My Dear Friend,

'Tis a fine day to have a conversation. Let's start Issue 3, shall we?

Character Glossary:

  • Masahiro: Logic, Thought, Planning.
  • N.T. Cloever: Emotion, Imagination, Creativity.
  • The Fool: Curiosity, Conversations, Questions.
  • Podrick the Podcast Chicken: Podcasting.


Masahiro: Oh boy. Here we go again, My Dear Friends.

Cloever: Hello, brother.

The Fool: Hello, friends!

Podrick: Bok bok! (Hello all!)

Masahiro: Everyone seems cheerful for this week. That's great to know.

What happened this week?

Podrick: Bok bok! I did a couple of things this week.

Cloever: Oh? Pray tell.

Podrick: I did two interviews to talk about podcasting:

One was for Podfest Global! It's the largest podcast virtual summit in the world. They're actually going for a Guinness World Record! Through the amazing New Media Show, myself, James Cridland from Podnews, Mark Asquith from, Todd Cochrane from Blubrry and Rob Greenlee from Libsyn gathered together to talk about podcast globalization. Each of us had different perspectives on this, seeing as how we touched on US, UK, Australia and Asia. Myself, bringing Asia's perspective of course! Had so much fun. Ran on cups of coffee and energy drinks from 2AM to get on this talk. You can watch/listen to it here!

I was interviewed for the upcoming Splice Beta: a month-long virtual event all about media transformation, journalism, and podcasting in Asia. The amazing Puma Podcasts team is building a podcast for Splice, and I know they're amazing at what they do. Had a lovely conversation talking about how to make your podcast successful. Catch my voice there when the event starts!

Masahiro: Congrats on getting our voice out there, oh podcasting one.

Podrick: Bok bok! (It's a pleasure!)

The Fool: Well, me and Masahiro also did a few things. To make up for last week's blunders, we released two new episodes for RoamFM!

The first episode is with Cherry Sun, who is a second-year PhD student based in New Zealand. She uses our favorite tool Roam Research to keep track of all of her experiments. All on stem cell research concerning fetal growth restriction. Very interesting stuff! The biggest shift for her is that the tool removes Thought Loss Anxiety.

Podrick: What's that?

The Fool: It's when there are so many thoughts racing from the things she's working on (multiple experiments) that there is anxiety in not recording all of that. Roam fixes this.

Cloever: But is it necessary to write all of it?

The Fool: Whether it's important or not, being able to record all of it does calm her down.

Cloever: A very...different way to cope with thoughts, I see.

The Fool: The second out is with Mark Robertson, who is an Instructor of History at multiple community colleges. We talked about how he uses the tool to teach his students, but went even deeper: questioning history. Teaching students critical thinking. How history is propaganda and is the result of hierarchical power. There is no one more analytical than a history expert for sure. Here's an excerpt from his love on the book 'The Past is a Foreign Country':

Mark Robertson: And so it's trying to kind of present this perspective that we visit the past. We visit and we are bound by the limitations in the amount of time that we spend in the past, by the things that we're able to see in the past and what we can't see. Just as if you go on vacation in a foreign country, are you truly going to know that foreign place?


Podrick: Does he know any history on podcasts?

The Fool: We're talking about World History here, you dumb chicken. Podcasting's only started since 2004.

Podrick: Aww.

The Fool: Also, there is still no AntiFool for this week. I did that deliberately though: I had to pause it to work on a few proposals for grants and funds. It's still in the works nonetheless.

Cloever: Great job, brothers.

Masahiro: Thank you friend.

Podrick: Bok bok! (Good work!)

What have you discovered?

Masahiro: Here's a different take. Childhood cartoons. The M.A.S.K Theme song is one of the best bangers of the 90's cartoons! It's not really a discovery but rather a reminder: the song really gets me pumped up.

The Fool: I never would have thought you out of all of us would be interested in cartoons.

Masahiro: What's wrong with that?

Cloever: It seems like something I would share instead of you.

Masahiro: Well, true. But I've been thinking about nostalgia lately and figuring out a 'shape' that represents it. Sometimes we spiral into memory lane, remembering things that are dear to us, an escapism from what is happening in the present time. I imagine nostalgia to be like a drill. It spirals and spirals, and sometimes it digs too deep.

The Fool: Here's an interesting one from me: Custom essays! I found this tweet by Tom Critchlow that was a list of custom designed essays for us to read. It's fascinating - people are going beyond the boundaries of the standard essay format (loads of long-form text for example), and instead introduce other things. I see comics, illustrations, SMS formats. They're going the extra mile and it's encouraging me to write that way too. We should try that sometime.

Cloever: That's lovely. I have something too. A word.

Others: A word?

Cloever: Yes. A word I recently discovered: Foible. It's a minor weakness or failing of character. I found it while looking for the different variations fo haiku poetry. Though the public would know what a haiku is, they might not know what senryu is and the differences. Haiku deals only with seasons, and senryu is for foibles: the facets of life.

Interesting word: Foible
foi•ble foi′bəl
n. A minor weakness or failing of character.

Masahiro: Interesting. Thank you for that. Maybe we can use the word foible sometime in the near future. It doesn't look...English?

Cloever: Most English words are borrowed anyway. We rarely use truly 'English' words.

Podrick: I have an English word for you: Podcast.

The Fool: facepalm

Masahiro: That is all for today, friends. I do have...thoughts I'd like to share. And normally, we would discuss that on the agenda. But let's flesh it out a bit until the next time we gather. This week had been full of conversations and no time for rest. There is still work to do even now.

Cloever: Aye.

The Fool: Aye.

Podrick: Aye.

Masahiro: I may need a day to myself one of these days. To stay in and think. Be offline. Write on pen and paper. Rest my online self. I'll save those feelings for another time. For now, another week of creating, conversing and writing.

Don't falter and rest well.

Cloever: Dream, always. I'll be waiting by the fire.

The Fool: Ask questions when you can. Stay warm and lovely.

Podrick: Bok bok! Keep listening and learning!

Masahiro: And now, you...should unwind and wander. I will see you soon.


Me: Until next time, My Dear Friend.

Personal Note:

Quite exhausted this week from having so many interviews to do. Barely caught up on sleep. Doing this until late morning and staying up this late is really not a good idea.

But...the feeling is latching onto me. The feeling of writing these personal, vulnerable letters. These weird characters. I love it.

I knew newsletter writing is rewarding, but to feel it first-hand is amazing.

It feels