Wed, 15 January 2014
The 50th podcast. That's fun to type. We're closing in on a year at Men in Gorilla Suits...and that matters to us. Not that anything comes with hitting the 50th weekly show without fail, or even crossing the one-year mark on February 6. (The first show went up Thursday, February 7.) What matters is no matter what, we've put out a weekly show longer than many podcasts last.
Whether slammed with overtime at work, sick, busy with other things, or just wanting blocks of time off where we do nothing, we've proven our motto -- that it really is as simple as chilling the fuck out...and making the damn thing!
The damn thing we've made for you this week is a podcast about...intelligence!
We start off defining what we see as intelligence, before discussing our own battle stories with IQ tests (and the results that followed taking the tests). After that, we ask the question: do we all start from different, measurable levels of intelligence? Without IQ tests, are there ways to measure intelligence?
Obviously, it's rarely a simple thing, and we address that as we talk about different kinds of intelligence (book-smarts vs. street-smarts; survival mode vs. contemporary life). Some other questions:
Then it's genius time. Were Mozart and others like him a genius? How do average people stack up to those historically deemed geniuses? Is there even such a thing as genius, or is it all hype or adoration? Flipping genius on its head, does stupidity exist -- and if it does, is it measurable? Are some people just more intelligent than others?
Finally, we wrap it all up by discussing the most intelligent person we each know (and, in the process, Gorilla Shawn settles a life-long family dispute)!
So put on your thinking caps and hit the comments to discuss your thoughts about...intelligence!
Wed, 8 January 2014
With one episode shy of our 50th show, and a handful of shows away from the one-year anniversary show on February 6, it's clear that creating the Men in Gorilla Suits podcast is now part of our routine. In fact, lately, we haven't recorded as often as usual because of the holidays -- this was the first show we did in weeks. Christopher flubs the opening (we kept it and didn't re-record), showing that falling out of routine can leave one a step off. Hell, Christopher felt off this entire show -- so much so that he set out to edit this episode the old way (routine), when we edited every pause and "uhm..." out of episodes. The good thing is, when you produce a weekly show, falling back into routines takes no time at all; Christopher's sleepy, out-it-it mode for the day had no effect on the episode, despite it feeling off for him. No editing was needed, and he was happy to hear that the show ended up better than he hoped.
But enough babbling...
We kick off this episode talking about the first routines we remember having. From there, we talk about how we form routines and habits, before discussing how important routine is in our lives. While it will become clear early on that we are not the biggest fans of routines -- going so far that we reject many routines others try to put on us -- we take a moment to discuss the importance of routines in completing the things that matter most to us. (Spoiler alert: it's pretty much, "The podcast is our biggest routine, and we really do abide by our motto of Chill the Fuck Out...and Make the Damn Thing!")
Sometimes the routines in life change. We talk about routines that have fallen to the side that we'd like to bring back into our lives...and we talk about routines we're glad are no longer part of our lives. Even for people like us, who reject most routines, one cannot have at least some routines in their lives. We take a bit of time to discuss where in our lives we see the most routine, and go as far as mentioning some routines that aren't a part of our lives that we'd like to invite in.
Writers and other people making creative things are known for strange routines (certain things on the desk, rituals before beginning their thing, and so many other quirks). We talk about if we have writing routines and, if so, what they are. Then it's on to talking about people who have routines that we've admired, before mentioning our own longest-standing routines.
Finally, we close with a quote by Amos Bronson Alcott, who said:
Find out if we'd be okay living lives with no routines, and...let us know your own thoughts about routines (or routines, rituals, and habits you have), in the comments.
Wed, 1 January 2014
Whether factual or fictional, the real-life and made-up world is not without its share of bad guys. We begin the show discussing who the ultimate bad guy was to us when we were young. Sticking to the past, we move on to who the socially acceptable bad guy was when we were in elementary school -- before discussing current-day socially acceptable bad guys.
We get a bit deeper when we talk about why the United States always seems to need someone to label "the enemy"; then it's back to popular culture and asking, "What's the most laughable villain portrayal you've ever seen in a movie?" Sticking with movies, it's then on to who plays the best bad guys and who we believe to be the best bad guy from fiction.
Topping many people's lists of top bad guy from history would be Hitler. We toss Hitler out of the equation and ask each other who we deem the top baddie from history. After that, we discuss our arch-nemeses, and then move on to who the bad guy would be in a fictionalized version of our lives (and who would play us, as well).
We close it all out with our top 5 portrayals of bad guys and then listing the roster for our hand-picked bad-guy super team!
As always, we'd love to hear all about who you deem bad guys in the comments.
Thu, 26 December 2013
Is an education what many believe it to be -- formal schooling -- or is it something more? It seems like something more as we begin this episode talking about our first memories of education...it didn't start with school. But, obviously, one cannot discuss education without [mostly] talking about school. After our early memories of being educated about something, we move on to this question: "Did you have any teachers that inspired and changed your life like you see in movies?"
Maybe we did; maybe we didn't...you'll have to listen to find out, but we definitely had teachers who soured us on schooling. So often, teachers are held up in high regard, but is it justified when so many teachers aren't all that great? (Not saying for a moment that a good teacher should be lumped in with the actions of poor teachers, but so often you hear things like, "Teachers should be paid more than athletes," and, truth be told...there are a lot of shitty teachers out there who probably don't deserve what they are already paid!)
After that, it's on to standardized testing and the money that's tied to it. Is standardized testing good or bad? Is one who tests well "educated" -- is it possible to solve problems and be smart and not test well? (You can probably guess where we stand!) Does more money solve problems in districts, or are there bigger problems with education that money alone can't solve? Hell, why not just ask if the public school model is outdated altogether?
We take a different track and ask how we'd see our own children educated before stepping into home schooling/unschooling. Is homeschooling and unschooling bad? What about the arguments about socialization: is a school a good place for socialization, or can it be like Lord of the Flies for many, destroying the confidence of so many kids who would otherwise be social in other environments?
While most of this episode focuses on primary and secondary education, it's off to college...but is college worth it? Does a traditional education and college prepare younger people for adulthood and the real world, or is it more about discipline and then wondering why the person who previously had to ask for permission to use the restroom isn't suddenly the problem-solving adult they are expected to be after graduating high school?
Breaking from tradition, we move on to other interesting ways of educating people. After that, we build a time machine and go back with the ability to shape our own educations -- find out what we would have changed and how we'd have preferred to have been educated. And, as always, we wrap it all up by discussing the future...this time, what the future of education might be like...
If you're stuck in detention and looking for something to do, tell us some of your thoughts and feelings about education in the comments.
Thu, 19 December 2013
MWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! This week, we're all about...SCIENCE!!! (Imagine a flash of lightning instead of exclamation points and it's soooooooo much better!) But really, that's kind of the Hollywood/Frankenstein version of science. We're a bit more grounded than that...although we DO love a good mad scientist movie...
We begin as we always do: discussing our first memories of the topic; in this case, our first memories of science. We obviously wouldn't talk about science if we didn't find science fascinating, so after that, we move on to the first field of science we ever loved. Also, find out if we were good students in science classes in school.
But enough about the past: find out what we feel are the most fascinating scientific developments right now! Then we roll into the weirdest science experiments we've heard about...and the most horrific! Some people think most science has the potential for harm...who should decide the limits of what we do with science: scientists, government, or something else? Or...should anyone have a say?
Next, find out what we feel are the most ridiculous assertions backed by "science," and listen to why we feel so many people put stock in pseudoscience. It all wraps up with where we see science going in the future.
So put on the lab coats and headphones and then head to the comments to talk about one of the best things ever: science!
Mon, 16 December 2013
Regular listeners know we always put a snippet of our pre-show babble at the very end of each episode. We decided it would be fun to give your ears a peek behind the scenes and let a longer-than-usual babble-fest loose on the world. No editing, just straight-up pre-show talk.
So...what do we cover in 10 minutes?
Wed, 11 December 2013
We kick it off talking about our earliest memories of collaborating, before jumping right in and answering the big question: Do we like collaborating with others? Find out our best experiences working with others...and the worst!
It's hard not to talk about collaboration and not talk about work. How much do our jobs rely on collaborating with others? How do you work with that person who refuses to work well with others? Should employers even encourage collaboration; if so, how can they best get people to work together well? Does any one person (or group of people) have the upper hand when collaborating?
Find out if we prefer leading groups of simply being part of groups when we have to collaborate on a project. Can people collaborate and still have their own voice be heard? And, finally: what's the best collaborative effort seen in history?
Feel free to collaborate by sharing your thoughts about collaborating in the comments.
Wed, 4 December 2013
Ever watch TV? Bet you have. Man, do we have a podcast for you this week -- one of those, "I can't believe we haven't done this one, yet!" shows. This week, we're talking about that great American pass time: television!
We kick it off talking about the first TV show we remember watching, before jumping to how important TV was to us when we were young. How does TV from the past (we focused on 80s TV) compare to things today?
Somewhere along the way, the mini series became a popular thing. We discuss the first mini series programming we remember watching before moving to our all-time favorite mini series. Probably because the mini series at least shot for something more, we jump to talking about the shows that seemed to be forerunners to the more intricate story arcs, characterization, and chances taken with TV today. Also: the most out-of-the-box TV shows we've ever seen.
With the rise of cable, viewers (and creators) have more channels to choose from. Is this better or worse for creators? What TV shows do we feel have had strong writing? And you know you want to find out the most embarrassing shows we'll admit to liking!
In the homestretch, we ask how relevant TV is to today's culture...before calling out the best TV shows of all time (and the worst). We wrap it all up with this question: What is the future of television?
So grab that remote and flip to Men in Gorilla Suits. As always, we'd love to hear your feelings about anything discussed in the comments.
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(Wow, we succeeded going this entire description without saying boob tube! Huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh...)
Mon, 25 November 2013
With Thanksgiving on Thursday in the states, we decided to release this week's show early...
This week, we're talking about celebrity, and we begin the episode like we begin most episodes: discussing our earliest memories of things (this time, of celebrities). When did we realize there were these things out there called celebrities, and who were the first celebrities to get our attention?
Why are people so enamored with celebrities, and is there something sad about the name dropper...the person who talks about all the celebrities they've met? Is there a difference in the way people view the status of famous musicians, athletes, actors, or even writers -- or is celebrity the same for all? Then the big question: who are our favorite celebrities?
From there, we talk about some of the celebrities we've met...and celebrities we just don't get! It seems many love celebrity scandals -- we discuss why that is before talking about a type of celebrity many don't even consider: the Internet celebrity. There are bloggers, people with YouTube Channels, and podcasters -- some of whom have larger followings than traditional celebrities. Is this new kind of celebrity a step down from what most deem as celebrity, or is it just as valid of those on the red carpet at a movie premiere or awards ceremony?
We then take a turn into the realm of reality TV show celebrities: do they deserve the credit, or are the Kardashians and others the worst of the worst?
This podcast was done at the request of a friend, who pitched a couple questions. The first one: who are our man crushes? (Apparently the Gorillamen have similar tastes in male celebrities!) The second: who are the five celebrities we'd put on our laminated list? Finally, we close the episode out by answering this question: "Would you want to be a celebrity?"
As always, we'd love to hear your answers to any of the topics discussed on this week's episode.
Thu, 21 November 2013
A week from tomorrow is Black Friday. It used to have more meaning, but in recent years, the sales kick off on Thanksgiving Day. Each year, it seems advertising for holiday sales begins earlier than ever before. People complain about seeing Christmas decorations in August, but it apparently works as advertisers push the limits of what the purchasing public will accept.
This week's podcast is all about advertising, starting with the first advertisements we remember seeing. From there, we confess to what capacity we've each worked in the advertising world. (If the podcast had chapter titles, this part would be "Shawn Hangs Out with Molly Hatchet!)
Even with digital recorders, TV still seems like the place for advertising. We discuss whether we even watch ads on television anymore (if we really ever did), before discussing ads that annoy us...and ads we like. (So, obviously, ads do get through to us.) Then on to the big question: has an advertisement ever convinced us to actually buy something? Has an ad annoyed us so much that it's turned us off from purchasing something? Are there right and wrong ways to go about advertising?
We then take a moment to discuss the best and worst ads we've ever seen before discussing if we've ever tried advertising our books. (Answer: no and no!) And then we close it all out discussing the future of advertising. How invasive will it get?!
We'd love to hear about your favorite and most-hated ads in the comments, so jump in and have fun! (You'll make the ghost of Earl Scheib sell his soul for just $99.95!)