Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

Archive for April 2011

Interactive Find

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Really cool multimedia project for a documentary being made about Main streets in the U.S.  Just type in your city & state in the Search box, and it’ll show either photos or video of that city’s Main St. (if it still exists). The filmmakers are encouraging visitors to submit materials representing their respective Main streets for inclusion in the film and/or site.


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April 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Speaking of Things Worth Watching

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Thanks to my friend Grant, I bought this whistle (in silver) after coming back from New York in January and having met the roommate of one of the guys who started this. Not only are their videos compelling and beautifully edited, the emails I receive from being on their mailing list demand to be archived – they are that graphically appealing and well-written.

The Cultivated Word also produces some amazing stuff worthy of a look. Here are a few samples of their work:

Let’s Start a Learning Revolution from Skillshare on Vimeo.

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April 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Get Smart On Your Next Jog

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Every Tuesday night, I hand over to my Media Writing instructor two typed pages summarizing what I’ve listened to and watched since the last class. While I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed these exercises (stemmed from the fact that I force myself to listen to these podcasts, stories, and accounts twice – first to process the information or message and second to jot down notes), it’s admittedly good practice in terms of analyzing what makes an interview effective and entertaining and what doesn’t work. Of course, I normally wait until the day before class to complete these media diaries.

This morning over a bowl of apple cinnamon oatmeal – you’d be eating this too if you realized you’re going to be bikini-bound for three days next month as part of a bachelorette extravaganza in Mexico – I came upon a tweet that mentioned The Perils of Procrastination. More than ever before, I’ve been feeling sharp pangs of guilt for succumbing to the evil that is the art of procrastination. Actually, I’ve mastered it this semester (maybe because it’s spring?) and feel that I deserve a secondary degree in this field. So, of course, instead of poking around the web for stories worth listening to and watching, I clicked the link that took me to the podcast list for Dan Ariely’s Arming the Donkey. <insert choir music and ray of light through stained glass>

I’ve struck Podcast GOLD. Ariely is a James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and offers his podcasts for free on iTunes. These podcasts are casual conversations (usually over a lunch of sushi or happy hour drink) with researchers on studies that range from procrastination to overconfidence to HIV to dating and beyond. The beauty of these conversations lies in the fact that the findings are expressed in plain language, as opposed to scientific mumbo jumbo that can be dry and leave you quite bored. Ariely also has a knack for playing dumb and asking the right questions, along with possessing an interesting accent (which I find always helps to keep someone amused when listening to podcasts, voice overs, or audio clips). There are a total of 79 that you can download, again, for FREE. This guy basically has one of my dream jobs. Now go, spice up your playlist.

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April 25, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Because It’s Monday

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April 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Art in Revolution

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The San Francisco International Film Festival (hosted by SF Film Society) is back for its 54th year. The festival will run from April 21st through May 5th and hold screenings throughout the city, with many of them happening in Japantown’s Kabuki Theater and New People.

This afternoon, I met up with a friend to catch Microphone, an Egyptian film about social messages communicated through street culture in present-day Alexandria – namely graffiti art, underground music, skateboarding, and documentary filmmaking. The title reflects a parallel between the plot and partial objective of the film, which is to promote street culture and its charismatic players in the urban and liberal  city of Alexandria (a city caught under the constraints of a conservative government and past). The non-linear storytelling technique used by director Ahmed Abdallah might be lost on audiences earlier on in the narrative, but if you stick it out and watch the entire film, there is a very cohesive and rewarding message, regardless of the outcome for all characters introduced.

It also didn’t hurt that the lead male character, Khaled Abou El Naga, so closely resembled McNulty from HBO’s The Wire. Here’s the teaser for the film. (I highly recommend ordering and watching the film if just for music that will give you goosebumps.)

The director was not able to attend the screening, though El Naga (who also produced the film) represented him, gave context surrounding the fruition of making this film, and answered questions from members of the audience. El Naga also addressed the serendipitous timing with the uprising in Egypt earlier this year. The film opened in Egypt on January 25th, which is now globally recognized as the official start of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. (While the video is not great, the audio is worth listening to if you’re making dinner, coffee, or just getting ready in the morning.)

A Happy Friday Indeed

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I was just saying goodbye to my friend Nate who crashed on my couch after the event last night, when I got a message from a guy who graduated from UCSB the same year I did (and whom I’ve met and talked to maybe a few handful of times) offering to give me one of the Treasure Island Music Festival tickets he won last night at Japan Aid. He said he wouldn’t have known about the event if I hadn’t posted it on Facebook a while back. Are you kidding me? Who does that? What a generous guy. I am floored, thankful, and so excited!

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April 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Partying for a Cause

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Photo credit: Benjamin Narcisco Galvez

Last night was incredibly humbling. A good number of former co-workers, fellow Gaucho alumni, and Bay area friends came out to support Japan Aid SF, and we made almost $6K in ticket and raffle sales.  Not bad for a small Thursday event, especially when you consider the little time we had to plan. Mieko and JT really pulled it off and had generous volunteers bake and cook delicious food for the guests, convinced local businesses to donate awesome raffle prizes, and asked three talented philathropy-friendly bands (Sentinel, Poeticali Distherbd, Sambaxe) to play in front of a very pumped up crowd. It was a healthy turnout, along with a really fun vibe, and we couldn’t have asked more from the people who came to show their support, as well as those who weren’t able to make it, but donated anyway. A massive thank you is in order.

For those of you who missed the benefit and still want to contribute, you may donate directly to JCCCNC’s Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, and it will be tax-deductible.

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