Alex Goldman is a producer for On the Media. One time he got run over by a car.
OTM Staff Picks, August 1, 2011
Monday, August 01, 2011 - 08:00 AM
It's Monday. Time for OTM staff picks. Feel free to offer us feedback in the comments section, and enjoy!
Sarah Abdurrahman: I was turned onto this site by fellow OTM producer Naz Rafsanjani after writing the blog post about Photoshopping Reality. It’s called Photoshop Disasters, and just like the name sounds, it showcases awful Photoshop attempts.
Bob Garfield: John Mulaney, The comic, is very very funny. Google him.
Brooke Gladstone: I have been addicted to packages of roasted seasoned seaweed that we've been buying in bulk. They're only 30 calories! Just don't eat eight of them in a row, like I did on Thursday.
Alex Goldman: Well, by the time this post goes live, I will be lounging on the western shores of Lake Huron. So if that can be considered a staff pick, I definitely recommend that.
While I am on vacation, I plan on reading Where Wizards Stay up Late by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon. It's about the people that laid the groundwork for ARPANET, which is a sort of proto-internet that eventually became an essential building block of the internet we use today.
I've been listening to the latest album by I Come to Shanghai all weekend. One of the members of the band, Robert Ashley, is the guy behind the awesome video game podcast A Life Well Wasted, and in the absence of recent episodes, he piped the entire album down the show's podcast stream. It has a dreamy quality that reminds me of Drums and Wires-era XTC. The album is available for download (at any price) from their website, and they've very thoughtfully made the entire album available on soundcloud.
Chris Neary: It’s cliché to say that an animated movie is for both adults and kids. That’s said, the movie Rango is for both kids and adults.
It’s for kids because there’s plenty of great physical comedy and cool looking reptiles who dress like Steinbeckesque dustbowl farmers. It’s for adults because, in part, it’s a riff on Chinatown. (Don’t worry, not every part of Chinatown). The voice of Johnny Depp is embodied in the lead character (Rango), a hyper-verbal, neurotic lizard. It’s no surprise that Rango finds the hero within himself at the end of the movie. So does Nemo and Remy the rat from Ratatouille. The difference is that in this movie the depths Rango sinks to before being redeemed are lower and more believable.
Nazanin Rafsanjani: Did you guys read this New Yorker story a while back about Guatemala and the crazy story about the assassination of Rodrigo Rosenberg? It was awesome.
PJ Vogt: Spotify! Holy holy, have you guys heard of this?
It's a music-streaming/downloading program that's supposed to be an iTunes killer, which I don't really think it will be, but it's still pretty great. Basically, you pay 10 bucks a month, and in exchange you get access to an impressively big library of music. They don't have everything, but they do have most things.
You can stream songs or you can download them, and if you have a fancy phone, it works on your phone as well. Also you can subscribe to other people's playlists, which helps if, like me, you never really find new music to listen to on your own. Right now I'm listening to a great summer playlist from New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones, as well as a not-as-great playlist of songs made by a guy I went to junior high with. Omar, how come you like the Tron: Legacy soundtrack so much?
Jamie York: I’m home in Maine this week, Down East, and I’ve got a newfound appreciation for the great local community radio station here, WERU. I’m certainly guilty of believing that WFMU in Jersey City is the last word in community radio but WERU is a strong contender. Eclectic, programmed by the neighbors, full of local information - I’m really glad it’s here.
And this is so well done, the best kind of mystery. Nathaniel Rich was intrigued by a headline that raised a simple enough question - how do you win the Texas lottery four times? Then he found out that the odds of that are one in 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Then he found out that three of the tickets were scratch-off’s sold in the same small store. Then he found out the winner wasn’t a Texas resident at all, she was a retired statistics professor who lived in Las Vegas. So he looked into it.