Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vocabulary Lesson: Swole

Swole is an adjective, and it means someone is especially buff and muscular.  It is derived from the word swollen.

This word is generally male-only and is usually used in a complimentary sense.

Sometimes the word can be used with "up." For example, "He swolled up over the summer." (Urban Dictionary suggested prison, but I prefer to think of summer vacation.) In this sense, the word is not an adjective. However, the word is not usually translated to "swoles."

I've never heard "swoleness" either, but I'm ready to accept it. 

Swole has been part of the pop culture lexicon for over a decade. From Know Your Meme:
The earliest known usage of the term in hip hop lyrics comes from the song “When I Get Free,” which was released posthumously on the album Until the End of Time for the late rapper by Tupac Shakur on March 27th, 2001 (shown below, left). The song includes the lyrics “did push ups till I swole up” in reference to time Shakur had spent exercising in prison.

Additional Resources:
Swole, Urban Dictionary
Swole, Know Your Meme

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vocabulary Lesson: Throw Shade

Throw shade is a popular phrase that means to talk trash or show disrespect. Per Ru Paul, the act requires creativity.

Generally speaking, one throws shade publicly, not privately. Whether or not this is cruel and totally not cool is a divided opinion of the Internet, but now news headlines are easier to understand.

Additional Resources:
Throw Shade, Urban Dictionary
RuPaul Explains the Difference Between Throwing Shade and Being a Straight Up Bitch, Jezebel

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Technology Lesson: Exploring the new Flickr Uploadr

Flickr unveiled a new Uploadr several months ago, and I've finally sat down to walk you through it! Flickr will do that too of course, because Flickr cares about you.

Assuming you have an account and images (henceforth assumed to be photography) to upload, let's get started!

Log in and get your digital work ready.

Go to www.flickr.com and click UPLOAD. It is at the top of the screen, and when you hover over the word it will turn BLUE.

Alternatively, you can go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/upload

You can click "CHOOSE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS TO UPLOAD" or drag and drop your files.

Then you can edit your photos before you upload:
  • To rotate, hover your mouse over the photo. There will be a semi-circle arrow. Click that until the photograph is oriented to your specification.

  • To remove a photo from the upload batch, hover your mouse and click the "X" in the top-right corner. It will turn red when your mouse is over the X. Flickr will ask if you are sure: "REMOVED SELECTED ITEM?" Click REMOVE to confirm, or DENY if you've changed your name or made this decision erroneously.
You can edit more than one photo at once. To do this, click CTRL (on a Windows computer) or COMMAND (on an Apple computer) and while holding the button, click on the photos you want to edit.

To add tags, to multiple or single photos, click ADD TAGS in the LEFT column. Start typing in the bar below. Previous tags will appear as you type. Click ENTER when you have finished typing, or click the tag provided when it appears. If you wanted to enter "Crown Heights" as a tag, Flickr would accept the tag as two, as "Crown" and "Heights." For the neighborhood to appear as ONE tag, you would type "Crownheights."

To add to a group, click ADD TO SETS in the LEFT column. Then select the group from the list provided. (To make a new set, click CREATE SET.) You can add your photo to multiple sets, so click DONE when you are satisfied with the sets selected.

When you are ready, click UPLOAD PHOTOS at the top right of the screen. The button will be bright blue.

Flickr will confirm the number of photos and changes you have made since selecting the photos from your computer or hard drive. If you're not ready, click CONTINUE EDITING. If you're ready to roll, click UPLOAD TO PHOTOSTREAM.

When the photos have uploaded, you'll be taken to Your Photostream, with a congratulatory message from Flickr. 

Good job, you!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Culture Lesson: The Harlem Shake

The Harlem Shake is a meme that swept the Internet with a fervency last month and continues its pop culture domination unabated.

In short, the meme is a video of a group of people performing a skit to the 2012 song "Harlem Shake." The video is very short, about 30 seconds, and uses only a snippet of the song. Generally, one person, or a small group (often with someone wearing a helmet), dances to the song. Then, when the bass "drops" the video cuts to many people dancing. The Baauer song samples (and is named for) a song which mentions the 1980s dance moves popularized by Al B.

Here's an explanation from Chicagoist:
In a nutshell, a typical Harlem Shake video features about 30 seconds of Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake,” with one person in a group, usually wearing a mask, dancing awkwardly. When the break drops and the song says “Do the Harlem Shake” at about the 15 second mark, everybody flips out and starts doing the dance, which was actually popularized in 1981. This appearance of this zeitgeist can be traced all the way back to the last day of January, when a YouTuber called Filthy Frank posted a video of four dudes in spandex doing the Harlem Shake. Within days people were posting their own take on his video, and this century’s latest dance craze was born.

The original video does not have a crowd increase.

Here are some examples:

The people of Harlem, by the way, are not impressed. NPR's Ann Powers has strong words too:
"The deracination of the Harlem Shake has offended some who value the dance's origins in Harlem itself, where it's been done on the street since 1981, and its prevalence in hip-hop videos by the likes of Diddy and Jadakiss."
Something important to remember before you blindly sign up for your office's rendition.

Additional Resources:
Harlem Shake (meme), Wikipedia
Why We Love Harlem Shake, Chicagoist
Harlem Reacts to 'Harlem Shake', YouTube (Uploaded by Schlepp Films)
Long Before The Harlem Shake, We Did The Shimmy, NPR
Behind 'Harlem Shake' Craze, a Dance That's Decades Old, The New York Times
Harlem Shake: One Name, Two Separate Dances, The New York Times (Video feature)