Chicago Winter = Brrrrrr!

As a Midwesterner with 30+ years under my belt I am used to cold but enough already. I take solace in the fact that March is only a few short weeks away and then we should turn the corner.

Not All Media Needs to be Mindless

Universities are increasingly creating academic podcasts that (in moderation) can make you a more interesting human being. I myself have yet to sample these… which may explain my struggle to be interesting.

Robot Peace Keeping Video

This video is (from a special effects stand point) very well done. It depicts a robot serving as a member of a UN peace keeping force in a third world nation. The potential consequences from something like this ever happening raises a number of questions.

Christmas Lights/Decorations Return To Storage

A week after New Year’s and as I look out my window I see several houses sparkling with their festive holiday lights. Our lights and tree are still up but unplugged until I find the motivation to return them to their plastic storage totes. It was much easier to motivate myself to hang the decorations than it is to find the energy to put them away.

New Years Eve with the Wii

Some people head to Times Square but I chose to ring in the new year playing Wii Tennis and Bowling with my in laws in Chicago. It is the night after and my right arm is still sore from playing tennis. I will now spend the first months of 2007 in search of a Wii to call my own.

2006 Podcasting Year in Review

This is the year I really discovered podcasting as content not just technology. What if you could program your own radio station with interests that pulled from the entire English speaking planet instead of just your metropolis? Podcasting makes this possible. I’ve really only begun to explore but it turns out that when you get your first taste of freedom, you don’t venture that far from home. Here is my list of podcasts I love.

Croncast – A couple with two kids talk about their life. They come across as a couple clearly in love with each other. That in and of itself is cool but what keeps me coming back is their funny stories of the honest and real bullshit that sometimes keeps them down.

Daily Breakfast – A Catholic priest from the Netherlands talks about… the Nintendo Wii, Lost, Mel Gibson, Global Warming, Exercise, Latin and religion. Father Roderick humanizes the priesthood and presents a non-preachy perspective on the days events.

Filmspotting – Formerly know as Cinecast, this show was a real revelation. Think Siskel and Ebert in their heyday, without the constraints of a half hour format or the need for mass appeal. Two smart Midwest American movie goers stake out passionate positions on recent movie releases and spend twenty plus minutes defending/debating them. They have regular themed movie festivals such as anime or screwball comedy where they seek out classic movies they haven’t seen before to review and discuss with their listeners. My one complaint is they sometimes fall into the trap of believing that a well made blockbuster and art are mutually exclusive but hey you can’t have everything.

TWIT (This Week in Tech)Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, John C. Dvorak, and a rotating posse of tech types gather once a week and talk technology. A reporters round table with a focus on the disruptive, the annoying and the unexpected impact of technology. When they really get going it’s almost like they are sitting around a bar and we are just lucky enough to have a seat at the table.

I listen to other podcasts but the above podcasts are in my regular rotation. Did I mention that I commute 35-40 minutes each way every work day? This is time that goes considerably faster when listening to something other than the local dj. A goal for 2007 will be to cast a wider net and find more podcasts from outside my comfy corner of the world.

“I never said most of the things I said.” – Yogi Berra