Online Podcast Storytelling Festival Starts Tomorrow

I’m a big fan of storytelling and working with people on telling stories (you probably gleaned that what with Jabberwocky Audio Theater), so I was very excited to hear about this online festival starting tomorrow.

In case you’re concerned about minding your ducats, the link provided above should give you a discount so it’s free. So enjoy and don’t stop creating.

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Creativity and Flipping Perspectives

What better way to kick off the work week with a theory of creativity including why it doesn’t occur at work as much?

Do You Hear What Netflix Hears?

The podcast hills may soon be alive with the sound of Netflix. That’s what I’m gleaning from this Bloomberg article about the new Netflix executive in charge of podcasts.

N’Jeri Eaton (photo via Netflix)

N’Jeri Eaton comes to Netflix by way of Apple and NPR. An award-winning storyteller, she has roots in documentary filmmaking, something near and dear to many a DC filmmaker.

While that’s all cool, the big surprise from the article for me was that not only that Netflix has a number of podcasts already –many being deeper dives into their TV shows and films– but that they are building up publishing and social media presences. That growth as an overall media company is, I suppose, something one might expect, but I confess to still thinking of Netflix as the streaming enfant terrible vs. “another media conglomerate.”

I’m also, for obvious reasons, wondering if they’re going to start making moves into original audio fiction.

The Hear Now Festival: Celebrating Audio Fiction

Our move to make more events virtual these days thanks to the pandemic, making them easier to attend, also means it’s easier to forget to attend them.

That was the case for me and the Hear Now Festival, an annual celebration of audio fiction put on by folks over at NATF (National Audio Theatre Festivals, Inc.).

I missed some of the events, but luckily for me –and possibly for you– there’s a few sessions that are available to re-listen to, including a great hour-long intro to Norman Corwin, a true master of audio fiction as well as a panel on making modern audio fiction with Fred Greenleigh and many others.

As I’ve mentioned many times in regards to Jabberwocky Audio Theater, I grew up listening to vintage radio fiction — one of the reasons there is a Jabberwocky Audio Theater. I’m glad events like this exist and hope to attend some in person in the future.

Comparing Galactic Empires

Continuing from the musings about the soon-to-be Foundation TV series, I thought about the different series that have massive, interstellar empires… and it turns out I’m not alone.

Quinn (who’s videos you should check out if you want to know waaaay more about Dune before that film adaptation comes out later this year) does some comparisons of three literary biggies:

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How Might They Update the Foundation of Foundation?

Just a little over a year ago I posted the teaser trailer for Foundation, a TV series adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s highly influential work of the rise and fall of galactic civilizations.

Well, we’ve got a new trailer and a premiere of September, so gird your space opera loins!

Already, I’ve seen chatter on the interwebs about some apparent departures from the books, some of which is also hinted at in the io9 piece on the trailer. However, as much as I enjoy the books, the initial ones are episodic to an anthological degree. After the initial part with Hari Seldon, the man who predict’s the empire’s collapse, we are thrust forward decades and centuries to a new generation of characters grappling with Seldon’s predictions and grand beats of the aforementioned galactic waxing and waning.

It’s all engaging, because Asimov enjoys cunning characters and a good plot twist, but it does mean we don’t get to grow to love the characters like we would in other ongoing novel series.

And yet, part of the whole magic of the Foundation series is seeing that centuries-long storyline unfold.

So I’m very keen to see how they approach the adaptation to make it engaging in the TV medium while being thought-provoing as it was in the books.

Google Uncomfortable with Reining in Cookie Monster

It could be the parts of the web where I roam, but I’ve been reading a lot more about privacy, whether it’s Apple’s recent efforts to make their iOS more inherently private (see pieces in Bloomberg and The Verge) or the growing rumblings of government regulation (see pieces in CNBC and in Recode/Vox).

Strangely, “G” is for cookie, according to the algorithm.

By virtue of simply being online, all of us have been inducted into one or more Big Data Mining ecosystems whereby not only the tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and Google mine away at our identities, but a lot of third-party marketers do too. Many of you probably know about “cookies” in general, but I would guess few of us understand their scope, and not unrelated revenue, to entities like Google.

So this article by Sara Morrison in Recode (Vox) was interesting.

And for those of you who have read this far, thanks for including me in your algorithm for today. I think.

Time Off for Productive Behavior

In offices across the land, someone’s co-worker is making a remark that ‘it’s hump day.’ Wednesday. Just two more days after this.

But what if the weekend was only one more day away?

Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times (1936). Note to younger readers: workers are not always this happy.

Joe Pinsker over at The Atlantic does a deep dive into the move by several companies to reduce working days (and hours) down to four, but keeping the pay that had been allocated for five: effectively giving their employees an immediate 20% raise and more time off.

However, not content to simply point to the data that suggest this move has boosted productivity –and not just for white collar jobs– Pinsker goes further into the why we currently have a societal notion of the 5-day, 40-hour workweek, how business leaders railed against what we have now, and how economists and others saw a future society would naturally start working less hours per week because of the benefits of automation and efficiency.

It’s well worth a read.

The Best Space Dad?

So it’s a day after the fact, but, hey, I don’t usually post on Sundays anyway — even Father’s Day.

But Father’s Day means it’s time for plenty of geeky dad memes, say of Jango Fett and his many clone offspring.

However, with quite a bit of regularity, someone writes an article about how Benjamin Sisko of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is one of the best ‘space dads’ around.

I have to agree: even before I was a dad, the relationship between Benjamin and his son, Jake, made quite the impression on me as I watched the series. “The Visitor” remains one of the most powerful episodes of Trek around — and not recommended for anyone trying to keep their eyes dry.

I learned later through interviews and documentaries that this relationship was one that both Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton, Benjamin and Jake Sisko respectively, most valued. Not only that, the relationship continued after the cameras stopped rolling.

So, for your reading pleasure, feel free to check out Angelica Jade Bastién’s piece in Vulture, Clint Worthington’s piece on StarTrek.com, Princess Weekes piece on The Mary Sue, and most recently, Eric Pesola’s piece on Heavy.

Here’s to all the father’s out there, starfaring or not.

If a Supersonic Airplane Doesn’t ‘Boom,’ is it really Supersonic?

So let’s say you’re thinking about traveling again, perhaps even flying. Perhaps you’re wondering what happened to the efforts to make a new supersonic passenger aircraft since I posted about it in November 2019.

Well, you’re in luck! Rebecca Heilweil over on Vox/Recode has an update on Boom, the company working on building new supersonic passenger jets which United is now very keen to start flying.

A big question, however, is not only if they can address the sonic boom through technological improvements, but if there’s a way to make supersonic travel environmentally friendly…