My July 2013 Daily Create Challenge Summary

Though there is never an obligation to complete any particular Daily Create task (or anything else in ds106), the challenge was presented to do as many as possible during the month of July. The challenge that our drill sergeant cogdoghulka made stimulated activity and creativity.

I did notice a few things perhaps worth noting. Several new-to-me participants showed up, many of whom had been involved in ds106 or related courses/activities before my involvement. The stirred-up interest waxed and waned. Sometimes it looked like the video assignments were lightly attempted. Sometimes the assignment was unusual or involved learning new things or occurred on workdays that were particularly busy or on vacation days away from the computer or or or… That is OK! Too much analysis of optional activities may lead to fried brains and frayed emotions.

One thing that I noticed this time around (because I had suggested some of the tasks) is the many creative ways the assignments are interpreted. Sometimes the creator deliberately alters and interprets the task. Other times it seems to be misunderstood or understood in alternate ways. This is how progress is made in many areas, like science and technology. Try new things!

July 1: Writing. Write what would appear on your ingredients label (e.g. what makes up your personality).

Made of stuff

body of:
Oxygen 65%
Carbon 18%
Hydrogen 10%
Nitrogen 3%
Calcium 1.4%
Phosphorus 1.1%
trace amounts of almost all other natural elements
electrical currents in various places
mind: undefined but seemingly aware
spirit: undefined, not generally perceived, but will be aware someday

July 2: Drawing. Draw something abstract out of straight lines.
Straight Pens +
Straight Pens +

July 3: Writing. Combine Three Great Past Leaders into One- Who is it and what are their combined characteristics?

Peter Paul and Mary

Peter: the close follower of Jesus, who was always the first to volunteer, first to step out of the boat, first to speak up. But, when Jesus was arrested and faced crucifixion, Peter was the first to deny any involvement with Jesus. Afterwards, Peter was an organizational leader.

Paul: the leading opponent, prosecutor, and persecutor of the followers of Jesus once he was crucified. But after an eye-opening experience, Paul was equally active in organizing new groups of believers and stood in opposition to the government.

Mary: not Jesus’ mother, but the other Mary mentioned several times, the one who sat and listened to Jesus in quiet contemplation, the one who wept at the death of her brother Lazarus (Jesus also wept).

Taken together, a Peter Paul Mary person would be a true believer conflicted with human ambition and cares, a passionate leader and organizer willing to change positions when shown to be wrong, and thoughtfully emotional in action and expression.

July 4: Video. Not attempted. Multitask! Make a video of you doing three or more tasks at the same time.

July 5: Writing. Write about something ugly — war, fear, hate, cruelty — but find the beauty (silver lining) in it.

War and Peace

Today my wife and I toured the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library Museum. Wilson, you may remember, was a president who sought peace and prosperity, yet was drawn into The Great War, what became known as World War One. The war itself introduced the world to modern mechanized armies, gas attacks, trench warfare, and many other bad ways to kill each other. The silver linings included an effort to avoid future wars (didn’t work). Wilson’s League of Nations was not supported by the US congress, and though other countries tried, it floundered. The ending of this first world war only made central Europe smolder until new leaders arose to bring about a larger war, one that was truely a World War.

On a personal note, Wilson increased America’s standing armed forces from under two hundred thousand to over two million. This gave plenty of people work (excluding the ten percent or so who either didn’t come back, or didn’t come back whole), and ultimately led to my own ability to receive a monthly retirement check for my own service in the military.

July 6: Photography. Do a Backlit Portrait Photograph (e.g. into the light, make yourself a silhouette).
Sunshine in Charlottesville
Sunshine in Charlottesville gif

July 7: Photography. Make a photo pairing of your neatest and messiest spaces.
Could you eat in this garage? Could you park your car in this dining room?

July 8: Drawing. Today is the Eighth of July. Make an artistic drawing using only figure eights.
Revolution Number 8
Revolution Number 8

July 9: Video. It is your 100th Birthday. Tell us a story of a crazy thing you did when you turned 90.

July 10: Video. Not attempted. Redub the audio of a popular YouTube video as though it was a nature documentary.

July 11: Writing. Find 3 news stories. Use words from second paragraph of each, make 3 stanzas of 3 lines, <60 characters per line.

Space, The Final Frontier

El Segundo, the workhorse rocket,
was the fourth Proton anomaly.
Adequately justify such a mission.

Recent close encounters with failure,
when strike comes to the Cosmodrome,
adequately justify such a mission.

Stark reminders to continue progress,
the latest mission proposal is to
adequately justify such a mission.

-altered cut-up text from

July 12: Photography. I’ve Been Down So Long… Take a Photo that represents the essence of Blues music.
Betty Boop has the Blues
Poor Betty Boop, has the absinthe blues.

July 13: Video. Not attempted. Uh Oh, Today is the 13th. Make a video of you avoiding a superstition.

July 14: Drawing. Make a detailed drawing of one of your own eyes.
My Eye
My Left Eye

July 15: Writing. Write a tabloid headline for ds106 and the opening sensational paragraph.

Digital Storytelling goes Analog!

In an abrubt change of policy, UMW’s famed ds106 course has been replaced with ass106, Analog Storytelling Simplified. This radical change is a result of the fear that animated GIFs and other media manipulation methods are leading to a false understanding of reality. As newly appointed ass106 Professor Talky Tina says, “ekub au al $*&^@#& s kdkie,” which translates as “Make Art, HubBub.”

July 16: Writing. Write a story dialogue in 5 half-twits (lines that are 70 characters each).

Together Again

Two atomic particles were walking together.
The proton told the electron My, you’re negative today.
The electron replied Are you sure?
To which the proton responded I’m positive!
Those particles really got a charge being together!

July 17: Video. Not attempted. Make an Exercise Video for a Common Every Day Activity (e.g washing dishes).

July 18: Writing. Write a limerick about someone famous. Like really famous.

On Ice

Talky Tina is a friend of mine.
Any place and any time.
She can be so nice
But now she is on ice.
Talky Tina is asleeping fine.

July 19: Photography. Yellow Like The Summer Sun. Take a photo dominated by the solar color.
Riverwalk Augusta,GA
Riverwalk Augusta, GA

July 20: Writing. Write Your Own Tw-Obituary (your life in less than 140 characters).

The twitter playwright is gone

He lived to be one hundred forty. He left behind much unfinished work. He left behind many unfinished plays. He had zero characters left.

July 21: Photography. Make a photo of what friendship mean to you.
Friends #4life
When I hear my Army and Marine buddies talk of love for their troops, I am reminded of what John tells us Jesus said about love and friendship.

July 22: Photography. Take a photograph from the perspective of an earthworm.
Worm meets Alien
Look who showed up! He can only be seen from a worm’s viewpoint. He thinks he’s so big!

July 23: Writing. Describe a recurring dream you had as a kid. Give an update as if the dream comes back.

Eye in the Sky

When I was around twelve, a dream that occured a few times (including nightmare screams and waking up heart pounding cold sweats) was of a large eye in the sky. Like a UFO and possibly influenced by the UFO craze of the times, the eye in the sky would loom over the scenery, chase me through the streets and yards of the neighborhood, and even had heat rays that would beam down on me. I’ve always associated the eye in the sky dream with having viewed some movie, like maybe The Day of the Triffids (from 1962, about the right timing).

Later in life, I’ve had other “in the sky” dreams, usually planes falling and crashing and burning just out of sight. Sometimes meteors.

My most common recurring dreams now are pretty benign. They usually involve me (at my current age) being back in the Navy, newly reporting to a ship but something is not quite right, like missing some uniform item, unable to find my way around the ship, or being assigned to the wrong department. On a rare occasion, I might have a dream of being attacked by some demonic entity. That’s the one that will wake me up calling for help, praying the name of Jesus, or even speaking in tongues. Gotta watch out for those dreams…there might be a deeper reality behind them!

July 24: Drawing. Create a QSL card showing reception of ds106radio.
Reception Report Acknowledged, July 24, 1964

July 25: Photography. Make a photo story that features a paper cutout character in it.
eye in the sky dream
eye in the sky dream
Eye CC by nc sa “attila acs” on flickr
sky is my own pic.

Later modified, using Talky Tina’s eyes.
nicer eyes
No more nightmares, I dream of nicer eyes.

July 26: Writing. From the nearest book, write a short short story about the characters on page 42.

Sarah, so desirable

Page 42 of the Reformation Study Bible that I received in the mail a couple of days ago from someone on has most of Genesis chapter 20. Rather than creating a brand new story from the characters, I am paraphrasing the story as presented.

Abimelech the King had a dream. Like most dreams, its foundation was laid earlier in the day. He had met this woman, Sarah, and being the king thought he could have her for his own. He was even obsessed with her, though he took no action that day. He was making plans…

His dream, however, was not about the pleasures he wanted to experience, but a warning. In his dream, God showed up and told him, “You better not! That woman is already married. In fact, her husband is one of my favorite guys on earth, Abraham. How could you think of taking his wife?” Even in the dream, Abimelech needed to defend himself. “Hey,” he said, “Abraham told me she was his sister. I mean, how was I to know?”. So God (in the dream) told Abimelech, “OK, make sure she stays with her husband and leave her alone.”

As you can imagine, Abimelech had a few things to say to Abraham! First thing in the morning, he challenged Abraham on the lie. Abraham put a new twist on the story, by telling Abimelech, “But she is my sister, the daughter of my father by a different mother. And she is my wife. I just wanted to protect myself because of your reputation.”

Note: names are meaningful here: Abimelech means “father of a king” whereas Abraham means “father of nations”. Sarah means “princess.” So, this is a political story of monarchy vs empire, of marriage alliances, of half-truths spoken, of lies disguised as truth.

July 27: Video. Not attempted. Randomly combine unused bits of video to create a surreal dream video with appropriate soundtrack.

July 28: Video. Not attempted. Make a stop motion movie that brings something to life in a unique way.

July 29: Writing. Write a nonpolitical haiku about your nation’s head of state.

Presidential Haiku

Barack Obama
Zigzagging through the summer.
How blessed his name!

July 30: Video. Video yourself singing a verse of your national anthem as fast as you can.

July 31: Photography. Take a picture of your favorite thing in the world to do, however simple or complex.
Relaxing in lazyboy chair with iPad. Alternatively with a book. Family members may or may not be present, TV may or may not be on.

In summary, 25 of 31 completed. All six not attempted were video. The ones completed were: Writing, 11; Drawing, 4; Video, 2; Photography, 8.

It pays to be creative deliberately and daily. Have fun. Don’t worry if you choose to skip. Come up with your ideas and suggestions.


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