Uncommon Sense: the This is True Podcast

Uncommon Sense: the This is True Podcast
By Randy Cassingham
About this podcast
Uncommon Sense is the podcast for This is True, the oldest Entertainment newsletter on the Internet, starting in early 1994 and running weekly since. TRUE features 'weird news' stories with a purpose: it's Thought-Provoking Entertainment. TRUE is news commentary using rewritten summaries of real news stories as its vehicle. The newsletter is text, but the podcast is decidedly not an audio version of the newsletter, so you may want to try a free subscription to the newsletter, too. Subscribe at https://thisistrue.com/podcast
Latest episodes
Dec. 7, 2017
In This Episode: A married couple in Australia was so upset the possible legalization of SSM — Same-Sex Marriage — they promised to demonstrate the sanctity of marriage by …getting a divorce. Flash update to that story. And another segment of No Longer Weird. Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * Note: this episode contains a Thursday update to the story, which was written on Sunday. * As promised, you can find Princess Bride on Bluray on Amazon. The brief version of the scene in question is below. * Australia’s Constitution’s language about the separation of church and state “is derived from the United States’ constitution, but has been altered,” says Wikipedia. And then it gets complicated…. * The 2007 99-Cent store wedding story, with the priest’s letter, is here in my blog, as is my essay Why I Embrace “Gay Marriage”. * According to the Gallup poll, about 4 percent of people in the United States identify themselves as LGBT (not counting the multitude of “pro-marriage” congressmen who are arrested for soliciting other men for sex). Where did Randy’s “10 percent” guess come from? He recalled a 2011 Williams Institute report which found 8.2 percent of Americans reported that they had engaged in same-sex sexual behavior, and 11 percent reported some same-sex attraction — which probably does count the multitude of “pro-marriage” congressmen who are sexually attracted to other men. (Wikipedia) * Links for the story update included in this episode: Australian Parliament approves same-sex marriage following lengthy national debate and What now for couple who vowed to divorce if gay marriage became legal? * No Longer Weird: police dispatchers being fooled by threatening sounds during a 911 call which actually turn out to be …someone playing a video game. An example from Huntington, W.V. How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via
Dec. 1, 2017
In This Episode: A teacher gives sixth-graders an “inappropriate” quiz, and how that loops into an “inappropriate” military stunt from last week’s issue, and another segment of No Longer Weird. Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * The “inappropriate” quiz, shown here, is — as of the publication of this episode — still available from iSLcollective.com. * The military story from last week isn’t online, but involved the U.S. Navy being left red-faced by the antics of a NAS Whidbey Island warplane pilot having a little too much fun with his …uh… joystick, as shown in the photo. * No Longer Weird: People making movies or videos with toy guns, and of course the police show up thinking there’s a real robbery in progress. (Example) How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via Google Play, PlayerFM, TuneIn, Podfanatic, ListenNotes, Overcast, Stitcher, Podbean, Listen Notes — and more to come? Comments and Questions? Your comments on this episode are welcome below. Questions can be added there, sent via this site’s Contact Page, or tweeted to @ThisIsTrue. Transcript Randy: Welcome to Uncommon Sense, the Podcast companion to the ThisIsTrue.com newsletter with the mission to promote more thinking in the world. I’m Randy Cassingham… Kit: And I’m Kit Cassingham. Randy: This week we’re discussing a story from issue 1224 of the newsletter, which will be included on the show Page at thisistrue.com/podcast20. The story is called “Antisocial”, and it’s about a quiz given to sixth-graders at Woodson Middle School in Hopewell, Va. It asked students to answer questions like, “What do you call a married man’s girlfriend?
Nov. 24, 2017
In This Episode: Announcing a new podcast. Another No Longer Weird. And then there are the lying “Marijuana Overdose Death!” headlines: agenda-driven clickbait shockers that many other media outlets (“mainstream, legitimate” and otherwise) jumped on with without checking the facts first. It’s not only stupid and wrong, but completely misses the real problem that really does cause a shocking number of deaths. Plus: an Easter Egg at the end that shows what Kit is like when she doesn’t know the recorder is rolling! Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * Announcing the Tech Enthusiast Hour podcast, co-hosted and published by Randy Cassingham with several other hosts, now available via iTunes and can be streamed from its web site just like this show. (Episode 1 is here.) * No Longer Weird: drug dealers getting a customer’s phone number wrong, and accidentally texting a cop instead. The rejected example: Police: Florida man’s text to drug customer went to cop instead. * Like a game of telephone (aka Chinese Whispers), the New York Post attributed their marijuana overdose story to the Reno Gazette Journal, which itself was a copy of a report from KUSA Denver. * Newsweek gets it wrong too: the “FDA” report they touted actually links to a DEA Fact Sheet (PDF), which admits there haven’t been any marijuana overdose deaths. * But the CDC’s report documents that alcohol causes 88,000 deaths per year, backed up by an NHTSA report showing that drunk drivers are much more likely to be in crashes than pot smokers. So the real problem is…? * And this from a guy who has no interest whatever in pot, and who does (occasionally) drink. How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via Google Play, PlayerFM,
Nov. 16, 2017
In This Episode: Kit thinks we should go deeper into the featured story to really understand the “thinking” implications: it’s not all about laughing at a funny tagline. Plus, I explore Kit’s approach to coaching a bit more, since I had some questions after hearing her on a couple of other podcasts! And: another segment in No Longer Weird. Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * No Longer Weird: people who had their illegal drugs stolen, so they call the police to report the theft. (Suggested by a rejected story from WXIX Indianapolis, Teen Calls Greenwood Police to Report Her Drugs Were Stolen). * Regarding the legality of marijuana in Indiana, the Indianapolis Star ran an interesting article recently: Did Indiana legalize cannabis? Yes. Kind of. Maybe. In any case, I’m not aware of any state making recreational marijuana legal for juveniles. * Kit is a high-performance coach specializing in entrepreneurs with ADD; her site is here. I asked her more about her work in relation to two podcasts she appeared on recently: Doing the Work with Jay & Becca and the video podcast, The Resilience Element. * The download link for True’s 12 Weirdest Stories of 2016 will be repeated in next week’s newsletter. Or, of course, you can subscribe to the newsletter using the form on this page to download it as soon as you confirm your subscription request. How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via Google Play, PlayerFM, TuneIn, Podfanatic, ListenNotes, Overcast, Stitcher, Podbean, Listen Notes
Nov. 2, 2017
In This Episode: More on the story about the loss (to fire) of the Hewlett-Packard archive of papers about their early formation, with a special guest connecting in from the coast to talk about how that could have been prevented. Because H-P’s loss has a lesson for all of us, which is why I called the story “Wake-Up Call”. Plus, another segment of No Longer Weird. Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * This week’s special guest is Leo Notenboom of Ask Leo. Need a place to start for backing up your computer? Here’s Leo’s basic plan, with links to software. * Here’s Leo’s video telling the story of the fire that took away much of his family history. * There is an ongoing project to save and recover the data from old 9 track tapes of data from the pre-Apollo moon probes in the 1960s. NASA wouldn’t do it, so former NASA employees got together and funded it themselves, bringing some spectacular results. That guilted NASA into throwing a few bucks their way to complete the job, which is how the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project became an actual NASA program. The program has pretty much wound down, and their web site is still privately maintained: Moon Views. Wired ran a fascinating article and profile of LOIRP co-founder Keith Cowing; Cowing is a longtime friend of True, and once hosted this web site. * The XKCD cartoon Leo refers to is called Digital Resource Lifespan. The one I thought he was referring to is Digital Data. The idea is indeed a common concern with tech types. * This week’s No Longer Weird story about FEMA screwing up the “Blue Roof Project” after the hurricane, from the Miami Herald. How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via Google Play, PlayerFM, TuneIn, Podfanatic, ListenNotes, Overcast, Stitcher, Podbean, Liste...
Oct. 27, 2017
In This Episode: A new co-host, an interesting question from a reader, another segment in No Longer Weird, and a story about a political candidate who is …a bit “out there.” WAY out there. Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * Questions for the podcast can be posted as a comment on this page, via the Contact Page on this site, or by tweeting it to Randy @ThisIsTrue. * Details on the Best Of True email distribution, which is free for many readers. * The bio of Joseph de Maistre (1753–1821), a French-speaking Savoyard philosopher, writer, lawyer, and diplomat. * Kit’s web site is Live in Focused Energy. How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via Google Play, PlayerFM, TuneIn, Podfanatic, ListenNotes, Overcast, Stitcher — and now on Podbean. Presumably, still more to come. Comments and Questions? Your comments on this episode are welcome below. Questions can be added there, sent via this site’s Contact Page, or tweeted to @ThisIsTrue. Transcript Randy: Welcome to Uncommon Sense, the Podcast companion to the ThisIsTrue.com newsletter with the mission to promote more thinking in the world. I’m Randy Cassingham, and unfortunately, I’ve lost my co-host, who has moved on. Filling in this week, my wife: Kit: Kit Cassingham. Randy: Hey! Kit: Hi! Did I surprise you? Randy: I didn’t know you were there! Kit: Well here I am. Randy: This week we’re discussing a story from issue 1219 of the newsletter, which will be included on the Show Page at this is true dot com slash podcast 16, which we’ll get to shortly. In addition to helping make the podcast be more interesting and engaging, the Uncommon Sense co-host has a special function. Kit: I do? Randy: You do. You’re the surrogate for the listener and the newsletter readers — to ask the questions that a listener might have as we go over the topics in an episode.
Oct. 20, 2017
In This Episode: A complaint about last week’s featured story, which leads to why prices online end in “77” (vs “.99” offline), another segment of No Longer Weird, and how to be so stupid you can get busted for possession of marijuana in Colorado — where pot is legal! Plus: why Uncommon Sense doesn’t have “sponsors”. Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * A complaint about the story featured in last week’s episode. * No Longer Weird: faking your own kidnaping to either get away from your wife for a bit, or to get money for drugs. (Example) * The Washington Post article on how legalized pot in Colorado is leading to a reduction in opioid overdoses. How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via Google Play, PlayerFM, TuneIn, Podfanatic, ListenNotes, Overcast, Stitcher — and, presumably, more to come. Comments and Questions? Your comments on this episode are welcome below. Questions can be added there, sent via this site’s Contact Page, or tweeted to @ThisIsTrue. Transcript Randy: Welcome to Uncommon Sense, the Podcast companion to the ThisIsTrue.com newsletter, with the mission to promote more thinking in the world. I’m Randy Cassingham… Clare: And I’m Clare Angelica. Randy: This week we’ll be discussing a story from issue 1218 of the newsletter, which will be included on the Show Page at thisistrue.com/podcast15. But first, I got an amusing complaint about the story featured in last week’s Podcast — or, more specifically, its slug, or title: “56 Varieties”. You can see the story on Podcast 14’s Show Page, which I’ll link to. John in Texas wanted me to know that the Heinz food company offers 57 varieties, not 56 — and attached numerous pictures of “57 Sauce” and such to prove it. John was the only one to not get it — or at least to not get it and also write me about it. Anyway my reply to John is,
Oct. 12, 2017
In This Episode: A mostly seasonal segment for No Longer Weird. Then, it seems like just a funny story, but a crusty donation to a food bank maybe isn’t so charitable after all, and — when you think about it — demonstrates the value of thinking about your actions before doing. Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * No Longer Weird: burglars falling through the ceiling, or trying to break in via the chimney or stove vent. The story, from the Columbus, Georgia, Ledger-Enquirer. * And the new collection of No Longer Weird stories on this site. * In case you wonder, “git” is a British word that means obliviot. * If you have an intruder-via-chimney story, tell us about it in the Comments below. How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via Google Play, PlayerFM, TuneIn, Podfanatic, ListenNotes, Overcast, Stitcher — and, presumably, more to come. Comments and Questions? Your comments on this episode are welcome below. Questions can be added there, sent via this site’s Contact Page, or tweeted to @ThisIsTrue. Transcript Randy: Welcome to Uncommon Sense, the Podcast companion to the thisistrue.com newsletter with the mission to promote more thinking in the world. I’m Randy Cassingham. Clare: And I’m Clare Angelica. Randy: As we round the corner into the final stretch before The Holiday Season, I want to get something out of the way. Clare: What’s that? Randy: Another segment in No Longer Weird! And that’s when a burglar or other intruder falls out of ceiling, surprising victims below, or getting stuck in the ceiling, chimney, or vent and begging for help from the people inside. …Or, sometimes, not being found stuck in a restaurant stove vent for weeks, months, or even years. Clare: So they found a corpse? Randy: Yeah. Clare: Ooh! Randy: That’s happened more than once. Clare: Oh my god! Oh, those poor people. Randy: Well, they are burglars. Clare: That’s true. I mean… Randy: So you know: screw ’em! Clare: Starvation and dehydration. Randy: Yeah, not a very good way to go when you get down to it.
Oct. 5, 2017
In This Episode: Society seems to think ADD/ADHD is some sort of curse. Yet when properly managed, it provides “superpowers” that are an absolute gift. Randy and a special guest — his high performance coach (who specializes in entrepreneurs with ADD/ADHD) — talk about why that is, and what it takes to get away from the “monsters” that are created by society dealing with our neurological types. Plus, an extra-fun segment of No Longer Weird. Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * Kit briefly brings up the theory of “hunter vs farmer” types. That’s the theory that ADD is actually both natural and advantageous: that there are people who have the predisposition to be hunters to help get protein for their tribe; their acute focus combined with easy distractibility makes them excellent hunters — which we now call ADD or ADHD. If you’re interested, there’s an entire book based on this, The Drummer and the Great Mountain (apparently not available via Amazon). The book argues simply that ADD/ADHD is a neurological type, not a disorder. * I mention these sites, so here are links if needed: Stella Awards, HeroicStories (which I no longer publish), Honorary Unsubscribe, and Jumbo Joke (which I no longer publish). And there were others that are no longer online. * Kit mentioned the exercise band we use: it’s the Vivofit 2, which we like because it’s waterproof (so much you don’t have to take it off when you swim or shower), and it runs for at least a year on a set of cheap, and replaceable, batteries. * L-Tyrosine (or 4-hydroxyphenylalanine) is one of the 20 standard amino acids that are used by cells to synthesize proteins — and the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline, the lack of which is what is behind ADD/ADHD in the first place. (Example source: University of Maryland Medical Center) * Kit’s web site is LiveInFocusedEnergy.com — she’s a High-Performance Coach who specializes in entrepreneurs with ADD/ADHD. * The photo below goes with the No Longer Weird segment: How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via Google Play, PlayerFM, TuneIn, Podfanatic, ListenNotes,
Sept. 29, 2017
In This Episode: Hurricane Irma is a major disaster, so how does Florida handle the aftermath? With typical Floridiocy, of course. Plus, another segment of No Longer Weird! And the story of an everyday hero. Jump To… * Show Notes * How to Subscribe * How to Comment * Episode Transcript * Subscribe to Podcast Notification Emails * List of All Episodes Show Notes * Yeah, I know I messed up explaining the pool fence issue. Pool fences are safety issues for two main reasons: to keep wandering toddlers away, and to counter the “attractive nuisance” of a place that may be attractive to older kids who want to go swim, but there is no one there to supervise. I find it difficult to believe that any parent is going to let their toddler wander around to fall in accidentally when pretty much everything is dangerous outside in the days after such a storm, and there is no “attraction” to a totally trashed pool — what I was alluding to in the episode. Thus the fence being down is an immediate threat to live that must be fixed within an hour? Hardly. So those are my thoughts, which Clare immediately grasped, but on listening to it later, I see I did a poor job of making my thoughts clear. * The No Longer Weird story: Armed Carjacking Foiled When Teen Didn’t Know How to Drive Manual Transmission, Authorities Say (Birmingham News). * The Arby’s visit was in Elko, Nevada, on September 26. I’d love to know who the shift manager was! How to Subscribe Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast Also available via Google Play, PlayerFM, TuneIn, Podfanatic, ListenNotes, Overcast, Stitcher — and, presumably, more to come. Comments and Questions? Your comments on this episode are welcome below. Questions can be added there, sent via this site’s Contact Page, or tweeted to @ThisIsTrue. Transcript Randy: Welcome to Uncommon Sense, the podcast where we delve a little more deeply into the stories and issues discussed in the thisistrue.com newsletter. I’m Randy Cassingham. Clare: And I’m Clare Angelica. Randy: This week we’re discussing a story from Issue 1215 of the newsletter, which will be included on the Show Page at thisistrue.com/podcast12. So this story has to do with Hurricane Irma whacking Florida. …I thought I’d pause to see if you wa...