Aug 21

Ernie Pyle Day

Five years ago, I took this photograph. This is Ernie Pyle’s statue, just outside of our building on the IU campus.

These days, the celebrated reporter’s desk is one floor above my office at The Media School. He’s the patron saint of journalism around here. Today is now recognized Ernie Pyle Day, and this is the fourth one. (Today is his birthday.)

Today, to the literal minute, I took this photograph of the Ernie Pyle statue. Not much has changed. In some respects, a lot of things have changed.

But things are changing still. That’s the way of it.

Eight years ago this very week we visited The Newseum, it was still in D.C., and we saw Pyle’s old Corona typewriter. He carried it into Europe and the Pacific islands and typed his World War II stories right there.

Now this typewriter, Pyle’s Underwood, is on display here in Franklin Hall. That and more of his effects, his field jacket, his entrenching tool, a pipe and other items, are on display just around the corner.

Happy Ernie Pyle day.

Jul 21

Recycling a Twitter thread

I pulled all of this together right after Cleveland announced their new team name. I like these montages and appreciate the work that goes into these rollouts. In this case they’re doing nothing less than staking out their new identity in front of a multinational audience. It’s no small thing, and worthy of a bit of study.

(And if you think this is nerdy, ask me about the breakdown I used to do with the more effective Super Bowl spots as a classroom exercise.)

Anyway, I let this sit and breathe for a few days. I watched the video again and was pleased with my off-the-cuff impressions. And since I don’t have anything good for you here, please enjoy the new Cleveland Guardians video.

More on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and did you know that Phoebe and Poseidon have an Instagram account? Phoebe and Poe have an Instagram account.

Jul 21

A very green post

A little campus beauty shot from the hip. Come morning, come lovely atmosphere. I put it on Twitter and some of the right accounts passed it along. Oh, look at the pretty picture!

And 22,000 something people saw it. Not bad for just walking in from the car.

I trimmed the shrubs around the air conditioner this evening. I know, I know. And I agree. You’re not wrong, faithful reader. This is a lot of excitement in just one day. But I also pulled some weeds. In one flower bed some of the weeds hadn’t been there just the night before. And I disposed of some other pulled undesirable plants that had previously been displaced and left to brown. In one of those small piles a truly huge jimsonweed had joined the pile. I’d never seen one with such large seed pods. No idea from where it had emerged.

To review: weeds are growing almost knee-high overnight on one side of the house, and, on the other side, they just appear, pulled from the ground by the root, and added to a pile of already pulled weeds.

That would demoralize a normal gardener, but I don’t spend that much time in the flowerbeds.

I also had to straighten up some things in the garage, where I do a little as I go. Very, very little. I met this little guy on the garbage can.

So if anyone needs a green stink bug, or some jimsonweed seeds, well, re-evaluate whatever it is that you are doing. But if either of those items are still on your list, let me know.

Act fast, as they say. You don’t want to miss an offer like this. The supplies won’t last forever — but the weeds might.

Jul 21

What is the community risk? Here’s a podcast to answer that

I got up in time for a run this morning, a simple neighborhood shuffle to cover 2.75 miles. I made it back inside just in time to grab a shower and then record a podcast.

After which I made a quick to drop off the recycling. Which I did just as the best part of the day’s rain decided to fall upon us. So I was soggy for much of the day.

And later in the morning I edited the podcast, making this officially the most productive day of the week. It’s going to be difficult to top Tuesday, rest of the week, he said without looking at his calendar.

Here is that podcast. This is IU Northwest economist Micah Pollak. He’s part of a team of a physician, a med student, a biostatistician and more. They got all of the data from the school districts across Indiana this past year and tried to create an understanding of the risk involved with sending more kids back into their classrooms. What is the risk to the larger community? Take it away, Dr. Pollak.

Now, what expert am I going to ask questions of next? It’s not that easy of a question to answer in the summer. You’d be surprised how many people don’t check their email when they aren’t in their regular weekly campus routine. (Lucky.)

When I pitched this program last year I said I could do a lot of shows within the context of Covid-19, and this conversation with Pollak makes 50. Soon I’ll be expanding it into other topics, I think.

That’ll be something to start figuring out tomorrow morning.

Jul 21

What’s that in your eye?

Just a bit of a bike ride. I rode really hard to get this clip.

Really hard. I was well behind and I had to work at shutting that down. It was a four-mile chase, I think. At least I was able to look cool when I went by. You don’t see it in the video, but I did. The whole pursuit and catch was pro, on my part.

With so many other things going on around here we haven’t checked in on the cats in a while. Let’s check in on the cats.

Poseidon, as you can see, is stuck in his tunnel in some awkward way.

He does it to himself, clearly. Oh he’ll whine about it, but this is his doing.

Being a cat, however, he is perfectly willing to exercise his “What? That’s exactly what I meant to do, and I don’t know what you’re talking about, anyway.”

Phoebe stares at him in disbelief a lot. We all do.

As ever, she’s content to sit around and pose nicely.

Truthfully, I only take these pictures because you occasionally get these moments where they are wide-eyed in the sunlight. Sometimes they really show off the iris.

Tomorrow we’re going to show off some other things. The cats know what it is, and they are very interested. So do come back and check that out.