I find that if I'm not taking in information from a variety of sources, my brain begins to shut down. (Note: I am not a doctor and that is not a medical diagnosis). I don't know how to explain it other than to say I like to read multiple books at once, and if I ever actually try and watch a movie on my laptop, chances are twenty minutes into it, I'm watching it in a 3 inch window and surfing ebay with the other 14 inches of the screen. That being said, let me clue you in about two new sources of input that I am digging in a large way.
This evening, Kelsey returned from the store with a gift for me - a copy of Dwell, an archetectural magazine geared towards the sort of people who would buy debris from Boston's Big Dig and reconstruct it into their own home (p. 268).
For the past few years, Kelsey and I have talked about the feasability of alternative housing - shipping containers, Quonset huts, Mongolian yurts with yak-hide siding (Ok, not so much on the last one).
Dwell is a gorgeous magazine - incredibly well produced. Not only does it look killer setting there on the coffee table - it gets you thinking thoughts like "heck, yeah, a family of six can live in a treehouse...". I dig Dwell.
I've been binge-listening to the National Constitution Center's Digital Debates podcast. It's not really named very well, as it's not a debate format, but it's fascinating listening. The NCC, located in Philadelphia, PA, hosts some of the greatest writers, thinkers, and historians to talk about their work. They are interviewed and then take audience questions. They've got the podcasts backlogged to 2004, so you can load up and probably never listen to all of them - they each run over an hour.
One of my favorites have been an interview with Pat Buchanan. Buchanan gets written off as a nut - and although I don't agree with him on everything, he's fascinating to listen to, brilliant, and has a famous command of the English language. Also, interestingly enough, he was ranting about building a fence on the Mexican border more than ten years ago and was discounted as a reactionary. Like the fence or not, he saw a problem long before most of America.
Another favorite episode featured historian Gordon Wood's discussion about the characters of the constitution. Wood can make Jefferson, Washington, Burr and others absolutely come alive. He is in love with these characters, and the constitution. It's a fantastic interview.
So, if any of you read this far...what are you reading or listening to that gets your brain working?