Breaking Bond

If Professor Paul Bond has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is as it seems…

 

Journal of Agent Annabella Smith with Roderick Rush—Breaking Bond

 

 

 

 

Jan 20, 2017

 

 

Agent Roderick Rush, my partner in espionage, and myself have signed up for an online digital storytelling course at UMW taught by Professor Paul Bond. Our organization has told us to investigate Professor Bond as a potential High Value Target. The organization has been watching him the last couple of semesters and thinks he’s up to something. Here are my thoughts so far on the possibility of Professor Bond (if that is his real name) being an agent or criminal mastermind engaging in some kind of plot worthy of attention by our organization:

 

-What better way to hide one’s activities than through teaching an online class?

 

-Using video as instruction could possibly fool students into believing he teaches and works from the same location, when in reality he could be moving from place to place.

 

-The theme of the class would be perfect. He could be throwing us off the scent by making it “obvious” that he’s actually a spy.

 

-It’s always the quiet ones.

 

Professor Bond also used a tweet of mine as an example in a post about what this course will be about. Of course, being a spy, I’m wary of Twitter and other social media sites that emphasize one’s public persona and making what would otherwise be personal information open to the public for anyone to see. Was it a simple way to answer a student’s question, or was he really saying that he was on to us?

 

Beneath his endearing and intelligent façade there might just be the next Moriarty or Goldfinger. Agent Rush and I have our doubts as to if he is that nefarious, but we’re keeping our eyes peeled. In the meantime, all he needs to know is that we’re two average students, but we’ll be gathering intelligence from our sources, and we will find out what’s really going on.

 

 

 

February 3, 2017

 

Week three of Mission 106, and we already have our first piece of intelligence.

An agent in the field was able to locate and discreetly scan a passport belonging to Professor Bond.

 

Needless to say, something is up here. Three big questions arise from this piece of evidence.

 

  • Why does Professor Bond need a Canadian passport?

 

  • Why was the passport issued by the Russian government?

 

  • Why did he obtain the passport just at the beginning of the semester? Why is he travelling while teaching an online class?

 

Neither Agent Rush or myself has an answer just yet. For all we know, he might have more of these. Whether or not he would use the same name on those passports, we don’t know. Agent Rush has a suspicion that Professor Bond might be working with Russian intelligence, but for now, we just wait and see.

 

 

February 17, 2017

 

The organization found out Professor Bond possesses a private jet. So much for the humble librarian and teacher. Now we wait while the tracker collects data so we can find out where Professor Bond is going.

 

February 24, 2017

The last two weeks have been very difficult while creating our radio shows, but it has given Agent Rush and I enough time to collect data from the private jet. He’s definitely up to more than what the average professor should be. We’ve had plenty of results, but the data is less than helpful.

 

(Click here or on the image to view the interactive map:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?authuser=0&mid=1olkLQQ4uYa0lJ3QgsHBMzwjPomQ&ll=1.272923600484475%2C0&z=2)

 

 

It seems Professor Bond is quite the jet-setter. Unless the Society of American Librarians is meeting in Istanbul, Rome, Moscow, and Singapore, it seems Professor Bond has more on his plate than computer science and the Dewey decimal system. Agent Rush and I have looked at the map over and over, and there has to be a pattern, but we’re not seeing it. Maybe by next week we can come up with something

 

 

March 21, 2017

 

Bad news. Some of our contacts have informed us Professor Bond intercepted our tracking device and threw us off his trail. We do know, however, that he didn’t do so until after he had left the US. The other question is: why does ds106 keep receiving interference? Is there another party at play here? Or is it just Professor Bond purposefully trying to throw us off?

 

 

 

March 24, 2017

 

Agent Rush and I decided to split up and do what we can in the field. He’ll be heading to Russia, and I’ll be heading to Canada. We’ll be able to maintain our covers by continuing to submit homework and pretending the class is still going smoothly. Our contacts in both countries should be able to tell us something, given the right leverage. Professor Bond isn’t the only one who can take advantage of the online class format. He will be exposed.

 

 

April 7, 2017

 

A source close to the organization has found something that might explain our strange map data. Reports from the Canadian and American maple syrup authorities have been busting a couple of vendors for selling illegal maple syrup. The government, especially in Canada, does not play around with this. There are special regulations about maple syrup, including who can traffic it across the border. This stuff is popping up all around the Northeast and in New Brunswick, Canada (which just happens to be his first international stop in the tracking device log).

 

The organization we work for has heard of these syrup kingpins before. If this stuff is as good as the syrup junkies say it is, and if we can find hard evidence of a large-scale illegal syrup operation, we might have found the root of all this. It would explain the passport, the wild goose chase that came out of the jet tracking device, and a lot of other strange behavior.

 

 

April 14, 2017

 

Finally, the last break in the case. We’ve got him this time.

 

While searching the woods of New Brunswick, Canada, Agent Rush and I found a goldmine (or a syrup mine).

 

 

 

Our intelligence was correct. Professor Bond is actually running the largest clandestine maple syrup operation in history. He’s been flooding the markets in Maine and much of the Northeast US and parts of Canada with his syrup. It’s highly addictive and the purest product the authorities have ever come across. With our help, the authorities seized more than $5,000,000 in “amber gold.”

 

To make sure it we were on the right trail, we took some samples back to our organization’s lab.

 

An unmarked bottle of the good stuff

 

Up-close view of the product. Almost entirely pure.

 

This is 99.7% grade B maple syrup. Grade A is meant for eating and not cooking, but grade B is purer. This is the purest maple syrup ever found. No wonder it has thousands of syrup junkies hooked. The humble but mysterious Professor Bond has been making a killing.

 

Testing the evidence

 

After a quick taste test (all things in moderation, of course), Agent Rush and I agree that, even though he is an evil genius and a syrup kingpin, Professor Bond really is onto something here!

The Career of Hugh Jackman

For the Favorite Actor/Actress Highlight Reel, I decided to make a supercut, more or less, of Hugh Jackman’s acting career up to this point (from the 90s up to 2017). From his first television appearance in Law of the Land, an Australian show, to 2017’s Logan, I wanted to show his diversity as an actor and his evolution. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really include much of Jackman’s material on stage. Until 2000’s X-Men, Jackman was primarily known as a dramatic stage actor, which did land him film roles like Kate and Leopold and Les Miserables, but the first reactions to the casting news that he would be playing Wolverine were pretty negative. By the end, of course, we all know that Jackman was born to play Wolverine, and that he was absolutely perfect in Logan, but that he has a range that is very rare for a Hollywood actor. I also thought it was pretty entertaining to see him go from a young guy in a goofy television series to this grizzled badass that we all know and love.

Creating this video actually took a good amount of work. First, using IMDb as my guide, I picked what I thought was a good range of roles over his career so far. I avoided using some of his more negatively received performances (but I couldn’t help but add his performance from Pan in, since it was just so cheesy and the makeup was too weird not to include). Finding clips also proved fairly difficult. For example, I wanted to find a clip form another Australian television series he did when he was in his 20s called Snowy River, which he shot sometime between Law of the Land and X-Men, but there are very few clips available showing him in the show, despite his being one of the main characters. Downloading and then importing the clips into iMovie was pretty time consuming, but by far the most time-consuming element was trimming each clip down to a suitable time that also showcased something about his role in the film. I also had a little added technical difficulty with iMovie’s credit sequence preset. Despite all this, and despite making it a little too long for the assignment guidelines, I liked this quite a bit and had a lot of fun making it.