Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Milo, Medium-Form Media & Kurzgesagt

Weekly Update 2019-08: Extremely personal lyrics from rapper milo, consuming media that is long enough to absorb properly and the beautiful animated videos by Munich-based Kurzgesagt.

Music: milo
Admittedly, I don't post a lot of hip hop on this blog. It's not my genre of choice, but I know I'm overlooking some great music. So I'm giving a shoutout to milo, a Wisconsin-born rapper who is motivating me to listen to more of the genre. Rory Ferriera is the mastermind behind this interesting little corner of experimental hip hop, alongside his other solo project Scallops Hotel. I find his milo lyrics extremely personal and open in both content and delivery. It's hip hop that makes you think and really listen to the lyrics, which is what I feel is missing from a lot of mainstream music in this genre. Take a listen below:

As promised, I managed to publish my blog post about ElleHacks this week. You can read it on our company blog, our engineering blog, or our Medium publication. Lord knows why it needed to be published in three different places, but there you are.

I went to Blue Mountain this past weekend with some friends, and it truly feels like an accomplishment. I have always declared myself averse to winter sports (loudly and often), and while I didn't actually ski, there was lots to do. Skating on a mountaintop, riding a frigid rollercoaster down a mountain, and soaking in a heated outdoor pool in -15 degrees made for a full weekend indeed.

Skating on a mountaintop!

Monday marked our meeting of the Feminist Book Club, for which we read two pieces of poetry. I am not usually a poetry reader beyond the lyrics of music, which is to say I haven't read a piece of poetry as long as these two in quite some time. Especially the one entitled The Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti was rich in voice as well as content. Give it a read yourself if you like.

I have a very strange work week coming up. We are spending a couple days in Niagara region for a Product Management Offsite - a great time to get to know the coworkers on my immediate team. After that, Wednesday is a full engineering team professional development day (including lunch and an afternoon escape room). So, two days of work in the office (inside which to get five days of work done, of course).

Random Thought: Medium-form Media
We consume so much information in such a short timespan these days. Everything is bite-sized, yet it seems more difficult to actually retain this information. I sometimes find it difficult to keep my attention focused for a long extent of time, and I think it's because of the way we consume media lately. I've talked before about the concept of TLDR and how everything is shortened down to be consumed easily, but I'm starting to think that this method can't work in the long run because I find it difficult to recall anything I learned even a day later. Writing certainly works as an exercise of better information absorption, which is certainly why I write this blog, but I've been looking for alternative methods of learning that are a bit longer (or bigger than bite-sized) in an effort to improve my memory. Read on for a specific example...

Inspiration: Kurzgesagt
My parents adopted some new tech recently when my father was awarded an Apple TV for his years of service at work. One app, Neverthink, is pretty cool. I never really caught on to wasting time on YouTube for the sheer amount of crap one must dive through to find the proverbial "good stuff", but Neverthink provides handpicked videos in a category of your choosing and does a pretty good job.

Through Neverthink I found a wonderful Munich-based animation studio called Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell (German for in short). They produce ~7min videos (the perfect length for me) on lots of interesting science and tech related topics. 

I think the animation is really lovely and inspirational from a visual standpoint, while the topics are equally interesting and make me feel smart for simply watching them. They also operate as a motion design agency, with clients ranging from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Audi to The Royal Tyrell Museum in Alberta. Check out these cute illustrations done for the Museum's exhibit How evolution works:

I hope I get some time to illustrate a giraffe soon...it looks so fun!

Check our their Youtube Channel and website.

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