May 22

Coldest 62° ever

I believe I had the last meeting of the semester today. Things aren’t over, but the meetings are. And the activities are wrapping up this weekend. Once those tasks are complete, we’ll be doing … summer things.

Personally, I think everyone needs a few weeks off, unscored against their vacation time. It’d do everyone a world of good after the last few years. It’d be useful for the year to come.

Just you wait, someone is going to say this out loud in a few months, but you heard it here first.

But no one listens to my ideas.

Makes the meetings fun.

Here are some more of the programs IUSTV has produced at the end of the semester. I’m told there’s still maybe one more show to roll out this week.

They are still editing and producing shows during finals week. It’s impressive.

Robert Steven Mack is interviewing American Enterprise Institute’s Dr. Zack Cooper, about China’s relationship with Russia and the U.S. after the invasion of Ukraine. Pretty hefty stuff.

Riley and Alex follow the fan shenanigans — I’m just going to call them fananigans — during Little 500 weekend. It’s real atmospheric stuff. Fun, enthusiasm, silliness. What a campus should be — at least part of the time.

It took me two episodes to get it, but I’m a slow learner. That show grows on you in a hurry. I’ll miss it over the summer, but I hope it comes back even bigger in the fall.

We went for a bike ride this evening. She had to do hill repeats. Usually, when I even hear the phrase “hill repeats” I lose two or three miles per hour off my average. But I checked my numbers just before we started the hills, and just after, and I managed to hold everything steady throughout the up and down and up and down and up and down of the hill repeats.

There will be harder, longer hills later. I’ll be slower. The above paragraph will not apply to that experience.

Here we are — well, here she is; I am behind the camera — after those hills, and weaving through the last two neighborhoods before the house. In the last one we found ourselves in an impromptu sprint. We were doing the mid 30s and I was running out of gears.

I was probably working harder at it than she was.

She’s fast.

May 22

More moving pictures

I was mistaken about the number of shows still left in the tank for IUSTV. I thought there were two. Here are four. And there’s at least two more still to go after this … So I was off by six.

It’s not the greatest miscount of my week, I am sure.

Anyway, let’s watch some stuff. IU Fanshop, which is a show just about being a fan (the most important thing at the park, by the way) they’re talking to people at a softball game. There’s even an appearance from The Yankee in this show.

They also went out and heard from all of the people at the Little 500 races. This is a two-part feature. Here’s part one.

And here’s Not Too Late. Mia interviews some guy named Captain Torrent, a movie pirate, who’s really leaning into the bit. Also, there’s a pet safety segment.

And here’s the morning show, The Bloomington Breakfast Club, with their season finale, which I wrote about here on Friday.

I got in from the office, narrowly avoiding the many traffic hazards along the way. For a time I cataloged them. How many dangerous or nonsensical or stupid things can you find in 4.5-mile trip. Quite a few, as it turns out.

Yesterday an SUV and a UPS truck were each parked on a two-lane, one way road. That means the road was … I’ll wait while you do the math here … blocked. There was also the zipping around people guy. And, later, the person who almost had a violent lesson in how roundabouts work. And we haven’t discussed yet the pedestrians.

It’s an everyday adventure. As I negotiated part of that route today, in the always-neat simultaneous sun and rain, the local radio host was doing his annual bit about the city getting lighter this summer. The out-of-town students are beginning to scatter as they wrap up their finals. We are saying all of our goodbyes and starting to think about having parking spaces and being able to make a left turn in just one red light.

Today I barely made it through a straight intersection in one light. A few months with almost a third less of the cars and people wouldn’t be a bad thing. To say nothing of the buses.

The buses are their own sort of danger.

Scenes from a walk. The golden groundsel (Packera aurea) is back and showing off.

And the dandelions are happily back as well, seemingly everywhere that hasn’t been mowed recently. The public properties don’t get cut every week, which means a lot of puffballs.

The foliage on the trees are on their way, supposedly.

At least the clouds are dynamic, right?

Apr 22

Doesn’t get better than donuts

There were donuts in the building this morning, and I was nominally involved in the event. My fee was paid in donuts. I had an old fashioned, my standard donut choice. (If you’re at home reading this, go outside for a moment.)

I am not writing home about that donut. It was dry and flavorless, and this is sometimes a misnomer about the old fashioned. It shouldn’t be either of those things. It should be subtle, and nuanced. This was not.

I also grabbed a powdered sugar donut. (You may go back inside, because I will write home about this donut.)

That donut was the best decision of the morning.

I had two studio productions canceled today, and one shoot that went off without a hitch. I think there are just two more productions left this week. Time creeps by, no matter how much fun you’re having, or not having, as the case may be.

I was in a meeting yesterday where this semi-famous quote came up. William Bernbach was an American advertising creative director. He co-founded an influential, global ad agency, and had a huge role in the advertising landscape of the second half of the 20th century. Volkswagen, Life, Juan Valdez, if you watched any TV or read any magazines in the last 80 years or so, you’ve seen some of his agency’s work, and if you’re of a certain age, quite his very own campaigns.

This makes him a celebrity in the right circles. In fact, if you watched Mad Men, you heard his name get dropped a few times, for good reason.

All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.

Anyway, impressive cultural contributor. Important concept in the quote, which has earned its own fame over the years. You know it has pulled the weight the author intended because it has appeared in several textbooks. It’s funny how those mid-century sorts seemed to be reaching beyond their own event horizon.

The quote, of course, also finds its way into a lot of navel-gazing webpages. There’s one that asks Should We Evaluate the Media Input in Our Lives? And if every there was a question that needed asking because it didn’t need to be asked, it might be that one. The brief piece seems to start from the position that we’ve already and incontrovertibly vulgarized and brutalized it. But this isn’t a universal truth, of course.

I’ve been wondering today about the lifting to a higher level. We’d all like to think we have. And, as it came up in that meeting, it isn’t necessarily a big lift that you’re always after. Just a bit is enough. Mass media? Society? The former is merely the tool. Society, being of considerable size, requires a fulcrum.

Hopefully, I’ve done a decent enough job in helping show others how to lift it. Surely I’ve worked with others who have actually shaped some bit of society. Me?

I’m just doing podcasts that I find interesting, after all. This is compelling research.

It turns out we need more people, different sorts of people, in our in-person, face-to-face interactions. That challenges us, mentally, and that stimulus could help ward off cognitive decline as we age. That’s the research from IU’s Dr. Adam Roth. I talked to him about his recent work.

Listen to that, share the show, and then let’s all go out and make new friends.

If watching videos sounds better than listening to me — and who could blame you? — these are the news shows the IUSTV gang produced last night. These are the last two shows of the news division this semester. Here’s the news show. And there’s been big news in town. Two shootings within minutes of one another over the weekend sent four people to the hospital. As of this writing, still no arrests announced.

And here’s What’s Up Weekly, the pop culture magazine style show. There’s a haircut and a taco hat and some clever jokes in here.

The entertainment group will shoot three more shows this week, and that’ll be a wrap on the term. More bragging to come, then, on Friday.

Apr 22

Pro movement

This blocked traffic this morning. I’ve sped this up, because it is a three-minute effort and let’s be honest about our web habits but this beam and assorted other things started on that truck and it’s an interesting move.

The car in the foreground is close to the move. The small tree and the truck are very much involved. Those power lines aren’t exactly far away. This is a fair effort. And these guys handled it ease.

I do believe they’ve done this before.

We never think that much about the hard parts of putting up a building we are in. We don’t even know what the hard parts are. This might have been the easiest thing they did all day — and, if so, I hope everyone got a good night’s sleep. When the owner walks in the door when that build is complete, they’ll never know.

I did that thing today where you struggle with technology and you can’t find the solution to the problem and someone has to come by and show you the obvious thing you’ve overlooked. That happens to everyone. Except, when it happens to me it’s always the same guy who wanders by just in time to solve the problem. And I’ve never seen him do that brain-lock oversight thing. He must think I never get a good night’s sleep.

But, later in the day, things went pretty smoothly in the studio. It was the last news production of the semester. Everything is winding down this week, but it’s winding down with enthusiasm!

That’s the pop culture show. Also, Ashton just got a haircut and somehow that becomes a feature. And there was a taco hat and that was purely a serendipitous thing. I’ll need to get the full story on that.

We got a proper springtime forecast.

And a quick summary of the biggest stories going on abroad.

And, of course, all of the local headlines.

These shows will be online tomorrow, and I can share them then. But, until then, I can share the latest from the Behind the Curtain crew. They’re highlighting a student spec commercial. (The commercial is good, if long.)

And maybe this has gone on for too long, as well. So I will thank you, and step aside until tomorrow.

If you have some more time to kill right now, however, there’s always more on Twitter and check me out on Instagram, too.

Apr 22

Just the regular stuff

It was a sunny day. I know that because I drove in the sunshine. Because I have a late night on campus, I enjoyed a late start. So I lazed around a bit and read and did some laundry and generally wasn’t productive enough for most of the morning. A shame, really, because productivity is the mark of your downtime! Otherwise you’re just staring at the clock, waiting for your chance to spring into action.

And after I’d sprung, I spent the day in a room with no windows, which always helps productivity. So the sun could have done any number of things over the next six or so hours, and I’d be none the wiser. But I did see this streaming from a colleague’s office as I went up to the studio.

This will bake your bean: what if the universe is telling you something, but you just don’t understand the symbols?

That’d be too much to think about in the control room, where there was a lot going on this evening.

And, next door, in the studio, they were talking table tennis.

Because we had the recently crowned national champions in for an interview. These guys are twins, born 40 minutes apart. They’ve been playing internationally for about a decade, already. And one of them was an Olympic alternate during the most recent Games.

They said they practice about three hours a day. Later, the studio gang had a talk about all the things we could all be good at if we practiced it three hours a day.

Aside from autonomous things, like blinking and breathing and so on, what do you do for three or more hours a day? I probably read that much, presumably making me an expert reader. It gets pretty thin after that, though.

Also, Mia told us it is going to warm up just in time for Little 500 weekend. Every year since we’ve been here, that weekend has marked the precise retirement of winter, and beginning of spring.

Why they can’t have these races, then, in February, or March, remains a mystery to me.

Just as mysterious, where they’re going next with this show. It’s a mix of scripted and improv comedy, and we’re all just going along for the ride. Anyway, this week’s premise is that we’re on the search for a new co-host, and all of the awkwardness that you can possibly imagine from that is probably under consideration here.

Here’s the new longform interview show. All of the guests are IU or Indiana type folks, and that’s not a bad hook. So far they’re three-for-three on big names, including Michael Uslan, who’s the guy responsible for all of the Batman movies you’ve seen since Michael Keaton put on the cowl. So the caped crusader is probably going to come up in this conversation.

And this is a rock ‘n’ roll show. Three bands came into the studio, including one brand new band. This was the first song the three-piece band ever played together. Fooled me.

It was after 8 p.m. when I left the building, and still vaguely daylight when I made it outside. I walked to the parking deck and drove up to the top floor to look to the west. The gloaming hadn’t even begun.

That’s a great feature here. The best one, if you ask me.