Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Podcasts in Review

I've had plenty of opportunity to check out new podcasts. Traveling through SE Asia, often I found myself with seven to 12 hours to kill, riding a minivan through the mountains, riding a VIP or sleeper bus from city to city or country to country.

Reading was out: in a minivan en route to a small northern Thailand town that prides itself on over 700 turns in the road to get there, I re-learned how to become carsick. One can't rely on stimulating conversation when one might not speak the languages of every rider in a vehicle--and if they're French, sure, they can speak a little English but they have no desire to speak with an American. Staring out the window is only reasonable for 12 hours in the day, because night falls solidly and it is dark and there's nothing to look at when you're riding through the night.

I had a nice little iPod Nano, which I surrendered to Rebecca when hers crashed. Her sister gave us their first generation iPod Touch and I loaded that up with apps, games, and podcasts. Podcasts were the way to go: they kept me in touch with what was going on in the States, from national news updates to opinions on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Closing my eyes, I could drift in indie music reviews or murmur Thai language lessons.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Quizzed on U.S. History, Government, and Geography

Okay, I'm curious. Generally I don't read Newsweek but I found an old issue from the week of March 28 with the teaser: "How Ignorant Are You?" This leads to a short quiz you can take yourself. There are 25 questions in this quiz and I'm gong to run through them here to see how ignorant I am before the semi-public eye.

1) When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

I have no idea so I'm going to guess 1776. That sounds like a highly popularized year associated with our nation's freedom.

2) What happened at the Constitutional Convention?

Again, having to guess, I will suppose this was when the Constitution of the U.S. was written.

3) Who was president during World War I?

I know they called it the "Great War" but as for the administration? No clue. I can recite all the presidents in order so if I work backward from a fixed point I can guess... Teddy Roosevelt?