Broadly Focused Podcast Episode 21

This week’s episode of the Broadly Focused Podcast – OK, yes, I get it.  It’s been a long time.  Where’d you go?  Are you podfading?  No one actually asked these questions, mind you, but we imagine some of you were at least thinking something along the lines… right?  We talk about it.

iTunes is jacked up somehow.  Maybe I did it when I tried to change our category… I don’t know.  The people trying to help are clearly doing their jobs, and they have tried to offer helpful information, but unfortunately, some of it just doesn’t make sense.  I talk about it.

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News Items:

Broadly Focused Podcast: Still alive?

That’s right, we’re the damn news!  We wanted to address the 800 pound gorilla in the intertube right off the bat – a series of events, some sad, some good times with family, some poor communication and planning…

So, my mom died.  The day before we were scheduled to record Episode 21.  That’s one week.  I’m an only child and my stepfather died in September, so I got to handle all of the arrangements, although with help from family and friends, my wife especially. That’s two weeks.  Then, Brian’s family came in to town and he had no time – there’s your three weeks.  Last week, we just didn’t talk enough, I blew it off on Monday because I thought I was going to have to work overtime that evening and the next morning.  Brian’s Tuesday was already booked, as was my Wednesday and Thursday.  And that’s a month hiatus – unannounced – and with no explanation during.  Sorry about that.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, I have to deal with a whole bunch of estate stuff over the next couple of months, and then I’ll be having a baby.  Well, not me personally, you see, but my wife.  Anyway, the point here is that the show may not be consistent as it was before we disappeared for a month, and because the equipment is up at Brian’s house for the time being, I may not have a chance to record an apology and place holding file for the feed.  I’ll do my best.  Will you shoot us If I have to record on the Rock Band mic? You OG listeners know what I’m talking about!

Chuckleheads and Political Apathy

 A Republican congressman who’s retiring in frustration over political gridlock says he hopes the institution doesn’t have to hit “rock bottom” before people learn to work together.

Ohio’s Steven LaTourette tells MSNBC it’s more difficult for a reasonable person to get re-elected to Congress because “the red districts are turning redder and the blue districts are turning bluer.”

The red-versus-blue theory came to prominence when political analysts began breaking down the electoral map in terms of blue states as Democratic-leaning and red states as Republican. LaTourette says Friday that voters haven’t demanded enough. He says when Congress failed to make a deal on budget cuts, quote, “I didn’t get one phone call. I didn’t get one email.”

He says people should have been saying, “What’s wrong with these chuckleheads?”

OK, so that’s the whole article, by the way.  We generally agree that with our lack of educated and interested electorate, a representational republic may not be the best choice.

Curious about Mars?

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock without even a dial-up connection, you know that we landed a super-big, super-capable science lab on another planet.  We talk about how cool this is, how cool it was to see live, how cool the plan was, how well it worked, and how we need way more funding for stuff like this.

Items of interest:

Brian – LevLight Project

One Australian’s quest to create lighting utilizing wireless power transfer and magnetic levitation. I’d love to do this in my house, but I have vaulted ceilings, and the math required to compute the power to the magnetic levitation system (I think that’s a misnomer, actually, since the light hangs in the magnetic field, it doesn’t rest on it. More of a magnetic tractor field, no?) on an incline would give me migraines.

Matt –

Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to improve their understanding. Yet this isn’t what happens with climate change denial. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that refutes global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?


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