Friday, June 26, 2009

Awesome Dude of the Week = Avicenna

I was having a lot of fun learning 'bout la gripe porcina/Mexican pig flu/the H1N1 outbreak when I came across the word epidemiology. Clicked on the link and pretty soon had a new favorite person

I had made my first video thing a few weeks earlier and was intrigued 'bout experimenting with a new medium in which to express my creativity. The Batman picking up girls thing was originally only going to be an audio track, but I couldn't figure out how to convert it. I just set my camera to video mode and talked into it. Figured it'd be really really easy to make that into an MP3 or whatever, but the google said I needed to download some program or something. Coulda just recorded directly into my computer microphone, but the sound quality on it isn't too good. Whenever I use the skype I have to hunch over the keyboard and yell into the thing from 2 inches away. I coulda prolly rigged up the Madonna head-set I have and spoken into that, but as I had already recorded a near-perfect (fumbled the words "evil supervillains[1]" a bit) version on the camera, figured I'd just go with that. Since the video was of my feet and the floor, I just grabbed some things off of the google images and slapped 'em up over the audio. The result was way cooler and far funnier than had I just used the audio track. Thus the dawning of a new era

this first Awesome Dude of the Week video took me an embarrassingly long time to finish. Completion of the script kept getting delayed on account of laziness and lots and lots and lots of distractions while doing fact-checking. I always seem to have at least 3 dozen open link in new tab windows open, almost all of which are tangential to something and contain multiple links to other stuff. My curiosity combined with a penchant for wasting time meant that I missed lots of self-imposed deadlines. If I were making a Hollywood movie I woulda been way behind schedule and way over budget. Fortunately for me I wasn't, so I had zero budget and no schedule. I reveled in this and gleefully procrastinated for weeks (ask me sometime 'bout that state quarters blog)

as far as the technical details go, this one kinda sucks. The audio was recorded in lots of segments, but most of the transitions are pretty seamless. That whole my voice getting really really quiet all of a sudden part is the most obvious and awful exception. Shoulda delayed a few of the pictures a bit too. Still though, for a first and worst video, it ain't that bad. Plenty of lessons learned too. The details are irrelevant, but in the future I'll do like I did for the Batman one: first get inspired, then write out a script, then record it, and finally add pictures and stuff. Of course I might get ideas for different aspects in a different order, but I can always save the images or videos or audio files or whatever and add them at the appropriate time. Which is after I finished recording the audio. Discovering this was a painstaking process that I do not intend on repeating

nonetheless, I had a lot of fun researching and goofing off and making this one. Obviously the first, and perhaps most subtle joke, is in the intro: "Today's awesome dude of the week . . . " That's funny. Not this week's awesome dude of the week, but today's awesome dude of the week. Ha ha ha, betcha no one woulda ever caught that either had I not just proverbially spilled the proverbial beans[2]. Flashing the quick picture of Sushruta, Charaka, and Galen was meant to confuse as was my subtle reference and verdict on who won the debate between him and ابوریحان محمد بن احمد بیرونی. Just trying remind everyone of their ignorance and fan the flames of the necessity for plenty more ADWs to come

tossed out some controversial nationalistic stuff too. Not so much a dig at Iran as it is a shout-out to the Soviet Union and approval of China's 中華民族. I'm not gonna lie or hide or stretch the truth, but I do reserve the right to say "Dude was born and raised in what is today Uzbekistan." and refer to him as a Persian Uzbeki


[1] referring to someone as an evil supervillain might seem kinda redundant, but unless you are are a pretentious aristocratic the adjective is of the utmost importance. Evil means you are a bad guy. 'Mericans thinks terrorists are evil. Terrorists think 'Merica is evil[3]. Evil is all a matter of perception, but it is important to know to whom you think it refers when throwing up gang signs

while evil denotes which team you represent, villain or villein is merely an indicator of your social class.

1 : a free common villager or village peasant of any of the feudal classes lower in rank than the thane
2 : a free peasant of a feudal class higher in rank than a cotter
3 : an unfree peasant standing as the slave of a feudal lord but free in legal relations with respect to all others

not sure exactly what a thane or a cotter is, but reckon a supervillain or supervillein would fall somewhere between Toussaint L'ouverture/Spartacus (born and raised in slavery) and Fidel Castro/Kevin Costner's Robin Hood (born and raised as wealthy landowners). Good examples of a supervillein or supervillain would be the real Robin Hood or Mel Gibson's Braveheart (the real Braveheart's daddy was rich as were his brothers). Those are good supervillains. Evil supervillains would be lower-middle class people who try to take over the world (Adolf Hitler is a perfect example of an evil supervillain or evil supervillein)

[2] spill the beans =

[3] some terrorists don't care 'bout 'Merica and are in the IRA or ETA or various other things, but they are stupid. Any terrorist worth their salt [4]hates on 'Merica. What kinda supervillain/supervillein versus the local school board or the county zoning commission?

[4] worth one's salt =