#39 – The Cake is not a Lie! (Blake Smith)
The main unfortunate thing that happened last night was that only one of us had cake, the other was that our time with Blake was over so quickly. As a result of these two sorrowful occurrences, not only am I compelled to find and consume cake today, but I am also looking forward to the next time I have the rare pleasure to have a conversation with Blake Smith. We talked about Podcasting, monsters (of course), random silliness (of course), and many other topics, but for the most part we just socialized and got to know each other, in the same way all nerds do, separated by hundreds (in some cases thousands) of miles thanks to the wonders of technology.
Thank you very much Blake Smith for giving up your Friday night to hang with us nerds, and thanks to everyone who joined in the chat and the conversation (even those of you who aren’t nerds – yeah, right).
Topics (with Blake):
- It seems our mean time to work out all of the startup tokbox problems is about 1/2 hour.
- Human feet washing ashore in Victoria, British Columbia
- Podcasting nuts & bolts – Skype recording software (PrettyMay (fail), Pamela, MediaCatcher), Audacity, Adobe Audition
- Question: For the purposes of the podcast, are aliens considered “monsters”? – Yes, There is actually an upcoming episode on “Alien Abductions” featuring an interview of Susan Clancy, author of “Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens“.
- Question: How did “Monster Talk” come to be? Blake had the idea after meeting Ben Radford at TAM in 2007, and then talked with Ben and Karen Stollznow at TAM 2008, bringing the team together. There were so many existing paranormal shows that had 95% “crap” with 1-5 minutes of token skepticism. The idea for “Monster Talk” was to have a classy show where the opposite was true.
- Blake mentioned a “tentative” radio show project he is working on called, “Seeing is Believing”
- Question: How did “Monster Talk” become affiliated with “Skeptic” magazine? They were approached by Daniel Loxton about joining the “Skeptic family” shortly after episode 5.
- Question: When did you develop your interest in monsters and the paranormal? Blake explains that he had a monster in his closet at age 5. Also, growing up in a fundamentalist family, he found great interest in the large paranormal section of the local library.
- “Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries” by Ben Radford (now available on Kindle)
- Glossolalia (aka. “Speaking in tongues”)
- Question: What would you consider to be your favorite monster? Although Blake hates picking favorites, he did point out a few that he find particularly interesting: Chinese ghost monsters, hopping vampires, skin walkers, and shadow people
- Question: What would you consider your favorite Monster Talk episode? The discussion with Dr. Ken Feder about giants (January 13th 2010: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum!) where he was “cussing up a storm”.
- Question: What monster or episode required the most (or was the most difficult to) research? The episode with Jimmy Chilcutt on Bigfoot, due to the level of detail relating to fingerprinting and the possibility of plaster casting artifacts.
- Question: “If tomorrrow Ben told you that a cryptid had been found and verified, what would be your first guess of which one it is”? Blake points out that he would be skeptical, even of his friends, but most likely it would be a sea creature or perhaps something like the “Cougars of New England”.
- Discussion of the value of amateur investigation and organizations such as the IIG.
- Other paranormal topics: Walking Catfish, Goatman of Maryland, Georgia Guidestones, Cake, and Brian Thompson’s ability to Google
Topics (after Blake):
- Phil Plait’s “Don’t be Dick” talk from TAM8 and the ongoing blog/twitter dialog between PZ Myers [The Dick Delusion], Daniel Loxton [The War over “Nice”], and others.
- The blog dialog between PZ Myers, Michael De Dora, and others that took place back in April [Should Biology Textbooks Include “Biblical Myth” Language?]
- The latest press release on the “Mosque” at “Ground Zero” from the CFI
- NCSE and participating in public school boards
- Human evolution speeding up
- Quran-Burning Church Vows To Proceed Without Fire Permit
- Massimo Pigliucci on Skeptico
Blake Smith (@doctoratlantis), Brian Gregory (@briandgregory), Ellie Luchinsky, J.D. Mack, Jeff Randall, Patrick Fisher (@cdnfish), Brian Thompson (@AmSci), Heidi Anderson (@heidianderson), Rick Gibson (@ricklesgibson), Greg Fish (@gfish3000), Tequila Tarian, Adam Bourque (@a_damn_bourque), Myron Getman (@TheMadSkeptic), Citizen Gold (@unifex), Stephen King (@jstephenking), Fred Bremmer, Chris Lindsay (@ChrisLindsay9)