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03/09/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

When searching for a film on Netflix, I filter my options by applying the phrase Visually-Striking. I love the use of fantastic images to tell a story. Whether it is the sets, the costumes, the cinematography, or the lighting; the more strikingly beautiful or interesting the better!
Visuals are an instant way to establish the tone of a story without saying a word. However, audio based story-telling like radio relies solely on words and sounds to spark the imagination of listeners. Because of the limitations surrounding this medium, when an artist is able to inspire vivid imagery it can be quite powerful.

The Truth is a podcast program dedicated to producing these “short films without pictures.” It is written and produced by a group of creative people who enjoy experimenting with sound design in story-telling. They record on location and the end result is similar to experiencing a short film with your eyes closed!
The most recent episode of The Truth is about a strange cab ride that results in a lesson learned about communication and is my Pick of the Week!
My Podcast Pick: Interruptible
Jeanne Lyons
03/01/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

I find stories of escape incredibly stimulating. Often times an escape story showcases an underdog or an outcast who has all the odds against him. In a successful escape, the outcast prevails in spite of the preconceived notion that he lacks the intelligence and ability to do so. This idea of this hidden creativity and tact is fascinating to me.
The union of improbability and creativity makes for outlandish circumstances. Because of the nature of escape these circumstances can be as equally surprising in non-fiction as in fiction. Thus forms the suspense, wonder and excitement of the escape stories heard in this Podcast Pick of the Week!
Radio Lab highlighted this intriguing theme of Escape! We hear about a modern day Harry Houdini who has broken out of jail more times than anyone else alive; a story about a perpetual cosmic cycle; and about a man who embraced a high pitched noise from which he could not escape.
“Tired of the everyday routine? Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure?…”
My Podcast Pick: Escape!
Jeanne Lyons
02/24/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

Appearing on This American Life has been a career boost for many writers and storytellers. One such case is that of Jonathan Goldstein who had the opportunity to work on the popular show with Ira Glass in 2000. Since then Goldstein has gone on to host his own radio program, Wire Tap, which debuted in 2004.
This month Wire Tap is tackling the unsavory characteristics of the Seven Deadly Sins. The most recent episode was dedicated to Envy. You’ll hear Joseph Epstein author of Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit describe this deadly sin as the “corroding, small, secret little vice that eats you up from within.”
A quarrel featuring author David Rakoff, a chat with Starlee Kine and a few minutes inside the brain of a frustrated man on a train prove that Envy does indeed have a terribly corroding affect on both thoughts and emotions.
My Pick of the Week: Envy
Jeanne Lyons
02/16/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

This week has been all about love and love lost. Few of us go through life experiencing one without the other, that is why we at First Person Arts have had so much content relating to heart-ache. I thought I would continue this seasonal theme with my Podcast Pick of the Week!

What do a Rumspringa, a dub of weed, a flying rock and a diary have in common? They all support the uncertainty of love in the collection of stories aired this week on This American Life.

Love can lead us into twisted circumstances. It can challenge our sense of reason and have us act in a way that seems ludicrous in hindsight. In a special This American Life Valentine’s Day episode called What I did for Love, the storytellers share to what extreme they went for the sake of love. The stories raise questions about choice, commitment, deception and the price of snooping to discover the truth.

My Pick of the Week: What I did for Love

Jeanne Lyons

02/10/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

In a favorite TedTalk of mine called Try Something New for 30 Days, computer scientist Matt Cutts inspired me to incorporate new healthy habits into my life. Cutts suggests that aspiring small and sustainable changes increases the likelihood that those changes will stick.

My first habit change: Have a glass of water first thing in the morning. Success! My next habit: Stretch for 10 minutes a day. Failure. One day, having not stretched before bedtime and feeling warn-out, I chose to sleep rather than to stretch.

It is easy to slip-up when no one is holding you accountable but yourself. To come out on top you

must have the capacity to finish a goal simply because you’ve defined it as such. Some find this process excruciating and look for other means of motivation like a Commitment Device.

Steve Levitt describes a Commitment Device as a deal one makes with the current self and the future self. It is an incentive to stay on track because the Commitment Device is a steep punishment should the current self flounder.

In the Freakonomics podcast episode Save me from Myself, authors Steven J Dubner and Steve Levitt explore the effectiveness of Commitment Devices. They present several case studies including Adam Scott, author of The Cold Turkey Diaries, who was determined to give up 42 vices for 30 days or else mail a check for $750 to someone he despises: Oprah.

My Pick of the Week: Save me from Myself

Jeanne Lyons

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02/02/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

Like music, storytelling has the ability to influence mood and bring to surface feelings from the audience that may otherwise be stifled. When listening to a story we willing subject ourselves to the possibility of swelling up with tears, of going flush with sentimentality, of getting punched in the gut with anger or of feeling a waft of inspiration.

In a short, rather simple story from the podcast Whisper Cities, Sam Greenspan exposes The Communist Daughter, a Toronto bar that you may have otherwise never heard of. The story is brief but the use of descriptive words and live music recorded on site develops vivid imagery for the listener.

The Communist Daughter garnered in me a longing for an era and lifestyle that I have never known. It left me wanting to travel and explore and to practice my jazz singing. While listening I envisioned a romantic speakeasy where the company is close-friends and the instruments are passed around the room from one musician to the next.

I chose this podcast because it reminded me that sharing a simple short story can awaken the senses of a listener and create an opportunity for introspection. I hope that The Communists Daughter can awaken something in you.

My Pick of the Week: The Communist Daughter

Jeanne Lyons

01/27/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

The stand up comic Mitch Hedberg had an amazing ability to take the average and the typical and make it funny. He simply looked at the world through an unfiltered lens and captivated audiences with his presentation of seemingly obvious observations.
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It is all too easy to become overly familiar with the sights and sounds we encounter day in and day out and to take their presence for granted. Familiarity and repetition can turn the intriguing into the mundane and may even prevent us from remembering to ask “why?”

99% Invisible is a podcast that challenges us to refresh the way we look at the world. Producer Roman Mars examines the tiny design elements of our man made environment and reveals that even the barely noticeable has a story to tell.

People like Hegberg and Mars can re-stimulate curiosity and intrigue and that is why I’d like to share this episode of 99% Invisible as my pick for the week!

My Pick of The Week: The Accidental Music of Imperfect Escalators

Jeanne Lyons

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01/20/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

My last week of college I barely slept a wink in order to complete a thesis paper for my capstone course: History of Anthropological Theory. I finish on the due date lying in my bed with my Hewlett-Packard laptop. Elated, I make a frantic dash to my roommate's printer. Smack! I trip on the adapter wire and my HP crashes against the hardwood floor. The monitor instantly turns black and cracks that look like a spider web form on the screen. My eyes swell with tears.

The blue and silver HP served me well for four and a half years. It had countless pictures of friends and memories that I wanted to have for a lifetime. It had all of my favorite music! Mixes made for me by first loves and best friends. Smack. I thought it was done for.

The nerds of my family examined the device and diagnosed it as still useful! We hooked the laptop up to an old Gateway 2000 monitor that had been stashed away for 9 years and…voila! It was a brilliant setup: A giant off-white monitor with a convex screen sat on my used Ikea desk alongside the HP laptop that was now only useful as a hard-drive and a frame for homemade stickers.

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Weeks later on a hot summer day I came home from a run dripping with sweat. The door to my apartment is ajar and I feel a sinking feeling in my gut. The apartment has been trashed and robbed. I walk to my room and the Gateway 2000 monitor is standing proud but next to it is an empty space. My old school HP laptop with the cracked spider web screen that I had decoupaged with kittens and Johnny Depp photos is gone.

I received an A in my capstone course. I had emailed the thesis to myself several times before the smack and had saved it on dropbox and a zip drive. I never thought to back-up my memories, pictures or music. Out of all that was stolen, I was most upset to have lost those.

My story of woe is only a brief chapter in the life history of the HP. The story actually begins half-way around the world in Shenzhen, China where many of our gadgets are made. In a podcast from This American Life, Mike Daisey performs an excerpt from his one man show “The Agony and the Ecstacy of Steve Jobs” and shares in-depth insight into the working conditions of these gadget factories. Few of us will see these conditions first hand but most of us will have a connection to them through the products we buy and use.

My Pick of the Week: Mr Daisy and the Apple Factory

Jeanne Lyons

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01/06/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

I began watching the animated television version of the X-Men when I was kid to try to bond with my big brother and his cool friends. I was the little sister who wanted to play basketball as hard as the boys, to be entertained for hours by Golden Eye 007 (a James Bond themed video game) and to play fight with GI-Joe action figures on hands and knees in the dirt.
For the most part I endured these activities simply out of a desire to spend time with my big bro. However, the X-Men truly captured my interest and attention. I have been a fan ever since!


The story of the Mutants in the Marvel Comics X-Men series is an allegory representing the experience of various social and racial minorities in our own society. It is about characters (with rad mutations and special powers!) who are attempting to live in a world in which they do not quite fit and become marginalized.

In this Radio Lab Podcast the X-Men allegory is reflected in real life when the question of categorizing the Marvel Comic toys as Dolls with human features or Action Figures with non-human features is confronted by the court of law.

My Pick of the Week: Mutant Rights on Radio Lab can be listened to and downloaded HERE

Jeanne Lyons

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