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Blog Entries:

Podcast > Thursday, April-18-2013

Invisible Sky Monster Podcast: Episode 12

Keywords: religion, islam, mosque, homosexuality, sexism

This is a placeholder. Full show notes coming soon.

Podcast > Sunday, September-30-2012

Invisible Sky Monster Podcast: Episode 11

Podcast > Friday, July-13-2012

Invisible Sky Monster Podcast: Episode 10

Podcast > Monday, April-23-2012

Invisible Sky Monster Podcast: Episode 9

Announcements > Monday, March-26-2012

Regarding The Podcast

It's been a little over a month since the last podcast - hopefully the fact that it was extra long has helped tide all you over.

I should give an explanation though.  I've been experiencing computer problems for the past few months, and it got really bad this past month.  The problem had to do with my audio.  For some reason the sound my computer generated became really, really choppy and hard to listen to.

I could fix the problem by substituting a generic Microsoft driver for the manufacturer supplied one, but when I did that the computer wouldn't let me use the microphone.

So by switching between the two drivers I could record my last Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge, but conducting an interview over Skype wasn't really in the cards.

I'd already re-installed Windows once, but the problem crept back.  A couple days ago I reinstalled Windows again in time for my appearance on the Cognitive Dissonance podcast.  So my sound is working fine now, but I'd still like to know what caused the problem lest it happen again.

I have a couple of suspicions, but without knowing for sure what to avoid doing, my relief from sound problems could be only temporary.  Anyway, I'm going to try to get a couple of people together for a new episode sometime in the next week or two. 

Thanks for checking in!

Blog > Wednesday, February-22-2012

Sky Monster Skeptically Reviewed

I always find it amazing when I'm actually noticed by somebody I know of from the skeptical community.  Nigel St. Whitehall, fellow podcast junkie and fellow alumni of the Conspiracy Skeptic podcast, wrote a review of my last episode on his Skeptical Review blog.

I rarely get constructive criticism, so it's nice to have something like this to think about.  For example:

Be forewarned like other Canadian podcasts tight editing is not in the cards.  Therefore, this particular episode, while highly thought provoking and entertaining, clocked in at over two hours.  I walked Ike twice, and took him with me to pick up lunch, and I folded laundry but the show still have ten minutes left after all those activities.

I know that this is just a comment and not a criticism from Nigel, but it's an interesting point.  When I first started out I didn't do much editing, but I've started to do more.  I now edit out pauses that seem like they might be a little long, and I try to do some amount of editing out the um's and ah's and things like that.  Of course, I could spend all day trying to clean up all of my stammering around, but I have other things to do ;)

I guess other podcasts probably leave a lot more on the cutting room floor than I do though.  They try a lot harder than I do to keep their episodes a constant length.  I could cut out parts of the discussion that I find less important or relevant, and maybe I'll consider doing a little more of that.  But in general I find the entire discussion to be very interesting, and I myself prefer to listen to any conversation in its entirety rather than the parts that have been custom selected by somebody. 

I also think that an abridged copy of a book is an abomination.

Anyway, Nigel was also disappointed that we didn't bring up the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  As a podcaster who holds himself ultimately responsible for the content of the episode, I place the blame entirely on the shoulders of my guests!  Jeff, Stu... you guys really let me down on this one!  As gays, aren't you supposed to know everything about gay rights so that you can interject this kind of relevant information into the discussion?

I'm not angry at the two of you...... I'm just disappointed.

Nigel also criticized me for something I said in my ending commentary:

The only thing I thought was a bit odd, and I do not know if Parrot does this on most of his podcasts, is that he added an addendum to the show.  Parrot brought up a new angle on an topic the panel was disagreeing over after the other panelist were not available.  To be fair, Parrot did note this might not seem fair, but he wanted to get his thoughts out there.  While the host of a podcast has the liberty to tack on an after the fact idea, I think such things are best left for a future date or never shared.

I always work in a little bit of an after word into every podcast, but I've never before actually made some sort of point from a disagreement I had.  Nigel may be right, that might have been a poor decision on my part. 

My thought process was that people who have their own show have the privilege of putting in the final word on any discussion.  Even when Steve Novella went on the Doctor Oz show, he specifically stated that he didn't hold it against the man that he got to put in his own final words that Steve didn't have the opportunity to reply to.

But maybe it depends on the dynamic that you're going for, so I'm not entirely certain whether I made the right decision or not.  I've told you guys many times before that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, so it's not unexpected that I might screw up somewhere.

What do you guys think?  Was I in the wrong?  Or was I just fairly invoking my podcasters' privilege? You can comment here or send me an email.

Nigel did have some very nice things to say though:

What I have enjoyed most about the two or three episodes so far is that Parrot is fairly fearless in picking his topics and steering the discussion.  It is not a no hold bar politically incorrect festival that used to be a hallmark of "Irreligiosophy" for example, but it is quite open.  Also, the guests do not tend to agree with each other all the time, which occurs on a number of other skeptically minded podcasts.  It's not that they disagree for the hell of it, but it sounds to be an honest dialogue.  I should try and listen to this podcast more often.

You can call it "fearless", I like the sound of that.  But it's probably closer to "reckless".  I just enjoy a good discussion and don't see any subject matter as being off limits.  The good thing about talking with skeptics is that even when they disagree with you they're more often able to take a step back and actually respond with a rational discussion on the subject rather than just yelling at you.

I enjoy exploring points of view that don't completely agree with mine, and I'm really glad that I had Jeff on to challenge what I was saying.

Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying the show Nigel.  Hopefully you'll continue listening to future episodes as well :)

Podcast > Sunday, February-19-2012

Invisible Sky Monster Podcast: Episode 8

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The Exposing Pseudoastronomy Podcast
Virginia To Deny Gay Adoption On Religious Grounds
Nearly Half Of UK Gay Men Would Die Early For Perfect Bod
Prop 8 Ban Ruled Unconstitutional
Senate Votes To Recognize Same Sex Marriage In Washington
Washington Governor Signs Same Sex Bill
Freedom For The Thought That We Hate by A. Lewis
Another Republican Outed
And Another
Why Gays Shouldn't Marry
Theme Music From Danosongs.com
Jonathan Coulton's Rendition Of "Baby Got Back"

In this episode I'm joined by my senior gay issues correspondent Infinite Monkey, and my senior astronomy correspondent Stuart Robbins of the Exposing Pseudoastronomy podcast to have a gay old time talking about issues relating to gay rights.

Infinite Monkey's Skepticamp Talk


Can you catch teh gay?

Don't be ashamed of your opposite gender interests! They make you stronger!


And speaking of stereotypes:

I should have figured out a way to work each and every one of the following questions into the conversation!  And I should have been shirtless... and maybe have done a few more pushups in my life.  Damn, I would sacrifice a YEAR of my life if I could just look like that!!

Some women's butts are so big it's hard for them to find enough room to fit them comfortably on a subway!

And just for fun:

Podcast > Thursday, February-02-2012

Invisible Sky Monster Podcast: Episode 7

Keywords: psychics, ghosts, paranormal, religion

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*IMPORTANT NOTE* - For those of you who downloaded the podcast in the first hour after it came out, please excuse the audio problems. I've uploaded a fixed version, please download the episode again.

Sara Mayhew's Website
The Amateur Skeptics Podcast
Sara Mayhew Asks Deepak A Question
Full Debate With Deepak Chopra
Indonesian Man Thinks Girl Is Really A Ghost - So He Kicks Her In The Face
Jay Leno Sued Over "Racist" Joket
Freedom For The Thought That We Hate: A Biography Of The First Amendment by Anthony Lewis
"Psychic" Peach Stevens Scammed Florida Woman Out Of $136,000
"Psychic Sally" Has Got A Huge Pair Of Crystal Balls
"Psychic Sally's" Performances Suffer Since She Took Out Her Earpiece
Naturopath Charged With Elderly Man's Death
University Of Maryland Medical Center On Magnesium
Cold-FX Not As Effective As Touted
Canadian Students Send Legonaut Into Space

In this episode I'm joined by manga artist Sara Mayhew, and Bryan Hineser of the Amateur Skeptics podcast to have a talk about such such things as Deepak Chopra, Psychics, Naturopaths, and Legonauts

Blog > Tuesday, January-17-2012

Some Pictures I Took

Those of you who are regular listeners will remember that in episode one I mentioned a picture of a disembodied Santa head ornament I found.  Well, this past season I found another, but this one's creepy in a different way:

Take an even closer look:

Now try and tell me that he doesn't look like he's in the midst of pleasuring himself!

And just for fun, here's an interesting pic I took of a vending machine I saw a while back in a Belgium airport:

Now, who here had guessed that the secret ingredient in Coke was cherubim urine?

Podcast > Monday, January-16-2012

Invisible Sky Monster Podcast: Episode 6

Keywords: feminism, religion, skepchicks, misogyny

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The Skeprechauns Podcast
The Amateur Skeptics Podcast
Islamic Cleric Bans Women From Touching Sexy Vegetables
Saudi Religious Council Says Women Shouldn't Drive
Article Emploring Skeptic Men Not To Change
No Women Nominees In Atheist Of The Year Contest
Rebecca Watson Wins Most Influential Female Atheist Of 2011
Controversy Over Panda Being Named As A Woman Of The Year

In this episode I'm joined by Rebecca O'Neill of the Skeprechauns podcast, and Kimberly Saviano of the Amateur Skeptics podcast to have a talk about issues relating to feminism in skepticism.  We cover sexy fruits and vegetables, religious repression of women, female republican candidates, and we discuss why Rebecca Watson is such a controversial figure.

Some Foods That Women Should Avoid - Avert your eyes ladies!!

Some natural formations may also be a no-no:

Perhaps men aren't completely off the hook on this account though:

But moving on from sexy fruits and vegetables, here's an illustration of what happens when sex education is lacking due to men wanting to control female reproduction:

But then, who knows what a woman is really thinking anyway?