Blog Archives

Interactive videos: the wave of the (YouTube) future?

Interactive online videos are becoming ever more common. Are they the wave of the near future for online video technology? Who knows. But, they’re fun.

Mashable offers their roundup of 10 Incredible Interactive YouTube Videos. As they say:

Like a 21st century version of the choose-your-own-adventure books, interactive YouTube videos can up the engagement factor by letting the viewer decide the course of the action, or just play around with the content.

Here’s one good example from Patrick Boivin.



I wonder how these could be used in theological education? I could certainly see using them as a way of illustrating case studies. Beyond that, I’m not sure. Still, it’s intriguing.


Bloody bedtime stories

I was going to try and post something thoughtful and intelligent this evening, but then I ran across this article in Ten of the Bloodiest Bedtime Stories. That’s just not fair. How am I supposed to resist a title like that? Sure I still need to finish preparing my lectures for my Philosophy & Theology class tomorrow (don’t tell my students), but this is critical research that absolutely cannot wait. If I really thought about it, I know I could come up with a way of integrating this material into our philosophical ruminations. So, I’ll get to kill two birds with one stone. (See, the bloody imagery is everywhere.)

Obviously, I succumbed to the temptation and read the article. It was fun. Stupid Little Red Riding Hood stays inside the wolf’s belly where she belongs, two of those three whiny pigs get eaten, Belle’s father actually sells her to the Beast in exchange for his own freedom, the Little Mermaid dies and her beautiful prince marries someone else, and Pinocchio smashes Jiminy Cricket with a hammer. That’s outstanding. Why doesn’t Disney make these stories? They’d be so much better.

One question that comes to mind after reading these other endings: Do we coddle our kids too much or were the kids of an earlier era a complete emotional/psychological mess?

Mark Driscoll on pre-teen girl fiction

This is actually quite funny. Driscoll is preaching on the importance of exercising discernment in our entertainment, and he uses as an example a list from Amazon on the best pre-teen girl fiction for the summer reading. (He has a 13 year-old daughter.) Needless to say, he is not pleased (especially not with the Twilight series).


What are the best shows on TV today?

Now that Lost, 24, and Scrubs are done (all three went on longer than they should), I’m in the market for some new TV shows to follow. Currently, I just have two fairly escapist shows that I follow with some regularity (Chuck and NCIS). I’m also working through Battlestar Gallactica (fabulous show). I’m looking for another show or two of substance to add to my list. So, I’m wondering what you think are the best recent TV shows?

Brian LePort recently helped out by commenting on “Five TV Shows I Enjoy.” (He went with House, Ugly Betty, Mad Men, The Wire, and Rome.)  And, Mark Stevens followed up with his own list (West Wing, Glee, Scrubs, NCIS, and Bones). Based on these suggestions and some others that I’ve gotten from people, here are the shows that I’m considering.

  • Glee. I’ve seen a couple of episodes, but I’ve heard enough good things about it that I think I’ll get the first season from Netflix and start from the beginning.
  • The Wire. This one has been on my list of shows to watch for quite a while, but I never feel like I have the time or emotional energy to invest in it properly.
  • Mad Men. I’ve actually seen most of the first season, but I was never able to get into this one. I think I had too much going on at the time and couldn’t just sit and watch it.
  • Friday Night Lights. I really liked this one when it first came out, but I gave up on it in the second season. I’ve heard that it’s gotten a lot better since then and might be worth following again.
  • Dexter. I’d have to catch up on this one through Netflix, which is fine, and I’ve heard good things about it if you like your shows on the dark side (I do).
  • Modern Family. I don’t know if this meets the “substance” requirement, but several people I know well recommend this one highly.

So, what do you think? Do you watch (or have you watched) any of these shows and can offer some advice? If you had to pick one from this list, which one would you go with? Are there any others that you would recommend?