Author's Posts

I made this short video blog last summer and am just posting it here now. In the video, I go over some fairly inexpensive video blogging accessories. These include the Rode SmartLav+ (plus TRS adapter),  Pedco Ultrapod II, and Zoom H1 recorder,. At the end, I make the promise to do more video blogging in 2016–which I then completely failed to do! Erm, I know what’s going on my goal list in 2018. 

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Today I participated in the “March for Science” protest held near Central Park in New York City. A larger protest event took place in Washington, D.C, and New York was one of many ‘satellite’ marches held all over the world. If you aren’t familiar with this movement, it is a reaction to the Trump administration’s dismissal of science, particularly as it relates to climate change. Trump has called anthropogenic climate change a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese, threatened to withdraw from the groundbreaking 2015 Paris climate accord and silenced scientists working for regulatory agencies such as the EPA and Department of the Interior, including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Park Service. In addition, he has proposed budget cuts to research agencies, such as NIH, NOAA and NASA. The protest was expectedly peaceful, bordering on sedate, but it was encouraging to see so many people out supporting science and science-based policy. Consider it a revenge of the nerds!

Continue reading ‘March for Science’ NYC in Photos #ScienceMarch

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I’m currently in the process of developing a new science series for YouTube. Rather than buy a stock track for the intro, I decided to create the music myself. It will ultimately take longer than going the stock route, but I think it’s worth the effort because a) I won’t have to worry about rights and b) I can cut multiple versions of the track as needed. Let me know what you think!
Continue reading New Track for Web Series

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Writing for videos and podcasts has taught me an important lesson: Compared to your eyes, your ears aren’t the brightest sensory organs in the room. I’m no neuroscientist, but if you look at the amount of grey matter dedicated to making sense of what we see versus what we hear, it’s apparent that we’ve evolved to rely on our eyes more than our ears.

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Primary auditory cortex, featured in magenta. (Source: james.mcd.nz/Wikimedia)

Continue reading Your Ears Are Stupid: My Top Ten Tips When Writing for the Ear

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I work with big cameras. Big honkin’ cameras with a multitude of inputs, buttons and switches; professional audio inputs and often interchangeable lenses. But sometimes it’s nice to bring things back down to manageable proportions.  So this past weekend I grabbed our household’s trusty point-and-shoot camera and headed for the Bronx Zoo to see what it could do. As they say, it’s not how sophisticated your camera is, it’s what you do with it. (Although, obviously there is more you can do with a fancy camera.)

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Canon Powershot A4000 IS (Credit: Canon, Inc.)

The camera I brought with, the Canon PowerShot A4000 IS, is the top camera in Canon’s A-Series consumer line. The MSRP is $179, but I picked one up for around $100 at a well-known New York retailer. I chose this camera for features like a 16 megapixel sensor, 8x optical zoom,  image stabilization and 720p video. But it also needed to be simple to operate, so that anyone could grab it and start shooting. It also didn’t hurt that it has Canon glass–which is generally great, even on their cheaper cameras.

Compared to larger DSLR-style cameras, the stills from this camera aren’t anything spectacular. Here’s a shot of a Gelada, a baboon-like monkey that lives in the highlands of Ethiopian. It’s thick coat protects it from cool mountain temperatures.

Continue reading Point and Shoot at the Bronx Zoo

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