Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Sunday, all! Here are a few fun songs to help start your day.

The first one here coming from CBC's Definitely Not the Opera. Brilliant number from Adrian Glynn for their "Taking 'Chore' out of Chores" episode; definitely worth listening to (both the song and the program).

Staying with the laundromat theme, here's a classic number from Orbital and Goldfrapp called, "Are We here?".

Also, until I figure out how to put mini-links to the stuff I find interesting, but can't exactly find the words for, you can follow me on Google +. There, I'll share links and quite possibly a bit more; see for yourself if you'd like.

If possible, please let me know about how to set-up the mini-links through the comments. I'd be more than grateful for the assistance. 

Information Overload: The 21st Century Version of Media Plurality at 5 in the Morning

I'll be honest, technology has actually made media plurality a wonderful thing. Before I had received my laptop three years ago and connected to the internet, I was content on listening to NHK World on shortwave and reading the New London Day in it's newspaper form when the high school had spare copies. I was growing up and content with the news I received from them; NHK gave me a global outlook on news while the Day's Regional and Daybreak gave me my local scoop from the police logs to Dear Amy.

In today's news media landscape, I'm grateful for the laptop. Each morning it's Al Jazeera English, The Guardian (UK Version), BBC, France 24, CBC (especially their radio programs), RT, and the local Patch and Day websites. It wasn't necessarily in this order and it wasn't always the same websites each morning.

Sometimes, the news can be hard to read when the coffee is just starting to kick in. Take Wadah Khanfar's decision to step down from being Al Jazeera's Director General for example. I had read this during one of my morning news routines. And then there's this (courtesy of RT)...

At this point, it was hard to know who was right or wrong and the clear fact was this: speculation at 5 in the morning is not a fun exercise. I had posted this video to my Facebook profile and I added...

"An even better idea: have a Listening Post (or a stand alone documentary) program with journalists from the network speak out, like the one in the video with this article."

After that posting I actually thought about this slightly when I didn't have my nosed pinned to my Psychology textbook or reciting Spanish vocabulary in my head (the latter I really enjoy doing). Al Jazeera English had a series of documentaries about the events Post 9/11 (under 9/11 Programmes*) which seemed to contradict the cables the reports mentioned. 

So who's right and wrong? That can't be defined at plurality is brilliant, but only when I'm awake. 

*Programs are not for the faint of hear as there's detailed reporting from both sides

Also, Listening Post had a program about Khanfar's decision to step down. Also, this is worth looking at from the press watchdog, Reporters Without Borders. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Wonders of Being a Writer

Commonplace information to be sure, but I couldn't help, but agree with Sean Bonner's post on Google +. As a writer, the cast and events in my life are a excellent (not just good) source of inspiration. One of my first writing assignments, from a writers' workshop I went to during high school, had me writing about a situation at the local I-Hop.

What it needed to revolve around was this: It was in the middle of the night and a customer (assumed drunk or has gone mad) is reluctant to turn out of the parking lot because the stoplight is not flashing green; and it won't be until daybreak. A high speed chase should ensue in the small parking lot; the instructor used a police officer as an example. Everything else was up to us.

So with all the craziness of my high school life, I decided to use the current situation I was in. I had gotten out of a rather bad relationship with a person who stuck like glue and never let go. Essentially, the rough sketch had her in the I-Hop at another table, while a shoeless me (somebody at school, not the girl, had a thing for my shoes) was stuck with a old 'chauffeur' and two of my high school friends. Essentially, she went mad, I passed out, and everybody else had to chase her around the parking lot and out onto the road for an 'epic' (if not unoriginal) chase. The chase ended up with me and the entourage in the van being transported to 1975; it was an exercise so I did what I could for being 14-15ish.

A year later, I began to use the exercise seriously; removing all the unoriginal bits and adding more of my life. By this point, the revised exercise now turned story had much more plot and detail. The two 'cool' guys now played poker in the I-Hop and I was their 'water-boy'. A brownie and potato chip salesman was setting up headquarters outside who had the luck to make a profit from selling mundane items. Also, another friend was included who acted as support in the story for me between the ex and the two guys playing poker, and more appearances by the shoe thief. 

I was quite proud of what I achieved at this point, turning one of the most stressful bits in my life into my first piece of writing; nothing published yet. Hopefully, I can get back to it when the homework dies down slightly and finish the thing altogether. From stolen shoes, I-Hop poker games, a high speed chase in the parking lot, and successful potato chip salesmen, my life does not just have a brilliant cast, as Bonner mentions, but also brilliant adventures.