Putting together a lightweight HD video recording rig

I have a Kodak Zi8 recorder that I am planning to use to upload videos to YouTube with. It produces fantastic quality videos, but more important, it has a stereo microphone jack, so that I can use it to record live music or interviews with a high degree of audio quality.

Tim Conneally, over at Betanews, has put together a great guide to putting together a kit that will fit into a 15 inch notebook sleeve.

Based upon its recommendations, I have already purchased a Dynex Video Bracket.

Next steps are two by a microphone and lastly, a lamp. I’m looking for recommendations if you have them.

Mat Schaffer has offered, based upon personal experience, the SP-BMC-1 from Sound Professionals.

My price limit is up to the Rode VideoMic being used by Tim Conneally.

Fran Guidry recommends the SP-SPSM-15 from Sound Professionals and the (discontinued) AT825 from Broadcast Production & Microphones.

A shocking source of TV news coverage of the oil leak?

G4 and Kevin Pereira: “BP Oil Spill Effect on Wildlife”.

G4, the games channel. Yes, the games channel!

This makes sense in a world where the most informative pieces of national news journalism are coming from a music magazine and nightly comedy show doesn’t it?

Parsing HTML with your favorite language

This thread at Stack Overflow is just terrific. One for your bookmarks.


help.hackshackers.com: “What are the best tools for “scraping” data off a Web page for analysis in Excel or other software?”

Will Larson: “An Introduction to Compassionate Screen Scraping”

Michelle Minkoff: “How to Scrape Websites for Data without Programming Skills”

Firefox plugin: Outwit

Dan Nguyen: “Coding for Journalists 101 : A four-part series”

Prog-a-Month: “Easy HTML web scraping with Groovy and Java. (w/XOM)”

A high school drop out who did kinda okay

Michael J. Fox’s latest book is ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future’ and yes, he is the high school drop out in question. In the book Michael J. Fox certainly does not promote quitting High School! Far from it. What the book focuses on, by sharing his story, and the challenges he faced and took on along the way, what you can learn as a student of life, being open what the people around you (especially your children) can teach you, and to be present in the moment. The only book I can think of to compare it to, and this is high praise considering my love of it, is Randy Pauch’s “The Last Lecture” (another must read). It’s a fantastic book, a great story, with lessons all of us can learn from.

Thank you Richelle for buying me this for Father’s Day. It came at a good time.

YouTube: “Good Morning America: Michael J. Fox’s Life Lessons “

NPR.org: A Lesson In Life From Michael J. Fox (with excerpt)

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

He signs the book off with “Live to learn.”.

hacks/hackers teaming up with Mozilla on a course

This sounds like a fantastic opportunity for programmers who want to become familiar with journalism, and journalists to become familiar with programming.

Merlin Mann – “No, really, do it.”

Merlin Mann on “Watching the Corners: On Future-Proofing Your Passion”:

Nothing can actually “future-proof” anything. Anyone who claims to know the future is either a madman, a charlatan, or, often as not, both.

Thing is, regardless of the passions (or goals or values or priorities or whatever) that we hope to protect or defend, we’d all do well to remember that it is still ultimately OUR passion that’s at stake.

That means we’re the only one responsible for seeing that its functional components survive and adapt in a world in which each one of us has just north of zero control.

If we embrace the fact that no one can or should ever care about the health of our passions as much as we do, the practical decisions that help ensure Our Good Thing stays alive can become as “simple” as a handful of proven patterns–work hard, stay awake, fail well, hang with smart people, shed bullshit, say “maybe,” focus on action, and always always commit yourself to a bracing daily mixture of all the courage, honesty, and information you need to do something awesome–discover whatever it’ll take to keep your nose on the side of the ocean where the fresh air lives. This is huge.

Anything else? Yeah. Drink lots of water, play with your kid every chance you get, and quit Facebook today. No, really, do it.

What could you/we/us do to help the Gulf Coast?

It is easy to be depressed about the oil leak in the Gulf Coast. It is easy to feel helpless. It is easy to feel ineffectual rage.

So don’t.

Share what is it that you, me, we, us can do to help the Gulf Coast in the here and now? (examples: aid packages, directed money, etc)

Share what is it that you, me, we, us can do to help the Gulf Coast from ever experiencing a man-made tragedy like this again in the future? (examples: carpooling, public transportation drives, home energy usage improvements, etc)

We are not helpless.

Don’t be fearful and not offer an idea because it is not a fleshed out solution. An idea you have might turn into a solution when others see it and can build off of it.

PS – I will be taking your suggestions to our CIM Volunteers meeting.