Wed, 27 April 2011
Brian Brushwood is a Magician, sort of. He breathes fire, pounds freakishly long nails into his nose and teaches people how to scam free drinks at the bar from soon-to-be-ex friends.
His Internet show Scam School is watched over a million times a month. He headlines college campuses with his show "Bizarre Magic." His radio show "NSFW" is a huge hit and an incredibly popular podcast, and to top it all off, he co-hosts the "Weird Things" podcast which he describes as his favorite project. He has been called "Brilliantly Original" by Penn & Teller and "Amazing" by Jay Leno.
We talked about the development of his act, walking the line between entertainment and dishonesty, and the biggest problem with eating glass light bulbs.
Scam School: http://revision3.com/scamschool
Bizarre Magic: http://shwood.squarespace.com/live-shows/
Weird Things Podcast: http://weirdthings.com/
Brian on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/shwood
ME on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/MeetTheSkeptics
Sun, 24 April 2011
Never heard of George Hrab? Oh, you have! My bad.
I’ve been a big fan of the Geologic Podcast ever since I realized that the title referred to the “Logic of Geo” as opposed to rocks. Nothing against Geologists, but it’s more fun to hear Geo’s mom reading Jay-Z lyrics than it is to hear about erosion of sandstone.
I had the chance to stop off at the Geologic Headquarters during a recent trip to Pennsylvania. It was definitely worth the detour. Well, to be fair, it was a very minor detour but HAD it been a longer trip out of the way it still would have been worth it. I think 43 or 44 minutes further would have pressed the issue a bit but anything less than an additional 40 minutes was definitely worth the sidetrack. Well, then again Ms. Information gave me an apple for the road, so that perhaps was worth the extra 5 minutes so maybe 45 minutes would have been a sufficiently appropriate venture time to obtain the audio, digital bits contained herein. Now that I think of it, I would have likely stopped for a McFlurry at about that time anyway just to break up the trip so I’d have to account for about 8 - 9 minutes anyway so maybe a 53 - 54 minute drive would have satisfied my sense of balance. But wait, Geo didn’t make me an ice cream treat so I’m not sure if the whole 8 - 9 minutes should count. Oh hell, just press play.
Wed, 20 April 2011
Mike Meraz could well be described as the Dale Carnegie of the Skeptical world. A few years back, he recognized that while critical thinking skills and Skepticism are essential tools for navigating society effectively, very few of us are putting forth an effort to effectively and attractively communicate those skills. Mike created a podcast, "Actually Speaking" to deal with this exact topic. Each episode is concise and full of real world examples and well balanced advice for topics such as "The Human Nature of Prejudice," "Managing and Aggressive Tone," and "The Art of Listening."
If this weren't enough, Mike also works on a podcast with his young son Aaron, who actually hosts the show! If you have kids into science and especially dinosaurs, you HAVE to let them have a listen.
Wed, 13 April 2011
Sid Rodrigues is best known as the organizer for the London Skeptics in the Pub group. The Skeptics in London have consistently proven to be some of the most active and effective groups in the world. 200 - 400 people regularly show up to skeptics meetings where they get to hear great presentations from Scientists, Activists, and even in one instance, a Creationist.
Sid and I talk about how to organize your own group, how he deals with such large groups, his background as an escape artist, his involvement with the Little Atoms podcast, and much more.
Sun, 10 April 2011
It was a sincere honor to speak with and interview Eugenie Scott recently. Not only is she one of the brightest people I’ve had the opportunity to chat with, she’s at the forefront of the Creationism/Evolution debate across the United States as the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. Anybody who values science education in the United States owes a sincere debt of gratitude to Dr. Scott.
Eugenie somehow manages to maintain a great sense of humor in the midst of some very stressful and potentially discouraging circumstances. If you ever have the chance to see her speak. I cannot recommend more strongly that you take the time to do so. If you are unable to see her live, make sure to check out some of her presentations on the NCSE YouTube Channel.
If you live in an area where the teaching of Evolution is under attack in the local schools, do not hesitate to contact the NCSE.
Wed, 6 April 2011
Robynn McCarthy is better known as the "Swoopy" half of Derek and Swoopy of the Skepticality podcast. Skepticality is one of the Official Podcasts of Skeptic Magazine. Since podcasting first came on the scene, Derek and Swoopy were there with regular thought provoking shows, serious insights, and goofy banter.
Since 1996 Swoopy has been largely in charge of the entire planning and production of the podcast. I warn you, if you listen to just about any Skepticality episode you WILL end up putting one more book on your "to read" list. Go ahead, I dare you to listen and not run out to buy the book of the author she was interviewing that day.
Robynn and I talked about how they got Skepticality started, her involvement with DragonCon, the process of creating each Skepticality episode, how she became a Skeptic, and so much more. You can follow Robynn on Twitter: @Swoopy. Don't forget to follow me too at @MeetTheSkeptics.
Sun, 3 April 2011
Brian Dunning is one of the names you’ll come across in the Skeptical world quite often. He hosts Skeptoid, a weekly 10 - 15 minute podcast taking on some of the sacred cows of pop culture as well as having several other ventures of a similar nature. Brian thoroughly researches each and every topic before building a solid and seemingly unassailable case for logic and reality. Unlike free flowing interview shows, Skeptoid is brutally efficient and to the point. If you have a 15 minute commute to work each day, you could do far worse than to spend it listening to Skeptoid once or twice a week.
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @MeetTheSKeptics