“She’s a Blind YouTuber”

I was extremely fortunate to meet Casey Neistat at the Hills Film Festival in New Milford, CT  back when I was making the rounds for my film, The Fiction. He was a genuinely nice guy and gave me some great filmmaking tips. Since then, he has become sort of a youtube sensation to say the least. If you haven’t check out his videos, they are most certainly worth your time. (links below)

His most recent video touched me on a deep level and I thought it was worth sharing. I can’t think of a better way for someone with 7 million subscribers to spend 12 minutes. This was truly sensational and good on Casey to showcase such a inspirational talent.

Casey’s channel

Molly’s Channel

You should subscribe to Molly’s, truly inspirational stuff.

End of the iPod

Like many of you i’m sure, the gateway device that introduced me to Apple Products was the original iPod. For obvious reasons, that device holds a special place in my heart. I was sad to hear today Apple is quietly phasing traditional iPods out (via macrumors)

Apple today removed the iPod nano and iPod shuffle from its website and online store around the world, and it has since confirmed the iconic portable media players have been discontinued. Apple continues to sell the iPod touch with updated pricing and storage, including a 32GB model for $199 and 128GB model for $299.

Apple also released this statement to clarify:

“Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch, now with double the capacity starting at just $199, and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano,” an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider.

End of an era for sure. Business-wise, it just doesn’t make much sense to keep iPods around much longer. But the 15 year old in me is sad to see it go.

S-Town

I am an avid podcast admirer. Something about the medium really speaks to me. Whether it be the intimacy of conversation or the simplicity of audio only interface, podcasts and I just click. I have written at large about Podcasts in the past, so i’ll direct you there if you’d like a little more podcast history.

Recently, I re-experienced ‘Serial Season 1,’ a stellar Podcast from the people at “This American Life.” ‘Serial’ revolves around the mysterious death of a young teenager, with her ex boyfriend, Adnon Syed, as the main suspect. Throughout ‘Serial’ we are privileged with speaking to Adnon from prison and hear his side of this amazing story.

Serial was a fascinating cultural phenomenon, though. Before its release, I dare to say podcasts weren’t on the mainstream radar. Maybe a few of us lonely 3rd shift workers (at the time I worked for Home Depot, 3rd shift) but for the most part, podcasts were an unknown medium. But then Serial, and boom! Podcasts started garnering mass market attention and here we go. Corporate America took notice.

Right around the time my re-listen to ‘Serial’ ended, This American Life announced a new Podcast entitled: “S-TOWN.” They would release ‘S-Town’ all at once, all 7 episodes from the start. I was intrigued, but to be quite honest I wasn’t holding my breath for a masterpiece.

I’ll be up front about it, ‘S-Town’ isn’t a masterpiece by any means. It does however have all the ingredients for something special. There were moments of shock, awe and complete disbelief. Not the murder mystery ‘Serial’ is, ‘S-Town’ is its own breed.

You will meet a man named John B. McLemore, a quite obvious genius. As the story went: John B calls ‘This American Life’ to come investigate what he thinks is an unpunished murder in a small town in Bibb County, Alabama. That gets you in the door. But, ‘S-Town’ is so much more than words could express.

It won’t be long before your completely entangled in John B’s rants on current world issues, the shortcomings of a youthful generation and his complete disdain for his hometown of Woodstock, Alabama. Brian Reed is reporting for ‘This American Life’ and I couldn’t help but connect with so much of his thoughts and opinions as he navigates through this small Alabama town and deepens himself into this unique and bizarre world.

I have so many thoughts and conflicted ideas about how I’m supposed to feel about S-Town, John B. McLemore, Bibb County residents and the story that unfolds. Thats a very foreign feeling for me. Usually I have a decent hold on a piece of art I experienced. S-Town is different though, mainly because so much of it rubbed me the wrong way, but I couldn’t stop listening. It was engrossing to hear John B’s total hatred for his home, but how he felt so connected to the people and surroundings, he just can’t bring himself to leave.

Check it out if you like podcasts. S-Town progresses like a novel. The character of interest, John B, will stamp a lifetime place in your mind. I constantly find myself thinking about him, his actions words and his tireless contempt for his local surroundings and the world itself. He uses vulgarity far more than I am comfortable listening to, but some of his words rang so true, It was hard to turn away.

As uncertain I am about John B. McLemore and S-Town, I know for a fact they will create a unique escapism for listeners. S-Town is no Serial, but its a worthy listen if you have the time to experience something new and the energy to withstand John B’s rants on pretty much every subject in the entire world.

If you do decide to give it a go, I would love to hear your impressions and thoughts.

A Deeper Look into The Darjeeling Limited

About a year ago I posted a video analysis of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. A lot of you really enjoyed seeing a fresh take on a film that got slammed by critics for no apparent good reason. So when I came across this yesterday, I wanted to put it up also.

Nerdwriter is slowly becoming my favorite youtube channel. His film analysis are really top notch. Like me, he has a affinity for Wes Anderson. Below is his latest video that explores Anderson’s least successful film; The Darjeeling Limited. Not my favorite but still worthy of a view, TDL is a piece of art just like any Anderson film. I think Nerdwriter hits the nail on the head multiple times during his video and I most certainly thinks its worth a watch if you have any interest in film or Wes Anderson.

Thomas Jefferson & July 4th?

Great post by Thomas DeLorenzo regarding the relevancy of July 4th and the original intentions of our forefathers, particularly Thomas Jefferson:

“That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other things which independent states may of right do.”

To Thomas Jefferson July 4th was always Happy Secession Day.

Read the rest here.

Mike Alford & Darnel Robinson

On Feb 18 I opened my RSS app as I usually do and was delighted to find an article written by Mike Alford entitled: “My Partner, My Hero.” A well deserved love letter about a man named Darnel Robinson. More so, he goes on regarding their unique relationship:

Darnel and I know each other inside and out. It turns out, as you walk from house to house together, you find out a lot about a man. We have bore our hearts one to another. He knows things about me my wife doesn’t know. He has seen me at my best, and at my worst. We have both labored when neither one of us wanted to. We have preached in the hot, and preached in the cold. We have preached in the rain. We have preached to the hopeful and to the hostile. He has always been kind, and always tolerant of my foolishness. He has never rejoiced in my flaws. He has always given me way too much credit for what we do.

I am lucky enough to attend church with Darnel. Him and Mike both are exceptional  people who passionately serve God within the Church and more importantly, outside as well.

Please take a minute a read Mike’s piece on Darnel. It is fantastic:

Read the whole article here.

What it’s Really Like Working with Steve Jobs

There as been so much written about Steve Jobs as a person, co-worker and boss. But oddly enough, none of which by people who actually worked with Jobs. So this is different, a blog post from Glen Reid. He worked hand in hand with Jobs in NEXT days and early iMovie projects. The result is a fascinating look into Jobs by someone who actually stood beside him:

I am off doing other things now, again, but it’s still Product Design, and I still love it. That is what I remember most about Steve, that he simply loved designing and shipping products. Again, and again, and again. None of the magic that has become Apple would have ever happened if he were simply a CEO. Steve’s magic recipe was that he was a product designer at his core, who was smart enough to know that the best way to design products was to have the magic wand of CEO in one of your hands. He was compelling and powerful and all that, but I think that having once had the reigns of power wrestled away from him, he realized that it was important not to let that happen again, lest he not be allowed to be a Product Manager any more.

Read the rest..

Lore

One of my favorite podcasts was featured in The Guardian, an excellent piece on “Lore” from creator Aaron Mahnke. What i’ve come to love about Lore is the fine line Aaron walks between actual history and folklore. All twenty something episodes thus far are equally amazing. If your already into podcasts or are just starting, this is an excellent look into Lore, a fantastic history podcast.

“What I tell people is that Lore isn’t a ‘scary story podcast’, it’s a history podcast, with the material delivered in the oral storytelling tradition,” Mahnke explained. “It’s narrative, but I can’t go beyond the historical details.

Read the whole article.