Podcast plug – Dr Aust live (ish)

In which Dr Aust does some heavy breathing into a headset.

A week or so back, thanks to the wonders of internet-based communication technology (aka Skype) I joined the guys from Greater Manchester Skeptics for their podcast Just Skeptics (Episode 12, apparently). It is now out – if you’re interested, you can listen to it here, or here, or even download it (free, of course) from the iTunes store.

You’ll have to excuse the heavy breathing, which I’m embarrassed to say was me. I’d never used a microphone headset before – I’d only installed Skype a day or two earlier – and I think the microphone distance needs adjusting. Or perhaps I’m just a heavy breather.

Anyway, if you do fancy checking it out, you can first hear us talking about “Charity mugging”, the phenomenon whereby you can’t walk twenty metres in a British town centre in the daytime without being accosted by someone trying to sign you up as a charity (direct debit) donor. Until the podcast I hadn’t heard that these “Chuggers” are often out-of-work actors.

We also discuss mad chemists, that hardy stereotype of the man in the white coat with the mad staring eyes. This was inspired by the UK Government’s “Crazy Chemist” anti-drug campaign – the one that got the Royal Society of Chemistry so hot under the collar.

And finally, at 24 minutes in, you can hear me having my “Soapbox” where I poke fun at Alternative Medicine. It’s not terribly original stuff, and will probably be fairly familiar to regular readers, but hopefully you might find some of it amusing.  This segment is followed by a discussion of similar themes, which runs for most of the rest of the podcast. It  concludes with the Richard Feynman reflexology story that you may remember from here.

Anyway, let me know what you think, especially if you stick it out all the way through.

PS Listening to the podcast I now notice a couple of minor factual inaccuracies on my part, notably giving the wrong name for something… ah well. Shows that talking off the cuff is not as easy as one might think. Try to spot the slip(s), if you like.

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3 Responses to “Podcast plug – Dr Aust live (ish)”

  1. Chris3bigkids Says:

    You have a pretty decent American accent when you tell the Feynman story.

  2. Nash Says:

    Tech hint. Put foam over the microphone to stop the breathing noise and have it a bit further away from your mouth

  3. draust Says:

    Thanks, Chris. It’s fair to say that my fondness for accents sometimes annoys my friends (and family!).

    One funny accent story – a decade-plus back I spent a year working at the NIH in Bethesda (Md). I found the switchboard operators there could never “get” the numbers I wanted them to call (no direct international dialling there as you needed complex billing codes) unless I recited them in my American accent. I think I even found that an “American but not North-Eastern” type accent worked best.

    Cheers for the hints, Nash. The headset was an old-but-never-used one that the foam on the microphone had fallen off, so I will have to try and replace it. For the level/distance I guess I need some sort of playback i can hear. It was my first time ever at recording anything, actually, so I guess it could have been worse.

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