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About EdDykhuizen

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  1. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 203 — Trauma

    EMFs have been shown to have very weak association with some adverse health effects. But it's so minimal it's not worth worrying about. There is no connection to any form of adult cancer. There are about a million things in life more dangerous, including driving cars, walking down the street, etc. Here's an impartial source (i.e., not a person who gets paid to minimize EMFs): http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/
  2. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 1608 - Matt Walsh

    Great stuff as always. One correction my pedantic little mind can't help but make: McClellan, not McCullough, was the terrible wimpy general of Lincoln's. Matt Walsh might have gotten McCullough from David McCullough, a popular historian who wrote "John Adams."
  3. EdDykhuizen

    EPISODE 196 — Addiction

    Great stuff as always. Anyone interested in what was going through Harris Wittels' mind soon before his death should listen to his appearance on You Made It Weird, with Pete Holmes: http://www.nerdist.com/pepisode/you-made-it-weird-236-harris-wittels-returns/ It addresses a lot of the questions that the Blastoff folks were plagued by, such as how such a seemingly comfortable, mellow guy could be so troubled. He's very frank about his addiction. It's also pretty disturbing, so be forewarned. Also, I would like to point out that when David told his beach poop story, he said that the squatting near the trash can resulted in nothing to wipe. This is a tacit endorsement of the Squatty Potty.
  4. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 186 — Science Communication

    One factoid I feel compelled to throw in: The word "Xmas" was never intended to be an "x"ing out of the "Christ" in Christmas. That's something that the paranoid xenophobic "There's a war against Christmas!!!!" crowd made up to rationalize their fears of people who aren't Christian. Actually, "Xmas" comes from the Greek word for Christ, which starts with the Greek letter chi, which is represented in our alphabet as an X. "Xmas" was a innocent shorthand version of "Christmas" dating back to the 1500s, when the few people who could write English always also knew Greek. See the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xmas Another tangential fact: Our founding fathers likely did not celebrate Christmas at all. Protestants in general, particularly Puritans, were adamantly against Christmas. When Protestant Oliver Cromwell overthrew the Catholic monarchy in Britain in 1649, he banned all Christmas celebrations. Catholics revolted violently, so it didn't go well. But still, the Protestants who colonized the United States had no interest in any celebration of mass, including Christ's mass. It wasn't until the late 1800s that Christmas began to overtake the United States. And that had a lot to do with the British Queen Victoria's husband, Albert, who was of German descent and brought the Christmas tree into fashion, among other things. German immigrants were settling into the United States in huge numbers, so they helped entrench the traditions.
  5. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 185— Spirituality

    Another great episode, both funny and thought-provoking. If I were there (which will never happen), I would have brought up the anthropic principle. I read it in "A Brief History of Time," by Steven Hawking, so that means it's smart. The anthropic principle addresses a few of David's questions, particularly the one about what motivates our genes to keep reproducing. The anthropic principle is basically "it is that way because if it weren't, we wouldn't be here." Hawking applied it to the fact that there is an extremely tiny chance that our world would have just the right percentages of gases and elements to produce life. But even things that have extremely low probabilities do happen sometimes, especially when there are billions of planets. We of course would end up on the planet where that exceedingly unlikely thing happened, because we can't exist on a world that didn't. Similarly, if our genes were not singularly bent on surviving into future generations, we wouldn't be here. It happened randomly, and we are only here to think about it because it did happen randomly. This is often an unacceptable answer for people who are stuck on the notion things can only exist if a sentient being like us created them, this notion that things have to have a big important REASON for existing. I think that's a mental construct that arises from the fact that we humans create and do things for reasons. But that doesn't mean the universe has to create and do things for reasons. The universe is under no obligation to conform to our conceptions of how things occur. It just exists. There really is no "why." The whole notion of there having to be a "why" is a human invention. "Why" applies to things humans do, but it doesn't have to apply to what the universe does. That might not be emotionally satisfying, but it doesn't have to be. The universe doesn't care what people find emotionally satisfying. Anyway, that's my speech.
  6. They mentioned environmental issues a few times, but I hoped they would get into the possibility that climate change might be a subconscious driver to the postapocalyptic trend. With climate change, you have sober scientists sounding some grim warnings about a future in which crops fail and coastal cities are washed away. David mentioned that as population has shot up, so has the standard of living -- but we also know how much of that progress is based on consuming incredible amounts of finite resources, like oil. Modern civilization often seems so fragile, like you could take away one thing and the whole house of cards could collapse. Maybe this has roots in the OPEC oil embargo of the 1970s, when just removing some of the oil supply threw the country into a tizzy. Couple that with the conviction that civilization makes us soft and pampered, with incredible knowledge of TV trivia but zero of the basic survival skills that humanity has depended on for millenia, and it's no wonder we have some nagging dread. Things are too good, we feel. This is too easy. The other shoe has to drop eventually.
  7. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 252 — Ice Bucket Cure!

    This is the second time the origins of "humble pie" has come up for Paul F. Tompkins on an Earwolf show. Paul, per usual, is right: Humble pie has a root in the word "umbles," which were the really nasty bits of animals: lungs, kidneys, etc. Probably the phrase originated as a play on both umble pie, which was common in the Middle Ages, and the word "humble."
  8. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 204.5 — 10/31/14 TWO CHARTED 143

    Oh my God. Pieces of plastic that look like characters from a movie I saw once. I can hardly contain my excitement. My soul is bursting with wave after wave of ecstatic pleasure. Uh oh, I think my brain is about to explode with delight. Boom. There is goes. Now I'm dead. But it was worth it.
  9. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 179 — God

    Wow, I have a new appreciation for Pete Holmes. I've always enjoyed him, but I never knew he had so many interesting insights.
  10. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 173 — Autism on the Playground

    I recently went back and listened to all of the Professor Blastoff episodes. One thing I noticed was that in the early days, David was so much more fun! He was goofy, he was forthcoming, and he was willing to say whatever came to into his head without worrying about what Tig and Kyle would latch onto and poke some gentle fun at. David would even do characters! Granted, his characters were never as good as Kyle's, but so what? David was the center of the show. He was the Jerry Seinfeld of the bunch: He didn't get most of the laughs, instead being the (mostly) straight man who made the show function. Comedians often don't want to be the straight men, and I can understand that. The straight men are always underappreciated. Comedians are out to get laughs, and Lou Costello or Dean Martin didn't get many laughs. But without Costello and Martin, Bud Abbott's and Jerry Lewis's jokes just wouldn't have worked at all. (Sorry that all my references are 50 years old, but I'm old.) The straight men provide a vital grounding in reality, from which silliness can grow and find humor and defying expectations. Maybe when they chat together, comedians don't need that grounding in reality. But us regular folks definitely do. David seems very sensitive lately about how he's coming across. I understand that the role he's been given is a difficult one. But I feel that when he fights against his role as a (mostly) straight man, as he seems to do nowadays, it backfires completely. He just comes across as petulant and withdrawn. C'mon man, just relax and embrace what has come to you! In the beginning of each podcast, come out and say whatever you're thinking or doing (provided that Kyle doesn't make snoring noises when you're talking -- that's definitely out of bounds, regardless of what he might say about it being a joke). Then once the guest comes on, use your natural talent (and it is a great talent) of carrying the podcast, discussing the topic with no hesitation or reservation. Yes, you are always the one to put it back on track, and thank God you are. Rest assured that without you, the show would become a formless mess, one that people might enjoy at first but would then find tiresome. Every show needs a structure in which silliness can occur. Through your considerable intellect and curious nature, you provide that structure. And hey, tell some personal stories, beyond just beach poop. What do you have to lose? You're an entertainer! That means, by definition, that people are have come to you hoping to love you. We are ordinary, bored plebes pushing buttons all day, every day. While completing such mindless, soul-sucking tasks, we need to devote the rest of our brains both intellectually and emotionally to making virtual friends who are more fun and interesting than we'll ever be. Yes, it's sad, but if you want to maintain the insurance companies and exigency management organizations that keep modern civilization humming, you need to keep feeding stimulation to us bored, timid worker bees. Keep doing your thing! Please! I don't want to lose my favorite podcast!
  11. EdDykhuizen

    Hang in there.

    That's a relief. I'm really missing the podcast. Can I respectfully recommend putting something on the main show page (http://www.earwolf.com/show/the-fogelnest-files/) that says that the show is on hiatus? I think Earwolf in general could be better about making clear the statuses of various podcasts that have been cancelled or on hiatus. Without something posted on the site, I am left with no option but to join the forum and be a pest. I'm generally very hesitant to join forums and make comments, as I've found find most comment sections on Web sites to be horrific cesspools of hate-fueled ids sloshing through fetid shit to tear each other's eyes out like cocaine-addled squirrels fighting over the world's last nut. (And please don't tell me I should join Twitter and get my news that way, because, in my experience, Twitter is just one small step above comment sections of Web sites. Oh, except that it features lots of ads!)
  12. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 173 — Doughnut Agree

    I had to bail on this one, as I have in the past when April is on. And it's not April's fault -- she's just being who she is. I can't take Howard trying to give her notes during the episode. I did enjoy when she said "You know I'm not Kulap, right?" But then after Howard said "You this is the show right?" I was done for good. I enjoy Howard quite a bit, but his obsession with Kulap sometimes gets creepy.
  13. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 147— Empathy

    Wow, edykhuizen! Those are fascinating insights delivered in a succinct and clever manner. You are obviously an intelligent, humorous individual who is fun to be with and not at all boring at parties. Might we start a correspondence? Signed, Someone Else
  14. EdDykhuizen

    Episode 147— Empathy

    Great stuff as usual. A few things I've learned about empathy over the years that I don't think were addressed: Like every other human trait, there is a wide spectrum of ability to feel empathy. Some people, like Leslie Span, have a very strong ability to feel empathy. Sociopaths and psychopaths are on the other side of the spectrum. They have little or no human empathy; in fact, that's a main trait that classifies a person as sociopath/psychopath according to psychologists. Autistic people also have little empathy. But unlike autistic people, sociopaths can often fake empathy extremely well. So well, in fact, that they can be very charming and terrific con men. So if you ever meet someone who you find charming, that person is a psychopath who is about to murder you and wear your skin. (Joke. Ha.) Sociopathy/psychopathy is a whole fascinating ball of worms that has probably been addressed by this podcast in the past (sorry, haven't heard them all yet). Also, someone on the podcast wondered why human beings have this ability for empathy to begin with: Many scientists see it as the main survival technique that helped us thrive as a species. Human brains are incredibly large, way out of proportion with their bodies, at least compared to every other animal in the world. For the longest time (male) scientists thought that big brain evolved so men could hunt over large areas. But other animals can do that with much smaller brains. Now most scientists think the human brain got big by developing extremely sophisticated social ability -- not only the capacity for empathy, but also the ability to communicate through complex language and often even more complex gestures and body language. This helped human beings survive by tying people together very closely within tribes. This then gives each person a better chance of surviving than if we were a more solitary species. If a brain doesn't have much social ability, that frees up a ton of mental real estate. Autistic savants can use that real estate for memory tricks or other Rain Man-type stuff. Sociopaths often use it to figure out, in a sort of mechanical way, how to behave around people so they can manipulate them into getting what they want. Anyway, just had to get that out, thus attempting to connect socially and fulfill my biological predisposition. Please have empathy and don't say anything mean about me.