Wednesday, December 3, 2008

TNS#60: What to Say to the Cops!

TNS#60 was taped on 11/26/08, a legal primer show we called What To Say To The Cops, inspired by a conversation I had with old friend Mark Malachowski last summer. Mark's a lawyer now ( and we were joined by his friend James Barrett ( for a lively discussion of various scenarios involving law enforcement that anyone might find themselves in, such as getting pulled over, or detained on the street for questioning, or having an officer asking to come into your house. In my own research for the show I was very impressed with the NORML 'freedom card' which can be found on their site as a ready-to-print .pdf file, which succinctly describes the various Constitutional rights one may be invoking in any discussion with law enforcement. However James and Mark definitely made their case that really all you need to remember is the magic seven words: "I'd like to speak to a lawyer." This was definitely not a law-enforcement-bashing show but the show guests also made their case about the many ways that people act against their own interest in trying to be cooperative with the police, and how it's usually best just to keep your mouth shut. The discussion did tend to center around DUI scenarios, for good reason this time of year! Thanks Mark and James for a very informative show!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

TNS#59: BurningMan08 Travelogue

TNS#59 was taped 10/22, the 4th annual TNS Burning Man show, using the now traditional MST3K format which shows our heads in profile from behind as we watch clips and slides from the laptop. Gigi Bisson and Diana Maxwell joined me for the show and presented their slides and clips about their work helping create the Entheon Village Pantheogenesis Temple complex at Burning Man this year -- a collection of 5 temple domes that was quite amazing. We copied Diana's iMovie video clips to my macbook and previewed them, but unfortunately when I tried to launch the project during the taping, iMovie noticed that there was now a sync adapter connected and wouldn't play without going into the video settings and changing them... which I wasn't about to try while the show was in progress. Shockingly bad UI 'feature' for the program, that it couldn't just somehow play in lower res! Similarly Gigi's slideshow in iPhoto wouldn't play, because the new iPhoto 08 apparently launches into some kind of edit mode and won't play until you click a little "Done" button in the lower right corner. My iPhoto 06 has worked ok for me on many shows and didn't work that way so I was unable to get it going either... fortunately former Apple engineer Fred Bockmann was helping crew the show and came onto the set to rescue us and remind us about the 'done' button... Surprisingly bad UI decisions coming from Apple!
Anyway Diana and Gigi talked at length about helping create the Sound Healing Divine Feminine Yurt and we saw some amazing photos of the crystals that were assembled and the hundreds of small geodes that were free for the taking apparently. And I think we previewed Diana's clip of Alex with his light sabre talking about the "new technology that is waiting for us in another dimension" and how we need to use these crystals to open a portal to receive it. Hope that new technology includes something about keeping elections tamper-proof! ;-)
Also mucho thankso to Juli 'Peaceblossom' and Ralph 'Cucoman' Kline for contributing copies of their BurningMan 04-06 and 08 videos which I showed clips of. It was nice to see the footage of the Temples from previous years.

Friday, August 1, 2008

TNS#58: A Look at Homelessness

TNS#58 was taped on 7/30/08 and featured Mena Zaminsky, Ginger Martin and Eileen Richardson in a discussion about many facets of homelessness. Mena's a psychotherapist, expressive arts therapist and teacher in SF who works with many homeless persons; Ginger aka MO/PEACE is a conflict coach, spiritual advisor, trainer, educator and homeless advocate in SF -- her site is -- also Eileen Richardson is Exec.Dir. of the Palo Alto Downtown Streets Team and was featured in a Feb08 story about Local Heroes that I happened to see just days before the taping -- fortunately I was able to find her contact and she joined us on very short notice. It was gratifying to hear from her about the very pro-active efforts here in Palo Alto to get homeless persons engaged in getting back on their feet. Wikipedia says there are about 100M homeless worldwide; the US number ranges from 1-3M (.3 - 1% of pop). I hadn't known that as of 1981 a class action suit in NY established a NY state constitutional "right to shelter" -- very encouraging! The wikipedia estimate was that 1/3 of all homeless adults have some form of mental illness or disability, however the show panelists were inclined to put the number higher. I closed the show with the Gandhi Test as quoted by Larry Brilliant w/r his work heading up "When considering the merits of a course of action, think of the poorest person and consider whether your action will help that person in some way."

Monday, July 7, 2008

TNS#57: IP, Copyright and Creative Commons

TNS#57 was taped on 6/30/08 and featured local attorneys Chris Ridder, a Residential Fellow at Stanford Law School, and Kurt Opsahl, Sr. Staff Attorney with we discussed Intellectual Property and Copyright and the problems with how it's evolved in the past century and the progress Larry Lessig and have made in providing a more reasonable alternative model for copyrights. Chris is involved with the Stanford Center for Internet and Society -- -- and talked a bit about their Documentary Film Program -- -- which "provides filmmakers with information about fair use, access to insurance for liability arising out of copyright litigation, and access to lawyers who will defend copyright claims pro bono or at reduced rates." ... good stuff!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Next Step airing schedule

the current airing schedule for The Next Step is:

Wed. 11-12 pm chan.30
Sat. 6-7 pm chan.27
Sat. 11-12 pm chan.30
Sun. 2-3 am chan.27
Sun. 6-7 am chan.30

you can watch it in Quicktime whenever it airs: go to and click "Watch" for the appropriate channel.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

TNS#56: Another Look at Modern Love

TheNextStep #56 was taped Tue 5/27/08 and featured local authors Anna Broadway (Sexless In The City: A Memoir of Reluctant Chastity) and Wendy Merrill (Falling Into Manholes: The Memoir of a Bad/Good Girl)... a very enjoyable show though we didn't get into issues of strategies for finding partners as much as I'd have hoped... Anna's blog is and Wendy's site is

Monday, May 19, 2008

ok let's try this again!

Finally getting a blog going again for The Next Step! ... the first one was at which shut down last fall, then I got it ported to which abruptly shut down in Jan08 before I could even make a backup, embarrassingly. This is the info blog for The Next Step, a monthly Palo Alto, CA-based local cable show. The show began in the 90's as Regular People with MetaBaba and Terry Lavios then transitioned to The Next Step with galen and Terry in 2002. The tag line is "The Next Step: Showcasing the art, music, literature, spirituality and politics of the evolving new consciousness"... galen's vision for the show was to have two sets simultaneously, a 'left brain' set with a panel discussion and a 'right brain' set with music and art. It was a worthy experiment but the shows were difficult to produce and very often marginalized the talk portion of the show. I took over the show in may 2005 and pretty much just stick with the format of a panel discussion on a theme.
The Next Step airs 5x/week and is webcast simultaneously when it airs. The airing schedule and webcast access can be found at