Month: May 2012

Mulberry trees near Georgetown

Posted by – May 20, 2012

Just to give a little context to today’s mulberry Instagram post, we recently happened upon a grove of mulberry trees off of P Street near Georgetown. I’m assuming these are widely known to Washington, D.C., locals, but seeing as how we’re new to the area, the discovery got me Googling.

Chiefly, I wanted to share this Washington Post story from 2010 about the significance of mulberries to immigrants in the area. I will admit to falling into the category of people who are naturally hesitant to eat berries found out in the wild, but I think I’m going to loosen up a bit after reading up on how much people enjoy them.

Reading with Pictures’ ‘Graphic Textbook’ Kickstarter is funded and then some

Posted by – May 16, 2012

With a solid 37 hours left to go right now, it looks like Reading with Pictures’ Kickstarter campaign for a new book of educational comics can be considered a success. I interviewed Josh Elder for Education Dive a few days ago, and he was optimistic. It would seem that his positive thinking was appropriate, seeing as how this project has now raised more than $67,000.

RwP wants to do some big things in the education world, and I’m anxious to see what kind of reception this book gets when teachers start deploying it in the classroom.

It should also be interesting to see if any other textbook projects follow RwP to Kickstarter to try this model out. Just getting a textbook approved by schools is a high enough hurdle in and of itself; depending on how things go, this grassroots approach, like e-textbooks in general, could really open up some doors for new and innovative products.

Lessons from the week’s webcomics reading: 5/16/2012

Posted by – May 16, 2012

My webcomics feed was full of all kinds of knowledge this morning. Here are a few morsels that felt particularly meaningful:

xkcd taught me to be grateful that Apple hasn’t named an OS iteration “Ocelot” yet.

Scenes from a Multiverse taught me that if Jon Rosenberg ever starts a band, that bunny panel should be the group’s first album cover.

Penny Arcade taught me that Diablo III is lurking on the horizon, ready to suck up my life.

Ectopiary taught me that Hans Rickheit can still get into my brain and do all kinds of weird things at 3:30 a.m.

• And Diesel Sweeties reminded me about how meat is murder.

KakaoTalk has a Barack Obama audio alert

Posted by – May 13, 2012

Photo credit: White House YouTube account

If you aren’t from Korea or don’t have anyone close to you who is, it’s entirely likely that you don’t know about KakaoTalk.

It’s an app (available for the iPhone and Android) that acts as an SMS-alternative messaging system. As I learned over the weekend, however, it also has an out-of-the-box Barack Obama voice alert.

Apparently, it was a huge deal when Obama named-dropped the app in a speech earlier this year. The clip of him saying the name “KakaoTalk” has since been repurposed as an alert option on KT’s menu.

Out of context, it’s rather hilarious. I may not use Kakao as much more than a soundboard before eventually deleting it from my iPhone in a few weeks—but for time being, I will play it often and squeeze it for all the laughs that it’s worth.

New office and general update

Posted by – May 10, 2012

Home of the Industry Dive office on 18th Street

If you haven’t been following my tweets for the last few weeks, you might have missed that I joined an exciting new D.C. startup called Industry Dive on May 1st as the company’s content director. I had been looking for the perfect D.C.-area opportunity that would involve multiplatform news editorial and production, and I’m happy to say there’s going to be lot going on at Construction Dive, Utility Dive, Waste Management Dive, Education Dive and Marketing Dive over the next few months that should be of interest to anyone working in those arenas.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to update this blog when it comes to personal observations and interests—particularly matters of digital publishing, gaming and comics. So stay tuned in this feed for plenty more on those fronts. Here’s the shortlist of what’s had my attention lately:

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga continues to be the best new thing on my comics reading list the last couple of months. I’d missed his script-writing dearly since Vaughan took off for TV land a few years back, and the first two issues have been a welcome return to form for his character development and dialogue.

• I’ve been playing through the new Xbox 360 edition of Minecraft the last two nights. The worlds seem small, and starting off with a map in hand feels a little easy, but I think I understand why Mojang made the changes that they did. I may have some more thoughts when I get through the Achievements checklist.

• After taking a break for a few weeks, I’ve resume reading George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords—and I continue to wonder in amazement how this book and the end of Clash of Kings are ever going to translate to television for the HBO adaptation.