It’s an Interesting World: 4

17 Dec

In two days I’ll be winging my way to South Africa, and I just can’t tell you how excited I am. I’m trying to get a million things done before the flight, and one thing I made sure was high up on the list – next to seeing people – was seeing the Rockefeller tree, all lit up and beautiful!

Rockefeller Christmas tree - a thing of beauty!

It’s flippin’ huge, as you can see. I can’t believe the year is drawing to an end already, it’s mind-boggling how fast it’s gone. So much has happened that it’s hard to reflect on what’s been gained or lost in the last 12 months.

Favourite 2009 roundups: my favourite annual roundups couldn’t be more different, but they’re pretty awesome in my opinion, and here they are:

Regret the Error’s “Crunks 2009: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections

Gawker’s “Who’s the Douche of the Decade?

A well put together multimedia story called “Route to Recovery” tracks the slow, plodding improvement of the American economy and the trail of destruction left by the recession. Go Reuters!

Quotes of the week:

I absolutely love Dan Neil’s LaTimes column on Lady Gaga’s video for “Bad Romance,” which he suggests should win for Advertisement of the Year 2009 with the amount of product placement it has. He very eloquently explores the breakdown of the wall between art and advertising, concluding:

“What’s so subversive about “Bad Romance” — and perhaps this is a reflection of the compromised times we live in — is that the art doesn’t seem at all diminished by the business agenda. It’s beautiful, it’s dance-able, and it’s exquisite advertising. I just wish my Alexander McQueen pumps fit better. The last stone of any church-state, art-commerce, virgin-whore wall has been toppled and — my God! — we don’t miss the wall.”

Weird story/debate of the month:

A school that requested incoming students take fitness classes and monitor their weight before they graduate is now barring a few kids from graduating for being overweight. The problem? They’re using BMI as a measurement. Anyone who’s talked to me about the subject of weight knows that I don’t like the BMI indicator, purely because it fails to take muscle mass into account.
Kids can’t graduate if BMI is over 3
0: Gawker discusses

Part of of my job is to consider the way media and reporting technique is changing in the United States. Discussions on how traditional media outfits use social media for reporting can be quite contentious, but after much contemplation, and in light of how much Twitter has changed the game in the last year, Reuters crafted a policy for sourcing from social media, which you can read here: Picking up from Twitter and social media

Home Sweet Home

Oh glorious of glories, I’ll be home for three weeks after a long absence of a year and a half. It’s been too long really. I’ll be happy to escape the cold weather and masses of tourists that flock to NYC over the silly season, but will of course miss the Christmas merriment … the decorated windows on 5th avenue, the beautiful lights, the snow, the warbled Christmas music piped from hidden speakers over Steinway Street … (okay, maybe not!)

But then again … braais, beer, warm weather, swimming, a tan, being able to drive again … the list goes on! Nevermind seeing my family and friends after so long, meeting my nephew for the first time (he’s already a year old!) and seeing my nieces again … basically, I’m so excited I can barely stand it!

I might be tweeting from SA, if you want to follow me on Twitter my handle is JaxBischof.

In between administrative work and catching up with friends and family, I’ll be helping with a wedding (as much as I can!) and doing some freelance work. My last story, published by Women’s eNews, can be found here:  Kissling’s Menstruation Blog Talks All About It

Another coup for the country … South Africa was recently named “Place of the Year 2009” by Oxford University Press. They have a series of interesting posts on the country, presented in their blog. The blog mentions “Invictus,” the movie, which I blogged about earlier. We watched the movie and I loved it! Of course I had low expectations, so it wasn’t hard to exceed them. Morgan Freeman was graceful and captured the whimsical side of Mandela, Damon’s performance was understated yet excellent (his accent too!) and I loved the host of South African accents and locales. Clint Eastwood really has a great eye for shots, and he reflected the reality quite accurately I believe. We’ll have to see what the rest of SA thinks. See you soon SA!

On that note, I bid a temporary adieu to my beautiful friends in the States… and leave you with my favorite photo of the month:

At Zee's birthday, December 4, 2009

See you in 2010!!

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