Media Consumption Log: Update

Posted: July 14th, 2009

In January, I started a media consumption log, keeping track of every piece of media I took in during the day. I quit after a single day.

The truth is that keeping a log of every bit of media I consume is a huge honking task. For instance, off the top of my head: today I listened to The Moth podcast, the Tranquility Du Jour podcast, the Savage Love pocast, and the iProcrastinate podcast. I also watched way too many episodes of a certain popular television show which ran for 10 seasons and went off the air in 2004. Furthermore, I caught an interview with Merlin Mann, and watched a few video podcasts of an interview with Jesse Thorn. I also caught up with my RSS feeds. And that’s just what I can remember at the moment.

Maybe it makes more sense for me to do a media consumption log once a week or once a month. It keeps me tuned in to what I’m listening to/watching/reading, but it takes quite a bit of time to track. So, that’s the plan.

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Things I continue to hate…

Posted: July 10th, 2009

Making bureaucratic phone calls. Really, being on hold waiting to engage in a bureaucratic phone conversation. (See my previous post from August of last year on this topic.)

I just spent eight minutes on hold waiting to update my address for my health insurance, because the first person I called was unable to do so. At the end of the eight minutes, I was sent to voicemail. This is reminiscent of last year, when I called about my Permanent Fund Dividend, and was disconnected twice after being on hold for ten minutes each. Seriously, why couldn’t I have left a message when I first called? This is a symptom of UI designers not using what they’ve created themselves—granted, a phone menu system being used by the State of Alaska probably didn’t involve a UI designer to begin with.

Oh, and just for the record: The shmaltzy soprano sax song from last year’s State of Alaska bureaucratic phone calls—complete with “your call is important to us”— is still alive and kicking. Does anyone really like Kenny G?

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Noah's Ark: The gruesomeness of classic children's stories

Posted: July 8th, 2009

Noah's Ark by Edward Hicks

It dawned on me today that the story of Noah’s Ark is pretty terrifying. Think about it—as the story goes, God basically sentenced every living thing on the planet to death by drowning or starvation (except for, of course, two of every species). We only think about the people and animals who were saved from the flood, and not about the billions of living things that died. It’s honestly a pretty adult story, when you imagine the multitude of death. And yet I had several versions of the Noah’s Ark story in picturebook form as a kid.

I’ve always been aware that The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson stories are pretty rough—in the former, there’s a little girl with a green ribbon around her neck whose head falls off when she unties it; and in the latter the Little Mermaid kills herself. I knew the “real” versions of these stories even when I was little. They were dark, sure, but I knew that up front.

Perhaps that’s why the “real” Noah’s Ark story is so much more disturbing to me—it masquerades as a cute story about animals and forgiveness.

I think Noah’s Ark would make a great disaster movie* (which, of course, would be rated PG-13 or R by the MPAA), à la 10.5 or The Day After Tomorrow or Flood.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUWlmED6m5s]

This post was inspired by listening to RadioLab’s April 7th podcast, In Silence.

*Upon further research, it appears that two live-action films have been made about Noah’s Ark, one in 1928, and the other in 1999. You can watch the latter in its entirety on YouTube.

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The fourth, of course.

Posted: July 4th, 2009
Elvgren Pin Up
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