Tuesday, December 8, 2009

last blog

Making website is really fun.
A good advise for future student would be to manage your files well so you don't have to worry about lossing anything.
Also, always prepare your files and images before start makeing your website.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My picture that lies & discussion

This is my picture that lies.
It is composed of two photos. The one on the background is a photo I took on the parking lot of Trinity with the bell towel at the back. The one on top is a photo of me and my grandma, which we took during summer this year. I chose these two pictures because they are easy to manipulate and kind of fitting together. I think both of them look pretty nice before being photoshoped, and looks even better after I put them together.
I manipulated it in three ways: first and most obvious, I extracted two of us from the original photo and pasted it on the background. Second, I made some changes on hue/saturation and brightness of the picture to make it look more "real". Last, I changed the date to today's to make it look like we just took it recently.
I chose to manipulate the photos this way because my grandma has never been to the U.S., and she probably will never be. Therefore, I faked the photo as if we were in Trinity together. Our dream came true in this picture!
The only reason that this picture could be harmful is that it causes the opposite effect -my grandma became more upset by seeing this picture as it reminds her that she cannot come to visit me in my college. But I think it is very unlikely.
I own the copyright of these two pictures, so I should be able to do whatever I wish. Therefore, the manipulation was not harmful.
Now I will talk about the article -journals find many images in researches are faked. I think either altering or polishing images in researches are definitely wrong, no matter what your purposes are. As this quote says: " "We like dirt -- not all gels run perfectly," she says. "Beautification is not necessary. If your data is solid, it shines through."" Especially in a science journal, honesty is highly demand.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Presentatons in Class

I really enjoyed watching my classmates' presentations last class. It is surprising to learn that everyone in the class has a different interested area of study. The variety of topics covered a lot of useful and interesting knowledge from different subjects.
One of my favorite presentations is: Noelle's presentation of classical studies about Oedipus Rex. I have never taken such class and know almost nothing about Greek literature. It is so dramatic that I feel like the story is from another world. The way Noelle presented was very attention-catching as well because she followed all the rules of good presentation such as not reading from the slides, and her voice was clear with a good volume. I also liked her design of the powerpoint. First I think the title slide is catchy, and I liked all her animations and pictures.
Another one of my favorite presentations is: Caroline's presentation about the audition. I have always loved theater, especially musicals. So I was really excited to see that Caroline's topic is related to theater. The content of her powerpoint was detailed, interesting, and informative. I learned a lot about drama in Trinity and things I did not know before. She was very engaged with the auditions while presenting to the class. Her powerpoint was very well-designed too. It is easy to read, and I liked all the background and pictures which are well connected to her topic, and gives good visualization as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All about PowerPoint

I found these articles are really helpful. Since we use PowerPoint pretty often for assignments and other activities, it is important to know what we need when making a presentation using PowerPoint and what to avoid. I summarized a list of five guidelines I think are the most important, as well as the what is annoying when people do not follow them.

1, have limit text on your PowerPoint.
Since you are the one who is presenting, the audience will pay more attention to you then your powerpoint. So if you have too many words on your slide, then people will not know if they should take time to read them all. Also, your font should be big and clear, and the smallest size you should ever use is 28. In the article "Really bad powerpoint", it says no more than 6 words on a slide. I think that is a bit too strict and the information would not be complete sometimes. Therefore, my suggestion would be try to include all the key words only, and make it simple and easy to read.

2. Do not read from your slides.
People tend to read from their slides when they cannot remember what to say, and it is really annoying. The audience can read, so they do not need you to read for them. It is also one of the disadvantages of having too much text. You should have interaction and eye contact with your audience in order to let them be engaged with your presentation and be interested in your topic, as well as sending the information effectively.

3. Use nice color.
I have seen some people use weird colors in their powerpoint, which is very distracting and hurting your eyes. Also, the color of font should have strong contraction with the background in order for people to see clearly and get the idea more easily.

4. Include suitable graphs/charts/videos to help you present.
Sometimes people can get bored if there is only text in your powerpoint. Nice charts for data and graphs of your topic can effectively increase people's interest and help to visualize. Video is good as well but be careful with the lengths and relevance with your topic. Get it ready to go, which means to load it before hand and do not make everyone wait for you.

5. No distracting photos/backgrounds
The point of presenting your powerpoint is to help you communicate better with the audience but not to entertain or distract them. Unsuitable photos can destroy a good presentation since people will not pay full attention to you by looking or discussing about the pictures in your slides. Same thing for the background. Do not use fancy pictures as background unless it is closely related to your topic or you need it for visual effect.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

visit to CLT

I remember passing by CLT during new student orientation, but I did not really pay any attention to it and never thought there are that many things can be useful for us.

There are not usually too many people there so it is a quiet place to study and use computers. I noticed there are many different areas and rooms for different purposes. For example, the audio and video area can be used for making projects such as short video clips and editing. There are all sorts of equipments available besides computers, such as tape and DVD players. The studio area is for publishing and pictures editing. There are plenty scanners (which I have been looking for since school started), and there are many useful programs on the computers that students can use for doing their projects involving photographs.

The CLT can be used for our class since we are doing Photoshop and we can go there when we have questions about it or just go there and work if you do not have photoshop on your computer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What I learned about Excel

I have learned about using Excel before, but I can never remember to use it for classes when I am dealing with numbers, tables and graphs. Now my knowledge of Excel becomes more solid and I know it well enough to handle many things and I think I will use it more often.

I learned a great deal that I did not know before. For example, I learned how to use the functions and got to know that there are so many more we can use such as "if", "min", "max", and "StDev". I wish I knew these before and it could help me so much for my calculus class. I also learned conditional formatting which could show a specific number differently in many ways according to the criteria you gave. I got to know how to choose a theme and layout for your spreadsheet and as well as different templates you can use and create your own. In addition, there are many useful tools I learned to use including sort& filter, format cells, create graphs, view borders, color cells, and the list goes on.

It is a useful application for many academic fields and there will be tons of opportunities that I can use Excel in the future. I can use it for math class for calculations, and for science, economics, and communication class I can use it for creating graphs for a presentation or research paper. Businesses can use it to keep track of their employee's payment and profits they made. Furthermore, people can also use it personally, such as monthly budget, tuition fee plan, spends and incomes, etc.

I think Excel is a very useful and helpful program, and I will take advantage of it in the future.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Searching the Internet

I learned a lot from Chris Nolan’s presentation about how to make high quality search on internet which we will need to use almost everyday.
First of all, I got to know what “I’m feeling lucky” on google is for, although I have been using google for years, I have never known what is that button for. It is nice to know the function is that it takes you to a webpage which they think is what you are looking for and you can find a lot of information there.
I used to be wondering about how google sort the order of its results, since most of us would only look at the first two to three pages even though there are more than millions of results. I learned that Google sorts results by the popularity of the sites, of how many clicks are there, but not by how much they pay.
You can tell the origin of the websites by looking at the URL of it and determine whether it is trustable.
There are many things google search can do besides search for websites. It also contains definitions, maps, images, news, formulas, etc.
Something that surprised me is that google has a function called google scholar, which is a tool for searching for scholarly journals. I have never known that we can actually find scholarly or peer-viewed journals on google, so I only go to academic research complete to find those articles. Now I know that google can take us there by filtering its results and makes it much more convenient for us.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Picture that lies

This is the picture I chose. It looks appealing to me at the first sight. Because it gives a very strong comparison of the photo before/after it has been manipulated and immediately gives us a different feeling toward the picture.
The photo at the left side is an original mug shot of O.J.Simpson that has been published on the cover of Newsweek, but the picture at the right side is the same mug shot appeared on the June 1994 cover of Time magazine after Simpson's arrest on murder chargers. This picture was manipulated by making it much more darker and appears on a shadowed background. It stimulates a negative feeling toward Simpson since he has committed a murder and the magazine imposes that on his picture in order to show his current image and status.
I do not think the manipulation is that harmful even though Time magazine was subsequently accused of manipulating the photograph. As Simpson has been convicted of murder which already destroyed his reputation, so it does not really matter how bad his photo looks on the magazine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Although I have been to many info sessions and presentations including the one in NSO about copyright, I found this presentation is the most informative and I learned a lot of things from it.

First of all, "Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression." In another words, copyright protects individuals right of something of their own creation, and others will be responsible in terms of using their work. Copyright encourages people to have more new creations since they are legally protected.

I did not know that copyright began such long time ago, which was in 1790. Anther interesting fact I learned is that the term of copyright from U.S. published works is the author's life plus 70 years.

The most frequent time people violate others' copyright is from Internet, such as free music downloading. From the presentation I learned that there are people whose job is to stay on Internet and monitor who has downloaded illegal music and then they will record everything down and that person has to pay for what he/she has just violated. Usually the fine of copyright violation is very high.

There are some interesting websites that we can use for getting information about copyrights and protecting our own copyrights. such as The Creative Commons, the Fair Use, and the Public knowledge.

For downloading illegal music, there are both sides of this issue. On one side, the musician's work should be respected and their right should be protected by law so that no one else can claim the work as their own. On the contrary, downloading can expose the music more so more people will get to know about the songs as well as publicity of the musician. It actually helps to promote the musician and his songs. I think one's copyright should be protected, and therefore download music should be illegal as it already is now. It encourages the musician to create more good music, and copyright is something everyone deserves for their hard working. Buying music can also give credits to the musicians. The songs are not that expensive anyway.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tips from Joe Hatch's computer "survival skills" presentation

There are so many things that I learned form Joe Hatch's visiting presentation. I found them very useful regarding daily usage of computers for both school's or my personal lap top. He also answered most of my questions about computers in his presentation.

When I first installed clean access agent on my lap top, I felt strange and annoyed that I have to log in every time when I turn on my computer, and I had no idea what we can make out of it. After Joe explained, I understood that clean access helps your internet access and security on campus, and it also looks at your operating system and anti-virus product. I felt relived that Internet will be more secure after the installation of clean access agent.

Another tip I learned from Joe is about computer's slow performance which I found happens frequently to all the computers. As Joe explained, after computers have been used for a long time, many temporary files, cookies, and histories stored in the drives filled up spaces and therefore causes computers work slow. Sometimes system files can be infected and also makes computers do not perform properly. Joe introduced a software: CCleaner, which is a tool for cleaning computer crashes and speed it up. I found it really helpful. I installed Ccleaner on my computer right after the class and cleaned my lap top for the first time. I was shocked that even though I just bought my lap top last month, Ccleaner cleaned about 90 MB of junks out. I will use Ccleaner regularly for my laptop. This is the most useful tip I got from Joe's presentation.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

my first journal entry

Hi everyone! My name is Yue Zhang. Since it is so hard for non-Chinese speakers to pronounce, I gave myself a nicename -Rella, which I got from Cinderella. So you can call me Cinderella as well if you like it better. Here is my email address: yue.zhang@trinity.edu

I was born in a small town called JianShui in province YunNan, which is located in Southwest of China. I am the only child of my family. I went to Thailand w
hen I was 14 and studied in St.Stephen's International School for one and half years, and then I transferred to International School Bangkok which is recognized as the premier international school in Thailand. I studied there for three years until graduation.

I am interested in many different kinds of things, such as watching movies, listening to music, singing, shopping, playing badminton, sometimes swimming depend on the weather, and hanging out with family and friends. I plan to involve in many campus activities in the first year to make more friends and to get to know Trinity better. I want to join International Clubs and do some community services. Actually I am going to Urban Connection which is a out of campus community service tomorrow. I auditioned for Urinetown, the Musical yesterday but I did not so well on the monologue part because I did not practice at all and I was super nervous on stage. The directors were really nice though which made me feel better. I am in University Chorus this semester because I love singing. I hope I can join or make up my own band someday and I will be the singer. This is the "secret fact" I wrote on the sticky note in class yesterday.

I am not too good at computers even though I use it everyday. I learned some basics about IT technology when I was in third grade but I actually used a computer when I was 12. Now I basically use it for internet and some of my homework an
d research. I know a little about photoshop since I bought a book a few years ago and studied by myself. I am looking forward to learning more computer skills and make the most of the class and resources Trinity provides to us.

This is a
picture taken this summer of me and my best friends.