It’s been a struggle going on for the last few years. My parents have been hard of hearing and their kids (myself included) have tried to get them to consider getting hearing aids. Mom has pretty much always been willing, but Dad wouldn’t hear of it (pun!). So, Mom would suffer, because it didn’t make sense for her to get them when she’d have to turn them off whenever Dad watched TV with the volume at 100. And Dad watches a lot of TV.
But, when I stopped by earlier in the week, I was in for a big surprise. They had both gotten hearing aids. I don’t know what got Dad to change his mind, but Mom had finally had enough and told Dad she was getting hearing aids and he was taking her in to get them.
Now we’ll have to be careful about our side comments in their presence.
Despite repeated attempts, I was not able to find the audio of one particular radio Public Service Annoucement (PSA) for the Selective Service. If I had, it would have made this Pedantic Moment more impactful and satisfying. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
This PSA spends virtually the entire time trying to appeal to young men’s sense of patriotism, love of home and family, to get them to sign up, but at the very end it states it’s the law, so the young fellows really have no choice.
The Nissan Altima TV ad has a father and son in the Altima racing a school bus to school. The Altima wins! No shit as the bus has to make frequent stops along a daily route. The Altima had better beat the bus.
And it barely beats the bus at that!
Amy Tan Believes In Ghosts
Chipotle restaurants try to be different in their image. Their employees wear t-shirts with interesting sayings printed on them and their bags and cups have interesting essays written by famous people. I noticed one the other day written by Amy Tan about ghosts. She says she’s one of the 42% of Americans who believe in ghosts. She does not site her source for the statistic, but it’s probably about right.
She does admit that even if 100% of Americans believed in the ethereal beings that still wouldn’t mean they exist. She has that bit right. She says her husband didn’t believe until he heard one whistle at him in the shower. Now he sort of believes.
Tan makes a few claims in the essay: Her mother comes to her as a ghost and offers gifts of coincidences. And one of her ghosts, apparently Amy is visited by more than one, named his murderer and that person was sentenced to life in prison. That’s quite a claim for which she offers no evidence.
I’m sure she’s committing some fallacies in logic, but I’m not very good at spotting them, so I sent this on to the folks at the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast. I’ll let you know if they respond.
WIVB News & MUFON
My Facebook friend Cassidy is part of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and she and the group were featured in a three part series on a local news show in New York. Most of the time, local news shows are more interested in the mystery of such things than in plausible explanations, but MUFON was pretty good about keeping the stories grounded in reality.
MUFON may not be the most scientifically sound organization out there, but they do make a concerted effort to find prosaic explanations for UFO sightings. And they are not shy in calling out hoaxes.
The first part of the series dealt with two separate sighting events by locals. I give credit to MUFON as they were able to give plausible earthly explanations for the sightings. One explanation given after the report was sky lanterns. Cassidy gave me the explanation for the other sighting as being most likely a laser pointer.
The second part dealt with hoaxes. MUFON gets lots of them. The report tells us MUFON has identified over 3000 claimed sightings with evidence as hoaxes, with 2600 of them in the States. I speculated the the remaining 400 must have been from Billy Meier the notorious Swiss UFO sighter or hoaxer depending on how you look at it.
The third part dealt with the big question: Are we alone in the universe? To which the answer is a resounding – “We don’t know!” And MUFON, to their credit, said as much in the report.
Overall, I thought the reports were pretty good and grounded. I would have liked more input from scientists, however.
Movie Recommendations: None
Music heard on the show…
First ad break bumpers: ‘The Beat(en) Generation‘ by The The & ‘Beating My Head‘ by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
Closing song: ‘Angler’s Treble Hook’ by $5 Fiddle
That’s it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org