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November 11th, 2005

Podcast mania...

I took a late lunch today and attended a lecture at NCSU.

The Department of English and the PhD program in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media (CRDM) are co-sponsoring an informal visit to our campus by John Unsworth, Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

He is the 2005 recipient of the Lyman Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Use of Information Technology to Advance Scholarship and Teaching in the Humanities and will give a lecture at the award ceremony at the National Humanities Center this Friday evening.

John has graciously agreed to spend some time on our campus, where he was an assistant professor of English in the early 1990s. He will be talking to us informally about the new report on Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities and Social Sciences, sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies.

The report takes up issues regarding how research agendas, methodologies, needs, and intellectual trajectories in the humanities and social sciences have been affected by the new technologies. John chaired this commission, and the report is now available online.

I'd estimate that there were 25 or so attendees, with the great majority of them either English professors or Library Science professors. I believe there was one other graduate student there, and one student of the new CRDM PhD program.

I asked about podcasting (of course, because it's on my mind!), and the whole notion of "chunking" information making it more consumable for a non-academic audience challenged by short attention spans and a vast array of information, and information sources, competing for their attention.



I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine this evening, and burned off 485 calories. Who's counting?

Following that, I walked 3 miles on the indoor track, and while doing so, I listened to the following podcasts.

Feed
Title
Time
Description
43 FoldersHello, World3:06A throat-clearing introduction, in which the author avows his lack of credentials and professes his disingenuous love of brevity. Welcome.
43 FoldersThe 'to have done list'2:44Don't get freaked out by the items on your to-do list; think of the tasks in terms of what they'll mean to you once they're done.
43 FoldersCleaning off the bed3:25Every good habit requires a good fresh start. Can you find the opportunity for a good habit hiding under a huge pile of crap?
ABC News Money MinuteHoliday Shopping Sense1:39Tips to prevent you from going broke during the holiday shopping season.
NPRMost E-Mailed Stories for Friday, 11/11/0544:12'Light on Life': B.K.S. Iyengar's Yoga Insights, Flu-Like Disease in Brazil Puzzles Experts, 'Still Looking' Collects John Updike Essays on Art, Intelligent Design and Academic Freedom, Book Delves into the Mysteries of the 'Mighty Fitz', and Education Programs on the Budget Chopping Block.
Slate MagazineBan the Prom!7:39Take Back the Prom: How, and why, one school called it off - and you can, too. Slate writer Ann Hulbert argues that baby boomers have failed to notice how their kids' senior proms have gotten out of control, in part because the boomers themselves often didn't attend proms. One piece of advice: don't make motel reservations for your kids.
Slate MagazineHe's Not Home, Officer. Come Right In!10:09Stay Out of My Sock Drawer: The Supreme Court asks if a wife can let the police look for her husband's drugs. Slate's Dahlia Lithwick reports on whether a spouse (or girlfriend or child) can give the police permission to search your home over your objection.
Slate MagazineThe Best Bookshop in the World9:15Book Hunting in Britain. Slate's editor Jacob Weisberg talks with June Thomas about his recent trip to hunt in the bookshops of London for prize (literary) game.

Hands down, my favorite of these podcasts was, "He's Not Home, Officer. Come Right In!"

The narrator related the Supreme Court proceedings, in a style not unlike that of Nina Totenberg. What was hysterical were the editorial comments, or asides, he interjects as he reports.

I laughed out so loud once that the person walking on the track, a ways in front of me, turned around and looked at me.

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