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Closing Time

May. 9th, 2006 | 09:31 pm
mood: sleepysleepy

Wow! The semester is nearly over. I feel like it has been the quickest semester ever – maybe because we were so occupied with all the assignments. I can't for the summer break. I just got the Flash project to do and the English Exit Exam and I'm home free. Well, not exactly, I have 4 weeks of summer school to look forward to, but that's not too bad. I think it's only 4 times a week for 3 hours. Hopefully I'd be able to get a good job this summer. I really need the money and the experience, but most importantly, I need to keep myself busy. The new soccer season is about to commence, so that's exciting. The drawback is I'm totally out of shape lol. Anyway my plans for the summer are hanging out with the youth group and family, soccer and hopefully working. How about you guys? What are you up to this summer?

Hey, I just realized that I came to school at the beginning of the semester with a huge afro and I'm leaving with my hair cut short.

For those who are looking for a job, you can go to this site, (http://www.workopolis.com/) and select the criteria of your ideal job.

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Driving 101

May. 1st, 2006 | 06:52 pm
mood: sleepysleepy

Driving has proven to be quite the fright for me. I recently had my first driving lesson. Oh man, was I scared. I felt like I had no control over the car. Luckily, the driving instructor had an emergency brake pedal the he could press in case I lose complete control. For the first lesson, the instructor assumes that the student has at least practiced driving and expects you to drive in traffic. Well, at the time, I haven't driven a car nor was comfortable driving in traffic, so the instructor and I chose a nice, quiet road to practice on. I had no idea how sensitive the accelerator pedal is. Just a little tap and the car jumps in speed. I could feel my heart race throughout the lesson. I was surprised that not one of the other drivers on the road honked at me. Even though I was in a driving school vehicle, some people can get really angry if a beginner is holding them up. Well, the lesson was a great experience and I can wait for the next one, even though I still have the chills from the last one. How was your first driving experience?

Here is a link to a online game (http://www.addictinggames.com/driversed.html) named "Drivers Ed". It is a good game to play if you want to learn some driving techniques and the proper way to do them.

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Harlem Globe Trotters

Apr. 15th, 2006 | 09:38 pm
mood: sleepysleepy

The renown Harlem Globe Trotters did a show at the Bell Center a week ago and it was awesome. I've never been to the Bell Center before so it was a new experience. It was great, there were so many people, young and old, males and females. The seats were good. I was in the red section. The performers kept us entertained throughout the night. Even before the show began, there were so many games the audience could get engaged in. One of the Globe Trotters named "ShowTime" was talking all night long. He was so funny. I didn't know the Globe Trotters too well so eveything that happened in the show was a complete surprise. ShowTime would always harass the referee and the audience. The whole crowd was in hysterics. I'm surprised the performers didn't get into any trouble for the acts they pulled. Well, then again, the worse thing that happened was a section the audience getting soaked with water. I must say intermission was a bit awkward. I ran to washroom and there were literally two hundred men lined up and using the urinals. At the end of the show, some souvenir kiosks opened up but the merchandise was so expensive and all the cool toys were sold out...(sniff, sniff) oh well.

I've come to realize that I don't know Montreal at all. For me, there is a whole new world just east from here that is full of adventure and experience.

Here the link to the Harlem Globe Trotters' website, (http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com). This site is done mostly in flash and has some awesome animation.

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Inside the Box

Mar. 30th, 2006 | 11:02 pm
mood: tiredtired

Have you ever been forced to confess to crime that you didn't commit? Well ABC did a special story on how police interrogators question "suspects" regarding a crime. Hundreds of innocent people in the United States have been sent to prison because of police tactics that coerce people into making false confessions. What the investigators do is lock the suspect in a small enclosed room, severely ration their food and drink, increase the temperature and shout at the suspect continuously for hours. Eventually the suspect gives in and decides to confess to the crime. 23% (US) of all innocent people who have been sent to prison and brought back to society because of DNA evidence were convicted because of false confessions. Given the right circumstances, interrogators would tell the "suspect" what they did and bombard them with "facts" to the point that the poor person questions his or her own memory. The experience of a cross-examination is so dreadful even a person who isn't remotely connected to a crime would confess. The scary thing is that the methods the police use to draw out a confession are all legal. What you say and how you say it can be work against you. A study was done on some of the most intelligent Liberal Arts college students in the US. Basically there are 3 people in a small room, the authority figure, the test subject and another student. A keyboard is placed in front of the test subject and is asked to press the keys that the other student dictates. The only rule is that the test subject is not to press the alt key (because it would cause the computer to crash and would cost thousands of dollars to repair - this isn't true). As the test subject struggles to stroke the keys and avoid accidentally pressing the alt key, the authority figure stops the test and accuses the test subject of pressing the alt key. The other student then agrees with the accusation and in turn causes the test subject to doubt him or herself and confess to pressing the alt key - even though they may not have. When I watched this documentary, I was frightened. Apparently there is a fine line between being innocent and being behind bars. What do you guys think?

Here's a link to our the West Island website, (http://www.westisland.ca). This is a good site to visit if you want a quick update on what's going on this side of the island.

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No More Knots!

Mar. 25th, 2006 | 04:21 pm

I remembered that Susan wanted us to try something new whether it be an adventure to a place we haven't been to before or just a change in our daily routine. Well I did something that I usually wouldn't do. I shaved all my hair off, the very hair that took months to grow. Originally, I wanted to write a blog about me talking to a stranger. I figured that wouldn't work out too well so I went ahead and cut my hair (well, actually my brother did). My head feels totally different. I could feel the breeze swirling on my head. For years my head hasn't been able to breathe because volume of hair I amassed (not to mention the dandruff hehehe). My head doesn't feel so heavy and I don't even have to bother combing my hair either. Hair used to be all over my bathroom sink and floor whenever I combed. Rather than trying to comb out the knots in my hair every morning, I could just wash it and leave it be. Wow, I wish I had done this sooner. Though I'm not use to it yet, it has made my life a lot easier. If I don't ever adapt to the new style, my hair would grow back in a few months anyway...I think.

Here is a link to a cool paper bag style website done in flash, (http://www.aardman.com). The pre-loader is awesome.

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Inside Man

Mar. 24th, 2006 | 10:13 pm
mood: sleepysleepy

I recently watched a great movie named "Inside Man". It was amazing! It is about a group of activists supposedly robbing a bank when in fact they were trying to uncover and expose a deep secret of the bank's president which is hidden in a safe deposit box. I don't want to spoil the movie so I just wrote a synopsis. The theater was full. I was lucky that I had a seat saved for me. Everyone waited so patiently for the movie to begin, and when it did, there was complete silence. What appeared on the screen was a large image of a man's face saying these words; "My name is (so and so). Listen carefully because I never repeat myself." The audience was tuned in and totally focused. What a great way to grab the viewer's attention. The whole movie was done so well. From the camera angles to the script, everything was outstanding. I got free popcorn too. I had a gift certificate for free popcorn. All the savory popcorn settled in the middle of the bag. Anyway, for those who haven't seen it, it is a great movie to watch, and for those who have, what do you think of it?

Here is a link to the official movie website, (http://www.insideman.net). This website is done in flash and has some awesome animation, sound and video footage.

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Fight Club!

Mar. 16th, 2006 | 10:12 pm
mood: sleepysleepy

I recently watched Fight Club and it was amazing. It is about a man named Jack (Edward Norton) who suffers with schizophrenia and the interaction with his alter ego, Tyler (Brad Pitt), a successful soap bar salesman. Jack is unhappy with his monotonous life and finds a therapeutic solution in fighting. However, because of his dual-personality, Jack makes a series of wrong decisions without even being aware of them. It was by far the most intriguing movie I have ever seen. I found myself rewinding scenes over and over again trying to grasp what's going on. I couldn't watch the movie in my usual passive state because I'm supposed to do an oral on it along with five other students in my English class (four of whom are in PDHT). The movie challenges the conventions of the American lifestyle of having a nice condo, a decent job, a car, and possessions and so on. Tyler (who is really Jack, confusing eh) gives Jack advice about how to live. The difficult thing to understand is that Jack should know everything Tyler knows because they're the same person; however, whenever Tyler tells him something, Jack seems to be clueless of what he talking about. I have a theory that may or may not make sense: Whenever Jack sees Tyler (in his mind), Jack acts as himself — Jack becomes Tyler whenever Tyler is not seen. His personalities are interchangeable. What do you guys think?

I like movies that play games with perception, when a character goes in and out of reality and leaves the viewer with the task of discerning reality from fantasy. This movie reminded me of "Butterfly Effect" — another movie that made me think more than I usually would.

Here is a link to a grungy website of a band named Sanctus Real, (http://www.sanctusreal.com/). This is probably one of the coolest Flash sites I've seen, and it conforms to the design basics (Harmony and Rhythm).

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Field Trip

Mar. 13th, 2006 | 09:31 pm
mood: tiredtired

The Gazette class field trip on Friday was great. The building is enormous. I had no idea that the Gazette actually dates back to the eighteen century. Our tour guide explained a lot about the components of the newspaper and advertising. The newspaper is simply composed of two elements, editorials and ads. Clients are charged an incredible amount for full page color ads and a lot more than any of us could guess. The guide also talked about the strict deadlines imposed on the journalists, photographers, editors and so on before the newspaper is printed. Speaking of printing, for the next part of the tour we were taken to the room where the plates are made. The tour guide shocked us when she said the machines cost millions of dollars. I was reluctant to touch the machine because I didn't want to, even though they're quite durable, break it. Next we were taken to a sort of warehouse in the basement where huge rolls of paper are stored. I didn't want to stay there too long, in case one of the columns fell (that was highly unlikely though). The field trip was good, but it would of been nice to see the designers of the newspaper. I think the creative and graphic design department is in the building downtown (it seems like anything and everything can be found downtown), printing is done at the building we went to. Thanks Nat for organizing the visit.

Here is a link to a site that features the front pages of newspapers around the world. (http://www.pressdisplay.com/) There are so many ways to design a front page. This may useful for the In-House Publication course.

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Portfolio Show

Mar. 7th, 2006 | 12:14 am
mood: sleepysleepy

The 3rd year students' portfolio show was awesome! Every single student is extremely talented. I enjoyed the tracing project the most. The drawings were really detailed and looked realistic. The montage projects were great as well. I didn't get to visit all the students, but the ones whose projects I did see were amazing. I'm looking forward for next year's vernissage (if I make it through this year lol). It's great that students can showcase their work to the public. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I had just found out that there was a web programming lab due the next day. When I found out what the functionality of the form was I gasped. I'm sure I need more than one day to complete it. Anyway, if I don't get the math right, maybe I'd score some points for the design or something.
As for the portfolio show, I give it an A+. The quality of the projects were top-notch. The only thing was that I found it really hot in the Agora. It's probably just me though. For some reason, once in a while I would feel a sudden brief sensation of heat (maybe that too much information hehehe).

Here is a link to a website that pertains to the vernissage and features cool art portfolios. http://www.portfolios.com/.

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Sunday School

Mar. 3rd, 2006 | 12:15 am
mood: tiredtired

This Spring break the teacher who teaches one of the Sunday school classes at my church went off to Ontario for the weekend. I was asked to take her class. However, the class she teaches ranges from 6 to 9 year olds. I never taught a class before so it was a little intimidating. I got through about 1/4 of the lesson before the kids went wild. There were about six of them. It was so funny, every time I tried to talk they just interrupted me. After a while of trying to get them to pay attention, I gave in. I gave them coloring sheets and some markers. I wasn't getting anywhere. It was fun though. Although it was a bit frustrating, I couldn't get angry at them. I got to know them a lot better. I honestly thought they would be terrified of me. I have a tendency to frighten kids because I'm a bit odd looking, but they were cool. I hope their teacher gets back or it would be another hour of: "Ok Matthew, you don't need to yell, I'm right next to you." And "Ok Ok, take the coins out of your mouth." They're great kids.

Here is a link to our Church Youth Group Website, http://www.nowyouth.net/. Its under construction now, but it should be up in the near future. p.s. I honestly have no idea when it would up again, it been down for a month or something lol.

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