Creating Meaning in the New Media Ecology

Neil Postman wrote 18 books and more than 200 magazine and newspaper articles for major publications in both the U.S. and Europe. His best known book is Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), about mass media’s inability to share serious ideas. Television turns real, complex issues into superficial images, he argues, less about ideas and thoughts…

Memorial

Right before you got very ill, Mom, you had already made up your mind. You wanted no funeral. No wake. No trace left behind but the memories you built yourself with each of us. You wrote letters to us to be read after you were gone. You made every consideration to make sure we knew…

“Wock, papa?”

Lately, right after dinner time, the little boy will stand there, look up at me and say, “wock, papa?”. Now, this word, ‘wock’ is a thoughtful piece of communication. Your first impression may be that it is simply a two-year-old’s version of the word “walk” or perhaps the word “rock” – but the truth behind…

The unseen upside to donating our bodies to science

“Donating your body to science” is a well-known but poorly understood concept, at least, according to my own experience in helping my own Mom accomplish her last wish. It is important to know there are a lot of options out there for donating but there is little, if anything, written about the process and true…

Perception, Context, Empathy, and the Art of Communication

Perceptions sure are funny things. Everything depends on them. Especially outcomes. This is one for the memory banks. Here is some context: last weekend, my little boy and I had just gotten home. We were unloading our bikes from the day’s festivities (it was Memorial Day Weekend), carrying stuff back into the house: he his…

Race, Socio-Economics, and being cool with each other

What do I know about diversity? I thought I knew something about race, gender, socio-economics, and my own identity in relationship to something larger than myself. Turns out I knew very little. I learned more from this past year than I ever imagined I did not know and am keeping my eyes and ears open…

On being a fan

It is an understatement to say YouTube has changed things. It has replaced Encyclopedia Britannica (merely an artifact from another age of learning) as the de-facto go-to resource for everything everyone may want to know, including how to fix an engine, cook dinner using a recipe, even how to tie our shoes. It is a…

Perfect cubes, balance, and the number 27

It’s the 27th day of the month today. Turns out, the number 27 is singular. The Internet can tell us why, mathematically, the number 27 is so unique. For example, 27 is a perfect cube (3 cubed), a completely balanced equation. In math, that is truly saying something. The number 27 pops up a lot,…

DevOps is TeamOps

No doubt, there are a bazillion new buzzwords every year in technology. I’ve not personally been as excited about one in a long time, though, as I am about DevOps, a long overdue blending and alliance between developers and cloud/network engineers/systems administrators, a multi-disciplinary community movement dedicated to the practice of designing, building, evolving and…

Honey, it really works, honey.

Since becoming a grown-up, there are many things about childhood I remember fondly but one of them I was happy to forget about forever and wasn’t anticipating having to deal with again: allergies. For my entire adult life I was allergy-free living in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. . In Chicago, I have tried over-the-counter…

Dropped is in

This 10-minute short film is made up of clips found on YouTube by Chris Beckman, who collected clips of people dropping their video cameras and edited them together into this artful masterpiece:

Bar Harbor

I spent the day yesterday walking around Bar Harbor with some very good pals. Walking and talking, we putzed around the tide pools, took some stills, skipped some stones and took in the area’s beautiful scenery and fresh ocean air. We toured Acadia National Park and spent some time at the top of Cadillac Mountain,…

Flight

Since forever, I’ve been hooked on flight. In planes big or small, balloons, anything that flies, goes fast and is otherwise in direct opposition to the side of me that believes strongly in being safe by observing best practices at all times. I once lived in Juneau, Alaska and used to watch paragliders from my…

Not the Dentist!

From a selection of 29 individual storyboards, we drew two scenes randomly and made a short screenplay from them. Then, using resources immediately available to us, we made this short film in one day on location @ Tinkering School in Montara, California:

Tinkering School: Day 8

Go cart design, assembly and testing by the inimitable Team Tinker with snippets of boat model design and other moments of singular, whimsical tinkering mastery. Thanks to Moby for his song, Porcelain.

Tinkering School: Day 6

Think, Make, Tinker: Theo, Isaac, Leo, Max, Hannah, Nik, Sam, Jacob, Julie and Gever set off to test their inventions on Day 6 of Tinkering School. Nods to King of Hawaii for the groovy surf vibe. touch here to view on iPad or iPhone

Down to the River

As I mentioned earlier, last weekend I went down to the river with a bunch of gear to help Dan Huiting shoot a music video featuring Charlie Parr for City of Music and the video is premiering this coming Monday on the site. See more stills from the shoot and read the article in City…

10 second Charlie

It’s 20 seconds, actually, but it goes by fast as my new pal, Charlie Parr, plays his National while sitting along the mighty Mississippi River: touch here to play on iPad or iPhone

Charlie Parr

I had the distinct pleasure of spending this morning down by the Mississippi River with Charlie Parr, shooting a video for City of Music with Dan Huiting, Chris Cloud, Dave Hannigan and the rest of the MPLS.tv crew. He’s such a good spirit and talented musician. Amidst such a perfect backdrop for his sound, the…