Feb 18

A return to the books section

Today I’ll direct your attention to another part of the site. This area is devoted to my grandfather’s books. I never got to know the man, he died a few months after I was born. But he was one of those people that you only hear good things about. And, over the years, I’ve been given a few of his things. Including a lot of books. This is a lot of fun because, in his old text books, you see the man as a boy. If you click the link above you’ll see the books already uploaded to the site.

For the next few installments, I thought we might look at a few publications he had when he was a bit older, because the advertisements are always fun. And so here we have the November 1960 Reader’s Digest:

Click the cover and you’ll get four interesting pages out of that issue today. I figure there’s about a month’s worth of material we can check out. 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.

You remember the Manhattan gold heist in 2016. A guy just reached into an armored truck, grabbed a barrel and walked away. No one reacted. It was broad daylight, middle of the city and who he was and how it did it was a mystery, but for the ubiquitous security camera footage.

Well, that guy got caught and did a little time. And now he’s talking to the media, which makes it a story, which means we talked about it on the podcast. NBC correspondent Chris Pollone returned to the program to tell us all about it. It’s a great episode:

You can hear more episodes of the show and you can also subscribe to the syndicated versions on Google Play or Stitcher. And follow the show on Twitter: @BestStoryShow.

And some student work:

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Feb 18

All about shows

There are a lot of things I like about my little show. I hope there are things other people like too, but it is good that I like some things about it since I’m, you know, doing it. One of the things is that I can get students involved. Today’s guest is my third student in the last few weeks, which is great.

The other thing I like is that these shows, because I leave the topics up to the guests, vary widely. So here’s Dominick Jean, who is the news editor of the campus paper, and he’s talking about gerrymandering.

Another thing that I like is that when sorta semi-apologized for this topic I got to tell him he should never apologize for his interests. And then he gave me what was, I thought, a really nice conversation. So check that out.

Some other things students have done this week:

They did the sports show tonight, and the other two on Tuesday. They’re all works in progress, and they’re all coming along at varying speeds. There was to be a third show on Tuesday, but it was overcome by underwhelming events. These things will happen. Tomorrow another group of IUSTV students is in rehearsal for a new late night show. And on Sunday the station is producing a concert.

So let’s count: four studio shows a week (one isn’t included above because it is for air on Sunday), a twice-monthly campus government show, a brand new late night show, a new concert series in conjunction with the campus radio station. And that doesn’t include covering something like a dozen sports they’re covering on campus and around the conference. Student media, man, they are getting some stuff done.

I may just turn in that paragraph at the end of the year.

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Jan 18

Sometimes you dress up for news, I guess

You can take a tie off with one hand. It is an art and has, and demands, a certain flourish. And if you do this in front of a cat, she’s going to want to play with it. It is a cat’s way: chase the moving silk thing the hooman puts on some days. And if she plays with it, that’s fine, until she produces her claws. And then you have to do something else. So I dressed her.

We have the best dressed cat in town, I’m sure.

This afternoon I was joined on the show by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. We talked about some of his students work, which is impressive. You can hear about it right here:

You can also find other episodes of The Best Story I’ve Heard Today on its new host site, Podbean. All of the current run have been transferred there and now I have to see about getting this thing syndicated in a few different places. After that: advertising. (Maybe?)

We’ve talked, on that show, a few times about the Larry Nassar trial. Here’s a story worth reading, it offers its own masterclass on interviews in reporting:

I saw the confident Larry Nassar, buoyed by a reputation as a caring miracle-worker. I saw the charismatic doctor, a man with a legion of adoring supporters. I saw the smooth Nassar, a master manipulater (sic) who had convinced police and university officials that earlier complaints were misunderstandings — and went on molesting young girls.

At times in the about 30 minutes we were together, he came off almost arrogant. That was particularly true as he tried to convince me the “misunderstanding” was the result of the women’s ignorance of his sophisticated medical work. His demeanor didn’t come as a surprise. Nassar was revered in gymnastics and highly regarded internationally as a sports medicine physician.

But at other times, I picked up a different vibe. When we first met, Nassar essentially pleaded that we not write a story. He even indicated he could provide dirt on USA Gymnastics officials. As we talked, particularly when he wasn’t directing the conversation, Nassar came off as much more socially awkward. Faced with a question, he would stammer. His eyes fluttered. They’re the kind of nonverbal cues I look for during contentious interviews.

This young woman is pretty incredible:

And, as the Indy Star reported, it started with an email.

Some more tweets:

And some good news from Las Vegas:

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Jan 18

If you squint, the snow looks like sand

That’s what I’m telling myself. It reminds me of the sugar beaches of my youth. Sunburns and shade and hot feet and warm water and getting that sand everywhere. At least the snow doesn’t have that same persistence of sand. Indoors, anyway. At least it has the decency to melt inside. Otherwise? No way. This stuff has been on the ground for a week, tomorrow.

But if you squint, it could be sand. It has just the right amount of frost as a covering to sound like walking on sand in shoes. And those grassy bushes, those bushes that I run my hands through, you know, when the windchill isn’t six below as it was yesterday morning, or .5 degrees this morning …

Point five degrees? Point five degree? Why are we even bothering to consider the grammar, or even calculate this?

Those bushes, why if you keep your gaze low to the ground, you could almost convince yourself they are sea oats.

But then the wind blows, and you realize you’re a long way from the Gulf.

On today’s program I spoke with Jamie Zega. She’s a former editor-in-chief of the Pacemaker-winning Indiana Daily Student. Soon she’ll graduate and take her many talents and great potential to The Washington Post. But today, she’s talking about modern presidential language. This one, as the people say, is sorta NSFW. Give her a listen in the player below:

Did you listen yet? You should? She’s a very smart and thoughtful young reporter.

And, now, back to my pretending to hear sand beneath my feet.

Jan 18

Winter is actually coming

It is going to snow tomorrow. It is raining and will continue to rain and then the rain will turn into snow. We are properly provisioned. We have visited the stores and braved the crowds. I saw a Cadillac parked in a handicapped parking space at the grocery store. The driver had cared in equal parts about driving the right direction up and down the parking lot lanes, parking in the actual space and in displaying a handicapped sticker or hangtag, which is to say not at all.

I have laundered all of the clothes. If the power goes out and never comes back, my wardrobe will be in decent shape for a while.

We are prepared to salt the driveway. For not the first time I wondered if they colored this salt a blueish-green to keep people from trying to eat it. Fortunately the cars are already set for cold conditions, which we’ve been in for … oh some amount of time not yet approaching demoralizing.

But there’s no need to worry about all of that. We’re going to have a weekend of peacefully reading and doing nothing and loving every bit of that.

We won’t wake up to a winter wonderland tomorrow, it is going to appear all around us as we work and play.