Cara Malek: How to zip a two-headed dragon

John BeacomCharacter riggers create digital puppets for animation, the code that brings to life your favorite personalities like Po in Kung Fu Panda or Toothless in How To Train Your Dragon.

Cara Malek worked as a rigger on both of these films and will share her experiences on April 23 as part of Science Sundays at the Ohio State University.

Listen in to hear how Cara and her team overcame technical hurdles like how to “zip” together the two-headed Hideous Zippleback dragon (Barf and Belch) in How To Train Your Dragon or whether Shrek’s bodily odors should be colorless or not (we aim high on this podcast, people).

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Ohioana Interviews: Linda Kass

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Linda Kass at 2017 Ohioana Book Festival

I had a great talk with author and bookstore owner Linda Kass at the 2017 Ohioana Book Festival. Her book, Tasa’s Song, is a fictionalized version of her mother’s life during World War 2. Kass is also the owner of Gramercy Book, new in Columbus, Ohio, so check both her book and bookstore out!

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Jennifer Chiaverini on the women around John Wilkes Booth

John Beacom

What drives an assassin? What makes someone break past societal barriers and kill a president?

Jennifer Chiaverini , author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, The Spymistress, and Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule, explores this territory in Fates and Traitors, a fictional history of John Wilkes Booth, before and after the assassination of President Lincoln. She focuses on four of the women closest to Booth: his mother, sister, secret fiance, and Confederate confidant.

Chiaverini will be a guest author in Columbus for the Ohioana Book Festival on April 8, 2017.

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Craft Goes LIVE: Lina Ferreira at Wild Goose Live

WGC-Wild Goose Live-Flyer-V1

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C. F. Payne: Matching heads and bodies on a magazine cover near you

John Beacom

I enjoy talking to illustrators because I’m fascinated with how their brains are wired so differently from mine. I can draw a stick figure and a smiley face. Beyond that, my drawings look like a toddler accidentally got ahold of a pencil.

C.F. Payne has never had this problem. You’ve probably seen his illustrations on the covers of magazines like Time, MAD, the New York Times, and Reader’s Digest, among others. His latest is the illustration for the book Miss Mary Reporting. 

Listen in for his process when he gets an illustration commission and how the body in the illustration may or may not be that of the person he is drawing.

Too late I realized that I should have asked him to draw my head on Liam Hemsworth’s body.

CF Payne will be a guest at the 2017 Ohioana Book Festival on April 8th.

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Junk: It’s not what you think

JunkJunk.

Most likely it’s what you think you need to throw away.

But for the organizers of Junk Bash, it’s something to be treasured. According to Mercantile Fairs Director of Operations and Outreach Suzanne Perreault, Junk Bash brings together people with a very different definition of junk.

“When we say it’s junk, we mean it’s something we want to reclaim,” Perrault says, redefining junk as something precious and useful.

Junk Bash will take place on March 24th and 25th at the newly built Cardinal Hall the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Junk Bash will feature a number of Columbus area crafters and reuse experts like the Ohio Creative Collective, and Baskets by Viva, Nadderdoodle, Wicked Stitch of the West, and Elemental Carbon.

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Author and filmmaker e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

e.E. Charlton-TrujilloWhen author and documentary filmmaker e.E. Charlton-Trujillo decided to go on a book tour a few years ago, she also took along all the equipment to make a video. This was second nature to her because of her experience, but this time the focus was on the students that she was working with. The result was the documentary At-Risk Summer.

e.E. Charlton-Trujillo will be a featured guest at the 2017 Ohioana Book Festival on April 8th, where you can ask her all kinds of questions about her book and the video and how difficult it is to do a cross-country book tour while making a documentary with well-known writers at the same time.

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Professor John Beacom Gives Us All Security Clearance

John BeacomNeutrinos. Those weird little particles you might remember from physics class. No charge, smaller than electrons, but incredibly fast. What good are they?

Ohio State Professor of Physics John Beacom knows the value of neutrinos and he talks about them with me ahead of his March 19 talk for the Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Science Sundays series.

So put on your safety goggles, check your security clearance, and listen into our talk!

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The Sun Never Sets

SunNeverHere’s a fun little tale all about nationalism, sports, and Oscar Wilde.

Huge thank you to Columbus actor supreme Christina Yoho, who not only knocked the voices out of the park but also started this rolling by asking me to write a story that had chewing sounds. (Apparently, they’re fun to do as an actor.)

I don’t usually analyze my writing, but I saw a bit of our current political climate in this one. See if you can spot it. There’s a free book in it for you if you explain it in the comments.

This is also my first (inadvertent) success at passing the Bechdel test. It really isn’t hard.

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Essayist Phillip Lopate returns to exploration of family

liftarn-Adult-and-childParents are complicated.

Over a lifetime, children watch them transition from the infallible arbiters of childhood into the frail collection of ailments endemic to old age.

Phillip Lopate’s mother was an exceptionally complicated person.

Two decade ago, Lopate interviewed her about her life. Twenty five tape-recorded hours later, Lopate had the foundation for his new book, A Mother’s Tale, from the Ohio State University Press. Listen in as Ohio State University MFA Samantha Tucker talks craft with Phillip Lopate: what issues he faced in writing the book, what he learned about his mother and himself, and what it’s like to be the child of a monologist.

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