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Here Be Monsters

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A Society, Culture and Philosophy podcast featuring Jeff Emtman
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HBM107: Carlo Surrenders
Carlo Nakar spent more than twenty years in the United States before he was called by God to return to the the Philippines. It happened during one of his first classes of grad school at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. He looked into the rafters and asked, “Lord, what would be the hardest thing that you could ever ask me to do?” He received a verbal answer: “You should work with sexually trafficked girls in the Philippines.” At that time, Carlo was in grad school to find himself after a long stint working at a facility for abused and neglected kids. But he had stayed there too long and effectively burnt out from the secondary trauma of working with children who were sexually aggressive. He felt unfit to become a therapist. So it came as a surprise when God called him to work with sexually trafficked girls in the Philippines: “But I was called to do this. I have to show up.” Courtyard inside Samaritana. Photo by Carlo Nakar. Since receiving the call from God, Carlo accepted an internship at Samaritana in Quezon City, near his hometown of Manila, where human trafficking is prevalent. There he works with women who have been trafficked or worked as prostitutes. In this episode, Carlo tells the story of the first time he did street outreach in Quezon City on behalf of the organization. Courtyard inside Samaritana. Photo by Carlo Nakar. Stained glass at Samaritana. Photo by Carlo Nakar. Since recording his audio diaries, Carlo traveled to India to attend a conference hosted by the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution. He attended a presentation on OSEC (online sexual exploitation of children) and for a second time he felt called by God. He said he felt a sense of certainty that this is the work that he is uniquely prepared to do. After graduation, he intends to work as a therapist for children who have been sexually exploited online. Carlo Nakar and his contact juggling ball.  Photo by Carlo Nakar. Carlo’s been on HBM before, in one of our very first episodes. Listen to HBM008: Chuck Gets Circumcised. Bethany Denton produced this episode, and Jeff Emtman helped edited it. Music: The Black Spot | | | Circling Lights
What the $&@# is that Bug?
Help me identify this many-legged friend and you could win a neat prize that will make you the coolest kid on the block by a long shot.
HBM017: How I Learned to Love Rejection (Pt. 1)
This episode looks at the lessons Jeff Emtman learned in his trip, including meeting a pastor, finding a strange cave, admiring the bizarre beauty of Yellowstone, and witnessing a fatal shooting. 
HBM016: 10,000 Juggalos [EXPLICIT]
On this episode of the Here Be Monsters Podcast, Director Sean Dunne speaks of the bizzare culture of The Gathering where he found a system of mutual respect and "practicing what you preach" in every aspect from religious tolerance to settling bad drug deals.
HBM012: How to Live and Die Until You're 80
A college professor (who prefers to remain nameless) collapses in class and becomes one of the few people to survive his own death. On this episode, he tells his story of death and resurrection.
HBM010: The Time Travelers Convention
On this episode, Andrew Nissenbaum tells his story and explains some of the achievements and hurdles yet to overcome before the 2013 Time Travelers Convention.
HBM003: John Dips Below
On this episode takes place on a night when John goes down to visit a friend, under a dock.
HBM002: Of Maps and Monsters
This episode is a discussion of historical reactions to the unknown--from the monsters living in margins of the Nuremberg Chronicle to the a apocryphal predictions of a "future" map of the world.
HBM001: Prisoner's Cinema
Prisoner's Cinema is a phenomena experienced by those who spend prolonged amounts of time in the dark. The "Cinema" refers to the series of images that the mind creates, often emotionally intense or terrifying.
HBM101: Much Corruption
Growing up, Jeff Emtman had a hard time balancing his piety for the One God with his piety for the Gnomish lord Berwyn. Generally, he deferred to the latter, though he lost favor eventually with both. Jeff’s scoutmaster, a retired surgeon with a habit of collecting unusual boats, was always trying to get Jeff outside, away from the computer where he spent most of his free time playing a game where he tried to save the world from corruption and evil. Ancient Domains of Mystery (more commonly called “ADOM”) is an massive roguelike game that’s inspired heavily by Dungeons and Dragons. Thomas Biskup released the first version of it in 1994. Example of a character bio created by ADOM Jeff, a gnomish wizard of status, is susceptible to the corruptive background radiation. Once pure, he eventually gained breath that smelled of sulfur, thorns that sprouted from his hands, etc. And he failed in his quest to save the world. The Surgeon invited Jeff to join him for kayaking on the Naches River of Washington State. The river holds a small irrigation dam that the two must navigate--the Surgeon with ease, and Jeff with no small amount of existential, religious struggle. The “burning hands” spell in this episode comes from a Esperanto-language reading of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, released as public domain audiobook by Librivox. The excerpt used can be translated to “...and the chain was bound around the arm.” Music: Serocell ||| The Black Spot ||| AHEE ||| Circling Lights ← New music! Website soon.
HBM094: The Fatigue of Violence
In the nearly 20 years that Susan Randall’s been working as a private investigator, she’s seen Vermont’s most disadvantaged people struggling to have life’s most basic amenities. Sometimes her job is to interview people addicted to crack, to help determine whether they’re suitable parents. Sometimes her job is to examine blood spatter at gruesome crime scenes. She recently helped defend a client who murdered a DCF worker in broad daylight. Susan has seen how humanity’s worst instincts become possible where cyclical poverty, incarceration, and drug addiction wreak havoc on communities. There’s a necessary split screen in Susan’s mind. One screen shows a home life: dropping her kids off at lacrosse, helping them with school projects. And another screen shows a work life: prison visitation rooms, run-down trailer parks, the color-shifted skin of a corpse. Producer Erica Heilman interviewed Susan over the course of three years. Erica is a private investigator herself, and Susan was her mentor. The two talk about the mechanics of the legal system, poverty and how to survive a job that takes such an emotional toll. Erica produces the podcast Rumble Strip. Some of the audio on this episode came from here and here. Jeff Emtman and Bethany Denton re-purposed this audio for Here Be Monsters. Music: The Black Spot
HBM095: The Bats that Stay
Not all migratory bats migrate. We don’t know why some choose to stay behind at their summer roosts. But according to the University of Washington’s Sharlene Santana, the bats that stay tend to die. In this episode, HBM host Jeff Emtman attempts to make a metaphor about bats and humans. Perhaps it’s anthropomorphic, perhaps it’s unnecessarily poetic, or perhaps it’s a fair one. Jeff leaves his home in Seattle to move cross-country to Boston. Along the way he takes a five day layover in Colorado to meet up with an old friend (Helen Katich) and her girlfriend (Laura Goldhamer). The three drive from Denver to the San Luis Valley of Central Colorado. They visit Valley View Hot Springs and walk to the mouth of an abandoned iron mine 10,000 feet above sea level called “The Glory Hole.”   Trail to “The Glory Hole” at The Orient Mine The Glory Hole houses an estimated 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats each summer. These bats migrate in from Central and South America to eat bugs and raise their pups. They fly together at dusk in gatherings visually similar to the murmurations of starlings. This bat species, also known as the Brazilian free-tailed bat, is extremely social, and perhaps nature’s most gregarious mammal species. Sharlene Santana of the University of Washington, holding the preserved body of a Mexican free-tailed bat Despite this, their social and hunting calls are completely inaudible to humans. They produce ultrasounds, sounds too high pitched for human ears. But some audio equipment (see below) can still record these sounds, then computer algorithms can pitch them down into human-audible sounds. Helen Katich and Laura Goldhamer Jeff Emtman and the San Luis Valley One evening, Jeff and Helen and Laura hike to the mouth of the mine. At this vantage point, they watch some of the bats flying out and Jeff manages to record some of their loud, ultrasonic vocalizations, before the storm forces them back downhill. The next day, Jeff flies to his new home in Boston. Jeff Emtman produced this episode. He recorded the bat calls with a Tascam DR100MK3 at 192kHZ sample rate and an Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro at sample rates of 256kHZ and 384kHZ. The calls were recorded at frequencies of approximately 21kHZ to 36kHZ and time/pitch-shifted with Elastique 3.2.3 Pro. A preserved Mexican free-tailed bat at the welcome center of Valley View Hot Springs Music: The Black Spot ||| Laura Goldhamer
HBM059: When Cthulhu Calls
The most notable monster created by Howard Phillips Lovecraft was completely omnipotent, yet completely uncaring. A massive, tentacled being that sleeps in the depths of the ocean--Cthulhu. A creature that will one day rise again from its watery home to reclaim the Earth for itself. In this episode of Here Be Monsters, we team up with Eric Molinsky of the Imaginary Worlds Podcast from Panoply Studios. Eric speaks with Sheldon Solomon, a psychologist who co-founded the study of Terror Management Theory. Solomon explains the absurd lengths that humans go to avoid realizing their own mortality. And thus, Eric embarks on a fictional journey to find out why a creature so loathsome is constantly being turned into Cthulhu plushy toys and Cthulhu onesies for babies. Eric visits a store call Love Craft in Redhook, New York, where he meets Roberta Suydam (played by Ann Scobie). Roberta tells him to look in the water off Rockaway point, Cthulhu is real. Seeking confirmation, he visits the Lovecraft Archives, deep in a basement lab in Lovecraft's hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. There, professor George Angell (played by Dan Truman) introduces him to the re-animated brain of "Howard" (played by Bill Lobely). Howard Lovecraft turns out to be just as racist in death as he was in life. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Eric rents a boat to see what's out there in the waters off Rockaway Point, but as he draws closer to the dome rising from the water, he finds himself at wits' end. Balancing the literary genius of Lovecraft's dark mythos with his unabashed xenophobia is no easy task. Readers must either choose to ignore the troubling aspects of his personal character, or disgrace him for his beliefs. Or possibly, they may superposition themselves in both camps at once, trying understand Lovecraft as if he's a just another creature in a universe of his own making. Music: Serocell Hey, by the way, we're having a Season 4 wrap party in Seattle in May.  Let us know if you can make it.
HBM057: Impostor in a Pink Pinstripe Suit [EXPLICIT]
Growing up in small-town Montana, Bethany Denton's parents and teachers told her what she knew already: she was brilliant. Bethany couldn't help but feel destined for something big, even though she often skipped her school readings and phoned it in. Why try hard when you already know everything? In high school, Bethany joined the speech and debate team and started winning medals in an event called Serious Oral Interpretation. One afternoon Bethany went to the bookstore and stumbled across a monologue by American author Joyce Carol Oates entitled Nuclear Holocaust, from her play I Stand Before You Naked. It's a first-hand account of a religiously devout and mentally unstable Southerner who eagerly awaits the world's destruction. It was the perfect kind of material for an Serious Oral Interpretation monologue, so Bethany bought the book. Her dramatic performance of this piece soon won her a trip to Las Vegas to compete against teenagers from across the country. Bethany spent the next couple months slacking off, per usual. Later that summer in Las Vegas, Bethany steps in front of a room full of strangers and realizes that she's made a huge mistake. Music: The Black Spot ||| Flower Petal Downpour
HBM055: Ghost Tape Number Ten
All is fair in love and war... even mind games. The United States military employs psychological warfare in nearly every war it's part of. From creating a "ghost army" of inflatable tank fleets in World War II, to blasting heavy metal music toward enemy territory during the Gulf War, the purpose of these tactics is to decrease morale and inspire enemy combatants to surrender or defect. The US Military calls these tactics "Psychological Operations", or "PSYOP". The Vietnam War was no different. Threatened by the growing popularity of communism in North Vietnam, the United States joined the conflict in the early 1960's in support of anti-communist South Vietnam. Within a few years, U.S. Army 6th PSYOP Battalion tried a new form of psychological warfare, they called it "Operation Wandering Soul". Operation Wandering Soul was designed to exploit a Vietnamese belief that death far away from home meant becoming a restless spirit, doomed to wander aimlessly for eternity. The PSYOP unit hired South Vietnamese voice actors to play the role of ghost soldiers and their families lamenting in an echo chamber. They played these recordings at full volume from helicopters and airplanes flown over enemy territory in the middle of the night. The hope was that North Vietnamese soldiers, exhausted by combat, would drop their weapons and go home. In this episode, Sergeant Major Herb Friedman (Retired) explains how Ghost Tape Number Ten was created and its effect (or lack there of) on the course of the Vietnam War.  Friedman did not work in the U.S. Army 6th PSYOP Battalion nor any other psyops unit, but in his civilian life he became an expert U.S. psychological operations. You can read more about him and other psyop tactics at psywarrior.com, including his article about Operation Wandering Soul. Caitlin Pierce produced this episode. Caitlin is an independent producer living in New York, and is the creator of the podcast Borders. This episode was edited by Bethany Denton and Jeff Emtman. Our editor at KCRW is Nick White. Music:  Phantom Fauna ||| The Black Spot Ghost Tape No. 10. Full audio from Operation Wandering Soul. Lyndon B. Johnson's State of the Union Address in 1966. Our excerpted bits start around 33 minutes. An aircraft-mounted tape player for use in PSYOP missions. Image courtesy of http://www.psywarrior.com A PSYOP Helicopter with downward facing loud speakers. Image courtesy of http://www.psywarrior.com SGM Herb Friedman (ret.) during his military service. Image courtesy of http://www.psywarrior.com A propaganda mission conducted by South Vietnamese and American PSYOP soldiers.  Piles of leaflets are visible near the helicopter door. Image courtesy of http://www.psywarrior.com
HBM051: Sister Bethany, Proxy for the Dead
Bethany Denton was about five years old when she learned that she was a Mormon. When she was eight, she learned that she was an eternal spirit destined for an eternal afterlife. The idea of eternity terrified her, and made her afraid to stargaze into the boundless universe. When she got older, Bethany was allowed to enter the Mormon temple in Billings, Montana to act as the proxy in baptisms for the dead. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was founded in 1830, and has practiced baptisms for the dead (or "baptism by proxy") since 1840. This practice intends to give dead people the opportunity to join the church in the afterlife from Spirit Prison, where all souls wind up. Mormon teenagers are eligible to serve as a proxy when they turn twelve years old. Over the course of her adolescence, Bethany was the proxy for about 30 dead people. When Bethany was seventeen, the late prophet Gordon B. Hinckley tasked the youth of the LDS church to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover. Bethany took him up on his challenge, and started noticing inconsistencies that made her question (and ultimately lose) her faith. She doesn't go to church anymore and hasn't for almost ten years, but she's still a member of the church, and always will be...unless she sends a formal letter of resignation. Today, Bethany Denton is the Managing Editor of Here Be Monsters and loves to marvel at outer space. She co-produced this piece with Jeff Emtman, along with help from Nick White, our editor at KCRW. Music: The Black Spot
HBM084: Are You Sure You’re Awake?
Chrissy was having trouble remembering who she was when she woke up.  First she thought it was early-onset dementia, then she thought it was schizophrenia.  She had recurring hallucinations about being stalked by a beast that would talk to her while she slept. Chrissy's bedA doctor eventually told her she was waking up frequently throughout the night, some 30+ times per hour.  It was this inability to maintain a regular sleep cycle that helped her get a diagnosis of narcolepsy, explaining Chrissy’s excessive sleepiness, hallucinations, sleep paralysis, and episodes of cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle control after an emotional response). Chrissy’s diagnoses frightened her. She tried to pretend it wasn’t true. But this attitude was forced to change one day when she woke up in traffic, driving 100kph with her kids in the back seat.  She finally accepted her illness, recognized it as a beast, and looked for ways to feed it that wouldn’t affect her children.  She says that’s the only way it’s won—if it gets her kids. Some of Chrissy's MedicationsThis episode was produced by Bec Fary. Bec is a freelance audio producer and creator of the podcast Sleep Talker. Bec’s show is about sleep, dreams, and nightmares, and she’s covered narcolepsy before. This episode was edited by Bethany Denton and Jeff Emtman. Our editor at KCRW is Nick White.Music: Phantom Fauna | | |  The Black Spot   Before you go… There are two things you can do to help us out. First, KCRW wants to know more about you - who you are, and how you listen. Head over to kcrw.com/survey. It’ll take just three minutes of your time, and we’d really appreciate it. Second, we want to hear from you for an upcoming episode.  Here’s the question, what is unknowable to archaeologists of the future? A lot of knowledge can be preserved in writing, or in landfills, or in collective consciousness. But there must be things that the archaeologists, 3 million years from now, fundamentally can't understand about the world today. Maybe it's the smell of snow melting after a long winter. Maybe it's the softness of a stingray's skin. Maybe those archaeologists will look in vain for those "complete breakfasts" we were supposed to be eating with our Corn Pops. Leave us a voicemail at (765) 374-5263.
HBM078: Sagittarius has $45 [EXPLICIT]
Sagittarius has been good for the last year. That’s what he told us. He told us that the cage that Luna designed for him is working. She controls his money, his businesses, can read his email, can see his bank accounts, and can track the location of his phone. He says that the next time he messes up, Luna will leave him, and take the kids with her. Avoiding this scenario makes the cage worth it. Please Note: This episode contains frank discussions of sexual addiction and desire. All names in this episode are pseudonyms. Sagittarius is a sex addict. His therapist told him that naming his addiction would be a good way to compartmentalize it. So he chose “Sagittarius”, a name he stole from the bow-wielding centaur of astrology known (in part) for emotional recklessness and who is represented by the planet Jupiter. Sagittarius first emailed us back in 2016, after we published an episode called HBM060: The Predators of McNeil Island. In that episode, we talked to Chris, a man once deemed by the state of Washington to be a Sexually Violent Predator. Chris told the courts that he’d changed, no longer felt desire to be devious. Sagittarius identified with Chris, saw himself as a version of Chris that had never been committed or sent to court. But Sagittarius wrote to say that, personally, he’d never say “never” again. He’d been wrong too many times. Despite receiving some treatment, and despite the cage, Sagittarius does not feel cured of his addiction. He is actively hoarding cash, $45 of bills he keeps in his backpack. A secret kept from Luna. Another $100 and Sagittarius could break free from his cage, and pay someone to have sex with him. In this episode, Sagittarius takes Bethany and Jeff on a walking tour of his New York City “hotspots” he used to frequent, and then takes Jeff on a late night bike ride to Battery Park, where his father once took him to see the Statue of Liberty. Bethany Denton and Jeff Emtman produced this episode. Become a member of KCRW.  Tell them we sent you. Music: The Black Spot | | | Phantom Fauna. Sagittarius depicted by Jehoshaphat Aspin in a 1824 etching. Courtesy Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons.
HBM062: The Near Death of Sir Deja Doog [EXPLICIT]
Before Doog could walk, his family gave him a guitar to hold and encouraged him to play music. By the time he was twelve, he'd started writing songs as a way to make sense of the confusing world around him. Back then he was just Eric Alexander, the friendly weird kid who dressed like a punky cowboy.  In college a fellow musician asked Eric what his middle name was. "Douglas," Eric replied. "Douglas? Doug, Doug... Doog... I'm going to call you Doog." The name stuck, and eventually Eric created his raspy, crass musical persona: Sir Deja Doog.   In his early twenties, Doog started hearing voices, seeing and feeling things that weren't there. He worried that he was losing his mind and avoided telling his friends what was happening. For years he was in and out of the emergency room and psych ward. He sought treatment and was medicated on and off for depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. But his problems persisted. In 2012, Doog became homeless and started hitchhiking up and down the West Coast. All the while he experienced terrifying hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. Throughout this period he continued to make music. With little more than a broken iPhone and an old guitar, Doog recorded hours of harsh, distorted music. Later he edited these recordings into a video he called Bad Dharma.   Doog's symptoms worsened. By 2013 he started having partial seizures. One night he had a vision that he was being abducted by ancient aliens, so old he could see through their papery skin. One of the aliens poked Doog behind his left ear. A few weeks later Doog was in the hospital again, feeling suicidal. This time the doctors gave Doog an MRI. When they scanned his brain, they found a small, calcified tumor called a glioma. The tumor was in the left hemisphere of his brain, just inches from where the alien poked him in his vision. Doctors told Doog that he needed brain surgery immediately or he would soon die.  Faced with the prospect of an early death, he ignored the doctors’ orders fearing the surgery would affect his musical creativity. Instead, Doog decided to focus his energy on creating his masterpiece: Sir Deja Doog's Love Coffin.For months, Doog obsessed over Love Coffin. He wrote and recorded day and night through partial and full seizures and debilitating headaches. It was only once his album was finished and his symptoms became unbearable that he agreed to surgery. Doctors removed the tumor and some surrounding parts of his brain. Today, Doog continues to recover, slowly re-learning how to be independent as his brain heals. Seventeen months after surgery Doog was in remission, but three months after that doctors found gliosis in his brain—scar tissue that forms after severe brain trauma. Doctors continue to monitor him for additional cancers. It is possible that Doog will need chemotherapy. Doog performed for the first time after his cancer diagnosis on Halloween of 2015. Since then he's released an EP called The Return of Sir Deja Doog.  This episode was produced by Colleen Leahy and Christopher Mosson, and was edited by Bethany Denton. Additional editing help from Jeff Emtman and Nick White.   Music by Sir Deja Doog  Doog cut his hair into a green mohawk before his surgery.One month after Doog's surgery, the scars on his head were readily visible.  Doog performed his first show post-surgery on Halloween, 2015 
HBM035: Spirits Of The Past
It was a group of businessmen in the late 19th century who originally invented the Ouija Board. They sold them in toy shops and promising it would answer questions “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy.” Spiritualism was all the rage in the United States, and, while hiring a professional medium could be costly, the Ouija Board allowed ordinary people to communicate with the dead. www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-s…0627/?no-ist= In this episode of Here Be Monsters, freelance producer Mickey Capper attends a modern seance, conducted by 20-somethings under an udder-like canopy in a living room in Chicago. They gather around a homemade Ouija Board to summon up spirits from the past. And they’re visited by the ghost of the seance host’s long-dead ancestors. The ghost has a striking message for her about a secret she didn’t want to share with the group. Mickey had these thoughts to share about the experience, "Even though I've always like the idea of trying to contact the dead through a community of friends, I hadn't been to a seance before. The darkness and the candles and the makeshift ouija board did work... at least as an icebreaker. I felt closer to everyone than I would have expected. I also learned that whether or not you believe you're contacting the spirit, there's nothing protecting you from finding things you'd rather not hear." Of course, Ouija Boards don’t run on a dark energy, the planchette isn’t moved by the delicate hands of wispy ghosts. Instead, it’s through a well understood phenomenon called the Idiomotor Effect. Ideomotor movements are subconscious muscle movements that occur when people think they are holding entirely still. They’re heavily influence by perception and bias. And in Ouija, it can be responsible for creating stunning messages that seem to be otherworldly. www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/27/id…-bomb-detectors/ So, who was this ghost who revealed the host’s secret? It’s hard to know. But even for someone who would deny outright the existence of spirits and ghosts, it’s impossible to deny the power that belief in the paranormal holds. Mickey Capper is a freelance radio reporter and the co-host of Tape, which is a new podcast that interviews people who make radio. It's good, it's people you've heard of, it's at taperadio.org Music The Black Spot theblackspot.bandcamp.com/ Serocell unclassedmedia.com/ Lucky Dragons luckydragons.bandcamp.com/ Track image from 1915 edition of The Ogden Chronicle chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn8505…d-1/seq-17/
HBM028: Jonathan's Cadaver Paintings
Jonathan Happ's white lab coat and latex gloves make him look like a doctor when he stands in a room full of people. But he's not a doctor...he's an artist, and the people he shares this room with are all dead. In this episode, Jonathan takes a recorder into the University of Washington's cadaver lab and reports on what he sees, and why he draws and paints images of the bodies. Sensitive listeners should note that this episode contains graphic (but mostly scientific) descriptions of the cadavers. The track image is one of Jonathan's paintings. To see a larger version and a drawing of the tendons in a cadaver hand, go to HBM's facebook page: is.gd/hbmfacebook/ Here Be Monsters currently needs your help. We're currently just a baker's dozen reviews shy of 50 on iTunes. Go to is.gd/hbmitunes/ and tell people what you think of HBM. Music on the show fromSwamp Dog swampdog.bandcamp.com/The Black Spot theblackspot.bandcamp.com/Nym music.ratsofnym.com/Flower Petal Downpour flowerpetaldownpour.bandcamp.com/ This episode is sponsored by SquareSpace.com . For a free trial and 10% off, use coupon code monsters10.
HBM111: Waiting for Earth
Motherhood always seemed non-negotiable for Bethany Denton. Her upbringing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints certainly instilled this. Mormons believe in what’s called a “premortal existence,” a place up in heaven where the eternal souls eagerly wait their turn to be born on Earth so they can prove their faith to Heavenly Father, and then return to glory in the afterlife. For Mormons, life on Earth is just a short test, an opportunity to practice free agency and serve God’s will. That’s why leaders of the LDS Church like Elder Dallin H. Oaks are concerned about falling birth rates among members of the church. They believe that “one of the most serious abuses of children is to deny them birth.” This belief in pre-life gives additional weight to God’s commandment to “be fruitful and multiply.” It’s about more than maintaining the populations; it’s about giving other children of God a chance to live. As an adult, Bethany lost her faith in the LDS Church. She stopped believing that her primary purpose in life was to be a mother, and for the first time, she started to seriously consider what her life would be without children. Bethany Denton and Roberto Molina on their wedding day. Photo by Zephyr Wadkins. Bethany Denton as a child. Roberto Molina as a child. Bethany Denton and her little sister Shelby in 1994. LDS Elder Neil L. Andersen on Childbearing Saturday’s Warrior, a 1989 Mormon Musical about the Premortal Existence and childbearing. Alexandra Paul’s TED Talk on Overpopulation. Music: The Black Spot ||| Lucky Dragons
HBM030: Crickets, Cadavers And Conventional Wisdom
This episode is a Grab-bag, it contains three segments that serve as follow-ups to the three most recent episodes of Here Be Monsters. PART 1: CRICKETS ON TAPEFollow-up to episode HBM029: Do Crickets Sing Hymns? Herebemonsters – Hbm029-do-crickets-sing-hymns In this segment, Jeff takes apart his tape recorder and installs a knob to help him slow down the tape without using digital wizardry in attempts to de-muddy the waters after that episode. He bought some more crickets and slowed the cassette slowed down to 1/3 speed. The results were telling, and surprising. In that episode, we were talking about the confusion surrounding the bit of audio called God's Cricket Chorus by Jim Wilson. In this segment we’ll clear up exactly what is known and exactly what is not about God’s Cricket Chorus and its derivative works. Also, a correction to a mistake we made in Episode 29 about how digital audio is constructed for our ears. In that episode we represented the final product of digital audio to be choppy, yet moving by too quick for our ears to notice its choppiness. This is NOT the case. In fact, digital audio is always converted back to analog before it hits our ears. This is done with a device called a Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). Here’s an article that explains this process very simply: www.howstuffworks.com/analog-digital.htm (Page 4 is where the good stuff starts). Big thanks to the two commenters who pointed out this error. Want to try stretching some crickets yourself? Download a set of cricket songs that you can mess with over at the brand new Here Be Monsters Website: HBMpodcast.com PART 2: THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ON THE FUTURE OF THE FOUR HUMORSFollow-up to HBM027: Balancing Act Herebemonsters – Hbm027-balancing-act In Balancing Act, Here Be Monsters producer Lina Misitzis delved into the rich history of the Four Humors, which was, for thousands of years, the way much of world understood medicine, the body and the universe as a whole. While we never heard from Alain Touwaide in that episode, he was central to our research of traditional medicine. He’s the director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions in Washington DC medicaltraditions.org/institute He spoke with Lina about the foggy past and likely future of Humorism. PART 3: THE RESTING PLACES OF MEDICAL CADAVERS:Follow-up to HBM028: Johnathan's Cadaver Paintings Herebemonsters – Hbm028-jonathans-cadave In Johnathan's Cadaver Paintings, Johnathan Happ, a grad student at the University of Washington, visits one of the cadaver labs on campus. He spends a lot of time there, studying the bodies, so that he can make paintings of them in his studio. While that episode has a lot of information about the cadaver labs themselves. We never got the chance to talk about what happens to those bodies after their 3 year rotation in the lab. So, in this segment, Jeff goes out to the Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery in Northern Seattle where most of those bodies come to rest. www.washelli.com/ Special thanks to two employees of Evergreen-Washelli who helped out with a lot of the background for this piece: Sandy Matthie (Reception at Columbarium) and Brian Braathen (Funeral Home Manager) MUSIC:Half Ghost: halfghostThe Black Spot: theblackspot.bandcamp.com/
HBM110: Big Numbers
For two thirds of his life, HBM host Jeff Emtman has been thinking about the distance to The Moon in terms of corn snacks. Bugles specifically. It was a factoid written on the packaging that purported to convey information about the distance to the moon. The number itself has been long forgotten, but the taste of degermed yellow corn meal lingers. In this episode, Jeff takes issue with the significance that is placed on large and round numbers. And he talks to his 2 year old nephew while they play the piano. And he interviews his brother about larger and smaller infinities. And he makes podcast music on a tiny sampler. But mostly he complains about turning 30, a number that’s round, if you count in base ten. But not everyone uses base 10. Several languages of Papa New Guinea use base 27, using not only their fingers, but parts across all their upper body. And many others from across the world have settled on base 20. It’s possible that numbers are an advanced technology of language to make the abstract more palatable. Homesigners are people who develop their own sign languages independent from established sign languages. In a 2011 study called Number Without a Language Model, researchers contacted several homesigners who lived in numerate societies, but apparently had not developed strong words for numbers past three or so. Big thank you to Alan Emtman, Brian Emtman, Ariana Nedelman and Ross Sutherland (who produces the fantastic podcast Imaginary Advice [this episode contains excerpts from Episode 49, “Re: The Moon”]). Music: The Black Spot | | | Serocell FYI our voicemail number is (765) 374-5263. Give us a call sometime.
HBM024: The Friendliest Town In Texas [Explicit]
Shoppingspree Clark showed up on the side of the road outside the “Friendliest Town in Texas” with nothing more than a sketchpad and the burnt-out ruin of the RV he’d just bought. Coleman, Texas’ self-claimed title is true because it used to be on a billboard above the highway. And the people that live there are diverse, troubled, religious, unusual…and friendly. This episode contains many adult themes, including suicide, prejudice, and racism. There are also unbleeped swear words and racial slurs. Use discretion. This episode was originally released by Shoppingspree Clark in June 2013 right here: User261897410 – Friendliest-town-in-texas-aac Most of the music on this show comes from Shoppingspree himself. His moniker, Crunchy Person, has music on Bandcamp: crunchyperson.bandcamp.com/ Other tracks are by Javelin: javelinjamz and Seagull Invasion: seagullinvasion.bandcamp.com/ Show your HBM Love! Hit us up on the internet: HBMpodcast.com and on the ol’ FB: is.gd/HBMfacebook/ This episode of HBM is brought to you by Squarespace. For a free trial and 20% off your new website (this month only), go to squarespace.com/ and use the promo code monsters9.
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Podcast Details
Started
Jul 24th, 2012
Latest Episode
Oct 16th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
142
Avg. Episode Length
32 minutes
Explicit
Yes

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