September’s 13

Technology, Flip Mino: Can’t say I completely love the new Flip Mino, as it seems to be a truly herky-jerky visual affair when loaded onto public systems like YouTube. And the audio can come across as rough. Truth be told, the editing software is primitive. But for those of us with tech limitations, but also with the desire to easily and simply load motion pictures onto the web… well, the Flip Mino has its charms, at an affordable pricetag, to boot.

Books, Dave Gray’s Reading List: I think Dave Gray’s a pretty smart guy. What he knows, he really knows. For example, visual thinking. I am fairly sure I wouldn’t be able to attack even a small portion of this list before the year ends, but as a long-term project, a way to start learning about a pretty interesting slice of mass communications… on that level, I’d love to delve into this deep pool of books. Wish me luck. Gonna need it.

Torture, waterboarding: Have you ever heard a phrase enough to have a pretty good for what the topic’s about, without really knowing it? Conversely, have you ever been completely surprised by how little you know about a topic, one that you really should have a sense of, even when it usually takes place half a world away? Yup, me too. On both counts. I never really knew what waterboarding entailed, which has now been graphically shown to me via a video and article by Christopher Hitchens, in which the venerable writer is tortured for mere seconds, before he succumbs to the act. Think you’re tough? Really mentally tough? Think about that when peeking at this vid.

Teaching, the challenge of the millennials: For those of you who deal with the young peeps, consider reading this missive from Alex Berger, who touches on subjects that will have you shaking your head in both dismay and agreement. If possible, while reading (or listening to the podcast), multi-task on four-six other forms of media. (Thanks, Jo Guldi, for the intercepted link.)

Food, exotics: A few months back, I began eating fish and seafood, after 20 years of not doing so. Chewing through octopus and squid has been an odd experience, at times, but not as trying as the meal undertaken by Bill Plaschke, who’d been covering the Olympics for various mass media outlets. He seemed to get his proverbial money’s worth. And he definitely got a story.

Gimmick sites, Cassette From My Ex: Mind you, I love gimmick sites, those single-idea gems that seem to just make a ton of sense the second you come across them. And few have hit me with more “oh-you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me-it’s-so-right-there” power than, which is dedicated to exactly what you’d expect. Some “name” writers discuss their favorite tapes – and we’re talking tapes here, people – and the stories behind them, with steaming content of the actual cassettes. What an idea! It’s always been there! D’oh!

Flickr user, BLANK: Original shout-out cut due to the fact that featured individual, in person, turns out to be a complete braying jackass.

Documentary I, “Goth Cruise“: Those of you who missed the film at the Wini Moore recently, should keep a look out for this subtle charmer on the IFC, where it’ll soon be given a cable second life. Funny stuff and the soundtrack’s more than a bit reminiscent of my own stereo in 1993, if not 2008. (Meeting the director, though, proved that you someone’s don’t actually want to meet the people you think you want to meet. They can be bummers. Or something. Socialization can be overrated.)

Documentary II, “Man on Wire“: Crazy Frechman decides to cross the World Trade Center Towers via metal wire, with no harnesses or nets. Crazy Frenchman decides to bring in his best friends (and some absolute strangers) for site support. Years later, a film on said Crazy Frechman appears, with inventive storytelling, outright gasp-worthy photography from the time and a strange sense of tension for an event that occurred over three decades ago. What a movie, based on the wild ideas of a man, Philippe Petit, who deserves respect for his lunacy, an ultimate act of audacious, prank-based UE.

Album I, Wire, “Chairs Missing“: Thanks to iPods, those albums that you’d kinda/sorta thought about for years, without ever listening to them, are so close to your ears. To think that I’ve robbed myself of “Chairs Missing” for all this time is quite alarming. I’d be sad, if I didn’t have instant access to this gem… right now. What a bit of brilliance. Thanks, iPod!

Album II, Bloc Party, “Intimacy”: It’s available. Now. Must buy. Must buy now. Why am I typing all these words and not buying this album, right now?

Agriculture, SPIN farming: So I learned something today, a bit of knowledge about SPIN farming, a concept that’s becoming more popular around the country, as people turn their otherwise (insert: disappointing, weedy, unkempt, unused, underused, decrepit) back yards into small-plot farms, which can combine into CSA-style micro producers of organic foods. Heard about it while running the board on tonight’s edition of “Topic A” on KDHX and the idea’s already been turning in my head for the past-90 minutes. Thinking that my weeds could soon be banana peppers, my weed trees could be cucumbers… Could live with that. Definitely could. Just need to turn these “coulds” into “wills.”

Bravo star who needs to be stopped, Tabatha: Oh, gosh. Where to start? Maybe by killing cable? I am getting nearer every day. Every day, a little bit nearer. Soon. Soon.