Novel Uses For (Rap) Genius

Genius started out as a platform for annotating clever rap lyrics but has since expanded to include more than hip-hop, and more than just lyrics. Over the last week I have stumbled across some increasingly novel uses for the Rap Genius website:

  • First was an annotation of Hamilton: An American Musical soundtrack. These annotations are filled with interesting tidbits and insights into the song lyrics, American history, and production plot.
  • Second was an annotation of the entire Great Gatsby. Wonderful.
  • Lastly, Travis Korte used the Genius Web Annotator to create an informative takedown of the GOP’s recent Mainstream Media Accountability Survey. The annotation exposes the confusingly worded questions, sample bias and leading questions used in the survey.

iChildren

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just announced new policy recommendations and resources related to children’s media use and screen time. The recommendations include the following:

  • Children younger than 18 months should not use screen media except for video-chatting. These guidelines are different from previously established guidelines recommending that children under 24 months avoid all screen media.
  • Children ages 18-24 months should only be exposed to high-quality, educational programming, such as content by Sesame Street and PBS KIDS. Media exposure for children this age should always be accompanied by an adult who can help them understand the content.
  • Children ages 2 to 5 years should be limited to an hour of screen time involving high-quality programs. Parents should also co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to their own lives.
  • Children ages 6 and older should have clear limits about both the amount of media time and the type of media content they are allowed to use.
    Families should establish “media-free” times and locations, such as during dinner, driving, and in children’s bedrooms.
  • Regardless of children’s age, families should have regular conversations about online safety and etiquette.

It comes as no surprise to me that the key ingredient to the right media diet for our kids hinges on parental involvement. A parents’ role in managing the media diets of our children has never been greater because problems can begin when media use displaces physical activity, hands-on exploration and face-to-face social interaction in the real world. At our house, we have a pretty strict media rules. However, I need to work on ways to teach my children to use media in a more positive way.

If you have a children age zero to five years of age, you may want to check out the AAP policy statement which focuses on infants, toddlers and pre-school children called “Media and Young Minds”. If you have school aged children you can get more helpful information from the AAP policy statement “Media Use in School-Aged Children and Adolescents”.

In addition to these new media use guidelines, the AAP launched an online “Family Media Use Plan” tool that could help parents establish a healthy media diet that is appropriate to your family’s unique needs.

Good luck parents, we all need it!

via ChildrenAndMediaMan

The Death List

The Death List takes a stab (hah!) at determining which celebrities will die during the current year. The 2010 death list contains 50 celebrities, so far two of them have died – J.D. Salinger and Michael Foot. There are some rules to the list:

  • Candidates must be famous in their own right such that their death is expected to be reported by the UK media, however candidates cannot be famous purely for the fact they are likely to die soon.
  • A maximum of 25 candidates on the previous year’s list can reappear on the next year’s list.

It is unclear how the list is ranked but these celebrities round out the top ten:

  1. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi
  2. Ronnie Biggs
  3. Anna Wing
  4. Zsa Zsa Gabor
  5. Oscar Niemeyer
  6. Michael Foot (Dead)
  7. Chapman Pincher
  8. Eli Wallach
  9. Norman Wisdom
  10. Fidel Castro

A Three Doc Night

I watched three short documentaries last night.

The first film was a documentary about the rise and fall of Rollen Stewart, the rainbow man. You may not recognize the name but if you’re my age or older, you might remember his rainbow hair dancing around at every nfl, nba, mlb game in the late seventies. The Rainbow Man/John 3:16 was a strange dude who also liked to smoke a lot of dooby. His meteoric rise to semi-fame flew straight into a becoming a born again Christian after being groped by a bunch of professional cheerleaders (huh?). At this point he started to hang his John 3:16 signs (For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life) everywhere he went, which was wherever there was a television camera. I remember him more for the giant John 3:16 signs made of bed sheets than and only have foggy memories of a dancing prism with an afro. Like lots of born again’s (George Bush Jr. comes to mind), John’s grip on reality started to slip and he decided that the rapture was just around the corner. Well, desperate time call for desperate measures and he ended up taking a maid hostage in a downtown Los Angeles hotel and smoking more weed (no harm to the maid). He has since been sentenced to life in prison. It was a really interesting film with too much stock footage from Hard Copy tha ultimately ended up being sorta sad.

Rollen Frederick Stewart courtesy of Sports Illustrated Still Image from the film

The second film I watched was The Making of ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains’ about the cult favorite Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains which I have never seen but now desperately want to. If anyone knows how to get a hold of this movie please contact me. The original movie starred young 14 year old Diane Lane, and was her first film. Other notable actors included member of The Sex Pistols, members of The Clash, the lead singer of The Tubes, and Black Randy and his band, The Metrosquad. Needless to say, there were all sorts of drugs, sex, and rock and roll happening all over the set. Good times! I’m dying to see Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains. It looks like one of the best and one of the worst movies of all times. Here is a youtube clip I found.

The third documentary I watched was Pie Fight ’69 which was a weird, eight-minute, documentary about a pretty weird event. The film consisted of footage lost since 1969 of the notorious ‘pie-fight’ incident at the San Francisco Film Festival. Two dozen costumed radicals descend on the fancy black tie & red carpet festival with one fully laden pie truck and six cameras in order to wreak havoc. The coolest thing about this was the term “soft bomb” which seems like the 1969 version of a “flash mob” with political intent (what in the late sixties didn’t have political intent?).