On Being Tumblr

On Being Tumblr

On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

What Would You Be Willing to Sacrifice?

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

"This project isn’t about making images. It’s not about creating the world’s largest camera. It’s about doing what you love. If you had been searching your whole life for something you love, what would you be willing to sacrifice?" ~Ian Ruhter, from Silver & Light

I can’t remember watching something so heartbreakingly gorgeous, unswerving in its emotional sway, inspirational to the point of forcing me to wonder about my current station in life. What am I doing here?

(h/t Chris Heagle)

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The Wonder of Water

by Trent Gilliss, online editor

Video snacks are the latest rage among the working proletariat nowadays. People are hungry for the sentimental, the celebratory, the enigmatically natural joy of physics, the contemplative, the comic — especially at 3 pm on a workday.

For me, one of the pure pleasures of video on the Web is discovering cinematic joy in a short commercial that I may have dismissed because of timing and the medium. But, with a set of headphones forming an aural cocoon, I can experience the magic of water balloons floating and bursting in super-slow-motion, reflect on my children and wife, and appreciate what an immensely beautiful world that presents itself. All in a Schweppes ad; can you believe it?

(via VSL)

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Taking Play Seriously

Trent Gilliss, Online Editor

Our program on the spirit of play continues to garner attention. This time Krista’s appearance at the New York Public Library with Stuart Brown is the entry point for Robin Marantz Henig’s long-form piece in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.

The program’s trajectory has been a curious one, with a long tail no doubt. I watched the PUSH participants gasp in awe when Stuart Brown showed images of a polar bear and tethered sled dog frolick in the Canadian tundra. The collective sigh amounted to more than an “oh, isn’t that cute” sentiment.

I suggested the topic and Stuart Brown as a potential guest. To my surprise, Krista liked the idea. The idea of play didn’t explicity touch on religion or spirituality, but its implications spoke to the humanity of our nature, as children and now as adults.

We received a healthy number of comments after the radio broadcast/podcast release. And, more unexpectedly, the companion narrated slideshow of animals at play was so successful that it crashed APM’s Web servers. It’s been viewed by more than 2 million people - getting picked up by social recommendation engines such as Digg and by newspaper blogs in Boston and Seattle.

For me, this program is a reminder that one obligation of journalists is to be proxy agents for the public, to stand in and report on events you aren’t able to attend and tell stories that are relevant to your lives. I think we exemplified this, and have inspired other journalists to do so as well.

(photo: Tom Schierlitz for The New York Times)

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