jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
We're humans, we're tool users, and as we vary from the typical, our tools must vary as well. I've been a fan of assistive technology (AT) for a long time, and there's just more to explore everyday!

Really Pretty Canes )

Other AT Bloggers )

Quite a long rant about battling for, losing and maybe winning the captioning battle )
Moral: advocacy never ends. Always be at the standards table. Eat more greens.
jesse_the_k: The words "I told my therapist about you" in Helvetica Bold (told my therapist about you)
Once more I explore the tension between enticement and revelation, or "Jesse wields the cut-tag."

The Transom org is a place to nurture public radio producers. One digital audio editor they really like is a click away )

Yesterday MyGuy's immediate family got together for lunch, with Mom, in her own apartment. The food was bland, the company was well-known, and MyGuy shared vital life skills )

So, we're at home with nothing to celebrate and therefore a perfect day to waste time online. Aiii! Our wireless base station died. Apple to the rescue, again )

Wildlife abounds )
jesse_the_k: Finding Nemo's Dory, the adventurous fish with a brain injury (dain bramage)
The recent RadioLab program on "Lost and Found" taught me interesting things about how my brain does and doesn't work. The last item introduced me to Emilie Gossiaux, a young artist who was crushed under a semi-truck. Because she was in a coma and not responding in ways the doctors saw as "real," they were getting ready to harvest her organs. From middle school, she had a hearing impairment. Her boyfriend printed out "I LOVE YOU" on her palm and she was finally willing to accept the discomfort of her hearing aids (there were many broken bones in her skull and much swelling). Once she could hear enough to perceive that she was alive, she came "all the way back." Heartbreaking and funny and puzzling and wonderful and infuriating and well y'all know I'm a RadioLab cheerleader, yeah?

You can stream or download the 20 minute piece at this link: Finding Emilie
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (loved it all)
I know I've said it before, but I can't control myself: Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich's monthly public radio show, Radiolab, is the coolest thing ever!

Their show on The Wonder of Youth conveys the joy and amazement and fascination whic focuses inquisitive youth on a life as a scientist.. The high point of a Himalayan program is the Periodic Table as described by what may be its biggest fanboy, Olive Sacks. (Usually Sacks rubs me the wrong way, but his total squeeage charms me here: Period Table comforter! Period Table pillows on his couch!)

Out Loud

Feb. 28th, 2009 08:07 pm
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
[ profile] kestrell has a wonderful post about reading out loud (Reading Allowed)
The truth is, we do not live in a culture which gives people a lot of opportunities to read aloud, that is, to practise freely using their voices (or perhaps that should be, to free their voices through practice).

Radiolab is a witty, rigorous and beautifully produced radio show. It's an intersection between "This American Life" and SCIENCE magazine (and better than either).

The December 2008 episode Diagnosis tells five stories where things are not exactly what they seem. Along the way, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich play around with soundscapes and blew my little brain.

They explore the social construction of both disability and disease. A father home-schools his son because he's ruthlessly teased in school because of his "oddness." He gets a diagnosis at age 28, late enough to escape the no-expectations non-education he might have received via sped. Doctors believe they're seeing pictures of moods on fMRIs. But in the 1920s, they were absolutely sure they knew the cause of SIDS, and confidently provided treatment that caused disease in healthy people and did nothing to prevent cot death.

According to MyGuy, who spent 18 years trying to work with doctors on quality issues, the med student's motto is: Sometimes wrong, never in doubt.

I know I'm particularly bitter on this topic.

My mother had difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term, and her OBGYN gave her DES, because he thought it would prevent miscarriage. It didn't, but it does make me more vulnerable to vaginal cancer (and more prone to infertility, which never bothered child-free me). At least Mummy was informed; thousands of women in the midwest were told they were getting prenatal vitamins when they were actually taking part in a drug study without consent.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (expectant)
...apparently a lot. (Tell me you're surprised. Go ahead, just tell me.)

As the Brits put in their captions:


NPR's useful series The York Project: Race & The '08 Vote follows a roundtable of 13 diverse voters from Pennsylvania. They talk about race—principally, their fears on the topic.

The reporters set up a long-term relationship, in hopes of moving beyond the animosity, silence & nonsense that is certain to accompany initial conversations about race. They're on the right path. The honesty on display in the series is stunning.

From their introduction
And since we wanted to make sure our voters got comfortable, we began our discussion with comfort food. Thirteen voters from York and the surrounding suburbs joined us for dinner. Our producers had carefully selected a group that loosely represented York's demographics: young and old; Democrats, Republicans and independents. We thought it was a fairly random group, but once we got into the room, it turned out there were all kinds of connections.

The real estate agent and the high school drama teacher had a school connection. The lawyer remembered the law enforcement officer who used to visit his high school for anti-drug presentations. The former factory worker and the seamstress had a common acquaintance. Such is life in a fairly small city.

It's the "all kinds of connections" that make the conversation so important: we may not often be neighbors (given persistent redlining) but we do live in webs of community.

Particularly useful are the reporters' meditations on the meaning of their own race. Here's Steve Inskeep, who's White:
When race does come up among white people, in my experience, it's easy for people to say a handful of safe things and then stop talking about this dangerous subject. If you're white, there is a formula for you to follow. First, you reflect on your youth. You note that, for whatever reason, you were brought up in a home without prejudice. You may offer an anecdote about how your mother believed in civil rights or how you, yourself, stood up for a black kid in school. Finally, you report that you try to see people according to what's inside them, just as your family taught you.
Michelle Norris, who's Black, recounts her personal experiences with hard-core, totally unsubtle racism, then reflects:
Our conversations in York have me wondering about those men on the sidewalk. I wonder what they would say about this election year if they were included in our conversations. So often, discussions about race are driven by people who chaffed under restrictive laws or customs. The "success despite oppression" narrative is quite common in politics and film and business. Less common — or perhaps more muted — are the contemporary viewpoints of people who enforced, enjoyed or evolved past the point of assumed white privilege.
I've sometimes discounted the thoughtless privilege brandished in online discussions, assuming that those who post them are the exceptional case. This radio series brought me up short, because it ain't just the net, folks.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (loved it all)
Thanks to [ profile] haddayr's posts, I was aware of—and thunderstruck by—the police arrest of press during the Republican National Convention. I was horrified because it was wrong, but I couldn't articulate exactly why.

Last week, WNYC's On the Media featured an excellent interview with Amy Goodman which provides that crucial context:
Let's say your editor wants you to cover what’s going on in the convention, and you want to go outside ‘cause you see there are thousands of people that are out there, and maybe you could do that and then run in and do the job that they asked you to do, and maybe you could even get some of that into your story.

You’re not going to risk it if you could be arrested [LAUGHS] if you go outside and then you’re not there to do what your editor wanted you to do. It has a chilling effect. It prevents journalists from doing their job but it also really hurts the public. Reporters have to be able to put things on the record without getting a record.

Complete audio and transcripts here.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
I love Dmae Roberts's radio pieces. She explores vital, difficult issues and they're full of laughter. Listening to her voice helps me experience her insights more directly.
What are we but a collection of secrets? as we move through our lives, as we choose to reveal our lives, our stories, our very being to strangers—or not. 'How did your parents meet?'
Being visibly different in our racist society, she daily experiences rude questions from strangers. (Some of those same folks likewise see my power wheelchair as permission to say remarkably intrusive & thoughtless things.)

Her "Secret Asian Woman" explores the costs of passing. Her parents are White and Chinese, and she looks "White enough" to witness countless racist comments. She browses labels—"White," "half-Oriental," "Eurasian," "half-breed," "multiracial," "HAPA," "mixed,"—comparing their histories and fit. I laughed at her fellow-feeling with "Secret Agent Man," the 60s TV show: by being able to pass she inhabited the mysterious-infiltrator role into which many Asian women are cast.

more good stuff from Dmae Roberts )
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (focused eyeball)
Transom is a community for production, discussion, and distribution of interesting audio content—public radio with the dull left out.

CRAZIEST explores the almost invisible line between enthusiasm and obsession. There's an audio program and a Flash presentation at that link. They're both good; the visuals don't quite parallel (and don't quite intersect) the audio.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (expectant)
The current economic mess is comprehensible, as long as the folks explaining are clever enough.

The 60-minute radio show "The Big Pool of Money" explains why subprime mortgages got popular with bankers and borrowers, with the amusing style This American Life is famous for. Many factors are involved, but the biggest was "the triumph of data over common sense" and peer pressure: 1000s of bankers knowing they were doing the wrong thing, but they couldn't resist the profit. It also explains how investment banks are different than "real" banks, and why they're probably going to disappear R.S.N.

For ongoing coverage, I've been following National Public Radio's Planet Money blog. It's updated many times a day by NPR's economic correspondents. You can listen to all the reports that have aired on NPR's programs; they also have an audio Q&A section where they field listeners' questions.

Of course, NPR is not a neutral source of information, but their coverage has, so far, assumes the audience are not earning more than US$150,000 annually. Tell me about other helpful info sources!
jesse_the_k: Fully unclothed dorsal Paul Gross from Slings & Arrows (naked & proud)
My very first Canadian fandom was Radio Canada International. When I first got ill, I spent almost a year horizontal, and my shortwave radio brought sanity and variety to my bedside.

The CBC often presents intriguing weirdnesses on the radio in the summer. This year it's "The Late Show," where Gordon Pinsent hosts long-form documentary obituaries on CBC Radio One.

In a perfect 6 degree mashup, last week's (repeated this Sunday) show explores a hard-headed outdoorsman named Peter Brock.
I can't link directly to the player, but you can hear the show from that page.
Peter Brock was many things in life. A writer, a film-maker, a teacher, a pilot, a pianist. And a modern day explorer. He was preoccupied with one goal — a goal both treacherous and exhilarating. And that was to sail his boat — a boat he built — through the almost impenetrable ice of the Northwest Passage. Follow Peter Brock's journey…to its tragic end.

Sorry, but most of these links will probably be dead by 1-Sept-08
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (insane smarty)
Some days it's not worth chewing through the leather restraints ... but then there's a story like this on NPR:

Supreme Court Hears Schizophrenia Case

The "Day to Day" hosts talk with a Supreme Court reporter, and then with a university professor who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic.

"Nothing about us without us!" was a cry first raised by South African disability rights campaigners.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
Wire wrapped necklace & bracelet (listening to The Story) with big cobalt bicones, green porcelain beads (where did they come from?), aventurine rounds, and miscellaneous smaller beads. Very soothing activity.

Dick Gordon does lots of stories about people with disabilities. He's not as talented as Hock in terms of avoiding the obvious, but his language is respectful and the most recent I heard was a love story featuring two vets, one blind and one with aphasia. Now there's a topic that's difficult for radio, and yet it was lovely.

Enjoyed Shannon Wheeler's Too Much Coffee Man: Parade of Tirade. Since My Guy uses a Melitta every morning, and is somehow a sunny personality, I identify with both the lovely drafting and the occasional crankiness. I was heartbroken to learn the author is male: I guess I'm still "counting coups," wanting a fabulously talented cartoonist to be female.

Guy Delisle's Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea is gorgeously drawn. I laughed out loud at the bureaucratic antics, and was chilled to the core by a picture of a cult of personality dictatorship that has lasted too damn long.

Twenty books out of the library and I'm headed to the Northwoods on Friday where I generally read not at all. An excellent way to channel the manic urge to accumulate!

Necklace and bracelet pic in the cut )

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Jesse the K

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