Steven Wright’s favorite joke

Steven WrightSteven Wright is one of a handful of comics I’ve paid to see perform live, although that says more about how cheap I am than it does about comics.

At any rate, it was great to talk to him and find out how he found his comic voice, what makes him laugh and what the favorite joke he’s written is.

Steven Wright will be in Columbus on May 19 with CAPA.

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Heather Whaling: Spring cleaning your social media profile

Heather Whaling

CEO and founder of Geben Communications, Heather Whaling is a fan of social media, not a surprise given her occupation. So the recent news about the Facebook privacy problems were of particular interest to her. Listen in while she describes the best ways for you to stay safe online as well as who her favorite social media accounts to follow are. We also discuss the best way to prevent yourself from being obsessed with social media (warning to teenagers: the phrase “remove from your phone” is used).

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John Gorka: The past never dies. It comes back as songs

John Gorka

For legendary singer-songwriter John Gorka’s new album, True in Time, he casts his mind back to the past, with songs that explore memories and those we’ve lost.

Join us as we discuss his songs and his songwriting.

John Gorka will perform in Columbus on Friday, April 20 at the Kings Art Complex with Six String Concerts.

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Visual Trumpery or How Alberto Cairo Confronts Fake News and Statistics

Alberto Cairo Book

Like many of us, Alberto Cairo is a polls-junky. Whenever election season comes around, he gets locked into the numbers. But for Cairo, it’s not just a seasonal passion; he’s devoted his academic studies to graphical representations of data in news media. Currently, he teaches data visualization at the University of Miami.

Cairo became interested in data visualization after a professor noticed his ability to create quick, rudimentary sketches. The professor recommended Cairo for an internship in a graphics department for a newspaper in Spain. He was unfamiliar with data visualization when he started, but loved the field after the internship. Since his college days, he’s written two books on the subject and runs a blog called The Functional Art.

On April 15, 2018, Cairo will deliver a talk called “Visual Trumpery” at the Ohio State’s Science Sundays lecture series, a free and open to the public event. Cairo initially called the talk “How Charts Lie,” but thought it was too dull and didn’t have the draw, so he retitled it to include the word trump, meaning showy but worthless, because it’s related to the current president’s name. However, he asserts the lecture is relatively bias-free and draws on bad graphs and data from the right and the left. His primary goal is to show people how to spot the fake data and charts and to teach people how to create better, more accurate visuals.

Cairo likes to talk about percentages and how they translate to a graph. He mentions that at some point during the 2016 election, Donald Trump had a 17% chance to win the election. This statistic seems low but Cairo likens this to rolling a “1” on a six-sided dice. Cairo believes including examples like this on charts will help people discover more interesting things and understand the magnitude of data.

According to Cairo, the world of charts and graphs is simultaneously improving and getting worse. Because of the Internet, there’s a lower barrier of entry to creating and disseminating charts and graphs, which means anybody can make a figure that says anything they want. However, reputable news magazines on the right and left are using these tools to create better data-driven charts and stories.

Listen in for more about visual trumpery and then attend Professor Cairo’s talk.

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Michael Kardos: A book so good, it’s magic

Michael Kardos novelOhio State University alum Michael Kardos had a problem. How could he keep his son busy while he was writing? The solution: promise to write story chapters for his son if he played quietly for a time. In a classic case of unexpected benefits, Kardos discovered that writing for his son made him realize the importance of writing for a sense of wonder.

Moving from writing for his child to writing for an adult audience, Kardos kept the sense of astonishment and trained it on the world of magic, specifically how a magician, already a has-been in her twenties, can find new ways to use her skill, those hundreds of hours of practice.

Listen in to hear the secrets of the trade from a former magician and full time author.

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Christine Hayes: Lost Restaurants of Central Ohio and Columbus

Christine Hayes book coverChristine Hayes is a Columbus native and columnist for the Short North Gazette. You might know her as Ramona Moon, the art car lady. Aside from gluing toys to her car, Hayes has edited a book of her father’s old newspaper columns and cowritten two books about Ohio’s lost restaurants. On this episode of Craft, Christine talks with Adam Hribar about some of the missing eateries of her childhood and what’s changed since she ate out as a kid.

You can meet Christine at the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival on April 14, 2018

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Steve Goble: Writing the pirate seas

Steve Goble novelYo ho! Yo ho! It’s the pirate’s life for Steve! Ever since Steve Goble was a kid, he’s been enthralled with the adventure novel. Since he couldn’t be a pirate, Goble became a reporter for ten Ohio news publications and has written everything from crime reports to craft beer reviews to poetry. He has one book out now and is set to publish his second one, The Devil’s Wind, in September 2018. On this episode of Craft, Steve talks with Adam Hribar about his first book: The Bloody Black Flag: A Spider John Mystery.

You can meet Steve at the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival on April 14, 2018

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Amanda Petford-Long: Let’s Get Small

Tiny dinosaur!

How small can we go with computers? What happens as materials get as tiny as the dinosaur I’ve shrunk to the size of a pen?

Amanda Petford-Long is a distinguished physicist in the Materials Science Division of the Argonne National Laboratory and an expert in nano-scale materials. Join us as she discusses what nanomaterials are and why they are so crucial to the way we function in our everyday lives. Petford-Long will appear with the Ohio State University’s Science Sundays event on March 18, describing how microscopes can be used as “nano-laboratories.”

No dinosaurs were injured in the making of this image.

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Dustin Meadows: Weezer, NuMetal, and finding your voice as a comedian

Dustin Meadows

Dustin Meadows has been doing stand up for eight years. He’s released two albums, founded an alternative comedy troupe called Whiskey Bear Comedy, and frequently hosts The Pop Culture mixtape. He stops by Craft to talk about his new album, No! The World Needs Laughter. You can frequently find him performing at Mikey’s Late Night Slice, but until then, he’s talking with Craft spring intern, Adam Hribar, about Weezer, NuMetal, and finding your voice as a comedian. For more about Dustin Meadows, check out his website or Facebook page.

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Lori Erickson: Monks Don’t Make the Best Interview Subjects

Lori Erickson

Lori Erickson grew up on a farm in Iowa and grew up reading adventure novels by John L. Stoddard that inspired her to travel the world. In her newest book, Holy Rover, Erickson explores her love of travel and her personal spirituality. Join Lori Erikson and Doug Dangler as they talk about spirituality, the declining monastic culture, and, in a more meta Craft interview, interviews. She’ll be at Thurber House Tuesday, February 6 talking about her new book.

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