How Games Steer Us Through Life

Original article: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/02/how-games-steer-us-through-life/#postComment

It seems that the number of younger kids, who are exposed to games (such as Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, and Fruit Ninja), is increasing each year. Virginia Heffernan -who wrote about how games steer our lives- states that games help to calm and release stress from the world. “Games…give a break from the feeling that you’re too dumb or too smart for this world”. However, I disagree. As a high schooler, I realized that I am consistently exposed to electronics: computer, ipod, cellphone. Sure, these can help me release stress and become my escape route from the reality, but what about other things that make up my life? These days, I have a yearn to go back in time when I had a leisure to walk in the park, to chat with my friends on a bicycle, to lay on the fresh green lawn and enjoy the breeze, and to have a long nice talk with my family on a picnic. It’s too early for children to rely on games to release their anxiety; they should roam outside and explore the world that is much bigger than the screen size of iPad.

Requiem for a Dream

Today, I’m going to do a quick movie review about a movie that I watched recently. The movie is called Requiem for a Dream, directed by Darren Aronofsky (He is the same person who directed Black Swan). At first, I was little bit worried about watching the movie since it was rated R. However, after reading reviews on the internet, I finally decided to watch it. The movie basically shows the life of the main character, Harry Goldfarb, his girlfriend, Marion Silver, his friend, Tyrone C. Love, and his mom, Sara Goldfarb. The movie can be divided into two major scenes. One scene revolves around Sara Goldfarb, as she become addicted to diet pills and eventually becomes hallucinated. Another scene is about Harry, Tyrone, and Marion, who become addicted to drugs and starts to abuse them by becoming addicts. The movie not only talks about the unfortunate consequences of drug addicts’ life, but also the reasons behind taking the drugs.

I found the movie very interesting because it vividly portrayed the four failed lives of four individuals and the negative effects of drugs. I found Sara Goldfarb’s case most interesting among the four since she risked all of her life on diet pills. Interestingly, Darren Aronofsky uses the media as the cause of Sara’s addiction. Since Sara had a strong desire to go out in a television show with a stunning appearance, she was “forced” to make herself skinnier in a easier and faster way. I think Aronofsky is trying to talk about anorexia, which is not that rare among girls these days. In the contemporary society today, medias such as magazines, television shows, and commercials are defining beauty as being skinny. This makes women, especially young adults, to become “motivated” to have a skinny body. Unfortunately, many of them rely on diet pills, which will eventually ruin our whole body, just as it did to Sara Goldfarb.

After watching the movie, I learned to appreciate and embrace my body just the way it is. I also learned that there are no quick ways to loose weight instantly. Everything takes time and patience, in order to create a good, healthy shape. In conclusion, I thought the movie was well made and I highly recommend it. It taught me many lessons.

Trailer:

 

Famous Korean Characters

Pucca

Pucca is a cute Asian girl, who loves zazangmyun (Korean black bean noodle) and loves to play with Garu, her crush. Pucca was created by Vooz Character Systems in 2000. She first appeared in a flash animation called Pucca Funny Love. However, Pucca did not get much attention because there were many other flash animation characters during 2000, which was a period of flash animation boom in Korea. Therefore, the company focused more on the products and merchandise of Pucca instead of animations. However, in the year 2004, Vooz company decided to make a TV series of Pucca called Zazang girl Pucca with FOX KIDS Europe. After launching the TV series, it was a success. More and more became familiar with Pucca and Pucca helped the increased sales of Korean market.

Dooly

Dooly is a very famous character in Korea. He is a green dinosaur living in Gogil Dong’s house. He was created in 1983 by Soojung Kim and it started out in a comic magazine called Treasure Island. Soon, Dooly became very popular and everybody watched Dooly in the 80s and 90s when there were not that many Korean animations. In 1987, KBS first launched TV series of Dooly and in 1995, a movie called Baby Dinosaur Dooly -Adventure of Ice Star was released. Dooly is still famous these days and even though the tv seires stopped after 2006, many people misses the green dinosaur Dooly.

Pororo

Pororo is the most popular Korean character these days among the kids. Pororo is a little penguin, who’s trademarks are his hat and goggles. The TV series called Pororo -the little penguin, launched in 2003 on EBS. The story deals about Pororo and his friends finding adventures and friendship. After the launch of the TV series, Pororo became very popular among the kids and it also launched at 110 countries due to its rapidly growing fame. Since Pororo became so popular, it has a nickname of  President Pororo, since all kids follow and love him.

Videos:

Cake Boss: Cake Art

One of my favorite show is Cake Boss from  channel TLC. Cake Boss is about a baker named Buddy Valastro, who makes cakes. But he doesn’t make any ordinary cakes; he is an artist. Buddy Valastro works with his mother, his four sisters, three brothers-in-law and other family members and friends. They work in a bakery in New Jersey, called Carlos Bakery.

Carlos Bakery’s original owner was Carlo Guastaferro, but was purchased by Buddy Valastro Sr. in 1964. Ever since than, Buddy Sr. dedicated his time at the bakery. He was known for his kind heart and generosity. After his death in March 24th 1994, his son, Buddy Valastro Jr. took over the bakery and continued the Carlo’s Bakery.

Carlo’s Bakery became famous in April 2009 when the premier of Cake Boss aired on TLC. The reality show focuses on the staffs of bakery making elaborate cakes that are specially ordered by customers. However, the show not only focuses on the process of making the cakes, but also the interaction and drama that goes around the work place between the family members.

I love watching Cake Boss because it is amazing how Buddy makes all of these cakes that are seem impossible. Every time the customers ask Buddy Valastro to make the cakes, I always think, ‘There is no way he can make this cake’. However, he always surprises his viewers by making all of these seem-to-be-impossible-cakes. Also, it is amazing that everything from the cake is edible!! I truly believe that Buddy is not just an ordinary baker; he is an artist. He is an artist who expresses his talent through dough, sugar, and icings.

Here are some Buddy’s wonderful and amazing cakes!!

Here are the videos of Cake Boss

Illusionist: M.C.Escher and Julian Beever

As you can see, my previous post was about art of optical illusion. Today, I would like to talk about my favorite two illusion artists. One of them is from the past, while the other is a modern artist.

M.C. Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher, a graphic artist, was born in 1898 and died in 1972. He is known as the world’s most famous graphic artist and his work is still enjoyed by millions of people. M.C. Escher is famous for creating pictures with impossible structures. These include Ascending and Descending, Relativity and Transformation Prints. Although he did some realistic art work, people are more familiar with M.C. Escher with his creative, yet strange illusion art.

Now, here are some of M.C. Escher’s work:

Julian beever

Meet Julian Beever! He is my favorite illusion artist who is still alive! He is a British chalk artist, who draws his art on pavements and murals on the streets. He has been doing his work since 1990s and he still continues to draw. He uses a method called, anamorphosis, which is a projection technique that is used to make 2D art into 3D if the drawing is viewed at a correct angle. Beever first designs his sketch on paper, and then checks is his sketch is going to work using camera lenses. His work is usually based on music. Beever’s amazing art has made the streets and walls of many streets colorful and unique, thus spreading his pursue of illusion art to the community.

Here are some of Julian Beever’s work:

Videos:

I don’t know how he made this but it seems pretty amazing!

This is an explanation of one of this drawing, Belvedere.

Julian Beever in Miami

Work Cited:

http://www.julianbeever.net/

http://www.mcescher.com/

Art of Optical Ilusion

Have you ever heard of Optical Illusion?

Optical Illusion is also known as the visual illusion. Illusion occurs when we observe things, our brain perceive images that are different from the reality. When our eyes are “illusioned”, they send the wrong information to the brain that is different from the actual thing. There are three different kinds of optical illusions. literal optical illusion, physiological illusion, and cognitive illusions.

Literal optical illusion

Literal optical illusions create images that are different from the objects that make them.

How many horses do you see?

Crucification

The Face of God

Find the Baby

Hidden Men

Physiological illusion

Physiological illusion occurs when our brain and eyes are constantly exposed to a repeating pattern, such as color, brightness, and movement.

Are these actually moving?

How many Black Dots?

What do you see?

Cognitive Illusions

Cognitive illusions occur when our brain and eyes make unconscious inferences, which is also known as “mind games”.

There are different kinds of cognitive illusions, such as depth and motion perception, color and brightness constancy, and object constancy. However, out of everything, my favorite is perceptual organization. In perceptual organization, the images can be different depending on how the viewer views the image.

Liar or man’s face?

Duck or Rabbit?Old Lady or Young Woman?

Saxophone player or woman’s face?

Two men or vase?

Here are some more fun and amusing illusions!

The two orange circles are the same size!

Can you believe that the two squares marked A and B are the same color??

Surprisingly, it is!!!

How many wolves can you see?

How many legs does this elephant have?

Is this possible to make?

Strange Terrace

Fun Optical Illusion videos!!

Works Cited:

http://www.optillusions.com/dp/1-86.htm
http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/



Collection

Ever since I was 8 years old, I liked to collect snow globes. I liked the way they sparkled and all the little figures inside it. Eventually, when ever I visited some place new, I would get a snow globe that when I see it, I would be able to remember the good times I had at that place. Currently, I have about 35 snow globes at my house. Whenever I look at them, it makes me smile because I can look back into my memory and laugh at those funny memories.

I think having a collection of any kind of thing is very useful and neat. First of all, when your collection becomes bigger and bigger, you feel satisfies at how much you have collected over time. Also, if you have a collection, it always brings back good memories when you think, ‘oh, how did I get this one?’. Each object has a unique story behind it of how it came into your hands. Last but not least, if you collect specific objects, it is easier to concentrate on one material, rather than going around trying to think what to buy when you visit a place. For example, before I started collecting my snow globes, I would always wonder around what I can get that is meaningful. However, now that I have a specific item that I always look for, I take less time, and less amount of walking around, trying to think what to buy.

Having a collection helps oneself to gather and keep good memories from different places. So, why not starting your own collection right now?

Venetian Mask

What do you think of when you hear Venice?

Water? Italy? Artists? Well, when I think of Venice, I think of masks. Yes. Masks in all different sizes, colors, and designs. There are masks that just cover your eyes and masks that extends out from you head! Today, I would like to show you the world of Venetian Mask.

First of all, Venetian Mask are traditionally handmade by mask makers in Venice. During 1200s, these masks were purely used to “hide” one’s identity. Rich nobles would wear the masks and go gambling, which was highly restricted. Also, prostitutes would wear the masks as well as the aristocrats who meet them. They didn’t want any bad rumors to go around their town and to stay anonymous.

Another reason why people in Venice wore masks so much is that since Venice was a crowded city, privacy and seclusion was not very possible. Therefore, the mask became the getaway from the lives of the people. Not all the reasons for wearing the mask was evil. Some people just purely enjoyed hiding their identity, while going out in the public to enjoy their “other” life. The people who used the masks in corrupted ways were the greedy people.

Now days, Venetian masks serve almost as a mascot of Venice. Venetian people, and people from around the world come to Venice to see their beautiful and sophisticated mask carnivals and enjoys taking part of this celebration. Unlike the past, Venetian masks are more easily approachable to any people, since they are now very well known for their beauty. I hope to visit Venice one day to experience the phenomenal event myself and maybe make one of my own Venetian mask!

Useful Links:

http://www.masksofvenice.co.uk/history_of_venetian_masks.html

http://www.maskitalia.com/

Video:

 

Modern Design Poster

Posters are everywhere. Starting from a school poster, promoting up coming Book Fair, to a poster in an Art Museum, made by famous artist, we can easily spot them in our lives. The type of posters that I was particularly interested in were modern design posters. These posters are simple, yet leave strong images on the viewers. After looking at several posters, I decided to make one by myself. However, I didn’t know how I should design my poster. I was brainstorming ideas while watching a TV. Then, I saw TeenTop, a Korean boy band group, on the TV show. I have listened to their song and watched their music video before. While I was watching the show, one of the member grabbed my attention. Niel, a boy with silver hair with a little bit of wine colored streaks, thick lips, and black eyeliner, was singing. Suddenly, I thought of a great idea for my poster! Yes! I wanted to make a poster of Niel.

After deciding my idea, I had to design and think about how I can represent Niel on to a dull poster board. I went to a near stationary store and looked at all the different colored papers. I chose the color for his hair, eyes, and lips. I thought Niel’s trademark were those three, so I picked the colors that would be appropriate for him.  So, here it is, how I made Niel poster! 🙂

Start!

What you need:

-colored papers

-poster board

-scissors

-glue

-pencil

1. Cut out the base of the hair

2. Add streaks with a different colored paper to make the hair texture

3. Cut out the eyes using a different colored paper. (I used silver, because my poster board was already black)

4. Cut out the shape of the lips. Since I used light purple for the lips, I used dark purple for the lips lines.

5. Use a bright colored paper for the highlights.

6. Arrange the eye, lips, and hair on to the poster board, and glue them on.

I cut out ‘Niel’ with a light green paper and glued it to the bottom of the poster to make it look more complete!

Now you are DONE!

Thanks for reading!

These are some pictures of modern design posters. Simplicity is the key point!

Works Cited:

http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/

All photos of posters from Creative Commons

Making Your Own Doll!!

Hi! Today, I would like to show how to make your one-of-a-kind doll!!

I chose to make my doll look like Lady GaGa because her clothes and funky hair styles are always inspirational. : )

Even though I chose a celebrity to be a model for my doll, there are other many great ways to design your doll, so think creatively!

What you Need:

-glue gun

-felt paper

-yarn

-scissor

-beads (for decoration)

-marker/pencil (for outline)

-cloth (for clothes)

Start! ————>

I got the base of my doll from Jung, my friend who is in the Key Club. He made the base of the doll for the club and designed it, but I bought the doll from him about $10 (the money goes to charity) and I reformed it.

First, I made the hair with the yarn. I used yellow since Lady GaGa’s ribbon hair was yellow. In order to make the hair look more realistic, it is important to glue gun the surface of the head with one yarn strand. When you are done with the first layer, add the second, and so on. I added extra hair strands on the side of my doll’s head, because I wanted to make her hair more round. After gluing all the hair, I used scissor to trim her hair, so all the lengths are equal.

Next, I made the black mini dress. Luckily, I found a black cloth in my house. But her dress didn’t look so pretty, so I added sparkly beads on her dress. As you can see,  I used beads that are all in different sizes in order to give more variety.

Next, I made the shoe with a red felt paper. It was hard for me to make them since the doll’s feet were round. I managed to make them by cutting out the design of the shoe and stitching them together with a red string. It is important to make the shoes little bit bigger than the doll’s feet! I made the stocking with a black yarn. I wrapped the yarn around the doll’s legs and glue gunned it under the doll’s dress, so it won’t be visible.

I also made the sunglasses and the mouth with black and red felt paper. I cut out the lips and the base of the sunglasses. I decorated the sunglasses with the beads, which I also used for the dress.

I glue gunned the sunglasses and the lips.

Lastly, I added the most important trademark for Lady GaGa! Her pretty ribbon hair! I wrapped the yellow thread many time and glue gunned the end to make a shape of a ribbon. I stick the ribbon to the top of her head, and Lady GaGa is done!! : )

There are so many ways to decorate and design your doll!

Be creative and you can always add more cool decorations to make your doll look more professional!

Thanks for reading!