Six Degrees of Seperation

This BBC documentary unfolds the science behind the idea that you are no more than 6 handshakes away from any individual on earth. The documentary explores networks, social and otherwise, and how this breakthrough could change the way we view the world.

The documentary illustrates how instinct, passion and our ability to connect can help us gain access to results if we are involved in a form of network or group (which we all, in some way, are)- whether it be in the form of a sporting group or club, mother’s group, charity group or a home business network, each ‘hub’ is connected to another ‘hub’ in some way or form.

The documentary discusses how through knowing someone who moved overseas, or even knowing someone who knows someone who moved overseas, we are connected to people all around the world. Social media networking has been on an exponential rise since the creation of this documentary and it seems as though more and more people are creating more and more connections with people all around the world. At the click of our fingertips we could be instant messaging someone on the other side of the world. So surely the degreed of separation are decreasing?

Well, yes they are. According to a CNN article, each Facebook is only 4-5 facebook users away from any other facebook user.

Note to self: put the 1993, Six Degrees of Separation film on my to-watch list.

SOURCES:
http://www.squidoo.com/Science_Maps_Network_Hubs

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/22/tech/social-media/facebook-six-degrees/index.html?iref=allsearch

Creativity and Changing the World

In a world where technology is at our fingertips, it’s becoming easier for us to rely on these mindless objects to satisfy our creative needs. In turn, it’s harder for us to apply ourselves offline. Everyone can relate to those times where we favour Facebook over an important assignment. I relate well to what John Cleese says in his lecture on creativity. I almost always gravitate towards completing trivial tasks I know I can get done before tackling those more complicated and more important tasks. So, how do we get creative and apply ourselves?

According to Cleese we need space, time, confidence and humour. From a writer/producer, this is intriguing and valuable advice but then again apart of me keeps thinking that there is no formula to cultivate creativity. Everyone is different. I feel most creative when I’m sitting on a bus… without my iPhone, that is.

Steve Johnson suggests that good ideas come from a slow hunch. Over years a hunch will develop and collide with other hunches- hunches that belong to other people. So good ideas come from the collaboration of separate minds and their thoughts, apparently.

My point is, everyone has a different opinion of where good ideas come from.

2057: The City of the Future

So, in 45 years time, everyone’s going to be old, we’ll be friends with 3D projected animations and leaving the house will be, well, unnecessary? I don’t really understand there is a push for responsive holograms to take over keyboards and monitors. Apparently touching things is overrated. This documentary also suggests we will all be living to the age of 100+. Which is interesting… considering how weak our immune systems would be.

As cool as an automated house would be, such a heavy reliance on technology is inherently dangerous. That Simpsons episode comes to mind – (Treehouse of Horror XII) – where the family purchases an upgrade to their house, the ‘Ultrahouse’. Needless to say, in ends in havoc- the house (voiced by Pierce Brosnan) falls in love with Marge and seeks to murder Homer. As responsive and interactive as technology is, I still think its a far-fetched idea that technology is getting increasingly closer to have a mind of its own.

Another conceived idea that could be a product of the future is the bionic contact lens. Such an idea is a little scary. I feel like such a development would mess with our minds- we would struggle to differentiate reality from virtual reality. Google has already got Project Glass underway… it’s like a smartphone in your eye. I just don’t think we’re ready for it yet.

iPhone 4S will do just fine for now

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

I subscribed to the LifeHacker RSS feed to add some spontaneity and spice to my Google Reader. LifeHacker is a productivity tool/ technology guide type website. Today I was lead to an article which gave readers tips to:

Make your old iPhone feel like new this weekend

…Which is good because I’m starting to get a little lime green jelly of the people who have obtained the new iPhone 5.

After reading the article, these are the steps I have taken to make my 4S feel snazzy as new:

  • Cleaned the screen. Luckily I’m yet to crack the screen so a little spray and wipe has given the phone a brand-spanking-new shine.
  • Updated the software. So, it’s basically a (shorter and fatter) iPhone 5.
  • Cleared and Organized my apps. I deleted the apps I don’t use anymore (Draw Something, Words With Friends etc.) and created folders for the ones I commonly use. This gives me more storage space and in turn makes my battery last longer.

Glad I read this article because now I’m not $800 poorer. Thank you Life Hacker!

Comparing Search Engines: Google VS. Duckduck go VS. Instagrok

Today, as I was surfing the web, I found myself daydreaming about being in New York once again. Brooklyn in particular. I decided to research ‘Tourist activities in Brooklyn’, using three different search engines to see what I would find. I’ve never really used Duckduckgo or Instagrok before so it was interesting comparing the results.

Google
Due to familiarity, Google is probably the easiest to use. The search yielded ‘about 5, 110, 000 results’ in ‘0.28’ seconds. Nifty.
The thing I like about Google is the suggestions that pop up as I type a phrase into the search bar. I enjoy discovering what popular searches are because it helps me to find (what I assume are) the most reliable results. Google suggested that I search for ‘attractions’ or ‘top attractions’ for more results.
Google lead me to a great website, that has intensified my desire to visit NYC: http://www.visitbrooklyn.org/

Duck Duck Go
Duckduckgo was a pleasant surprise: easy to use, yielded relevant results and also offered suggestions. The top search result was VisitBrooklyn again. Duckduckgo suggested that I search for reviews. If I were non-hypothetically planning a trip to New York, this would be useful. There’s very little recognizable disparity between Google and Duckduckgo.

Instagrok
Wow, this search engine is not like the others. It’s interface is a bit confusing, and the search didn’t direct me to the kind of thing I intended to find. Instead of taking me to travel websites immediately, it gave me facts about New York. It’s a fun site if you’re interested in delving into a topic, but not if you’re looking for quick search results.

And the winner is…

Google!

Duckduckgo was a close second but Google wins on account of its ability to infer what I want to search before I type it in. Google is also a good site to keep as my homepage because it connects me to News, Mail and Youtube.

‘Girls’ Season 2 ?

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of HBO’s new comedy ‘Girls’ that wrapped up it’s first season a few months back. As much as I loved the first season, it flew by fast, being comprised of only 12 x 20 minute episodes. Ratings weren’t as good as they should have been at the beginning of the series, but as it progressed, the plot and quality of the show definitely improved. With each episode I laughed and loved it more and more, and just as I was getting really into it… boom! season finale. This left me wondering whether there actually would be a season two. Reviews were mostly good but then there were the not so good. Critic Curt Wagner dubs the show “frustrating to watch” in this article on RedEye.

With all this ambiguity surrounding the shows reputation, I signed up for a Google Alert. Turns out, there definitely will be a season 2, coming out around January 2013. There’s also been word on guest stars, which should be interesting given the fact that Season 1 seemed fairly big on putting underrated actors in the limelight. Maybe familiar faces is what the show needs to gain the recognition it deserves?

Rita Wilson will be playing Marnie’s (Allison Williams) mother. I’m intrigued and excited to see how their relationship will play out. I feel like season 1 glazed over the secondary characters, highlighting their flaws and raising questions without delving too deep into what they are all about. Hopefully season 2 answers some of these questions, transforming the show from being a sitcom about one girl and her friends to being a sitcom about four girls.

Girls HBO

SNL’s Colin Quinn will also play a role in the upcoming season. I look forward to discovering what another comic personality can add to the already hilarious (in my opinion) show.
You can see the article detailing the confirmed season 2 cast additions here.

In other Ellyse’s Google Alert news…
Mike ‘Sugar Bear’ Thompson, the lovable father in TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, is in crutches. (Yes, I created a Google Alert for ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’… what of it?)
The Article

How To: Make Sense of my Blog and Avoid Infringement

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

See that hefty little symbol there? It means that you (you, being the hypothetical person who reads this blog) are free to share and remix my literary and artistic masterpieces, so long as you attribute my blog as the source. CC License may also be found on my about page, so no funny business.

You will notice to the right of my blog there are categories which help you navigate around my blog.
Rants- Is where I waffle on about nonsense and first world problems
Recounts- Is where I share my real life experiences for your entertainment
Reviews- Is where I inform you of something I enjoy and why I enjoy it
Random- Is where I store posts that don’t quite fit into the other categories
Networked Coursework- In order for me to pass a course I’m taking this semester, I must post various blog posts, to prove that I have a tight handle of the internet. These posts will be published to this category. (Yes, I do resent the fact that this category ruins the whole alliteration thing I had going).

I have also devised a strategy to deal with comments and spam. I have enabled WordPress’s default settings which allows askimet to protect my site from spam, placing the comments in a spam folder or queue for me to review. As for comments, I moderate them. Before a comment is published to my blog, it must pend for my approval. It’s a nifty tool because I also feel inclined reply to comments as I approve them!


No trolls allowed!

My New Youtube Obsession

Some of my favorite things in the world are Comedy, New York City and YouTube. I spend hours at a time watching Vlogs, shorts, trailers, reviews, how-tos, fails and more. Recently, I discovered a web series, created by two female New-Yorkers, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. It’s called Broad City and it gives an insight into what it’s like to be a single and somewhat dysfunctional female 20-something living in the Big Apple (my dream future).

It’s hilarious.

Unfortunately, the camera work and direction isn’t too flash but I can look past that seeing as the two girls pretty much wrote and produced the series more or less on their own. Plus, it’s super quirky and awkwardly funny.

I give it 7/10.
They haven’t posted an episode for about a year now but they’ve been doing a bit of promo stuff lately so I have a feeling that a revamped new season is in store… I’ll definitely be on the look out for that.

Check it out!

Networked Media

A while back I subscribed to a free mailing list to receive daily email’s from life coach, Michelle Vargas  (stop judging me, I like a good train read). I signed up because, let’s face it, I’m just one of those people who doesn’t have a particular knack for getting things done. I’m lazy. So now, each day I receive a motivational email in my inbox, in order to remind me to keep trying to be less like- well, my natural self.
Anyway, the other day as I was enjoying my train ride to work, eyes glued to my iPhone screen, I opened and read my daily email. And this one got me thinking…

The Email

Why do I, without fail, wait until the very last minute to do things? …I always manage to get them done in the end but it’s a fairly bad habit I’ve got to shake. Then I was mentally scanning my ‘things to do’ list…
Essay… check
Histories and Technologies assignment… check
Spanish… check
Start working on editing broadcast assignment… check

I thought I was doing pretty well for myself. But then I remembered…

NETMED! … Something I’ve been meaning to do for weeks now. I made a promise to myself that as soon as I got home I would resume my Networked Media course work.

And so I did.

So here, we have, my ‘Initial Networked Media Post’

Splendour in the Grass recap

I just got home from Splendour in the Grass!

… Like 9 days ago (Yes, I know I fail at blogging). But, to be fair, as soon as I returned I contracted a horrible flu.

Image

For those who don’t know, Splendour in the Grass is a Music and Arts festival that goes for a duration of 3 days in Byron Bay, NSW. This was this years lineup. Amazing, huh!?

I went with two of my biffs: G and S. We stayed in an apartment because we missed out on camping tickets. The weather was almost unbearably freezing at times so we were quietly thankful for that. Each day we caught the shuttle bus from town to the fields where the festival was held, making some short-term friends on the way.

My favorite acts of Day 1 were Kate Miller-Heidke, The Shins and Jack White. The quality of the music was superb but I longed to be tossed around in a mosh-pit and day 1 definitely did not deliver on that front. We had a pretty good spot for The Shins, smack-bam in the middle of the crowd but nobody was moving. And I have the lack of bruises to prove it. I looked around at the crowd and everyone was so mellow. Just casually swaying back and forth to this amazing band. The random wofts of marijuana probably explains that.
For a duration of about 15 minutes on day one, it was absolutely pissing down with rain. It was literally coming down in sheets. All traces of grass turned to mud and from then on in, the festival was referred to as: “Splendour in the Mud”.

My mates and I decided to get our pre-drinks on for day 2. This meant that we arrived at the festival late afternoon rather than midday. There were a few clouds in the sky, but overall the weather was fairly nice. Mud and puddles were still very evident. S nearly pulled a sickie due to over-inebriation. G and I found this quite hilarious.
We got mad spots for Jinja Safari and The Beautiful Girls. At the end of Jinja Safari’s set, the keyboardist jumped into the crowd. I got a nice grope of his hair.
S, G and I then decided to chill out and have lunch. Lunch and ciders. Festival food really is delicious.
After lunch we went our separate ways because I wanted to see 360 and nobody else did. So worth it though! He absolutely killed it. On the mosh front, 360 definitely delivered. At the beginning of his set I was about 7 meters away from the stage and by the end of it I was nearly at the front of the mosh pit. So good.
Day 2 came to a close with Bloc Party and late-night-kebabs (that’s not the name of a band, we actually got kebabs on our way back to the apartment).

ImageDay 3 was my favorite day. We arrived fairly inebriated (and managed to sneak in a goon sack in S’s hood). A stand-out band of the day for me were Ball Park Music. I had never heard their stuff before but as soon as the frontman emerged into the mosh-pit mid-song, I fell in love. S and G then went to see another act but I stayed put because one of my favorite band’s were about to play. Fun. were too amazing for words! they definitely live up to their name. Other highlights of the day include Missy Higgins, The Kooks and Electric Guest.

Image

Overall, despite the mud, rain and cold, Spendour in the Grass was a fantastic experience. I definitely got my moneys worth and would consider returning next year. I slept on the flight back and as soon as I got home I bought a bunch of albums and then went straight to bed. It feels as though I’m only kind of waking up now, 9 days later.

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s720x720/599398_3906752361780_1372623976_n.jpg

Unfortunately my shoes did not survive the weekend.

Moral of the weekend is: If you jump in the mosh, I’m probably going to buy your album.