Sep 17

That’s a nice upgrade

Seventh best in the world.

Take that, planet earth.

Sep 17

Words to live by

My television station students held an organizational meeting tonight. This was the news division:

There was simultaneously a production meeting going on elsewhere. There will be a sports meeting and then a creative pitch meeting come up soon, too. For a small organization it sometimes seems rather big. Their first shows head into the studio next week, by the way.

Tonight, though, there were meetings after a full day. And then I really wanted a hamburger. I really wanted a hamburger. So I tried the new Red Robin. (Yummm.)

The burger was fine. The french fries were few. But it was late into their night and I am sure the kitchen was ready to close. Around the corner from my table, though, was a cool sign:

When in doubt, make a joke about the salad, and then order something else.

Aug 17

That thing that everybody’s working for

There’s just something about today that makes it feel like Friday. Maybe it is that there is a three-day weekend ahead. Maybe because there is football tonight. There’s just something in the air to make it feel like today is the getaway day.

Maybe it is the little informal ceremony we had today. The Media School did a very low key thank you for Ed Spray. He’s an IU alum that has just had our television control room named in his honor. The studio is named after his classmate, Ken Beckley, who became quite successful on camera. Spray became a star off screen, and in media administration – Emmys in Chicago, management in Los Angeles, co-creator of HGTV and president of the Scripps Networks. Lovely gentleman, as unassuming as could be.

That’s the dean and Spray, on the left, in the control room. We decided that while there is a strict no food or drinks policy in the room, his name is on the door, so what can we do about it if he brings in a water bottle?

And then, this evening, I turned on the big screen, which usually shows off six different channels, to just the one for the big game. Thursday night football in 25-foot by 12-foot glory:

So, yeah, it seems like the weekend is already here.

But, then, there is always tomorrow.

Aug 17

First live show of the year

So here we are, on the fourth day of classes, presenting the first live broadcast of the year. It was an almost-four-hour broadcast. There were about 11 students running the production and, after the first few minutes, they really found a nice groove and made a neat little show covering various media topics du jour. Four locations, eight cameras, four hours. This was broadcast on my students’ campus cable station, syndicated on the campus radio station and one of their internet streams and pushed out to Facebook Live. Again, this was the fourth day of class.

You can watch it here:

Having been in the studios and the control room, I hope I managed to in no way sneak onto a camera.

Aug 17

Eclipsed by the hype

Today was my third eclipse. At least the third that I can recall. My first was in elementary school, when they took great pains to coach us into not looking up. We made the little cardboard pinhole thing and it was underwhelming. (It was only a partial eclipse where we were.) Then, in middle school, I was working one summer for a teacher and we were outdoors and watched another partial eclipse. It was underwhelming.

But this time, so much more of the sun would be eclipsed! A vast, vast majority of the sun where we are! And the hype machine had, of course, reached Mayweather-McGregor proportions. I’d said I wouldn’t bother, but if you hear the drumbeat long enough you’re liable to start dancing. So I got my gear and got ready:


Today was also the first day of classes for the fall term and everyone wisely avoided making ominous omens out of the two parallel events. But we put the eclipse up on the big screen for any curious folks who wanted to save their eyes and enjoy some really top-notch air conditioning:


And when I was walking into the building from elsewhere a student let me borrow his little eclipse card the school was distributing to several thousand people:


If anything, that’s just a terrific demonstration of the “size of the sun” in the sky. That’s in partial eclipse, but look how tiny it is, compared to what you normally think of as the sun’s size, which is really just pure radiation beaming down onto our heads and into our eyes — with which we are, I am told, never to use for solar contact.

Also, I made a video. This is 360 degrees, as I am still playing around with the camera to see what it will and won’t do. (Audio is a consideration, I realized this time out.) So move it around and see a few things:

I would have started the video a bit earlier, and caught more of the eclipse, but I encountered the two most clueless people I’ve met in some time. They whelmed me, but not overly so.