Archive for August, 2013

If you missed it, Ed Baxter filled in for Gil’s Friday show.

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr1-w-ed-23627479/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr2-w-ed-23627789/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr3-w-ed-23627884/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr-4-w-23627947/

Don’t miss Hour Four, where Sebastian Kunz presents his full production of Nerd News!

Plus, Ed has a new book out, Waiting at Red Lights:

http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Red-Lights-Edward-Baxter/dp/0985736763

http://edbaxtermedia.com/waiting-at-red-lights/

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This past week, on the Facebook page of formerkgolisteners, they linked a post by that media blogger guy who wrote an unflattering piece about Gil.  Here’s the Facebook page if you want to read it, the post is dated August 19th:

https://www.facebook.com/FormerKGOListeners

It’s nice to see from the comments that Gil has many fans and I wasn’t surprised that many on Facebook did not appreciate the blogger guy using prominent names such as Gil as a tactic to try to pull in readers and, now, listeners, to his substandard radio show.  Back in December 2011, I had hopes the blogger guy was better than what he’s turned out to be.  For awhile, even, I used to link his posts but no longer want to lead readers there except for the comments on his blog, or, I should say, the comments he allows.  That guy censors criticism and I’ve had suspicions that he pads his own blog with favorable comments about how great he is, written by him, and how he has the best show on the radio.  Yeah, right.  Maybe he could partner with Yelp.

I’ve thought about going back and deleting all links to his blog, but I’ll leave those old posts that document the journey transitioning from hope to disgust in real-time postings.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to moderate comments.  I used to think I’d never censor comments, but I’m forced to put up a wall between spam and bots that would overwhelm any blog space.  I understand the need to moderate, it’s saved me considerable time.  Without it, I’d have to manually delete thousands of spam and fraud items.  I welcome readers who want to comment and actually join a conversation, but I’ve also had to reject a few trollish comments with choice words about my mental ability after posts about Armstrong & Getty.  Those comments added nothing except vitriol.

I don’t care to listen to screamers in the morning.  Some do.  I don’t.

Anyway…

I am thankful we have Gil here in the Bay Area, but his show in the past year has been less satisfying than in former years and on Fridays it is downright irritating.  I realize some of my dissatisfaction comes from listening to him every day except for Friday (unless his wife stays home or someone guest hosts).  We all know and recognize Gil’s talent as a broadcaster.  The frustration is in the change of his show’s format to chase PPM (Portable People Meter).

These are thoughts about PPM attributed to Gil that I found online in a September 2008 article written by Brad Kava:

http://www.examiner.com/article/lipstick-on-a-horse-s-ass-the-american-media-never-looked-worse

Maybe KGO-AM’s afternoon host Gil Gross said it best. With the new People Meter, which measures exactly what people are listening to, radio managers can tell that a conversation about the economy gets far fewer listeners than one about an out of context, inflammatory hit piece, like the pig comment.

Sadly, if he’s right, we’ve become a country of horses asses…and no lipstick is going to fix that.

I found another quote by an out-of-state GM who is not a fan of PPM:

http://www.pugetsoundradio.com/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl?m-1298563415/

Here’s one quote from a GM “I could go on for days about how radio is getting screwed by Arbitron’s PPM. We’ve become a reach  medium who programs to the meter measurement and not to listeners or to help clients with marketing issues. The most repulsive aspect  is the mediocrity it has caused, meaning all formats sound the same. Very sad. I loved this industry but now we are more of a commodity  than a good, tight place that listeners want to go to – to feel good and for our clients to reach those targets”. Another told us “PPM says  you are a ‘listener’ if you are exposed to the radio in a cab while on your cell phone for 5 minutes in a week  even if you didn’t hear the  station and you don’t even like it”

Here’s another discussion about PPM:

http://jacobsmedia.typepad.com/jacobs/ppm/

Jeff Vidler picked up on the theme by focusing on what he calls the “PPM engagement gap.”

Jeff points out that with the advent of PPM, it is no longer necessary for the audience to be engaged with a station as long as they are exposed to it.

The reality of this thinking is that while basic PPM tactics (less talk, more segues, staccato imaging, fewer charity events) can facilitate exposure, something is being lost in the fan engagement process.

Yet, in the digital and social worlds, it is all about making connections with audiences and communities.  And as Jeff notes, advertisers are thinking more and more about investing in marketing that engages and makes the best use of digital’s ability to connect people with brands.

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When searching the internet for information it’s difficult to take bias out of it.  I’ve located articles that support my opinion by bringing up search terms such as:

how PPM hurts radio

complaints about PPM

I realize that it’s easy to find articles I agree with when I’m not even looking for the opposing argument.  i’m going to continue to read about PPM to try and understand how it helps or hurts radio, and search for opposing opinions from mine.

I do base my negative comments about PPM on what I can hear.  Going back to discuss Gil’s show, I was an instant fan when he first joined KGO after Pete Wilson’s untimely death.  I heard Gil’s in-depth conversations, he sounded as if he enjoyed interacting with the audience, he interviewed politicians, book authors, comedians, musicians, people in the news, etc.

He had shows where he talked about his father and encouraged people to call in and talk about theirs.  He discussed beliefs and spiritualism and even Bernie Ward when no one else would touch that subject in 2008.  People called in crying, in disbelief, and Gil related how he’d noticed a change in Bernie and wondered what was going on.  He guided listeners through a difficult, sad time, both in Pete Wilson’s death and Bernie’s conviction.

Now, what we get from Gil are snippets of Politico interviews and him talking on-air to his producer and board operator and, ugh, his wife.  We get Gil standing in line at a supermarket to buy apples.  We get Gil doing mindless fluff like dumb criminals and teachers and whatever brainless story that is easily found on a Google search.

And, it seems we have no one to guide us.

Gil defends his show on the PPM numbers.  If you follow the link on the Facebook page of formerkgolisteners and read that blogger guy’s post about Gil, or, I should say, read the comments, someone said they emailed Gil to ask why he continues with the new format when so many do not like it and Gil responded.  Gil claimed the format change has increased ratings from 0.3 to 2.0.  Said he is doing what the station wants and it’s a business in the end and advertisers have no interest in a call-in talk format.  Said it’s probably not what the person wanted to hear, but it’s the truth.

Another commenter claims Gil doesn’t care.  The suits don’t care so why should he?

I hope that’s not true.

Gil should care, for the sake of talk radio in this market and for his friends on the show with him: Sebastian and Lloyd Lindsay Young and that producer and board operator he always drags on the air for their opinions instead of callers.

If this continues, we might have another news item like we had in December 2011, or even this one from back in 2000:

November 7, 2000

http://articles.philly.com/2000-11-07/news/25612553_1_sid-mark-beasley-broadcast-group-dave-donahue

“I found out a minute and a half before I thought I was going on the air,” said Gross yesterday. “That was fun.”

If you tuned in to WWDB before 5 p.m. yesterday, what you heard was an electronic voice counting backward from 6,000.

“That’s an old radio stunt,” said Gross. “The aim is to get people wondering ‘What’s going on there?’ to create interest in what’s coming next. And apparently word got around. A Lower Merion policeman told me someone called to report ‘a crazed woman was holding the station hostage while she counted.’ That was the first laugh I had all day.”

The countdown voice reached 3-2-1 at 5 p.m. at which point another voice announced: “Look out Philadelphia, here we come.” The station promised to bring listeners “the best of the ’80s.”

According to Paul Heine of the radio newsletter Friday Morning Quarterback, there has been a rash of stations switching to this ’80s format in recent months, presumably to attract 20- and 30-somethings nostalgic for the music of their high school years.

That’s a much younger audience than WWDB has been attracting.

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I truly hope not.  But if Gil won’t guide us through this, who will?

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I have a few more interesting articles on PPM, but no time to discuss them now.  Posts about phantom cumes and stories of PPM wearers.  Sounds like fun, huh?

Maybe in the next week or two since we have a long holiday weekend approaching…

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By the way, this past week on BBC Radio2 I heard about a new group who has an album coming out in September.  They have the potential to be the next big thing.

I think it was Simon Mayo, on BBC Radio2, who was interviewing a different popular group and a member of that group could not stop talking about a new group they’d heard in the studio where they’d been recording the previous afternoon.  He was talking about the new group, London Grammar.

BBC Radio2 decided to find out about this new group and they agreed London Grammar needed to get some airplay and that’s how it’s all started to happen for them.  You can listen to them here or follow the link to YouTube:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drfp_3823I

Hannah Reid, the lead singer, has a strong, clear voice, similar to Florence and the Machine, except Hannah doesn’t go off in those screaming, vocal-stretching episodes that, for me, degrades the listening experience. London Grammar has the ability to express emotion in a lead voice that does not have to shout and strain to showcase it.

https://www.facebook.com/londongrammar

http://www.londongrammar.com/ustour/

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Also, last week Stan explained his obsession with Radnich:

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-stan-and-raddy-storymost-of-it.html

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Don’t forget to check Frosty’s page and podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/pages/frosty.html

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

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And, still no sign of Len Tillem.  Is he giving up as well?

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If you turn off Gil’s dreadful show every Friday, as I do, then here’s another online program to consider in its place.

TED

Many of you are familiar with TED (http://www.ted.com/), owned by the non-profit Sapling Foundation.  Here’s the Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TED_%28conference%29

I’ve never had extra time to really explore TED’s website, but now with Friday afternoons free, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover so many alternatives that entertain and educate at the same time.  I’d thought TED was a bunch of pompous and mind-numbing ‘facts’ speeches and it’s not that at all.  Yes, there are speakers but they deal with subjects that used to be discussed on a good talk show.  There are no callers, but we sure don’t get any callers on talk shows now.  On TED you can find many viewpoints and opinions discussed in-depth by someone in that field.  There are speeches with heart, others with heartbreak, some with historical relevance – on any subject you select.  Not in the mood to listen to the next sex-capade of another politician?  Look up talks about how love works:

Talk by Helen Fisher – The Brain In Love

http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_studies_the_brain_in_love.html

Talk by Helen Fisher – Why We Love, Why We Cheat:

http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_tells_us_why_we_love_cheat.html

What?  You don’t really want to waste time on love?  Okay.  They’ve got sex there, too:

Playlist with 8 Talks – Sex: Can We Talk?

http://www.ted.com/playlists/6/sex_can_we_talk.html

Check out TED’s Playlist: Collections for Curious Minds:

http://www.ted.com/playlists

Want more insight into events happening in the news?

Seek out Playlists like this one:

Egypt in Crisis – As the violence continues in Egypt, 7 talks from freedom fighters from around the globe:

http://www.ted.com/playlists/12/freedom_rising.html

Or, seek out creative inspiration in this Talk by Kirby Ferguson:

Steal Like An Artist – The surprising sources of inspiration for creatives from Steve Jobs to Bob Dylan.

http://www.ted.com/talks/kirby_ferguson_embrace_the_remix.html

Or, learn How to Tell a Story – a Playlist with Six Talks

There are some incredible talks on this Playlist.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/62/how_to_tell_a_story.html

TED’s website offers hours, even days, of listening and reading.

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Frosty

I listen to BBC Radio 2 every morning, usually until 11:00am.  I used to switch over to Spreaker for Len Tillem but he’s still not posting and hasn’t offered any reason why.  I’ll just have to do another hour of BBC before Frosty’s show on Talk910-AM.  I’ve tried to listen to TED in that hour before Frosty, but I forget to turn on his show at 12:00Noon because I’m in the middle of a great talk on TED.  So, I’ll leave TED for Fridays when Gil’s wife shows up and ruins Gil’s show.

I’m enjoying Frosty more and more.  On Thursday, he talked about his streak of bad luck (starts around 9:08 on podcast).

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/frosty-81513-hr1-23590509/

It’s funny, because I’ve experienced the same thing.  Everything seems to go wrong.  For me, it usually lasts about three days.  When I expect it, I’m able to laugh about it.  The computer goes down, the smoke detector’s batteries need replacing, something you need can’t be found, and other small irritants.  Nothing major or catastrophic.  Just things that happen in a short time span that together can be thought of as ‘bad luck’.

I like that about Frosty.  He talks about things other than politics all day.  He talks about things we all can relate to and laugh at ourselves.  If you listen to that clip of Frosty’s show you can even hear it happen on air.  I love that.

There is another audio clip of Frosty’s I want to share as well.  Earlier this month, I posted a link to Frosty’s show where he played audio of a phone call Monica Lewinsky made to Bill Clinton.  Well, the entire call was recently released and Frosty played the entire clip (it starts at 4:23 on the podcast):

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/frosty-081313-hr3-23579673/

Another thing Frosty does is he posts interesting video clips on his Talk910-AM page.  I haven’t looked on his page yet, but he’s tempted me many times.  I think I will go and peek at his video clip of the snake he talked about this week.  That one sounds too creepy to be believable.

Aargh!  I just went to Frosty’s show page to see the snake, and YouTube has removed the content for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.  Oh well..  It’s not Frosty’s violation, it’s whoever posted the original video.  In a way, I’m glad I didn’t get to see it.

Here’s Frosty’s show page where he posts all his videos:

http://www.talk910.com/pages/frosty.html

Frosty also gives out the show’s phone number.  Yes.  He not only gives out his Facebook contact, but he also gives out the phone number for his show.  I think I’ve even heard a call or two.  It took a few weeks, but I’m really enjoying his show.

Here’s Frosty’s archived podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

I just had one more thought about Frosty’s show.  This week he was talking about prescription drug commercials and how the drug companies have to list so many frightening side-effects at the end.  Frosty read off a few and contemplated if it’s worth taking the chance.

Later that evening, at home, I had the television on in the background as I was doing things around the house.  This is what I heard on the end of a commercial: “If you gave your young boy (*drug name*) and he developed breasts in his adolescence…”

what the – ?

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Stan and other sites

I wish I could say the same for Gil as I do about Frosty, but Gil’s show has been a big disappointment.  Friday, of course, I can’t even listen to it.  The other days of the week I do, but it’s the same thing day after day after day.  Politico on the line, talk about politics, talk about dumb teachers or criminals.  Don’t talk to callers but chat on-air to your producers and board operator, who don’t offer much to the conversation.

We don’t have much left, do we?  Ray’s not around, supposedly writing a book.  We lost Gene Burns.  John Rothmann is on radio a few times but not enough to schedule time around a show he hosts.  Len is missing in action.  Ed Baxter posts on his website and fills in a few times for Gil.  Ronn Owens is not even an option after December 2011.  People who still listen to that radio station he’s on have allowed those Atlanta Dick-eys to continue to destroy our local radio landscape.

We thought Santa Cruz might be an option.  What a joke that turned out to be.  And it’s disgusting how that no-talent blogger guy, who ranks media women by their ‘hotness’, is trying to shove his way in the door.

But we did get a bit of entertainment off that mess.  Good ol’ Stan started a blog.  He seems to have even cleaned up his language a bit (I said a bit…) although he, too, thinks it’s okay to rank ‘hotness’ (and no, he doesn’t include Radnich in his rankness):

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/

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Remember to visit these sites as well:

Radiolab:

http://www.radiolab.org/archive/

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This American Life:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives

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John Rothmann:

http://johnrothmann.com/

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Ed Baxter Media:

http://edbaxtermedia.com/category/podcasts/

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Here’s an interesting story I read on OpenSalon this week.  It’s a true story written by Old New Lefty.

http://open.salon.com/blog/old_new_lefty/2013/08/11/my_most_famous_ghost

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COZI TV, Musée Mécanique, Camera Obscura

Anyone see COZI TV today?  Before the America’s Cup race there was an old movie. ‘Man’s Favorite Sport?’, about a journalist who claims to be a fishing expert.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man%27s_Favorite_Sport%3F

There’s a scene in the movie where they end up in Musée Mécanique and Rock Hudson runs around feeding coins into the player pianos and musical games so they all play at once.  I used to do that.  Bring in a roll of quarters and plug all of the machines.  It was great.  Musée Mécanique is at the Wharf now.  I haven’t been to it since it moved away from Ocean Beach.

http://www.museemecaniquesf.com/visit.php

I also used to love to visit the Camera Obscura.  I thought it had been moved to the Wharf as well, but from what I see online it’s still near the Cliff House at Ocean Beach.  Years ago, I’d go there and watch the sunset from the inside of the Camera Obscura.  Back then, it was also a bit creepy inside with those holograms on the wall and that music playing.

http://www.giantcamera.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_Obscura_%28San_Francisco,_California%29

Someone even wrote a fiction novel about Camera Obscura.  I read it years ago, it’s a good read:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1116529.Secrets_of_the_Camera_Obscura

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America’s Cup had some excitement today.  Not one, but two racing boats falling apart during the race.  Two men overboard.  Italy’s racing speed was at 6-10 knots at some points.  It was crazy.  Too bad the America’s Cup has not turned out to be what promoters claimed it would be.  New Zealand racing alone.  So many racing teams not participating.  Tragic accident.  Now, Oracle accused of cheating and no one seems to be doing anything about it.  Allowing them to remain in the race as the defending champions even after the cheating has been proven.

It’s too bad, because there was so much potential to holding the race in San Franciso.  I enjoy watching it, but I’m not going to support a cheating team.  Go, New Zealand!  They deserve it and I hope they win it.

Well, I keep thinking I have nothing to write anymore, given the state of radio and our former hosts.  Somehow, I manage to type a few words every time.  Not that it’s worth reading, but I’m amazed I keep finding something to say.

So, that’s it until next week!  Hopefully, I’ll find something more to talk about by then.

As radio listener numbers continue to drop here, and stations foolishly follow the PPM into content bankruptcy, the number of radio listeners in the U.K. is skyrocketing for BBC Radio.

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I guess I’m part of that, since I started to listen to BBC all morning after the KGO disaster in December 2011.  BBC Radio is increasing listener numbers to new levels:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23523977

Both Radio 2 and Radio 4 are enjoying the highest overall listening figures they’ve ever recorded since the current RAJAR methodology began in 1999.

Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan said the station’s success was down to its “distinctive high quality content”.

http://radiotoday.co.uk/category/rajarnews/

Twenty-six million people, half the population of the UK are now tuning in to digital radio each week, the latest figures show.

One program I listen to on BBC Radio 2 is the ‘Simon Mayo Drivetime Show’.  During the weekdays, except for Fridays, he airs a confession from a listener, sent in via email or website, that Simon reads on-air and his team decide if the confessor should be forgiven.  It’s a fun feature of his show.  He’s been on vacation, so I was happy to get a week’s worth of confessions again.  The Confession podcasts are posted online every Friday, available for thirty days.  If you download the podcast, you can listen forever.

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Here is the page to the most recent podcast:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/confess

The first confession on the podcast has strawberry jam and ends with a sting!

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If you want to submit a confession, here’s the page:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/simon-mayo/contact/confessions/

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And, here’s a link to all of Simon Mayo’s show episodes, available for seven days after the first broadcast.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p2dfq/broadcasts/2013/08

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Bernie Ward has new posts on his blog.  Now, more from Ward: (maybe he could use that confessional page…)

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Friday, July 5, 2013 – This ‘n That (includes a little bit of everything, Supreme Court, Snowden, George Bush, oil, etc.)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/this-n-that.html

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013 – Check Please… (about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and more on Snowden)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/check-please.html

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Monday, July 29, 2013 – World War Z (about George Zimmerman)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/world-war-z.html

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Monday, July 29, 2013 – Couldn’t See the Forest for the Smoke (about environmental issues)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/couldnt-see-forest-for-smoke.html

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Monday, July 29, 2013 – With Friends Like These (about a gas deal between Iran and Iraq)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/with-friends-like-these.html

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Monday, July 29, 2013 – Who Watches the Watchers? (about national security and privacy)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/who-watches-watchers.html

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Nothing from Len

I wish I could include a Len Tillem update, but his podcasts have been missing for weeks now.  I don’t want to speculate why.  I hope he’s on a luxurious, extended vacation and all is well with him and his loved ones.

Here’s his Spreaker page, but there are no current podcasts:

http://www.spreaker.com/user/lentillem

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Interesting Book

I used to listen to Gil Gross interview authors and enjoyed the in-depth discussions with both author and callers.  Now, not so much.  I can’t even listen to Gil’s Friday shows any longer.  But I do listen to BBC Radio2 every morning and hear book segments with authors.  This book, Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, written by Susan Cain, was recently featured.  Here’s the Amazon page for the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352153

Plus, there is a TED video about it featuring Susan Cain:

Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

And, this is Susan Cain’s webpage:

http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/

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The Frosty Show

I do listen to Frosty every day now, from 12:00 Noon to 3:00pm.  He just puts it all out there and he takes calls.  His shows are not structured for deep content so it’s not something I would go back to and listen again.  It’s all in the moment.  So far, I enjoy his show.  Others do as well, if searches for him are any indication.  Lots of people want to know more about Frosty.  Four times more than they search for Gil.  huh….

Here’s a link to Frosty’s podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

They have a new page format for Talk 910’s podcasts.  Now you have to click on the podcast to read about the content.

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John and Ed

Don’t forget to visit John Rothmann at his website:

http://johnrothmann.com/

And, Ed Baxter at his website:

http://edbaxtermedia.com/category/podcasts/

Mozilla’s Webmaker

This is unrelated to radio content, but I think it’s a great new tool for everyone to explore.  Mozilla Firefox has introduced Webmaker, a learning environment for anyone who is interested in creating web content.  The goal is to promote digital literacy through making and sharing.

One thing I like to do, when I’m not working, is learn how to code.  Nothing fancy, just something fun that will keep my interest while learning the basics of coding.  I’m learning how to create a game.  Not exactly the easiest thing to do, considering all of the code language out there with varied requirements and the trick of interacting with different browsers, combined with the concept of stacking and heaping and global objects.  But, once you learn the basic functions and methods and classes of code, it’s not difficult to adapt to any code language: C#, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, etc.

Code is a language everyone should know or, at least, understand.  Now when I look at websites and add-ons and forms and apps, I recognize how the code behind it was structured.  I think about how I would code it or I search online how to do it in the same way.  I know to look at the Web Developer tools and know how to read the Error Console.  Not much, I know.  But, I know what’s possible and I just have to learn how to get there.

The more I work with it or read about it, the more it makes sense.  So, that’s why I’m excited to see this new program from Mozilla promoting digital literacy.

Here’s the main page (note, it might take a few seconds to load the entire page of sample projects):

https://webmaker.org/

Here’s the page on how to get involved:

https://webmaker.org/en-US/getinvolved

If you select the Tools page (see the bottom of the main page), and click on the ‘Remix a Project’ button, it will load multiple projects that you can edit.  For example, under ‘Popcorn Maker’, this is the page that loads when you click the Remix button:

https://webmaker.org/en-US/search?type=tags&q=webmaker%3Atemplate

If you choose a project, and click on the ‘Remix’ button of the project, a page loads that shows the code of the project, with instructions on how to edit what’s there, alongside the actual preview of the project.  You can view any changes you make as you work.  For example, I clicked on the ‘Remix’ button found on the first project on the page, ‘My Magazine Cover’, and this is what loads:

https://thimble.webmaker.org/project/5405/remix

It explains everything as you work on it.  Try it.  Don’t get frustrated, it looks like a lot to take in at once, but after a few times it will get easier as it all sinks in.  Have fun!

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Well, I did get a little off-track today, but there’s not much out there any longer after Cumulus Radio destroyed how we listen to radio.  We have to find other options and Gil Gross is not bringing ‘it’ any longer.  Who knows why.  Can’t listen to his wife, nothing against her personally, but she should NOT be on radio.  It’s unlistenable.  So, why does Gil continue to insist on having her on his show?  It’s head-scratching radio, my friends.  I’ve turned to looking for other options.

Again, these sites offer hours of good listening:

Radiolab:

http://www.radiolab.org/archive/

This American Life:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives

Here’s This American Life‘s producer and host, Ira Glass, talking about why he chose to quit television and concentrate on radio:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/328/what-i-learned-from-television

Here’s the transcript page of the audio:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/328/transcript

Ira Glass discusses storytelling:

http://aerogrammestudio.com/2013/05/15/ira-glass-on-storytelling-video/

http://www.nooga.com/160875/interview-ira-glass-on-being-interviewed-and-making-a-good-story/

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And, for change of pace, take a walk over to see good ol’ fiesty, potty-mouth Stan over there at his new blog:

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/

I think that’s enough to keep everyone occupied until next week.  See you then!

Now that I can no longer listen to Gil’s show on Fridays, and I made the mistake of leaving the radio on after Frosty’s show today (Friday) until the screeching and squawking sound of Gil’s wife’s voice, that irritating, unprofessional voice, had me scrambling to turn that radio off faster than Ron Owens can say mattress, so I used my listening hours instead to explore the Radio Archive section of the website This American Life.

Oh, my gawd, I laughed, I cried, I held my hand to my heart.  This American Life episodes sneak up on you and sock you in the gut.  I had a true listening experience today.

This American Life’s style is similar to Radiolab, but it’s less scientific, focusing more on the emotional human condition than the significance of a story examined by logic and reasoning and theory.  This American Life is like cooking at home, with friends in the kitchen, while Radiolab is like being in America’s Test Kitchen, that public television show that dissects the molecules and chemistry of the food to find the optimal cooking method.

I’ll add links to some of the episodes I’ve heard on http://www.thisamericanlife.org/.  But, first, I have to mention Frosty.

I’ve read online that some people have listened to Frosty’s show for an hour and had to turn it off, couldn’t listen to it and will never listen again.  I feel the same about Gil’s Friday shows but I’m gone in one minute.  One hour of it would have me poking pins in my eardrums.

Frosty is like a bumbling, affable neighbor who comes over with a beer in his hand and sits on your creaky, wooden back porch steps and talks.  He has opinions, he sometimes says cringe-worthy things, but his show is beginning to hit a stride.  Even better that Lloyd Lindsay Young is there as well as Sebastian Kunz.  If I navigate away from Gil’s show altogether I would miss Young and Kunz.  heh, that sounds like something that needs a 900 number.

Lately, Frosty has been playing audio clips of interviews or events in the news.  He ends his show with one of those clips.  Many times it’s something heart-warming that makes me smile or say ‘ahhhh’.  I like that.  I notice.

Today, he had two interesting audio clips.  The first one was a phone call Monica Lewinsky made to Bill Clinton.  It’s fascinating.  Here’s the link to Frosty’s show today, Hour 2.  The Monica Lewinsky story starts around 6:35 on the podcast.

http://www.talk910.com/player/?station=KKSF-AM&program_name=podcast&program_id=frosty.xml&mid=23537256

Later, Frosty played a clip of Richard Nixon, who sounds drunk.  It’s on after the Monica story in Hour 2.  Frosty ended his show today, Hour 3, playing Nixon’s audio clip again.

Here’s the page to all of Frosty’s archived podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?podcast=frosty

I think he even took a call today, but I could have misinterpreted a guest as a caller.  It was busy at work today and I missed sections of the show.  I heard only the end of the conversation.

I’m really warming to Frosty.

There are other listening options, though, for those who won’t listen to someone who calls himself Frosty.  Or, to Gil who, sadly, is not what he used to be.  He’s PPMing.

I found out This American Life has an archived section.  At first, I thought episodes were only available for one week unless they were downloaded.  But there is a Radio Archive section and it has years of audio listed.  As promised, here are links to some of the episodes I’ve heard:

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359: ‘Life After Death’ – Jul 18, 2008

‘Guilty As Not Charged’, Act One, still haunts me, and I listened to it last week:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/359/life-after-death

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489: ‘No Coincidence, No Story!’ – Mar 1, 2013

I loved the ‘Poopatrooper’ story in the Prologue and ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’ in Act Three, will have you scratching your head.  You can listen to each section of Episode 489, or the entire hour (this applies to any episode).  But, the hand to the heart story is in Act Two, ‘In God We Trust’ and, trust me, the dollar works in mysterious ways:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/489/no-coincidence-no-story

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486: ‘Valentine’s Day 2013′ – Feb 8, 2013

’21 Chump Street’, Act Two, about the school kid is disturbing.  ‘My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend’, Act Four is hilarious.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/486/valentines-day-2013

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There are more, but the ones I’ve listed are worth the listening time.

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And, here’s a link to all of This American Life‘s Radio Archive listings:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives#2013

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So, listen to Frosty, and if Gil finally gets to you, try the above episodes instead.  It’s better than listening to Gil and Politico correspondents discuss sexual misconduct in government today.

And, if you are wondering what the heck Stan has to say today, and you don’t mind colorful language, (I’m not talking pink hearts and yellow moons), then here he is in all of his glory:

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/

I never know what he’s talking about because I don’t follow sports talk, says he has something big for tomorrow…

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/