Apr 18

Random Thursday things

I spent time in the television studio today. Here is a photo of a decorative lightbulb which descends from the conduits above to prove it!

But I obviously picked the wrong profession:

An installation at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto is more hands-on than your typical exhibition.

“YOKO ONO: THE RIVERBED” by the 85-year old artist, musician and activist, asks visitors to do several physical tasks, including pick up river stones —some of which include handwritten inscriptions by Ono herself—and place them in a pile.

But one woman appears to have taken the “hands-on” suggestion a little too literally. Rather than place her rock in the pile, she allegedly stole it, Laura Snapes reports for The Guardian. The rock, valued at a cool $17,500, was inscribed by Ono with the words “Love Yourself.”

Things are worth what people are willing to pay. And what a person is theoretically willing to pay and willing to insure are different things. And we’re a nonsensical people when it comes to former almost-celebrities. But still … and this part is worth repeating …

Seventeen thousand dollars?

And this evening I discovered Durand Jones & The Indications. Now you will too. They’re IU guys and they have a lot of soul:



Apr 18

We are at a conference in Nashville

This morning I responded to papers at the Southern States Communication Association. I listened to people talk about their work and then, having read their work, I asked them questions about it. You try to make a good point, share something interesting, maybe make a suggestion if something wise comes to mind. (Something wise always comes to mind.) And then, of course, you say nice things. It is important to be nice. But it is also easy, because I was responding to the top papers panel, which means that these were scored higher than all of the other academic submissions.

One paper was on the true crime niche of podcasts. Another paper was a content analysis of photos published after airplane crashes and the third paper had to do with co-parenting in the age of social media. It makes sense if you read the paper.

So I heard the 15-minutes each presentations and then responded in kind, because that’s the task of the respondent. And then I took a selfie, because that’s just du rigueur.

I was also on two panels today. The first was a media literacy panel. Spoiler: We still haven’t solved that problem, though we’d like to do so. And we seem to think that college courses on media literacy would do the trick. Hammer — nail, and all of that.

I think they would be helpful, but not everyone is going to college, or is going to come back to college for your new media literacy course. So it doesn’t completely solve the problem. No one has figured that out, yet, so we were only mildly disappointed that we didn’t resolve the problem during that 75 minute panel session.

But I did coin two phrases and drop some big names in media research!

Also, we had another panel about the midterm elections. I didn’t coin any phrases, but I talked about the unprecedented number of women who are running for congressional seats this time around. This is all taking place in Nashville, so I tried to mention one of the women in that race. A Republican congresswoman is vying for the retiring senator’s position. In a normal year in Tennessee this would seem to be an easy leap. Literally moments after the conclusion of that panel, however, new polling data was released that the leading Democrat has the upper hand in the fall vote. This is not a normal year. And maybe there will be fewer easy leaps.

This evening we got to see Bill Monroe’s statue. There’s a sign nearby noting that in 1945 the Father of Bluegrass took the stage at the Ryman with Lester Platt and Earl Scruggs and created the genre. There’s only so much you can put on a historical sign, I get that, and maybe that’s enough. Hey, there’s a statue, and you should take a picture of it on your way down to the more touristy areas.

We were in the pursuit of good barbecue and I do miss good barbecue. I mean, sure, you can get ice cream with your conference friends in any city that is big enough to hold a small conference:

But you have to be in the South to get barbecue that a group of Southerners from all parts of the South can agree is worthwhile.

Tomorrow: More conferencing! And probably more selfies. Maybe there will be more good food, too.

Mar 18

We made stuff

Tonight in the studio …

Oh, look, you can just watch the full episode.

Two sophomore anchors. I probably didn’t have their composure as a sophomore, and so I’m excited about what they’re going to do, and happy to see what they are doing.

I talked with Texas journalism professor Robert Quigley today. He tells us about a story that suggests we might now be very close to looking at a shift in transportation. Alphabet is about to pick up a lot of self-driving Jaguars. Quiqley tells us how the model, which is expected to come online in 2020, might work. We talked about what that could mean for city infrastructure and the possibilities of unintended consequences.

The students produced another show this evening, it will debut on Sunday. Here’s an ineffectual Twitter teaser:

And after dinner tonight, there were dishes to clean, which means The Dishwashing Sessions:

That’s a pretty good set list to play throughout the house.

Mar 18

Soapy songs

This is how it works at dinner time. The Yankee cooks it and I clean up after it. Sometimes the division of labor is fair, sometimes it works to my benefit. Well, it always works to my benefit, because when I wash the dishes and clean the stovetop and the counters I get to turn on a Pandora station. The evening station of choice is anchored on Sam Cooke, which is always the right way to go. And that particular Pandora station is well-managed.

So while the simple meals are best because it involves fewer dishes, a good run of songs means you don’t mind a bit of extra scrubbing.

At any rate, I decided, for some reason to make note of the songs. And that seemed like a good reason to make gifs. So here we are: The Dishwashing Sessions.

That’s a great set, right?

Mar 18

Old dusty books

Back to the books! This part of the site is devoted to my grandfather’s books. I never got to know the man, he died a few months after I was born, but over the years, I’ve been given a few of his things. Including a lot of books.

If you click the link above you’ll see the books already uploaded to the site. Right now we’re checking out a few publications he had when he was a bit older, because almost 60-year-old advertisements are always fun. And so here we have the November 1960 Reader’s Digest:

Click the cover and you’ll get today’s installment, which gives us pages five through eight in our quick flip through this book as I attempt to once again make this a weekly feature. Also, check out the main section and you can see a classic literature book, some great science illustrations, some notes, newspaper clippings from his youth and more.

Slow day around these parts. Spring break for students, most of the faculty and staff have ducked out of town too. So it is quiet and sunny everywhere, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Let’s celebrate with song! I heard Lake Street Dive at lunch today and that meant I stayed in the restaurant for three more minutes to enjoy the tune. Now you can enjoy it too:

The TV group made for a cool photo essay feature in an alumni magazine. I don’t think I’ve shared that here yet, but here they are now.