available to anyone, anywhere. See more at

There are people doing this course for college credit, but it's also available to "open participants" who can pick and choose what they do. Of most interest to me are the "Daily Create" and the Pick and Choose Assignments.

It will either go well or will end up like so many blogs, dead and buried by the age of 2 weeks. I choose to remain optimistic!