Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In case you weren't streaming

We get plenty of e-mails here in 19 Minutes World Media Headquarters via that spiffy e-mail link that shows up on my profile page. Most of them, of course, are for offers for Cialis - or, as the e-mails like to call it, C!@l1s (as though spelling the name of a prescription drug with an at-sign and an exclamation point makes it seem more legitimate). But in our parallel e-mail universe, our readers are clamoring to learn what's happening in the interview wing of the 19 Minutes office complex.

This is especially key since our departure from our past headquarters rendered our podcasts inoperative. One of these days we'll get the 19 Minutes technical team to remove the outdated links.

In any case, to appease the screaming and teeming masses from our parallel universe, here are some of the highlights from our radio existence in the past few weeks:

Pauls Toutonghi has written an entertaining, mainly fictional account of a first generation Latvian-American growing up in 1989 Milwaukee. He was also a terrific interview, especially as he read from his book, "Red Weather", noting his interpretation of the protagonist's mother was based on his own mother's accent, which he conceded sounded a little too much like Count Chocula.

Hazel Barton is something of a rock star in her field, which of course you already know is the microbiology of caves. She's one of the cave explorers featured in the Imax film, "Journey Into Amazing Caves", and speaks articulately about why studying organisms called "extremophiles" is important. But she's equally eloquent about why caving will never be an "extreme" sport - mainly because no one can see your brightly colored spandex when it's underground and covered in mud. And she notes that scientists can also wear nice clothes above ground, too. Really. She said that.

In an effort to interview only people with "Hazel" in their names who like nice clothes, we also spoke with Robin Hazelwood, a Wisconsin native who managed to attend an Ivy League school while simultaneously working as a fashion model. She's also written a mainly fictional book called "Model Student" about, well, a Wisconsin native who manages to attend an Ivy League school while simultaneously working as a fashion model. To my knowledge, the book's not nominated for a Pulitzer, but it is most definitely an engaging read, and Hazelwood was a witty, candid, and thoughtful interview. We're thinking of instituting a new policy of only interviewing former fashion models.

Richard Russo's "Empire Falls" did win a Pulitzer. He was a fantastic interview, and one of the rare people who's done a million interviews and still manages to remain introspective, or at least pretends really well. I'm sure it wasn't the first time he'd noted that "the first thing an author does when he wins a Pulitzer is get Caller ID," but it still sounded fresh. We're rerunning the interview tomorrow, but if you just can't wait, the original interview is still archived, along with its spiffy picture of Russo with me. Plus, the movie adaptation of "Empire Falls" is worth checking out, though unlike our streaming audio, it's not free.

And also in recent weeks, we interviewed Minneapolis-based musician Brianna Lane, who stresses the word "music" is at the end of her URL, so that it's not confused with a former porn site. Unfortunately, the part of the interview where we attempted to justify the music wee had on our respective iPods was lost to the cutting-room floor. But her album, "Radiator", is fantastic if you're into acoustic guitar-based stuff (actually, it's fantastic regardless of your tastes), and the interview's music clips should at least whet your appetite.

From there, we're on to other important topics, like figuring out how to use "whet" in another context.

1 comment:

Dr. Hiroshi Fujiyama, PhD said...

I have no idea who you are, but XDXDXD at your 29 June 2005 post. I entered "river otter" into Google Image Search and for some reason your blog turned up...not that I'm complaining.