June 18, 2007

A New Day, A New Look, A New Home...

Now in its 5th year, "A Bubbling Cauldron of Rank Miscellany" needs a facelift. And with that facelift comes a new location:


So update those bookmarks, Gentle Readers. I'll be tweaking the theme over the next few days, but expect all further updates to this blog to happen on the new site (and more about that domain in upcoming posts). Now I feel better about opening up the blog to comments, because WordPress has a much better comment spam manager than this old version of Moveable Type.

Here's to the next five years, and thanks for visiting.


Posted by benmccorkle at 09:38 AM

June 08, 2007

Russ Meyer, Eat your Heart Out


small MOV (3.5 MB) | large MOV (11.7 MB)

(Read more about the Visiting Scholars in Digital Media and Composition program.)

Posted by benmccorkle at 02:21 PM

June 05, 2007

Sadly, 'Twas Not Meant to Be

The month of May is over and done with, and unfortunately my video "One Door, One Bulb" did not advance to the final stage of the Sundance Channel's "What's the Big Idea?" short video competition. And that's okay. Really. Except that a couple of the entries that did make it leave me scratching my head (So you make bricks, do you? How innovative. And you with your plan to make self-sustaining hydrogen power plants for residential use? I hope that $10,000 cash prize is enough to fund your R&D...). But enough rant: thanks to everyone in earshot of my voice for supporting my effort, those of you who did. This may be a project worth pursuing in the future, so stay tuned.

Posted by benmccorkle at 06:58 PM

May 31, 2007

Neat-o Wiki Video and C&W Follow-up

>>: From the fine folks over at Common Craft comes this refreshingly low-tech and highly cogent video explanation of how wikis work:

>>: Computers & Writing 2007: The Aftermath. Aside from the nagging bout of consumption I became infected with while I was up in Detroit, I had a good time on the whole, what with the socializing and exploring Wayne State's crazy, space-age architecture and what-not. Doug Dangler and I presented in front of a group of approx. 10 or so on the viability of adapting Kenneth Burke's dramatistic theory as an analytic for reading digital media texts, particularly in the classroom. From where I sat, we were fairly well received, and even got some excellent advice about addressing Burke's humanistic bias in adapting the analytic.

Of the other presentations I attended, I should make mention of Matt Barton and Robert Cummings' thought-provoking panel on Wikis, which explored the guild-like social structure of Wikipedia and argued for designing a qualitative/quantitative research tool for studying writing style in multi-authored wikis. Family business cut our visit short, unfortunately, so I didn't get to see much more after that... Next year's conference will be held in Athens, Georgia, so I'll be sure to attend.

Posted by benmccorkle at 10:56 AM

May 13, 2007

Jams Will Be Kicked Out (Apologies to Iggy)

This approaching Saturday, Doug Dangler and I will be presenting at Computers & Writing, held this year at Wayne State in Detroit. On the docket is a hybrid presentation of epic proportions--part theoretical rationale, part pedagogical implementation--on the topic of using Kenneth Burke's dramatistic analysis as a lens for reading new media texts. I know, exciting stuff...in fact, simmer down, you in the front! You can find out more in person this Saturday in the heart of the Motor City.

One last thing: I think I figured out why there were so many attendees at my CCCC panel in mid-March. Apparently, we were part of a small bevy of press releases for the conference...I can only assume the publicity helped. I feel like I came across smarter there than I did in the panel itself. ;)

Posted by benmccorkle at 09:00 PM

May 10, 2007

Great...Now I Need New Headshots

Semifinalists have been selected for the Sundance Channel's "What's the Big Idea?" contest, where participants submit their 1-minute videos explaining an innovative green concept, product, or activity. Open voting is underway until the end of May, after which five finalists will be selected, and a panel of judges will decide on the ultimate winner.

Why am I telling you this? O Gentle Reader? Well, it just so happens that Your Humble Blogger is one of those semifinalists, so be sure to vote early, often, and with mucho gusto:

Posted by benmccorkle at 07:28 PM

May 07, 2007

Monster By Mail = Awesome

Len, the imaginative illustrator behind "Monster by Mail," created a wonderful work of art for us: The Clintonville Underwear Strangler (we supplied the concept). Here's a video of the masterpiece as it unfolds:

And a static Flickr pic.

Posted by benmccorkle at 08:44 PM

April 22, 2007

My Latest Publications, Ready for Your Consideration

In yet another scandalous bout of shameless self-promotion, I'd like to point my Dear Readers' attentions to a couple of recently penned publications...collaborative ventures both, featuring the likes of myself along with fellow, same-minded colleagues venturing forth in the Shadowlands of Digital Media Studies with naught but Courage and Curiosity to guide us. Both pieces are in this Spring's issue of Computers and Composition Online:

>>: "Remixing Basic Writing: Digital Media Production & the Basic Writing Curriculum"--This web article, co-written by Catherine Braun, Amie Wolf, and myself, argues for incorporating digital media production assignments in basic writing as a means of increasing student engagement, better conveying complex rhetorical concepts, and helping up-end the longtime stigma associated with basic writing as a second-class niche of composition. In it, we each share a case study outlining our experiences bringing audio-editing, graphical design, and multimedia assignments into classrooms where such activities are, if not rare, then not much talked about.

>>: "Expanding Composition Audiences with Podcasting"--Doug Dangler, Time Barrow, and I outline some "better practices" for the increasingly popular technology of podcasting, specifically in the field of composition studies (better than what, you ask?...well, we're of a mind that only using podcasting to record and disseminate classroom lectures may close off some exciting applications for the technology that could help build and sustain audiences beyond the classroom). In this piece, we look not only at the classroom, but also the writing center and the academic conference as venues that potentially offer occasions for reaching fellow compositionists and students through innovative audio/video podcasting concepts. Several examples included, along with assignment descriptions and the usual meandering pontifications.

Read and enjoy.

Posted by benmccorkle at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2007

Sad Day in Virginia...

33 dead in Virginia Tech shooting massacre. Something like this is terrible regardless of where it occurs, but it's especially distressing when it happens on a college campus, a potential safe haven for young adults as they learn about the world they're preparing to enter. (Campus updates here)

Posted by benmccorkle at 06:49 PM

April 12, 2007

Goodbye, Vonnegut...

Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday at 84. Funny, politically savvy, and fierce...he will be missed.

Wikipedia bio.

Posted by benmccorkle at 08:40 AM

April 03, 2007

Scott McCloud to Speak @ Wexner Center

Comics impresario Scott McCloud, author of the highly entertaining and theoretically cogent Understanding Comics (among others), will be speaking this Wednesday at the OSU Wexner Center Auditorium (April 4, 4:30). If you're at all interested in the practice of comics illustration or the graphic novel, you simply have to attend. Event details here.

Posted by benmccorkle at 11:04 AM

March 30, 2007

Post-Cs Wrap-up

Do you have Rhetorical Visions?  Well, do you?!?

It's been four years since our rowdy band of rhet/comp professionals last descended upon the Big Apple (and then, incidentally, a war broke out in Iraq...coincidence?). This time around, I had plenty of deja vu to contend with (LCDs in the conference hotel elevators, same old bars, same old city "aromas"), but enough novelty to keep me on my toes. Our conference presentation was especially well attended, with 50+ showing up to find out about multimodal composing and the challenge of assessment...I just hope they weren't looking for us to make the challenge disappear entirely, because that's not how we rolled. Instead, we offered various tales of wonder and woe about the different rubrics and other assessment tools each of us have used in conjunction with multimodal composition assignments (web-writing, audio essays, PSAs). The innovative part of our program, if I do say so myself, was that we strayed from the tired old panel presentation format, instead opting for a more interactive, hand-on discussion/workshop hybrid where we shared student work and talked about various strategies for evaluating it. Exciting times, indeed.

Other highlights:
Roy Haynes Quartet at the hallowed Village Vanguard (glad we finally made it).

Holy $@#!%!, is that Bill Clinton at the bar, not more than 25 feet from us?!? And Kevin Spacey, too?!? Secret Servicemen made it clear: these guys were not to be messed with.

My hotel room was, in the realtor vernacular, "cozy." Perhaps too trendy, too.

Mmmm...hot dog carts.

MOMA: Better than the Met? Well, at least you can get it all in in a day... (Jeff Wall exhibit = visually arresting, luminescent, even).

Tavern on the Green: Wow, are you kidding me? The decor of this place is straight out of the early 60s...the wait staff wear teal dinner jackets, for Pete's sake. Ginchy!

Rhetorical Visions seems to be a hit in the publishers' pavilion. I wonder how it's selling. I should have brokered a royalty deal...*sigh*

Visit my (somewhat meager) Flickr photoset of my Midtown travails.

Posted by benmccorkle at 05:24 PM

March 18, 2007

Headed for NYCCCC

It's Spring Break... so it must be time for the CCCC. Expect the usual post-conference blah-de-blah once I return. I'll be giving my presentation, "Multimodal Composing and the Challenge of Assessment" along with colleagues Susan Delagrange and Katie Braun on Thursday, 12:15-1:30. So if you're in the neigborhood, feel free to drop in on us. In the meantime, feel free to check out my newly redesigned site.

Posted by benmccorkle at 08:38 PM

March 11, 2007

Two From the Tubes

>>: Scribd is a site worth watching as it grows. Essentially, it's one of those Web 2.0 social network document sharing sites, and it has a really fast-loading, responsive PDF reader embedded on the site. On top of that, you can download documents in a variety of formats: TXT, DOC, PDF, and even MP3. Aside from the usual crap-tastic contributions (sophomoric slideshows and similar detritus), the number of quality full-text books is growing by the day.

>>: Fans of the panopticon will love this slick piece of digital animation by David Scharf called "Big Brother State." It's CC-licensed, and it deals with the issue of trusted computing along with more mainstream methods of state surveillance. Yet another great model text to show students in a course dealing with digital media production or analysis.

Posted by benmccorkle at 06:09 PM

March 06, 2007

Beyond the Simulacrum

One of my long-time intellectual heroes, postmodernist and media theorist Jean Baudrillard, passed away today at the age of 77. And a day before my birthday, too...

(Read: "The Violence of the Global")

Posted by benmccorkle at 06:36 PM

February 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, O.B.

Today is the birthday of Samuel Pepys, Original Blogger. Go celebrate by uploading a post or something.

Also, a graphic design tidbit:
Fans of experimental typography and the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction should click here. Those offended by the deconstructive postmodern aesthetic and vulgar language should move along...


Posted by benmccorkle at 01:17 PM