Plastic Podcast

The venerable and exceedingly intermittent Plastic Podcast, which has outlived the two blogs with which it was intertwined, and whose audio archives were difficult to ...

The Plastic Podcast

An audio program about movies. Listen with your iPod or computer.

Plastic Podcast

The venerable and exceedingly intermittent Plastic Podcast, which has outlived the two blogs with which it was intertwined, and whose audio archives were difficult to ...

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Daily Plastic is a Chicago-based movie blog, a collaboration between Robert Davis and J. Robert Parks, the same pair who brought you the wearable movie tote, the razor-thin pencil pocket, and that joke about aardvarks. If you know the whereabouts of the blue Pontiac Tempest that was towed from the Plastic Parking Lot on the evening of August 7th, 2008, or more importantly if you've recovered the red shoebox that was in its trunk, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Davis was the chief film critic for the late, great Paste Magazine (which lives on now as a website) from 2005 through 2009, and he counts this interview with Claire Denis among his favorite moments. Every once in a while he pops up on Twitter. He's presently sipping puerh in Chicago, even at this hour. Meanwhile, Parks, whose work has appeared in TimeOut Chicago, The Hyde Park Herald, and Paste, is molding unsuspecting, college-aged minds in the aforementioned windy city. Media types are warned to stay clear of his semester-sized field of influence because of the distorting effects that are likely to develop.

The © copyright of all content on Daily Plastic belongs to the respective authors.


Google is constantly updating and tinkering with its search algorithms, and most of the time we never notice. The service is a black box, and what goes on inside is anybody's guess.

But I've noticed something in the last week that's going to affect the way I type queries. About a decade ago (cripes), I picked up the habit from Robot Wisdom, the granddaddy of all blogs, of searching for a phrase by typing periods between the words instead of the more common way of surrounding the phrase with quotation marks. It's much easier to touch-type


"three one two"

especially when you're searching for two phrases at once, which I sometimes do when I'm looking up lyrics, bits of dialogue, or something I remember from a news article. Typing quotation marks requires pressing shift and moving your hands, but periods are easy. And until very recently, the results were identical.

This no doubt exploited some quirk of Google's punctuation handling, and I can see that there aren't many people who do this, so the side effect was bound to disappear at some point. I'm just surprised it has lasted this long. I'm sure this latest change includes lots of invisible improvements that we'll all grow accustomed to without realizing it, so I won't complain that this now produces different results from this.

Time to retrain my fingers.

People used to tell me when to watch TV. They'd print up complicated charts for me to study so that I could always be in the favor of their dictates. Thursday night at 8:00pm. Be there. We're not waiting for you, so finish dinner quickly or eat it on the couch.

I don't travel with that kind any more. For the last year I've been testing a couple of solutions that break the schedule's stranglehold and give me control over what I watch and when I watch it. And they've given me a taste of what I assume will one day be the norm: I think of a movie or TV show I want to watch, I press a button, and a few seconds later I'm watching it on a plasma TV. And I watch it without commercials.

That's the future, but it's closer than you may think. The biggest shortfall at the moment is that not everything I think of is available -- not by a long shot -- but so much of it is that I'm not sure I could ever consume all that's available to me through this pipe. We've passed some kind of threshold.

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