Stuff for summer

Summer is officially upon us! For j-school students, it’s been going on for a couple of months now, and for our younger compatriots, the j-school students to-be (i.e., the newly minted high school graduates), summer has only just began. I’ve always been a proponent of working hard, but I also think it’s important to kick back a little and let your mind relax.

Now, we all know I’m something of a nerd, so I could tell you that you absolutely have to read Woe Is I this summer (you do!) and that you should memorize the Canadian Press Stylebook (you should!) and finally learn the difference between its and it’s (seriously!), but instead, I’m going to suggest a bit of lighter reading.

Stuff Journalists Like: The pithy offshoot of the 2008 flash-in-a-pan site, Stuff White People Like, is still going strong, and, though it started as an obvious copycat, it’s still going strong two years later and is quite often hilarious. Some entries, like free food (truth: I will do just about anything and go just about anywhere for the chance of getting some free sandwiches), coffee (remind me to tell you about the time I accidentally sent half the RRJ staff into caffeine withdrawal and they nearly lynched me), drinking (self-explanatory) and Barack Obama, are just so true it’s scary. For the youngins, it’s a good way to learn a little bit about the journalist way of life, and for the biguns, it’s a fun way to read about the person you’re probably already become. A word of advice, though: Be weary of following SJL on Twitter. He posts a lot. This is probably one of my all-time favourite sites on the internet. I have an insatiable thirst for weird, weird knowledge and an ear for trivia that’s never really useful except at cocktail parties, and this site, run by the Discovery Channel, fits my needs perfectly. Just about every topic imaginable is written about with stunning clarity (an excellent learning tool for those still struggling with my “boo adjectives!” rule) and laugh-out-loud humour. Oh, and they’re real journalists, so they tend to get their facts right. A few random entries: How Stem Cells Work, The World Trade Center, 7 Disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle and What Makes a Cheetah Run So Fast. I also can’t recommend the HowStuffWorks podcasts enough. They’re like the articles, only ten times better, and perfect for putting that hour-long walk to work to good use. I have an affinity for the Stuff You Should Know, Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff Your Mom Never Told You podcasts, but really, they’re all winners.

And finally, what list would be complete without a little throwback to the days of students’ lounge past. Here are a couple of entries from last summer that might pique your interest.

And if you’re just done with reading altogether (I don’t understand it, but I suppose it’s possible), here are a few humourous journalism-related videos that you might enjoy.

Hope you all have a fabulous summer, and don’t forget about J-Source and the students’ lounge just because you’re off having adventures. We’ll still be posting—and we really want to know what excitement you’ve got planned for the summer! (Did anyone managed to land the elusive and fickle paid internship?)