Last week the Westboro Baptist Church came to town. Although we were reticent about giving any more attention to Fred Phelps and his message of hate than absolutely necessary, we had to acknowledge that the Spokane community was planning to turn out in numbers to protest. We had to be there. And in the end, we produced out some solid coverage.
With Westboro’s well-publicized schedule of appearances, it seemed an easy opportunity to try something new with our live coverage at spokesman.com. Drawing from advice I got from Danny Gawlowski at the Northwest Video Workshop, I decided to try Ustream to shoot some live video.
For a trial effort, it went well. I shot live feeds of the counterprotests at Gonzaga University, Whitworth University and Eastern Washington University. Below you can check out the (choppy) replay of the EWU counter demonstration, easily the biggest of the day, then read on for some specs, tips and observations about using Ustream with an iPhone.
My friend Starr visited last week and showed me the early cut of a video that she made with our mutual pals Johanna and Kyle. It’s a send-up of “I’m on a Boat, and now the finished version is on Funny or Die. If you’ve seen the Lonely Island original, you might get a laugh.
I say yea. I’ve been a fan of Ted Leo & the Pharmacists for years. I caught them in Portland on the Hearts of Oak tour and in Spokane on the Brutalist Bricks tour. Then I discovered he was on Twitter, baring his soul about the rigors of touring and retirement rumors. Which led to the prank in question. Good on him, I say.
If nothing else, it’s a reminder of why fans of (indie) rock and the media need to keep a sense of humor. And another reason why John Hodgman is great.
This film had a great cast and promise, but it just didn’t hold me. My favorite moment was George Clooney, as Lyn Cassady, telling Ewan McGregor’s Bob Wilton about the existence of Jedi warriors. Makes you wonder if they added those lines after casting the man who played a young Obi Wan Kenobi.
I found this at my dad’s house during a Christmas visit. Conference swag. Although it wasn’t that long ago, the title seemed dated. A new media artifact.
If you look closely, you can see a date. But I’ve blurred out the year. Care to guess? (No Google.)
Download a crop of the image to check your answer.
Here’s a trick for those who have a couple thousand songs in iTunes and feel like they’re often overlooking some old favorites.
(Disclaimer: File this under “off topic,” “not rocket science” and “somebody has probably written about this elsewhere.” I’m just pleased as punch about this discovery, I wanted to share, and this is my soapbox.)
Create a new smart playlist with this criterion (brackets denote dropdown-menu variable):
[Last played] [is not in the last] x [months]
I went with 12 for an even year, and I also added a genre specification. So for me, the settings looked like this:
Give it a name, and you’re done.
When I load this playlist, I’m guaranteed to get a bunch of songs I haven’t heard for a year. And let me tell you, when it’s been a year since I’ve listened to Ween’s “Push the Little Daisies,” something was out of whack.
I’ve long known the smart playlist tool was there, but only today did I get up the curiosity to see what I could make of it. Hope you like this trick, and feel free to share your own from this highly customizable feature.