Sarah Abdurrahman is a producer for On the Media
OTM Staff Picks, September 26, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011 - 03:17 PM
Time for another round of On the Media staff picks. Feel free to make some of your own recommendations or give us feedback in the comments section!
Sarah Abdurrahman: I am reading Seasons of Migration to the North, a novel by Sudanese author Tayeb Salih. I was first introduced to Salih’s writing when I read his short story The Wedding of Zein, about a village simpleton who everyone loves but never expected to get married. The characters in the story are so universal, the author manages to make you feel like you know everyone in this remote village on the Nile in northern Sudan. Seasons of Migration to the North takes place in the same village, and although this story is not a comedy, it still has universal themes that anyone can relate to about the conflict between your past and your present.
Doug Anderson: My pick this week is the film "Even the Rain" (También la lluvia). It’s about a team of Spanish filmmakers who go to Bolivia to make a film about Christopher Columbus. Though they set out intending to portray the evils of colonization, they end up becoming complicit in a continuing cycle of oppression.
Bob Garfield: Not big on police procedurals, but I'm reading Richard Price's Lush Life and can but marvel at the detailed rendering of cop life in NYC. (Also the bar life on the Lower East side. Has dead on ever been more dead on?)
Alex Goldman: This week, my staff picks are this insane breakdancing video (really gets nuts @ 1:30):
And this insane DJing video:
Laura Mayer: Longform.org curates long-form journalism (not to be confused with the also excellent @LongReads, a Twitter-based long-form aggregator) for those of us who love reading 2,000 + word articles in our spare time. This weekend I read the majority of their "Crime" section.
Fortress of Solitude (Solitary Watch, Feb. 2011)-"Inside Florence, Colorado’s ADX prison, possibly one of the most isolated places on Earth, where Tommy Silverstein has spent the last 27 years without human contact."
Gone (5280, Feb. 2010)-"A young girl is reported missing. The detective assigned to her case quickly discovers she’s been gone for years. The story of his search for justice.”
The Crack in the Shield (NY Mag, Dec. 1986)-"The rise and fall of the Seven-Seven – stationed in the war zone of 1980′s Crown Heights, Brooklyn – and how an idealistic young recruit became part of cash-snatching, drug-reselling, renegade clique of cops."
There's something really satisfying about long-form crime writing, in particular. The core points of the narrative are built-in, most of the time, and the momentum constantly builds as a result. Reading a really great crime-related article reminds me of listening to a radio story with excellent narrative force. The goal in radi-yo is to keep the story flowing, right? Crime journalism keeps the story moving by definition, because us readers want to get to the criminal juice!
Chris Neary: This week, two posts from Felix Salmon's Reuters Blog. They both address an urgent question: are legos an effective medium for communicating the nuances of the European Financial Crisis?
First, this post based on a research note from Michael Cembalest that paired lego characters and major players in European finance. Here's a link to that note -- (NOTE: it's a link to a PDF, but it's worth the download).
Second, Salmon sets the financial legos in motion.
Gianna Palmer: Maria Popova is the self-described "cultural curator and curious mind at large" behind Brain Pickings, a website and weekly newsletter that are definitely worth checking out. Popova is brilliant in her ability to pull together interesting tidbits from various, seemingly fields, from culture to sociology to science to design to philosophy— you name it. Recent newsletters have included Popova's take on vintage version of modern social media, a list of her all-time favorite TED talks and "essential books" about cities, street art and optimism. Popova's twitter feed is also a great source for interesting links on a daily basis. If you ever find yourself in the mood to learn something new, but don't quite know what you'd like to learn about, head over to Brain Pickings. Seriously.
PJ Vogt: My staff pick this week is Super Smash Land. You know Super Smash Brothers, the Classic Nintendo 64 brawler game? This is fan-made “demake,” the game’s been remade in the style of a 1980’s Gameboy game. It’s a neat trick – Dan Forance, the designer, has taken a lush modern, 3D video game and essentially done a cover version of it, re-creating in the visual style of a bygone gaming era. Also, the soundtrack is 8-bit perfection. ALSO, the entire game is free to download.