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Aug 25, 2011

The Show Notes

Drum Circle
Contest is still on
Dragon*Con Schedule
"South Side of the Sky"
Things People Love that Actually Suck

     - Pointlessly large foyers
Religious Moron(s) of the Week
     - Kamoha Website from Heather Van De Sande

     - Anjem Choudary from Mika Eloranta
A really great letter from David Hirsh
The Eagle was cool
Happy Birthday, Joe!
Show close


Mentioned in the Show

What-Magazine-is-Geo-In? Contest
Magazine Name & Page No.
post it in the COMMENTS section at


Geo’s DRAGON*CON schedule

Star Party SOLD OUT!

7:00 pm When Art Meets Science and Skepticism

4:30 pm PARSEC AWARDS (co-host)
10:00 pm Geologic LIVE

2:30 pm Wait, Wait, Don’t Fool Me!
8:30 pm NSFW Show


Geo's Music: stock up!

The catalog at iTunes

The catalog at CD Baby


Sign up for the mailing list: Write to Geo!

A reminder that the new portal to the Geologic Universe is at

Score more data from the Geologic Universe! Get George's edition Non-Coloring Book at Lulu, both as download and print editions.

Check out Geo's wiki page thanks to Tim Farley.

Have a comment on the show, a Religious Moron tip, or a question for Ask George? Drop George a line and write to Geo's Mom, too!

Ms. Information sez, "I can't wait to see all you magnficient creatures at Dragon*Con!"

ten and a half years ago

"White people"

...yeahhhh, just because they're the majority doesn't mean you can't be racist by disparaging them (with the implicit statement the other races are better because of race), and the whole "and then my two words were proven correct" thing? Yeah again - majority, you were likely to be right in your guess, no matter what you think of white people and their playing ability, so going with that for "a-ha! I was totally right in how I predicted this" was just a bad show of noncritical thinking.

And I see your ability to take criticism about the minor things bothering the listeners of your otherwise pretty good show was exactly as good as it was shown every time up until this point. I plan on listening to further shows (having started from the beginning I have no idea where it got so far) because of the quality (which I say as someone who has no interest in music whatsoever, as a testament to its quality), so maybe I'll see if it got improved. Maybe, hopefully, we'll see.

"I was working on my stuff when suddenly I was distracted by the sounds of basketball being played loudly by youths in the streets and I thought 'black people'. A look has confirmed my suspicions - there they were, all eager to get that ball as if it were the primest of watermelons. "

Paul Maki
over twelve years ago

Hey there's this song called "Hippie with...

Oh, Carrie P beat me to this weeks ago I see, a consequence of my listening in big chunks then commenting on all of them at once...

George Hrab
over twelve years ago

Well Mt & Champagne-

Alas... no. That is just a damn coincidence. Seriously.

Weird no?

The ball is still in play-


over twelve years ago

Ya, I just noticed it this evening while reading my copy of the Economist. With a title like "Because George is curious", I cannot imaging it being anyone else than Hrab. For reference, the ad is on page 13 in the Technology Quarterly of the September 3rd, 2011 edition of the Economist.

Funny enough, on the opposing page, there's an article entitled "What would Jesus hack?"

over twelve years ago

Nice guess, Mtskeptic! That's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for, I had a hunch it could be an ad. Hard to be sure, but at least head and eye color look right.

over twelve years ago

My guess for the magazine contest is the 3M ad in the Economist. It shows the top half of a bald guy in coke bottle bottom glasses and has the slogan "Because George is curious.". It's kind of a weird angle and the glasses cover up some of the features so it's hard for me to be 100% positive it's our favorite bald skeptic but that's my guess.

over twelve years ago

At least upon the first listening, I also thought the "white people" comment crossed a line. But jaranath makes a good point about the rest of the segment. Good show overall, Geo.

over twelve years ago

Never mind, Geo.

You're going to Dragon*Con, so you can just add to your list: Drum Circle Etiquette - on the Silk Track, Friday, 5.30pm at Piedmont rooms in the Hyatt.

Simon from New Zealand
over twelve years ago

Okay so the intro - yes yes, wading in amongst the belated debate to cast my opinion unto the winds of the rushing blogisphere... A bit rough I thought. As a strictly unprofessional drummer, I figured sure, people can get into this - share the rhythmic type experience; Channel our inner drummer boy/girl.

Then... I actually looked at some drum circle videos on the youtubes. And yes... This is not drumming - Its pounding on dead goat skin. Just pounding pounding pounding. Rigorous yes. Rhythmic, no. It would be like going to an origami class, and just screwing up balls of paper. What?! What? I'm making shit... No sir. No you are not.

Kind regards.

over twelve years ago

My guess for the magazine with George's photo - The Westboro Baptist Church Newsletter - page 5 of their atheist hit list.

Cold Desert
over twelve years ago

George's opening commentary reminds me of something that happened recently at a cafe here in Salt Lake. The cafe is a very study oriented place so it is quiet and relaxing. This pretentious hipster came in and started doing exactly what Geo described on a guitar. Just "flah" "flah" " flah" on the strings playing something that resembled a chord. As it continued, i looked around at annoyed patrons. I finally spoke up and said "guitar guy, enough!" He sheepishly left. People do in fact, apparently, do this with instruments other than drums. And I think George nailed it. I think the attitude that you can just pick up an instrument and flail on it goes along with the "music is the universal language, man" attitude.

Barry Williams
over twelve years ago

Geo something rubbed me the wrong way about the opening also. I appreciate you clarified somewhat saying it's ok to get together in a drum circle etc but then you went on to say something about half the guys doing it to get laid.
What about the joy of making music lots of people sing who can't and that's ok also if it makes you happy do it.

Darren Dempsey
over twelve years ago

Full disclosure here, I’m a Canadian eh?
So, just two things Geo.
1. Foyer
It’s pronounced Four-Yea!
Not four-year.
2. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
To be truly Canadian, Toronto, or T.O. as we call it, is pronounced Ta-Ron-Na
Other than that, carry on, you’re doing great.


Anne Marie
over twelve years ago

Worst rich person house is this beach one:

over twelve years ago

My thoughts to the opening monologue went along the lines of this:

Greg Dorais
over twelve years ago

What jaranath said.

And thanks for "South Side of the Sky"! Well played maestro. That song is stuck in my head now, and that's a good thing.

Question: Do you record and mix these occasional one-song performances at home, or do you head over to the BeSharp studio to enlist the help of his most awesomeness Slau?

over twelve years ago

I wasn't insulted as a white person.

As the father of 3 black children I was disappointed. My daughter plays the clarinet. Neither of my sons plays music or even listen to it very much. None of them are natural drummers.

This felt very much like ability was being assigned because of race.

I don't think George is a racist.

I don't plan to stop listening. I look forward to every new episode and always feel a little down when a week goes by without a new episode.

There is the possibility that this little backyard get together will inspire some of the participants to study druming and become better at it.

None of us can be experts at everything. Most of us will never be expert at anything.. But if we were to limit participation to only the accomplished our world would be worse off.

When I have gone to rock climbing I have heard accomplished rock climbers complaining about all of the posers taking up space.

These people weren't putting on blackface.

over twelve years ago

Mmm'boi'kay, Gabriel! But that wasn't my take at all. Now, yeah, Geo let his snooty side have the floor in that segment...but it was pretty justifiable, and he went to some length to support it.

Listen to the segment again: I didn't sense any implication that the drum circle sucked in any tangible way because of the color of their skin, but rather because of their own cultural ignorance. They were performing a bizarre caricature of the real thing, something Western whites seem to have a knack for. If string quartets were African and Asian cultural norms but alien to the West, we probably WOULD find quartets sawing away on violins in blissful ignorance, thinking it was "ethnic."

The problem here isn't that the group hadn't practiced, or lacked talent. The problem was that, from a musician's perspective, they were a mockery of the very thing they tried to emulate. They didn't know what they were doing, and they didn't know they didn't know what they were doing. That they probably meant well isn't really the point.

And yes, Democratic conventions IN MAINE are likely almost entirely made up of white people. 95.2% white vs. 72.4% nationwide, by the 2010 census.

George Hrab
over twelve years ago

I agree Gabriel. As a white person I was deeply insulted.

That does it. No more listening to this junk.

Good riddance Geologic!


over twelve years ago

I was disappointed by the opening to this podcast. I heard you say that it was "okay" for white people to get together and have a drum circle if they wanted to. But you made it really clear that it was insulting if they decided to do so.
To my ears this was on the verge of being bigoted. The unstated assumption that race allows some people to play drums better than other people.
The drum circles that you heard that you liked didn't become that good the first time they came together. They had to go through a period of learning and practice. In the begining they were probably pretty bad also.
In all likelyhood the "White" people in the bad drum circle won't follow through. But they might. They might enjoy this activity enough to practice and learn and get better.
And the comment that the gathering of white people looked liked a Democratic convention. Did you misspeak on that or are Democratic conventions only made up of white people?
I have surely made bot gramatical and spelling errors. Sorry.
I don't play drums and haven't been in a drum circle and don't have an interest in it. Just to be clear that I wasn't there.
I think this opening was in poor taste.