The Hunger Games Trilogy

Over the Summer, I had the privilege of reading Suzanne Collin’s book series called the Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay

Now I’ve never been much of a reader, but I could not put these books down. In fact, I read all of them within a four-day span. These books have it all: a mass amount of action, romantic tension that builds through every page, a dash of comedy, and unexpected twists which come at the end of nearly every chapter.

When it comes to books, I’ve always been a ‘I’ll just wait for the movie’ guy. And as most of you well know, the first book, The Hunger Games, was released as a film earlier this year. I watched it back in February and thought it was a really good movie! After reading the books this summer and then watching the film again, I received somewhat of a distaste from the movie. Since the book’s perspective is from the personal view of Katniss Everdeen, it was impossible for the film to capture every one of her intricate thoughts and feelings. I understand that a movie cannot easily portray a narrative from the mind of a character, but I just felt like the audience needed to know more.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in The Hunger Games (Film)

Maybe the saying that “the book is always better than the movie” is actually true. The design of a book is not as limited as a movie, which is why the book does a better job at portraying the story. The question I’ve recently been asking myself is this: “how many other great stories have I missed out by simply waiting for the movie?”

 

Rube Goldberg Machine

Talk about something with a complicated design! Rube Goldberg Machines are contraptions designed to perform a very simple task with an over-analyzed and over-constructed design. Now why would someone build a Rube Goldberg Machine? I have an answer: because it’s freaking awesome! Not only that, but people have used them as marketing ploys.

Take the band ‘OK Go’ for example, in 2010 they released a music video for their song “This Too Shall Pass”. The video is one giant Rube Goldberg Machine! Over the last two years; it has also racked up nearly 40 million views on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it already, check it out.

Optical Illusions

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Stare at the cross in the butterfly for 30 seconds, then quickly stare at a blank wall!

I’m not a scientist and I’m not a psychologist, but the eyes and the brain are very intricate parts of our bodies. God designed every part of us with a specific task in mind and each serves a complicated functions in molding the design of a human being. This leads me to optical illusions. Now I wish I could give you some scientific explanation as to how optical illusions work, but I hardly know how they do. I believe the designs of some optical illusions have to do with how the receptors of ours eyes receive images at different rates. But that is as much science as you’ll get out of me!

Anyway, it is my opinion that I they are an extremely fun, bizarre way of entertaining yourself. So enjoy these three optical illusions!

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Is this a normal car? Look again.

Seasons

Music is a getaway. It can take you to a faraway land; a place where only the mind can take you. Music can bring people together (with the exception of country music of course). Every person is entitled to their own opinion as to which music is the best to listen to. But no matter the preference, music is a delight to the ears, to the mind, and to the heart.

I have just under 3,000 songs in my iTunes application, but the song with the most plays is titled “Seasons” by the artist Mae. This song is actually divided into three continuous tracks which combine to form an instrumental that lasts just under 14 minutes long. The intriguing factor about Seasons is that it, much like Mae’s other songs, takes the listener on a journey.

“Seasons” can be found on Mae’s final EP titled (E)vening

The physical design to this song comprises of no lyrics, just one instrument: the piano. But it is the way that the keys are played which brings forth a whole different type of design to the song. Its music is a form of photography for the mind. The piano portrays a picture of the seasons of the year as they come and as they pass. This song brings them to life. Just by listening to the soothing melody, pictures of every season is painted into my mind: pictures of the first leaf of autumn to the moment its last hits the ground, pictures of snow almost floating to the ground, pictures of a warm fire, pictures of new birth and blooming, and pictures of green expounding with life; the cycle then repeats itself. This is just my interpretation of Seasons, although each person is obviously entitled to their own opinion. But what makes this song so special is that it is designed to embark each person on a photographic journey through the vastness of their minds. If you have not listened to it yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. It is amazing how music with such an intricate design can take a person on such an adventure.

Even with lyrics, Mae does an amazing job of keeping this “journey” mentality in most of the music they’ve released. They are a great example of music being created with a design and a purpose. Seasons can be found on their final EP titled (E)vening which was released on March 4, 2011. Sadly, Mae closed their recording careers with this nine-track release, but left several adventures for the world to take hold of.

The Uniform Movement

I love to watch football. I’ve suffered throughout my twenty years of living by being a Detroit Lions fan, but with a playoff birth last year, things finally are looking as if they’ll turn around. Not only that, but Michigan also appears to be on the turnaround from the Rich Rodriguez era that I would have no problem forgetting.

The tradition of the University of Michigan football program is something most schools envy. Although, some colleges and universities are starting their own traditions with unveiling unique uniforms for either an important game or the entire season. Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour are all promoters of this new uniform movement swarming collegiate football.

In the past, football uniforms were meant to display the tradition and unity of a professional, collegiate, or high school team. Within recent years, there has been a movement that has swept across football programs involving making a fashion statement with how a team looks on the gridiron. Some uniform experiments have turned out to be extremely successful, while others have become the punch line of jokes. Check out Nike’s collegiate experiment, also known as the Oregon Ducks, as they unveiled their snazzy new uniform scheme against Arkansas State on September 1, 2012:

Oregon Ducks 2012 Uniform Scheme vs. Arkansas State on September 1, 2012

What has caused this uniform movement? First of all, it is very possible that more and more people are buying into the “If you look good, you play good” phrase. Oregon has been a national powerhouse over the last five to ten years, so maybe it’s working.

Second, schools and universities have been using new uniforms as a recruiting tool to bring prospects into their program. If highly rated high school players take interest in the uniform movement, more appeal is brought to the school, thus giving the school an increased chance of the recruit choosing to attend their school.

The last and probably the biggest reason as to why unique uniforms have become a fashion trend is for the purpose of bringing in revenue. Whether teams plan to wear a uniform for one game or for the entire year, fans will buy these uniforms if they think that they look cool.

In my opinion, I think this new movement provides a ton of excitement. Whether for the players, the school, or the fan base, a new uniform builds hype for all the parties involved in anticipation for the next game or upcoming season. The designs have varied, with both successes and disasters, but I believe this movement is beneficial for college football.

Design – Introduction

I have so many interests along with a variety of passions, so it was difficult for me to decide what I wanted to blog about. Whether it’s sports, music, movies, television, video games, politics, faith, or current world news, I wished to find some common denominator that would allow me to blog about all of these genres. But what could I do since these topic aren’t the most similar of topics? I discovered that they do, in fact, have something in common: design.

What exactly is DESIGN? When I think of designing, words such as creating, planning, drawing, constructing, outlining, mapping, and scheming come to mind. But that is just the first layer to this deep word. The second layer of ‘design’ is the beauty and reflection that follows the creation process, the finished product itself.

Design is all around us. It is the chair you’re sitting on, it is the music you listen to, it is the clothes you wear, it is the food you eat; it is you, it is me. We have all been blessed with the ability to design. I have created this blog simply to dwell and discuss ‘design’ in its various forms. And why would I want to do that, you ask? Just beKauz.