Blogs > Ivan Lajara

Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What are you thankful for?

Journalists, members of Digital First Media, and anyone who wants to are going to be taking part on our Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time, to talk about all things journalism.

It's a holiday week and we are thankful for that. Or are we? What should we be thankful for in journalism, considering all the things that have been going on in the industry? BONUS! Today's chat will be turned into a listicle, maybe with some animations? In 3-D?


If you want to chime in, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Thanks for coming!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Let's turn the corner

Thanksgiving is around the corner. I can smell the pie. And I can't wait.
In the meantime, let's see what's out there.

Can public documents be funny? LOLOLOL that's not a trick question, apparently.
The guy who owns the Washington Post and sends you 'Prime' packages and rents you movies is landing rockets now because the future or he got tired of playing with delivery drones. 

Also in the future, which is now: Mistletoe drones.  And in the past: This did not end well. 

One video: Star Wars auditions.

The Four: 
* The owner of the Nevele wants to turn the former hotel into a casinsports complex. 
* ER's in. ER's out. ER's in again. ER's out again. Now it's in. 
* This Midtown Kingston building sold for more than $1 million.
* He lives in Kingston.

One cat: Fighting Animated Gif Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist and blogger, can't cat.

But Yesterday's Internet, Today! can cat.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Hello from the other side

Yesterday's Internet, Today! is back and I have lots of ideas! But having great ideas is not the same as trying to put those ideas into practice. So, expect some (more) experimental weirdness in the coming weeks. If some work, they might graduate to Freeman proper. That's how we roll.


This guy lies so much and so blatantly that the media don't know what to do about him, mostly because he's running for president and people are taking him seriously?
But before you get all worked up about the prospects of enduring political debates during your Thanksgiving dinner, here's how to navigate the whole thing. 
OR you could use some Adele.

In other news, this is happening:
Link to the dress: <a rel="noreferrer nofollow" target="_blank" href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0142M5M72&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=j0b21-20&amp;linkId=Y3FBZBEMWF76OFLE">;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0142M5M72&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=j0b21-20&amp;linkId=Y3FBZBEMWF76OFLE</a>
One video: Here's Adele impersonating Adele:

The Four:

* This should be very easy to sort out, honestly.
* Democratic leaders in 11 counties want Ulster County Executive Mike Hein to run for Congress.  You might remember Hein as the guy who, when directly asked (by you and yours truly!), "Are you running for Congress?!", answered "I love this question" and then quickly proceeded to not answer the question, because politics.
* Orange and Dutchess are competing with New Jersey for a Legoland theme park and I'm an adult and I'm not squealing like a 5-year-old at all, no sir.
* Onrust.
Twitter cats: ".. to the Rescue in Brussels Lockdown" <- via the New York Times, no less.

Yesterday's Internet Today! says 'Hello, can you hear me?'

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

360 all the things

What you are seeing here are a number of images of Kingston, all shot with an iPhone 5S, using either Google Street View (those would be the less stellar images) or Sphere, both free apps in the Apple store.

The purpose of this experiment is to see how much can one do in 360 and virtual reality with essentially all free tools.

The images were stitched together using MediaImpression, though you could easily use whatever video program you have. You could even use Windows Movie Maker (and convert it to MP4 with a free converter or even uploading and downloading back from Youtube).

You can see the black bars as black circles above and below because the images were not tall enough for the widescreen video format (I am trying to see how much I can do with free software so I’m willing to cut some corners, sometimes literally).

I then added the 360 metadata (with a free program from Google) that tells Youtube (and Facebook!) that the video is, indeed, 360.

So, if you have an Android, you can probably see this in virtual reality with a Google Cardboard viewer or something similar.

I have an iPhone, so I use the Homido app that allows users to see everything in virtual reality.

The iPhone's Youtube app currently doesn't support virtual reality, though you can now see these videos in 360. That is expected to change soon.

The Facebook 360 version now works in Phones as well, and since the social network owns Oculus Rift, I'm expecting to see Virtual Reality there as well.

360 Kingston
Posted by Ivan Lajara on Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Wee Tipple (Scott Holmes) / CC BY 4.0

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

All hearts and no stars

People have strong feelings about cosmetic changes— feels, faves and likes, in a starless world of random hearts.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

All roads lead to somewhere

But what are you going to do when you get there?
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy trees everywhere

It's been a breathtaking season so far, and the analog world is telling you to turn your things off, and look up. Look up before you miss it.
The expansive vastness can't be captured with a screen, even though we keep trying to wrap the world in the palm of our hands.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The sun also sets

The future was here the other day, and there were many a hot take about what we've accomplished and what we didn't and all that fun stuff. It was a neat collective exercise, like a societal self-evaluation.
What grade would you give to society today?
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

DFM chat on journalistic applications for virtual reality

Journalists, members of Digital First Media, sometimes students who for some reason are told to do this and the public are large are going to be taking part on the weekly Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time to talk about all things journalism.

Today is #BacktotheFutureDay and we are talking about virtual reality applications in journalism! Did you know you can already create some content for it? But should you? And what kind of content can journalists create that can further journalistic goals? Or is it just a gimmick? What are the ethical implications of virtual reality? Bring your Google Cardboard viewer, your ideas, links and your #realtalk.

If you want to chime in, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.
Read more »

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How to create a virtual reality 3-D panorama with your phone for Google Cardboard, for free

I'm sharing this 'tutorial' in the hopes of improving it with your input and because I googled this very thing and I couldn't quite find what I needed, so I'm trying to figure it out.

The concept is simple. Panorama and 3-D apps have been around for a while. With the advent of Google Cardboard, a lot of these images can now be seen in virtual reality. The idea then is to construct an image and making it available for others to see as panoramas, but mostly in virtual reality. The challenge is to do it for free. Sure, it'd be nice to have a 3-D rig with 16 GoPro cameras for 3-D video, but lol newsroom budgets.

On that note, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Vice and others are exploring virtual reality photo and video storytelling and their efforts are worth watching.  The Times is even giving away cardboard to support their upcoming VR app.  It's very early, still and everyone is still trying to figure things out.

So let's jump in and do it ourselves.
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Stupid, explained

Kingston is a place where new meets old and not so old and not so new, and you can still see the mixing of flavors taking place. Sometimes it's messy, but it's delicious.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

The future is here and I want my money back

At least we have cool murals in the future that is today.
Has the Internet become what you thought it should? I know, so much potential swallowed by fleeing outrage and disposable takes, covered by autoplaying ads and crawlers on your computer and your phones. On the Internet, everyone already knew you were a dog, after all.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DFM chat on fair use and copyrights

Journalists, members of Digital First Media, sometimes students who for some reason are told to do this and the public are large are going to be taking part on the weekly Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time to talk about all things journalism.

Today we are talking about fair use and copyrights in the wake of Twitter suspending Deadspin and Sbnationgifs for posting gifs of NFL plays. Was that right? Was it ethical? What about reposting and embedding? It's going to get murky. Bring your #realtalk hoses, links and gifs!

If you want to chime in, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Read more »

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall is here, hear the yell

The O+ Festival took place this weekend, along with the Forsyth Fall Festival and the Italian Festival, and that was just in Kingston.
The greater Hudson Valley and the Catskills, meanwhile, are having their own fall colors festival
and admission is free.
The colors are here, and they are all around you.
 No Instagram filters are needed.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Orphaned sisters, one of whom grew up in Kingston, reunite decades later while working at Florida hospital

Friday, October 9, 2015

Murals and bees

Kathleen Griffin works on "The Eye of Your Storm" on Monday afternoon on North Front Street in Kingston The mural is one of six that are part of the O+ Festival. 
It's been a weird week in content-land. But the weekend is here, so let's relax and check out some content.


Play your own adventure John Boehner is a thing.
and is not something you'd find in abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz DOT COM.
because content hell is real.
But what happens when the world doesn't end?

More content. That's what.
So if you've ever wondered how the New York Times would NYTimesplain  Nicki Minaj, wonder no longer.
You are welcome. 

One video: Football is now adorbs.

The Four:
* The O+ Festival murals are very impressive this year. *Slow clap Citizen Kane Grumpy Cat gif*
Zombie bees in Hurley.

One cat: All up in your New York Times content.

Yesterday's Internet, Today! would like to find a survival kit for the zombie bee apocalypse.

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Can you answer these Hudson Valley questions, or are you a terrorist?

Every so often, an entertainment ranking in the form of a listicle that mentions the Hudson Valley or the Catskills is created by a ~content~ producer.
These articles seem to be created for the purpose of simply being passed around on Facebook, and for virality’s sake.
The latest is a ranking that puts Kingston as the No. 1 drunkest city in New York State, by reputable news organization Road Snacks and using criteria that is totally irrelevant if you read the article’s summary graph: “This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as info-tainment. Don’t freak out.”


The criteria — tweets, geography, some random numbers (divorce rate? really?) —  gives the writers a guide to pretty much do anything (and you can do it for any state!)
Further, change the hashtags and you’ll get different results, so you can even tailor stuff to get what you want.
But it doesn’t really matter, because it’s created, really, simply for clicks.

Here's my twist.
I'm not here to tell you not to click.
Click all the things. It's your time. Enjoy it.

So to make it a bit more entertaining (and maybe throw in a little news?) I made this, just for you.

After all, listicles, quizzes and terrible comparisons to Brooklyn are here to stay. 

Yesterday's Internet, Today! threw you a curveball today because of the quiz format. But fear not! There is a cat in here. You're just going to have to look for it (or ask me in the comments if you're felling lazy). If you sign up to my terrible newsletter. you'll know where the cat is. 

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

DFM chat on how to ethically gather news through social media

Journalists, members of Digital First Media  (maybe? Hello?) and members of the public are going to be taking part on the weekly Twitter chat Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time.

Today we are talking about how to ethically gather news through social media, especially during breaking news. But wait! How do you even know it's true? How do you approach using user-generated content?

If you want to chime in, post a comment in the container or a tweet with the hashtag "#dfmchat" so it can automatically appear below.

Read more »

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Sunday, October 4, 2015


The O+ Festival in Kingston is just around the corner and the signs are literally everywhere. Keep an eye on six locations as the festival approaches. It takes place in Kingston Oct. 9 to 11, but you can get your blood going with the murals that you'll see cropping around the city.


The murals are curated by Baltimore-based muralist Gaia, and I'm pretty sure you've noticed his Artemis in Uptown from two years ago at the back of BSP, where the Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards ceremony took place Saturday. Don't say nothing happens in Kingston.

The locations are the Seven21 Media Center on Broadway, Barcone's Music, also on Broadway (by the underpass) in Midtown and Keegan Ales on St. James Street.
Also be on the lookout for a story about Keegans' bees soon. I'm just writing that so I can post this:

The other locations are Milne's Fabrication Factory across from the Kingston Library and 35 North Front St..
The main mural, by Gaia, will be of Sojourner Truth and John Vanderlyn at The Stuyvesant on the corner of John and Fair in Uptown. I'm pretty sure people will have all the feels about this.

Of course, there will be a parade and tons of music everywhere, and we'll keep you appraised.

Check out for more information about this year's event.