What Can YouTube Teach?

Either YouTube is a totally useless platform that is dominated by egotists and the trolls that follow them. Or it’s a source of knowledge and inspiration with life-changing powers. In this episode we ask, “What have you learned from watching a YouTube video?”

Thank You

  • Ingram Oyugi mixed this episode. If you would like to polish up your podcast, cut an album or do any other type of audio project, Igram can help you. You can reach him by email: ioyugi@icloud.com and Twitter: @ingramoyugi.
  • Brian Harmon
  • WordCamp Minneapolis 2017 – The majority of the respondents were WordCamp attendees, speakers, organizers and other volunteers.

About this Episode

Can we turn a podcast episode around overnight? That was the challenge.

We collected tape at WordCamp – Minneapolis on a Friday morning into the afternoon with the goal of having a finished episode by the following Saturday afternoon. We got a head start by also collecting tape at a related speakers event Thursday evening.

Initially, I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough time to gather enough tape to fill out a 58-minute episode. But that wasn’t so much of a problem. We briefly had three people on the job when Ingram, the audio engineer for this episode, jumped in to help. Most of the time there were two of us, Brian and me. While more help collecting tape certainly would have been good, the extra hands would have been best applied elsewhere. If I were to do this again, I’d put them on preparing clips for assembling. As for putting the pieces together, that’s relatively easy. Although, I still would have liked to have had more time to do this. I had ideas that I couldn’t execute because of the time limitations.

Nevertheless, we did it. The episode was ready for my Saturday afternoon presentation at WordCamp. As a result, I was completely sleep deprived, but we pulled it off. The plan was to publish the “YouTube” episode as part of my talk. People would have seen us recording interviews the day before. Some would actually be in the episode. To complete the circle Click! Click! Voila! We’ve just published our podcast! Cool, right?

This is the part where I am going to spare you the details of one technical glitch after another. Let’s just say that I was in a University classroom with state-of-the-art multimedia and between five of us, no one could make the sound work. Oh, and my talk was about podcasting.

The episode did fall a little short of the 58-minute mark, which would make it compatible with a KFAI Radio spot. More regrettable was that I ran out of time before I was able to include everyone who answered the question. For this reason, I’m thinking about making a less rushed version two of the show. I mean, I couldn’t believe how often “making slime” came up. Got to add that!

Problems notwithstanding, I still count this experiment as a success. It can be useful to accomplish something with barely enough time. Now I wouldn’t want this to be a normal mode of doing things. But if you are flooded with resources, you won’t actually learn what it takes to do something because you have more than enough. But if you cut it close, you’ll get a better sense of what it really takes. And then you can make adjustments from there.

I am certain that this could not have been done without Brian’s help or without Ingram’s help and technical expertise. It was a joy to hand the files over to Ingram who leveled the audio (so that you can listen to the show without “riding the volume”) and fixed other issues to make things sound better. In the past, I have done this myself as an amateur. In this case, I know for certain there wouldn’t have been the time to do it.

I’d like to try this again.

How did that painting end up in my living room?

We make up a story about how a painting of a fireplace ended up in our living room.

Searching for a mystery artist

We are looking for the real artist who made the painting that inspired our story. You can help us find this person by sharing this picture on social media.

Who painted this picture of a fireplace that inspired our story?
Who painted this picture of a fireplace that inspired our story?

Are you the artist?

Contact us! We would love to hear the real story behind this painting.

Thank you!


  • Guiton Sketch Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
  • Aretes Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
  • Exciting Trailer Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Tupperware Art

Who knew? Tupperware art is a thing.

About this episode

The week of Thanksgiving, we had some people over. After dinner we sat around the fireplace to chew on a question. How did this painting end up in our living room? We began by describing the painting. Then we introduced an artist, Helena Susan Adams. By the end of the evening, we pieced together the history of the painting, what had inspired it, where it had been and how did it ultimately come into my hands. Various characters popped up, of course. So I thought it would be fun to interview some of them and add their voices to the mix. I love the mix of reality and fiction. We start in one place and end in the other.

What’s going on here in Chicago?

Can we recognize a city by its sound, sort of like recognizing the sound of a mother’s voice?

In this episode…

Sometimes Chicago sounded like a casino. Other times a war zone with its relentless wailing of sirens and the whirring of helicopters that hovered almost within reach of the crowds at Millennium Park. Black Lives Matter is trying to get our attention. Sometimes Chicago sounded like a carnival. Sometimes a church. Mixed in there were the street musicians playing for change, reminding me of the time I got lost in Brussels looking for the Sleep Well. This is not Saint Paul or Minneapolis. It makes me wonder if a person would be able to identify their hometown based on a recording, sort of like the sound of a mother’s voice.

People talk and I record them. This is not Chicago any more than the pictures I saw people taking of the Trump Tower would epitomize the city. It’s just a snapshot of a particular time and place. I wish I could have done more. I missed a lot, even the rumbling of the “L” from overhead. I’d like to go back.

Thank you…

  • Greg, our mailman and a fellow Red Sox fan.
  • Cory Mottaz, On Air Personality/Voice Talent.
  • Autumn Day Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


In the name of free association, coincidence and curiosity here are some show links.

Trump Building in Chicago
[We saw a lot of tourists taking this shot.]

  • Ross, Max. (2016, July 16). A family undergoes renovations at Walker Art Center. Star Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/
    Taking pictures of people taking pictures of art takes Brian’s observation to a new level.
  • I’m uncomfortable with how comfortable we are with our growing preference for the company of robots over people. I wish everyone would read this book.


[Our mailbox.]

Baseball came up a lot…

Because Mr. Brook wanted to talk about the Chicago Bulls…

I pull out what little I know, which is that the Timberwolve’s (my team) recently hired Tom Thibodeau who won nearly 65 percent of his games in five seasons with the Bulls. But then Brook changed the subject…

Mentioned in the conversation with the protester at the Taste of Chicago at Millennium Park…

The TV screens that plastered the walls of the hotel restaurant flashed from one crime scene to another. Baton Rouge. Saint Paul and eventually Dallas.

In the meantime, a group of Black Hebrew Israelites were preaching…

After a brief encounter, I wondered who their audience was.

I do not have nor want a smart phone and other reasons I’m concerned about the disappearance of taxis…

When my neighbor showed me his Uber app and raved about how great the service is, it’s hard to argue with the genius of the idea that connects drivers to those needing a lift. Yet I’m not convinced that we have thought this through.

Related to the conversation about Dr. Seuss, the artist and sculptor…

A great dinner experience on Michigan Avenue in Chicago

  • Bandera – We count on an exceptional meal at some point in our travels. The last time we were in Chicago it was a place in Chinatown. This time it was Bandera. Wow!
Also suggested Chicago dinner spots were…

[A view from our hotel room.]

What does it mean to be grounded?

What are the barriers to being grounded in a culture filled with distractions and how can we separate the signal from the noise to get grounded?

In this episode…

Being grounded means that you’re self-aware, don’t put on personas, are down-to-earth and solid but open and probably kind. You have confidence (but you’re not cocky), which means that you’re not prone to taking things personally. You’re comfortable with making meaningful decisions because you have figured out how to separate the signal from the noise; being grounded means that you focus on the important stuff. You’re generally calm. Above all you are present! You’re living in the moment! You are not judgmental, but accepting of imperfections, including your own. This puts people at ease and that’s just one reason why they like you. Why can it be tough to be grounded in today’s world? What can we do to filter out the noise of smart phones, war drums and looping commercials that take us away from ourselves? Meditation, walking, yoga and even taking an improv class are just some ideas suggested.

Thank you…


If you can tell me what these references/links have to do with this episode, I will send you a postcard.

  1. Patton Oswalt. “Death Bed”, Werewolves and Lollipops. 2007. CD.
  2. AWARE – A Magazine for the Women of Hong Kong. R&R Publishing Ltd., Mar. 2014. Web. 26 Mar. 2016.
  3. Exploding origami envelope by Jeremy Shafer.