As Chance, The Gardener in Being There (check out the movie if you don’t know it. A classic.) often said, “I like to watch.” What passes for socializing these days isn’t something I want to be actively involved in. I prefer to observe and try to make sense of the cacophony of info blasted at us. It’s kind of like listening in on a multiparty phone conversation with your mic on mute. You’re there, listening to all the gossip and news, but not contributing.
For instance, I refuse to tweet and I don’t want my face in Facebook. It’s not that I’m antisocial, it’s just that I believe my uninteresting life is my business. I share what I want with whom I want when I want, and I don’t feel I need to burden the public at large with reports of my angst and aches, joys and jealousies, visions or validations.
Does it mean that I may suffer unforeseen consequences due to my ludditical (not a real word, but it should be) view of these technologies? Yeah, maybe, but that’s my choice and I can live with it. It could be that I’ll have to yield to the pressures of living in our increasingly malconnected (another word that should be in Webster’s. It means to be socially connected, but in ways that are a detriment to you) world, but until then, I’ll keep my tweets, and my face, to myself.
So, am I completely off The Grid? Heck no! My daughter sends me pix and movies of my grandson via MMS regularly. I get fashion advice from my son though he lives three thousand miles away. I get my news through a variety of sources, and I can choose from a huge list stuff to keep me entertained through one of several devices, all connected to the Internet. I don’t need to drop off to drop out. All I want is a little diversion, something random that gives me a momentary pause and makes me go, “hmm!” Lucky for me, and those of you who understand what I’m talking about, there are many interesting apps available that may do just that.
McSweeney’s, for instance, is an interesting app that offers and eclectic blend of stories, movies, commentary, and just random bits and pieces from all over.
The free app includes a one month subscription to The Red Chair, which offers up a bit of something from one of the other McSweeney’s publications. Even if you don’t subscribe to The Red Chair or other content, there’s plenty of freebies to keep you coming back for more.
You can also buy books and other content and store them in the in-app library.
If you enjoy reading and viewing interesting, off-beat content that you’ll not find elsewhere, then McSweeney’s is for you.
If you like your amusement formatted for a more on-the-go lifestyle then you might enjoy Vulture Clickables.
Here you’ll find viral vids, trailers, and other multimedia knickknacks culled from the Web for your viewing and listening pleasure. You’ll find darn near anything. If it’s cool then you’ll likely see it on Vulture Clickables.
Of course, you can find most of the stuff on Vulture on your own, but here it’s all in one place. And it’s free! The only problem is that it’s for iPhone only. This would be such a cool iPad app.
Ah well, you’re more likely to be standing in line with you iPhone than iPad, so on that count, Vulture Clickables is right on time. Grab it.
OK, who doesn’t like a good podcast? It wasn’t so long ago that if you said, “podcast” to all but the technorati the response would have been, “pod-what?” Now, podcasts are the way many people get information about all manner of subjects, and there are a gazillion podcasts out there. So it’s only reasonable that there’s a decent app that lets you manage the podcasts you like and find new ones.
Stitcher Radio may sound like a weird name for a podcast app until to see what it does. It grabs and ‘stitches’ together podcasts from all over the place and puts them together in one, easily manageable app.
What I mean by “manageable” is that Stitcher Radio will let you group podcasts you like into “stations”, which is always available with the latest installment of the podcasts of choice. If you want, Stitcher can create a station for you based of your preferences. It’s kinda like Pandora for podcasts. Sweet, right? I KNOW!!
The app will bookmark where you left off listening, in case you are interrupted by a phone call, and it has a great news station called In Headlines, that keeps you up to date on current events.
You can even play your Stitcher Radio stations in the background while using other apps. Isn’t multitasking great?
This is another app that I find hard to believe that it’s free, but it is. Get it, even if you don’t listen to a lot of podcasts.
And that’s a wrap for this week. Below is a shortlist of free TV episodes including Terra Nova, the Back to the Future/Jurassic Park mashup that’s not bad.