Tue, 28 October 2014
Were it up to Christopher, this episode would be titled "ALL HAIL, BENDER, SUPREME ROBOT OF ALL ROBOTS!!!" but Shawn wouldn't go for that. So instead, this week...we'll talk about more robots than just Bender.
(Shawn can bite Christopher's shiny metal ass!!!)
We begin this episode talking about the first time we can remember seeing a robot -- fictional or otherwise. Then it's on to, "What's the first thing that pops into you head when you think 'robot?'"
But robots aren't always cool. We talk about the most upsetting development in robotics -- real or fictional...and then we discuss the best robot in the realm of fiction.
("ALL HAIL BENDER!!!")
Oh yeah...and the crappiest robot in fiction or the real world. Poor sad, stupid robots we don't like...
(Yes, there was something in the 80s far worse than Alf!)
The future is always a moment away, so we take some time to talk about what uses for robots in the future make us a bit uneasy...and then we talk about if we think we'll see sentient robots in our lifetimes.
As always, we wrap it up looking forward with a glint of optimism in our eyes (Take that, Skynet!). We close out this episode with the best possible future of robotics.
(Oh yeah, Christopher totally forgot a couple other fave robots: Daft Punk!)
We'd love to hear what you meatbags think about our robotic overlords in the comments below. Remember: the machine is watching...and it does not take kindly to criticism!
Thu, 23 October 2014
It's happened to us all: it's like any normal day until...we do something that embarrasses us. Most people we know laugh off embarrassing moments, but some people can't let go of being the center of attention -- if even for a moment. This week, we're talking about the good and bad parts of embarrassment!
We begin this week's show by talking about the first times we remember being embarrassed about something. Then: find out if we embarrass easily today...and what does embarrass us.
If you've ever wondered what the most embarrassing moments of our lives were, listen in. After that, we talk about why some people handle embarrassing moments well, while others become self conscious...even spiral down into depression and self-deprecating behavior over embarrassing moments.
We devote some time to how pride and shame can factor into embarrassment, and then talk about how destructive an embarrassing moment can be for some. Also: can embarrassment ever be a good thing?
Sometimes, embarrassment is a matter of perception. Find out if we think most embarrassing situations merit the concern some give to the feeling, or if we're our own worst enemies in the way we perceive our not-so-wonderful moments in life.
Different people can become embarrassed about different things. Find our how cultural differences play into what some end up embarrassed about. Sticking to that thought, we chat about how reaction to an embarrassing moment can affect those witnessing the event.
And we close it all out with this: How can one overcome embarrassment?
We'd love to hear your views about embarrassment in the comments below.
Wed, 15 October 2014
Patriotism, especially in America, has been framed to mean things it really isn't. Perhaps an unfair way to lead off an episode about patriotism -- especially when we both consider ourselves very patriotic. But is patriotism wrapping yourself in a leather American flag jacket you wear like a skin and singing a schmaltzy song, or is it something more? Obviously, we think it's something more, and that is what we are talking about on this week's episode.
We begin by talking about where we consider ourselves on the 1 - 100 Patriotism-O-Meter, and then we jump into the first time we remember being introduced to the idea of patriotism.
Next -- just to be clear -- we discuss the differences between patriotism and nationalism...and where we see most people actually falling.
Obviously, this episode is going to skew heavily toward America/'Murica, and we ask: "Is America more or less patriotic now than it's been in the past?"
Then we move on to bests and worsts: the worst example of "patriotism" used to push an agenda we've seen...and the best example of patriotism in action we've seen.
As "patriotic" as some think it is to only think about America, we look at the planet and ask: "Are Americans more patriotic than other countries...or less?" Also, find out what we think self-described patriots would describe as the American ideal. And what we believe is the American ideal.
We close out the episode with two questions:
So put on your American flag pants (just don't burn them, because that's more offensive than sweaty butt stank on Old Glory fabric made in China), and let us know what you think about patriotism in the comments below.
Thu, 9 October 2014
OMGTHEEBOLAISINAMERICAANDWE'REALLGONNADIE!!! ESPECIALLYTHOSEOFUSINTHEDALLASAREA!!! MEANWHILE,ISISSLEEPERCELLSAREALLOVERTHEUNITEDSTATESJUSTWAITINGTOPOUNCE!!! REPEATAFTERME:WE'REALLDOOMED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or maybe Ebola will be contained; after all, it's been in the United States before, back when we didn't even have the technology we had today. The Islamic State isn't in your town waiting to kill you and your family. (Unless you, ya know, live in Kobani or Raqqa.) We're not all doomed; in fact, we're safer now than in any point in history. But none of that matters when people prey on sensational tendencies, all in the name of ratings.
That's what we're talking about this week: sensationalism!
We kick off the episode talking about the first sensational thing we remember in our lives, followed by discussing if we've ever been caught up in a wave of sensationalism (and if so, what it was).
Next, we move on to why sensationalism has such a strong pull on some people...and what sets those not prone to sensational manipulation apart from those living in fear.
Let's face it: most sensational stories we hear are spread by the news and other media. Is that brand of sensationalism damaging? And how has social media given rise to sensational thinking?
We're only human, and it's human nature to view experience (even wrong experience) as a form of knowledge. Looking at it that way, can people caught up in sensational news and thinking be forgiven for the fixation on negative stories -- most of which, never come true? After that, we devote a little time to asking if sensationalism can ever be a good thing.
While logical thinking can usually show unfounded fears in most sensational stories, basic logic (This; therefore, that) plays into the spread of sensational thinking. We talk about that, and then discuss some of the most humorous cases of sensationalism we've ever encountered.
We close out the show with two questions:
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts below.
Oh yeah: a recent blog entry by Shawn about Ebola sensationalism.
Wed, 1 October 2014
Depending what you read, anywhere from 40% - 60% of Americans say they don't get enough sleep. Around the world, even in some of the most laid back countries, people say they are deprived of the sleep they crave.
Sleep...it's something we all do, and it's what we're talking about this week.
A Quick Note: While we normally record podcasts in person, this podcast was recorded online. Somewhere between the pre-show babble we usually do to almost 10 minutes into the show, the recording dropped out. Yep, for the first time in almost 90 episodes, we finally hit a problem. So just imagine the first part of this week's episode is that part you can't remember from a dream.
We start off by talking about how much sleep, on average, we each get a night. Well, we did talk about that, but it's part of the lost recording. Shawn said he gets between 4-5 hours or sleep...Christopher usually gets 7-8. From there, we moved on to how often we dream, or -- more accurately -- how often we remember dreams. (Shawn rarely remembers dreams; Christopher remembers them most of the time -- and even shared some recent dreams.)
Next, we discuss the strangest recurring dreams we've had and if we've ever used things from dreams in the stories we write. Rounding out the dreaming section, we talk about why we think we dream.
We definitely dedicate some time to lack of sleep, kicking off this section by discussing what keeps us from sleeping. We know that the recommended sleep numbers are simply that: recommendations. Find out how much sleep we each need to function regularly. Also, find out if either of us have ever had problems with insomnia.
The mind can do strange things when one does not get sleep. (We recommend this episode of Kenny vs. Spenny if you have about 22 minutes to kill.) Find out not only the longest we've each stayed awake, but also what it did to us. Then we move on to talking about if we've ever been unsure if we're awake or asleep...and if we've ever walked, talked, or done other things in a sleep state.
We close out this week's episode by discussing if we think there is more to sleeping and dreaming than just recharging the brain and body.
Want to talk about your weird dreams, how long you've been awake at one time, or any other sleep-related thing? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.