Monthly Archives: October 2022

Fidelity Digital Assets will begin offering ETH to institutions later this month

  • Fidelity Digital Assets will start offering institutional customers the ability to buy, sell and transfer ether starting Oct. 28. 
  • A spokesperson confirmed these details to The Block after a tweet circulating on Wednesday showed a screenshot of an email to customers.
  • “Investors will be able to buy, sell and transfer ether, accessing the same operational excellence, robust security, and dedicated client service model provided for bitcoin investments today,” the company told institutions in an email that later circulated on social media.

A Fading Kingdom

The animal kingdom is enormous,

But for what came next,no one could warn us

The number of animals is dwindling,

And humans are the kindling.

Animals like black rhinos, red pandas, and blue whales

Will soon be tall tales.

If only humans could band together,

Then no animal would turn leather.

If every man, woman, child, and stranger

Could stand up for those in danger.

If we stop these hunting games,

Then could extinguish the growing flames.

Everyday we lose so many animals,

All because we put them in manacles.

This is a war we shouldn’t fight,

We need to do what is right.

Peer Review #2: alltravelledbyclaire

Website link: https://alltravelledbyclaire.com

This week I got the opportunity to take a look at and review Claire’s website. Claire’s website, alltravelledbyclaire, is about her travels and adventures, she uses her website as a platform where she can share her knowledge about the places she has been to as well as some pictures she captured.

As soon as I entered the website, it seemed to be a very calming and serene place. On her home page, it shows what she offers which includes Photography, Travel Resources and Itinerary Support, as well as a Personal Blog/Travel Journal.  The overall feel of the website creates a welcoming, helpful, and nice environment as soon as you enter the website.

The website design and layout is quite simple, but that’s what gives the website its feel of peacefulness. The simplicity makes sure that the reader does not get distracted by other things and can stay focused on what they are looking at on the website. The layout of the blog posts is organized in a way that any post can be found quite quickly. She placed her email in the top right corner of her website, so that it can be easily found and accessed by those who need it. 

The theme of her website seems to be inspired by nature and the outdoors which is further shown in her background display picture of her title as well as in the pictures she has posted. The structure of the website is very easy to understand, use, and navigate through which is probably due to the minimalistic customizations.

Claire’s website is overall very pleasant and interesting in the sense of her posts, home page, and design choices. However, there is always something that can be improved, changed, or developed more. In the case of Claire’s website, I personally believe that it would be better if she could remove or edit the default pages that come with the theme of her website. It would also be great if she could add an accessibility tab somewhere on her website, so that it is more accessible to everyone.

Overall, Claire’s website is lovely and her About page and posts really show what she wants her website to be as well as what her website means to her. Putting aside what her website could improve on, it is a great place to visit when you want to read a travel story, look at some pictures, or just need to find someone that you can quickly contact when you need some travel knowledge to help you out.

Week 7: Fake News

Fakes, lies, cheats, and scams are everywhere especially in this day and age. At this point it feels like that no matter where we look, there is nothing on the internet that we can trust. What is there left to trust, when all we are ever told to do is take everything with a grain of salt.

In these modern times, we all have to keep our guard up, so that we aren’t exposed to fake news, videos, pics, or whatever else can be faked. At this point, everything can be faked and we just have to accept that this is the world we live in. We could try to avoid all the lies and scams, but somehow we are going to get some sort of fake news thrown at us whether we like it or not. 

Trusting anything can be quite difficult especially when you don’t trust anyone very easily, but now not only do we have to keep an eye on people who seem suspicious, but also news articles and videos that seem suspicious. It is basically impossible trust anything when you know that what you are looking at could potentially be fake and the only way to figure out if you are getting any real news is to do an extensive amount of research which just seems boring in general.

Most people, myself included, don’t really want to do a crazy amount of research on a single news article that we saw just to make sure that it’s the real deal. Due to this, so much news gets ignored by the public because they can’t tell if it’s real or fake. So, the less people that read the news, the less people the news article reaches, which in the end just leads to society being not informed and unaware of what is going on around them.

The only way to not spread false news is to do research, although it would be great if fake news didn’t exist in general. Unfortunately, this is the word we live in and this world includes fake news.

Process Post

If it’s not been obvious, I have been really struggling with keeping up with my process posts and general website upkeep. I’ve been struggling to keep up with most things in my life at the moment. I am in the process of updating and writing all the mini assignments, but I’m struggling to keep up with the amount of class work I have on a general basis. I’ve been dealing with a lot of mental health concerns this past month, and It’s become very apparent that after some of the life altering events that happened to me this summer, I have been much less prepared to get through course content than I thought. I’m not sure what to do to help myself, but it was suggested to try to use some of these process posts as a bit of a rant space/ personal journal, so I figured I’d do that. It seems to fit the theme of my blog anyways.

Here is an excerpt from something I wrote earlier this year:

“You decide to indulge your sweet tooth, so you go to to the 7/11 across your street. It’s likely a summer night and it’s even more likely that you’re wearing that ratty sweater you’ve had since middle school— the one that somehow still fits and feels even more comfortable than when you bought it, but has the considerable downside of sporting a deeply embarrassing slogan from one of your old hobbies ( for me, it is a blue sweater I got from a swim meet that says “ I can fly, what’s your superpower?”). Your hair is up, you haven’t washed your face, and you’re doing all of this with the deep rooted hope that it will awaken some kind of sense memory within you that will teleport you back to being 12 again. You wander the discount candy and wonder why ramen noodles are 6 dollars. You go to the slurpy machine and mix all the flavours together. Consciously or not, you hand the clerk a crumby wad of 5 dollar bills from the bottom of your tote bag, and it feels like you got them from your job as a babysitter. You got them from your job as a barista, which is not much of a step up.

I have spent the past 4 months doing quite literally nothing but work. I spent the first half of the summer working a soul sucking 9-5, the second half of the summer being both unemployed, almost homeless, and battling the collateral of a severe car crash, and the third half of the summer (the summer felt so long it extended beyond the bounds of fraction) trying to figure out how to balance four jobs, a move, and the persistent impending fear that this is it for the rest of my life. School hasn’t done much but make my load even heavier; I realized that after all the things that happened to me this summer, I was really not ready to go back to school. Unfortunately, the way that my student loans work means that if I’m not actively studying I have to start paying them off, which I simply cannot do at the moment. I realized a few days ago that I had been wandering the isles of my grocery store aimlessly, because it was the only time I could take for myself without having to write off the time as “unproductive”. Every spare minute I do have to myself, I have to very actively hold back tears. And quite frankly, I feel like I deserve to complain about it! All of this is to say I’ve been eating a lot of food with a pointed lack of nutritional value. I have not one but TWO bags of chips in pantry right now. I have been eating pizza pops again, and a lot of gummy candies. Some of this is for convenience, and some of it is for comfort. I never really ate like this when I was a kid, so it’s a little odd that I derive any sort of nostalgia from the habits. Still, I feel like I’ve been metaphorically chasing some sort of soft womb to climb into, and it’s come in the form of convenience store snacks.”

I’ve posted about it in my essay Driving Lessons with Criss Angel, which is a piece that I have been working on for a few months now with the people of Crybaby Press, but I got into a very serious car accident this summer. This, coupled with my previous landlords illegally possessing my apartment, as well as also losing my job for a period, and then inadvertently ending up with four to work this summer ( the cafe I work at, freelance writing for a few publications, freelancing as a music video director on a few separate jobs, and working at another, separate cafe) has left me in a space that has made it incredibly hard to even begin motivating myself for school. Unfortunately due to my student loan situation, I can’t take a semester off, so here I am. I also just went through a breakup! Fun stuff. I don’t think I’ve had a free day to myself with nothing specific or pressing to do for about a year now. And I’ll be honest, the emergency get-everything-done-without-thinking-about-it response has completely run it’s course for me. I feel like someone has put an emergency brake on my life right now, and it’s completely stopped me in it’s tracks. I want to get through school, I want this to be my last year of university, but I’m beginning to feel like if I don’t take a week off to stare at a wall I’m actually going to damage myself irreparably. I really hate this. I like to learn. I like to give my time. I don’t like skipping all my classes, but I find myself with such intense anxiety when I do go to them that I can’t focus anyways. I’m not really sure what to do, except complain about capitalism and take an hour a week to cry at the ocean. Burnout is a bitch I guess, and whoever said 21 years old was supposed to be the most fun year of your life deserves to be skinned alive, probably.

Peer Review 2

Thank you Isha Hoonjan for letting me peer review your blog (http://consideringcardamom.com/).

First of all, your blog is looking really good and interesting to browse through! You have the landing page with all the posts you have helped me to see who you are as a person at a first glance. The images attached to each blog attract me fairly well to read the blog. All the pages have a consistent design that shows I’m still on the same site. Overall, The blog has a very good flow and is easy to follow. Also, I love the additional features you have added to the page, which include the dark theme, the resizing system for the fonts, the high contrast settings and the search feature. These features help to make your site more accessible and fun to discover from the user side, so good job!

As for the design principles of the site, it shows pretty clearly in terms of hierarchy. I can see that the name of the site has the highest hierarchy, then the title of the section, then the submenu and so on. Personally, I think the title should have the highest priority once the user goes to a different page. For example, as in the image attached down below, I would rather see that I am on the “Post” page than see the site’s name as the first attention I go towards again.

The site’s “Post” subpage

As for the colour schemes, I like that you keep it white with different shades of grey. It is a very simple yet elegant look, which gives a clean vibe to the site. It also makes your images pop up even more. A consideration if you would like to go further on colour schemes is to play more with different colours based on the user’s interaction. For example, maybe the colours could change instead of the transparency when the user hovers over a clickable word or phrase. Also, don’t be scared to add some colours to the site! Even though it is a simple look, is it how you want the reader to see you? Or is there more for them to learn from you and attract them to keep reading about you? Maybe you could think about your favourite colours or based on your content, what colours may make the most sense to go with. Those can be some brainstorming questions you can think of while looking more into colours.

I would have to say, unfortunately, I do not think that the images are communicating much about who you are. It could be because they are stock images. I would like you to look more into that, so the reader can get to know you more clearly right at first glance. Also, the image attached below shows that each post doesn’t have the same size at the bottom. It looks like it is from the images’ setting, so check that so everything looks clean. Another comment I would say is, instead of saying what assignment, have fun with making titles up. It will attract the audience more and, right away, knows what they are going to write about.

“Peer Review #1”, “Mini Assignment #2” and “Imagining an Audience” posts on the site’s landing page.

One thing that confuses me about the site is the submenu’s language choice. What is the difference between “Blog” and the other submenus like the image I have attached? Because, right now, everything is a blog for me. Maybe, find another word instead of that to make it cleaner.

The submenu on the site.

Overall, a very interesting blog to show parts of yourself. I definitely have learned a little bit more about who you are. Thank you again for letting me look through your site. Hopefully, these comments are helpful!

Process Post: Imagined Audience

The imagined audience of my website is one similar to myself, gen z bakers. It is easier to establish relatability with a demographic that I feel tied to and am part of. This whole website premise of ranting and recipes was birthed by my interest and participation in both activities. The combination of stress baking and ranting is something that I have never seen in a website format before, but was inspired by other media platforms like YouTube or TikTok, where the audience and creator relationship is heavily established based on the identity and transparency between a creator and their respective content. Keeping these vlog type styles of content, I thought about how that transparency would be translatable through a blog, while still keeping with a set theme and overarching concept. When designing the aesthetics of my website I considered my intended audience and how I could appeal to this demographic. Something that I was reminded of from high school was Aaker’s brand personalities: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. After reviewing websites of cafes, I realized I would need some amount of sophistication, to present a desirable aesthetic, while remaining sincere and personable to my audience. A good balance of relatable, yet still different enough that it is desirable for audience so that they want to engage with my content. With these ideas of sophistication and sincerity in mind, I decided to establish a clear aesthetic through colour, consistent typography and minimalism, while also imbuing elements of my personality, through handmade touches like drawings rather than photographs.

Peer Review #2: SarahJoyElawa

Link to Sarah’s blog site: https://sarahjoyelawa.com/

The peer I have been assigned to review is Sarah Elawa’s blog site. This blog revolves around the dedication to Sarah’s self-care as well as their health and well-being. Sarah makes weekly posts that are transparent about their progress toward the outlined goals mentioned on the homepage.

First and foremost, I want to start by saying the site looks well-made and intuitive. The nav links are clearly named making it relatively easy to navigate through the site without me having to guess where certain categories of posts are (as pictured below).

Navigation Bar on Sarah’s site

The overall theme of the website is very calming, taking inspiration from nature with its light green background. The color that has been chosen for the background is not too vibrant so it is shocking to the viewer but not too faint that they wouldn’t notice it’s there. Good choice of color overall.

The posts are consistent in terms of using two columns and having clear titles to denote a new section (as pictured in the two pictures below).

The site has plenty of white space as well as good margins making the pages feel well-designed without making the content feel squished or improperly balanced.

Also, I want to point out that the accessibility of the website is really well-thought-out. The clickable side nav allows the user to change the size of the text, underline nav links to be more apparent, increase the contrast, and make the typeface bolder to increase readability.

However, I think the image chosen to be used for the ‘about me’ section (as pictured below) was not as clear compared to other images used throughout the website. I was confused when I first saw it as it did not give me a clear sense of who you are and it did not seem entirely relevant to what your blog site is about. I would suggest replacing that image and finding one that represents you or the essence of your blog site better.

Furthermore, I would like to have seen different type weights (i.e, bold, semi-bold, medium, etc.) used throughout. I think there was a slight oversight in the type weight usage for ‘The Goals’ titled (pictured below) and the titles for the goals you are setting out to accomplish. As of right now, there was no sense of visual hierarchy other than where the titles were placed. I would suggest making the ‘The Goals’ title consistent with the rest of the titles used in other sections such as the ‘About Me’ section (within the homepage). I would also suggest changing the size to be smaller than the ‘The Goals’ title to establish a more clear visual hierarchy.

To add to that, I think the layout for the goals you are setting out to achieve could be designed better. The first row had all of the titles and images aligned together which makes me believe that this will be the established layout throughout. However, the second row and onwards have the goal on the far left misaligned with the rest of the goals within that row. I would suggest either reducing the size of the text, reducing the amount of text, or finding an entirely new layout altogether.

One minor nitpick that I have with the site in terms of content is that the ‘About Me’ section repeats the same text in two different places (as pictured below). In my opinion, I believe it would be better to have the about me section on the homepage to be more concise and explain to the viewer what exactly the blog site is about and have the dedicated ‘About Me’ page be the more in-depth paragraph that you already have.

I would also go back and make sure each paragraph break is more apparent as there are a few inconsistencies within some posts where there wasn’t any space between two paragraphs.

I think overall, Sarah did an excellent job designing their blog site. There is plenty of white space, the accessibility features are well-thought-out, and the typeface chosen is readable and scannable. There are only a few minor issues and nitpicks that I have mentioned previously that I believe when addressed, would make the site even better and feel more polished. Hopefully, these comments are somewhat helpful.

Good luck with the rest of the semester as well as with your goals, Sarah! You got this!! 💪💪💪

Social Media Platforms are Democratic

In our society today, the use of social media had grown exponentially. Allowing us to connect with others using the digital space. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, were originally created to allow creators like us, to hold a platform to reach out and connect to audiences with similar interests. Although one may be able to argue that social media is not democratic, I would like to argue that in essence, social media was originally created with the purpose to connect and share free information through the digital space. In this essay, I will be giving a high-level overview of how social media has been shaped over time and how democracy exists in social media platforms today.

Currently, when we look at platforms such as YouTube, some things that come to mind are monetization, advertisements, and copyright. The platform became a place where advertisers can make product placements through ads or even as a sponsor for your favorite creator. This does not only apply to YouTube. If we look at platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, how many of the posts do you see that include some sort of advertisement, sponsored post, or even a bot post? This wasn’t the case when platforms like these were first introduced into our society.

When we look at platforms like YouTube in its early days, it was mostly known as a platform where creators can essentially create videos about anything. YouTube’s slogan at the time was “Broadcast Yourself” in which creators can freely create the kinds of content they wanted. Furthermore, Twitter was a platform for short inconsequential information. It wasn’t a platform that had millions of bot accounts or a platform to advertise products. But moreover, a platform where people can express their thoughts in a short message to their audiences. Looking at these platforms now, we can see how much has changed. For example, Facebook became a platform where consumers would try their hardest to earn as many likes as they can on their posts. The documentary “Generation Like”, shows how today’s teens directly interact with their favorite artists, celebrities, movies, and brands. Although not everyone uses social media to gain popularity or even become famous, the documentary accurately represents a large percentage of the audiences that use social media. It can also be seen how companies are able to use consumers like us to advertise and retrieve data for their businesses. Dallas Smythe describes this as the “Audience Commodity”. Where free media is not actually free but is paid for by the advertisers that use our attention for their business. Creators didn’t need to worry about monetization or even worry about copyright material. It may seem like these platforms don’t seem democratic anymore, but it is important to note that it is still a platform where free information is circulated which is crucial for democracies.

As mentioned previously, when we look at social media today, we are given a platform where companies pay to advertise their products for what may seem like free media for us consumers. However, are these platforms still democratic for us consumers? In hindsight, even though free information is being circulated, how do we know that it’s the truth? Furthermore, social media creates echo chambers where people are only able to see viewpoints that they agree with. This epitomizes what being democratic means. People should be free to indulge in opinions only they agree with if they so choose it. Not to mention that political harassment exists on these platforms which can make it unsafe or uncomfortable for the consumers. However, these platforms give a voice to everyone. Samidh Chakrabarti, Product Manager at Meta mentions how “social media has enormous power to keep people informed” (Chakrabarti, 2020). Which is important for democracies. In addition, it had been also mentioned that two-thirds of US adults consume their news on social media, which allows many people to engage in discussions and be a part of a community using these platforms.

As with all things in life, there are good and bad things that come from social media. As it may appear that the negative aspects of social media out ways the positive aspects, it isn’t something that one person can fix. However, it is something society can work towards to make the digital space on social media a welcoming environment. An article from the Pew Research Center has stated that “many experts say public online spaces will significantly improve by 2035 if reformers, big technology firms, governments, and activists tackle the problems created by misinformation, disinformation and toxic discourse. Others expect continuing troubles as digital tools and forums are used to exploit people’s frailties, stoke their rage and drive them apart”. (Anderson & Rainie, 2022) Although we don’t know for certain what is to become of the future, we can still have high hopes to allow democracy to remain in social media.

References

Koughan, F. (2022). Generation Like. PBS. Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/documentary/generation-like/.

Chakrabarti, S. (2020, November 19). Hard questions: What effect does social media have on democracy? Meta. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://about.fb.com/news/2018/01/effect-social-media-democracy/

Anderson, J., & Rainie, L. (2022, February 2). The future of digital spaces and their role in democracy. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/11/22/the-future-of-digital-spaces-and-their-role-in-democracy/

Sytaffel. (2014, February 28). The audience commodity. Media Studies 101. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from https://opentextbc.ca/mediastudies101/chapter/the-audience-commodity/

Process Post: Website Design Critique

This week after the design lecture from Mauve Pagé, I looked at the design composition of the Surrey Art Gallery Association (SAGA) website, particularly the Membership page.

Screenshot of the Membership page of the Surrey Art Gallery Association website

What’s Working

  • sense of branding in the top navigation bar
  • The Membership button in the navigation bar is highlighted to show that that’s the page we are on

What’s Not Working

  • the banner image under “Memberships” does not seem to fit the brand of SAGA
    • it’s also distracting from the body copy
  • the “Membership Rates” on the right → the top has more space than the text on the left
    • this misalignment feels awkward and not as clean
  • The grey body copy is hard to read well

Ways to Shop Sustainably

There are a variety of different ways that you can shop sustainably. Making some changes to your shopping habits are an easy way to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet’s natural resources.  Here are some ways to sustainably shop for your clothes and build a sustainable wardrobe.  Buy from sustainable brands. Choose ethical […]

18 things i’ve learned in my 18 years of living

This is a journal entry I had (and I still constantly add on to it every year) to remind me of rules or phrases I learned and live by to make my life a little bit easier. For younger over-thinker and perfectionist Mikaela; If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. Worst response you […]

Fly The Eternal

I am so new, and I love it here. I was just born. I will be here for a short while, and then I will end. I think there is something beautiful about that, don’t you?. My purpose is not to last, like some. It is to simply sit on the edge of the fruit bowl and watch the small crumbs of the world. Maybe that’s better than living forever. Knowing everything makes me sleepy. I am just a fly, after all. I’ve seen the beginning, and I already know the end. I know that’s not a lot. That’s okay, though. I dont mind very much. Maybe that’s my strength. I was told that in the human world, they dream things up like superheroes and fairy tales. I think that’s too much work. I just want to sit on a coke can, and watch the sky turn dark a few times. I think that’s much better than moving mountains. I can already fly, too. I am perfect.

Process Post (W6)

Website Design Good On You Directory is a website I have recently found that rates the sustainability of fashion brands. The site provides sustainability ratings on factors from “greenhouse gas emissions and water use to worker safety and living wages” (How We Rate Fashion Brand Ethics, n.d.). Design Elements In terms of design elements, according […]

Mike Wazowski Colour Test

Today, I wanted to take things slow again (due to the amount of work and projects this week) by simply relaxing and focusing on colour. For me, I consider colouring to be almost therapeutic, especially if I know what colours I am going to lay down in the drawing. If that is the case, my mind completely goes into ‘zen’ mode and starts filling in the areas. I usually start colouring by determining the different light/shadow values that are being placed. I first start by determining where the light source is hitting the character or object first as that will then define where the mid-tones and shadows will be placed. Once, I have a solid understanding of where the lighter and darker areas should be, I then start placing the colours onto the object. I first started each piece with the lighter areas first as normally, in traditional media (i.e., painting, pencil colouring), one would place down the light colours first onto the painting before placing down the darker colours. This is because how lighter colours are much easier to go over with darker colours as it would be completely covered without having the darker colour be affected by the lighter colour underneath. Going over darker colours with lighter colours makes the lighter colour on top look too muddy as well as making it not as bright or vibrant, potentially ruining the art piece. Now, in the digital art space, I wouldn’t really have to worry about that (take that traditional artist) but I still find it to be good practice so that whenever I do go back into traditional art (if I ever do), then I won’t pick up the bad habit of colouring in the dark areas first.