Category Archives: Podcasts

Crime time

The total eclipse happened. It was neat to see in my cereal box pinhole viewer, but because I didn’t see the totality, my life wasn’t changed.

Podcasts

I’ve begun listening to a few true crime podcasts. My favorite so far is True Crime Garage. It’s hosted by a guy named Nic and another guy who calls himself the Captain. Their research seems solid and they are personable. They begin each podcast by sampling a craft beer. It makes me want to try a few interesting beers, but I don’t think I like beer well enough to spend any money on one.

Another one I like is the Thinking Sideways Podcast. It features two guys in their 40s and a woman in her 30s. They aim to look into mysterious events-not necessarily only crimes. The content here isn’t as in-depth as in the True Crime Garage, but they are entertaining.

I was listening to one called Crawlspace which I think is pretty good. They turned me on to Nic and the Captain so I’ve all but forgotten about this one.  I should get back to it.

Night Time: Canadian True Crime and Mysteries is one I’ve tried, but it hasn’t gotten me hooked yet. Perhaps I prefer shows with more than one host. This one is a solo effort, but he does interview guests.

There’s one called Casefile True Crime that I haven’t listened to in a while. Serial Killers is supposed to be good, but I haven’t tried it yet.

The bottom line here is that I really like the true crime genre. This has eclipsed my interest in the paranormal-for the time being at least.

Art

After spending hours making wrapped loops, I have attained an intermediate skill level. Practice really does make you better! So I figure if I practice drawing, I can get better at that too. I’ve been drawing hands. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a drawing master, but I can get a little better. There’s not enough time to get good at everything. Writing should be my focus.

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Work

While I’m on the subject of writing, I’ll mention my last Science Node article. It was a simple overview of the Citizen CATE project. The project was the National Solar Observatory’s (NSO) effort to collect images of the recent total solar eclipse. Volunteers across the country used telescopes and other NSO provided equipment to get images of the eclipse. The goal was to create a 90-minute video of the event.

I’m moving on to the next story. I wanted to do something on data art, but the paper I found about it was published too long ago for my editor’s liking. Instead, I’m covering research that some people are doing in Switzerland on software that makes creating computer animation accessible for novices. I’m hoping I can get past the more difficult technical bits and write something interesting. Gotta read the paper tomorrow!

Harvey

The hurricane has devastated Houston and other parts of Texas. Could things get any worse on this planet? I’m going to try and stay away from the news and keep my head and heart up.

New interests

Photo: Ghosts in the Hall -Rachel Titiriga

I’ve recently developed an interest in the paranormal. I’m not sure what brought it on. I may have learned about a podcast called Astonishing Legends while listening to Paul F. Tompkins’ SPONTANEANATION. I binged-listened Astonishing Legends and found out about Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast which led me to Jim Harold’s Campfire. There’s another good one I’ve been listening to called The Anything Ghost Show. Astonishing Legends is a heavily researched show. They talk about legendary hauntings like that of the Greyfriars Kirkyard, unexplained mysteries like the deaths of the Dyatlov Pass hikers, and strange creatures like the Mothman. The show covers the paranormal as well as more earthly legends. I’ve found that I prefer the paranormal.

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Craving Attention?

Our performance at Gen Con on Saturday went well, although the audience was a bit quieter than in previous years. I’ve decided that I won’t do this gig again. The other troupe members attend the conference for all four days and dance in busking fashion at various spots in the venue. For the past two years, I have only participated in the Saturday performance. I drive from Bloomington to Indianapolis that morning and return after the performance. It’s a lot of trouble for twenty minutes of dancing. Plus, over the past few years, I just haven’t gotten much of a kick out of performing. I want to keep dancing, but my desire to dance in front of people has diminished over the years. I may have outgrown the need I used to have to be the center of attention.

Is it true that I no longer crave the attention of others? No, I don’t think so. I wouldn’t be blogging, and posting to Instagram if I didn’t want to be viewed favorably by others. It wouldn’t matter to me if my posts got no views and no “likes.” Honestly, it does matter a little.

I’ve been listening to a podcast called SPONTANEANATION WITH PAUL F. TOMPKINS. In the podcast, the aforementioned Tompkins performs a monolog and then interviews the show’s guest. The guest is asked to come up with a location for an improvised narrative sketch to be performed by the assembled group of improvisers. Some sketches are funnier than others, but to me, the show is always entertaining. I love doing acting improv. That’s the kind of performing I would love to do at this point in my life. I don’t see that opportunity coming along any time soon. If it did, I’m sure it would be too time-consuming an activity. When would I write and make art? When would I exercise to stave off the MS symptoms?

Speaking of MS symptoms, I found that despite the fact that my legs have been doing really well, I had trouble on Saturday because the stress of the performance caused some spasticity. It wasn’t terrible, but it was disappointing that my effort to get really hydrated that morning didn’t pay off as much as I had hoped. That’s another reason performing isn’t fun. I just never know quite what to expect from my body. Maybe the answer there is better stress management strategies.

That’s the size of it. I’ll talk about audiobooks and digital humanities in my next post.

Illustration of woman on stage 

 

Pop Culture in a Bucket

I’ve been listening to a podcast called the Pop Culture Happy Hour. It’s “NPR’s entertainment and pop culture round-table podcast” about movies, books, television, nostalgia, and “what’s making us happy this week.”

I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it, but the more I listen, the more I like. Listening to the show feels like a guilty pleasure. I mean, with all of the stuff going on in the world, how can I sit around and listen to people talk about the latest Star Trek movie, or the new episodes of Arrested Development? I think I do need to listen to that kind of talk because it interests me.  It makes happy, and it makes me feel more connected to the culture I live in, and to people who think like me.

We all need to be entertained don’t we?

This feels like a post that could be in-depth, may even quasi-scholarly. I want to go into detail about my relationship  to pop culture. I want to discuss what it’s like to be the child of older parents who listened to Sinatra and Nat King Cole rather than the Beatles. I want this post to be really well written. It ‘s not going to be like that.

For now, this will just be a simple journal entry that I can come back to one day. I  can read it and remind myself of who I was on July 26, 2013.  I can use it as fodder for a bigger and better writing project. In fact, I’m going to create a Fodder category so I can keep track of posts that had the makings of something grander.

Back to the podcast…

They talked about Saturday  Night Live, and it made me want to go back and watch a bunch of SNL sketches.  They mentioned Mr. Show too.  I haven’t watched a lot of that one, but I’d like  to.

Some people have bucket lists of places they want to go and things they want to see. I’m starting to create a list of tv shows and movies to watch, and comic books to read. What does that say about me, I wonder?

The problem with bucket lists is that you need some leisure time to get through them.  I don’t have much of that, but i’ll do what I can. That’s all I can do after all.

PS: The term ‘bucket list’ is over used as far as I’m concerned, but here I am using it anyway. Such hypocrisy!

Bucket o fun