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!

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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.

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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!

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