Posts in Category: radio

Archives: A first person story of growing up and into the holiday spirit with Legos, a Speak & Spell, and my family.

Tracking the International Space Station from a roof in San Francisco

Traveling over 17,500mph the International Space Station (ISS) completes 15.4 orbits per day. NASA’s “Spot the Station” will alert you via email or text when the ISS will fly over your head. With your feet planted firmly on the ground, you can easily see the ISS stream across the sky, over 200 miles above. It’s amazing and inspiring and humbling all at the same time. Give it a shot. To see what the 6 ISS astronauts see, check out this live camera feed.

This piece explores my first viewing.

The sound design/music elements were created from a combination of original composition, audio captured by NASA onboard a shuttle launch, and an excerpt from “Lux aeterna” by the magnificent Polish composer Pawel Szymanski.


NPR: How It Sounds


A little while back I discovered this NPR segmet, #howitsounds, that attempts to share a snapshot with sound instead of text or image. As I’m often making ambient sound recordings at home I thought it would be fun to put something together. I did, NPR published it, here you go.

Screen grab from original post above, audio file below.

In retrospect, what happened next was entirely predictable. Hundreds of people took to the comment boards to bemoan my existence. Some were kind, some were mean but at least clever, most just dull. “Trust fund brat, closeted gay, probably listens to bands no one has ever heard of, winner of the ‘most punchable face’ award,” et al. An obvious misunderstanding of the #howitsounds project and a xenophobic¬†cultural anger permeated the comments.¬†Since I’m a stable person I don’t seek validation or advice from strangers on the Internet. Also, something about sticks and stones and rubber and glue.

As so many things are, this became an interesting exercise in identity and self-worth. Unintentionally, the venomous commenters have only made me appreciate my fortune more. As David Foster Wallace taught me, “I am certain I am not the center of the universe,” even when the comment boards think I am.

Here’s the story for visual learners, click to embiggen: