Ed Zed Omega: The Future of Education/Documentaries

Alright, enough being coy:  Here’s a little piece WIRED magazine ran on EdZedOmega, the interactive multimedia documentary on which I am thrilled to be serving as Writer/Producer. The project was the brainchild of Ken Eklund, the man behind the grand internet experiment World Without Oil, and was made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with help from Twin Cities Public Television and the Association of Independents in Radio.

Ed Zed Omega is designed to run on audience participation, so let’s get to talking, eh? Did you like high school? Hate it? What’s your story?

[UPDATE: 3/28/2013] The project has run its semester-long course, and we learned so much along the way. Here, the Zed Omega teens explain the project from the other side of the curtain:


“Our Battle is More Full of Names Than Yours”

Somehow, I ended up in a situation where I am to compete for the title

         ULTIMATE MASTER OF WORDS

against some of the greatest writers and thinkers and talkers in town.

Well.

As a poet once said:  I intend to something something or die trying.

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Ed Zed O––Whaaa…?

Just got called on as Writer/Producer for a cutting-edge new interactive documentary, paid for by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It’s called Ed Zed Omega.

But what is Ed Zed Omega…?

Let’s find out together, August 15, 2012.


McSweeney’s Political Humor Anthology LIVE!

Check out my piece, “Unpublished Federalist Papers” in The McSweeney’s Book of Politics and Musicals, out on June 26th.

If you can’t wait until then, or hate the book publishing industry for some reason, you can read my piece immediately in the Amazon preview, page 177.


So Long & Thanks for All the Fish

New commentary on All Things Considered,

this week, discussing dolphins in captivity.


Storycraft with Kevin Kling, April 25th

Several months ago, I was invited to be part of a three-part workshop with Kevin Kling, alongside about two dozen on the Twin Cities’ most talented writers, performers, comedians, and all-around storytellers. This Wednesday, April 25th, we shall showcase the fruits of our collective labor, presenting a night of storytelling at Minnesota Public Radio’s UBS Forum. Join us. You won’t believe your ears. (But you should.)

Storycraft with Kevin KlingImage

April 25th, 2012, 7-9 PM

$15, and discounted to $12 for MPR Members

Featuring:

  • Allegra Duncan Lingo
  • Amy Salloway
  • Annie Baxter
  • Barbara Wiener
  • Courtney Maclean
  • Dylan Fresco
  • Gary Dop
  • Joseph Scrimshaw
  • Loren Niemi
  • Patrick Dewane
  • and Kevin Kling

Radio Interview: This Time in the Hot Seat

International Women’s Day is coming, and I’ll be interviewed on radio KFAI for the occasion.

The Subject: Women, comedy, and women in comedy.

The Women: writer/comedian Molly Knefel, writer/comedian Emily Schorr Lesnick, comedian/HUGE founder Jill Bernard, and writer/comedian me.

In addition to talking about myself and my views on lady issues, I’ll read two pieces of short fiction: “Dear Mother,” and “On the Subject of My Arrest: An Address to my Fellow Residents of Surrency, GA, July the 25th, 1866.”

UPDATE:  Listen to the interview at KFAI by clicking Listen Now or MP3 Stream next to “Finding the Female Funny.” Molly first, then Emily, and my segment starts at 35:19.


Flossin’

It’s been a while since I’ve written for mental_floss magazine, but now we’re reunited, and feels so good.

11 Insane Features of the Normal Human Anatomy 

6 Extremely Rare National Animals

12 Violinists Known for Something Else

Three from the future*:

11 Notes on Alfred W. Lawson, Founder of the Weirdest University Ever

Thomas Edison’s Eccentric Job Interview Questions — A Cheat Sheet 

12 Underappreciated (But Equally Precious) Bodily Fluids

And one from the vault:

When Propaganda Backfires (reprinted on neatorama)

Look for my commissioned piece on the Berenstain Bears in next month’s paper issue. And more blogs like these *EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.


Published in Two Languages

As of May, 2011, yours truly has been published in a real, hold-in-your-hands, paper-and-binding book, which has been translated into ONE language other than English. Guess which one. Italian. You nailed it.

The book in question is titled A While Back: Sarà stato il succo di carota (It Was the Carrot Juice), and was authored primarily by one Mr. Clark Sandford, who, in addition to being an engaging storyteller, talented actor, skilled carpenter, and former fisherman/longshoreman/ferry boater/chiropterist, is also an awesome dad. I should know.

The book contains 20 chapters of real* stories from Mr. Sandford’s colorful 50+ years on Earth, and due to his colloquial, perhaps “cowboy-esque” style of storytelling, English professor Jodi Sandford of the University of Perugia thought that the collection would be a perfect tool with which to teach Italian students American English the way Americans speak it. And A While Back was born.

My participation in the project began over 27 years ago when I was born, and, as such, became a character in Mr. Sandford’s repertoire of tall tales. Some time later, after he started writing his stories down, he would often email them to me for my opinion. On a few occasions, I wrote back more than he had bargained for: a disagreement with his recollection of events, an additional remembrance, a verbose, daughterly opinion. Several of my participatory replies are included in the collection as well, and that, my pretties, is the deal with this book. It’s now in its sixth printing, by Morlacchi Editions.

*Mr. Sandford explains, of each piece, “This story is presented as neither fact nor truth. It’s just the way I remember it.”


The Half-Dog Story, in Full.

Remember when I mentioned that story in Paper Darts’ 3rd Issue, called “Sheba”…? Why here it is now.

Click Image to enlarge. Click again to enlarge again.

And here I am reading it, on “Radio Dispatch with John & Molly” (29:10)