Darth Vader is bad and his assistant is a mouse

I wrote, on Monday, about my lunch book, Rick Atkinson’s The Guns at Last Light, the last installment of his trilogy on the European Theater of World War II. I discussed Atkinson’s descriptions as “filled with detail and insight and passages from three generations ago that feel like they are fresh today.” This passage is in his prologue which, again, is 41 delicious pages long:


One concise paragraph touches on a millennia of history and technological firsts. It offers a description, a quip and a
discarded plan on how to address the English Channel problem. The guy is good.

Who else is good? The staff at the Crimson. We held our weekly critique meeting today. We’re almost a third of the way through their production run and we’re down things like punctuation in quotes and synonyms. They are working hard and showing their talent. I’m quite proud for them.

This video showed up somehow today, in that delightful way that modern life gives you things from so many directions you’re never sure from which they came. It is, as the kids say, completely insane.

Turns out this guy only finished second in this ridiculous display of gravity, speed and a complete disregard for survival instinct.

This is an entirely different kind of ride than I’d ever want to do. The first time I ever heard people talking about mountain bikes they were celebrating the ways they got hurt, like that was the competition. That’s not for me. One of our friends is a big time, travel across the country, day-long race mountain bike types. I sent him this video and he carefully noted “We can’t all do that!”

Not sure that would have been my first response.

But what a great testimonial for the GoPro camera, no? Ours will not be pressed into such a service.

We fired up the grill at home this evening. The Yankee made a London broil. We kissed it with just enough flame and it was delicious enough for seconds. Adam came over to enjoy the flank steak and catch up on a bit of Game of Thrones.

We’ve been watching them all again. They actually get better on the second viewing. There’s a lot you didn’t catch the first time.

For example:

Things to read
You wonder how Netflix will stay on top of their entertainment niche as others build their own platforms to compete with in-house productions. They have some plans. Five things Netflix is going to disrupt next

The company has big plans for next year, and its executives previewed some of them during Netflix’s Q3 earnings call earlier this week.

This is a topic that’s been going around a few days because of an essay at The Atlantic, which for about 48 hours tried to be something of a continental divide in journalism and education. USC’s Professor Robert Hernandez chimes in. Those required courses in journalism school are there for a reason:

A modern journalist needs to know how the web works, needs to be exposed to and respect all journalistic crafts (including code), and needs to know their role in working with others. And that role is an active role, not a passive one. They need to use these digital tools to produce relevant, quality journalism.

A digital journalist (or web journalist) focuses on producing journalism of the web, not just on the web. That can manifest itself in a diverse set of roles — being the homepage editor, becoming a multimedia storyteller, or developing a news app, alone or with a team. They can use the tools, but they can also build tools when needed.

If you’re a student, I’m not going to debate which path you should take. I’m not even going to debate what level of instruction in digital journalism or code you need to take. (It’s 2013 — are you really arguing against learning technology?)

But what I will say is that, like those other required parts of your education, you are better off for being exposed to it, whether in a journalism career or in life.

How Website Statistics Changed Our Programs

Good news we can all use. Alabama’s economic development prospects improving, officials say:

Birmingham and state economic development experts said plenty of new projects and expansions are looking to invest money and add jobs, but recent history has proven there is a big difference between getting looks and breaking ground.

A panel of economic development experts spoke to members of the Society for Marketing Professional Services Alabama at a luncheon in Vestavia Hills today.

And two items from the multimedia blog:

Twitter, Vine and people the world over make a film

Google media tools

Thanks for stopping by. Much more on Twitter. Hope you have a great day tomorrow.

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