Phone Different

At about 3 a.m. I was watching my Twitter feed when an item arrived from Rob at podCast411 announcing he'd just uploaded the first episode of a new podcast, Today in iPhone. I listened to the episode, and it's great--packed with useful information, with links on the show notes page. I grabbed the HowTube iPhone Countdown widgit for Macintosh which keeps track, by the second, of how long we have to wait for the iPhone to arrive. This is problematic, since no one really knows the date. But Rob's delivery of a baby new podcast all about iPhone is a great sign that Christmas is coming, and the i-news is getting fat!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Do What You Love, by Steve Garfield

This simple, heartfelt and smart statement by the VideoblogFather, Steve Garfield, is worth listening to.

It reminds me that ever since college, I've carried in my mind these words from Matthew 6:33 : "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you." Finding the verse via Google, I'm surprised that somewhere along the way I forgot the words "and His righteousness" after "Kingdom of God." Guess I'll have to work on that!

Steve Garfield has been an early and consistent inspiration for me, along with the Bible, so I'm glad to embed his good words here.

Do What You Love on Vimeo

Friday, April 27, 2007

At Home with Mozart and Brahms

The Ariel String Quartet performed in my parents' living room this afternoon, in a concert presented by the Cambridge Musical Club. The Quartet comprises Amit Even-Tov, cello; Gerson Gerchikov, violin; Alexandra Kazovsky, violin, and Sergey Tarashchansky, viola. I sat on the sofa directly in front of them and recorded with my Edirol R-09. After the performance, Amit listened with headphones to the first movement of String Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2 by Johannes Brahms and said it would be okay to upload it to my blog, as a sample of the concert. Their first piece was String Quartet in C Major, K. 465, "Dissonance," by Mozart.

The quartet will give a free concert on May 2, 2007 at 8 pm in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Highly recommended!

Click here to listen to today's performance of Allegro non troppo from the Brahms String Quartet in A minor.

The quartet was founded in Jerusalem in 1998 and has performed in major venues in Israel and abroad. Recent appearances have included the Musee du Louvre in Paris, the Washington Performing Arts Society, and the Neue Galerie in New York City. Since 2004 the quartet has studied at the New England Conservatory. They have a web site under construction and you can e-mail them at arielquartet AT yahoo DOT com.

The Cambridge Musical Club was founded in 1903, and my mother has been a loyal supporter, regularly hosting concerts. It's quite an experience to show up at the home place and see the living room arranged with 30 folding chairs filling with guests, while four musicians tune up in the library. Unlike a year ago, the Welsh Terriers were confined to quarters and did not make a run through the living room during the music.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Do You RSS?

A recent Slate article and podcast confirms my attachment to Netvibes as my preferred way to aggregate content on the internet. And Lee LeFever, back from his round-the-world trip with his wife, which I followed on their terrific web site, has created a wonderfully simple explanation of what exactly it means to aggregate content using RSS.

These tools will be of use as I prepare to give a workshop titled "What the Heck is Web 2.0 and Can It Save the Arts?" at the Mountain West Conference on the Arts in Salt Lake City on May 11th, hosted by the Utah Arts Council. Yesterday I looked back at the origin of the term Web 2.o by reading this piece by Tim O'Reilly.


Spring Singing at Harvard

Spring Dorm

Thayer Hall in Harvard Yard this morning was aglow in sunlight as I emerged from Morning Prayers in Appleton Chapel, still savoring the sounds of the Choral Fellows, the select group of Havard University Choir members who sing in Appleton Chapel during the week.

Today they performed "With a Voice of Singing" by Martin Shaw (1875 - 1958). I particularly love the way they get the most out of an "Amen" at the end of the 15-minute service. Click on the links to hear the music as recorded on my Edirol R-09 stereo recorder.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Chapel Walk

Chapel Walk
Originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.
My parents hustle along a pathway in Harvard Yard to Morning Prayers yesterday in Appleton Chapel. We left the house late, and I took a wrong turn, but we still arrived just before the organ prelude began.

I'm settling in for a couple of weeks in the Cambridge place by the Charles River, enjoying the arrival of flowers and days warm enough to take my baguette sandwich down to the riverbank for lunch.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

World's First Streaming Train Ride?

Maybe! I hooked up my MacBook Pro to the internet while riding the rails from Baltimore to Boston yesterday and created a feed for most of the way. My Verizon EVDO connection cut out from time to time in tunnels and the deep woods of Connecticut, but I had a few loyal fellow travelers with me, especially Jim Howard of Miami, who blogged about the ride at his Show Me Blog and captured some of the video so he could post it at Yahoo Video, as seen above in the embedded video player.

Also checking in were my mother, my wife Darlene, my friend Kes Woodward from Fairbanks, a guy from a suburb of London, and a guy named Rob in Vancouver, Washington. The young woman riding next to me on the train, Bizan, was a good sport and ended up chatting with the viewers as my impromptu co-host. This prompted requests for her phone number and the observation that she was "a hottie." Yes, it's a web-jungle out there, friends.

In all, it was a surreal ride on the new digital rails. The little audience on UStream could see and hear me, but all I could see were the text messages they left in the chat area. This new ability to stream video live is an amazing development. All aboard!


Friday, April 20, 2007

The Art of Being Regional

It's not easy being regional. You may have heard of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), especially in the 1990s when it unwittingly found itself on the front lines of the Culture Wars. And you may know there is a state arts agency in each of the 50 states. In between the federal and state levels there are six regional arts organizations which help the nation and the states by doing smart, creative things that strengthen the arts. Those six RAOs, as they're known by insiders, are meeting here in Baltimore at the Admiral Fell Inn. I served on the board of one of them, the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) for 10 years, and last year I joined the board of another, the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). I love coming to these meetings of the six regionals, because the executive directors are passionate about their work, and I always learn things.

The theme for this meeting is stories. We have an excellent facilitator, Toby Herzlich from Santa Fe, who invited us to tell stories at the opening dinner last night. We went around the table, telling tales that had shape because they followed the lives of real people encountering art in their lives. We noticed that many of the stories had to do with projects at the fringes of mainstream culture, where so much vibrant cultural activity takes place, with so many challenges. David Fraher, executive director of Arts Midwest, described a project of photography from the surprisingly large community of Somali immigrants in Minneapolis. It was clear that art in this instance holds the promise of bridging wildly diverse histories and cultures, but also that the job isn't easy. Trust is the key. Without it, a high-minded effort to bridge differences through art can descend into painful misunderstandings. David presses forward, and we urge him on.

I'm hoping that my fellow regional types will be comfortable moving part of our proceedings onto the internet today. I created a broadcast feed for The Regional Arts Show, so feel free to drop by and see if the camera is on. Or go to and look for the show under the "Watch" tab. There will be stories from north, south, east and west. It won't look much like art, but you'll know that's why we're all here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Show Gets Picked up in Taiwan

Mind-bender of an evening here, playing with . I set up a streaming broadcast in my studio and spent some time chatting with myself before bbluesman showed up on the list of people in my Ustream chat room. I started typing to him, but he gently guided me to the fact that I didn't need to type, all I had to do was talk into the mic and camera on my MacBook Pro. So I'm talking to someone, and he's typing back to me.

"Where are you?" I ask.

"Taiwan," he types.

Turns out he's an American named Mark Forman living in Taiwan, married to a Taiwanese woman. He's a podcaster and knows his way around Second Life, and naturally he's Twittering. We visited for a while before signing off, and now it's 1 a.m. and I REALLY need to get to sleep. I suppose I'll turn the broadcast back on tomorrow (today, actually) and see who else turns up for the show, tentatively titled "Streaming Pod Chronicles."

Photo is of a puppet show in Taiwan from Mark's Flickr site.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mile High Ustream

I'm trying out Ustream, the free streaming software. If I'm broadcasting from my MacBook Pro, you'll see me here:

If I'm asleep, please let it be so soon, I don't think there will be much happening.

Kodak Moment 2.0

This is an internal video that became so popular with Kodak employees that the company released it. I found it on Drew Olanoff, Unplugged.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

High Rise Behind Bars

High Rise Behind Bars, originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.

View of two Denver high-rise residences, taken yesterday with art in foreground.

Friday, April 13, 2007

An Obama Moment

I was moved by the following incident reported in the International Herald Tribune, which highlighted Obama's low-key approach to voters in Iowa, now that the initial curiosity and hoopla surrounding his announcement has died down:

The approach allowed for moments like one that took place at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Dakota City, after almost everyone had gone. Obama was approached by a woman, her eyes wet. She spoke into his ear and began to weep, collapsing into his embrace. They stood like that for a full minute, Obama looking ashen, before she pulled away. She began crying again, Obama pulled her in for another embrace.

The woman left, declining to give her name or recount their conversation. Obama said she told him what had happened to her 20-year-old son while serving in Iraq.

"Her son died," he said. He paused. "What can you say? This happens to me every single place I go."

The next day, at the rally in Colo, Obama described the encounter for the crowd. The woman, he said, had asked if her son's death was the result of a mistake by the government. "And I told her the service of our young men and women - the duty they show this country - that's never a mistake," he said.

He paused carefully as he reflected on that encounter. "It reminds you why you get into politics," he said. "It reminds you that this isn't a game."

BTW, Flickr right now lists 4,409 photos when you search for "Barack Obama." That's nearly three times as many as the 1,517 found in a search for "Hillary Clinton." (In the minute it took to add in these links, the Obama count jumped by 9 new photos.)

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Power of Feedback

I'm still tingling after listening to a kind audio comment left on my Video Pod Chronicles page in the MobaTalk box. It's from a guy named Colin Maddocks from Liverpool, England, and he has been subscribed to the videos for a while. I love podcasting just for the joy of creating my take on the world with these powerful new tools. I listen to my pieces over and over, learning from them and planning new tricks. But when a stranger from across the ocean takes the time to leave an audio comment, well that puts the business into new orbit of delight. So thanks, Colin, for the encouragement to keep pressing ahead!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

In the days before laptops, modems, and the internet, reporters would call their newspapers from the scene of a hot story and ask for a wordsmith who would turn their oral blatherings into print-worthy prose. As a one-time reporter myself, I am reminded of this history when I call Jott on my cellphone and record a 30-second message that shows up in a few minutes as an e-mail in my Inbox. It's a free service, and you can send e-mails via voice to anyone. This would be a cool way to remind myself of something I just thought of while driving around Denver. "Hey, don't forget to post today's video for Videoblogging Week, big guy!"

I heard about Jott on this episode of the TECHPopuli podcast, hosted by Jack Hodgson, whom I met Sunday at Boston Media Makers. Jack describes his podcast as "Geeky Technology for Regular People," and each daily episode is about five minutes or less, chock full of useful and interesting tech bits. Highly recommended.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Videoblogging Week 2007

I've been busy adding a video a day for Videoblogging Week. Links here.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

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