My students wanted to make sure to capture the conversation around the roundtable discussion we had on the subject of press freedom, so they set up the bagttered (but still serviceable) cameras outside the journalism department offices, and brought in all the accountrements of the formal coffee ceremony … the glowing coals in the brazier, the clouds of thick incense, and platters of roasted barley and chewy bread.

Dave LaFontaine standing with students at AAU

So far, everyone is still in a good mood....

It’s always difficult to figure out what the settings should be on a prosumer video camera, particularly when the opaque menus are written in a foreign language.

checking out the settigns on a video camera

I just can't help being a bit of a busybody - particularly when they are having trouble just turning the camera on. It turned out that the battery contacts were a little fouled, and just needed to be wiped down. It's the type of thing that you only get to after you've gone through a whole bunch of on-location shoots, and wrestled with frustrating gear (particularly gear that is affected by talcum-fine dust that you find in Sub-Saharan Africa).

Sometimes, you just have to stick your head in there, and not worry about how foolish you look…

brain trust tries to fix the malfunctioning battery

I know, I know - it looks like someone should be saying "Hey Moe! Look what I found!"