The Fingerprint Waiting Room

finger

This is such a crazy blog. I believe I have more readers now than I ever had when I wrote every day; when it had even a modicum of interest. Now my readers, and over 40 commenters, mostly come from a Google search for “One True Media,” a wonderful video construction site that sadly went out of business rather abruptly.

My friend Curtis thinks I need to begin blogging again in this nutty political season, and perhaps I will. But  I’m inspired to write now because today I’m to be fingerprinted, for the second time (don’t we have a national registry of fingerprints? Can’t the FBI get my fingerprints from Homeland Security? Ah yes, big government. Will Hillary save us from this? But I digress).

Yes, the FBI needs my fingerprints because, after 16 years of being a hospice volunteer during which I never came across a single child, they need to be sure I’m not a child abuser. They needed all my addresses and names and former names – all of which, of course, Homeland Security already has as well.

I got an email this morning telling me I will need to wait in the Fingerprint Waiting Room, and this is how I imagine it.

Among the tags for this post is “One True Media,” and if you came here hoping to find out more, I’m sorry. It’s just gone.

 

 

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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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Fargo again

0453fd86f2004c58ccf50754dfcb1ab5The blizzard sequence is reason alone to start watching if you’re not already.

And just a note: I’ve been putting off writing about what happened in Santa Barbara because the meta analyses are so confusing and I’m having a hard time figuring out what I think about it. Maybe my Santa Barbara readers will help me out by commenting.

 

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They see you

indexThey follow you around the internet, watching what you click on, what you’re thinking of buying, what you write. They watch you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. They know where you shop and what you buy. Their smart math majors put it all together in complicated algorithms that predict your behavior; they sell these predictions to marketers.

The F.T.C. is investigating, says the Times.

A homely, scary example: I have a friend whose son is the C.E.O of one of these companies. I sent her a link to the article, and also happened to mention I was going to see the movie Belle that day.

She wrote back:

How’s this for irony. As I was reading the article for which you sent me the link, there was a tiny box that said Belle now playing click here to buy tickets.

One of these companies, Acxiom, decided to pretend to be transparent. You could go to a site , see what they knew about you, and then “opt out.” I thought I’d try it – this was about a year ago – since I have such an outsize horror of being spied on. I didn’t get too far – the first step is to give them your email address!

I think I’m going to move to a cabin in the woods and eat berries.

 

 

 

 

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