Digital City Videos Are Here


Last week I had a blast at the UAB Digital City Ethnographic Film event.  Eight movies were shown on the giant IMAX screen inside the McWane Science Center.  And all the films were very good!  For a recap of the event click on the link.  http://geekalabama.com/2012/05/03/digital-city-at-mcwane-science-center/

Now all eight films have been put on Vimeo for everyone to enjoy!  Here’s the one I am in called Riders on the Storm produced by Kevin Franks and Tyler Malugani.  This film also features James Spann, John Brown, and T.D. Todd.  Notice the excitement that my tornado lamp was used in the opening of the film.

The other films were great as well.  I know you are going to enjoy these films.  Take the time and watch all eight!

Unfare System: Birmingham Public Transit by Melissa Crook and Daniel Twieg.

We Came To Learn: The Drop Out Recovery Program by Jessica Craig and Adrian Jones.

Abandoned Canvas: Painting on Birmingham’s Margins by Majaliwa Mzombwe and Naithon Henning.

From Mountains to Metropolis: Old Time Music in Birmingham by Stephanie Cook and Rachell Berry.

Awake: Hip Hop Artistry in Birmingham by Ebony Hinton and Sierra Nicely.

Physical Truths: Making Art at UAB by Katelyn Armstrong and Ali Massoud.

Never Too Late to Learn by Nathan Ennis.

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Digital City at McWane Science Center


On Wednesday night I had a great time at the Digital City movie event which showed short ethnographic movies made by UAB students.  Eight ethnographic films were shown to a packed audience inside the IMAX in the McWane Science Center in downtown Birmingham.

These movies were made by students who were enrolled in the ethnographic film class inside the UAB Media Studies department.  Ethnography is a method used in social science in which community based research or fieldwork is conducted to learn about and represent a group of people or social phenomenon.  The students produced these films over a semester long research project.  The students had to investigate a social justice issue related to a local community or culture.

Before the show began; the music from Friends of Old Time Music & Dance was great.  They were featured in one of the movies!

The show featured eight ethnographic films ranging from hip-hop; seniors learning to use computers, graffiti artists, high school dropouts getting a second chance, people playing music, art programs at UAB, problems on Birmingham bus routes, and people who do storm spotting.

Ebony Hinton and Sierra Nicely produced “Awake: Hip-Hop Artistry in Birmingham.”

Nate Ennis produced “Never Too Late to Learn.”

Naithon Henning and Majaliwa Mzombwe produced “Abandoned Canvas: Painting on Birmingham’s Margins.”

Jessica Craig and Adrian Jones produced “We Came to Learn.”

Rachell Berry and Stephanie Cook produced “From Mountains to Metropolis: Old Time Music in Birmingham.”

Katelyn Armstrong and Ali Massoud produced “Physical Truths: Making Art at UAB.”

Melissa Crook and Daniel Twieg produced “Unfare System: Birmingham Public Transit.”

I was featured along with James Spann, John Brown, and T.D. Todd about storm spotting.  The film was titled “Riders on the Storm” and was produced by Kevin Franks and Tyler Malugani.  Yes I do look great up on a IMAX screen!

After all of the movies were shown; the audience gave a standing ovation to all of the filmmakers.

And the reception after the show was great as well!

Me with filmmakers Kevin Franks and Tyler Malugani.

It was a great night!  To learn more about UAB Media Studies visit http://www.uab.edu/mediastudies/

Check out past ethnographic films made by students at http://vimeo.com/channels/digitalcommunity.  I will let you know when this year’s films are put online!

Digital City Tonight


I wanted to share something happening tonight that is very cool!  I was interviewed by one of the students about storm spotting.  And tonight the Department of History will present Digital City, a free film screening of students’ ethnographic films, on May 2 in the McWane Center’s Imax theater at 7 p.m.

The production will feature films with topics such as Birmingham public transit, graffiti, high school dropout programs, storm spotters (me), old time music, pursuing art at UAB, hip hop and computer literacy for the elderly.

UAB Ethnographic Filmmaking is an interdisciplinary class that merges the methods of documentary filmmaking and anthropology as a way for students to research and represent local communities through film. Ethnography is a method used in social science in which community-based research or “field work” is conducted to learn about and represent a group of people or a social phenomenon. The students’ films are the product of a semester long research assignment in which students investigate a social justice issue related to a local community or culture.

If you plan to come tonight get there early!  They say it will be a packed house; plus its free to attend.  Look for a review post about this event on Geek Alabama soon!

Vulcan’s Dream Machine


Right now I am still sick.  I have a clogged up nose and a sore throat.  So this morning I wanted to do something easy.  And before I saw James Spann speaking at the Alabama Theatre on Monday I went to the McWane Science Center next door.  One to take a quick bathroom break but the other is to see one of my favorite things in the lobby.  The Vulcan’s Dream Machine is a contraption that uses various devices to get the balls from the top to the bottom.  And after the balls are carried to the top gravity does the rest.  So enjoy the pictures below.  And I hope I start feeling better soon.

Exciting Times Around Here!


The next 7 days promises to be great here in Alabama.  I am going to attend several events within the next week that I am excited to go to.  So let’s get started!

Susan B Komen Race for the Cure

The 20th anniversary of the Race for the Cure is on Saturday October 15 in downtown Birmingham.  Breast cancer has affected many people around the world and this is going to be a huge crowd event on Saturday morning.  In 2010 they had over 16,000 participants at the Komen North Central Alabama Race for the Cure® and raised over $1 million in the fight against breast cancer!  So I look forward to this event.

NWA 2011 Weather Fest

On Saturday after The Race for the Cure is the Weather Fest Event at the Mcwane Science Center.  This will be one of the largest public weather events in the nation!  Excited already; here is the info from the http://www.nwa2011.com

Get ready for a wide-range of activities for kids including a tornado machine.  Static displays will include a two Doppler on Wheels, the TIV2 from the StormChasers television show, a mobile wind profiler, the Fox 6 StormTracker, and a mobile command post from the Jefferson County Emergency Management.  There will even been a teathered weather balloon.

 I’m really excited that Fox 6 will be programming weather radios along with the National Weather Service and Midland Radio.  ABC 33/40 and CBS 42 will have a green wall display for kids to do their own weathercast.  We’ll also have talks from meteorologists around the country including some of the nation’s leading tornado researchers.  Gary Dobbs from WAAY-TV in Huntsville will talk about surviving an EF5 tornado, Jerry Tracey from Alabama’s 13 will discuss his station’s coverage of April 27th’s outbreak, and Dan Satterfield from WHNT in Huntsville will discuss his travels to the Antarctica and Greenland.

I’m also excited several universities will be present with information about their meteorology programs including the University of South Alabama, Mississippi State University, and UA Huntsville.

The best news – the event is free.  If you are interested in a bit more – our host the McWane Science Center is offering a discounted admission.  Inside – you can meet Stormchaser and IMAX film maker Sean Casey, watch the April’s Fury documentary, and play inside the Fox 6 WeatherLab.  The featured IMAX film is Tornado Alley.

WeatherFest runs from 10am to 2pm at the McWane Science Center in Birmingham.

Rick and Bubba show

A popular radio duo here in Birmingham and heard around the South East USA and on Satellite Radio is where I will be at on Tuesday October 18.  They invite several people each weekday morning to attend the show in golden ticket seats!  So I got a ticket and will be there that morning.  These guys are very talented and do a very good job.  So it will be a good time.

NWA 2011 Town Hall Meeting

I have been invited to attend this event on Tuesday October 18.  After the April, 27 2011 super tornado outbreak that killed around 250 people.  This event has been designed to help make the warning process better.  So I am looking forward to this

On Tuesday evening of the Annual Meeting, two hundred scientifically chosen people who were in Central Alabama on April 27th will be present in the ballroom at the Wynfrey Hotel.  Social scientists Dr. Laura Myers and Kim Klockow are preparing a set of research interview questions about the warning process, preparedness and response.  Dr. John Scala will facilitate as Laura and Kim lead a focus group on the stage of ten people that are a subset of the two hundred local people.  The goal will be to solicit subjective data about the warning process and severe weather. The other 190 audience members that will be equipped with audience response devices.  As subjects are covered, the scientists will turn to  the audience members to get objective statistics to important research questions.  At the same time, Dr. Scala will moderate color commentary from a panel of weather enterprise experts, including NWS, EMs, broadcasters, academcians and school administrators. The rest of the audience will be made up of NWA attendees.  It will be a superb opportunity to listen to survivors of one of the worst tornado outbreaks in United States history and to watch scientific data being gathered in real time.  Make sure to plan to be present Tuesday evening.

The April 27 super tornado outbreak killed around 250 people.  This event is great so we can gather information on how to get the warning out faster to save lives!

These events along with a huge job fair in Pelham, AL on October 18 and the High School Football games tonight sure to make this a week to remember.  Look for photos and videos of all of these events over the next few weeks here on Young’s Blog.