Thursday, March 12, 2015

I like my bacon and Skepticality . . . on the side.

Skepticality was likely the first skeptical podcast to be produced and has managed to stay in production for all but a decade.  The show has undergone far more changes to its format and style than the likely next oldest podcast, the venerable Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe.  Early in the show's history, host, Derek Colanduno, was out with a stroke for a period of time, and then co-host Swoopy took over production and hosting of the show during Derek's convalescence. Swoopy left the show after Derek’s recovery for personal reasons, although she does pop back in from time to time.  The show's format went from a discussion show with Derek and Swoopy with some news segments and interviews and graduated to Swoopy interviewing authors or others involved in skeptical activity.  In the last few years, the show is now a rather innovative set of four or so “podlette” segments followed by Derek interviewing someone.

The latest episode introduced a new format.  From what I could gather, this is not the new format for all shows going forward but more of subset style of episode called “Skepticality on the side.”  I believe the regular podlette and interviews will continue.  I am not sure if it reveals the show has come full circle, gone retro, or taken a step backwards.  The new format is a panel discussion where four skeptics discuss topics of note or at least something they would like to get off their chest.  The panel consisted of Skepticality alums Derek, Susan Gerbic, Tim Farley, and Bob Blaskiewicz, and it seems future panels could include other alums such as Eve Siebert.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

3652: Technology and Podcast Listening

Over the course of the year I plan to post occassional observations and reflections upon how Skepticism (what I enjoy referring to as skepdom) has changed and shifted over the last decade.  2005 was the year I became aware of Skepdom and started to think of myself as a Skeptic. 

As the internet has matured, the changes with the technology have altered how I consume my skeptical content.  One of the interesting things I have noticed is that as time has gone on, I tend to listen to less skeptical podcasts, and read more material.  Part of the reason I think has to do with the ease of learning of and about new items of interest. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

SGU quickie

I do not desire this blog to turn into a Skeptics' Guide to the Universe watch.  However, I noted that someone named Jennifer Dixon was a guest Rogue.  Having no recollection of a Jennifer Dixon anywhere else within skepdom and intrigued I decided listen to the beginning of the podcast.  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe: Episode 501

I have been an irregular listener to the SGU for the past year.  I tend to only listen to parts of an episode here or there.  It's not that the quality of the show faltered.  It has maintained a high and consistent level for some years.  However, that very consistency over the years has also made it grow a bit stale.  I get it.  To speak in my local slang, 'don't bust something that ain't broke.'  Really, all the Rogues but especially Dr. Novella should be commended for producing a weekly podcast like clockwork and keeping the show from getting into all of the skeptical infighting.  
cover picture from SGU #1

I made a point to listen to this week's episode #501 as it was a house party to celebrate the production of 500 episodes. I have to say the episode felt like a breath of fresh air.  The general organization of the show was the typical beginning banter, some news items, then science or fiction.  However, added to the mix were Massimo Pigliucci, Jon Blumenfeld, Larry Fitzgerald, Joe Novella, and Joshie Berger.  Further, they were all in the same room together which also helps in keeping conversation flowing.