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Stop Podcasting Yourself 202 - Kaitlin Fontana

Kaitlin Fontana

Authoress and improviser Kaitlin Fontana returns to talk about New York, Polish singles, lasers, and absinthe. Also, Drunk Dials and Drunk E-mails!

Download episode 202 here. (right-click)

Brought to you by:

(click here for the full list of sponsors)

My Brother, My Brother and Me 89: Grab the Merkin


We're centering our chakras and aligning our voodoo power centers to bring you our most spiritual episode to date. Come, join us as we look not only into the problems of our dear listeners, but also, the maladies of the soul.

Suggested talking points: Prisoner of Worship, Fridge, Third Wheel, Arch Duke Zach Morris, Dupree'd, Merksmanship, Bakulover

Podthoughts by Colin Marshall: Point of Inquiry


Vital stats:
Format: interviews with bigtime skeptics
Episode duration: 30m-1h
Frequency: weekly

“In-KWAI-ree.” That’s how the hosts of Point of Inquiry [RSS] [iTunes] pronounce, sometimes with great deliberateness, the final word of their program’s title. Does this sound strange? Not terribly. Is it even not the standard pronunciation? Admittedly, I don’t know. But at certain moments, the word as uttered on this podcast sounds saturated with the sterile moisture of pedantry. Most of the time, I feel comforted to hear the speaker taking such pains. But other times — few times, but telling ones — I feel a flood of desire to shake him down for his lunch money.

The show belongs to the genre of podcasts on skepticism, one which took off with surprising force early in the medium’s emergence. Its name, despite my complicated feelings about how announcers say it, strikes me as a paragon of dignity compared with those its swarm of brethren have taken up: Skepticality, Skeptiko, Skeptoid, Skepchick. Truth to tell, had Point of Inquiry’s sponsoring organization the Center for Inquiry called it, say, Skeptacular or Stupid SkepTricks, you probably wouldn’t be reading a Podthought about it. But by today, skepticism shows have multiplied to the extent that no pun, no matter how goofy, can set a show apart.

Point of Inquiry’s form also exhibits an uncommon poise. Many skepticism podcasts divide themselves into a distracting array of segments, compulsively gin up uncomfortable confrontations with suspiciously dopey adversaries, or loose slightly-too-large casts of panelists into a frenzy over the delusion of the week like bored jungle cats upon a limping wildebeest. This one has evolved into straightforward interviews with luminaries who have carved out careers staring down particular skeptical bugaboos: Brendan Nyhan on political spin in the media [MP3], Michael Shermer on evidence-free beliefs [MP3], Steven Pinker on traditional notions of human nature [MP3], Jonathan Kay on 9/11 “Truthers” [MP3], the late Christopher Hitchens on God [MP3]. Somebody behind these scenes wields wide-ranging connections, slick booking skills, or both; no skeptical podcast I know gets consistently heavier hitters on the phone.

Few passive pursuits feel as satisfying to me as absorbing the authoritative tones of these famously rigorous thinkers on the page or through the earbud. I fall into the habit of considering it a sort of cognitive sanitation, of mental housecleaning that might blow a cobweb or two of nonsense out of my consciousness. I soon grow convinced that nobody could ever reasonably object to my engagement in this. These skeptics have all devoted their lives to perceiving the truth, thinking about the truth, and snatching the truth from the clutches of liars. And truth equals good, doesn’t? If we don’t operate from the axiom that truth equals good, what do we have in this world?

And yet, for all the sensations of pleasure and ever-swelling moral rightness I draw from the skeptical conversation, sooner or later I get overwhelmed by a kind of defeat. This all starts to feel like masturbation, especially in its ultimate effects on my actual world. I suppose the mental stimulation from listening to somebody smart argue against psychics or religion or conspiracy theories is nothing to scoff at, but I wasn’t particularly concerned with psychics or religion or conspiracy theories before, and I’m not going to do anything different today because I’ve heard what I’ve heard. Truth for truth’s sake seems like a noble enough thing to seek, but take it too far and, paradoxically, you start to look nuts; one day you just want to hear spoon-bending debunked, and the next you’re going to library-basement meetings in your sweatpants.

But if you can bear these dangers in mind, you’ll find few classier sources of skeptical listening material than Point of Inquiry. Its hosts get right to the heart of these issues with public intellectuals you’d be embarrassed not to know about, and its archives go back years and years. Just make sure you have another hobby, too. Dance the tango or butcher your own beef or join a roller derby league. Don’t turn into a weenie.

[Podthinker Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture [iTunes], which is now Kickstarting its first season.]

Jordan, Jesse, GO! Episode: 209: Macaroni & Bees with Dave Horwitz, Jen Goldberg & Eric Martin


On this weeks JJGO! Dave Horwitz Jen Goldberg & Eric Martin join Jordan in the club house for some Bud Light Limes and Good Times! The usual themes are discussed like Spartacus' dong, the margarita guitar and that guy who blogs about the blogs about video games. Let's Go!

Stop Podcasting Yourself LIVE in Toronto!

03/03/2012 - 20:00 - 23:55
Venue Name: 
Comedy Bar

Stop Podcasting Yourself will record a live podcast on Saturday, March 3rd at the Comedy Bar in Toronto, featuring some hilarious surprise guests. Join us, won't you?

Tickets are available here.

(The link is being kinda weird. Just keep trying it.)

UPDATE: Tickets are now sold out for the show. You bought them up in about 3 days. Thanks! There will also be a stand-up show earlier that night. Tickets for that will be available at the door.

Judge John Hodgman Episode 49: The Master's Disaster


Jessie and Jason are a happily married couple with a time-sensitive issue. Jason has been enrolled in a Master's Degree program that offers its courses in two different semester lengths. He can choose to split up the semester in an 8 week on and 8 week off frame, or compact the course work into an extensive 16 week semester with a 16 week break. Jason has already slogged through the lengthier version once, to Jessie's dismay.

The issue is that when Jason is in classes (and attending to his full-time job), he has no time for anything but the bare necessities -- and that does not involve what Jessie considers "husbandly duties," including cooking, household chores, noticing of fancy attire and well-appointed hairdos or handyman-related issues.

Can the Judge keep this marriage from falling apart at the seams? FIND OUT THIS WEEK!


Jordan, Jesse, Go! Episode: 208: The Sex Dungeon With Chris Fairbanks & Alison Becker


While Jesse's away Jordan invites Chris Fairbanks and Aison Becker to the newly renovated sex dungeon! Can't buy me love? Dubstep? Cats? Yup, just the kind of Dungeon you'd expect on Jordan, Jesse, Go!

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jenna Fischer, Jack Handey, Video Game Picks and Kasper Hauser

Jenna Fischer
Jack Handey
Heather Anne Campbell
Kasper Hauser

This week!
Video Game Picks: Comedian and video game journalist Heather Anne Campbell tells us about some of the games she's most excited about right now: a game in the canon of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Resident Evil Revelations. (Embed or share this segment)

Actress Jenna Fischer: Emmy-nominated actress Jenna Fischer, best known for her role as Pam on The Office, talks to us about her early days in Hollywood – her totally-made-up-sounding first acting gig in LA, auditioning for The Office, and what all the actors are doing on their computers when they're in the background of a shot. The Office is now in its eighth season. (Embed or share this segment)

Kasper Hauser: San Francisco-based comedy sketch group Kasper Hauser takes us to the set of Mundos de Perros. You can find more from them on their podcast, or catch them live this week at SF Sketchfest. Click here for the Kasper Hauser podcast.

Humorist Jack Handey: Yes, he's totally real. Writer Jack Handey, whose one-liners are an enduring part of Saturday Night Live history, will talk about his days as Steve Martin's neighbor, and which of the many, many Deep Thoughts are his favorites. Plus, Jesse will reveal his favorite SNL sketch of all time. (Embed or share this segment)

The Outshot: And finally, the outshot for this week – Bo Jackson. How is a guy that fast, that strong? And how is a guy that strong, that fast? (Embed or share this segment)

You can subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or the RSS feed -- stay tuned for next week's Bullseye!

Stop Podcasting Yourself 201 - Jon Dore

Jon Dore

Comedian Jon Dore returns to talk about Australia, bears, Banksy, and Hulk Hogan.

Download episode 201 here. (right-click)

Brought to you by:

(click here for the full list of sponsors)

My Brother, My Brother and Me 88: The Lion, The Witch and the Boyskinz


We're standing alongside our online brethren as we fight off the oppressive chokehold of internet-ruining federal legislation! If you don't find this week's episode amusing, it's because we blacked out all of the potential comedy. That'll teach you, Congress.

Suggested talking points: SOPA, Fourthmeal, Oberstian Punishment, YUUUUP, Creeped Off, Buttsongs, Cake Boss

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