Monday, October 8, 2012

Oh No, Ross and Carrie/ Consequence

Reading pet's minds and skin sucking 

Oh No, Ross and Carrie! is a podcast that has been in production since March of 2011.  I heard of it here and there on the web, and the interview of co-host Carrie Poppy on Brian Thompson's podcast on the JREF Consequence.  

The premise of the podcast is that Ross and Carrie do an investigation of a some questionable claim or practice and then report back on the experience.  I listened to two episodes, Ross and Carrie Engage in Cupping: Our Skin Runneth Over and Ross and Carrie Pet the Psychic: The Case of the Transgendered Dog.  It also appears they do interview episodes such as Ross and Carrie meet Eugenie, where the pair interview Dr. Eugenie Scott.  

Read our minds, will you.  We'll see.
The two episodes I heard were both good.  The pet psychic episode had the pair spend an hour with a pet psychic and had the psychic do a reading on three different animals.  One which was with them, one that Carrie has adopted but was at home, and one that Ross had the picture of the dog, but whom he did not know.  The psychic did not know the pair were skeptics on an investigation, and it was all undercover.  Ross and Carrie did not secretly record the reading.  They just reported back on the experience and described the possible hits and misses of the reading.  After they discussed the experience, they also gave the experience a rating from 1 to 10 on the cost in money, the efficacy of the alleged reading, the creepiness factor, etc.  Overall, it seemed they treated the anonymous pet psychic with respect, and tried to give the whole thing a fair shake.  For the sake of completeness a reading of a pet cat, and perhaps something out of the ordinary like a turtle would have been interesting.  

The second episode on cupping therapy was likewise done in a fair and similar manner.  Ross and Carrie each went to a cupping therapist and underwent a treatment each.  The therapists were not aware that this was part of a skeptical investigation.  Ross and Carrie each described the experience and the discussion of efficacy with the treater, the facility, and how it felt to have a hot cup suction on one's back.  All in all, they both discussed the treatment and the treaters in a respectful manner.  The general discussion followed with a similar 1-10 scale on various aspects of the experience.  

The two episodes were good, and both gave a nice insight into what it is like to experience a certain type of dubiously grounded bit of woo.  I am not sure the episodes gave a great insight as why the psychic and cupping were not useful, but I do not think this is the point of the show.  Based on these two episodes, my take away was to humanize various 'woo' and give a bit of insight on why people do engage in such activity.  Overall, I like the episodes.  Some of the banter between Ross and Carrie did not catch my fancy, but this is a purely subjective reaction on my part.  I could listen to Blake Smith on Monster Talk do bad puns all day, but Ross and Carrie's banter got in the way of the material for me.  Overall, the podcast is worth the a listen.  

Talking Art Bell radio legend

Perfect radio to listen to Bell 'somewhere
in time.'
As noted above, Brian Thompson has his own podcast with the JREF, Consequence, which I have commented upon previously.  The most recent episode was with Eric Weiss of the website Skeptics on the Netwho was interviewed by Thompson on his experience traveling to Roswell, New Mexico to investigate the famed alleged U.F.O. crash and experience the town for himself.  Weiss was deflated by the experience, and found Roswell to be a tourist trap.  However, the majority of the interview was really a bull session between Thompson and Weiss discussing the glory days of Coast to Coast AM when Art Bell hosted the program in the late 1990's and early '00s.  

As a fan of Coast to Coast AM myself, I found the discussion great fun, and a trip down that old memory lane.  I still try to catch Coast to Coast AM especially on Saturday nights when an encore hour of a classic Bell episode is broadcast on a local AM radio station.  Weiss and Thompson appropriately criticize George Noory's current inferior product.  (Although not discussed by Thompson or Weiss, I do think when Ian Punnett hosts the show it is actually pretty good.)  They also discuss the appropriateness of such radio programing, a few classic Coast to Coast ongoing stories such as Mel's hole, and their shared admiration for Mr. Bell's skill.  

Thompson's skills as an interviewer continue to be of some note.  This is an episode especially for fans of Coast to Coast AM and Art Bell. It is well worth the 35 minute listen.

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