Monday, September 16, 2013

My Online Assignment #1

1. I was born in Boston, but mostly grew up in St. Paul, MN. Always brought Red Sox loyalties with me, though.

2. In this job, I read a lot of news. Probably my 'primary' source is the New York Times, but I check in with a couple of dozen outlets from day to day. I keep my eye on the big American cable channels--CNN, MSNBC, Fox News--as well as local newspapers (State Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). When I'm in the car, I usually listen to NPR. Blogs and some other online media are also becoming indispensable, so I check in with Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, Politico, and some others. I also check out what friends and acquaintances on Facebook and Twitter are linking to.

3. I don't watch regular TV, but every once in a while I get into some particular show, usually streaming or on DVD. Recently my wife and I have watched WarTime Farm, a sort of documentary in which 3 goofy British historians go to a farm and reimagine what life on English farms was like during the 2nd World War. Super dorky, but my wife's family are dairy farmers, so it's pretty interesting to see how they handled stuff 70 years ago, without enough fuel, etc.


5. It might be flash mobs. They seemed kind of cool when they first started, but now I'm afraid they're getting old. I was in a train station somewhere this summer where they had been trying to do a flash mob, but there weren't really enough people, and a lot of them didn't know the dance or whatever very well. It might be a phenomenon that has run its course--except for the really excellent and original examples, of course.

6. Since I play the music, I don't really need to give myself suggestions. But I have been thinking some Prince might be nice. So if you'd like to hear something else, it would be good to suggest it...

7. This isn't exactly a new one, but I just found it a really cool and original use of autotune. We used to watch videos from Carl Sagan's series Cosmos a lot in earth sciences in high school, which is where the video here comes from. (Incidentally, the series is apparently being brought back by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.)

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