Archive for May, 2008

A Camel Eating Cantaloupe

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

An animal trainer feeds a cantaloupe to a camel at the Leesburg Animal Park in Leesburg, VA.
Formats available: mp4

Jane Goodall Autographs a Busted Fender?

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Today in the parking lot at the Ikea in College Park, MD, we spotted a car that appeared to be autographed by Jane Goodall just above a busted fender. The signature includes the line “I did not do this!!”

At first I thought it was a joke, but then when I got home I found a couple of Jane Goodall autographs online, and the letters J and G are eerily similar to the signature on the car:

Jane Goodall Autograph 1
Jane Goodall Autograph 2
What do you think? Real or fake? -andy

Vic Chesnutt Live at NPR

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

It’s a good thing I had to work from home today, because otherwise I would have seen Vic Chesnutt play at NPR today.
Okay, that sounds strange, so lemme explain. I’m a big fan of Vic’s, ever since helping organize a free concert with him and Bob Mould at Northwestern 15 years ago. Today, though, I got an email just as I arrived home that he’d be playing a few songs at NPR, at Bob Boilen’s desk. I was really bummed about missing it, and Jon Foreman twittered that it was a shame he didn’t have my Nokia N95 on hand to stream it. So I suggested he set up a Mogulus account on Bob’s laptop so I could watch it from home. The result is this live video stream:

It’s currently 2:20. Still waiting for Vic to perform. Looking forward to it. -andy

Impromptu Interview with Jacob Soboroff of Why Tuesday?

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

So I was working at my desk yesterday when Weekend Edition Sunday producer Davar Ardalan suddenly appeared with Jacob Soboroff of Why Tuesday?, a nonpartisan group that produces a fascinating video blog about electoral reform. (In case you’re wondering about the name, it’s based on the question of why on earth U.S. elections are held on a Tuesday, when most people are stuck at work.) Jacob has been participating in Weekend Edition’s Sunday Soapbox blog, which features political commentaries from video bloggers and podcasters, and he was in town for some meetings. (He’s also headed to a Memorial Day clam bake at Joe Trippi’s horse farm; hope he shoots some video while he’s there.)
We ended up running across the street to the local Starbucks to grab a drink and enjoy the first tolerably warm temps we’ve had in a few days. It didn’t take long for me to whip out my N95 and record an impromptu interview with Jacob about Why Tuesday? and electoral reform:

Union Station, West Hall

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Low-res version of a giant panorama photo I took at DC’s Union Station. View the high-res version.

Almost Arrested for Taking Photos at Union Station

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

As some of you may know, I’ve been testing out a Gigapan panorama photo system over the last week, after I received a loaner of their robotic camera mount from Carnegie Mellon’s robotics lab. I brought it in to NPR to demonstrate it to colleagues and go on a photo safari to photograph the architecture at Union Station. Apparently, as far as Union Station’s security operations are concerned, that’s a criminal offense, since we nearly got arrested.
Here’s a low-res version of the photo. Click the image to see the extreme high-res, half-a-gigapixel Gigapan version. (Don’t worry, it loads dynamically, so don’t worry about the size of the pic.)

The Panorama That Almost Got Me Arrested


Dizzy vs the Gigapan

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Dizzy vs the Gigapan, originally uploaded by andycarvin.

I just got my hands on a Gigapan, a robotic camera mount developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics lab that allows you to take gigapixel-resolution pictures. And what does Dizzy try to do? Take over the photo shoot. Typical. -andy

Public Broadcasting and Twitter? Engagement and Authenticity!

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Yesterday, I saw a note from the WBUR Twitter account pointing to a blog post about their recent experiments with Twitter. For those of you who don’t know WBUR, it’s an NPR member station in Boston that’s been doing a lot of tinkering in the social media space as of late, so I follow their work pretty closely.
In his blog post, WBUR’s Ken George talks about some of their social media projects, and how they’re now heading into unknown waters with Twitter:

Now our media giant lumbers head first into the world of Twitter.
After dusting off the mostly dormant WBUR Twitter account, and fortified with copious amounts of coffee, I managed to accrue a modest following (hey its quality, not quantity right?). But in all honesty, I remain uncertain – to the point of apprehension – about what I should “Tweet” about. Do you want WBUR news updates? Irreverent musings? Programming information? Personal trivia? Shout-outs to my peeps? A running chronology of my day?
An excellent example of Twitter’s utility is public radio station KPBS using it to receive updates on wildfires then consuming swaths of southern California, information they then could relay over the airwaves. My own personal “ah-ha!” moment came yesterday afternoon when someone Tweeted me about a misspelling on the site. It just then dawned on me that WBUR too now has a potential army of researchers and fact-checkers at its disposal. The cranial cavity expanded six inches yesterday… cue “Also Sprach Zarathustra.”
So maybe the right question is: In what ways can we help each other?

Lemme spin that question another way, if I may: What would I expect of WBUR – and any other public broadcaster, for that matter – as far as Twitter is concerned?