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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013


Original stories, songs, poems, and other creative pieces.

Weekend Creativity Series - Polticial Cartoons

This weekend we learn how to draw some political cartoons. There’s really no right or wrong way to go, so these are just a few options and styles to get us going. The main rules are caricature and being tough on your subject.

First, a few drawing lessons. There aren’t a lot of videos about drawing the current slate of candidates, but there are some. (If you find others, add them in the comments.)


Weekend Creativity Series: Basic HTML

This week, let’s learn to code! Nothing difficult, of course, but it is good to know about the basic tags and how a page gets formatted.

This was something many of us learned in the early 1990’s (we used Netscape Navigator to do just what you see in this video), and is very similar to the old word processing programs of the 1980’s.

More recently, people using the internet use pre-made sites and are “protected” from needing to know any code, except for perhaps the skill of cutting and pasting links or embed codes for videos.

But that’s silly. Being able to create, name, and fill a web page with information is useful. Ever site we visit on the internet is built upon the HTML foundation. It is the language underlying the world wide web.


Weekend Creativity Series - Formula

Pop songs of all genres have formulas for success. Most radio hits are 3 minutes, have an intro, a verse, a chorus, a verse, a breakdown, and go out with the chorus. Most keep the lyrics simple, and geared toward basic emotions, or thought one might have on a dance floor.

This extends beyond pop rock to pop soul and pop country. This week, we take a look at the creative work of Sir Mashalot, who shows us just how similar the county pop hits of today really are.

He chops and re-arranges six songs — "Sure Be Cool If You Did" by Blake Shelton, "Drunk on You" by Luke Bryan, "Chillin' It" by Cole Swindell, "Close Your Eyes" by Parmalee, "This is How We Roll" by Florida Georgia Line, and "Ready, Set, Roll" by Chase Rice — showing just how formulaic and similar they are.


Come Hear Readings on Mercy Friday, Feb 12, 2016 7:30 at the Blue Dot at the Hooker-Dunham

On Friday February 12, at 7:30, Write Action will be hosting a reading of poems and short prose on the topic of Mercy at the Blue Dot in the Hooker-Dunham Building in Brattleboro. In December, the non-profit organization, which supports writing and writers in the tri-state area, solicited the public for short pieces on this topic. Friday's event will bring together some of the writers who responded to the call for written work on the theme of mercy.

This year's invitation to write on one of the virtues is the second such writing prompt that Write Action has shepherded. Last year the organization solicited short stories of 500 words or less on the theme of hope. The group hopes to gather together a collection of writings on virtues, and to publish them in some form.


Weekend Creativity Series - Model Trains

There is a tremendous amount of creativity when it comes to creating miniature worlds, and model train layouts are often some of the most amazing miniatures around. This video shows a engineer’s view of a model train set in the midwest. The video description says:

“The Hennepin Overland Railway Historical Society is located in Minneapolis, MN, and is one of the largest HO layouts in the Twin Cities, MN area. It also has the largest Helix of any model railroad in the United States that we know of. The Helix comprises 1/4 of the entire layout located in a 4,000 sq. ft. warehouse in South Minneapolis, and the entire Main Line equals 11 scale miles of track. If you are interested in visiting this railroad museum check out their web site for directions and hours of operation: http://hennepinoverland.org/


The River Gallery School on Main Street in Brattleboro Offering Class on Book Making

The River Gallery School is offering a class on book making.

Writers and others who want to learn how to create a physical book using basic book binding equipment.

This class will be made up of a series of smaller technique-specific workshops related to book arts. Along with making paste paper, marbled paper and decorative bookcloth, students will learn how to make books with exposed-bindings, soft covers and hard covers.

Students will also be encouraged to explore sculptural bindings and content driven book structures. The class starts March 25, 2016 and goes to May 20, 2016. It will meet Fridays, from 9:30 to Noon. The class coasts $280. The teacher is Briony Morrow-Cribs. Her website is www.brionymorrow-cribbs.com


Weekend Creativity Series - Star Wars Special Effects

This week we take a look at special effects for motion pictures, using the recent Star Wars release as our example.

One of the big lessons of media literacy is that things are not always what they appear. That is, anything can be convincingly faked, and what you think you are looking at may not exist. National Geographic famously moved pyramids to new locations to make a better cover photo, and some news outlets have erased people from images or coverage of events.

So, it is important to know that we are being fooled, and fooled often. Knowing this doesn’t take the fun away when the tricks are used to entertain, but it should help sharpen critical viewing skills.


Weekend Creativity Series: Constructed Languages

This weekend we look at creativity with words. Have you ever thought about inventing your own language? Sometimes children do it, but what about adults?

Here’s a look at three grown-ups who have jobs constructing languages for movies, and how they approach their work. From thinking about who the characters are and where they are from, through grammatical systems and sounds, these folks help elves and Klingons communicate.


Weekend Creativity Series: Building Ornamentation

One of the ways we used to be more creative as a culture was in our ornamentation of buildings. Part of the thrill of visits to big cities is to see the highly decorated and elaborate old facades.

While cost-cutting has streamlined buildings of more recent times, the Washington Cathedral in DC is a relatively new structure that stands as an example of what is possible with carved stone ornamentation. Cats, monsters, frogs, birds, snakes, owls, mules, dragons, pigs, and people are represented as gargoyles and water spouts.


Weekend Creativity Series: Big Data

Let's think big.

I’m stretching the concept of creativity here a bit, but I do so under the following argument: one should be aware of the tools available to be able to fully contemplate creative opportunities.

In simple, artsy terms, knowing about paper and pencils are great, but the creative options expand when one knows about crayons, paints, and markers.


Weekend Creativity Series: Julia Child's Buche De Noel

Creativity comes in all flavors. This week it involves chocolate, baking, and Julia Child.

Watch this episode to see how common items such as flour, sugar, and eggs can be creatively combined to make an edible yule log.


Weekend Creativity Series: Hue and Saturation

This week we’ll study some color theory with Scott Naismith, a Scottish landscape painter, and dive into aspects of hue and saturation with him.

I’ve been doing art all my life, yet still struggle with color. I love black and white lines and using pens and pencils to shade things with hatch marks and smudges. The 256 shades of greyscale suite me well, and they could keep me busy forever.


Weekend Creativity Series: The Way Things Go

This week we’ll take a look at a film called Der Lauf Der Dinge, or The Way Things Go. It was an art installation/project done a while ago in a warehouse, filmed in just a couple of takes, that creates a large Rube Goldberg-style contraption out of ordinary sorts of things such as tires, trash bags, ladders, and fire.

At times it goes fast and has excitement built in, while at other times the drama comes from patiently waiting for something we know is about to happen to indeed occur.


Oh, YAY, Dec. 1 Today!

When I awoke today I remembered a certain calendar and ibrattleboro.  Thank goodness the advent calendar is up and running.  Thanks, Chris for doing it each year.  What a nice treat/gift for us.


The Story of Rosa Parks

Today people are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks' civil disobedience.

Long ago, in 1991, while working at the Capital Children's Museum, a four year old girl came to our Animation Lab with her mother and wanted to make a cartoon. Not an easy task for adults, but this girl was on a mission and got to work. She recorded a soundtrack, created artwork, and directed the animation for "The Rosa Parks Story."


Weekend Creativity Series - Kurosawa and Composing Movement

Let’s put some things together. We have something we want to get across to an audience - on a stage or screen. We’ve learned a bit about practicing and the importance of learning one’s craft so we have something to say. We know about editing, so it will flow well and make the correct impressions.

What about composition of movement? Can moves help us tell a story?

Well, certainly. We’ve all seen silent films with no dialogue, where all action is done in pantomime. And we’ve all seen the opposite in limited animation, where if we turned the volume down on say, Charlie Brown and Linus talking at the wall, we’d have almost no idea of the story.


Weekend Creativity Series: Editing as Punctuation in Film

Here’s a short video essay on film editing by Max Tohline.

One of its premises is that anything can be made to mean anything through editing. It’s true, and something we should all keep in mind as we go about existing in a world filled with media.

Tohline says that editing acts as punctuation in films, and helps with expressing relationships and new modes of thinking.


Weekend Creativity Series - Basic Ballet with Svetlana Todinova

I enjoy watching experts explain tips and pointers about their craft, even when it isn’t my field of expertise. It can be useful and thought-provoking to hear about how other artists think about how they approach their work.

There is something similar in the way professionals, be they dancers, painters, animators, craftspeople, stone carvers, or scientists, think about their skills and professions.

Here, Svetlana Todinova of the Moscow Ballet walks us through what we all need to become ballerinas. As an animator and someone who thinks about drawing gestures, I find her discussion of muscles, weight, and posing to be very interesting and useful.


Weekend Creativity Series - Mark Kistler

Commander Mark will teach you to draw in 3-D. Just learn the magic words.

Mark Kistler had a few TV shows and books aiming to teach anyone to draw in three dimensions. He’s fun, funny, and a good teacher, plus he has his nifty space suit fully-outfitted with pens, pencils, and markers.

This is an early show, The Secret City, from Maryland Public television. Grab some paper and pencils and follow along. You’ll learn something by the end of the hour.


Paint Parties Right Here in Downtown Brattleboro

Paint Parties right here in Downtown Brattleboro

Looking for a fun evening activity? You can join us for a fun night in a relaxed atmosphere, to create your own piece of art. No experience necessary. Teacher is able to take a complex painting and break it down into easy steps. Bring out your inner artist, even if you paint like a 2yr old. :)

The evening cost $35 per person. We must restrict students to age 15+. This is a BYOB event, so no pressure to buy a dinner or drinks at restaurant prices. There are several nights and pictures to choose from. You could even book a private party, email for details.


iBrattleboro Poll

Brattleboro's single-use plastic bag ban should use a plastic thickness of