Sarah Abdurrahman is a producer for On the Media
OTM Staff Picks: October 11th, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 02:19 PM
Time for another round of OTM staff recommendations. If you have anything to you want to recommend to us, feel free to comment below!
Sarah Abdurrahman: I am really into archival news footage and old TV documentaries, especially about areas and people we don't learn much about growing up in the US. While doing some research for a story last week, I came across this old documentary called "Farewell Arabia" by Rediffusion, London about Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates and the brainchild behind the creation of the confederation.
It is fascinating to see how a British program reported on the man, how ahead of his time he was, and how different UAE was not too long ago. When I think of the Emirates today, I immediately think of the extravagant adult playground that is Dubai, but watching this documentary reminds you how rapid the region's development was and that only a few decades ago, it was just an empty desert. The documentary (which I think is from 1967) is in 6 parts, starting with this:
Doug Anderson: My nerd-tastic pick this week is the simple and free Mac application Jumpcut. It runs in the background of your computer, and keeps track of a “clipboard buffer.” Think of it as the history on your web browser, but instead of keeping track of your last 100 pages visited, it’s keeping track of the last 100 things you've copied or cut onto your computer’s clipboard. It has revolutionized the way I write, research, and email. For Windows users, there’s a similar program called ClipboardX.
Alex Goldman: Comedian Harris Wittels (writer for Parks & Recreation, and curator of the amazing twitter feed Humblebrag) loves the band Phish. Comedian and writer Scott Aukerman (host of the podcast “Comedy Bang Bang”) does not. On the podcast Analyze Phish, Harris plays Scott Phish songs in the hopes that Scott will change his mind about them. The show will run as long as it takes Scott to come around to Phish. It’s a weird concept, but somehow, it’s incredibly entertaining.
Chris Neary: We've been hitting the brainy BBC shows hard with these staff picks, but "The Hour" is so good I’m going to the well again. The show is about a) early news television and censorship in England (perfect for the On The Media fan), b) Soviet spies, c) a will-they-or-won’t-they love affair and d) Dominic West throwing off the shackles of a Baltimore accent as a suave London newsman.
Katya Rogers: My pick this week is "The Loft" – a legendary party night hosted by David Mancuso since 1970. It’s kind of like a cross between the best night club you ever went to and your cousin’s wedding. Mancuso has this whole philosophy about music – he doesn’t believe in ‘beatmatching’ he plays that song till the last note, then you wait for a bit…and he drops the next record. Its seriously old school. It starts at 5pm and goes till midnight, there are kids running around, there’s a weird buffet (cousin’s wedding) and the most amazing collection of disco/funk/house tunes. Everybody dances, balloons fall from the ceiling, there are whoops and cheers for the classics. Its New York in its purest form.
PJ Vogt: I’m embarrassed to find myself picking "Breaking Bad," the AMC show about a chemistry teacher who starts manufacturing methamphetamine after he’s diagnosed with cancer. It seems like everyone in the world is either watching it or is at least peripherally aware that they ought to check it out sometime. That said, I’ve watched 3 seasons of the show in the past week and a half. It has torpedoed my ability to consume non-Vince Gilligan-created media. It has wrecked my sleep patterns, disrupted my meager exercise routine, and eroded my friendships. If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, it’s streamable on Netflix and you should go let it ruin your life like it’s ruined mine.