Awaken, He is Calling You

“Rise, He is calling you.” Mark 10:49c (NKJV)

Many of us are familiar with the story of Bartimaeus, but, just like with all of scripture, there is no complete understanding, no full revelation, no “the end.” The day we forget that is the day we stop hearing the voice of the LORD.

To summarize the story, Bartimaeus is a blind beggar on the side of the road who cries out to Jesus as He is passing by. Jesus stops in spite of the people silencing Bartimaeus, and calls for him. When Bartimaeus finally comes to Jesus, he is healed of his blindness, the bonds of his generational curse broken. I’ve heard countless renditions, interpretations, extrapolations, explanations, and even applications of this example of the mercy, grace, and power of God.

But I wonder: what actually happened?

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Digital “Magazine” Thingamabobber

1. Polygon

Polygon’s where you go for gaming stuff all day, every day. It’s not just about the games, though; the creators, the fans, and even the metagame and culture itself is expounded upon in countless articles designed to be short and sweet. The articles are informative and almost always link back to their sources, and related images and videos are relevant and add to the articles. The site is branded well with its fuchsia-based color scheme, and opinion-pieces are clearly labeled as such. Elsewhere, it takes a middle of the road stance.

However, the site’s structure could use some work. They’ve put too much stock on the images and not enough on effective organizational hierarchy. It’s as if they don’t want you to easily find your way around the site, but would much rather have you aimlessly clicking from unrelated article to unrelated article. I couldn’t even find the main navigation bar until I specifically looked for it, and even then, it took a while to find what I was looking for. Content is key, but without an effective way to get to the content, it won’t matter how good that content is.

 

2. PC Gamer

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Podcast Notes

Herein lie the scribblings of one FluffyWaffles when Professor Man requested answers forthwith on this an interweb blog.

 

1. What dost thou standest for?

The truth regardless of man’s perception or society’s shoveling of trends and hot-button non-issues.

2. Wherefore shalt thou die?

For the cause of Christ and for His kingdom. Also chicken nuggets. Those things are the bomb.

Clients From Hell and Nielsen

Looking at Clients from Hell, there are quite a few of Nielsen’s guidelines that are taken into consideration: the logo’s in the upper left, it gets straight to the content, and each post immediately throws you into each story in the first sentence with a little background information. While there virtually no images with the incident posts, they aren’t needed; and when images are necessary, they are ample and appropriate.

The site is also easy to navigate…for the most part. All the links are where you’d expect them to be, but, when looking at the blog-roll that most blogs have on their main page, it’s difficult to tell where one post ends and another one begins when scanning. A little more space or contrast between them would do the trick.

While I think Nielsen is full of crap half of the time, Clients From Hell, for the most part, does follow the tips of his that are actually useful.

The Online/Freelance Illustrator/Designer

Nowadays, if you can get online, you can be an “illustrator,” “cartoonist,” or “designer.” If you disagree with that statement, check out deviantArt for five minutes and get back to me. Sure, most wouldn’t be considered these things by traditional definitions, but a cartoonist is, technically, “one who makes cartoons.” The same applies to the illustrator and designer; the writer and content creator: the product may be crap, but it is a product nonetheless.

Even though I’ve been making comics for years, I took a look around to see what I could find about being an “online” or freelance illustrator/designer, or digital artist in general. Here are the top 5 blogs (in no particular order) that I found:

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Transitions, Transitions

The transition from old media to new media can be likened unto the days of Gutenberg. One day this guy, who we’ll call Johannes, decided that it would be really trippy if books could be made faster than a handful a year. So he went off and made a printing press, and all of a sudden books were flying out the wazoo (comparatively speaking, anyway). If you could access the technology and knew what you were doing, you could print whatever you wanted for everyone who could read to see. Oh yeah, and this nifty little invention led to a lot of people learning how to read.

Skip ahead a few hundred years: society has settled into a producer-consumer relationship: a select few made stuff, and the rest of society consumed it because there wasn’t anything else. Their opinions on the content didn’t really matter, either, because they neither had the power nor the ability to create alternatives. So they were stuck with what the media aristocracy gave them. Kind of like the people of Gutenberg’s day. And then came the internet, and, once again, if access was present, things could be made by anyone. And I mean anyone. Ability was, and is, irrelevant; if you can get it there, it’ll be there for everyone to see (peruse deviantArt or Tumblr for five minutes if you still believe ability has anything to do with content creation).

While this would suffice as a definition for new media, there’s also the small detail of audience interaction. With old media (the stuff from the old-timey the producer-consumer relationship), there is a monologue you’re forced to sit through: their spiel. You get no say or input. It’s like Hamlet, and you’re Polonius behind the curtain. Speak against them or try to interact, and next thing you know, “I am slain!”

However, with new media, you can interact however you want, whether that be commenting, sharing, creating fan art without legal “retribution,” or even joining in the creative process. Some people refer to this as the “death of the author,” and, in many instances, it is. However, in others, it is the birth of the “collective creator.”

TOME: More than a Show

Chris “Kirbopher” Niosi, one of the many flash animators who rose to stardom in the 2007-08 Newgrounds age, is an independent animator responsible for the infamous “Brawl Taunts” and “Parody Rangers” series. Today, alongside several big names in independent animation, voice acting, and music, he creates TOME, the Terrain of Magical Expertise, an animated series in which people from all around the globe flock to a virtual landscape built around both combat and social networking.

In the show, we follow five players of the game, Alpha, Kirbopher, Flamegirl, Nylocke, and Gamecrazed, as they both build the bonds of friendship and try to stop a group of hackers from destroying the game they have come to love. Through a glitch in the system, Alpha stumbles upon an item (or entity, rather) known as the “Forbidden Power,” which is exactly what the hackers are trying to find. Through the course of the show, we learn that this “thing,” as Flamegirl put it, has the ability to hurt players in real life. The story takes off from there, recounting the devastation left in the wake of the Forbidden Power.

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World of Firsts Ep.1: Car Crashes

 

Welcome to World of Firsts, a podcast where we analyze and talk about the first time we did something and how it’s affected us. This time, we’ll be taking a look at our first car crashes. While only three stories are shared in the podcast, I’m sure many of you have stories to share, too. If you want to share your experience, then please Tweet about it using #firstwreck. We’d love to hear what you went through.

Who knows, maybe your experience can teach somebody else something that may either save their life or help them to react in a situation that could save someone else’s life.

School Rumble: The Flux of Love

Tenma

“I love you. Just three little words…but the moment I say them, the whole world changes, like magic. Today, I’m going to say them…to you.”

-Tenma Tsukamoto

 

It’s the first day of the new school year, and, as Tenma says, she’s fallen in love. Cherry blossoms sway in the light breeze, and as Tenma and her sister, Yakumo, walk up to the school, they see Tenma’s love: Oji Karasuma. Tenma gushes as she says his name out loud, and Yakumo jokes that it would be “cool” if Tenma and Karasuma were in the same class. Excited over the prospect, Tenma rushes to the class lists to see which class she’s in.

This is setting up to be just another high school chick-flick-esque romance story where the boy and girl fall in love and live happily ever after. It’s starts off with a one-sided crush, develops through awkward experiences and friendly encounters, and, then, the big kiss at the end after a massive fight shows that all is well in the world and love conquers all. Nothing too fancy or special, right? Continue reading