It’s been a while so here are a few links for you to click on:
- Big Talk with Fil Menczer — He’s a researcher and professor of Informatics and Computer Science over at Indiana University’s factory for geeks of that nature. Menczer and his crew study social media and their effects on people, especially the disinformation, manufactured news, and thought manipulations that arise therefrom. A lot of us talk about how Twitter, Facebook, and the like play with our heads as well as our collective understanding of reality but, in truth, we’re letting ourselves off easy for the damage done to us via soc. media. Here’s the podcast link for the program featuring Fil.
- Big Talk with Paul Bryan and Cynthia Wakley — the executive director and operations director, respectively, for PALS, Inc. The acronym for People and Animal Learning Services, PALS is a therapeutic equine setup that helps people with physical, psychological, and emotional challenges overcome barriers. Bryan and Wakley are working to rejuvenate the operation after a period of relative disarray and are making connections with social service agencies around the region. One things Brayn especially is focusing on is serving military veterans. Working with horses, sez he, is an invaluable tool in the treatment of PTSD. Here’s the podcast link for that edition of BT.
- We were due to speak with Susan Lepselter, assoc. prof. of Anthropology and American Studies at IU. Unfortunately for her, she came down with a nasty bug and had to cancel our recording session today. Fingers crossed she can heal up and come in to the studio for next week’s show. In any case, Susan has delved deeply into that peculiar American phenomenon of UFO sightings and capturings. She has, in fact, written a book entitled The Resonance of Unseen Things: Poetics, Power, Captivity, and UFOs in the American Uncanny (University of Michigan Press, 2016), exploring the culture and psychology of self-professed UFO survivors. “For me, the question ‘what is real?’ is a very animating question,” Lepselter says. Perhaps she’ll clue us in next week. (As for this week’s airing of Big Talk, we’ll go with a rebroadcast at 5:30pm tomorrow.)
- My piece on Emerson Houck’s rollicking book, Hoosiers All, a lovingly researched history of Indiana high school sports team nicknames and logos, ran in the Limestone Post. My takeaway was the story of those names and images can serve as an introductory course to the history of the state as a whole. Indiana’s native populations, the pioneers, the different ethnic groups, the professions, and even the critters who run around these parts have been documented on the jerseys and letter jackets of teenagers from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River through the years. Go here for that article.
It’s been a few days but I still get weepy every few minutes. And, in the morning, when I’m washing dishes or folding up the comforters, I by habit still look over to where Steve the Dog would be sitting or lying, waiting for me — it was dearly hoped — to drop a biscuit on the floor for him. Those waiting posts remain unoccupied, never to be filled again by him.
Here’s my Facebook notification of his death: