I thought the interview was off, or as my editor noted "that was dissatisfying." The interview this week was with Jad Abumrad of the popular podcast "Radiolab." "Radiolab" is one of those podcasts that while popular within the skeptical community has never caught my fancy. In part, I think it is the tone and NPR-style of editing that loses me. I find myself not listening to it, but hearing the rhythm of the show and wondering off. It's a purely subjective thing with me. The show basically deals with normally scienc-y topics over the course of my hour zone-out in a story type fashion. Gabfest that meanders around ala "The Conspiracy Skeptic" or "The Talk Show" it is not.
What was odd about the interview is that it began with pleasantries between everyone and Abumrad. Abumrad discussed his background with science parents, then doing the late radioshift and finally how "Radiolab" evolved into its current format. So far, it was good if not brilliant material. However, the interview turned to an episode from 2009 regarding how hookworms can be beneficial to regulating the immune system. Apparently, the episode focused on Jasper Lawrence and his treating folks with hookworms for various immune ailments based on some proof concept studies. Abrumrad became a bit defensive, and Dr. Novella explained why he saw an problem with someone going from a basic study to treatment without any steps in between. Then the interview just sort of ended. At least from the way the interview was edited, I perceived the reason to have Abumrad on the show was to discuss this topic since it generated so much email at the time to the Rogues. All the Rogues seemed to perk up when this was brought up, but then it just did not seem to go anywhere interesting. I thought it was a rare miss for the show, which typically does a good job of it.
Episode Seventy-six of the Token Skeptic appeared on my iTunes feed. It featured an interview in the round with Jack Scanlan, Sara Mayhew, and Kylie Sturgess basically talking about a lot of things, but much of it on their experiences at TAM 9. This was not some NPR tightly edited affair, but a nice chat among a few skeptics. I did not zone out. Mayhew, artist and blogger, gave a talk at TAM 9 as well as some TED talks in the past on the intersection of art and skepticism/science. Scanlan is a member of the Young Australian Skeptics and discussed what it was like for a youth to travel to and interact with people in Las Vegas. It was a pleasant forty minute chat.
Alas, if you have ever dreamed of attending an astronomy lecture given by Drs. Phil Plait and Pamela Gay your desires will be satiated by a video recorded and posted by Kylie Sturgess on her YouTube channel of a lecture given at the Atlanta Skeptics Star Party . It's a geeks 14 minutes in heaven.
|Edison's sketch of the first tin foil phonograph|
Anyway, Marsh shared that Q.E.D. headline speaker is Joe Nickel, and went on pitching Q.E.D. and how it is going to be an
The guests on the show were Greg Newkirk and Jason Gowin from the WhoFortedBlog, and apparently fellow Pennsylvanians from the Northeast corner of William Penn's former colony. The pair relayed that they have done their share of ghost hunting, dabbled in U.F.O. research including joining MUFON. However, they were on discussing their adventure Bigfoot hunting, and the accompanying documentary "The Bigfoot Hunger: still searching." Greg and Jason were a fun pair to listen to talk. Part of it might be that they made Taco Bell and Applebee's references which I immediately understood, but also it was they sounded like a sharp pair. Now I have to find a way to get my hands on this documentary, but here is a link to a clip.
Anyway, it was quite nice to have Trystan on the mend and back on the show.