Jad Abumrad Interview After Radiolab : Symmetry Live at UCLA Royce Hall

Jad Abumrad Interview from Andy Sternberg on Vimeo.

It’s not often that you get to see your favorite radio show or podcast produced and performed before a live audience. Granted, there are more opportunities to “watch the radio” than you’d imagine and I’ve seen my fair share of Buzz Out Loud and TWiT podcasts live in person. But I digress.

I posted some of my favorite Radiolab episodes right here a few months ago. Soon after that it was announced that the show was going on the road. A typical hour of Radiolab is likely to contain some of the most incredible, cerebral and aurally tantalizing radio you’ll hear. And it was just as fulfilling and entertaining as I could have expected live. Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich were brill as usual — the 5-part show was built around the theme: Symmetry (I’ll post it after it airs). And a big bonus was live cello machinations by the incredibly talented Zoë Keating.

Thanks WNYC for taking the show on the road and especially for giving me a few minutes to “geek out” with Jad about everything from writing to production to sequencing the Novation Launchpad MIDI controller for Ableton Live.

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Will Radioactive Fear-Fomenting Continue This Week on CNN?

It’s pouring in Los Angeles right now and if you kept an eye on the news last week you’d be excused for worrying that exposure to said rain might give you cancer. “Miniscule” amounts of radiation hit the West Coast this weekend as a result of the multiple nuclear reactor mishaps in Fukushima Prefecture triggered by the 9.0 earthquake in Japan. More accurately, as radioactive vapor from the busted nuclear energy plants collided with the jet stream, it travelled across the pacific as it dissipated amid other clouds. But there is always a “miniscule” amount of radioactive element in the air we breathe here in Southern California and pretty much every other major city. It’s not just FOXNews and CNN, it’s the local TV and radio news too. Anchors and reporters are consistently talking over the analysts they are interviewing so that “nothing to worry about” cannot be heard so much as the key fear-triggering phrases “nuclear,” “radioactive,” “headed this way” are repeated before and after every break. Will the fear-fomenting carry on for another week?

I originally filed the following post at LAist. Click here to see all my recent posts at LAist.com.

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CNN proves once again that the only imminent radioactive threat stems from staring at Wolf Blitzer in the Radiation Situation Room all afternoon.

After spending much of the week threatening the West Coast with radioactive thunderstorms should anyone dare turn the dial, CNN decided to recreate the geography of Caifornia, placing San Francisco a hundred miles or so from the Mexican border and throwing Los Angeles to the sharks, at the tip of a peninsula in Northern California that appears to be all but detached from the rest of the continent.

OK. So it was early in the morning and someone decided it would be fun to flip SF and L.A. on the map. And to misspell San Onofre.

We’re convinced this is a direct side effect of redundant fear fomenting under the guise of expert analysis. Turn on any 24-hour news network, or even local AM radio, and you’ll hear lots of mumbling broken up by words like “radiation,” “nuclear disaster,” and “headed to California.” These catchphrases subliminally enslave listeners to the nearest breaking news device, be it a transistor radio or the plasma section at Best Buy.

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Interview: Dermot McCormack, EVP Digital Media, MTV Networks @ CES 2011

Can MTV.com do what many have tried (and failed) to do over the past decade-and-a-half — become the MTV of the internet? MTV Networks’ head of digital media told us that’s exactly what he’s set out to do in 2011. I spoke with EVP of MTV.com Dermot McCormack about iPads, Android tablets and the future of MTV digital and mobile programming at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

Originally posted at LAist.com

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2010

Borrowed from one of my fave sites, flowingdata.com

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10. Asteroid Discovery

Scott Manley of the Armagh Observatory visualized 30 years of asteroid discoveries. It’s a straightforward animation that shows planets and asteroids orbiting the sun, with waves of twinkles as discoveries are made. I especially liked the contrast between human and automated discoveries.

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Crooked Fingers Afternoon Set at Old Style Guitar Shop, LA, 9/7/2010

What a treat it was to catch Eric Bachmann and Liz Durrett of Crooked Fingers just a half-block from the coffeeshop where I was drinking and WiFi-ing yesterday! I never knew of this shop — which is a tiny walk-in with old wood floors — basically a studio for Reuben Cox, who makes the super-old style guitars by hand. Got some great photos and took a couple videos with the Blackberry Torch (9800). AT&T gave me the latest and greatest Blackberry to mess around with so you’ll see me posting more and more content from and with it. This also resolves my which-Android-phone-should-I-get dilemma for the time being 😉

Crooked Fingers at Old Style Guitar Shop 9/7/2010
Reuben Cox, Liz Durrett, Eric Bachmann (photos taken with Canon PowerShot S90)

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