3/31/2008

Was Malthus right?

I have absolutely no idea. But, listening to this 30 minute discussion on the legacy of Malthus was pretty interesting. From the blurb on the BBC's website:

"Matthew Sweet hosts a dicussion about the eighteenth-century English Economist -Robert Thomas Malthus which explores why his theories on population growth are currently the subject of renewed debates"

Locally, we also see these arguments playing out, with Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population leading the charge. If you have any interest in this issue, on either side, listening to the BBC podcast will inform you on the global issues.

I listened last night, otherwise I would have more details.

3/27/2008

Thoughts on the radio stream

I'm enjoying programming my own "radio" stream.

I've decided to put hours and hours and hours of archive material in there, as long as the odd song and raw audio. Right now I'm listening to a 2006 recording I did of the Free Speech monument opening up, and now it's playing a random mp3 I have of someone giving advice on how to survive a zombie attack. In all, it's a fun mix, and I'm enjoying programming.

So far, I've had a maximum of 4 simultaneous listeners!

What's the purpose of this? To explore the technology, and to see if it's something useful. For me so far, it's nice to have a bit of serendipity regarding my listening choices. And yes, it's a bit self-serving, as right now the playlist also includes random radio pieces I've done over the years, as well as some of my odd musical stylings.

So, tune in and enjoy this random selection, and listen as it evolves into something akin to a real radio station. I like having something new to play with.

3/23/2008

Psst: I'm working on an experiment!

Psst! I'm working on an experiment, and you might want to check it out!

The Charlottesville Podcasting Network started out three years ago to serve as a source for on-demand audio from in and around town. Since April 2005, we've been recording lectures, producing original features and interviews, and serving as the audio archive for several radio shows in town including WNRN's Sunday Morning Wake-Up Call and WINA's Charlottesville--Right Now with Coy Barefoot.

And, so far, we're off to our best year ever with contributions from folks like Elizabeth McCullough and Deepak Singh. We're recording more and more, and continuing our quest to become one of the area's best source for on-demand audio.

So, I've decided to start experimenting with an online stream of all the content, and I'm opening it up to anyone who reads this blog. Right now, it's pretty no-frills affair, and there's no set schedule. In general, I'll run podcasts from the last two weeks or so, and will update the stream every now and then. The stream will take the name Charlottesville Public Media, and this is meant to be a public service. It's not going to be cheap to run, and at some point I likely will set up a donation and look for underwriters to help cover the costs.

The stream will also be a lot more laid-back, as there will likely be times I just turn the microphone on to tell you what's coming up. Just a few minutes ago, I had to voice an introduction for something I was hired to record the other night. So, anyone who had been listening (and some stranger from Keswick was signed in at the time!) would have gotten to hear this meta moment. Until I can get a dedicated computer for this service, I will likely be doing this fairly often.

If you're interested in helping out, things are really taking off in terms of getting this little venture about being more than just me. I'm really ecstatic that I've had a lot of help from folks this year, and there's a lot more to do. We've got a volunteer group, and maybe you or someone you know would like to lend a hand?

3/16/2008

Charlottesville Podcasts this week

The Charlottesville Podcasting Network is soon to celebrate its third anniversary. Since April 2005 we've been posting audio from in around Charlottesville. 2008 is shaping up to be our best year yet, as the site is now powered by many more people than just me. That's the most exciting thing to me, as the goal has always been to develop a new kind of media outlet from the ground up.

I am trying to work myself up to the point where I produce a weekly podcast that tells you what you missed. In my fantasy world, this podcast would also be aired on a local radio station and would stand-alone. However, I reckon to do it right would take about five hours or so, and I don't have that kind of time lying around. It's something I'm sure I could work with someone, though. But, to do it right, it would have to have a sponsor or underwriter, and I've got no time to make that end of the venture work out.

So, what I think I'll do is use this here blog to begin developing skeletons for possible episodes. Once a week I'll post links. And, maybe, just maybe, I'll produce one out of this one! Who knows?
So, what would you have missed this week, if you've not been visiting the Charlottesville Podcasting Network?

Mystery writer Andy Straka recently spoke at the New Dominion Bookshop about his latest novel, Record of Wrongs. This is the third or fourth event that Elizabeth McCullough of cvillewords has produced for the site. More are sure to be coming, so keep coming back.

Next, Ray Nedzel has an interview with the director and lead actress in Live Art's presentation of In the Blood. The show runs through March 29.

Deepak Singh was intrigued the other day when he came across a red van parked where doughnuts were being made. He produced a four-minute report on Carpe Donut.

Coy Barefoot was busy with interviews with Jennifer Niesslein of Brain, Child magazine, and Brian Wheeler of Charlottesville Tomorrow. Speaking of Brian, he was on hand at IMPACT's 2nd Annual Nehemiah Action, where City Councilors and County Supervisors were put on the spot to answer a tough yes-no question.

Phew! A busy week, and thanks to all of the contributors! And don't forget, you can always subscribe to the podcast via e-mail as well.

3/07/2008

NASA's new website

Earlier this year I blogged about how irritated I was that NASA wouldn't grant permission for me to record an event. I still think that was wrong, but policy is policy.

But I did want to point out NASA's new web redesign, which is very widgety and seems to contain a lot of information at first glance. It looks a wee-bit gadget heavy, but I was able to navigate quickly to a few things I wanted to look at. I'll give it a deeper spin soon. What do you all think?

3/05/2008

On the passing of Gary Gygax

I'm inspired to write this by Larry Banner's post in which he admits to playing Dungeons and Dragons when he was a kid. In this day and age, it takes a bold person to admit to spending any part of their childhood playing with many different kinds of dice, pencils, hexagonal marking paper, and reference books with scantily clad valykrie. It takes someone with a courageous bent to admit to spending weekends in basements with a seemingly never-ending supply of noxious soft drinks, snacks and jokes in very poor taste.

For a brief moment today, I wondered why it's not possible for us adults to do that same kind of goofy thing. Then I had to get back to work.