dimland radio 11-26-16 show notes

300th Show!

Nothing particularly special was done for this my 300th show. I only made note of it and moved on.

The Dinga Dinga Dinga Sound Of Guilt

Each holiday season, just before Thanksgiving, out they come: The bell ringers from the Salvation Army. And I seem to forget about them each year until I step out of my car to head into the supermarket. That's when I hear the "dinga dinga dinga" of the bellringer insisting people throw some money in the kettle. Well, the bellringers don't force anyone to do so, but that ringing bell just makes me feel guilty.
I'm an atheist. I just can't give to a charity whose mission is to get more people to believe in a god that I'm pretty certain doesn't exist. Sure, the Salvation Army might be helping people who are struggling to make ends meets, but they still insist in the god pushing. So, I don't give to them.
It's a yearly complaint I have and I'm sure the bellringers don't think less of me for passing the kettle, but the guilt is still there.
If only there was a way I could help someone directly...

A Tap At The Car Window
After dodging the bellringer, I was sitting in my car, filling out a birthday card for my wife, when there came a tapping, a gently rapping, at my driver's side window. There was a young man, not dressed for the weather. He was wearing a hoodie to protect him from the 30 something degree night. He looked cold and had his best nonthreatening, humble look on his face. In his hand was a clear plastic sleeve holding a standard sized sheet of copy paper. On it was a copy of a photograph of a youth basketball team. Under that photo was some text explaining how the team had its uniforms stolen and that he was asking people if they might give a buck or two to help purchase new uniforms.
A sad story indeed. But it's bullshit. That night had been the third time in the past year plus that I had been approached by a panhandler using that same gimmick. And I'm certain I've seen someone else having that begging pitch used on them on, at least, one other occasion.
Well, I told the kid that I had seen this before. I had that skeptical tone I get. But I softened and asked, "Do you need a couple bucks?" He said that he did, so I gave him two dollars. He went off to get money from other people in the lot.
I told the kid to get somewhere warm as he wandered off. Then I remembered I had a quilted shirt I didn't need in the car. I tracked him down and gave it to him. I'm not sure he wore it, but he did thank me for it.
Funny, how during all this, I didn't notice the dinga dinga dinga.
Please! Make It End!
Aretha Franklin is a great singer. She has a fantastic voice. She's the Queen of Soul for crying out loud!
Yes, that's all true. But! If you're not a fan of her style of singing, which I am not, listening to her stretch out the National Anthem to more than 4 and a half minutes is going to be difficult. Thank science for the mute button!

When I sat down to watch the MN Vikings lose to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving, I was troubled when Aretha was announced as the person who would be singer our Anthem. I immediately started searching for the remote.
When her "Oh-oh say..." came out, "OoohooOOOHHooohhhooohh" I hit the mute button and turned to my son and said, "This is going to take a while." I went into the kitchen to make a sandwich or do the dishes or bake a cake from scratch, something to occupy the time, and when I came out SHE WAS STILL SINGING!
Oh, my lack of god!
Sure, there were some who were dazzled. Maybe even moved. But, it was ridiculously long.
A Strange New Cheer In Sports?
Over the last several months, I've become aware of a new shouted cheer coming from a few fans at sporting events. I've notice it in baseball and in football.
I can't describe it here, but my younger brother was listening and he told me it's a Ric Flair thing. He was a pro wrestler, I guess. So I looked it up and I found this clip of some Indianapolis Colts doing the Ric Flair. And there's the cheer!
It's interesting how stuff like this takes hold.
That Library Marquee

The image above has been popping up on the Facebook lately. It's amusing, but I have news for whoever it was who created this image: Not everything in a library is true either.
Does your library carry any books by Sylvia Browne or James van Praagh or Deepak Chopra? Do they have a copy of The Amityville Horror or books promoting the Bermuda Triangle, psychic abilities, or ghosts? Do they have a self-help motivational section? The Bible or the Quaran?
Do you see what I mean?
A Few More Complaints
When talking about that new cheer, I touched on a Geico ad featuring a football game in which the center distracts his quarterback with info about the insurance company. A distraction which leads to the quarterback getting sacked.

If I were the coach of that center, I'd have benched him.

My talking about that library marquee reminded me of a pet peeve I have about prices posted on marquees. Specifically, if you don't have period/decimal point/dot tile to use when separating dollars and cents, just leave a little space where you would have placed the period/decimal point/dot.

See how easy that is?

Finally, I complained about how the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is only barely on television anymore, despite having two networks "covering" it. I go into more detail at my blog over at Warehouse Find, the official blog of Nostalgia Zone.
Movie Recommendation: None
I ran out of time, so you are on your own.

Music heard on the show...
Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus 
First ad break bumpers: 'Teacher Teacher' by Rockpile & 'In-Between Days' by The Cure
Second ad break bumpers: 'Mea Culpa' by Brian Eno - David Byrne & 'Empty Glass' by Pete Townshend
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.


dimland radio 11-19-16 show notes

Be Prepared? Meh

It's that time of year again. Time to make sure the snowblower is in working order for the coming winter. I told of how the snowblower started after one pull of the cord, but that one pull also led to some frustration.

Fake News On Social Media

Mainly pertaining to Facebook, because that's the only social media platform I'm on, but I am aware the other platforms are rife with fake news. There are satire sites and propaganda sites that post any kind of bullshit they like and people are far too willing to assume the stories are true.
As a skeptic, I try to remain aware of my own biases when consuming news items. I try to make sure a story has been verified. Is it being reported on by a legitimate news source? CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, USAToday, WSJ, Yahoo News, etc. are what I consider legit. Sure, they may have a bias, but they are charged with gathering and reporting the news as factual as possible. Fox may choose to not cover or emphasize the same stories CNN does, but they still need to find the facts.
Snopes.com is an excellent source for checking on the validity of a story. As is FactCheck.org. Yes, I know people accuse those sites as being biased, but they do the research and cite their sources.
Some folks are spreading the Facebook post that alleges an ambulance had to change its route to a hospital due to an anti-Trump protest. The route change was claimed by the Facebook post to have added 45 minutes to the emergency commute. That delay led to the death of a man with a four year old daughter.
No legit news sites were reporting this story. The source was just a Facebook post making a claim. It gave no identifiable details, such as where this happened, which hospital, name of the dead man, etc. But the claim was enough for blogs and pro-Trump/anti-Obama sites to jump all over it. Snopes lists the story as unproven.
People need to learn to verify such stories before posting on social media. If a legit news source is reporting it, it is pretty safe to share the story, although you should still read the whole article and check out any links provided. If it's a blog or some satire or propaganda site, you need to search for the original article. An read it! 
If a headline sounds a little too good to be true, checking Snopes or FactCheck is a good idea.
This graphic will help you keep in mind how to vet a story before posting it.
Also, the burden of proof on any claim is on the part of the person implying the claim is true by sharing it on social media. It is not on the person calling the claim fake.
Below is the video demonstrating the need to vet claims made on social media I mentioned on the show. It shows how as one person is attempting to verify a claim, while another has posted the story to social media and the claim is spreading across the internet like wildfire.
As Mark Twain is said to have said, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

I Like To Say I Told You So, Because I Told You So
Turning to the world of sports, I took a little time to gloat about how I was right to caution people against getting too excited about the MN Vikings 5 - 0 start to this football season. I mentioned it on the show a few weeks ago and I blogged about it. I reminded people that the Vikes always find a way to disappoint and that folks ought to be more reluctant about jumping on their bandwagon.
Well, I was right. After that talk and blog the team from the North Star state went on a four game losing streak. And through most of it, they looked pathetic, even the defense which had been the best part of the team.
My timing for gloating about being right was also good, because the Vikes managed to break that losing streak and defeat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
I still caution against any bandwagon boarding.

Movie Recommendation: John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)
I just watched it again this past week. I think it still holds up and is a lot of intense and gruesome fun. I blogged about it on Warehouse Find, the official blog of Nostalgia Zone.

Music heard on the show...
Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus 
First ad break bumpers: 'Constant In Opal' by The Church & 'Uniforms (Corps D'Esprit)' by Pete Townshend
Second ad break bumpers: 'Lilydale' by 10,000 Maniacs & 'Armagedeon Days Are Here (Again)' by The The
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.


dimland radio 11-12-16 show notes

Well, Well, Well 

It looks like everybody got it wrong, Well, everybody except Michael Moore, he seemed to have a handle on this election. He didn't underestimate President-Elect Donald Trump's outsider appeal.

Look, I ain't nowhere smart enough to figured this one out. And I don't want to just say the everything will be OK. I don't know that it will. I worry about plenty of the possibilities of a Trump Presidency, most notable is how will science fair and how will this effect the world's fight against climate change.

I advised my listener, "Let's not just say things will be OK. Let's do everything we can to make sure things are going to be OK."

Here's a couple links to give some perspective and balance and caution. Here and here.

ABBA Can Help

After I did what I could to assuage fears, I played a bit of a song by ABBA. I put to you that it is impossible to feel anything but serene when listening to this song:

Ahhhhhh. ABBA. 

These Were Cool!

I chatted briefly about the old voting booths and how much I liked them, although I only got to use one once. I just thought the pulling the level to close the curtain was such an awesome thing. I'm not sure why they're not used any more, but such is progress, I guess.

Photojournalists Don't Just Snap Pictures: Follow-Up

My listener, Trisha, wasn't sure about some of the information I gave about that terrible photograph depicting the horrific-ness of war from the Vietnam War. So, I looked into the photo and learned more details and that photographs can lie.

AP photo/Eddie Adams
The above photo shows a South Vietnamese officer summarily executing a prisoner. The photo won a Pulitzer and was used be the anti-war movement, but it doesn't tell the whole story. The man being shot was accused of being a Viet Cong assassin who was caught almost red-handed in the mass murder of South Vietnamese officers and their families. The general who shots the man judged the prisoner as guilty and took him out. War is all hell.

You can read more about the incident here. 

Weird Choices In Censorship

It's not exactly censorship, it's just cutting out the swearing. But sometimes what gets censored or cleaned up and what doesn't has me scratching my head.

The first example was from a video by Arnold Schwarzenegger attempting to get viewers to battle climate change. Try as I might, I can't find that video, so I can't link to it. You'll just have to take my word that I actually saw this and that I wasn't hallucinating.

In the video, the former CA governor said "bullshit" more than once. Each time he did, the English subtitles showed the word as: bullsh t. There was no attempt to clear up the audio. Apparently, the hearing impaired don't like swearing.

This next example I do have a link. Louie CK was a guest on Conan O'Brien's TBS late night talk show. Louie talked a bit about the upcoming election. He dropped F-bombs and S- bombs, which were all censored. Viewers knew he was swearing, but we just couldn't hear it.

He reached the punchline and said, "If you vote for Hillary, you're an adult. If you vote for Trump, you're a sucker. If you don't vote you're an asshole."

"Asshole" went uncensored. Weird.

Blowing My Own Horn

Sometimes a blind squirrel find a nut. And sometimes I say something smart. At the MN Skeptics meet-up last week, a skeptic asked, "If you know something who can't get sleep. They've tried doctors and all their remedies and none of them worked. The science had ruled out anything seriously, physically wrong with her. No brain tumor, etc. Then she gets acupuncture and she sleeps like a baby. Yes, we know it's the placebo effect, but why should a skeptic feel compelled to ruin it for her? She's tried science and there was no deeper physical problem found, but the not science is working."
The group of us batted it around and it struck me. The problem isn't that his friend uses the not science after trying science, which didn't work, but the not science does. The problem is when she tells someone else who is having sleeping problems. She'll immediately advise the acupuncture and her friend might skip consulting an actual doctor.
My fellow skeptic declared me a genius and that I was brilliant. He kept saying how I must be the smartest person of all time. It got a bit much to be honest.  

Movie Recommendation: Not A Movie, But This...

I blogged about one of my favorite parts of those early years of Late Night with David Letterman. Go here to read my effusion.

Music heard on the show...
Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ram' by The Yoleus 
First ad break bumpers: 'This Charming Man' by The Church & 'Destination Unknown' by Missing Persons
Second ad break bumpers: 'Running On The Spot' by The Jam & 'After The Lights Go Out' by Urban Guerrillas
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.