As I learned in a desktop publishing class I took as a M.A. student at Portland State, kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between letters. Kern Type is a game designed to teach you how to kern well. It’s very cool. It even has mutitouch capability for those accessing the website via an iPad. (The image is a screen shot of Kern Type’s front page.)
This video is the first of four planned videos titled “Everything Is a Remix.” There’s also a companion blog, which includes a transcript, corrections, and the like.
From the TEI by Example homepage:
TEI By Example offers a series of freely available online tutorials walking individuals through the different stages in marking up a document in TEI (Text Encoding Initiative). Besides a general introduction to text encoding, step-by-step tutorial modules provide example-based introductions to eight different aspects of electronic text markup for the humanities. Each tutorial module is accompanied with a dedicated examples section, illustrating actual TEI encoding practise with real-life examples. The theory of the tutorial modules can be tested in interactive tests and exercises. The tutorial materials are contextualised with a tools section, providing both an annotated overview of state-of-the-art XML encoding technology, and a TBE validator application, allowing you to test your TEI encoding as you type! [Read more.]
The third hour-long 1 Book, 1 Twitter with Neil Gaiman in which they discussed American Gods took place earlier today. I didn’t participate or read it live, but enjoyed reading the conversation. All three sessions are available and worth reading.
A few favorite question/response exchanges from today’s session include:
@neilhimself I would love to read the version of AG in Dream’s library, how long a book do you think that would be?
@poodlemaster I think it would either fill a dozen shelves, or be twice as good and half as long.
@neilhimself Do you consider American Odin to be less powerful / derivative of Norse Odin, or just different but equal?
@meaganoff He’s more fun to write, because he’s more screwed up. He’d like to be as powerful as Norse Odin was in his glory days.
@neilhimself Are there any AG characters you plan to revisit in a different context as in Anansi Boys?
@T_Lawson I want to do more MONARCH OF THE GLEN stories about Shadow in the UK. Then send him home.
Do you ever see yourself in Mr. Wednesday?
@Asche_zu_Ash if you’re doing your job as a writer you had better see yourself in all the characters
American Gods was the first book chosen for the 1 Book, 1 Twitter discussion, which was the brainchild of Jeff Howe of Wired.
A commonplacing post that brings together memoria and cognitive science (image-schema) as justification for multimodal composition. From Johnson, Mark. “The Imaginative Basis of Meaning and Cognition.” Images of Memory: On Remembering and Representation. Ed. Susanne Küchler and Walter Melion. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991. 74-86:
According to the view I am espousing, we must understand imaginative activity as including all sensory modalities, motor programs, and even abstract acts of cognition such as the drawing of inferences. In this very broad sense, imaginative activity is the means by which an organism constructs an ordering of its perceptions, motor skills, and reflective acts, as it seeks to accommodate itself to its environment. Imagination, so understood, thus includes the full range of organizing activities, from the forming of images (in different sensory modalities), to the execution of motor programs, to the manipulation of abstract representations, and even to the creation of novel orderings. 79
Right before rereading Johnson’s essay, I reread Daniel Anderson‘s “The Low Bridge to High Benefits: Entry-Level Multimedia, Literacies, and Motivation.” (Computers and Composition 25 (2008): 40-60):
The links between motivation, new media, multiliteracies, agency, and civic participation can be readily traced. Less clear, however, are the connections between these items and changes in education. The most compelling advocate for considering personal motivation in terms of transformation in composition is probably Geoffrey Sirc. Sirc doesn’t argue for either alphabetic or multimedia literacies but rather advocates that compositionists should aim for the expressive process of production. Again, we must put things into motion. Sirc (2002) explained, “defining composition, exclusively around the parameters of page or canvas, results in that conventional, academic surface” and instead suggested we think of composition “as a record of tracings, or gestures, a result of body moving through life” (p. 111). Sirc was looking for a composition that might be “anti-conventional, expressive, discursively hybrid, and technologically innovative” but instead finds i most scholarship a composition that “is all about conventions; which sees its retreat from expressionism in academicism as some sort of progress; which prefers a purified, taxonomized, monophony to hybridity’ and consigns discourse on technology to a sub-real of the discipline” (p. 173). Sirc is clear that this over-disciplining of composition bleeds the motivation from students, leading only to “alienation” and “exhaustion” (p. 209). New composing processes feature literacies like juxtaposition, parody, or pastiche and build upon student interests. These remix modes can overcome the boredom and “exhaustion in most writing assignments” (p. 212), making students “architects of their own aesthetics” (p. 132). 46
Not that we need such justification, but I find within Mark Johnson, Mark Turner, Gilles Fauconnier, and George Lakoff’s work on image schema, conceptual metaphor, embodied cognition, and conceptual blending an explanation of how monastic rhetoric, as defined by Mary Carruthers, works at the cognitive level. It is, to crib the title of one of Gilles Fauconnier and George Lakoff’s collaborations, “the way we think.” The expressive processes of production Sirc advocates and Anderson demonstrates is inherent in “remix modes” of composition shares with Johnson et. al. and monastic rhetoric an understanding of imagination as an active process of memory which draws upon all our sensory modalities/multiliteracies to make meaning. For an example of contemporary monastic composition as an expressive process of production, see my discussion of Jeffery Jerome Cohen‘s” fabulations.”
Yesterday, I stumbled upon this suite of browser-based creative tools. From their intro:
Aviary is a suite of powerful creative applications that you can use right in your web browser. We’re on a mission to make creation accessible to artists of all genres, from graphic design to audio editing. Sign up for an account today to start creating, sharing, and collaborating with our community of artists.
I’ve found that some students are hesitant to download free, open source programs like GIMP and Audacity. Since the image editor, Phoenix, allows one to work in layers, and the audio editor, Myna, can mix multiple tracks, this might be a useful alternative.