Quack, Quack.

We all love to laugh at other people. Especially when they make stupid fools of themselves. Take a look at my blog post featuring Stuff White People Like. So I just saw someone link to this on their facebook status and couldnt help but take a look myself. It was a link to which I think seems like a blog of sorts making fun of a specific type of person. Anti Duck Face is sure to make you laugh. It kinda makes you want to go through every photo on your harddrive and check for duck faces, and instantly remove them. I’m pretty sure I have more than a few – but never as bad looking (or anywhere near as orange) as these girls. Actually, I never quite “duck face”, just a slight pout perhaps. Either way, this site makes anything but smiling in a picture look shameful. Guess I’m gonna hafta come up with a new pose for the future, shouldn’t be hard ๐Ÿ˜›

A Jewish Vuvuzela

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time surfing the internet for my next Media Seminar assignment which I’ve been thinking of doing on the Vuvuzela. I think the funniest was a link I found to a site which talks about Vuvuzelas being used in Israel. I Just find it funny because its so unusual to be reading something in Hebrew about something so close to home. I might edit this post tomorrow when its not so late and give you some translations. 80% of people reading this won’t understand (due to your inability to speak the Holy Tongue) but for those of you who do (and there should be a fair number considering my posts are updated to facebook) check it out even if it is just for shits and giggles ๐Ÿ™‚

Some Painstaking Work

Now I am a big fan of stop frame animation. I love how cool it looks and I love thinking about the process behind it, no matter how painstaking it might be. I love films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and most recently Coraline – in a creepy context like that the medium works so well! Even that MTN campaign a couple years back which had, this was my favourite – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzQrWMndgY0 (I’m not gonna embed it, how many videos do you need in one post??). But I stumbled across the video a while ago, and absolutely loved it! The amount of tshirts these guys got printed, and the amount of time they must have spent just changing. Wow! Talk about effort. Check it out and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Why’s a raven like a writing desk?

I know everyone has been looking forward to the upcoming (and now officially released) Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland and there without a doubt millions of reviews up on it too by now. Especially as it was coming out in 3D; now, I’m a BIG fan of 3D movies and I dont think I have passed up the chance yet to see something. It really makes the whole experience that much more fun. Who cares about Avatar and the Navi when you can have Jonny Depp & Tim Burton popping out in front of you? (I dont mean to offend anyone by that rhetorical question – I’m sure many of you DO care…)

The thing that I felt personally about this movie is the aesthetic pleasure it brings to the viewer. For me, the storyline wasn’t as important, though I am sure that for most people it was as important as in every other movie (and may have been a let down to a point – more on that later). Being the person that I am, having dreamed of working behind the scenes and on effects of movies since about the age of 14, seeing a movie like this is simply dream-like. What was nice about the storyline though is that it wasn’t a remake of a classic. It was an adaptation, so it wasn’t expected to be “just like the book” which in some way relieves some of the pressure off die-hard Disney fans who were ready to critique.

I think that they made use of the 3D quite well. Its not all just about giving more dimension to the picture plane and stretching out the landscape – there is so much 3D can do. So far the best 3D put to use that I’ve seen was Coraline, but I think Burton did a good job too. Especially with the falling down the rabbit hole, where it felt as if there were things flying at you! As well as in the forest you feel as if you’re hiding behind the trees as they’re about to scratch your face or later on when the leaves are falling and they come closer to you. Sometimes I dont think 3D movies fully utilize this innovation and its such a pity.

But what I just loveed is how each of the characters were so visually rich. Every time certain characters were on screen, the entire scene seemed to be dedicated to them. I thought the White Queen was simply beautiful; white dress, white hair, pale skin – with dark eyes, black eyebrows and red lips to stand out. Anne Hathaway added a certain daintiness to her part. All the people of her palace were as white and pale and dressed in white. As well as just all their hair skin and clothing, the whole tonal colour of the scene seemed to be white and glowing while she was there.

The Red Queen

There was just some awesome about the Red Queen’s bitchy, cold-hearted, blunt, bad-assness. My favourite about her (now dont judge) were her lips. They always looked like they were angry and pouting – why? Because there was a red heart painted on them, which gave the illusion of a constant pout. Fitting for the Queen of Hearts. What’s also so cool about her is her enlarged head, its not something major but I always think about how that was filmed and the effects made. Her body is perfectly normal. And then you notice how all her patrons (is that even the appropriate word?) have different deformities – ridiculously extended noses, contorted chins, enlarged ears; all to make her royal highness feel important. She was seriously like a bratty demanding 3 year old. (Almost like Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter, a character you cant help but love to hate. Though I think I may have liked her more than hated her.)

Something that gets me every time with this type of movie is how on earth it was filmed. There must have been such a use of green-screen that it is a wonder that Alice managed so well acting with things that weren’t there in a world that she wasn’t existing in. The effects were just lovely. It was the synthesis of real life and the computer generated characters that combined the real world and the fantastical which impressed me. I don’t know why I was so much more mesmerised by this than by Avatar; perhaps I’m just partial to Tim Burton or just didn’t get as caught up in the whole Avatar hype. Another thing which intrigues me is the work with perspective as Alice shrinks or gets bigger and how they filmed/acted that from scene to scene as her height changed and adjusted. Maybe its just me who thinks of these things :S

Somethings that must be commended, as well as the beautiful effects, are the costumes and make-up. They’re just delicious to look at. Yes. I’ve already spoken about the White Queen and briefly about the Red Queen. The Red Queen’s make up, aside for her lips were great I just loved the blue eye-shadow leading up to her perfectly thin eyebrows. The Mad Hatter was also just so intricately dressed and made-up, I don’t even think I paid enough attention to the detail of his clothes or eyes. I actually fell in love with one of the dresses Alice wore – keep an eye out for the one the Red Queen orders to be made for her!

One thing though that was somewhat disappointing were Depp and Alice. His performance was good, but nothing amazing and pretty average. Someone said to me it looked like he had the whole Jack Sparrow walk going for him. Though he did put across his feelings for Alice wonderfully ๐Ÿ™‚ I found she though, was also average. Despite that I personally thought she was beautiful – her characters wasn’t striking as others. She wasn’t so strong or anything as the main character or heroin should be; and its not even like when it finally got to the end there was a big penny dropping or something. No. The penny kinda dropped onto a soft carpet without a sound.

Having seen the movie yesterday and since having a whole day to contemplate the movie, I came to the conclusion that the storyline itself wasn’t really anything to write home about. It wasn’t particularly exciting or action filled. Thankfully, the richness of the visuals had me totally distracted for the entire duration.

Something small I did learn though, which I kind of liked: “Sometimes I think of 6 impossible things before breakfast” -> what a wonderful way to stretch and exercise the imagination.

Oh, and bonkers is definitely the best position to be in ๐Ÿ™‚

Some Designย Genius

When given this blog as an assignment for class, my original topic was going to be to blog about design, graphic design and all that type of stuff that I’m interested. I have since decided to blog about anything on my mind or things that interest me as I come across them.

It happens to be that I came across a page on the internet which had all these logos with hidden meanings. Not that they were all like secret agent, subliminal messaging type of things – but logos that make you think twice when you look at them. The Graphic Design Blog is kind of the type of thing I was aiming to blog about, but I am more than happy to just link to them and share the design genius that they share.

When I took Graphic Design as a subject for school our teacher used to always try get us to work within the “negative space”, for the viewer to look beyond the surface of your image/design/logo. Thats what these particularly appeal to me, because I see and appreciate what they have done. I particularly like the Big Ten logo, not because I think the logo is good – but just how they used the negative space to put in the number 11. And the Eight Logo was also just like “WOW!” as they used variants of the actual number to create the word. The Piano Forest logo I like because they link two very unrelated things so successfully in one image! The final one I really like is for Horror Films because it’s just so cute and quirky ๐Ÿ™‚

These are a couple of the ones that I like, now go check out the rest of them!

My Grade 11 Practical

Another link I came across on the Graphic Design Blog is a page of Typographic Print ads. These adverts rely on a clever use of typography to convey their message or product. In grade 11 I had a project where I had to design a black and white newspaper advert against drunk driving – and when you have something specific to convey you need to think of the position of the letters, the font that you use, other ways of writing what you want – all of these are integral and make for good design. Theres a copy of the advert right here –>, the small print reads [Nothing Really. As long as you’re not the one driving home.]

I just love how the designers were able to tell so much about their product or cause without actually having to give a description at all. And personally I find them all original – a key trait that I think one needs in the industry. If your advert is not memorable, then it is in a sense useless. Here are some of the few that I really liked – take note of how there is no description, but you can really tell what it is!

FedEx

You might not be able to see the details of this FedEx one. But it shows the work behind being successful. It implied how all the workers of FedEx work together and work efficiently to become the successful company that they are making your deliveries faster and more efficient.

Suicide

This advert (I really don’t know what it is for, or what “veja” is) is one of those that make such a great use of negative space.ย  Reading between the word suicide, you can see

Trainshopping

what else they are really trying to say.

Check the rest and be inspired!

Stress Relief with a Great Reward!

I was helping my mom make Peppermint Crisp Pudding for dessert for dinner tonight when the banging of ingredients got me thinking. [before I go on, let me stress that I am far from competent in the kitchen, my staple diet consists of Frys Vegetarian food popped in the toaster and I dont have the patience to boil pasta. So that might explain how easy this is to make]. I’d had a good hour is solid irritation last night, and I only wish i had then had the ingredients to make dessert then and there to get my anger out.

So here is what you’ll need:

[these are the amounts I used and it seemed fine, i made 6 individual portions]

  1. 6 wine glasses for individual serving
  2. 1 packet of tennis biscuits
  3. 4 peppermint crisp chocolates [i was running low with 4, so maybe even 5 if you can]
  4. 1 can of caramel treat/caramel condensed milk
  5. 1 thing of cream
  6. I usually find a couple of ziplocs handy

So this is how we [or i at least] start off.

  1. Get the cream whipped up and add the caramel treat to it. You could make separate layers of cream and then treat, but I find the caramel is too solid to spread easily – so my mom and I just combine them. If the cream is too rich for your liking, feel free to combine the caramel with a non-dairy substitute like Orly Whip.
  2. While the cream & caramel mixture is mixing [be sure to periodically taste it – because you can] take the biscuits and chuck them into a ziploc bag. Once inside you can start crunching them into crumbs with your hands, but its so much easier with a big metal spoon like I did. Here is where the stress relief or anger management comes in. Because it can take some time. It was during the monotonous banging and smashing sounds on the kitchen counter that made me decide to blog about this. Who doesn’t love to get rid of stress AND eat great food afterwards??
  3. Once the biscuits are crushed take the peppermint crips and crush those too. I find it easier to crush them while they’re still in the wrappers and then put them into a ziploc (or a bowl or something), its somehow easier still in the wrapper.
  4. Now you have your whipped cream/caramel, a packet of crushed biscuits, crushed chocolate and an empty wine glass waiting to be filled! Yum!
  5. So this is just the order that I put the ingredients in, but it won’t make a difference how you do it. First I put a layer of the cream mixture. On top of that the biscuits, and then a layer of chocolate. Try make the layers thick enough that you can see the difference between them. Continue layering until the glass is full; I usually like to end on a layer of the cream and then sprinkle some of the chocolate over it.

1 empty wine glass

+ caramel cream mixture

+ caramel cream mixture

+ biscuit + peppermint crisp

+ biscuits + peppermint crisp

+ repeat = YUM!

Tada! There you have it!

The Finished Product(s)

It didnt even take long to do. And its quite soothing – from the monotonous banging for about 10 minutes to the quiet layering ingredient after ingredient trying to make it look as pretty as possible. Best part – it tastes AWESOME!

Now go relieve some stress!

Proof that I actually made it ๐Ÿ˜‰

You’ve Gotta Love Snobbish White People

Now firstly – dont take this post the wrong way, and dont be mislead by the title of this post…

As a frequent surfer of the internet, and now a “newbie” to the world of blogs and blogging, as mentioned in a previous post, I find myself visiting many blogs accidentally. It quite fun to at one moment be checking out a blog about a girl who loves Jesus, and next minute finding yourself on something completely different – such as Stuff White People Like.

These are "those" type of white people

These are "those" type of white people (and the token black girl)

Yes, that really is how I came across this link. (How a good Jewish girl came across a site about a girl who loves Jesus is another story). But here I am on this site which is actually quite funny. The posts are not regularly updated (maybe once a month or so) yet the posts seem to be related to what is currently going on, such as #131, Conan O’Brian – which obviously has something to do his being replaced by Jay Leno.

If one doesn’t want to check out each and every post in the blogs existence by checking the archive there is a handy page which has the full list of stuff white people like.

And while reading up the list (as its a blog, posts are in reverse order – see, we do learn things in class) one can’t help but chuckle and think how true some of these things are. One thinks of snotty, (Southern Suburbed?), private schooled, humanitarian-loving-the-planet-and-the-next-best-thing types of people. The ones out of Gossip Girl walking the streets of Manhattan with their vitamin water on their way to grab some sushi for lunch.

Some of these really made me laugh (and thats just being on the list without actually having read the post). I find vegan/vegetarianism, organic food, divorce, dinner parties and appearing to enjoy classical music among the funnier ones. The reason why so many of the things on these lists are funny is because they are true for many (but definitely not all) people.

Now I’m off to actually go and read what they have to say!