Posts tagged “controversy”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Universities reject Kindle over inaccessibility for the blind – The National Federation for the Blind said Wednesday that while it appreciates the Kindle's text-to-speech feature, the "menus of the device are not accessible to the blind…making it impossible for a blind user to purchase books from Amazon's Kindle store, select a book to read, activate the text-to-speech feature, and use the advanced reading functions available on the Kindle DX."

    "The big disappointment was learning that the Kindle DX is not accessible to the blind," Ken Frazier, the University of Wisconsin-Madison director of libraries, said in a statement. "Advancements in text-to-speech technology have created a market opportunity for an e-book reading device that is fully accessible for everyone. This version of the Kindle e-book reader missed the mark."

  • ‘Sesame Street’ Responds to Dispute – An executive for Sesame Workshop said a segment on the show that upset political conservatives was “equal-opportunity parody” that made fun of both CNN and Fox News. The skit featured Oscar the Grouch as a reporter for the Grouch News Network (or GNN). When his work upsets a female viewer and fellow Grouch, she tells Oscar: “From now on I am watching Pox News. Now there’s a trashy news show!” Some conservative bloggers called the comment a veiled shot at Fox News, and Michael Getler, the PBS ombudsman, wrote that “Sesame Street” producers should have avoided the joke. Miranda Barry, an executive vice president at Sesame Workshop, responded that “no political comment or comment about Fox News, subtle or overt, was intended.” Having the “grumpy, grouchy, contrarian Oscar” on “Sesame Street,” Ms. Barry wrote, “shows kids that you can listen to someone with a very different worldview, and even be friends with them, without losing your own perspective.
  • The Media Lab | Center for Future Storytelling – Storytelling is fundamental to being human: it's how we share our experiences, learn from our past, and imagine our future. With the establishment of the Media Lab's Center for Future Storytelling, the Media Lab, together with Plymouth Rock Studios, is rethinking what "storytelling" will be in the 21st century. The Center will take a dynamic new approach to storytelling, developing new creative methods, technologies, and learning programs that recognize and respond to the changing communications landscape. The Center will examine ways for transforming storytelling into social experiences, creating expressive tools for the audience and enabling people from all walks of life to embellish and integrate stories into their lives, making tomorrow's stories more interactive, creative, democratized, and improvisational.

Water, Water, Everywhere

A few weeks ago we went to see Water at the SF International Asian American Film Festival. Truly an amazing film and absolutely to be seen in the theater, not on your little TV. I hadn’t seen any of the other films in the Elemental Trilogy (Fire, Earth), but had heard great things about this film from my family.

It tells tells the story of a community of widows in India, forced, by religion/economics to live our the rest of their lives in an unfulfilled state – in poverty, no pleasure (i.e., fried foods or sweets) permitted, no remarriage, nothing by prayer and begging. When a woman is valueless, there is no choice, and when a girl is married off at 8 for her dowry, and the much older man dies, she is basically an abandoned person for the rest of her natural life. Horrifying premise, that was and is true.

The story of the making of the film is as amazing as the film itself. Director Deepa Mehta told the story afterwards of the original production, shut down by fundamentalists in India, leaving her to fume for 4 years before shooting again in Sri Lanka. That story seems to be getting a lot of ink, appearing in the New York Times (and a several similar pieces in the SF Chron over the past few days), and documented in the story of a camera assistant as well in the just published Shooting Water, by the director’s daughter. I started the book on the trip to Toronto and it’s interesting, if a bit youthful in tone. I’ve only just started and thankful for the detail and so much explanation as to the aspects of Indian culture and environments that help my understanding of the film; mind you, I wish someone had proofread the book enough to correct her reference to the Bradbury Building as the Ray Bradbury Building.


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