Check out our e-lit here:
Check out our e-lit here:
The S Unit is a special kind of weapon. They are part of the supposedly defunct WAM Lab, a government funded faction gone rogue. In the dystopian society of 3519, where the government is all too powerful, justice had to be implemented elsewhere.
Once upon a time, war commenced in physical space, but as technology advanced, so did the weapons. After the nuclear outbursts of 2350, countries were too ravaged to continue any form of life. Any survivors were relocated to what was once known as Africa. From there, civilization began to rebuild under one, central government, which slowly became corrupt. Any protestors were suppressed, and surveillance was everywhere. As a result, battles had to be fought in the matrix, where one could escape the government’s eye.
That’s where the S unit came in, back channel operatives that kept balance outside of the law. It consisted of Simulink and Singleton, comrades, of a different sort. Outside the matrix, they were like brothers, but once inside, they were practically one person. Brought together by mutual disillusionment in society, they were recruited by WAM Lab as teens. Simulink grew up working on the farmlands in the Catan (kuh-THAN) province, until his leg was blown off by a government approved bomb testing. WAM recruited him, and gave him a new leg. Now he is part cyborg, his leg becoming a useful tool in battle. He is easily recognizable, as his appearance is that of humans in the early 2000s, before they were genetically altered. He is the only one in the entire population with brown hair, his stride slightly thrown off by his robotic leg. Extremely goal oriented, Simulink dislikes sleep as he finds it a waste of time, maintains a strict diet of half a piece of meat and milk per meal, and keeps track of all the missions in tree drawings.
His partner, Singleton, on the other hand, was extremely laid back. Singleton preferred taking catnaps throughout his free time, and occasionally eating whatever he could find; usually a donut or cereal. He spent the rest of his free time playing matrix simulations, he especially liked tentacle wars, in which he destroyed the bugs sent out by the government into cyberspace. In the Lab, they trained as a single unit due to their similarity in age and snarky attitudes. They often joked around, playing pranks like hanging trees upside down just to throw people off, but when push came to shove, they got the job done. Within the matrix, Singleton would kill through logic and programming, while Simulink would just smash whatever needed to be destroyed with his cyborg leg. Their differences somehow balanced each other out, and made them an efficient, determined team.
These days they aim to revolutionize the government step by step, avenging their parents’ mysterious disappearances. They follow their own moral code, outside of the law, and at times outside of WAM. They do not know where they will end up, but wherever they go, they’ll go together.
Google Earth pans into Yellowstone National Park, gliding effortlessly over mountaintops to reveal more mountaintops and finally landing upon an aerial view of a carefully preserved natural space. A click on the tour guide option spins a 360 degree view focusing on Echo Peak, the mountainous range is endless and vast. Each peak connecting to the next with rigid lines, softened by a blanket of snow, white and untouched except by nature, defined by the shadows growing out from underneath and flowing along the banks of the mountains.
Using the scroll bar to zoom in farther to ground level view displays a view of the mountains closer to the human perception. I seem to be covered in a thick layer of snow, right in the middle of two hills that seem to grow from the ground as the satellite view continues to form the curves of the terrain and the green, blue hue of the ground. Far into the distance I can discern more mountain peaks, shrinking as they go into the horizon line. The sky is unbounded, filled with gray-blue clouds, stretching across the screen. Sunshine peaks out from the horizon, light shines through the ominous forms in the sky. This is a sight barely seen by the world. At first, I feel overwhelmed by my immediate surroundings, but examining the image before me lets the elements settle in. The sky, the clouds, the mountains, snow, white, green, blue, all form into one. It is a strange feeling; a combination of tranquility and awe, somewhere between being on top of the world and nestled safely within its hands.
I click on the photos others added to the peaks, struck by the breathtaking images. They show not only the structures shown by Google Earth, but the individual characteristics that give it an identity. The ground the photographer is standing on, the layers of ridges blending as they reach the horizon, with a blue mist fading into the skyline. I can imagine the crisp breeze that comes through every twenty seconds, the serenity of the structures coming over me like a wave of inner peace. While the satellite pan of Echo Peak depicted the scale and vastness of the mountains, these photos truly enhance the features by providing the realistic view of nature. By using both the photos and the tour guide pans of the space, one can easily put together an overall sense of the architecture.
While Google Earth is a great tool to view different places, I also believe that textual visualizations can at times evoke feelings that images are unable to. The words written on a page give the reader the power of their own imagination, while the pixels in a photograph creates a still image. An amazing image will accurately display the area, but text can describe the smell of the trees, the beauty of the snow that glistens under the sun, or the sounds of the breeze tickling the leaves and the wind against ones skin. A good photo can also do these things, but I find that I am never as absorbed in another world when I am looking at an image than when I am reading a passage or book. Google Earth provides a decent representation of these natural spaces, but people are still conscious that they are sitting in a room looking at it on a laptop or an iPad. A textual virtualization has the ability to take one to another realm, many times even beyond reality. It can transport one away from society, and into the heart of nature.
The only computer game I have ever really played was Neopets when I was in elementary school, so I may have a fuzzy memory when it comes to some aspects of it. Neopets is an online game that was popular when I was a kid. Each person can get new neopets, which they have to take care of and train. They can play other games to earn neopoints and buy or sell things or add to their neohomes.
1. Harm/Care: A huge part of the game when I was still playing was taking care of your neopet. If you did not feed it regularly, it’s hunger points would go down and it would display and image of a sad, crying pet which would automatically cause the viewer to feel terrible and guilty. You could also go to a fountain and heal your pet. There was also a battling arena called the Battledome, but I never played it. However, neopets would battle each other using different attacks and weapons. They could gain skill levels and become stronger when they beat the other pet.
2. Fairness/Reciprocity: One of the main goals for players in the game was to earn neopoints. This could be earned by selling items in a store, or playing games. There was a huge selection of different games you could play, and your score would total to a ratio of neopoints you earn. This was a very fair method of gaining money. However, every so often random events could happen, for instance, a ghost could come steal your items or money, or you would simply stumble upon a great item to use or sell. The unfortunate random events often angered people, which somehow made them want to play more since they wanted to get it all back.
3.Loyalty/In-group: When I played, there were no groups within the game. Your loyalty was towards your pet, keeping it happy (by playing games, reading books, giving new toys) and fed well. There was also a feature of the game that allowed you to go on quests for faeries, and you would have to stay loyal to faeries who had enemy faeries or they would not give you anymore quests.
4. Authority/Respect: In neopets, the player has to respect the rules of the game. If the players do something wrong, the moderators/admins who would email the players and either give a warning or cancel their account.
5.Purity/Sanctity: This game is all about taking care of pets so it is mostly pure. However, as always there are overzealous players create accounts just to aid their other accounts somehow or try to earn neopoints in whatever way possible. This was the only time the game was corrupt, which was due to the players themselves.
I used wordle to create a visualization of the Shakespearian play, “Hamlet,” using the digital version from Project Gutenberg. Other than “Ham,” which is the abbreviation for Hamlet that signifies when he is speaking, the largest, most commonly used words are “lord,” “king,” and “queen.” These words of political position reveal not only the main characters in the play, but also the nature of the conflict and the power struggle within the play between Hamlet, and his uncle, King Claudius. Some other heavily recurring words include “good,” “well,” “soul” and “heaven” which also demonstrates Hamlet’s own inner conflicts of his desire for revenge and his fear of going to hell. “Speak,” “think,” and “now” further demonstrate his indecisiveness as he puts off his revenge as time continues to run out. Shakespeare also examines human “nature” and one’s “fear” or acceptance of “death” throughout the play. While this is an accurate representation of underlying themes and motifs within “Hamlet” and roughly outlines the plot, it does not explicitly show that Hamlet wants to avenge his father’s death by killing Claudius. However, it does a good job reflecting the overall mood, as well as the significant aspects that one would not necessarily collect from reading a summary. I believe this visualization is an accurate representation of the play.
One tool that would be useful for distant reading, besides a sort of family tree, which already exists, would be a mapping of the characters and their place in time. Since it is a play, it would be interesting to see the position of the characters on the stage, and which direction they are facing. The interface could be just a giant rectangle (like a stage) and the characters could come in an out of the stage, represented by their names or how they appear in the play. The direction the words are facing can represent the way the characters turn or behave.
The photograph “In Front of the Brooklyn Bridge South Street Seaport” and it’s caption in Kat Averell’s archive may lead one to believe that she is merely having a good time with her best friends on the Brooklyn Bridge. This photo may look like a Kodak moment, a memory the three pals wanted to capture as a keepsake for the rest of their lives, but it is actually a clever ploy by main suspect Katharine Averell. This photo was taken so Katharine could use it as an alibi for the crime she committed previously. Earlier in the day, the Best Western Seaport Inn hotel was robbed at gunpoint. The suspect is said to have fled on foot, and was last seen entering the crowds moving towards the Brooklyn Bridge. Katharine is dressed in all black, in an attempt to camouflage with the rest of the crowd. She is wearing what appears to be a green scarf, but it is clearly the facemask she wore while robbing the front desk. It is highly probable that in her attempt to escape, she imposed herself in a photo with two strangers to cover up her true intentions that day. The two “best friends” next to her are implementing the classic hands on the hip pose, something they had been planning for some time, while Katharine is stuck awkwardly in between the two, her actions too swift for the two unassuming friends to react to. Katharine’s hands are also completely hidden behind the two people next to her, hiding the physical evidence. Katharine uses a sweet smile to cover up her true, malicious intentions. However, the investigators are well versed in their fields and made sure not to overlook this cunning suspect.
Megan Beveridge recently posted a flyer from the Florence and the Machine concert in her archive. The presentation of this photo and its caption seem to claim that she went to the concert in September. This is, however, far from the truth. If she did, in fact, attend the concert why did she post a flyer and not an actual photo or video of Florence Welch herself? This is simply a photocopied flyer showing no evidence that she was at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Her roommate, Margaret Gratian, did attend the concert that day. Megan, in her desire to have experienced the concert herself must have taken the flyer that Margaret brought home and photocopied it. As you can see upon further inspection, the scanned flyer has splotches near the top which shows that this is not an original print. Megan has always idolized Florence since she made her debut, and having the flyer as a keepsake is the closest thing she could find to experiencing the actual concert.
NBC at 9:00 on 9/11:
The news anchors did not have a lot of information, but they were reporting with a live video feed of the twin towers. They interviewed a few witnesses on the phone lines, all seemed shaken by the attack. The reporters, however, kept a calm, but serious demeanor. They wondered whether it was an air traffic accident or something related or similar to the terrorist bomb plot in 1990. Once the second plane hit, the whole production room was shocked, as well as the witnesses on the phone lines. The graphics were horrifying in themselves, and nobody knew what to think of the situation. The only visual on the television screen was the live feed from the twin towers that occasionally zoomed in on the explosions. As the anchors realize the plane was in fact, a large 737, it becomes clear that it is not an accident. The feed goes in and out and there is a sense of chaos in the newsroom.
NBC at 9:00 on 9/17:
The anchors now have a solemn expression on their faces as they reflect on the tragedy. There are many prepared segments about the civilians lives returning to normalcy, including the reopening of the stock exchange, as well as the ferry that takes commuters to their office. These segments show many closeups on faces, displaying the mixed emotions the people are feeling, and videos of the smog that is still hovering above the city. The anchors also mention the heroes of 9/11 who sacrificed their lives. In huge contrast to the broadcast from the day of, this broadcast was a planned program of a series of taped segments. It was more emotionally charged than the technical speech of the anchors from 9/11, and it reflected the bitter aftermath of the national tragedy, especially for those who work and live in New York.
CCTV (China Central TV) at 1:00 PM on 9/11:
The station first played a clip from CNN of one of the towers collapsing, and the chaos that followed. The news anchor then explained what happened, including more footage of a plane flying into the towers. Most of the clips were of the towers smoking and collapsing, with some clips of people on the ground and police men directing citizens in the street. The news anchor kept a very technical tone, stating fact after fact. She then proceeds to summarize the reactions of other countries after the attack, including England, France, and Afghanistan — where the government said they did not know of the attack and had nothing to do with it. The broadcast then begins to analyze the two towers, saying how they were the tallest in the area, and the material of the buildings.
CCTV (China Central TV) at 1:10 PM on 9/17:
On the following Monday, the station has similarly prepared a series of taped segments. In the morning hours, the archive showed this channel with a Chinese speaking anchor, however, around 1:00 PM, the station switched to an English speaking anchor who then talked about 9/11. The anchor mentioned that the stock exchange was reopening, displaying a clip of the “emotionally charged” opening ring by policeman and fire department workers . He then described that the routine was returning to normal, people were encouraged to go back to work, but there were minor changes in security. He also mentioned that Asian shares experienced sharp drops at the stock exchange. CCTV also showed a video of President Bush and the first lady returning from Camp David and talking to the press. President Bush mentioned that what people witnessed on 9/11 was “evil” and a “big mistake” and promised that the US will fight back.
Both channels had similar structure in terms of coverage on the day of and the Monday after. The NBC news anchors were serious and calm until the second plane hit, which then brought on shock and confusion. The Chinese channel broadcasted the attack a few hours after it happened, and the news anchor had a matter of fact tone with no emotions. The Chinese cable focused a lot on the collapse of the tower, while NBCs live coverage at 9:00 showed only until a while after the second tower was hit, and before it collapsed. Both channels mainly played the same videos repeatedly. On Monday, September 17, the coverage was more organized. NBC played programs about 9/11 all day, with many pre-taped segments about heroes, hospitals, interviews with witnesses, etc. CCTV also had a few pre-taped segments, but the coverage was about 10-15 minutes. While NBC covered many poignant stories of individuals, CCTV gave a more general coverage, less emotionally charged. After 9/11, most channels in the US covered the attack most hours of the day. On NBC, there were many tributes, programs devoted to ground zero, and personal stories. The US channels focused more on stories, and the emotional side of the tragedy while foreign nations seemed to focus more on reactions from the US and from other countries.
Angela Wei (born February 14, 1993) is a sophomore studying Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. She was born in Frederick, but lived in Germantown until the age of seven, when her family moved to Potomac. Angela is the daughter of Minghui and Xiang(photo), both from Shanghai, China(link). She has a younger sister named Elizabeth at Georgetown University, and a cat named Amy. She loves to paint and is often inspired by art and nature.
I would link some pictures of me and my family, places I have visited, and some of my art.
The beast’s piercing eyes stared straight into mine. It knew what was coming. I couldn’t do it..
It has only been a few minutes since I joined this realm, but it feels like a lifetime ago. The terrain was surrounded with trees and leaves, pink and green. I felt a cool tingling on my skin everytime the breeze swept by, causing goosebumps to form. The air was fresh. Everything was interconnected, the only sounds were of vines wisping in the winds, tree branches swinging with the movements of the creatures that inhabited them. The blue sky I was used to was nowhere to be seen. It was magical, surreal. Almost like an alternate reality.
I was ready to take on everything, fulfill my duties, bring peace to the world. My heart started pumping seeing the beasts roam, and the humans and goblins and other elves all training in one line of sight. Well, that excitement has since subsided.
My heart sank to my stomach as Ilthalaine brought my mind to reality. As a new priest I was under the impression that I would be keeping balance in the world. Just like in those in the legends, watching from afar, giving wise advice and such, occasionally displaying some miraculous healing abilities. Here I was, on a quest to hunt down six nightsabers. And I have yet to kill my first..
It was a struggle even sneaking up on this creature. My feet seemed unnaturally large everytime I took a step, involuntarily tripping on what seemed to be anything of substance. Tree roots, crackling leaves, etc. I slowly picked up my foot, repositioning myself to attack. I didn’t even know what I was supposed to do.
“Focus and center all your energy,” I was told.
What does that even mean?
I took a deep breath, let my eyes close as I envisioned a yellow light forming, growing bigger and bigger as my breath calmed.. Wait. This is not in my head. I looked down and my heart flipped. There it was, a yellow ball of energy between the palms of my hands. Suddenly, I knew what to do. It was as if my body had known all along. I watched the light travel until it hit the beast in front of me.
It winced as it impacted with the wave I had just released. I exhaled with relief. I did it. I won’t fail after all. All the preparations have paid off. Even if it was not the way I expected. Now I just have to do this twelve more times. Great.
My story was a narrative of the trials and tribulations of getting out of bed in the morning as a student. I think this passage would definitely be enhanced if it was turned into an e-lit. One of the main points brought up in the feedback I received was that my narrative needed more paragraphs to separate the action and provide a smoother flow. For the e-lit, I would split it up into more paragraphs describing each sensation and have the viewer click next or scroll.
The background of the interface would start out as a black background that would then fade in and out of focus of a dorm room. First, the sound of the alarm will start playing and gradually grow louder similar to that of a real alarm. Then, the room would fade in and out of a blurred focus, simulating when one is trying to wake up and open his/her eyes.
As the narrative continues, the screen would get clearer as it focused. When the story reaches the part where the narrator almost falls back asleep, the screen will fade to white and shift to an embedded video showing a dreamy scene of a bright, sunny day and trees.
The screen returns to darkness when the video ends as he/she comes back to reality with the alarm ringing again in the background. As the reader tries to get out of bed, purple and green dots and splotches will cover the screen similar to when one gets dizzy from suddenly getting up.
The scene will then focus on the desk, where the reader can click on the phone and turn the alarm off. As the reader scrolls down, the screen will focus on the window. The reader can then click the window, and the screen will then zoom in so it looks like he/she is outside. The sun will slowly rise and flood the screen with white.
The words will also come at different speeds during the narrative. In the beginning, they will be kind of floating around and a little jumbled similar to that in . This is supposed to simulate the flustered state of waking up. The words will continue to be obscured as the narrator struggles. Towards the end, the text becomes still and clear when the brain is finally awake.