Jimmy Guterman's blog

media, technology, management, and the rest of it

Archive for the ‘diversion’ Category

Best three sentences in a book review by an 11-year-old of all time of the day

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I think it was in the Old West because there were Indians, and it was dusty and stuff. He married this Indian girl, this guy’s daughter, and he kept yelling off a cliff, “I am Pete!” I don’t really don’t know why he was doing that.

— one of the twin daughters of Paul Gleason


Written by guterman

November 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Posted in diversion

Media diet, summer 2014, part 1: podcasts

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podcast iconI’m trying, and half-succeeding, to read less and write more. I read more than enough. (You don’t want to know how many times I’ve been through Proust, for example — one of the good things about having a tablet is that it’s easier to hide my habits/obsessions.)

I’m trying to cut down my inputs dramatically so I can focus more on my output. But someone asked me earlier this year to be part of a media roundup she was assembling for some editorial people. I never got around to it, but I thought it might be useful, for me anyway, to write down want I’m reading/listening to/seeing this summer. I’ll start with podcasts.

Here are five I recommend highly. There are far more great ones than anyone with a job, a family, or creative aspirations could listen to, but here are five I listen to regularly every week with consistent pleasure.

Song Exploder, in which musicians take apart their songs and share how they put ’em together in the first place. Not all the music is to my taste, but the discussion of what it takes to construct a work is engaging and sometimes inspiring.

Joe Bussard’s Country Classics, in which the legendary record collector (and Fonotone proprietor) digs into his bottomless pile of ’78s and reveals outstanding cut after outstanding cut of pre-WWII country, blues, and gospel, augmented by authoritative commentary, brought to you by the geniuses at Dust-to-Digital.

99% Invisible, a design podcast that digs deep into a topic every week, full of surprises and insight. And this uses the broadest definition of design possible: last week’s episode was all about the history of skyjacking.

TLDR is a blog about the internet, associated with On the Media. The producers are funny, share their wonder, and have a strong moral sense that doesn’t get in the way of entertaining.

On the Media is better known as an NPR show, but I listen to it on podcast just to make sure I don’t miss it when it’s on the local public radio station. I’ve listened to this media-news-and-comment show for years and still learn or am provoked by something new almost every week.


Written by guterman

June 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Posted in diversion, reading, worklife

Two videos that have made me enormously happy over the past week

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Girl Walk // All Day from jacob krupnick on Vimeo.

Yeah, I know. But, as Clay Shirky would tell you, some of our cognitive surplus has to be directed to pure, life-affirming fun. Onward!

Written by guterman

March 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Posted in diversion

Some recent posts from elsewhere, two of them almost entirely bereft of text

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Some things I’ve written lately:

Stephen Wolfram and the Science of Business (Harvard Business Review)

Inbox Infinity (BoingBoing)

Gingerbread House Fenway Park (BoingBoing)

Coming next week: my essay about TED that’ll be in the upcoming HBR and … something else

Written by guterman

December 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Posted in diversion, writing

Gallows Humor Quote of the Day

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Much of what WikiLeaks has uncovered is enormously unsettling, but I just laughed out loud when I read this quote from a NYT profile of WikiLeaks head Julian Assange:

“When it comes to the point where you occasionally look forward to being in prison on the basis that you might be able to spend a day reading a book, the realization dawns that perhaps the situation has become a little more stressful than you would like.”

It’s a bit of welcome gallows humor in the midst of a story of two stupid wars that should be making us all angrier by the day.

Written by guterman

October 23, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Posted in diversion

Coffee for No Reason Returns Dec. 23! (#CFNR)

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As my brother-in-coffee Scott Kirsner reports:

What is Coffee for No Reason?

It’s an occasional gathering of people who work in tech, biotech, media, and the wider start-up world. The objective? To drink coffee together for absolutely no reason. Essentially, it’s a chance to take a break from work, meet some interesting people, and hear what they’re up to. (The other devious purpose is that my co-host, Jimmy Guterman, and I use the event as an excuse to give away free copies of all of the business/tech books we’ve accumulated in recent months.)

So here’s how it works: we’ll be in the front room of the Kendall Square Cosi on Wednesday, December 23rd from 9 to 11 AM. You stop by to say hello and drink some coffee (and perhaps grab a book. If you have goodies of your own to give away, that’s great, too.)

Depending on whom you meet and what you discuss, your productivity for the day will either be raised or lowered….we make no guarantees.

The Twitter hash tag for the event is #cfnr. If you’re coming, tweet about it to let others know…

Hope to see you there!

Written by guterman

December 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Posted in diversion, worklife

Book cover of the day

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book of the day

Written by guterman

October 23, 2009 at 1:28 am