Blogs > 37th Frame

Photography, notes, commentary and much more from former Reporter Online Editor Chris Stanley.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blog blog

I really hate the word blog.
I don't hate blogs themselves, just the word. It sounds like something you would utter after eating a pepperoni Stromboli and a 20-ounce bottle of soda.
Linguistics aside, I have found much confusion among the public as to what a blog actually is. Many see it as a personal journal, much like the blog you are reading right now. And most are just that.
But blogs can also be news sources, photo or video galleries, kiosks of public opinion.
Like a web page, it can be whatever you want it to be.
Earlier this week we gathered a group of our bloggers and some potential bloggers for two very interesting meetings, one held at Saxby's in Lansdale and the other at Pizza Time Saloon in West Point. These bloggers represent a wide variety of styles and topics, from parenting and music to real estate and non-profits.
We introduced them to Mark Potts, a former journalist and current entrepreneur who is CEO of the start-up
Potts is among a group of heavy-hitters in the new media world who are looking ahead to what local news coverage will look like in the not-so-distant future. What he sees is greater participation by community members, both journalist and non-journalist, who can use blogs to cover the news in their own back yard using writing, photography, video, and social media.
GrowthSpur is designed to help these bloggers get some local advertising to support and hopefully encourage their efforts.
So where does a newspaper come into all this? Well, they could simply ignore this rapidly developing concept and hope readers stick around, or instead they could foster and encourage outside bloggers, who could supplement newspaper coverage, providing readers with a wider range of voices and more stories than they could ever hope to produce on their own.
Win-win? I think so.
Decide for yourself - here is a video of our meeting at Saxby's.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Not your average bear (movie)

I have been very lucky to have kids in this decade, if for no other reason than I have an excuse to watch Pixar films over and over.

Since Toy Story I, this company has churned out a string of successes that defy expectations and raise the bar in the way Disney did back in the forties and fifties. While basically inventing the technology that created a whole new genre of movies, they never let that get in the way of the most important aspect of movie-making, great story-telling. Each of their movies takes audiences in different directions, from wit to action to deep themes exploring a wide range of human emotions.

Toy Story 3, which I saw in a packed theater Saturday night with three kids and two grandparents, is possibly their greatest achievement yet. Technically it is a leap ahead in terms of complexity of fluidity of characters, scenics, editing, music, and pretty much everything else.

Emotionally, well, the adults were crying by the end everybody, old and young alike broke out in applause more than once.

A good childrens film entertains the children, while providing a break for their caretakers. A great childrens film engages and entertains all ages; TS3 does this brilliantly by exploring deeply themes of courage, friendship, abandonment, redemption, losing and re-gaining ideals, endless hope. Each character goes on an emotional and physical journey with different motivations; most find what they are looking for, some do not. Just like life.

If you don't have kids, borrow some from relatives and go see this movie (or just go - you probably won't be the only one there without kids). TS3 certainly has the best animated feature Academy Award already wrapped up; in my opinion it should be a strong contender for Best Picture overall, animated or otherwise.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Get out

I find something scary, not only as a journalist but as a citizen of a supposedly free and open country.
Read this article.
This is seriously troubling. Let's be realistic, here. We're talking about public beaches, public airspace, OUR land. What is the danger in this 'hot zone?' That a photographer will step on a tar ball? That a worker will be inconvenienced for 30 seconds while they tell a writer they have been told not to comment on what they obviously are doing?
This is not a BP tragedy, a local tragedy or a private tragedy. It is a communal tragedy of epic proportions for the entire country and we might as well treat it as the public event it is. Just because BP has deep pockets or local law enforcement prefers to work without questions doesn't mean we should throw out our principles and accept what they say as absolute.
If this doesn't bother you, it should.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Phillies invade Phenway

Boston, which is normally filled with tourists and students from all over the world, had a distinct Philly flair over the weekend as the Fightin' Phils invaded Fenway Paaaak for a three-game interleague series.

While the Red Sox pretty much humiliated Moyer and Blanton during games one and two Friday and Saturday, Cole Hamels and brought some respect back for Philly during game three on Sunday with a 5-3 win.

Here's a few scenes from that final game...