Tag Archives: Chicago

Youtopia for your classroom in 2013

Why check out Youtopia?

It provides instant access to plug-and-play gamification tools (points, digital badges, and leader-boards) that incentivizes students to become more engaged in their school and their community. Youtopia matures with students from kindergarten through college and beyond. With Youtopia, educators have a fun and easy way to inspire their students to do all of the good things they want them to do; a way to acknowledge their hard work; and a way to reward them for going above and beyond.

Please pop over to our site, www.youtopia.com, watch the video above.

If anyone you know is interested, have them signup here (http://www.youtopia.com/info/pricing/) and use the promo code FRIEND.

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Election Connection

City Maps By Square Inch…

It just so happens Darryl Holliday is one of my closest friends… it goes to show just how small the city is. For all of his hard work I commend him. Yeah Double D! Down to business… Interactive maps are great, but have they ever been dissected in such a way that makes people question the validity of its boundaries. Holliday and Rodriguez test these limitations.”Residents decide neighborhood lines.” Said Holliday, when speaking in terms of the gentrification of Chicago neighborhoods. Washington Park is the South Side? That just is not right! Taking the city to court to draw some actual boundaries? Now that is change in action… even if the city defends themselves to the death about not committing copyright infringement. Is it my old lap top or is popcorn not poppin’ as quickly as promised? “Your media seems to be taking a long time to load. Review your media URL(s) or continue waiting.” This continued for another thirty minutes… And then of course it does not allow you to embed it…    http://popcorn.webmadecontent.org/81f 

There it is…

In my opinion- I would rather just stick to one site that has my video and does not complicate it– this could potentially run people into copyright infringement issues. AHHHH…




The Future of Journalism: A Digital Ageism of Epic Proportions

The generation of the early 21st century understands mainstream media is anything online and old school is anything in print. However, the reality is there is something very soothing about a tactile approach to reading and learning, one that does not depend on batteries or Internet access or is susceptible to privacy issues. It allows one to leisurely and privately explore areas of interest, and then share without the worry of compatibility or Internet malfunction.

Most of my beloved literature is still in print and displayed on a ramshackle bookcase from The Brown Elephant, a thrift store in Chicago. Even though these lovely books sit mostly untouched, while my computer is opened multiple times an hour, I feel a certain kinship with them, as if they were relationships rather than things.

Although, as difficult as it is to admit, many could not survive without a laptop, mini mobile pad or “smart phone.” It is more than convenient when a journalist needs to collect information quickly and accurately. In addition, it is a status symbol of sorts. People can easily engage in mindless discussions about the merit and flaws in the current devices and accessories, and there appears to be actual “camps” of people for or against specific ones. They represent status and compatibility between friends. They can also signal a divide. An example would be a mass text message that included specific visual aspects accessible only by “smart phones” sent out to a group of people, who all but one receives the text, leaving the Flip-Phone owner out of the loop and perhaps mildly embarrassed.


Electronic devices have become appendages for this generation.

Look in any coffee shop, restaurant, and elevator; on any street corner or public transportation, especially in the privacy of one’s home and you will notice that a phone or computer is at arm’s length from their owner. Some fall asleep with their electronic devices, checking them during unacceptable times (funerals, class, etc.) and even giving preferential treatment to their electronic device over a real life interaction with a friend or family member. The typical pedestrian is texting while recklessly running into another pedestrian, but what do the two victims in this collision have in common? They are both texting. It is a victimless crime, one might assume, but in reality the actual victim is society and it’s diminishment of face-to-face human interaction.

Obviously, this suggests mainstream journalism of the future will be predominantly online. The journalism professional is now required to be internet savvy, which requires he or she to have full access to digital information 24 hours a day; then he or she must impart that information accurately and concisely to keep the average reader interested and enlightened.

The field of journalism always attracted curious and assertive people, but with the advent of the Internet as the major mode of information sharing, that journalist will now need more attributes to be successful. These include the necessity to be on call 24/7, much like a medical resident, and ready to make vital decisions in record time regarding what and how information is transcribed and released.

The integrity of the journalist depends on the quality and truthfulness of their information, and this will require speedy access to appropriate sources. Time and timing are valuable assets for the journalist of today and tomorrow and will necessitate a major commitment to the profession. In my estimation, being a journalist of the future is more than a career. It is a passion and a profession that come to define a journalist’s life. With that said, the books on my shelf more and more represent a time of leisure, but they will remain to remind me to indulge once in a while. The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.


Mapping My Ride to 44th Ward

Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012
12:28 p.m.
Bike Ride: Road Cycling






Avg Speed



As An Editor…

Rachel Angres- Epitonic Editor

Rachel Angres
Rachel Angres is an idiosyncratic thumb war champion, cheese enthusiast, cyclist and a journalist. She contributes to several music publications and can be spotted wearing earmuffs year round.

Follow Rachel on twitter at @rachel_angres


Studies In Beautifully Unreasonable Noise


Music can satiate every human need. It can fill us up when we feel empty. A melody can give us chills right through our toes. A harmony can fizzle in one ear and pop out the other. Lyrics can describe a moment so delectable we can almost taste it. And when our eyes close tightly, a soundtrack accompanies our vision of what could be…

But in reality without music — or even dissonance — we find a moment can lose its luster.
Being in a reflective, solemn mood, a playlist like this had to be meaningful and unreasonably beautiful…

Summer’s Armies
By Rachel Angres

What can we do to try and make light of dreary weather? Watching as fall leaves us reaching for some warmth, some hope. Sweaters, cocoa, Netflix, winters first snowfall… these all represent the upside to below freezing weather.

Add track to playlist   Download track
Stag: Story Time
Even when you are alone

music can surround you
with the familiarity of a million friends and family
there is no guarantee
that even with the safety that you will be free

Similar Sites


A similar website Daytrotter is much like Epitonic/saki sessions except that they require members to pay monthly to gain access to the sessions.


Daytrotter is a website for the recording studio Horseshack, which hosts recording sessions with many popular and typically upcoming indie music acts, although it works with local bands in the Illinois area as well. The sessions can be compared to that of a radio station’s lounge recordings, where musicians passing through the town can record live in the studio. Due to their tendency to offer an eclectic sampling of music, and their production style (see Studio section below) the sessions have been compared to that of the legendary Peel Sessions. According to the Daytrotter website, they have served more than 21.5 million song downloads. Wolfgang’s Vault bought a majority stake in the company in 2008. The Horseshack, Rock Island, Illinois. Daytrotter Sessions are engineered by Mike Gentry, Patrick Stolley, Brad Kopplin, Brett Allen or Nick Krill.

The Daytrotter recordings are made with minimal mic’ing, through discrete preamps and with some limiting to the mixing console, where they are printed to 1/4” analog tape running at 15 inches per second (usually BASF 468). The analog master is later transferred to a computer and converted to the digital files you hear on the site.

There is no set formula or pattern to the recordings, no specific mic setup, etc. They are all live, no overdubs, straight to tape. What you hear is what happened in the room that day.

One important aspect to take note of… is with Daytrotter: You have to pay!


A couple other notable (and local) sites that are similar to Epitonic.com are:


chs pic

There are other sites that record live sessions, like Columbia College graduate Matt Baron’s Coach House Sounds

The difference? Simple… Coach House Sounds are recorded in Baron’s coach house so it is bare-boned in sound yet ambitious. It also lacks access to video, streaming, free downloads, and is not open to public while bands record.


Hear Ya

There is the indie music blog called Hear ya!
HearYa is an indie music blog based out of Chicago that gives indie music enthusiasts a destination to cut through the clutter when discovering new music. They are a community of fans that want to see the music they love reach the ears of new friends and survive. The readers thoughts and comments are always welcomed and encouraged. In addition to providing album reviews, South By Southwest coverage, and offering daily mp3 downloads, they also record live sessions at Shirk Music and Sound in downtown Chicago.
No matter what else is out there Epitonic and saki have done something innovative and brave. They teamed up, raised money through anonymous donations, called out to editors (myself included) and finally made the all-in-one Venue/Recording Studio/Record Store… a dream many have had but few have succeeded.

Follow Epitonic on Twitter and like them on Facebook