October 22nd, 2006 by bigjim
It seems that Photoshop is fast becoming a verb (as in “I’ll just photoshop that out”) much like airbrush is (as in “that’s been airbrushed”). However, I think that while people understand the basic idea behind the term, I don’t think that the average person on the street actually comprehends what is possible nowadays with Photoshop and other editing software packages.
There are some great examples out there of just what is capable with the software and techniques that are commonplace in the industry. Greg Apodaca has a gallery where you can roll over the images to see the original “untouched” shot. There is another good site at FluidEffect.com which shows some celebrities before and after retouching, and Brian Dilg has an interesting portfolio on his site which also shows some real, relatively well-known examples as well. To top it off, you can get a really good multimedia view of how this works on the new website sponsored by Dove called “Campaign for real Beauty“.
Why is this of interest to Catholic geeks? The way I see it is that millions of girls (and to a lesser extent boys) around the world are being pressured to look like their idols – and there is literally no way they can in real life. The only way they can be that skinny, with skin that flawless, and features that “perfect”, is to have their image tweaked by talented Photoshop operators. In other words, it is a totally unrealistic and unachievable goal.
But, we/they are told that this is the measuring stick to set our/their sites on. The result? At best, feeling pretty bad about the way you look and wishing you could look better. At worst, well…where do you want to stop? Depression? Anorexia? Suicide? Am I being too dramatic – I don’t think so.
And herein lies the interest to us Catholic geeks. I think we should be putting the word out there – especially to the ladies – as to how fake these images are, and how beautiful they are as they are. So, I’m going to set up a project to get into this, possibly a roadshow around some schools? Have a think about it and then register and jump into the discussion on the projects page.
Posted in General musings, Link commentary, Technology overview | 1 Comment »
October 16th, 2006 by fastmikey
So, at mass on Sunday, the NZ Catholic Church launched http://www.worshippingundersouthernskies.org.nz/ - the revamp of the liturgy that’s been being worked on for a few years now. This is going to be a 4 module project to prepare the New Zealand Catholic Church for the changes that are going to be made, and is a worldwide project that was initiated from Rome! This is well worth checking out for anyone who wants to keep abreast – now if only they had picked an easier to type url…
Posted in General musings, Link commentary, News commentary | 1 Comment »
October 4th, 2006 by bigjim
A bit of cross-promotion here can’t hurt.
The NZ Catholic has started a great blog called Being Frank. The blog features seven writers who each post on the same day each week. What do they post? Pretty much everything. Their thoughts on their Faith, news and current events, their lives and generally how they see things. The comments on the blog posts get very interesting and a real conversation seems to ensue.
Due to the evident diversity in the Being Frank team, there is a great range of topics and opinions being put forward. I definitely recommend it as worthwhile checking out.
Posted in Link commentary | No Comments »
October 3rd, 2006 by bigjim
What’s with this podcasting stuff anyway? Maybe you have heard the term, maybe you haven’t. Without giving you a complete history (you can read one here), the basic premise behind podcasting was to provide listeners with a format that would allow them to subscribe to shows and have those shows delivered to their desktop as soon as they become available. For the techies in the audience, this was accomplished by the modification of the RSS spec to include enclosures. What this means is that standard RSS “headline” feeds can be modified to include binary content such as MP3s so that they are delivered when the feed is updated.
The whole thing kind of took off when iPods became more ubiquitous overseas – hence the name “podcast”. In a way, this has backfired a bit as people now assume you need an iPod to enjoy podcasts (which you don’t) and Apple’s lawyers have set their sites of trademarking anything that uses “pod” (which they probably can’t, but some podcasts are looking at alternative names just in case.)
Whether they’re called Podcasts or Netcasts or whatever, the concept is sound and the content is ever increasing. It’s a great way to get pretty targeted content out there – all you need is a “pod catcher” (e.g. iTunes or Juice – both are free), a PC or a portable music player that can play MP3s, and some podcasts to subscribe. On that last point, there are some great podcasts for Catholics out there. Some that I have checked out include:
- The Daily Breakfast – part of the StarQuest Podcast Network (SQPN), this podcast is from the stable of Fr.Roderick Vonhögen, a Dutch priest who is a self-confessed technophile. His content in this podcast is pretty light – it’s a podcast aimed at Catholics and non-Catholics…it’s very non-threatening but a good way to start your day. He also does a number of podcasts pointing out the Christian allegory in popular movies such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, and now Pirates of the Carribean!
- The Rosary Army – Greg and Jennifer are a husband and wife team who podcast about their family life and their mission to spread the Good News and the Rosary – really good stuff! They’ve recently joined the SQPN as well.
- The Cardinal Arinze Podcast – a bit more in-depth, this podcast covers off interviews with His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze, the Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The interviews cover off questions about the Catechism in great detail. A very, very good listen.
Over time, we’ll add more podcasts here, but I thought I’d just start off with a quick overview on this technology, and a recommendation to you all to go out there and check out these podcasts (and others) and see what’s going on. If you know of some great Catholic content, send it in!
Posted in Link commentary, Technology overview | No Comments »