Snow for Epiphany

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Schedules in space

The day after a resolution-less New Year’s, the day most resolutions get broken anyway – what better day to start up this blog again, especially after reading this piece in the Atlantic about life aboard the International Space Station. It fascinates me – how they sleep, how they float around, how they eat and, most particularly, how their days are scheduled.

I’ve always loved schedules. Like lists of things to do, they structure a day, order one’s life. They contain anxiety, a therapist might say.

The article led me to a wonderful series of You Tube videos by astronaut Garrett Reisman. The link takes you to the beginning, but if you get bored, at least skip to the third, where he talks about his schedule, sent each day from Houston Control. It’s funny, and somehow comforting, especially on this second day of a year not yet structured.

 

 

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Kizoa: An alternative to One True Media

It’s a tiny blog I have here, a blog only read by (some of) my most loyal friends and family. Last June I somehow ran out of blog energy, and abandoned those loyal people.

Little did I know what was going on in my absence: one post, called “One True Media is closing,” has garnered over 4,000 views. It is read on average 20 times a day, and has 26 comments – people who have lost their videos, people who’ve written to the honchos who absconded to Disney and then closed the site down, people wondering what could replace it.

One True Media was a great site – but now, at long last, I’ve found a what I think could be an even better one. It’s called Kizoa. It seems to have most of the features of One True Media (a huge music selection with no copyright issues, the ability to add both stills and videos, different text and transition styles, etc.), but also some important extras. The site, once you figure it out, is very user-friendly, with lots of guides and, if you can’t figure something out, the customer service people seem to respond to emails almost immediately. You can download your video to a DVD (with a premium membership); you can post it to Facebook or YouTube; and, most important to me, you can embed it directly into your blog without first posting it on YouTube.

So let’s see here if it works. I’ve created a little slideshow just to demonstrate some of the features – different fonts, text styles and transitions; and two musical selections as well as what they call “silence,” which allows only the sound on your video to play.

http://www.kizoa.com/Video-Maker/d15337588kP195331074o2l1/stonington-maine

Okay, well it doesn’t seem to embed. But the link is good! Try it out, all you One True Media former fans! Meanwhile, I’ll write to customer service and see if embedding is possible.

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Fargo: The End

Tomorrow is the finale – Fargo is leaving us.

I’m leaving too, so while I’m gone, just listen to this music over and over.

The use of music is so integral to the plot that each character has a separate theme, and as the two male protagonists become more and more like each other their themes converge.

The music. The photography. The writing. The acting. The plot.

It doesn’t get much better than this. But, like True Detective, if it’s renewed, it will most likely be with a new cast. Hard to imagine it being as good, but I’ll be there.

Meanwhile, while you listen to the music you can try another random post by clicking here.

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Crum Creek Meander

“It is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified. We have art in order not to die from the truth.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

photo(5)It was a lovely installation, mirroring the creek’s meander through the Swarthmore College woods. It was created by sculptor Stacy Levy, and installed, with a lot of help from volunteers, over the winter.

It sparkled in the sun, moved gently in the wind. You could look through it, walk through it, dance in it.

You could listen to it.

Last week some of the same volunteers painstakingly cleaned it, in preparation for graduation last Sunday and Alumni Weekend this weekend.

Last Friday it was vandalized, over half of it spray painted.

It had to be taken down. Now, it seems, we’re less protected from the truth.

[Ed. note: It’s still up, but all the paint was not able to be removed.]

 

 

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Baby finds mother

Watch the whole thing so you can see what happens at the end. Plus, you get to hear those delightful South African accents.

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Bad Babies

About two weeks ago I listened to a This American Life podcast called “Bad Baby,” that was broadcast back in March. The lead story was about a woman whose six year old tried to drown his younger brother, holding him under the water till the parents had to rescue him. He threw his baby sister across the room. He broke his mother’s nose.

He’s eight now. They have alarms on their doors and cameras in every room. They can never leave him alone with his siblings. He’s been to countless therapists, been hospitalized, is on medication.

I’ve added her blog to my blogroll. Reading it is like reading about Elliot Rodger when he too was eight.

And this brings me to the punditry about Rodger’s rampage. He was a rich spoiled kid, he had a male-privilege sense of entitlement, he was a misogynist, he shouldn’t have been allowed to buy a gun, his parents should have gotten him help a long time ago – ad nauseam.

Read this woman’s blog, and then decide what you would do in her place. But don’t read the comments. They’re all from people who prefer to pundit.

I have no idea what she should do; what society should do about these children. But I hope somebody is thinking about it instead of pontificating.

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