Digital Dentist

I don't usually think of a trip to the dentist as a chance to make art. But this week's double whammy of a crown and a replaced filling ended up prompting me to shoot some video with my Pentax Optio as Amber (shown above) and Dr. Mike Golinvaux, D.D.S of Metropolitan Dental Care introduced me to digital dentistry I'd never encountered before. Making the vlog transformed me from an inert patient, counting the minutes till the procedures were over, into a a director framing shots, asking questions, wondering if I had enough raw footage to tell a story. In the end, I had a great time at the dentist's office. I've always admired Dr. Mike's approach to his work, because he takes time to explain what he's doing and his hands seem steady and skilled when he's drilling into my head. And Amber and the rest of the staff are always energized and seemingly in good spirits. So here's the show, a toothcast, a crowning digital achievement by Amber and Dr. Mike:

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Sounds of Zen

For a spiritual tradition known for silence, Zen offers lots of cool sounds during a morning sitting at the Zen Center of Denver. From the densho bell in the foyer of the building, to the han's solid thunk when struck by a wooden mallet, to the monklike chanting of the participants--the hour-long service frames the meditation with distinct vibrations for the ear. I created this sampler of Zen sounds by editing out a lot of the spaces between the sounds. Lately I've been able to attend the morning zazen only about once a week. It's always worth the effort to get up in time to drive two miles in the dark for the 6 a.m. encounter with the serenity that waits between my thoughts, like blue sky behind the clouds.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Spot of Tea Near Home

When Jessica Avery retired as a psychotherapist, she created a healing space at 15th and Platte Streets, the House of Commons. It's a tea room in the British tradition, featuring tea you pour into your cup through an elegant strainer, as well as scones with jam and Devonshire cream. It's a thoroughly lovely walk (can't help but lapse into the language of the old country) from our apartment down 16th Street, over the Millennium Bridge, through Riverfront Park, over the Platte River to the House of Commons, about 10 minutes all told.

I took the video with my Pentax Optio camera and tried out the Windows program Movie Maker to spiff it up with titles and music. It's fun playing movie director, but so far I prefer the simplicity of audio podcasts. Every once in a while, though, I'm sure I will return to these new video tools. I notice other podcasters switching between video and audio podcasts at the Apple iTunes store. On my iTunes podcast directory, a little video icon shows which episodes have moving pictures.

Monday, January 23, 2006

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