Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I'm on Skepticality!

I am envious of people who listen to a lot of podcasts and contribute frequently to online forums. They cleary have better time-management skills than I do. I contribute to two online forums, The JREF Forum and Bad Astronomy, but that's only because I'm addicted to the content of those sites. I listen to one podcast: Skepticality. I found Skepticality in the summer of 2005 and became an instant fan of the show. It helped with my mid-year TAM withdrawl symptoms. Hosts Derek and Swoopy were producing top-shelf skeptical content on a regular basis. And with each episode, you got to know them better.

In September 2005, Steve Jobs named Skepticality as a top podcast. That same month, they suffered a setback that would have sent most podcasts into oblivion. But they re-emerged in 2006 as the official podcast of Skeptic magazine. What a ride!

Anyway, I think the world of Derek and Swoopy--two ordinary folks from Roswell, Georgia who built a polished, excellent podcast from scratch. Meeting them at TAM5 was a highlight of the meeting. The fact that they included me in their TAM5 episode was an unexpected thrill. Swoopy mentions me by name and says something nice about me, I get to weigh in on the ongoing "monkey news" controversy, and they linked to my website on their show notes for Episode 45.

Download that episode to get a sampling of TAM5 audio gems that Swoopy was able to catch. I'll post to report when I can get my head to fit through a doorway again.


Anonymous said...

I haven't listened to this podcast yet, but if you are saying that they had Monkey News before the Ricky Gervais Show, it's not true. Monkey News is the continuation of a segment they did on their weekly radio show in London. I am such a fan of the podcast that I downloaded some of the old radio shows from 2001, and Monkey News is on there. CASE CLOSED!

That's the original Monkey News.

Dean Baird said...

When you listen to the podcast, O serious MonkeyNews aficionado, you will hear me qualify my statement appropriately.

I should have further qualified it by refering to Skepticality's MonkeyNews as the original, "listenable" MonkeyNews.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Ricky Gervais fan. Loved the BBC's The Office! But when I tuned in to my first taste of his show (free podcast, once upon a time), I found it to be unlistenable. Him and his buds in "stream of conciousness" mode for, well, too long. If there was a structure to the show or any sense of editing involved, it wasn't apparent.

And I had been listening to Skepticality podcasts well before I saw Gervais' podcast on my iTunes screen.

But if you want to get technical, there was probably a zine in the '90s doing MonkeyNews, and maybe something else doing it before that. CASE OPEN.