Two Essential Tools for Hip Intellectual Bloggers

Burning Eyes and The Big Time Suck

What do bloggers love to do besides writing? Reading other blogs and other information online. But as we all know, this comes at a price. Firstly, is the dreaded burning eyes condition that comes from staring at a computer screen all day. The second problem is the amount of time that gets sucked out of your life as you research ideas for your next great blog posting.

NOT Dead

Print, that is. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer to read from a piece of paper than a computer screen. Admittedly it is quicker and better for the environment to get your basic news online, but it’s hard to get both a comprehensive overview and some depth without burning your eyes out online.

I love the newspaper, but I don’t have the time to read it all, so I feel guilty having all that paper build up every day. So I’ve found a solution. The following two magazines give me all the offline information I need and can handle given limits on time.

THE WEEK: All You Need To Know About Everything That Matters 

The Week Magazine

This has got to be the most useful and cool publication in the universe. Seriously. The Week covers all the Main Stories from the US and the World presenting summaries from leading publications across the US and the world. For each of the “World at a Glance” stories they have a line connecting the story to the location on a world map.

Beyond the main news they cover information in the Arts, Health & Science, Best Cartoon’s of the Week, Book Reviews, Film Reviews, Theater Reviews, Music Reviews, Consumer Information, Leisure, Food & Drink with at least one Recipe, Travel, Notable Obituaries, “Best Properties on the Market” which showcases 4 homes for sales that week including “Steal of the Week,” Business and Making Money, Workplace, Best Columns of the Week (usually includes international pieces), and “what’s worth watching” this week on TV.

They also cover quirky topics every week such as “It’s not all bad” where they present some good news. “Only in America” which highlights unbelievable but true stories, Gossip, People news, and a segment called “It must be true…I read it in the tabloids.”

The remarkable thing about all of this is that they manage to pack it all into a very concise 44 pages or so.  You’ll know everything that’s going on with more depth than you’ll get from TV. If something piques your interest you can drill down for more info online. But at least you’ll be able to finish this magazine every week and be much smarter because of it. It will likely prompt a few ideas for your blog that you can research further.

RADAR: Pop/Politics/Scandal/Style

Radar Magazine

Radar magazine is back! This monthly magazine started four years ago and closed shop for about a year, restarting this month. I was so sad when I heard that it had closed down and equally elated when I heard they were starting back up again. Here’s why.

Radar is the quintessential sardonically irreverent magazine for the hip and intelligent. It is also good for those aspiring to be hip and intelligent, which is the category I fall into. According to its tagline it covers Pop, Politics, Scandal, and Style. You will find reporting in this magazine that you simply will not find elsewhere in print. You might find it online, but you won’t know if it is reliable information. Radar uses real reporters to get its stories. For example, an older article called “Mouse Party” where they uncover the seedy underbelly of Disney’s young employees is very eye opening.

This month features a foreign story reported directly from Iraq called “Let’s Go Baghdad.”  There is also “Serving At His Pleasure: America’s 10 Horniest Presidents,” a pretty self-explanatory piece. Or maybe you’d be interested in “Socialites – They’re Just Like Us.” Rounding out this list, how about the cheeky article, “Bad News Bearers: Ranking the New York Times’s Worst Reporters.”

Here’s a neat little graph you won’t find elsewhere.The 2008 presidential race as measured by the numbers of friends on MySpace.

You’ll likely find some juicy information in this magazine that will get your creative blood flowing. Even if you don’t get a specific topic from Radar, you can at least be inspired by their style of reporting that finds a way of making subjects interesting.

You Can Still Be Friends with Google

I still surf online for information, but I can be more targeted in my searching by knowing where I am going before I start. These two magazines help me with that. Please share your thoughts on this. Where do you like to learn? Good luck and thanks for stopping by today.

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