Tired of clicking around YouTube and iTunes for online videos of substance? Search no more! The Observer has your weekly handy guide to what’s worth watching on the Web.
One in 8 Million series on NYTimes.com – How many times have you walked around the city streets wondering about the people who pass you by every day–the pretty girl who sits next to you on the subway or the scruffy guy who orders an Americano at your coffee shop ? The New York Times’ One in 8 Million series is one way to get to know them. “This is a collection of a few of their passions and problems, relationships and routines, vocations and obsessions.” A new profile is posted every week. Don’t miss Maggie Nescuir, who walks up to 90 miles a week in New York; Nancy Bunche, who has been the maid of four city mayors; Christian Hubert, who suffers from vertigo but still rides his bike across NYC bridges; or Mark Mocha, the ex-bank robber. We love them all.
Funny Business at the New Yorker on Big Think – Ever wonder why The New Yorker keeps publishing those old-fashioned looking cartoons? Big Think, a high-quality video site of pundits bloviating on lofty subjects, takes a look behind the line drawings in this series of videos. Editor David Remnick explains how the process works and why it’s easier to get a reporter to dodge bullets in Afghanistan than to find a genuinely funny humor writer for those cartoons. Cartoon editor Robert Mankoff recounts his path to humor and the magazine. And you’ll want to check out Josh Lieb, the executive producer of The Daily Show, saying “big deal”–those cartoons are cake for talented comedy writers.
92nd Street Y’s Fridges – Last week, the 92nd Street Y debuted a new video series called Fridges. They’re peeking inside well-known New Yorkers’ pantries and freezer boxes to find their snack addictions, dietary restrictions and how long they keep takeout iaround. New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, is the first subject (she’ll be at 92Y on Dec. 20 to talk about it). And yes, they realize they’re biting off another reality TV show that airs on MTV.
Germans in the Woods – A StoryCorps animation – Since 2003, StoryCorps has been collecting audio recordings of people’s stories: conversations between sons and daughters, immigrants and natives, neighbors and strangers. Each participant received a free CD to share, and stories are also gets preserved at the Library of Congress. It’s one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. Rauch Bros., a Brooklyn animation studio, is bringing some of these stories to life in beautiful videos. Here’s one about an 86-year-old World War II veteran who, more than 60 years later, can’t forget one soldier he killed in the Battle of the Bulge.