So you want to be a renaissance man

Here's some of the stuff that I keep in tune with, in order to retain the wealth of useless knowledge I am amassing. These organizations are committed to the spread of understanding and free thought - true renaissance men of today. 

Enjoy the knowledge!

Interesting Site of the Week

A Way With Words - These folks have been incredibly influential in expanding my vocabulary and informing the history behind words and phrases. Check this out, and prepare to be blown away by etymology and linguistics. Thanks to Brian Wilcoxon for sharing this podcast with me.

Be Nice - This blog is the brainchild of Jennifer Hunold, an artist who has been exploring the meaning of altruism, kindness, and spreading positive thinking in the world. She's got some interesting perspectives on improving the world, just by spreading joy. And her art is pretty awesome as well (some of the coolest embroidery I've ever seen).

Duct Tape and Bacon - Justin Strandlund is a burgeoning blogger who has some great insights into the asininity of the world we live. Born out of a desire to flex his creative muscles, Duct Tape and Bacon is a fun site. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Gaping the Void - Hugh MacLeod is an amazing cartoonist that shares his poignant view of society, popculture, business, and the world through his stark renderings. Sign up for his newsletter and get a new image sent to your in-box every day! I never thought a simple cartoon could instill so much drive to create.

Locally Toned - Teresa Foley created this site dedicated to sharing short sonic experiments - ring tones of all shape, size, and variety. There are some very ingenuitive options. My favorite are the accordion ringtones.

MaximumFun - Jesse Thorn has got to be one of the most ambitious men under 30 in existence. He's compiled everything that is awesome at the maximum fun website, has an awesome podcast that showcases comedians, musicians, actors, and everything else entertaining.
He also has an amazing command of the English language. Check it out!

Mister and me - Jason Platt is a Quad Cities' artist who does awesome graphic design and puts out a hilarious comic strip about parenthood with his zany son. A mix between Foxtrot and Calvin and Hobbes, this strip has enough nerdiness to satisfy the techies out there, while being real enough to resonate with everyone. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and why sometimes they drive me up the wall.

NPR Music - Any good renaissance man must have a commanding knowledge of music. NPR music is a great source for world music, the contemporary indie scene, classical, and even the pop world. No matter your musical tastes, this site will have something that'll trip your trigger.

Radiolab - Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich have a wonderfully engaging rapport that draws you into each episode as if you are with old friends. The production of this podcast is one of the most masterful pieces of sonic art that has ever past my ears. Exploring scientific anomalies with anecdotal tales and fascinating research, these gentlemen will not only expand your mind, they might just blow it outright.

TED - An acronym for  "Technology, Entertainment, Design", this site is dedicated to the spread of ideas. Incredibly engaging speakers on a whole gamut of topics, one could spend hours perusing their video archives. Most are less than 15 minutes, and contain a wealth of insight. New videos are posted daily, so you should never run out of new ones to discover.

This American Life - Each week, Ira Glass and a team of crackshot investigative reporters build intensely provocative radio programs surrounding a theme. The twists and turns they take the listener on leave me on the edge of my seat, and I often go back to old episodes to recall the asininity of what has unfolded. It is a must have for any podcast collection.

Tiny Fleck of Color - This is a blog that my beautiful wife, Annie Walljasper, uses to share her thoughts on life, passion, and all things related to youth ministry and music therapy, two things she is incredibly good at and amazingly dedicated to. She says exactly what she is feeling, and is not afraid to bare her own insecurities and fears, with is the most honorable thing one can do in order to become a better person. Insightful when you least expect it, and hilarious when you most need it.

Check back often! As I find more renaissance building institutions, you'll find them here!