Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TNS#82: 9/11 Revisited: The Experts Speak Out

TheNextStep show #82 was taped 9/22/2011 and took a look at the new film from ae911truth.org titled “9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out” for the tenth anniversary of 9/11/2011. Joining me were two people featured in the film, metallurgist Kathy McGrade and structural engineer Kamal Obeid. The film was produced by Richard Gage, founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (ae911truth.org), who was featured on the show back in Jan 2008. The film consists primarily of in-depth interviews with 2 dozen professional architects and structural engineers, all with solid credentials, who all make compelling arguments that WTC towers 1 & 2 could not or would not have fallen as they did short of controlled demolition... and of course then there's WTC 7 the nearby 47-story tower which also came down that day and was not hit by any plane. When it comes to rare complex events like high-rise towers failing it seems one has to pretty much take the word of experts, like these presented here. They do not get into the questions of who did it or why or how, other than to say it was undoubtedly done by means of thermite or nano-thermite, consistent with the way any such large buildings would be brought down by controlled demolition. The last part of the film shifted to the theme of cognitive dissonance, with various psychologists talking about how common it is for people to completely reject information that conflicts with their world-view. A very appropriate way to conclude the presentation! I showed a number of clips from the film during the show. It's been uploaded now and can be viewed here: http://blip.tv/the-next-step/thenextstep-82_911-expertsspeakout-6316256

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TNS#81: The Transition Movement

TheNextStep show #81 was taped 8/25/2011 and featured Transition movement activist Julia Bystrova, who's been involved with transitionsebastopol.org. The Transition movement grew out of the ideas in the book The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience by Rob Hopkins, in which Rob does a great job documenting the activities of many 'transition towns' in the UK where he lives... chiefly Totnes UK (www.transitiontowntotnes.org). The Transition movement seeks to cultivate community resilience in response to the challenges of resource depletion, climate change, and economic instability. Rob's book starts out with a contemplation of what the future trends are in view of climate change and post-peak-oil, and manages to present an inspiring optimistic vision of how local communities can build resilience. Julia's blog is at julfire.wordpress.com. Thanks for coming down for the show Julia! The show is now posted online here: blip.tv/the-next-step/thenextstep-81-the-transition-movement-6274379 From the transitionsebastopol.org website: (loved this disclaimer!) About US - Cheerful Disclaimer: Just in case you were under the impression that Transition is a process defined by people who have all the answers, you need to be aware of a key fact. We truly don't know if this will work. Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale. What we are convinced of is this: * if we wait for the governments, it'll be too little, too late * if we act as individuals, it'll be too little * but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time. Everything that you read on the transition town http://transitiontowns.org site is the result of real work undertaken in the real world with community engagement at its heart. There's not an ivory tower in sight, no professors in musty oak-paneled studies churning out erudite papers, no slavish adherence to a model carved in stone. This site, just like the transition model, is brought to you by people who are actively engaged in transition in a community. People who are learning by doing - and learning all the time. People who understand that we can't sit back and wait for someone else to do the work. People like you, perhaps...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

TNS#80: The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide

TheNextStep show #80 was taped 7/19/2011 and featured local author James Fadiman PhD talking about his new book The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide. A very enjoyable conversation with a long-time consciousness pioneer! I was flattered that James asked for a copy of my show notes listing all the passages I liked in the book. The show has been uploaded here: http://blip.tv/the-next-step/thenextstep-80-psychedelic-explorer-s-guide-5605889 James' website: www.jamesfadiman.com... the book is www.psychedelicexplorersguide.com From the book's website: "Jim Fadiman's manual offers helpful and well-informed guidance for those who seek 'the divine within' through sacred plants and psychedelic substances." - Daniel Pinchbeck, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and Breaking Open the Head "This is some of the most thoughtful, wise, heartfelt, and essential instruction for the use of sacred medicine." - Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

TNS#79: The Maker Faire & Maker Revolution

TheNextStep#79 was taped 6/23/11 and featured 4 guests all involved with the Maker movement in some way... the show was inspired by the highly successful 6th annual MakerFaire in San Mateo in May2011 (makerfaire.com). Joining the panel were Alex Peake founder of PrimerLabs.com and CodeHero.org, Joe Mathes co-founder of Hack the Future, Laurence Miotto Dir. of IT for the Museum of Art & Digital Entertainment (themade.org), and Antonio Gussenhoven of CodeHero.org. Lively show, thanks, guys!

At the 2011 Maker Faire I was particularly inspired by Nolan Bushnell's talk about his new online highschool initiative Speed-To-Learn, with curriculum to be provided via the Apple AppStore; and by Massimo Banzi's talk about how he was motivated to start the Arduino project. (The Arduino is a wildly successful open-source single-board microcontroller design that now has hundreds of compatible plug-in boards and thousands of shared code files; it's been especially popular with students and do-it-yourselfers.)
The show has been uploaded here:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TNS#78 - Men's Story Project

The Next Step #78 was taped 4/12/2011 and featured Josie Lehrer talking about her Men's Story Project (mensstoryproject.org) as well as multiple clips from the many dozens of short films on the site. The show has been posted here:

What Josie has done is send out a call for submissions soliciting for men to share personal stories that address their issues/experiences with masculinity. This curated group of men was then coached on developing and sharing their stories for live audiences. The live Men's Story Project events are filmed, and video clips from these events are then posted on the mensstoryproject.org youtube channel (see link on the home page), as a means of crowdsourcing culture change on male gender norms and gender relations.
There are about 35 pieces posted to date - all of them poignant, many funny, some brilliant. She has done this in multiple cities now, and there are two feature films available which document the live events - one in English, and the other in Spanish. Very inspiring... thanks, Josie!

From her website: The Men's Story Project is a replicable community arts and dialog initiative in which local men explore social ideas about masculinity for the purpose of health and justice. The longterm goal is to help expand the presence of genuine personal expression of peace and social justice in communities.
“This program is about healing.”
Storytelling: For preserving and passing on traditions, for challenging and breaking traditions, and for the creation of new traditions.
Mission: To strengthen social norms that support healthy masculinities and gender equality, and to help eliminate gender-based violence, homophobia and other oppressions that are intertwined with masculinities, through ongoing events of men´s public story-sharing and community dialogue.