2.08.2016

dimland radio 2-6-16 show notes

A Tale Of Snow

I began the show with a lengthy (and maybe boring) recap of all the shoveling I did in the aftermath of Minnesota's latest snowstorm. We didn't get dumped on by the amounts that the East Coast suffered a couple weeks ago, so it was an admittedly easier task. Still, it was a fair bit of snow clearing that needed to be done.

B.o.B. Thinks The Earth Is Flat. NdGT To The Rescue...

I hadn't heard of rapper B.o.B. before I spotted he had outed himself as a Flat Earther. Which is something he has in common with internet personality Tila Tequila. So, B.o.B. took to Twitter to show his ignorance and Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter to attempt to help the rapper come into the light.
 
It became kind of a deal on the internet and wound up as an amusing segment on Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.

I took the opportunity to mention that our ancient ancestors figured out that our planet is a sphere. They didn't need to go into space to figure it out, they just made simple observations. Aristotle could see that some stars were not visible in the night sky as observers went farther to the North. He surmised that the Earth must be round. Eratosthenes made measurements of shadows cast by the sun at high noon on the Summer Solstice and discovered the farther North one went the longer the shadows grew. He, too, surmised the Earth must be round and he even did some math to figure out its circumference. He was pretty damn close. And he did it all without the help of Google.
 
HIV Positive Charlie Sheen Consults A Quack, Dimland Radio Science Zero Bill Maher Promotes That Quack

By now, most everyone who knows who Charlie Sheen is knows that he went public with being HIV positive. It wasn't the most shocking of news given what we've heard about Sheen's lifestyle. He went on the standard science-based medications and his viral load dropped to undetectable levels. Undetectable, but not gone.

Enter the quack. Samir Chachoua has some pretty quacky ideas about how to treat HIV/AIDS. Don't use what science has given us, use milk from arthritic goats. Yeah, that's the ticket. So, Sheen eschews actual medicine for this unproven snake oil and surprise! his viral load goes back up.
 
Enter Dr. Oz. Of all people, Dr. Oz comes on the scene to get Charlie back on the rails. Sheen was a guest on Oz's show on which he admitted being a "human guinea pig" for Chachoua's treatment. To Dr. Oz's credit, he along with Sheen's actual doctor had a kind of intervention to convince the Hollywood bad boy to get back on his meds. Sheen agreed and later began tweeting negatively about Chachoua.
 
Enter Dimland Radio Science Zero Bill Maher. Maher had Chachoua as a guest on his HBO show Real Time. Maher has a problem accepting science when it comes to medicine and pharmaceuticals. He believes "Western medicine" hasn't done shit in 50 years about cancer, for instance. Which just isn't true. Detection methods have improved. Treatments have gotten more effective. Survival rates have increased.
 
What great advancements have there been in homeopathy, naturopathy, iridology, reflexology, chiropractic, magnet therapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy in the last 50 years, eh, Bill?
 
Science blogger Orac wrote a lengthy, comprehensive piece on this whole affair. You came read it here.
 
Movie Recommendation: None
 
I ran out of time. You are on your own this week.
 
Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus 
First ad break bumpers: 'Pride' by Echo & The Bunnymen & 'Spinning Round' by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
Second ad break bumpers: 'YYZ' by Rush &  'The Wait' by Killing Joke
Closing song: 'Angler's Treble Hook' by $5 Fiddle

That's it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com
 
You can also go to my CafePress store and buy stuff with my artwork on it and have me do a portrait for you if you like. Find out more here and here.

2.01.2016

dimland radio 1-30-16 show notes

Work On Spec Sucks

I briefly touched on a video on the internets giving examples of how other businesses and professionals scoff at being asked to do work on spec. Working on spec is mainly something asked of creative people working in the graphic arts. They'll be asked to do a design or illustration and, if it is liked, they might get paid. Or they get another project from the client asking for work on spec and that will pay. Maybe.
 
I can't think of any other fields in which working for free to see if you're any good is so prevalent as in graphic arts. Internships not withstanding.
 
Check out this video and you'll get the idea.

The New X-Files And My Complaint About Men's Suits

I also gave a brief mention to my excitement for and enjoyment of Season 10 of The X-Files. It's great to see Scully and Mulder back and going after the truth. But, as a skeptic, the shows can be hard to watch. I keep rolling my eyes and saying, "Come on, Mulder. Really?"
 
Seriously, I am enjoying the show so far.
 
I made this to demonstrate that the suits are too small!
What I'm not enjoying is seeing how uncomfortable Duchovny (Mulder) looks in his suits. I've gone on about this before, but today's "fashion forward" men's suits are TOO SMALL! The jacket strains at the buttons even when the man is just standing. In the series so far, Duchovny has taken to not even buttoning the suit jacket. And his tie looks ridiculous.

Maybe not the best example, but you can see it's unbuttoned.
More Problems With Skepticism/Atheism/Humanism/Feminism

I know I'm not going to have the answer to this schism that exists within skepticism, atheism, humanism, and feminism. It's been rather frustrating watching all the sniping back and forth since "elevatorgate". I find reasoned thoughts on both sides and unreasoned thoughts on both sides.
 
The latest outrage has centered around Richard Dawkins and his dis-invitation as a speaker at NECSS. NECSS is one of the bigger science and skepticism conferences taking place these days and it is in close association with the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe (SGU). One the January 23rd episode the speaker line-up for NECSS was announced on the SGU.
 
First name mentioned was Richard Dawkins (biologist, science popularizer, atheist, and one of the central figures of "elevatorgate"). The members of the podcast all "ooooo'd" with excitement as host Dr. Steven Novella announced Dawkins' name. My reaction was, "Uh, oh."
 
I knew of the rift between Dawkins and Rebecca Watson (former SGU co-host and originator of the story that sparked "elevatorgate") and the subsequent side-taking of those in the skeptical movement, so I was doubtful Dawkins' inclusion would go over well with Watson and her camp.
 
Days after the announcement, Dawkins retweeted an offensive (to many) video of a cartoon featuring a stereotypical Islamic terrorist and a specific feminist (Chanty Binx) singing a song about how similar Islamists and feminists are. The video goes so far as to suggest rape is OK when done by a Muslim. Huh?!
 
The video is supposed to be satire, but it is so very poorly done. It really doesn't make sense, but Dawkins thought it was worthy of sharing. His retweet set off a torrent of internet complaints and counter-complaints and quickly led to Dawkins' dis-invitation to NECSS.
 
What a mess. I've often stated that any group, movement, club, or society that consists of more than one person is going to have internal strife. Skeptics are not immune.
 
I found this examination of Dr. Dawkins and the incident to be the most reasoned. 

Common Core Math
 
I then discussed something a little less complicated and controversial: Common Core Math.
 
I'm not mathematician. I'm a cartoonist, so what do I know?
 
That didn't stop me from discussing this image:
 
 
This image has a lot of people confused. By not doing math the way they were taught, many people are thinking Common Core math doesn't make sense and is ruining our children. Not only did the kid not understand the task being asked of him or her, but most people looking at this didn't get it either. It's not saying the sum should be 13. It's asking the student to demonstrate how to make a 10 as part of the process of getting to 13.
 
My friend Chris Brown brilliantly explained it this way
 
"QUICK! What's 23 + 42?
 
 "You can do this the old paper and pencil way, adding the right side first, then the left OR you can take 2 away from the 42, add 23 + 40 to get a pretty easy 63, the add 2 to it to get 65.

"These CC Math problems that are so often derided as 'ridiculous' are NOT teaching the kids a 'new' way to do math problems. They are teaching the kids a whole bunch of different ways to do them, many of which are sill at this stage, but will be critical later. This is just one of many approaches.

"How about 4276 + 5964?

"You can do this fairly easily in your head if you try. Add 4276 + 5000 to get 9276. Now add 900 to get 10,176. Now add 60 to get 10,236, now add 4 to get 10,240. With a little bit of quick practice, you can add these numbers mentally far quicker than you can do it on paper.

"THAT'S what this lesson is trying to teach. It's impractical for 8 + 5, but it's extremely practical as the numbers get bigger. Teaching concepts at earlier stages sets the kids up for success in more advanced math.

"The U. S. is the wealthiest nation in the world, but has ranked around 30th in math scores for decades now. The math WE were taught as kids doesn't work well, plain and simple. New teaching methods are going to seem strange to us. Instead of deriding it and lamenting the fact that our kids aren't being taught the same way we were, why not make a bit of an effort to understand what's going on?"

I then took this image:

 
And used it to verbally demonstrate how the Box method is quicker and easier explain.
 
Movie Recommendation: None
 
I ran out of time. You are on your own this week.
 
Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus 
First ad break bumpers: 'How Soon Is Now?' by The Smiths & 'Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?' by The Ramones
Second ad break bumpers: 'Did You Steal My Money?' by The Who &  'Who Dunnit?' by Genesis
Closing song: 'Angler's Treble Hook' by $5 Fiddle

That's it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com
 
You can also go to my CafePress store and buy stuff with my artwork on it and have me do a portrait for you if you like. Find out more here and here.

1.25.2016

dimland radio 1-23-16 show notes

Glenn Fry Died, So Far No Accusations Of Sex Abuse

Last week I touched on the calling out as a sex abuser of the recently deceased David Bowie. That calling out was based on an accusation of rape, for which Bowie was cleared of the charges, and a claim by a former groupie that he had taken her virginity when she was 15 or so. I made the point that for some people accusations and anecdotes mean guilt.
 
With Glenn Fry dying, I searched for similar inflammatory articles about him. I haven't found any. Fry was a rock star in the 70s, the days of booze and drugs and groupies. Fry has admitted to living the hard life of a rock star. I'm sure he meant the whole sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll thing. It's probable he partook in the offers of a groupie or two. Possibly one was underage. But no one has made any claims and Fry isn't as big a star as Bowie, so no such articles were written the day the world learned of his death.
 
Also, I wondered why the David Bowie/sex abuser articles weren't written before he died. The author of the main article I talked about had mentioned in that article that her editor thought she should wait a while before posting. Let the fans mourn. But she felt it would be triggering...

"...for the millions of rape and sexual victims to watch Bowie be venerated as an icon when we know he was an abuser, too. It’s best if we sit quietly until the world is ready to hear our voices, even though the rape allegations against him first surfaced in 1987. We are used to rape culture, and we are expected to know our place."
 
Well, Bowie was in the news just prior to his death. He had released a new album and turned 69 years old. Why not write the article then? Wouldn't millions of rape and sexual victims want their voices to be heard when Bowie was being praised and celebrated for his birthday and his art? Yes, his death would garner greater attention, so it was probably an attempt to get more bang for the buck.
 
Still, very few people knew Bowie was so ill and close to death. Certainly the author didn't know. I presume, then, she would have known her place and kept quiet for years waiting for Bowie to die before giving voice to those "millions of rape and sexual victims", had he continued to live and produce music.
 
Oh, and I should plug the two part podcasts I was a guest on in which David Bowie was discussed. We don't hurl any sex abuse claims, but we do heap praise on Bowie. Both parts can be found here.

Celebrity Deaths Don't Come In 3s

This has been a topic lately with all the celebrities dying. My brother and I have been joking back and forth with each other for the last couple of weeks about how to group the celebrity deaths into 3s.
 
I was inspired to write a blog about it. You can read it here.

When Will The Hollywood Establishment Change?

The Oscars have been in the news, but not for the reasons the Hollywood establishment had hoped. Instead of focusing on the nominations as a way to celebrate and generate excitement for the most prestigious of entertainment award shows, the focus is on the lack of black actors and films in the nominations.
 
Now, I don't want to get in the middle of this pickle, but something occurred to me. I was listening to a movie review podcast and the hosts mentioned the "Hollywood establishment". They talked about how the establishment tends to like the more traditional films. They like the films that remind them of the old studio system, such as King's Speech and Bridge of Spies.
 
Really? I mean, I've been hearing that for twenty years. Surely the old guard ought to be retiring or dying off by now. When will the establishment be populated by the generation of filmmakers that gave us Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, M*A*S*H, Mean Streets, Chinatown, etc?
 
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. I guess.

New Grief Vampire Is On The Rise
 
Tyler Henry has been given the stamp of approval by Dr. Phil and the E! network. E! has given him his own show. Henry claims to be able to talk to the dead AND get answers from them. From what little I know of his technique, it seems as though he's just doing good ol' cold reading. He may be the real deal, but I'm skeptical.
 
In researching the Hollywood Medium (that's what he's being called) I found something awesome: Cold Reader Bingo! The one I found was based on grief vampires James van Praagh and John Edward, but it works for any cold reader. It's very clever. I wish I would have thought of it.
 
I used this news and my talk of cold reading to get into talking about my late mother-in-law's experience with a psychic. She remembered the psychic's first words being, "Who's Dora?" Dora was my mother-in-law's mother-in-law. The psychic claimed Dora was going to be visiting bringing her suitcases. Dora wasn't dead at the time, by the way. And some time later, Dora came to visit and she had her suitcases!
 
What?! A family member coming to visit? That never happens!
 
I wasn't there to witness the reading and I'm sure that's how Mom remembered it, but the fact that the psychic asked, "Who's Dora?" was a clue for me. Cold readers ask questions. Lots of them. They make vague statements and let the person being read provide the information. And that sure is what it looks to me that psychics are doing.
 
Say My Name!
 
I finally watched all three of the Back To The Future movies. I had only seen the first one before. They are all very entertaining. If you haven't seen them or it's been a while I recommend you watch them.
 
I also recommend you count how many times Marty says "Doc". Through the three films it's gotta be in the hundreds. This name over usage is common in movies and TV. I even blogged about it.
 
Movie Recommendation: Back To The Future Trilogy

As I mentioned above, all three films are very entertaining and worth watching.

Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus 
First ad break bumpers: 'Break My Body' by Pixies & 'Crashing By Design' by Pete Townshend
Second ad break bumpers: 'I Wanna Destroy You' by The Soft Boys &  'Burning From The Inside' by Bauhaus
Closing song: 'Angler's Treble Hook' by $5 Fiddle

That's it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com
 
You can also go to my CafePress store and buy stuff with my artwork on it and have me do a portrait for you if you like. Find out more here and here.