Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dear News Reader - Here's what one reporter would like from you

The tumultuous events of the last year have brought increased pressure from news readers for the mainstream media to provide reporting that's more nuanced, balanced, and in-depth. I've gotten quite a few broad exhortations via social media from people recommending things that reporters can do to ensure that events are covered fairly. I think this is great. But it might surprise you to know that from a reporter's perspective, there's also a lot that news consumers can do to promote the kind of journalism they want. Here's what I, a reporter at a mainstream news organization, believe you as a reader can do:

Monday, March 6, 2017

La La Land turns jazz into an exotic Third World country

I actually liked the movie. But I was set up for disappointment because I had convinced myself that it was about jazz. It's more accurate to call La La Land a love story that uses jazz as an exotic backdrop much the way Hollywood movies use war-torn underdeveloped countries as the setting for stories about white people that have nothing to do with the country in question. La La Land was about jazz in the same way that Out of Africa was about Kenya.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Norwegian Swelter Pale Ale

Few things are as tiresome for an amateur homebrewer as temperature control. One of the first things you learn is that fermenting too hot or too cold can get you in all sorts of trouble.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

BlitzBrau Pale Ale

Why BlitzBrau? Because I started drinking it two weeks after I brewed it. That's fast for homebrew. Then again I brewed it on New Year's Eve, which suggests that my blogging speed is something closer to SitzBrau. I know, that doesn't even make any sense.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Please ‘be’ in whatever moment you see fit, Ms. Whippman (My belated response to the NYT’s Op-ed on mindfulness)

Dear Ms. Whippman: Thank you for your New York Times Op-Ed ‘Actually, let’s not be in the moment.’ I agree that the indiscriminate application of mindfulness as a solution to everything is immensely problematic. Unfortunately, you’ve avoided actual criticism of the practice of mindfulness in favor of engineered outrage, straw-man rebuttals, and poorly researched questioning of its effectiveness. This may be related to what I would describe as your rather precarious understanding of what mindfulness actually is.

Friday, January 6, 2017

An unusual New Year's resolution: more social media

This might sound a bit like someone vowing to watch more TV, eat more junk food, or spend less time with their family. Social media has become one of those guilty pleasures that people want to cleanse themselves of in the New Year. Some celebrities have become experts at quitting Facebook or Twitter by doing it three or four times. I largely withdrew from social media about two years ago for reasons that I haven't really been comfortable talking about in a public forum. I guess this is a long-winded explanation of what happened.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Attention beer drinkers: Hops are not just about bitterness

After some recent Facebook chatter about craft beers getting too hoppy, I decided I needed to brew something that would show that hoppy beers are not all about bitterness - and then write a blog post about. Oddly enough, about an hour later I popped open something in my fridge that turned out to be exactly this. In a rare instance of social media inspiring me to write something, I've suddenly been handed an opportunity to talk about hops.