dimland radio 6-26-10 show notes

How do I follow up the great Father's Day Special? Here's how...

George Hrab's 'Trebuchet'

He's a skeptic, an atheist, a podcaster and, most of all, he's a musician. George Hrab has a new album out. It's called 'Trebuchet' and it's pretty darned good. He's an unsigned artist who wants to get this, his sixth, album out there. He posted the entire album on his podcast, but he's also selling it. You can download it at cdbaby.com and iTunes. You can also buy an actual CD from cdbaby.com My copy is on it's way.

You can listen to George's podcast here or download it from iTunes. Be warned, he swears a bunch and he's very skeptical. However, he's also very entertaining. I'm gonna see if I can get him on my show.

I didn't play his entire album as other podcasts have, obviously. I did play three songs throughout the show. I played 'Fifty Stories', 'When I Was Your Age' and 'Where Have You Been?' All really good tunes. I had his express permission to play whichever songs I wanted. Thanks, Geo!

One year since...

It was a year ago that "my first girl" died. I was quite the Farrah fan, freak even. I talked about what Farrah meant to me and how I still hold it against Michael Jackson for dying the same day.

I also took this opportunity to slip in a little skepticism into the show. The "actress" Tori Spelling alerted the media that she communicated with Farrah from beyond the grave. She had the assistance of dance hall instructor, John Edward. I don't know much about Edward's dance instruction, but I don't think much of his alleged psychic ability.

A rant

I ranted a bit about how much I don't like summer. I hate heat, humidity and Harleys. I hate sweating when I'm just sitting and reading. Working? I'm all right with sweating then.

Now, I don't hate Harley Davidson motorcycles that much, but they can be awfully damned noisy. Why do they get away with being so loud? If loud pipes save lives then I should be able to remove the muffler from my car. "Gee officer? Loud pipes save lives."

"Yeah, sure. Here's your ticket."

Movie recommendation

Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor & Sidney Greenstreet: A perfect cast

This week I recommended the film noir classic, 'The Maltese Falcon'. It stars Humphrey Bogart in the role that took him from playing gangster tough guys to playing the tough, fast talking, self-assured leading man. Written and directed by John Huston, this 1941 detective classic features a cast of unforgettable characters. Peter Lorre is excellent as Joel Cairo.

It's a great film. Put it in your Netflix queue now!

Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ahead' by Wire
First ad break bumpers: 'Cows' by The Suburbs & 'Keep It Dark' by Genesis
Second ad break bumpers: 'Atom Tan' by The Clash & 'Mexican Radio' by Wall of Voodoo
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 On Demand page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com


dimland radio 6-19-10 show notes

Dimland Radio Father's Day Special

I decided that since it was Father's Day weekend and that it was my show that I'd do a special show dedicated by Dad Stories. I asked listeners of Z Talk to send me their stories about their dad or about being one. The response was good, not in the number of stories, but in the quality. I told a couple of my own about my dad and about the day I became a dad.

Zita's poem about her father, whom she tragically lost when she was only 9, is an outstanding show stopper.

Movie recommendation

In keeping with the Father's Day film, I recommended Ron Howard's 2005 film, 'Cinderella Man'. It stars Russell Crowe. He portrays James Braddock, a boxer enjoying success in the ring and in the world, until the Great Depression finds him struggling to support his family. The film follows him as he humbles himself to beg for hand outs, to his climbing back into the ring and coming back as a success.

As a father, I felt his frustration and his desperation as he tended to his fatherly duties. The film didn't find an audience, but it should have. It is an excellent movie.

Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ahead' by Wire
First ad break bumpers: 'Hold Me My Daddy' by XTC & 'The Man With The Light Bulb Head' by Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians
Second ad break bumpers: 'Gone Daddy Gone' by The Violent Femmes & 'Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)' by John Lennon
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 On Demand page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com


dimland radio 6-12-10 show notes

This (my 14th) show had a pleasant surprise for me...

The The?

When I arrived in the chat room twenty minutes before my show, as I usually do, I noticed someone new to Z Talk in the chat room going by the name The The. The The is a band that I really like, so my curiosity was piqued. I private chatted with the fellow and it turned out that he was an old high school friend of mine. He purposefully used the name The The to catch my attention. It worked. We had lost touch after hanging out with each other for a while after high school, but he found me on Facebook and found out about my show and came by to check it out. We chatted for quite a while after the show to do some catching up.

The tale of Dr. Dim

Dr Dim in art school circa 1985 (on the left)

I then regaled (or is that bored) my audience with the story of how I came to be known as Dr. Dim. It all began late in the year 1983, when I entered art school... Ok, I won't bore anyone again.


I dipped my toe into Lake Bigfoot on this show. (Yep, there were a couple puns just then.) I discussed the lack of any good evidence of bigfoot's existence, how the name sasquatch was invited by a white man named J. W. Burns, and the best piece of not very good evidence for bigfoot's existence... the Patterson film of 1967.

After more than 40 years, we still do not have any evidence any better than this famous film. Is it a real primate? Is it a man in a costume? The truth is that the film is too poor quality, it lacks any good detail, and, therefore, it is, at best, inconclusive. I would think that with most everyone having a video camera these days, we'd have some better video images of the creature, but we don't. But! Absence of evidence does not necessarily mean evidence of absence.

I also talked about a book called 'The Making of Bigfoot: The Inside Story" by Greg Long. I must be honest, I have not read the book, so I went from a review of it by Daniel Loxton of Skeptic magazine. The book covers Roger Patterson in depth. Painting the picture of a con man. Numerous people who had dealings with Patterson all seem to agree that Patterson would con anyone. He didn't even pay for the camera and the film he used to capture the striking footage. In fact, he was arrested for that crime.

So, does the possible fact (Long's witnesses could have been lying) that Patterson was a con man, the fact he was a bigfoot enthusiast prior to making the film, the claims of one fellow of making the costume (Phillip Morris) and another fellow of wearing it (Bob Heironimus) mean that the footage is fake? Nope. It could still been the genuine article, but it is such poor evidence that it really doesn't tell us anything definite.

There is a Discovery Channel piece on the bigfoot legend and it looks at the Patterson film. It tests the idea that no human could walk the way the "creature" walks in the film. The testers found that it is indeed possible to walk that way. You can watch the clip here.

I also talked about the famous bigfoot hoaxer Ray Wallace. Yes, we do know that. His family came clean about him after he died. They even presented to the world the hand-carved footprint makers that he used to pull his pranks.

My main sources for this came mostly from a two part Junior Skeptic feature all about our friend, Sasquatch. Junior Skeptic parts 20 & 21 found in Skeptic volume 11, numbers 2 & 3, 2005.

The world renown skeptic - Dr. Dim?

I talked about how I'm the resident skeptic of another show I mostly disagree with, 'Haunted 911', which is based in the UK. That show used to be on Z Talk, but it moved to Blog Talk Radio and I followed it there, because I like the hosts Ray Jordan and Wayne Punter. I do my skeptic thing in their chat room and they like to acknowledge me as their resident skeptic. They also like to tease me. That's ok, I can take it.

They have a weekly contributor to the show. His name is Tim Brown and he has his own paranormal investigation group over there in the UK. Well, in Tim's bit for last week's show he mentioned me. I was part of his bit!

So, can I start called myself a world renown skeptic? It may be a bit premature.

Movie recommendation

I gushed yet again about the greatness of Netflix. I can't recommend it more highly.

I also recommended the film 'The Hammer'. It stars and was co-written by Adam Carolla (you might know him from Comedy Central's 'The Man Show'). It's very good. It's a consistently funny comedy about a 40 something loser who decides to get back into amateur boxing. The film is rated R, but I defy you to tell why. At most, it's PG.

Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ahead' by Wire
First ad break bumpers: 'Bull Rider' by Johnny Cash & 'I Believe In You' by Don Williams
Second ad break bumpers: 'Seven Year Ache' by Rosanne Cash & 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' by George Jones
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 On Demand page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com


dimland radio 6-5-10 show notes

I had my second guest on this, my 13th, show. Don't get excited about the number 13. It's just a number. It's not lucky or unlucky. But you can get excited about my guest...

Chris Brown and his skepticism of renown

Chris Brown owns and operates a lawn care service in Connecticut, where he lives with his wife and two sons. He's also a skeptic and he decided something he could do to promote skepticism would be to put up his website skepticsinthepub.net. Through his website skeptics can find groups in their area to join for a beer and some critical thought; and you can find links to other skeptical blogs and podcasts. He also writes a skeptical blog that he calls Sklog, poorly named but well written. He even wrote a very nice piece about Dimland Radio.

I heard about Chris through the podcast Skepticalility which is hosted by skeptics Derek and Swoopy. I checked out his site and sent him an email telling him about my show. From there, we started emailing and instant messaging. I asked if he'd be a guest on my show and he jumped at the opportunity.

Because his schedule precluded his being able to join me live on a Saturday night, we recorded the interview a couple days earlier. Chris and I talked about his website, skepticism, some religion, a little politics and our ideas about bridging that gap between skeptics and believers.

We talked about notable skeptics such as James Randi (of course), Bart Ehrman, and the incomparable George Hrab. Hrab has a podcast called the Geologic Podcast and it's fantastic. He can be a bit profane, so be warned, and very skeptical, be warned again, but he is very entertaining. Along with being a noted skeptic, George Hrab is a fine musician. Check out his cover of Yes' 'Owner of a Lonely Heart'. He did it all himself.

If you missed my show, you can download it from the Z Talk show archive.

Someone at the post office cares about my soul, apparently

When the interview was complete, I had a couple minutes left before the show was over. I filled that time by talking about getting the latest edition of Skeptic magazine. Something interesting about that magazine, other than all of it's articles, was an apparent message that someone felt compelled to send me.

On the back cover was a full page ad for Daniel Loxton's excellent kid's book, 'Evolution'. We have the book and it is great. If you doubt or don't know much about evolution, I highly recommend picking up that book. No matter how old you are, it will give you a firm understanding of the basic ideas of evolution.

Anyway, evidently someone at the post office felt it necessary to draw a cross on the back cover, right next to my address. At least, I think that's what happened. No one in my household would have written on the cover of one of my Skeptics. I can only conclude that someone at the post office might have been trying to save my soul. A soul I'm reasonably sure I don't have.

I sold it for this life of financial uncertainty and worries, worries, worries. Pretty good deal, eh?


ended the show by highly recommending renting the 2004 film 'Miracle'. No, it's not some religiously significant story. Not really. It's the story of Herb Brooks and how he put together that gold medal winning hockey team for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Kurt Russell absolutely nailed Brooks in his performance. I think it's a terrible oversight that he wasn't even nominated for an Oscar for his amazing portrayal.

So put 'Miracle' at the top of your Netflix queue. You don't have a Netflix membership? Go here and get one NOW!

Music heard on the show...

Dimland Radio opening theme song: 'Ahead' by Wire
First ad break bumpers: 'Home Of The Brave' by Naked Raygun &'Back In Flesh ' by Wall of Voodoo
Second ad break bumpers: 'Turning Japanese' by The Vapors & 'Communication' 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 On Demand page. You can email your questions and comments to drdim@dimland.com


you know who is great?

I’ll tell you. Alan Davis. Who is Alan Davis? Alan Davis is one of my favorite comic book illustrators, that’s who! Back when I was still buying new comic books (I stopped years ago), I discovered Alan Davis when he was penciling Detective Comics for DC. His Batman was terrific. Davis’ style is fluid and graceful. It’s every bit as powerful as comicdom’s other greats: John Buscema, Jack Kirby, Joe Kubert, Will Eisner, John Byrne, Jim Lee, Alex Ross and the like.

When he finished up on Detective Comics on the middle of a story run (he was replaced by the extremely overrated Todd MacFarlane, I’ll talk about him in a moment), he moved over to Marvel Comics. He went to work penciling Excalibur. And I went to work buying them.

I think Alan Davis was, unfortunately, overshadowed by the Todd MacFarlane craze. I freely admit I was impressed with MacFarlane’s work for about five minutes, but, as a nearly life-long student of comic book art, I quickly saw MacFarlane’s deficiencies as an artist. His work was dramatic and eye-catching, but his anatomy drawing was poor. His proportions were off and his women all looked wrong. His characters all looked like they were in danger of falling over (always leaning and their bodies tapering toward their feet). MacFarlane’s line work was way too busy and lacked weight and definition.

MacFarlane's art: Just how big is Spider-Man's butt?

Alan Davis’ work, on the other hand, was lush and disciplined. His line work was simple, flowing, elegant and expressive. His eye for page layout and design was outstanding. A mark of a really good comic book artist is being able to follow the story without having to read the narrative and dialogue. Davis’ pages never left you confused as to what was going on, while MacFarlane’s often did.

And the way Alan Davis drew women… AHEM.

Let's see MacFarlane draw a woman this well!

Maybe I suffer a little from the sour grapes when I look at MacFarlane’s work. I spent years trying to get into the comic book biz, but no go. Sometimes I’d get some praise, “You’re good, but you need work.” Sometimes I’d get slapped, “Have you had any drawing lessons?” This was asked of me by an editor after I had spent three years in art school. Often I would hear that my work was a little too cartoony. I’d work on improving my work and then I saw MacFarlane’s drawings. Cartoony?! Talk about cartoony! Are you looking at his stuff?!

MacFarlane's Wolverine (This cover did catch my eye at first.)

Davis' Wolverine

(To be fair, I have to say that although I don’t care much for MacFarlane’s drawing, his line of toys he later produced were fantastic!)

However, when I see great work, I marvel at the artist’s ability. I revel in it. I feel as though I’m witnessing something transcendent. It’s a beautiful thing.

MacFarlane's Hulk

Davis' Hulk (Drawings like this make me want to put down my pencil and let the pros handle it.)

And I think Alan Davis produced many beautiful things.