You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2012.

Check out this article from CNN that mentions a man that has trained his ears to see. If you recall, he was mentioned previously in our class. Click the image below to read the article and answer the following questions.

1. What is the name of the blind man that can see with his ears?

2. What is the name of the conference that he was a featured speaker?

3. Is he completely blind or does he have partial sight?

4. At what age did he become blind?

5. What is the name of the non-profit that he founded?

6. What is his goal with the non-profit?

7. How many children has the group taught to see with their ears?

8. How many schools for the blind has his group contacted?

9. Of those schools for the blind that were contacted, How many have shown interest in echolocation?

10. What is Echolocation? (not found in article)

11. Name 2 animals that use echolocation. (not found in article)

Some people have blamed the economic problems of the 1970s and 1980s on competition between foreign goods and American-made goods. How significant is this competition?

Students can start to answer this question by examining the labels in their clothing and on their favorite products at home.

Where Does My Clothing Come From?





Phone/MP3 player

For Homework – Where Do My Family’s “Things” Come From?

Make a list of your families audio and video equipment, cars or kitchen appliances. Try to uncover where each of these things was manufactured.






Video Game

Audio System


Video Camera


Air Conditioner

Other items

Even though Auto-tune – that funky robot effect that ruled the radio for a big chunk of 2008 – has been officially declared dead by no less a rap superstar than Jay-Z himself, people still went nuts for T-Pain’s Auto-tune app on the iPhone. You don’t have to have an iPhone (or pay hundreds of dollars for official Antares Auto-tune software) to get that T-Pain sound, though. In fact, you can do it with an app that comes preloaded on the average Mac: Garageband. Check out the gallery for a step-by-step guide to bringing the T-Pain.

How to Adjust Vocal Settings in GarageBand to Sound like the T-Pain

Okay, so maybe you’re not the best singer in the world. However, if you own a Mac and have ever wanted to experiment with using the Garage Band application; then you can adjust the settings so that even you will sound good singing just like T-Pain. The way this is done is by adjusting the tune of your voice.

Make Your Voice Sound Better!

To get started, you are going to want to first launch the Garage Band application. After it appears on your screen, you will want to select ‘Create a New Project’. Type in a file name for your song and click ‘Create’. From here, you will want to click the track button located on the top tool bar, and then click “New Basic Track.”

Now a box with a speaker should appear right below the piano in the main window. Click the plus sign in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Then, place a checkmark in the box ‘Real Music Instrument Track’ and click ‘Create’. The next step is to click the scissors icon also located on the bottom left portion of the Garage Band window. This will bring up some tuning options.

Under the advance tab in the window you just brought up, you will want to find the control for enhanced tuning and slide it all the way to the right. Also, put a checkmark in the limit to key box located directly below the slider. Now you are going to want to go up to the large pane located on the right of the Garage Band window and select Vocals > Vocal Reflection.

Now, in the bottom right corner of the screen you will see a small arrow that looks like a play button with the words ‘Details’; Click it. You should now see a portion of the pop up box that says ‘Compressor’. Uncheck this box to turn the compressor off. Finally, click the pencil next to the track echo field and slide the slider under echo time closer to the short end of the scale.

Click ‘Save Instrument’ in the lower right hand corner of the screen. To test this out click the record button and sing a couple of lines. When you are done singing, click the stop button and drag the slider back to the beginning of the scale. Now press play.

You’re Done!

There you have it. Now you can sound just like T-Pain. Well, maybe with Garage Band and a couple of singing lessons.

Not sure if the site is blocked by the school or not, but if  it isn’t… take a few minutes to vote for a band from mecca, ca.  Click the image below to vote.

Complete the following questions by selecting the correct answer.  If you have any questions, you may send an email to

Remember it is a Minimum Day, so make sure to use your time wisely and complete the blog!

1. Going from one place to another on the Internet is called:
a. the World Wide Web
b. email address
c. surfing the net
d. google

2. A huge collection of electronic pages containing information about many different subjects is called:
a. the World Wide Web
b. email address
c. surfing the net
d. earth

3. A connection between two Web pages is a link.

4. The home page is the first thing you see when you get online.

5. Copying a file from another computer to your computer is called:
a. downloading
b. uploading
c. link
d. cheese burger

6. Which one is not an output device?
a. Printer
b. Monitor
c. Keyboard
d. Modem

7. Which one works as an output and input device?
a. Modem
b. Scanner
c. Mouse
d. Monitor

8. All computers must have:
a. Word processing software
b. An operating system
c. A printer attached
d. A virus checking program

9. The brain of the computer is called:
a. Random Access Memory or RAM
b. Central Processing Unit or CPU
c. Read Only Memory or ROM

10. An operating system is:
a. Integrated software
b. CD-ROM software
c. Application software
d. System software

11. Software is:
a. A computer program
b. A set of instructions
c. All of the above
d. Beans and Rice

12. One MB is equal to:
a. The amount of RAM in every computer
b. 1 billion bytes
c. 1024KB
d. 1 thousand bytes

13. The resolution of a printer is measured in:
a. Megabits
b. Hz
c. Dots per inch (DPI)
d. Inches (diagonal)

14. Windows and Macintosh computers:
a. Are both manufactured by Motorola
b. Both use Intel microprocessors
c. Use the same operating system
d. squashed the beef like the crips and the bloods

15. A computer port is used to:
a. Communicate with other computer peripherals
b. Download files from the web
c. Communicate with all hard drives
d. Connect computers together

16. Which computer is the fastest?
a. PII 600MHz
b. PIII 600MHz
c. Pentium 600MHz
d. 486 Turbo

17. Which hard disk will be able to store more information?
a. 24MB
b. 2400KB
c. 24GB
d. 240MB

18.  In order for your computer to play music you need:
a. A network card and speakers
b. A sound card and speakers
c. Nothing more than the internal speaker
d. A CD-ROM drive

19. In order to access the World Wide Web you need:
a. An Internet connection, an Internet Service Provider and browser software
b. Only Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator
c. A modem and a browser
d. Nothing. All computers can access the Internet

20. If you have two different printers attached to your computer:
a. It is not possible to have two printers attached to a single computer
b. You need to install a single printer driver
c. You need to use application software that can recognize both printers
d. You need to install two different printer drivers in order to be able to print to either printer

21.  Which file extensions indicate only audio files?
MP3 and DOC

22. Which Windows program do you use to manage folders and files?
a. Windows Explorer
b. Windows Accessories
c. Microsoft Office
d. Windows Control Panel

23. What is a URL:
a. An email address
b. The title of a web site
c. The address of a page on the World Wide Web
d. A communication method between computers and printers

24. Which media holds more information?
a. Floppy diskette
b. DVD
d. Zip drive

25. Which one is an email address:
b. D:\\Email\Standard


26. What does the X in Mac OSX stand for?

 I recommend scrolling down and completing any blogs you have not done!  See ya on Tuesday.  TEXAS!
Instructions: Select the correct answer

1.  What can we use to “talk” to a computer?
a keyboard
a mouse
a microphone
all of the above

2.  What is a URL?
a keyboard
an Internet address
a hard drive
a turkey

3.  Where is your computer desktop?
on the screen
on the keyboard
on the Internet
on the CPU

4.  Which holds the most information?
a floppy disk
a book
a compact disk
a baseball bat

5.  Where do your pointer fingers rest on the home row?
a and k
f and j
d and k
r and u

6.  To speak into the microphone you must:
put it in your mouth
speak quietly
put it on your mouth
all of the above

7.  A keyboard is an input device.

True or False

8.  A computer is not much use without an operating system.

True or False

9.  Speakers are an example of an output device.

True or False

10. When I’m finished working on the computer, I can just turn it off by pushing the off button.

True or False

11. Text you can click on to move to another spot on the Internet is called:

12.  You must double-click:
on hypertext
on icons

13. The software that allows you to surf the Internet is your:

14. Case sensitive means:
not suitable for all ages
correct capital and lower case letters are necessary
your feelings will be hurt

15. A webmaster is one who:
creates a website
knows how to surf the Internet
teaches Internet usage

16. .com indicates:
that the website sells something
that the website is a commercial one

17. Drag and drop means:
Putting something in your recycle file
Moving documents from one computer to another
Clicking and holding to move something to another spot

18. Writing an email message in all capital letters:
indicates yelling and is rude
is helpful for the recipient
doesn’t matter

19. A group of many computers all over the world that are all connected to each other is called:
the Internet
online service

20. Getting onto the Internet is called:
going online

1.  What does it mean to multi-task?

2.  Do you consider yourself to be a multi-tasker?

2a.  If yes, would you say that you are good at it?

3.  What, if any, would you consider to be your main digital distraction(s)?

4.  What was the song from South Korea about?

5.  Which stimulated more brain activity?  (a or b)

a.  Reading a Book

b.  Performing a Google Search

6.  What was the name of the 83 year old grandmother who has her own online cooking show?

7.  Do you think it is possible to become addicted to electronic devices?

8.  What company opened an online outpost in the virtual world?

a.  Coca-Cola

b.  Pepsi

c.  Gatorade

d.  Powerade

8a.  Was the outpost successful?

9.  What was the name of the film?

If you are missing assignments or blogsyou may make up the work by listening to your choice of the radio stories or watching a video, and writing up a summary of the story, using the questions below. You may submit as many of these assignments as you have missing blogs.

Everyone (even if you are up to date on on assignments) may choose one story to listen to or watch and summarize for extra credit.

The stories vary quite a bit in length. If you choose one of the Nova episodes (which are about an hour long) you can write your paper on the first 20-30 minutes – or watch the whole thing, if you prefer.

Write a summary of the story you listen to or watch, answering these questions:

1. What was the most surprising part of this story? Explain why it was surprising.

2. What aspect of this story will be the most important for the way we deal with this hazard or resource in the future?

3. Choose one thing from this story that you will share with a friend or family member. Describe that thing in your summary.

Radio podcasts:

The Worldwide Thirst for Clean Water: Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air interviews Charles Fishman, author of The Big Thirst. Aired April 11, 2011.

Denying the Invisible: Start at 31:00. Ira Glass of This American Life presents dramatizations of interviews with Ukranians about the cover up of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, from Voices from Chernobyl, by Svetlana Alexievich and translated by Keith Gessin. Aired April 9, 2011.

Why Can’t We Predict Earthquakes? Freakonomics Radio, aired April 1, 2011.

Nuclear Power – Setting Sun? Interview with nuclear experts as part of the Commonwealth Club’s Climate One program


Japan’s Killer Quake: March 30, 2011 episode of Nova, from PBS

Detecting Earthquakes: Feb 23, 2011 episode of Nova

The Price of Gas: a PBS Need to Know Investigation about hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of shales to release the natural gas within the rock. AIred

Revisiting Chernobyl: A Nuclear Disaster Site of Epic ProportionsPBS News Hour report, March 29, 2011.

Are California’s Schools Ready for the Next Big One? PBS News Hour report, March 29, 2011.

March 2012

RSS DMHS Counseling

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RSS Rampage

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RSS Mr. Katz

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RSS College of the Desert Radio 1620 AM

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RSS The Makeshift Musician

  • Producing Natural-Sounding MIDI Notes
    When making electronically-produced music, you’ll find yourself often programming notes rather than playing them. People who don’t understand the medium will say that this makes the music cold, mechanical and lifeless, but they simply don’t understand the amount of work and craftsmanship that goes into manually arranging notes. A composer needs to take into […]
  • Weekly Music Writing – Like lifting weights made of creativity
    A while back I wrote about writing music constantly in order to build your skills and flex your creativity. I’ve been making music for several years now and my biggest project had been a 16 track score for a tragically unreleased computer game, which I finished in about 6 months. This was a great exercise, […]
  • Microphones, Cables and Everything Else in Your Studio
    This is the final part of the Makeshift Musician’s Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Studio So, you’ve got your room for your studio, you’ve set up your computer, hooked up your audio interface and installed your recording software. What’s next? Actually, a lot of stuff. Microphones Unless you’re an all-software kind of musician, you need […] […]
  • Audio Recording Software for Your Studio
    This is Part 4 of the Makeshift Musician’s Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Studio We’re now down to the last big component of your beast of a studio. To add this last piece, we need to dive into the prickly, sometimes confusing realm of software. Luckily for you, though, there are a lot of easy […]
  • Audio Interface, or, How to Get Sound into Your Computer
    This is Part 3 of the Makeshift Musician’s Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Studio Now that you’ve got a computer, it’s entirely possible that you’re now standing in front of it with your guitar or piano or whatever, your eyes slowly moving back and forth between the two objects in a confused manner, wondering how […]

RSS Crate Kings

  • Just Blaze on Ghost Production, Musical Styles
    Just Blaze on the evolution of musical styles, the state of New York hip-hop, DJ’ing, and ghot production. “A lot of these guys employ people who do their music for them.” “Some of these DJ’s that are constantly on the road are also constantly putting out new music.  How… because they have guys under them […]
  • Battle Of The Americas Beat Battle f/ Young Guru
    The Beat Academy presents The Battle of The Americas Beat Battle featuring judges Young Guru, Symbolyc One (S1), and Jake One. On Saturday June 21st 24 producers from USA and Canada will go to war in the ultimate team beat battle! Grab tickets or visit Beat Academy for more info. Video of The Road to […]
  • DJ Premier Explains Iconic Gangstarr Logo
    DJ Premier explains how Guru and Big Shug designed the Gangstarr logo and how it’s been used throughout all of their albums.  Primo also talks about how Mass Appeal was created with the intention of being a radio hit.

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