Blogs

Improving Your Online Experience with Basic Web Design Skills

To say it in short, I love the internet. I think it is a great tool for education and networking, and is just plain fun.  I have even heard that playing around on the internet is actually better for your brain than watching television, so I don’t feel so bad about spending hours on “Stumble Upon” and “Tumblr.”  However, sometimes the internet can also be a daunting place, especially when you realize that you have no idea how it works or how a website is made.  This impacted me even more while working here at Online Ed, because I was expected to troubleshoot Blackboard and other web tools and realized that I didn’t even understand some of the basics of how the interwebs work.  It may seem like something that is far too complicated for a non-techie to understand, but I’ve found that learning about web development is a fun process that is not too difficult, and can help you greatly in all aspects of your internet use.

Unbelievable Stop-Motion Street Art Depiction of the Big Bang

Currently, embedded Vimeo content isn't viewable so click the link below to watch this amazing video. Its a combination of graffiti and found objects used to create a stop-motion depiction of the history of the universe that sprawls over an enitre urban landscape. The foresight, patience, and talent behind this video is truly inspiring, so enjoy!

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Will I ever have this much time and this many friends?

Judo at work?

One of my hobbies, which I have just recently begun to practice, is judo.  Most people may be familiar with judo in its Olympic form or heard the name in some campy martial arts flick, but these mainstream representations tend to play down, or completely disregard the nonphysical aspects of judo.  Judo, and all of budo training, is about much more than self defense and throwing people around.  I feel that these principles (the nonphysical, not the throwing people around) can be applied in any aspect of life, particularly the workplace.  One of the fundamental beliefs of judo is that maximum effect should be achieved with minimum effort.  In the actual practice of the martial art this is represented by completing techniques that use your attackers momentum, balance, and strength against him or her, while expending very little of your own.  This probably does not sound very foreign to any financial manager or business owner.  Obviously, it is best to get the most out of a limited supply of resources.

Online Education: A New Job

Starting a new job is rather hard to do.  Most times you don’t know anybody and although you have the skills for this new job, it may be hard to find exactly your place in the team.  Coming into a new job is something that can be very nerve-racking for some people and for people that are shy it can be even worse. 

Luckily, I am neither of those things, and as I started my new job here at Online Education, the rest of the staff here has been very kind to me.  I immediately felt welcomed, as some of the people that have been here for a while have helped to show me the processes and introduced me to some of the other people around the office.  In the first couple of days, as I began to meet people and try to remember everyone’s name, I learned this community is very laid back.  Everybody is serious about the work that needs to be done, but they still have time to say a quick “hello,” or to chat a little about how your day has been going.  The people here at Online Ed have made me feel very welcome. 

Our office is a very helpful place.  It is helpful to professors that are teaching online classes, it is helpful to the students that need to view those classes.  Online Education is a great place to work and a great place if you need help with any online courses.

Miracle?

I had been reading online about how there are “noodles” made out of tofu that are extremely low calorie compared to traditional wheat based noodles.  Essentially, they are a high fiber product pressed into noodle shapes that have no taste of their own but are able to function as pasta under any sauce combination.  While I had read some disappointing reviews about them, there were more than enough people who praised them for me to try them myself.  I finally tried them myself and was amazed.  I tasted nothing negative about them (some people had spoken of a “fishy taste”) and had no problem with the irregularly rubbery texture.  I put them under some alfredo sauce and had a wonderful dinner.   Next I even tried using some of the “rice” product and made a version of Spanish rice.  It was the most awesome thing I had tasted in a while.  It tasted JUST like traditional Spanish rice with a fraction of the calories! It’s a dieter’s dream! I was highly impressed and I cannot wait to try many other combinations.  I am already thinking up several, including: south-west pasta with some cheese, corn, and black beans; pasta with peanut butter sauce, Cajun pasta, and anything else I can wrap my head around.  Any suggestions any one has are highly welcomed!

Levelator Makes Your Podcasts Sound Great, for Free!

So I have been working on some audio tutorials for my fellow Media Mafia members, here at A&S Online Education. I thought I would share one that I think ANYONE can use. Feel free to watch the video to see Levelator in action, or read the instructions below and download it for yourself!

VIDEO:    If the video embed isn't visable, click the link to watch on Vimeo
 

Levelator Makes Your Voice Recordings Sound Great, for Free! from John Buckman on Vimeo.

Leveling Audio with Levelator (aka, performing Black Magic)

The Problem:

First Blog entry EVER

Sup Media people, this is my first ever blog entry so get pumped. John is working the sound scene pretty hard so I've been looking at some After Effects stuff that you all can learn or I can make templates to suit your needs within a week or two when I get some more experience. So far I've been learning some basic 3D titles and whatnot that can make the intros to your videos a little more interesting. They can also probably be imported into flash and be made into banners too for ya'll graphics people. Currently we do not have the After Effects program but you can download a free trial if your interested in spicing up your work. As long as I don't have too much to do I will be more than happy to do a custom title for you if you ask. Once I practice and play around with it a little more I plan on making an A&S Online Ed animated graphic and make it available for everyone to use. Its much more interesting than the A&S watermark image we have been using so, I will keep everyone updated on that.

What the PSN breech means for you

As some of you may or may not be aware, the PlayStation Network was hacked several weeks ago, resulting in 77 million users having their names, usernames, passwords, and addresses stolen, among other things.

Look at that number: 77 million.  That’s a greater population than most countries in the world.  How in heaven’s name did a group of hackers manage to gather all that data?  It turns out that Sony thought it would be a good idea to store all their users’ personal information as plain text.  Plain text is infamous for being vulnerable and insecure; sort of like a child using their hands to cover up something they don’t want the teacher to see, only for her to brush them out of the way moments later.  They did have the decency to encrypt credit card data, but this gaping hole in users’ security has done massive amounts of damage to Sony’s PR (for example, Japan still won’t let the network come back online in their country).

So, how does this relate to those of you lucky enough to escape this fiasco?  Stop for a moment, and think about these questions.

1. How many websites do I frequent and use the same password?

2. How many websites have some form of personal info?

3. Which websites log me in with my Facebook/Myspace info instead of a unique username and password?

TUMMY TUCKIN'

I JUST LEARNED HOW TO DO A TUMMY TUCK IN PHOTOSHOP! That is serious skill. ALL that you have to do is LIQUIFY! I know it does sound dangerous; i know, it sounds like you will be working with mercury or lava or something else, but it is so much easier than that!

 

Step 1: Select what area you wish to LIQUIFY!

Step 2: Go to Filter and then go to Liquify!

Step 3: Use the Freeze Tool to (precisely) choose the area of your image in which you wish to tuck other parts of the image into. In other words, the area you wish to freeze in place so that it DOES NOT MOVE!!!!!!!

Step 4: NOW use the Forward Warp Tool in order to TUCK it; whatever it is; under your frozen area! Now be careful it could be tricky, but not too tricky to rock all night.

Step 5: RELAX, you did it!

ISN'T THAT A GREAT LESSON THAT EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER IN TODAY'S AMERICA WOULD LOVE TO KNOW??? I think so. Most people don't know these easy tricks and are too busy to find out, that's why it's our job to learn it and charge them a high rate!!!

p.s.

Endless Possibilities Studying Abroad

The College of Arts & Sciences encourages our students to learn, grow and challenge themselves studying abroad. Education Abroad at UK offers students the opportunity to choose from dozens of programs - and to go almost anywhere in the world. No matter the continent or country, education abroad is the experience of a lifetime. There are programs to match every personality and budget, too. Traveling abroad has had a profound impact on my life, and I know that exploring the world will do the same for our students. 

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