Episode 18 – Inspiration

Hold on now, – INSPIRATION?! Are Michael and Katherine seriously gonna slam the very juice that fuels their business? Hell yeah they are! That’s because inspiration’s often just an excuse creative types use for why they’re not working. Many say they need inspiration to strike like a lightning bolt from the sky. Meanwhile Katherine and Michael wish something would strike these lazy asses. Do the work! You’re living in a dream, bro!

How to Motivate Yourself

Though they’ve got crocks to talk about, this duo are also here to help. For instance, Michael focuses on the creative process. He cites the classic book A Technique For Producing Ideas by ad man James Webb Young. It gives five phases for developing an idea and getting yourself to full execution. Michael breaks out specific tips for how to actually take these actions. This can get you creating rather than just sitting on the couch waiting for lightning to strike. You’re welcome!

Stop waitin’ for it! Get to work!

Make Dreams REAL – Tangible Inspiration

Katherine gives examples of inspiration that arise from: an object, an experience, and a person. She believes inspiration comes from emotion. That’s because it takes a real thing, whether an item, incident, or personal connection that gives people the impetus to create. In other words, seek out emotional ties if you want a productive creative life.

An Object as Creative Incentive

Photo Credit: Nicholas Calcott for the New York Times

A glorious handmade dresser serves as inspiration for an innovative Brooklyn artist. Built from a single piece of wood and a hand-picked tree, this piece makes its mark not only on a spacious studio but also the artist Wangechi Mutu’s gorgeous work. Click the link to see her art for yourself!

Anxiety Inspired Halloween

Elizabeth Krebs of Kansas

Who knew that the Halloween traditions we know and love – like costumes, parades, and candy – are all thanks to a cranky old lady in Kansas? In fact, she started all these incredibly fun festivities simply to entertain and exhaust her local teenagers. It all happened back in 1912 because teens were ripping up her flowerbeds on mischief night. Learn why Michael and Katherine change their opinions on teen trick-or-treaters in this section of the podcast.

Tween’s Tragedy Inspires Literary Icon

Photo credit: Philadelphia Bulletin, via A/P

The real-life Lolita, Sally Horner, was an 11 year old girl kidnapped by a 50 year old man right around the time that Nabokov wrote the literary novel Lolita. In fact, the novelist even referred to her case as one of the inspirations for his most famous book. But Sally’s point of view was never considered in Nabokov’s story. Not to downgrade its value as a work of art, but the story certainly doesn’t serve its tween tragedy of origin. Thankfully, the voices in our literary world are evolving. That’s why a new book tells Sally’s story. Interested? Check out THE REAL LOLITA The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman.

These examples are just springboards for more thoughts and feelings in this week’s Crockcast. Tune in for more delights and listen today!

Love the Crock? We Love you Back!

Thanks for listening to Such a Crock podcasts!  Click this link to Subscribe at Such a Crock – Apple Podcasts. It helps us out a lot. Then if you’re really into it, follow us on Instagram. But no matter what, we appreciate that you listen. Thank you for the encouragement, feedback, and kind words. We’re grateful for you!

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Episode 17 – Holiday Decorations

After a spooky intro, Katherine and Michael dive right into a crocktacular Holiday Decoration discussion. They kick off with a fun back and forth about how much our silly country spends on these decorations in a single year. The numbers might surprise you, but Michael guessed them with terrific accuracy.

Guess what’s spent on Halloween Decorations

When to take Holiday Decorations Down

Michael chuckles at a story he read on hellogiggles.com that talks about when to pack in the Christmas decorations. He then asks when people should do this as a policy. This reminds Katherine about her minimalist Christmas of yore when she just didn’t feel like decorating. Thing is, when you barely put any decorations up it’s pretty darn easy to put stuff away right after the gifts are unwrapped.

K’s Minimalist Christmas – including a tiny Lego snowman and lego “snow”

EXTREME Outdoor Christmas Decorations

But let’s just admit it, most people who celebrate Christmas don’t show Katherine’s level of restraint. In fact, Plantation, Florida filed a lawsuit against a family in their community for EXTREME holiday decorations. Can decorations really cause enough harm to warrant a lawsuit?

Introducing, The Hyatts. This family doesn’t just love Christmas, they gotta blow out the power grid. In fact, only lighting the sky for miles can satisfy their intense lust for Holiday Decorations. Listen to the podcast to find out what happened with the Hyatts. Did they win the lawsuit? Do they wear matching holiday sweaters? (Yes) Are they still married? (No) Did they start a GoFundMe? Listen and learn it all, bro.

Sample of the Hyatt brand holiday madness

 Speaking of Bad Neighbors…

Then Katherine and Michael wax nostalgic for their horrendous neighbors of yore who partied every night at 3AM to the Macarena. It’s relevant because of Michael’s take on a bad boy named Barry who lost his mind on a bulldozer. Let’s just say Barry might have some anger issues and  impulse control presents a bit of a challenge to him. At least that’s what his neighbors think… as well as the cops who took him away for several assault counts and massive malicious mischief. Here’s a tip if Barry moves in next door to you: Don’t build a fence. It’s triggering AF.

Next Steps if You LOVE the CROCK

We’re so grateful you join us for Such a Crock podcasts on Mondays! Please help us keep it up! Click this link to Subscribe at Such a Crock – Apple Podcasts. Then if you’re really feeling the love, follow us on Instagram. Also, our Twitter longs for even just a morsel of your attention. But no matter what you may do or not do, we appreciate you for listening. Thank you for all your Crocktastic encouragement. We love you!

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Episode 16 – Normal

 

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Weirdos Rule! Normal drools.

Katherine and Michael fill their Such a Crock podcast with frivolity and rebel against normal this week. That’s because they agree that normal is a total crock. Weirdos rule!

The podcast goes a bit off the rails this week as Michael and Katherine flit around “normal” topics. They engage a lively debate around Blockbuster Video, technology, and progress. In fact, there’s even talk about the very last Blockbuster in existence. Then Katherine and Michael shift into a meditation on the gold rush and prostitution. This, of course, ends with a lesson for Michael on raw dogging and love between strangers.

Meaty Fruit Stench and “Normal”

 

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1) Ginkgo fruit & leaf 2) ginkgo fruit smashed by NYC runners 3) book on history of the ancient ginkgo tree

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Katherine shares her noxious personal experience of 200+ million year old fossil, the gingko tree. She dodged the stinky fruit of this ancient tree on a daily basis for twenty five years before learning the truth of the ginkgo. Turns out, in other cultures such as Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, the precious gingko plays an iconic role. In fact, according to the gingko expert, Peter Crane, these trees are revered for many reasons.  Check out his book, Gingko, The Tree Time Forgot for all the glorious details.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers are pounding these stinky fruits into the pavement and crinkling their noses in utter ignorance of why other cultures feel quite the opposite. Not only do they adore the gingko fruits, but these other cultures collect the fruit right there off the pavement to concoct delightful treats. In other words, there is no “normal” when it come to the gingko experience. It makes one person gag and another turns it into dessert. This serves as a prime example of how normal isn’t real or even a particularly useful concept. It can even keep people from understanding and appreciating other cultures in some cases.

Nothing is Normal

The SAC duo wax philosophic on many more examples of how normal is a crock. “There is no normal!” Michael declares. “We’re all prostitutes!” Katherine claims. So, let’s just embrace our weirdness and love each other, dammit. The alternative, turning our noses up at the “abnormal”, doesn’t seem like much fun, after all.

Speaking of fun, Michael brings up the prescient hilarity of The Onion and how they seem to foretell our cultural future on the reg. He gives the uber-relevant example of a video they ran long ago about how Blockbuster Video became of museum… a current reality according to the article we cited for you above in our very last Blockbuster in existence link. Check it out!

Join Us – SAC Keeps Getting Better!

Thanks for listening to Such a Crock every Monday! You can help us keep us going with a quick click when you Subscribe at Such a Crock – Apple Podcasts follow us on Instagram. Also, our pathetic Twitter  desperately craves just an ounce of your attention. Send us a tweet and we’ll be happy to tweetcha back with a holla! Thank you for the Crocktastic love. We are so grateful to all of you!

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Episode 15 – Stuff

This week’s Such a Crock podcast revolves around the crockery of STUFF. In many cases stuff is more trouble than its worth. Katherine opens with a prime example of precisely this sort of stuff quandary.

Honest Abe’s Topper – It’s just Stuff

She harkens back to the days of yore when the dapper Prez, Abraham Lincoln, sported an iconic beaver skin stovepipe hat. Today this hat serves as the foundation of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum where people gaze upon it with ardor and amazement. Trouble is… it may not be Lincoln’s hat after all. Currently, an FBI investigation in progress holds the fate of this museum in its grasp. In fact, they may go bankrupt and close. Concerned? You can donate to their gofundme if you’re feeling generous.

Stuff #1 The hat in question, made of beaver skin and arousing doubt on its provenance.

 

 Hoarder or Collector of Stuff?

Next the duo discuss some funny personal touchstones about their opposite perspectives on stuff. In order to call it a crock, Michael had to dig DEEP into the recesses of our culture’s worst case scenarios. In other words, hoarders. He horrifies Katherine with tales of hoarding insanity including a woman who not only filled her house with fifty live cats but also 75-100 dead ones, many which she liquified. He also provides an instance of a woman collecting garbage out of dumpsters and then destroying the family fridge with her “collection”.

Comic Books – Controversial Stuff

Katherine and Michael talk a bit about his collections of magic cards and comic books which makes for a fantastic segue-way into the next topic. Comic aficionado, Michael tells the story of Nicholas Cage’s copy of Action Comics #1. It’s a fascinating tale of a rare comic that portrays the introduction of the world’s first superhero for the very first time – Superman. Cage had the comic framed and up on his wall when it was stolen along with some other framed rare comics. Years later the comic appeared in a storage locker and was then sold at auction in 2011 for more than $2million.

Stuff #2 Nicholas Cage cries himself to sleep missing this comic

Michael sees this as evidence that comics can be worthwhile investments. He sees it a validation of “collectors”. Katherine sees it as yet another example of how ownership is a transitory relationship; things don’t last no matter how tightly we cling to them. They get stolen, they deteriorate, and we get bored of them, etc.

Minimalism – You Don’t Need Stuff!

Katherine then lists her incredibly non-judgmental reasons why living a minimalist lifestyle can help make your life better. She’s a big believer in this way of life and highly recommends it. In fact, if you’d like to check it out for yourself, try the movie Minimalism: A Documentary on Netflix or Amazon.com. These guys are drinking the same Kool Aid Katherine purveys and are just as happy and preachy about it as she is.

Stuff #3 See the movie! It’s fab and free!

Thanks for letting us bring you Such a Crock every Monday of the month! Please help us out by showing your support and sharing the love. Just Subscribe at Such a Crock – Apple Podcasts then follow us on Instagram. Also, our fledgling Twitter can really use a your attention and love. Send us tweets and we’ll tweet back atcha loud and proud! Thank you for all your Crocktastic support. We appreciate and love you mucho!

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Antibacterial

Episode 14 – Antibacterial

Michael and Katherine terrify germaphobes galore with a crockcast annihilation of all things antibacterial. Luckily, they’ll also make you laugh those fears away. Michael even faces some of his own in a failed attempt to prove he’s a Gryffindor. Unfortunately, his horror at the mere mention of sticky subway poles and bananas seal his fate as a wholly verified (and terrified) Slytherin.

Bacteria are the Real Heroes

This special morning edition of the podcast dawns as Michael explains the human body’s Microbiome. Turns out bacteria are critical to our well being. So, how can antibacterial be the hero of any human story? They can’t. According to Michael (with help from the NIH) our body is merely a meat puppet at the mercy of millions of microscopic bacteria.

Many of these bacteria play crucial roles in our health. They are, in fact, life sustaining and make up a large part of our bodies. So, even though they’re tiny with terrible reputations, bacteria are actually the hardest working goody two shoes of our constitution.

Reissue of the Meat Puppets Mirage album 2011

Antibacterial Products = Stupid Toxic Crap

Katherine doesn’t mince around about her contempt for antibacterial products. But lucky for her, scientists and experts in the field agree that this billion dollar industry is based on a lie and needs to be banned. The worst culprits, Triclosan and Triclocarbon were, in fact, recently banned by the FDA. It’s likely many of the alcohol based products new moms love to use for toddler dousing and dipping soon will be too. Why this vehement reaction?

That’s because antibacterial agents are proven to cause dire health concerns including hormonal scrambles, developmental challenges, metabolism issues, and cancer. Not only that, they aren’t even particularly effective! Soap and water works just as well, if not better. Thousand of people die every year from antibiotic resistant infections and antibacterials are a large contributor to this growing problem.

Speaking of Immune Systems…

Michael transitions into a probiotics probe. Do they actually work? Let’s cut to the chase…. Nope. Turns out, There just aren’t enough of the little buggers per serving to make an impact on the massive ecosystem of our bodies. We are made of many microorganisms, after all. He explains that in cases of people with gut disorders, probiotics can make a difference but only with the live cultures.

In other words, throw away any probiotics you have in capsule or pill form because a probiotic is ALIVE and needs to stay that way to have any impact at all. That means probiotics can help those who need an extra boost of good bacteria but it’s gotta be livin’ or it’s not worth a crap… and if you’ve got gut issues, we mean that literally.

Probiotics close-up from International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Probiotics

Chlorine is Antibacterial  Too

Katherine brings the podcast around the final bend to talk about being a dumbass. It’s familiar territory for her… almost as familiar as the five minute trip she takes many times a week to her nearby swimming pool. She shares how much fun she has telling all her friends about how because it’s a saltwater pool, swimming doesn’t damage her har or bathing suits as much and she just loves it so much!

But once again, Katherine is simply a fool. That’s because saltwater pools are actually just systems of chlorination. The salt actually creates chlorine in the water! So, after humbly admitting defeat, Katherine investigates a bit further and found out some upsides that remain for her saltwater swimming experience. Thus, it all worked out in the end. As it always does here at Such a Crock!

We love bringing you Such a Crock every Monday of the month! If you love listening, please show your support and share the love, Subscribe at Such a Crock – Apple Podcasts then follow us on Instagram  and our fledgling Twitter can really use a boost! Thank you for all the Crocktastic support. We are so grateful for you!

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Expertise

Episode 13 – Expertise

Michael and Katherine get excited, impassioned even, to share their contrasting views on the crocktacular topic – Expertise.

 
 
 
 
 
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First Katherine comforts all those alleged “experts” out there with their fancy degrees, medals, and framed certificates. Nobody wants to take away these accolades! Relish them. Achievements are rad. That’s a given. Thing is, as cool as they are, such accomplishments only take you so far. In the constantly evolving world we all share, sometimes that expertise can calcify and get old fast if the “expert” doesn’t adjust as needed. But issues of expertise aren’t just the fault of stodgy old farts who are unwilling to learn new things and apply them to their wheelhouse. After all, our culture puts experts on pedestals only to abruptly knock them off for kicks.

Let the Expertise Debate Commence!

The debate between Katherine and Michael launches into full effect from this point forward in the expertise crockcast. Michael claims that experience is for losers, not experts and that he cares only about execution and accountability on the job. These matter much more to him than experience when he’s hiring. Michael even speculates that maybe office jobs shouldn’t require bachelor degrees as the standard minimum when hiring anymore.

While Katherine agrees about the BA becoming less crucial, she disagrees about experience. It’s not so lame, she claims. She cites elite athletes such a marathon runners, with many miles of experience behind them before they can compete at a level that qualifies as expertise. In fact, on the very day of this podcast recording, the world marathon record was broken in Berlin by Olympian, Eliud Kipchoge. This is a runner with true expertise AND lots of experience. He won the London marathon for the third time earlier this year, for instance.

Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record!

Expertise Claims to Fame

Michael expresses skepticism at the notion of expertise without outcomes to show for it. He says “show me the money, baby!” But few can actually back up their claims for expertise in Michael’s experience. On this same note, Katherine chimes in that this is all the more reason to seek expertise, to get those accolades and then nobody can take them away. Do it for the markers, in other words.

Those same outcomes that prove to Michael some semblance of worthwhile ability also serve as self esteem boosters along the road of life. That way when someone like Michael says, “Show me what you can do,” you’ve got something tangible to show. Otherwise claiming expertise is just pissing in the wind. Michael thinks this particular brand of urination caused our culture’s current crisis of conscience when it comes to hiring and assessing resumes.

The Scientific Method & Replication

Katherine does a quick shtick on the Scientific Method and why it’s come more into question these days. She discusses the process thanks to this handy dandy chart below:

Thanks for the chart ScienceBuddies.org!

As illustrated in the method, a crucial element of science is the process of reproducing experiments again after they’re initially done. Thing is, this happens less and less these days because there’s nothing fun and sexy about redoing somebody else’s experiment. Thus, the process of science is in a static state. Katherine cites some tweets scientists passed back and forth on this topic were they bemoan the lack of replication studies. Fact is, without them, the whole notion of scientific expertise lies in peril.

How did the Dinosaurs Die?

Michael then waxes nostalgic for the days of dinosaurs and their sad sad demise. He talks about how the wholly accepted theory that an asteroid destroyed them may just be knocked out by an expert named Gerta. She’s a fascinating character all on her own.

In fact, she might just be the most interesting person in the world, according to MichaelJ. That’s namely because Gerta was the impetus for the nastiest fight in all of academia. Thanks to her expertise as a Paleontologist Princeton Prof she presented an alternate theory to the cause of dinosaur mass extinction in The Atlantic Monthly.

Heartfelt Wrap-up

Katherine quotes Paris Hilton and then summarizes with a passionate plea along the lines of a Jerry Springer “Final Thought”. Thus, the notion of expertise is put to bed for the podcast and it’s time to try something new. This week Michael presents Katherine with a tasty treat test. Luckily she passes the test AND gets some yumtacular goodness in the process.

We hope you’re having as much fun with Such a Crock as we are! To show your support and share the love, Subscribe at Such a Crock – Apple Podcasts then follow us on Instagram  and our fledgling Twitter could use a boost too! Thank you for supporting the CrockCast. We love you guys! Direct Download

Guilty Pleasures

Episode 12 – Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures, huh?

Our intrepid duo seems somewhat divided on this week’s concept, at least to start. Katherine rejects the very concept of a guilty pleasure; while clueless Michael doesn’t seem to know what one is.

But one thing’s for certain…

Guilty Pleasures are SUCH A CROCK

Michael doesn’t seem to know what a guilty pleasure even is. It’s a “you know it when you see it” kinda thing to him.

So he decides to look up some “popular” guilty pleasures on the Internet to get more grounded. According to research cited by Hello! Magazine, 90% of Brits indulge in so-called guilty pleasures, up to four times per week.

He and K run through some of the Hello! hit list. Do they do these things? Often yes. K never seems to feel guilty about any of them, though 😉

Examples:

  • Ordering takeaway because you can’t be bothered to cook
  • Watching Disney films and cartoons as an adult
  • Falling asleep in front of the television, or at the cinema
  • Playing on the games console when the kids are not around
  • Dancing to Meghan Trainor

Napping is NOT a Guilty Pleasure!

Katherine has been a long advocate of an afternoon nap. For years, as a young — if overworked — ad exec, she was criticized for curling up for twenty minutes under her desk or whatever.

But scientists now say that a twenty minute power nap in the afternoon is just what the doctor ordered!

Now there are even napping businesses like recharj that validate her position. Something that makes you more productive is the opposite of guilty, right?

More from The Washington Post: Would you pay for a 20-minute nap? This studio is charging $15 for one.

The Simpsons: Guilty Pleasure Icon

Michael remembers way back when The Simpsons first started to air.

In those early years, the Simpson family drew all kinds of criticism. Bart was considered a bad influence. Even the POTUS seemed to have it in for them!

But over time critics have changed their position on The Simpsons. It has crushed countless records and won even more accolades and awards.

Read my lips: Can arguably the greatest achievement in television history be considered guilty, however pleasurable?

Why we NEED Guilty Pleasures

Simply: We can’t all just do what we love for work.

Katherine cites Do What You Love… and other lies about success and happiness by Miya Tokimitsu; that separation between work and play is a healthy thing.

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Espionage

Episode 11 – Espionage

Espionage is the coolest – we get it. But it also represents lots of crocktacular acts… things like stealing your boss’s computer or pretending to be something you aren’t. So, Michael and Katherine focus on the crocks while still keeping all the sexy fun parts in their spy stories.

Spy Turned Beat Cop

As sexy as espionage may seem, some spies can’t stand it. For instance, Michael shares the story of Patrick Skinner. As a CIA agent working in Afghanistan, Skinner threw it all away and came back home to become a beat cop. It’s likely the catalyst for this extreme lifestyle shift was a great loss he suffered when his dear friend, a fellow agent, died on the job in Afghanistan.

All the grieving etc. got Skinner thinking that beat cops contribute more to make the world a better place than a CIA agent on the other side the world. Some might say that’s the biggest crock of all… but it certainly helps Skinner sleep at night. So, who are we to judge? Just a coupla crocksters.

Espionage = Corporate Competitive Intelligence

Katherine shares a story from the mid-90s when she worked in advertising and got swept into shifty corporate shenanigans. Although KFlo has never been much of a “good girl” sometimes even the naughtiest of us have to do what’s right. After all, who better to unmask a heathen than a fellow barbarian? Ever wondered what happens when competitive intelligence wins and loses clients in a corporate environment? Listen to this part of the podcast… shhhhhhh.

The Culper Ring

Spying seems like a modern phenomenon but Michael shares the fascinating story of the Revolutionary War spy ring. Under orders from General George Washington, this batch of spies were the first American intelligence agents.

They did crucial work during the war including revealing Benedict Arnold. Surprisingly they not only had a female member but also Hercules Mulligan, owner of the coolest name in the those early American days of yore. The Culper Ring prevented assassinations and protected our beautiful country in her infancy. So, what’s the crock? Well, Michael’s attempt at rapping the Hamilton lyrics relevant to the Culper Ring probably counts as a crock.

Famous & Fabulous False Fronts

Ya think you know someone… but do you? Not according to history. Even celebrities with lots of biographies and articles written about them have secret lives. Thus, Katherine discusses four examples from the WWII era when many famous people secretly worked as spies. These people were uber celebrities that kept their secret spy lives on the down low. Curious who they are? Check out the podcast to find out more. The stories might surprise you.

Best Part of all… Spying Creates Jobs, Baby

What’s the bright side to all this? Michael points out that there’s a major gap in our culture right now with a need for cybersecurity.  In fact, pretty much anyone with a certificate in cybersecurity can get a job in a flash these days. What feels better than being wanted? Well, here’s your ticket to being the MOST desirable candidate on the block. Get yourself an online certificate in cybersecurity and then watch your phone blow up and those emails come rolling in!

We love bringing you Such a Crock each week. So, if you’re having fun too please subscribe at Such a Crock – Apple Podcasts and follow us on Instagram. Thank you for supporting the CrockCast!

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worry

Episode 10 – Worry

You know what’s such a crock? WORRY!

Monday, August 27th Crock Cast at SuchACrock.com

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Did you know that worry can literally change your brain structure? According to Psychology Today and WebMD,  “Chronic Stress Can Damage Brain Structure and Connectivity”.

All about solutions, Katherine shares a couple of her favorite worry releasers. One of them can even reverse anxiety’s brain changes. Check out this Harvard University Gazette story to see how that works.

But you don’t have to go so far as brain renovation to get some relief from worry. Just take a look at human history! Katherine recommends checking out some Ken Burns for solace. From his Civil War documentary to the Oscar-winning piece he did on the Statue of Liberty, Burns uses narrative mastery and primary sources to bring history alive. History serves as our greatest teacher in times of turmoil. That’s because it shows predictable patterns in human behavior. This can thus help us better understand and accept the confusing and worrying events of today… at least Katherine thinks so.

What are you worried about anyway? At least we’re not getting hit by asteroids.

Did you know that asteroids are zipping by us on the reg?

In the last decade, we’ve had a visitor that flew by the earth at close range – closer than the moon. But what’s even more astonishing? In February of 2013, a meteor actually exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia.

The Chelyabinsk Meteor

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Exploding with the force of approximately 30 Hiroshimas, the Chelyabinsk event injured hundreds… Albeit mostly from broken glass.

The Chelyabinsk asteroid was only a few paces across, but flew at almost 30 kilometers per second. A larger one could cause catastrophic damage… But it would take one maybe two kilometers across to have “worldwide effects”.

From NASA: “Five Years after the Chelyabinsk Meteor: NASA Leads Efforts in Planetary Defense”

Meditation Can Be a Cure for Worry

Katherine stays remarkably chilltacular even while raising a family and working in NYC. How does she do it? Her easiest and most effective method, meditation, alleviates worry and can work for pretty much anyone. Best part is, you don’t need to get a Netflix account or even break a sweat to get all the perks.

So, Katherine shares her years of experience with meditation, and in particular, the Headspace app. We get it if the notion makes you groan. But fact is, meditation WORKS. Want more evidence? Even skeptical articles can’t ignore the profound and positive impact meditation has on those who practice.

Worry is SUCH A CROCK. I mean, we could be getting invaded by a biblical pestilence or something

From Ars Technica: “US invaded by savage tick that sucks animals dry, spawns without mating”

So it turns out that several US states — including our home state of New York — are reporting infestation from the Asian Longhorned Tick.

Each female tick is essentially a clone-bomb of itself, dropping as many as 2,000 eggs. Attacking in swarms, these ticks exsanguinate their victims. Those victims are generally livestock or pets today, but the ticks do carry viruses that can be lethal to humans.

Between near-miss asteroid strikes and infestations of insatiable insects, there are just too many terrible things out of our control to waste our energy, worrying… Don’t you think? Michael does, anyway.

Even with Michael’s worrisome stories, our tenth crockcast still has some major laughs and a silly/fun taste test to boot. Show your support and share the love! Subscribe at Such a Crock – Apple Podcasts then follow us on Instagram  and check out our funky fresh Twitter.

Thank you for supporting the CrockCast. We love you guys!

 

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Deep Thoughts

Episode 9 – Deep Thoughts

Monday, August 20th. Our best crock yet!

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Are all deep thoughts “Such a Crock”? We hope not… Otherwise we might not have much of a podcast.

BUT! There are many excesses of “mental masturbation” that make philosophical and academic thinking seem distant from common sense. This week we look at some of them with a delightful mix of pragmatism and humor.

Antinatalism is Such a Crock

Michael starts off this week with a hoot he found in The New Yorker.

David Benetar is possibly the world’s most pessimistic philosopher. Benetar advocates for antinatalism, a philosophy imagining that we would all be better off if we had never been born. While Benetar would say death, like life, is problematic; we can collectively avoid a great deal of suffering by simply not having any more children.

Example excerpt:

We’re almost always hungry or thirsty. When we’re not, we must go to the bathroom. We often experience “thermal discomfort” —- we are too hot or too cold -— or are tired and unable to nap. We suffer from itches, allergies, and colds, menstrual pains or hot flashes. Life is a procession of “frustrations and irritations” —- waiting in traffic, standing in line, filling out forms. Forced to work, we often find our jobs exhausting; even those who enjoy their work may have professional aspirations that remain unfulfilled. Many lonely people remain single, while those who marry fight and divorce. People want to be, look, and feel younger, and yet they age relentlessly.

Cheery, huh?

“The Case for Not Being Born” at The New Yorker

“Fake Academia” is Such a Crock!

While Katherine’s own stories from her years as an academic are crock enough, at least her experience was real.

Unfortunately a new trend in academia is FAKE. People can buy their ways into academic journals or speaking positions at conferences for about six hundred bucks. As a test, a professor submitted a paper to a “fake academic” conference using the auto-complete feature of his smartphone.

Why might academics lower themselves to this kind of behavior? “Publish or perish.”

Professors-to-be need to publish their work and raise their profiles. Academic journals and conferences thus help them realize their ambitions… But are meant to be rigorous and lined with experts; not pay-to-play.

Learn more from “A Peek Inside the Strange World of Fake Academia” at The New York Times

“Teaching the Conflicts” is Such a Crock

In a sad turn, Michael talks about an academic model that focuses on the conflicts between different professors, rather than coming to any useful conclusions. The best example might be the student who aces an economics test and a poli sci test… By providing two wholly incompatible answers.

Michael first learned about the philosophy in a book about Pooh Bear; but the concept has since been appropriated by anti-evolution pseudoscientists an their “teaching the controversies” movement. Equal time, right?

Some basics about this from the University of Alberta

… What Makes Your Deep Thoughts so Special Anyway?

Thing is, deep thoughts are not really so precious – even children express them effectively. It could be argued that deep thoughts are best expressed in the most accessible way possible – as simple expressions about everyday stuff.

And even sometimes from the mouths of children…

Katherine points out how deep thoughts happen in our everyday life to bring us laughter even as we ponder their meaning. Then she wraps it up with some gems from the eminent Jack Handy and his SNL genius from the days of yore.

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