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Jan 6, 2011

The Show Notes

More Oz thanks...
New Year’s Eve Cart
Addicted to Ginger Beer
Goodbye, Sammy
Fossil find
Interesting Fauna
     - Glowing Clusterwink Snail from Gary Lindros
     - Cacoxenus Indagator from Jason Smith
Religious Moron of the Week
     - Hepatitis Wafer Handler from Ag Primatic
Things People LOVE that actually SUCK
     - The Blues
Ask George
     - Blue Man Group? from Jason Wagnon
     - Toms? from Ben in Bloomsburg
     - Jazz in NYC? from Chris Moore
     - Music tolerance? from Rick Sheppe
     - PFA accounting? from Chuck Patterson
Happy Birthday, Sis!
Show close


Mentioned in the Show

The Little Warrior: a tribute to Kerry’s boy, Sammy, at brickgrrl

Fossil Find in China: at LiveScience

Glowing Clusterwink Snail: at Wired Science

Cacoxenus indagator, the Houdini Fly: at Solitary Bees

Cacoxenus indagator, the Houdini Fly: at NewScientist

Lesia at Ten Ton Boulder


Geo's Music: stock up!

The catalog at iTunes

The catalog at CD Baby


Sign up for the mailing list: Write to Geo!

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 heard that!"

Eliot Silbar
almost thirteen years ago

I'm with Gregg for things people like: Mother Teresa

Mark Scrudder (The Office Troll)
almost thirteen years ago

I don't know if they have them on your side of the country, but Cost Plus: World Market carries Bundaberg ginger beer (I love that stuff!). I've also found it at specialty soda stores in Washington and Oregon.

Good luck finding it :-D

Karen Walker
almost thirteen years ago

Vibes! Geo-
Bruce Willis' blues band, e.g., is sucky indeed; he's in the mass produced 90% category because, let's face it, the blues is all about complaining about how shitty you're feeling. How could someone with as much money and hot chick action as Willis possibly be sincere when singing the blues? On the other end of the spectrum, the 10% quality side, people like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, had a great deal of sincerity when singing the blues because even at their height of fame they were at rock bottom, out of their mind, drug dependent people who were totally lost and confused most of the time. Now that's something to sing the blues about.
Good music of any genre, for me, is all about sincerity. That's in part what makes the music you produce so good.
Karen Walker

John Turnbull
almost thirteen years ago

Hey Geo,

Styrofoam, mate! John the balloonist here. I just wanted to let you know that meeting you inspired my mother Kay to buy an iPod so she can listen to your podcast - a win for critical thinking.

I totally agree with you about the Blues, although I must admit a soft spot for the movie The Blues Brothers...

Things people like that really suck? The Star Wars trilogy. I'm not talking about the prequels (which most people agree suck the big one) but the original trilogy. Hear me out...

I saw Empire and Jedi at the cinema for the first time when I was a kid, and they stuck in my mind as pretty good movies. I was never a massive fan so didn't really care when Lucas released the new versions - does it make any difference to the universe that Greedo shot first? I think not... but I digress.

Now that I have children, I'm keen to provide them an education in movies and music. The Star Wars movies seemed like a good option to introduce my 5 year old son to sci-fi, so I went out and rented the original trilogy.

Twenty minutes into A New Hope, my son turned to me and said 'this is boring'. I let him go off and play and watched the rest of the film. Do you know what? He was right. A New Hope IS boring. Jedi is like the Muppet Movie without the charm of Kermit. Empire is great in comparison to the films around it but in comparison to other 'classic' movies of the period it's merely good.

One good film does not make a good trilogy. For all the hype, the obsession and the millions of dollars spent by fans on multiple copies of the same freaking movie, Star Wars sucks.

You may disagree with this sentiment (particularly considering the lyrics of When I Was Your Age) but I stand behind my comments - bring on the nerd rage!

Keep up the good work.


almost thirteen years ago

I have a nomination for your new segment "Things People LOVE that actually SUCK."

Drum Solos

Greg Heptinstall
almost thirteen years ago

The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds"
Please, someone has to do it. I just don't understand what the big deal is. Some of the songs are good, maybe even great, but the album? Meh. & I just don't get the constant comparisons to Sgt. Pepper.

Michael P.
almost thirteen years ago

Are these the carts you were looking for?

almost thirteen years ago

@Ian -- It's not just you. The collective children sound-effect thingy scared the bejeezus out of me, too.

As for the blues...I don't know. It's easy to agree that 90% of everything labeled "blues" is crap, especially if we include all the white-guy cover bands, but then 90% of just about everything is crap. It's also easy to see why a person with a college degree in music would find I-IV-V and pentatonic scales tedious in the extreme.

But I wonder if the extreme simplicity of the blues form means that the blues -- the thing people originally fell in love with -- is about something else. The charisma and personality of the performer, maybe. The feel of a band when it's so tight that even simple things make an audience gasp. The simplicity of the form allows a lot of bland people to ape the music without actually communicating any authentic emotion, but does that mean there's no higher echelon of blues performance that's worth paying attention to?

Or, looked at another way, is blues just one of those folk traditions that tends to suck when it's mass-produced as a commodity? Aren't there many folk traditions, simple in form, that would suck if they became as popular as the blues?

So it seems to me that we need a criteria for suckage that goes beyond "it's too simple" and "90% of it is crap." Otherwise "X sucks" sounds a lot like "most people just don't do X very well," which doesn't tell us much.

But maybe even that is still worth saying. So here's my nomination for "it sucks" coverage: the news. And I don't mean, "most reporting is shallow" or "journalistic ethics are in the toilet." I mean: "everyone assumes the news is something we need, and everyone claims to want good news coverage, but we've all made a mistake because the news must suck by definition as a way of telling us how the world really works."

David M
almost thirteen years ago

Cilantro. It tastes like soap.

almost thirteen years ago

The thing about Blues is that I always thought it was supposed to be sad and/or depressing. So people liking it is a bit bizarre.

let's see... things people like that are actually shit... do people count? The only thing I can think of is Mother Theresa. But then, I'm a humanist-inclined atheist, so I'm biased.

Um. Alternatively... nightclubs. Nightclubs are presented as something that all young/young-ish people are supposed to enjoy. But really they're just... loud, stuffy, crowded and too loud. But again, maybe it's just me.

Ian Tichell
almost thirteen years ago

Hello George.

Two remarkable moments I experienced while listening to your podcast walking to work. When that group of children gasp, or make that collective sound of awe, or whatever they're doing, it SCARES THE BEJESUS out of me. That sound has gotten me twice now. You are going to kill someone with that effect. Am I the only one?

Also, that description of the Communion goo and the spoon actually made me a little nauseated. What a roller coaster of physical experiences in under half and hour just from listening to your podcast. My heart nearly stopped and then I nearly threw up. Thanks for all you do.

Ian Tichell

almost thirteen years ago

Hey Geo.

Things that people love that actually suck? Maybe it's a bit on the nose, but Jesus. I mean Jesus, specifically. People love to do that whole Gandhi thing, claiming that Jesus was great but people have perverted the religion. I think those people mostly don't know what they're talking about. The sermon on the mount was good in some parts, just weird in others, and bad in a lot of parts. Jesus himself did a lot of weird or bad things. Here's a good place to get started, and I'm sure you can work up a good rant from there:

Also, not to echo Hitchens too much, but Mother Theresa.

almost thirteen years ago

Oh, and as an idea for "Things people say they like but really suck" we have:

American Idol
In fact, any food which is described as "It's a delicacy".
Smooth Jazz

But I must humbly admit that I really like some techno music when I'm in the right mood. Although I readily admit that much of it sucks.

almost thirteen years ago

Hey Geo:

The moment you mentioned white guys all wanting to be SRV I found myself nodding my head in agreement. Yes, Yes, and once again, Yes.

Go to youtube and check out Ted Greene playing and teaching the blues. I love that kind of jazz blues.

AT LEAST add a I vi ii V to your I IV V progression. Try a tri-tone substitution or two. Maybe a half step approach, or a companion minor. Try a bIV approach to the IV chord. Try throwing a #IV diminished over the IV chord (oh wait, I think I just described "Think For Yourself"). But seriously, there is so much you can do with a blues. Check out Tim Lerch's youtube video on Ted Greene's Blues in G or Blues in Bb. It's Beautiful. You can hang so much on cool stuff on the framework of the blues.

But then you go to play a gig and someone calls out "Dude! Let's play Voodoo Child Slight Return one more time so I can play the same Albert King licks that every other Blues player has been playing for the last 50 years.


Preach it brother, preach it.

Infinite Monkey
almost thirteen years ago

Reality TV

It's exploded in recent years, but it's not new. It's contrived, and according to a fellow skeptic who has a significant other in the entertainment industry, it scripted.

almost thirteen years ago

Nomination for your new segment "Things People LOVE that actually SUCK."

Getting drunk, not alcohol in general but getting drunk.

almost thirteen years ago

Vibraphone, Geo!

I have a nomination for your new segment "Things People LOVE that actually SUCK."

The Genre of music that people commonly refer to as "Techno." More accurately Elecronica, and the sub-genres Techno, House Trance and Tribal. (Those I understand to mix well together.) Also, Jungle, Drum 'n' Bass, Big Beat and others. Artists like Fatboy Slim, DJ Keoki, J. Scott G., John Digweed/Bedrock, FSOL, Chemical Brothers, Fluke, DJ Rap, ect.

There are bits and pieces here and there that I think are pretty good, but what's your take on it?

Homestar Runner has a funny take on it: