Daley of the Dead

I discovered in the fall my true calling in life. To be in a flash mod (Preferably one with Oprah and Will.I.Am)

Turns out zombie flash mobsters invaded Daley Plaza last weekend! So my mission for this summer is to somehow get involved in one of these. Anyone know where to begin?

ChatRoulette: A Lifetime Supply of Jokes and Pervs

Ohhhh Chatroulette (click at your own risk). I knew there was a reason my pop culture subconscious didn’t want me to research what you are. I know we are all jaded by what the Internet holds, especially since the story broke about the hamster on a piano, but when I discovered Chat Roulette, which connects you via webcam with a random person from somewhere in the world, my mind went straight to all the pervs that your parents used to warm you about in chat rooms in middle school. They once again reer their pervy little heads, except this time we can see them! Per usual, Jon Stewart reports on it’s horror best.

Although, once Ben Folds shows up, it’s a party….

World Water Day

In observance of World Water Day (as well as my last name), I think it’s my civil duty to voice my confused and slightly amazed hatred of bottled water. I just don’t understand how it has gotten to such a “must-have” level, and I hate that people have fallen for what is obviously an empty marketing ploy to get us to buy more……stuff. This project by Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff, has a section that answers my questions and informs people of the issue of bottled water better than my confused angry rants could.

Didn’t your Mother Teach you to Share?

I had a social media epiphany today while mourning the lack of time I have to devote to my blog this quarter.  Although I have all but abandoned this blog, I have been nurturing a new relationship with Twitter. And Google Buzz. And Google Reader. I’ve discovered that I can share all the fantastic articles and blog post I find on my Google Reader without having to devote an hour or so editing an entire blog post with commentary. Although I do love expanding on the ideas in the articles, I find too many articles I want to share and not enough time to add all the witty and snarky comments I want to say about each.

Social media and sharing is about more than giving your opinion on every story you come across about a new iPhone app or healthcare bill. It’s about sharing what you’ve found with others. Good journalists try to keep their reporting as unbiased as possible. Good blogging highlights ideas and theories that you support.  So if I’m sharing blog posts and articles that I find mind-bending without kissing their feet or stabbing them in the back, then wouldn’t that make me a good blogger and good journalist? I share the articles I find with my Facebook and Google friends, who may not be as deep into the blog-o-sphere as I am and they get the chance to read about a new opinion through me. Yay for the dissemination of knowledge!

So how am I doing this? By discovering that I can link EVERYTHING. I started using the “share” feature of my Google Reader to quickly share posts with my 3 or 4 friends that also use Google Reader. Then Buzz rolled out and I noticed that when I “shared” an item in Reader, it posted as a status update in Buzz, where I have 20 more followers who don’t use Reader. I’ve been trying to use Twitter more this year and wanted to see if there was a way I could link my shared Reader posts with Twitter like Buzz does. Of course there is a way. Reader2Tweet. I know I’m blowing your mind with all this chaotic sharing (I’m blowing my own as well) but there is one last step. I have a respectable following of friends that support my blog (bless you all) and I want to be able to share these articles with them even though I have no time to write posts. Enter the WordPress Twitter widget. Now my Twitter feed is scrolling along the right side of my blog as well.

I did all this linking in a matter of an hour. (Gosh, it’s almost like social media developers WANT us to expand our sharing networks, they make it so easy!) Now when I’m bogged down with class presentations and graphic design projects, but come across an interesting post about the need to improve student lunches in my Reader, all I need to do is “share” and it spreads like wildfire across all the various platforms that my friends stalk me with.

Yellow Pages Go Green

If you love trees and know how to use the Internet, please do this. Register your address with the Yellow Pages to STOP receiving that beast of burden Yellow Pages book. If you need a way to find a phone number, let me introduce you to Google.

December Cliffnotes

So while I’ve been peppering my holiday season with dinner parties, ugly sweaters, midwest-winter-proof boots, and Michigan Ave Christmas shopping terror, my RSS feed has been racking up the posts. And of course I can’t skim the 800+ list of pop culture newsflashes so I have too many posts itching to be shared and not enough time to write-up the thorough overview that they each deserve. I’m going to try a quick list and cut my commentary down to a sentence or two (ha). Now, if your conscience can handle it, you can skim the headlines.

– Since working at my study abroad internship, I’ve developed an itch to travel (naturally). This translator strips down all the fuss of learning unnecessary terms like “Hi” and” Where are the restrooms” to the only phrase one really needs while abroad: “One beer, please!”

– I want to see Sherlock Holmes mostly for the love of Robert Downey Jr kicking ass in a top hat. But I read enough Sherlock Holmes in middle school to know that most true Holmes fans would not respect this new side of Holmes. Robert Davis at Paste breaks it down.

– And now I have found my excuse to travel Europe next summer. Eddie Vedder. I want to go to there.

– I read this blip five times and still don’t understand it. But I like it. Tom from Parks and Rec teaming up with TV on the Radio‘s Dave for a mixtape? My thoughts exactly.

– My feminist heart flutters when I see what awesome things silent storm Mindy Kaling is doing in the comedy ring. Can’t wait for more info on the movie she’s writing. I have high hopes that a female-written RomCom could actually give the female leads a stronger role.

– It is about time Arcade Fire created a new gives-me-chills album!

– As promised, the remixes on Norah Jones’ The Fall are slowly leaking onto the net. You have to track them down. Chordstrike can be your guide.

– JayeL Audio gives us an early Christmas present with a two part mixtape for the holidays. Also, he wouldn’t be a good music blogger if he didn’t give us his rundown of the top albums of the decade.

– It’s getting hard to open myself up to new comedy shows seeing as I am very close-minded to the idea that there could be anything better on TV than the Thursday night comedy lineup (Community, Parks & Rec, The Office, 30 Rock, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). But somehow Drama Queen ABC premiered a wholesome yet smart sitcom for the new American Dream, Modern Family. Austin Ray at Paste explains.

– Apple breaks into the streaming audio industry after buying LaLa. I hope some excellent streaming playlists come out of this (ahead-of-their-time engineers and emerging markets aside)

– If you are dedicated to Megabus like I am and sing its praises for cheap and non-sketchy rides to and from Chicago and Detroit like so many of my Second City transplants are, check out this deal: 100,000 free rides from January to March!

– I missed this ABC Family special of TWENTY Pixar shorts, which I usually think are more hilarious than the full-length movies (which is really saying something). Lucky for us, its airing again Dec 18th. Setting the DVR right now.

– It makes me crazy that cell phones are only built to last the duration of your 2 year plan. Perhaps this Japanese self-repairing paint that makes scratches disappear is the key to a longer life. But that would just throw off the whole scheme that cell phones companies have perfected now wouldn’t it?

– Imagine the trouble Hansel and Gretel would get into at this Godiva Tokyo building.

– For reasons that I cannot explain (but probably have a lot to do with social media-pushing in my classes) I’m really trying to get more involved in Twitter. I see it more as another news outlet and less of a way to connect with my friends, of which none are on Twitter. I’ve said before that I think corporations got to Twitter before the people did. The media convinced us everyone was on Twitter, when really none of us were. But maybe this Mashable list of Top 10 funniest twitterers (tweeters? twitts?) will help me getting into the spirit of the 140 character phenom. And Bill Cosby tweets!

– I’m not one of those English geeks who love talking about punctuation but I do love listening to English geeks who love talking about punctuation. especially the obscure one. Such as the interrobang.

– So maybe there are some cool things on Twitter. Like this guy, Neil Gaiman, who is working on a crowd-sourced written novel via Twitter (too many New Media terms for one Christmas-break-enjoying grad student to comprehend!)

– I have a second-rate-Liz-Lemon relationship with Nellie McKay since I’ve discovered her. Adorable, funny, doesn’t take herself seriously, and she can sing! Check out her new album, which is a tribute to Doris Day, Normal as Blueberry Pie.

This one is for Andrew. Artwork in sidewalk cracks goes hand-in-hand with castles in bricks.

– In Regina Spektor news: Jay-Z is sampling her on a new track and she’s working on the score for a new Broadway Musical. I think my head is going to explode with female-singer-song-writer love. Now if only Neko Case could guest star on 30 Rock and make my fantasy world come true…

And I will leave you with this:

– Ben Folds and Nick Hornby write a song for Levi Johnston. There’s really nothing more I can say about that. Just listen.

Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!

Podcast 101

Everyone dancing around! Dancing around! Another quarter of grad school. Survived. So you can see what I’ve been consumed with for the past 3 months, check out the blog I put together for my New Media Studies Theory class. I’m also posting my final project, a group project on Podcasting. I was fortunate enough to have access to some really podcasting equipment. I was surprised though that the editing software we used is free and available to all! We used Audacity to edit the clips and GarageBand (free on Macs) to piece together the different layers and sound effects. Now that I know how easy it is to put together a rough podcast, who knows what I might post! Better yet, imagine what JayeL could come up with! (hint, hint)

So this project was a little technical and some parts may be dull unless you heard our class discussions throughout the quarter, but enjoy! There are three episodes.

Podcast1a by jencwaters

Podcast2 by jencwaters

Podcast3 by jencwaters