Sousanis Shares

Nick Sousanis is a generous soul.  Just check out this post where he credits all and sundry, remarking on some “deleted scenes” from his grand graphic dissertation, Unflattening.

I assigned Unflattening this semester as a non-fiction component to my Intro to Lit course.  Students loved it, especially the “Grids and Gestures” exercise.  I will share these in a post early next week. Thanks, Nick.

Also, thanks for reminding me of the PopcornMaker piece I did in response to Unflattening. 

Newsletter 4 a Second Coming

Terry Elliott’s Newsletter
Sun, Apr 23

I love the smell of collapse in the morning.

Not a bad attitude, just clear aptitude. I see the wave rising, curling, and………….BTW, why do they call these things bubbles? Is it because the economic system has little going for it structurally except the surface tension of belief? Yup.

‘The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst’: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017
Zero Hedge – Apr 22, 4:50 PM

“Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst.” Richard Hayne, Urban Outfitters CEO, March 2017 The devastation in the US retail sector is accelerating in 2017,”

Comment: ‘[E]stimates that there could be more than 8,640 store closings this year, which will be higher than the historical 2008 peak of approximately 6,200 store closings’ Had to happen sooner or later. Even the shitty jobs are going away. Zombie retail space

John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it
Boing Boing – Cory Doctorow – Apr 22, 6:22 AM

John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data by saying that doing so violates the 1998 law’s prohibition on bypassing copyright locks. Deere’s…

Comment:  Just like only corporations can go bankrupt, but students can’t. Corporations are people, students are not. Res ipse loquitur (Latin for “the thing speaks for itself”) This argument needs to stamped out with size 20 boots and then incinerated. DNA next?

Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy – Apr 13, 7:33 AM

Students and their families are backed into a corner. As students across the United States are handed school-issued laptops and signed up for educational cloud services, the way the educational system treats the privacy of students is undergoing…

Comment:  We teachers are playing Chopin in the Hindenburg Lounge. The hydrogen is leaking and lightning is in the air. Let’s start collecting student DNA for the coming identity chips. Maybe DeVos Schools can make a few bucks selling that info to Silicon Valley?

The Student Debt Crisis Is Exploding – Kevin Zeese – Apr 22
Nothing Less Than a Student Debt Jubilee Will Do The level of student loan debt in the United States has risen to $1.5 trillion, and defaults are at more than 40% of debtors and rising. Student loan debt has grown to overwhelm all other categories…

Comment: What happens when the retail bubble and the student loan bubble meet? Magnitudes of complexity, that’s what. Or as Lady Macbeth would have it, that future is murky. For all the kool kidz out there that means not good.

Tay Zonday talks ‘Chocolate Rain’ on its 10th anniversary – Giselle Melanson Tattrie – Apr 17
April 22, 2007.

It was a landmark day for YouTube as University of Minnesota graduate student, Adam Bahner — going by the moniker “Tay Zonday” — decided to upload an original music video titled “Chocolate Rain…”

Comment: Oh ‘Chocolate Rain’ man, where art thou? He is interviewed here and has some pretty profound things to say about Internet property, music online and the train wreck that is modern journalism. Profundity ratio: 91/100

SCOTT GALLOWAY: Investing in Snap is something ‘no one responsible should ever do
Business Insider – Apr 18, 4:44 PM

Scott Galloway is a marketing professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and the founder of business intelligence firm L2. Galloway stopped by Business Insider to talk about the biggest names in tech. In this clip he talks about why he thinks…

Comment:  If this is true, then this Zuckerberg dude IS the embodiment of evil AND modern stock valuations are untethered null fields, the ultimate sinkhole for stupid capital. Oh boy. Rollercoasters. Hell ride. No seat belts in the loop-the-loop.

Get darker?

Johnny Cash-The_Man_Comes Around And I heard as it were the noise of thunder One of the four beasts saying come and see and I saw And behold a white horse There’s a man going around taking names And he decides who to free and who to blame Everybody won’t be treated all the same There’ll be a golden ladder reaching down When the Man comes around The hairs on your arm will stand up At the terror in each sip and in each sup Will you partake of that last offered cup?

Get lighter?

The Wailin’ Jennys – Apocalyps Lullaby with Lyrics

another pretty wailin’ jennys’ song.

Five Podcasts that Will Make You Hipper, Happier, and Hoppier


I listen to podcasts on my iPhone or an old Galaxy Android or on an old Asus Windows phone or on my Amazon Echo.  I have an hour commute each way to my teaching gig so I have a lot of time to listen.  I, also, listen while I do repetitive work (dishes, laundry, walking my fields, feeing the sheep, etc.). I take time and I make time for podcasts. Why?

First, they are exciting.  Many smart folk are using podcasts as their creative medium of choice and that means there are some amazing sonic deeds being done. Second, I learn an astonishing amount from the whole process of finding, curating, and tracking down new stuff to explore especially if there are transcripts and show notes for those podcasts. Third, a good podcast can be inspiring.

Here are a few that are in heavy rotation on my app of choice, Pocket Casts.  Visit that link and get it in iOS or Android. It costs a little, but it really does the job.

Reply All

I turned on my notifications for Pocket Casts just to make sure I knew when the newest episode was coming out. That should tell you something because I hate notifications.  Informative, idiosyncratic, intriguing, all those ‘ins’ and more, Reply All is a real peak into current social trends and news.  Their early coverage of PizzaGate was spot on and very helpful for an un-hepcat like me.  They have show notes and transcripts. Boss podcast.


With only two episodes out of the starting gate, Intercepted is now a must listen political podcast for me.  This is the child of one of my favorite political news sources, The Intercept.  Jeremy Scahill, one its founders (along with Betsy Reed and Glenn Greenwald), hosts and uses his serious interview chops to fine effect especially in the inaugural podcast when he questions Seymour Hersch. The site is visually a winner, lots of white space and user friendly navigation and access to social media. It has show notes and transcripts as well.  I found the work of Immortal Technique here and was able to use it in talking about didactic poetry in my Intro to Lit class.

All in the Mind

A good podcast will take you many good and useful and surprising places. This Australian Broadcasting Corporation podcast has lots of traditional production values (something I don’t think is sufficient for a good podcast) and superior content and storytelling.  If you want a really excellent introduction to  what I am referring to, then listen to “The Ghost in My Brain”.  I think science podcasts like these really can change people’s lives.  In this case if you have ever had a concussion that was life changing, this one might give you hope for recovery.  Transcipts, links, and show notes.  Superior.

Chapo Trap House

Warning:  this may be an acquired taste, but if you like your podcasts with high Scoville counts, then have a listen.  Now, how to describe this.  Imagine, if you will, a group of young men and women who have played role playing games off and on since they were pre-teens. Imagine they stayed together as friends, and imagine they got together to ‘play’ at the political questions of our times…but with the same irreverence and low falutin’ humor of those role playing games.

I get more gut laughs listening to this and learning new derogatory terms for the political morons running our grand experiment into the swamp, than even from Monty Python. For example, “maga chuds”. (You gotta listen to learn what it means.)

My favorite episode so far (and they have quite a back catalog that I haven’t listened to yet) is the treatment they give to D’nesh D’Souza’s and his hideous scab of a movie about Hilary Clinton. The podcast reminds of how director John Landis had the boys trash the mall in one of the egregious chase scenes in  “The Blues Brothers.”.

No transcripts. I don’t even know how this rapid fire dialogue could be made into one without driving the transcriber mad. No show notes.  So this breaks the rules, but I think it is supposed to. Bon appetit.

Song Exploder

There are no bad episodes.  Even if I don’t like the songs being ‘exploded’, I end up appreciating them before host Hrishikesh Hirway finishes with them.  The high concept here that the more we know about a song from its creators, the more we appreciate its construction, the greater the song becomes for us.  I concur.

For example, I really do not like Carly Rae Jepson’s…pop stylings, but Hirway does great work in turning me 180 degrees about her song, “When I Needed You”. Made me realize how much she channels Cyndi Lauper…and that’s OK.

What Hirway does with the tUnE-yArDs‘ song “Water Fountain” is luminous.  I rarely re-listen to podcasts but this one and the one by The Lumineers’, “Ophelia”, I have listened to half a dozen times each.

I will leave you with “Ophelia”. Be inspired.