In the Loop

In the Loop: July 20, 2007 Archive

You won't believe your eyes

Posted at 1:50 PM on July 20, 2007 by Sanden Totten (2 Comments)

It's Friday. It's the summer time. We should have some fun. So, for your enjoyment I have put together a collection of links that could best be described as eye candy. Check them out.

Part One: Optical Illusions Here is a photo set of pictures from a trippy building. At first it looks like someone randomly painted strange colors and lines all over the walls, but when viewed from a precise angle something neat happens. Also, check out this elevator illusion.

Part Two: Paper Sculptures Some fabulous construction paper sculptures. That link will provide you with your daily dose of bright colors. This link has paper sculptures that are less colorful but are much more intricate and very cool. These are called paperworks and they are sculptures crafted from cuts of paper.

Part 3: Beautiful Flash Be warned, these are stunning and addictive. Check out these games by Ferry Halim. Any one of these games will send you into a dream like state of wonder. I especially like the train jumper game and Pocketful of Stars. But there are enough here to keep you busy until 5 o'clock rolls around.

Do you have a similarly pleasing link to share? Post it in the comments!

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In The Loop "Story Slam"

Posted at 7:26 PM on July 20, 2007 by Jeff Horwich (21 Comments)

loop%20storyslam%20small.jpgThis is a page of general info. For details on a specific upcoming Slam, visit our main page.

The In The Loop "Story Slam" is a live event (and version of our show) based around the simple formula of great storytelling from anybody and everybody who wants to take a crack at it. The Smarts and I will be there as your guides through the evening, but mostly it's about whatever stories our talented audience brings to the table.

You can find and listen to past Story Slams by visiting our program archive.

If you're thinking about performing, here's what you need to know:

What should my story be about? Your story can be about anything . . . as long as it ties into that night's theme of course. Answer the call with fiction, nonfiction, poetry, a rap -- surprise us! Whether you make it funny, dry, wry, raucous, or sad, the goal is to keep the story interesting. Your job is to make the audience care, and keep them on the edge of their seats. Remember, a good story has a beginning, middle and end, with conflict and dynamic characters.

What are the rules? Well, "rules" is a little strong. But here's how it's going to work: Shoot for a performance of about four minutes max. Please don't write your story out word-for-word -- unless you plan on memorizing it completely. We're not banning notes, but if you can do without them, all the better. Spontaneity is the key, and think of it as a performance, not a reading. Listen to the earlier Story Slam broadcasts for an hour full of marvelous examples.

How do I sign up? There is no preregistration. Most of the slots will be filled by people who sign up at the event, and sign-up will start at at 6:30 pm. As the evening progresses, we'll pull names from a hat to determine the order. We'll get to as many as we can and still end the event promptly at 9:30. Anyone is welcome to throw their name in the hat, not just seasoned performers.

Is this a contest? No, not strictly speaking. There are no judges, and there will be no winner declared. But a selection of the best will be part of a one-hour broadcast on MPR.

What's with the music I hear sometimes? Some performers opted to have our band provide some background "color" with their story. This is welcomed, but certainly not necessary. If you have an idea for how the band can assist you, keep it short and clear (what kind of mood? when should they come in? etc.) and share that with them when you step on stage.

Any other suggestions? Rehearse the story a few times beforehand -- see how long it takes you. To get as many stories in as we can, we try to stick to the time limit. And a little note on language: A little profanity is OK. BUT since there is a possibility of broadcast, we will have a hard time including your story if we have to bleep every other word. Oh -- and please use only your own original material.

What makes this different from a poetry slam, or other open mic night? The key word here is "story." Spin a yarn, take us somewhere in your few minutes. What will be much less likely to make the cut for broadcast: standup routines, impressionistic spoken word performances, or political rants. You cannot bring your own band, and while some great stories may require breaking into song, we're not looking for songs.

Is everyone randomly chosen? Sometimes, especially as the Story Slam concept gets off the ground, we may invite a small number of specific people to come and tell a story. They'll always be a minority, and don't get any extra consideration in terms of which stories we select for the broadcast version.

Any questions left unanswered? Details I forgot to include here? Leave your comments below and we'll try to address them all. Hope to see you there!

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