August 31, 2011

The Sunrise Student

Years ago, when I first came to Pitt, I found a wonderful little nook on the grounds that has been my favored hiding-in-plain-sight place ever since. Without blowing my cover, I can say this spot affords some shade as well as the company of some unspeakably gorgeous flowers, not to mention a sprinkler which (if you sit in exactly the right place) hits your toes with just the merest light, soothing mist.

I spent about an hour there today, reading some course materials, feeling very much in the right place.

After a while, I headed off to Posvar Hall--and I'm being really very good about not calling it Forbes Quad. Well, whatever they call it, four years of undergrad burnt the location of all the restrooms, fountains and escalators in my cell memory.   (As I had resigned myself to expecting, the neat little coffee shop with the awesome homemade cake is gone; the space is now occupied by an Einstein Bagels.  The berry coffee cake?  Not bad 'tall.)

Here are the major areas of policy consensus that are emerging from the current GSPIA crew:

We are not looking forward to math camp.  (There are two sects within this denomination: Math, NOOOO!!!! ; and I know all that stuff already, I'm gonna be soooo boooored.  As is so often the case, I'm somewhere in between.)

We cannot believe how freaking much the econ and statistics textbooks cost.  (I salute the courage of the guy who bought the international edition of the previous edition of the stats text.)

We're all kinda broke, and we all have a lot of coursework...  and we're all feeling tremendously fortunate and privileged to be in our wonky little boat.

Or Perhaps I've Spent A Wee Bit Too Much Time Reading Case Studies This Week

Back home from an afternoon of administering the bejeezus out of some public affairs...  unwinding with that kind of lame Hoarders-meets-Pawn Stars show with the Keno twins....  I find myself far more intrigued with the spinoff possibilities suggested by the name and identification one of the guests on tonight's show.

I would watch the hell out of a half-hour buddy-cop show called Sparky McLaughlin: Narcotics Agent.

Day One: The More You Know

Two valuable revelations earned yesterday: First, I'm pretty sure that I have as firm a grasp of economics as I thought I did.  Second: I may be back at school, but I am really, really not eighteen anymore. 

Here is the key difference between me and my younger classmates.

When the younguns have to give up and just spend the afternoon in bed, it's because they haven't recovered from the previous evening (and indeed early morning) on the South Side.

Me?  I...  kinda forgot to eat or drink anything other than a single cup of coffee yesterday morning.  I was absolutely fine through my class, but almost the moment I stepped into my house...  massive, completely incapacitating migraine.

I probably would have been in better shape if I'd had a Guinness for breakfast. Truth.

August 29, 2011

The Big Day Approacheth

This is the evening before my first grad school class.  I think I'm ready.  Not too much in the way of jitters; perhaps the odd touch of deja vu.

On my first day as an undergraduate, I had two classes: Statistics, followed by History of Medicine and Health Care.

Having already re-immersed myself in the reputedly salutatory waters of quantitative analysis, I had to smile today as I cracked open one of my economics texts to find... a discussion of the history of the FDA.  (I think I'll go out of my way to cite James Harvey Young in an econ paper, just for old times' sake.)

Oh, the texts...  the texts!  After some really careful and clever shopping, I managed to keep the damage down to about $550.  My big pennypinching coup was buying the international edition of the major econ book.  That move saved me $120.  You read that right, the international edition is $120 cheaper than the U.S. edition, which is different in the following vital and substantive way: It has bolder cover art.  Globalization: Discuss!

Well, the books may be a lot spendier this time around...  but I own my own computer and I don't have to eat cafeteria food.  And I'm pretty sure nobody's going to set off the fire alarm at 3AM for funsies.

August 28, 2011

Mack & Manco's: Long May It Wave

Did Hurricane Irene hit Ocean City, NJ because the closing of Campbell's Seafood Kitchen angered the Gods?  I wouldn't care to speculate.  But I'm very happy to say that these pictures show that my old stomping grounds weathered the storm pretty well.  (Though to be fair, at least one displaced red fox would probably argue with me on that one.)

Mango Lhassi Not Included

Now that school's in and my futzing-about-in-the-kitchen time is limited, it's time to fire up some of my go-to weeknight recipes.  This one's easy and flexible, and it makes a change of pace from "Pasta a la Whatever The Heck Is Just North Of Moldering In The Crisper."

If you have a nice Dutch oven this is a good time to press it into service...  otherwise, a soup pot is probably your best choice.

CHICKEN CURRY
*Finely chop one or two medium onions.  Throw in some garlic if you feel like it.  Precision is not key here.
*Saute in neutral oil.  (Roughly two tablespoons.  Enough to coat the bottom of the pan.)
*Stir in about 2 tablespoons of curry powder.
*Add about 3-4 chunked raw chicken breasts.  Stir to coat chicken with seasoning; cook until lightly browned.
*Pour in one can of coconut milk.  Stir.  Reduce heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Serve over rice.  Chutney is a nice touch.  Warm up some packaged naan if you're really on the ball.

There are tons of different, delicious curry powders out there--Experiment!  You can substitute pureed or diced tomatoes for the coconut milk.  Try adding frozen peas in the last ten minutes or so--it's an excellent way to sneak veggies into your household carnivore's diet. 

Delicious with ginger beer, or better yet a Dark & Stormy.

August 27, 2011

Artists Make Lousy Slaves: Exhibit 9,810,380

You've probably heard about the horrifyingly brutal attack on Syrian political cartoonist Ali Ferzat.

His assailants broke both of his hands, ostensibly under the theory that this would shut him up.

Ferzat has posted an appropriate response on his website.  I am proud to be the same species as this guy.


A Few Notes To The SMLTS Readership

TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO ARRIVED AT SMLTS VIA THE SEARCH TERM "ALTON BROWN HOLDING A HUGE FISH"

Welcome!  You will find both Alton Brown and huge fish on this site; regrettably, not together.  I apologize for the inconvenience.  But if, as it seems, you like whimsy and...  uh... seafood... go look at the Lobster Phone--you'll be glad you did.

TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO ARRIVED AT SMLTS VIA THE SEARCH TERM "JON HAMM FEET"

<AWKWARD_PAUSE>

TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO ARRIVED AT SMLTS VIA THE SEARCH TERM "TARDIS NOT INCLUDED"

Ohboyohboyohboy, "Let's Kill Hitler" is tonight!   Squee?  Squee!

August 26, 2011

My Old School

At the risk of turning this blog into a sort of estrogen-heavy sequel to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World*, coming back to my alma mater for grad school reminds me of leveling up in a video game.  It's the same territory I played in as an undergrad, but I've gained access to some secret areas.

Today was GSPIA Orientation Day.  The University Club... unlocked!

(Yes, it's very nice in there.  Plush but not forbidding.  Thank you for asking.)

What an amazing bunch of people...  I was struck by the universal openness and collegiality of the whole crew... students, faculty, and support staff.  A certain ease springs from knowing that you share a commitment to public service with everyone in the room--there's a common language of sorts that extends beyond ideologies and party affiliations.  It goes without saying that we care about something larger than ourselves.  (In that, it's a bit like a certain fondly-remembered cultural institution.)

All this, and I finally got to meet a goodly number of my Facebook friends!

As far as what specific academic and community pursuits I anticipate getting involved with, I'll spare you the details for now. (I understand that not everybody finds the mention of food deserts as intriguing as I do.)  But there is serious work being done by not-too-serious people who are unafraid to talk about--and aspire to--transparency and integrity.

Suffice it to say I think I will be very, very much at home.

*Although, to be fair, Plan A is essentially to gather the knowledge and skills to destroy the enemies of justice and watch them turn into piles of coins.  Unfortunately, my enemies seem to be filled mainly with hot air and not nearly as much money as they like to leave an impression of having.

August 23, 2011

Five Songs: Shaken, Not Stirred

So, I was grimacing at the Shur Save ad, about to check the sales against my coupon stash, and then...  wait, what?  Shaking?  Uh...  ?

Earthquake?

I let the weirdness sink in for a moment.  Then I went out to the kitchen to compare notes with my mother.  Not only had she not felt it, she checked my temperature with her wrist.  (It's one of those uncontrollable Mom Things.)

Castle Secondmost is unharmed, I think, although with my luck there's probably a ginormous sinkhole under the house that has just been structurally weakened.

Now that we all appear to be OK... couldn't we all use a little musical interlude?









(Sorry in advance for the bloody ad... at least you can skip it pretty quickly...)

Today's Spam Special

Welcome to today's episode of One Spam To Send, the continuing story of small-time internet crooks and their star-crossed love affair with random subject lines.





I'm not sure if I'm more put off by the incredibly bad segue or the confusion of "your" and "you're."

August 22, 2011

Extremely Extra Super Serious Summertime Enrichment Activity Update

Sure, I've been relearning all the higher math I'd forgotten in the last fifteen years...  reading biographies and histories...  oh, and helping to launch a program service.  But lest you think my whole summer has been packed with nonstop mental exercise, let me assure you there's been some quality goofing-off as well.

As a beta tester for a game called Glitch, I've spent hours hopping through forests and deserts...  trying to curry the favor of indifferent (or at least rather jaded) higher powers... milking butterflies, squeezing chickens for grain, plucking eggs from trees...  accepting package deliveries from yoga-performing hipster frogs.

Oh, and there are also talking gnomes, for those who are so inclined.  (Hi, Ang!)

I've even died and gone to Hell a few times.  Glitch Hell is kind of adorable.  You escape by stomping Hellish Grapes.  So if you ever wonder where the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board gets its stock, now ya know!

My character finished learning a skill, and I just had to share part of the alert:

If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, then by learning Teleportation IV like you just did, and thereby taking on a whole lot of knowledge at once, you have automatically become one of the most dangerous people on the planet.  As we speak, crack teams of ninjas are meeting to decide how best to take you on, a super-computer has been programmed to try and discover your weakness (should you have one) and governments everywhere are quaking in their boots for fear of doing anything that might anger you.
Enjoy the moment.

I am, Glitch devs, I am.

August 19, 2011

I Am Noted For My Keen Powers Of Observation

Because I've spent the last several hours watching math videos (like the wild hooliganess I am), I just now looked out the window long enough to register that the other half of the street doesn't have power.

It's pretty creepy...  but knowing what some folks have been through today, I'm counting my blessings.

Five Songs: Pop Stand

Presented without thinking too much...  'cause, heck, it's summer...  here are some handclappy, sunshiny pop nuggets upon which to munch.  Enjoy.  Just be sure to wait an hour before you get back in the pool.











August 18, 2011

Isolating The Variable

Working on a University campus for my entire adult life, I never completely shook the academic view of the calendar. It feels completely natural for everything to be a bit slower over the summer, in the near-abandoned groves of Academe.

I thought it would seem odd getting ready to go back to school this fall, but it somehow seems inevitable. It is the way of the world. Fall comes, you collect your books and get on back to school, and because you're still in a summery free-associating frame of mind are reminded that Rod Stewart did not used to be a total lame-o.



In advance of my math mini-camp, algebra and stats and I are getting reacquainted. There's an official text for the review, which I've gone through once so far.  I also tracked down a copy of the stats text we used in high school. And, excitingly, I've found a website which generates worksheets with answer keys!

I am voluntarily doing math problems. This is officially the most surreal year of my life.

It's interesting, trying to remaster this material that I haven't dealt with in fifteen years.   The fourteen-year-old in me still feels a bit like crying; the thirtymumble-year-old finds it fascinating that the weeping teenager is still lurking around the ol' id, fully expecting the captain of the football team to break into her locker for kicks.   Solving for x has been a veritable Proust's madeleine of insecurity and self-doubt.

Especially with the freedom afforded by unlimited practice problems, I've had the opportunity to thoroughly examine my mistakes. I'm finding that most of my errors have been through a sort of arrogance. I'll get the fiddly bits right, and then screw up some simple arithmetic because I'm so terribly pleased with myself for having done the tough part.

Lots of good life lessons there... remember the basics, see the whole project through with care and attention, don't get too convinced of your own omniscience, don't get too frightened of your fallibility.

Oh, and the inner fourteen-year-old could really go for an ice cream sandwich. What the hey, it's still summer.

I Mean, You're No Cake Wrecks Or Anything...




If the other popular blogs jumped off a roof, would you do it too? Hmm? Hmmm?

August 16, 2011

They Clearly Know Their Audience

Real quote, with original emphasis, from Essential Mathematics for Political and Social Research:

We want some way to be precise in claims about how some social phenomenon affects another social phenomenon.  Thus the purchase of mathematical rigor provides a careful and exacting way to analyze and discuss the things we actually care about.

August 15, 2011

Battering Days

I know it's human nature to find patterns where none exist... but sometimes, the Universe keeps throwing things at you, and you can't help but take it all as a hint.

A while back, I liked William Morris on Facebook. (The artist and craftsman, not the talent agency.)  I don't know if that's ironic, exactly... something tells me that while he might fight the urge at first, Morris would probably be all over FB. I can see the updates now...

William Morris is in a relationship with Jane Burden Morris.
Dante Rosetti is in a relationship with Jane Burden Morris.

Awkward! Er, "complicated"...



Anyway, yeah, where was I?  Facebook/time travel joke, dead person love triangle, blah blah blah...  Ah, right!  This picture of a wisely-inscribed--but let's be up front about it, hideous--Morris fireplace cropped up on a Facebook update.

What caught my eye was the Latin motto on the top molding piece is "Ars Longa Vita Brevis."  Art is long, life is short.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that William Morris made scads of lovely things in his time, so we should all just regard this truly awful fireplace as an outlier that does not invalidate broader observations.

And a few days ago, I ran into a folder of material I'd kept from a Shakespearean acting troupe I'd been part of in junior high school. (I ended up being voted second most likely to succeed; I should have been named Least Likely Titania.  But that's another post.) Right on top, there was a copy of Sonnet 65:




Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o'er-sways their power,

How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,

Whose action is no stronger than a flower?

O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out

Against the wreckful siege of battering days,

When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?

O fearful meditation! where, alack,

Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?

Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?

O, none, unless this miracle have might,

That in black ink my love may still shine bright.


So, spoiler alert: Nothing lasts. Now what?

Having had an actual Brush With Death (TM) several years ago, not to mention a few wreckful sieges in recent years, I can say with some authority that you just kind of have to...  you know, KBO. Permanence can be the enemy of the moment as perfection can be the enemy of the good.

This is not a plea to "live every day as if it was your last." What bull. Think about it: Would you spend your last day on Earth filing your taxes? Nope. Some days have to be normal, boring, okay days.

What is left is to appreciate what you are experiencing... the people you're lucky enough to love and be loved by... the places you walk through or drive through or work in... what it feels like to be hopeful or angry or punchy.

Art is all about bottling the moment, saying the unsayable, sharing a moment of existence with another human.

I don't think it's a coincidence that some of the least honorable, most inconsiderate people I've known have been the ones who regard artistic expression as an afterthought... a nice little frippery to be allowed some space once the really important business has been taken care of.

Their lives are no longer, but much less full, for this.

Breakfast In America

"Hey, I'm here."

I am only peripherally aware that there's a voice coming out of my phone. Alarm. Wherefore no alarm? Crap.

"Uh, gimme a few minutes, willya?" (I get all Dashiell Hammetty when I'm groggy.)

I hang up, check the alarm, realize I had set it for 6:30 PM. I hate my phone. This is only its latest betrayal.  I roll out of bed, throw on the clothes I'd had the foresight to set out the night before, get washed up in record time, and go jogging out the door.

Hate my phone.

****

I hurriedly dab on some makeup (managing not to give myself the Bozo Look despite the fact that I'm in a moving car) and prevail upon my erstwhile companion to stop somewhere for coffee.  He agrees, we'll stop...  just as soon as we load up the truck. I remind myself silently that this is my very bestest friend in the whole wide world, and that the fact that he does not share my profound chemical dependency is no excuse to run screaming from the car.

So...  we go to Karen's house and wait for Marv to show up so we can fill his pickup with picnic supplies.  Karen has the friendliest dog in the world, who is focused with laserlike precision upon the goal of adding some mud to my festive, freshly-pressed skirt.  But I scratch his head and rub his belly because he's just that fricking cute.  Marv arrives; we lade his vehicle.  We carry the enormous catering trays of meatballs and baked ziti into Karen's car.  Finally, pickinick baskets filled, we can head off.

My erstwhile companion stops at a Burger King. He orders a breakfast that would make Michael Pollan weep uncontrollably. I order the little cinnamon buns (which would merely make Pollan tear up slightly) and a large coffee. They run out of coffee. No, really. We wait as a new pot brews.  I quietly hope that the caffeine arrives in time to chase off the pokey-edged migraine welling up.  The counter girl brings my coffee to the table; I use it to wash down four aspirin.

******

It's raining lightly as we pull into the picnic site.  We call it a picnic, but that's a pretty massive understatement...  it's a huge hall, hundreds will attend.  There are a good dozen of us, unloading cars, sticking festive paper garbage to the walls and tables, making the kitchen habitable.

We need sterno.  His Erstwhileness and I plan a mission.  He kindly offers to pick up a couple of coffees for the gang while we're out.  I wonder aloud if there's a Dunkin' Donuts around so we could get a box of coffee.  This idea is greeted with levels of enthusiasm generally reserved for major breakthroughs such as the polio vaccine or the end of the NFL lockout.

For that moment, we are heroes.  We wave cheerfully as we drive away.

Inexplicably, Erstwhile Companion decides we really need to buy the coffee at Ceres. (You know the place... a certain chain that has a wildly confusing ordering process as well as an overinflated opinion of the quality of its bread. Yeah huh, that one.)

Ceres, happily, has coffee. But the counter girl has to track down a manager to find how much the box costs.  Things kind of go downhill from there.  A good fifteen minutes later, we leave with a sack of sweetener and cups, as well as a smallish box of coffee that cost more than a cheap drip coffeemaker and a small can of Maxwell House.

We return to the picnic site.  Words of gratitude dance in our ears, words like "You didn't get enough cups.  Or creamers."

It is maybe 9:30.  9:30 AM.

August 10, 2011

The Way I Figure

When I went to Pitt to get my ID last week, I had a couple of horrifying realizations. One, that--assuming a dissolute youth--I am actually biologically old enough to be the mother of a freshman. Two, that I'm going to have to buy textbooks again. I popped down to the Book Center while I was on campus... and ouch.

I just ordered my first text in preparation for an all-day "Math Mini-Camp" that GSPIAns are expected to attend.

As much as I hate to admit it, I panicked a bit when I found out about that event.

You know how girls stereotypically get overwhelmed by numbers?  You know how the "Math Is Hard!" Barbie is still a punchline after all these years?

Well, that was me, kind of, for a long time.

My relationship with math was fraught from the beginning. I can still remember being absolutely in tears trying to learn my times tables... the trauma of long division... algebra! Man alive, algebra!

For someone who's used to picking things up quickly, math was a corrective to an overgrown ego.  It was work. Frustrating, unrewarding work. I did OK, but not well. I suffered through my required courses, passing, fervently wishing to be anywhere else for the entire class period.

Then a wacky thing happened.  After years of successfully surviving every round of infection unscathed, to the point that we all assumed I must have had a mild, immunity-granting case without anyone noticing, I caught chicken pox at age 16.

Adolescent chicken pox is not something doctors like to mess with. Ugly words like "encephalitis" start to come up in conversation. Dr. Cube ordered me to stay at home for two full weeks.

This, friends, sucked. Number one, I had to miss Student Congress regionals. (The girl assigned as my alternate hadn't bothered to prepare because she figured that nothing short of death would get between me and that event. And frankly, had I died, I probably would have haunted the meet. I had a bill up for debate, for pity's sake!)

Number two, it really was awfully uncomfortable. And then I got a stye. I was an itchy, oozy mess. Also, I could have died and stuff.

Number three, I had to be my own teacher for two weeks. My friends dropped off my textbooks and assignments, and I dutifully worked my way through piles of papers. No problem, for the most part. But it was a bad time to be missing Algebra II. Things were just starting to get hairy. I had to sit there--remember, this was pre-Internet--and teach myself differential equations.

Nothing for it but to hack through and hope for the best. I remember finding it very satisfying making the big, swooping "F" in front of the formulas.

At the end of the two weeks--honest, this is absolutely true--on the very last day that I was required to stay indoors, the chicken pox vaccine was announced.

Another funny thing happened. I turned in my two weeks of Algebra homework... and was shocked to find that I had missed three questions out of the entire two weeks of work.

From that moment on, I knew that I had the capacity to learn higher math. And, for the first time, I truly understood the power of self-sabotage. All of those years of firmly believing that I couldn't do math well left me mentally geared to fulfill my own low expectations.

I went on to do very well with statistics in high school---owing largely to the fact that I had an indescribably great teacher. (Shout out to Mr. Flyte.) I took a semester of stats in college, which actually involved a great deal less math than my high school class, and which (probably not coincidentally) bored me senseless.

And that was it, until I jumped into grad school... and "Quantitative Methods" reared its head.

Yes. I panicked. But then I remembered what I won from my bout of chicken pox, besides the lone pockmark above my left eyebrow. I know I can do it. And I know I might have to convince myself of that every single day.

August 8, 2011

August 6, 2011

Nice Ink

Last night Bloggers' Blast was a great way to spend a Friday evening. The Toonseum had too long been on my list of things to visit eventally, and I'm so glad I finally managed to get down there.

Lots of cool stuff is in the offing at--and in the universe of--the Toonseum. They'll soon be expanding into the storefront next door, significantly upsizing their current bijou exhibit space.

Coming soon: Geek TV Night--the first one to begin with The Muppet Show and to end with an unspecified episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Consider this the official SMLTS vote for The Final Sacrifice.)

Next week: The greatest thing ever (Non-Final Sacrifice Division) comes to town: The Lifesize Mousetrap.




RANDOM FUN FACT: Buck Rogers' origin story involves getting stuck in suspended animation in a coal mine outside of Pittsburgh. Similar circumstances may explain the local persistence of the mullet.

Right now, the Toonseum has a number of original page layouts of comic books on display--the real deal, the hand-drawn art. I can't claim to be a big comic book fan--although like all right-thinking persons I have chosen to adopt national treasure Stan Lee as my honorary grandfather--but I certainly do appreciate the visual style, not to mention the skill that goes into creating the artwork.

But neither Batman nor Spider-Man nor Wonder Woman nor The Hulk comes into existence in one fell swoop. In art as well as life, heroes are hewn not just of bold strokes and solid lines, but also with blue pencil and correction fluid. They are all the more compelling for this.

You have until August 21 to catch the Superheroes: Icons & Origins exhibit.

FIG 1-A
SWAG REPORT:
Free stuff received at this event....

*One (1) Dunkin' Donuts travel mug
*Four (4) free passes to The Toonseum
*One (1) 3" x 4" sticker featuring a winking Bugs Bunny
*One (1) rather large (roughly 2" x 3") temporary tattoo featuring two (2) Smurfs shaking hands
*One (1) plastic ball with Buzz Lightyear face, containing...
*One (1) B. Lightyear body, attachable to above as seen in FIG 1-A
*No tea

August 4, 2011

A Blessed And Happy Louis Armstrong's Birthday To You!

Despite the irresistible PR that Louis Armstrong came into the world on Independence Day, he was actually born on August 4, 1901.  (And he made his own "fireworks"!)

BREAKING! "Heritage" Not Four-Letter Word!

Just started reading Theory & Practice of Agrarian Urbanism (gosh, am I fun at parties!)...  there's a rather wonderful observation therein which I think bears passing along...

Neither agrarians nor New Urbanists are opposed to progress, but each insists that progress occurs in conversation with the past.  Not surprisingly, both groups are routinely accused of nostalgia.  This, however, is not a sensible objection, for why should it count against the reasonableness of a practice that it has a long history?
--Benjamin Northrup and Benjamin Lipscomb 

Oddly enough, Dear Reader, you will find that I heartily endorse the idea that a community is ill-served by the rush to raze a sustainable system in the service of the next shiny thing.

August 3, 2011

Tuned In

We're now several days into the first week of The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel. As wonderful as it is to hear the service up and running from the perspective of having worked on the launch, it's far more satisfying from a purely selfish standpoint.

Wow, did I miss this stuff.

Oh, I have my own jazz collection... I adore my iPod. I like Spotify. (Can't say I've ever really enjoyed Pandora, not for lack of trying.) And as much fun as it is to let the "shuffle" setting plunk Miles Davis in between Ted Leo and Ethel Merman... well, one's own novelty tends to wear off.

Choosing a cohesive playlist is in and of itself an art form--and the work done by The Pittsburgh Jazz Channel's Dave Becker is extraordinary.

Listening to music is a deeply personal experience, and sharing that moment with a familiar voice adds a powerful element of human connection. The much-missed voices of Tony Mowod, Chuck Leavens, and Scott Hanley have returned. More hosts are joining the service in coming days.

It may be coming to you over the internet, but make no mistake...  this is radio.

August 2, 2011

Cranberry Sauce




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