August 17, 2016

Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars.

TDW talks space, satellites, and aliens with astronomy consultant Tim Debenedictus. Tim is the creator of the popular star-gazing app “Sky Safari,” available now in the Apple Store.

Show Notes:

Tim Debenedictus grew up in a science-related family, the son of a nurse and an orthologist. His father often took him bird watching, instructing him in the faraway world of telescope sight. In college at MIT, he majored in planetary science and graduated right around the time the Internet went from a cool idea to extremely popular. He went on to work in bank security using pro-tools.

In 2008, the first of the iPhone generation appeared. Combining technology and his love for the galaxy, Tim created an app called “Sky Safari.” In the same time frame, Tim and his team raised $117,000 through Kickstarter. The result was the launching of their own satellite from the International Space Station. It was raised to the stars in one of the first commercial cargo missions to the ISS via Space X, the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit.

Tim also talked of other movers and shakers in the astronomical community, including Elon Musk, who holds the goal for humans to become an interplanetary species. At this time, NASA has stepped away from the space industry, though many different theories surround evidence of life outside of us. Tim covered a few, such as alien life forms and the possibility of them already existing among us. Alternatively, they might be watching us and are waiting to contact us until we can demonstrate that we’re ready to communicate.

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August 9, 2016

There’s a lot of lunacy in the world today.

With all the chaos going on, people need a strong, genuine presence to guide them. Is anyone surprised to find it in the lovely Luna Malbroux? Comedienne, show host, and now journalist, Luna tells of her experience traveling to Atlanta to attend the funeral of Alton Sterling, a black man shot and killed by police. She met Sterling’s family and even stood in as an usher when they needed extra hands. (And also experienced her first stalker situation.)

Show Notes:

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Luna Malbroux leads a crazy life. When she’s not doing full-time comedy as the host of the show Live Sex or gearing up for the Summer of Lust: Comedy and Arts Festival, she’s amplifying black voices in the community. Her work has taken her as far as Atlanta, where she attended the funeral of Alton Sterling. There, she met his family and stepped in as an usher to both guests and protesters, who were gently told “now is not the time.”

But like all of our episodes with Luna, there are hilarious stories too. Hear about her very first stalker, who turned out to be very crafty with a business card, as well as tales from her recent Live Sex shows.

With so much going on, it’s no wonder that she’s one of KQED’s Women to Watch.

We’re proud of you, Luna!

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August 3, 2016

Nobody puts Baby in an uncomfortable situation.

Doula Sophi Scarnewman is standing up for newborns and the beautiful women who bring them into the world. On top of being pregnant, mothers have to worry about the rising number of C-sections, the shocking number of deaths in childbirth, bully doctors, complications- the list goes on and on. But luckily, there are doulas to help light the way.

Show Notes:

To all the women who have given birth, we commend you. To all the women who are expecting or expect to be expecting, say goodbye to your intact taint.

Sophi Scarnewman is both a doula and exactly the sort of person you’d want by your side while navigating the complicated canals of pregnancy. A doula, as we found out, is not a midwife. It’s essentially a consultant for expectant mothers- what’s best for you and your child based on all of the information that’s currently at hand. There are also multiple kinds of doulas- birth doulas, postpartum doulas, and even backup doulas if your regular baby spirit guide is on vacation. They help expectant mothers consider birthing processes, select locations, and push through the very first day of your child’s life.

With the rates of C section deliveries rising, as well as the shocking number of deaths in childbirth, doulas have become crucial. Women of color are FOUR TIMES as likely to die while giving birth. Doctors bully laboring women into situations they never would have selected under other circumstances. As an expectant mother herself, and as a woman of the world, Sophi is standing tall on behalf of all births.

For more information about Sophi, you can check out her doula website or her personal website.

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July 26, 2016

Back in my day, we played Pokemon INSIDE!

We sat around in our blow-up furniture drinking Tang, covering our notebooks with Lisa Frank stickers and showing off our Beanie Baby collections and hard-earned Tamagotchis. Our bleached tips were the shit! And don’t even get us started on our our Walkmans, Polly Pockets, and Livestrong bracelets. We will live like this forever!

Show Notes:

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard about this brand new game called PokemonGo. It’s based off of another game which, yes, WAS played inside, or out under a tree with your friends at lunch time, or maybe by the beach if your parents were especially persuasive at getting you outside. It has its benefits– social, physical, and mental- and it has its consequences, such as muggings, aggression, and lack of awareness.

But we’re not here to tell you more things you already know. No, we’re here to pull the classic move of every ’90s and ’80s kid. Do you remember the good ole days? This Damn World remembers.

It was the days of Tamagotchi, of multi-colored Lisa Frank, of smelly markers you undoubtedly huffed on without realizing you were getting high at 4 years old. It was the days of Farmville/Candy Crush requests and audibly screaming whenever you lost at Angry Birds. It was the fashion statement of the Lane Strong LiveStrong bracelets to support his single testicle, and the pookah shell necklaces for people who have never left the Midwest.

It was your bed being covered by Hello Kitty dolls and Beanie Babies, which will DEFINITELY be worth money some day, just like your mint-condition Cabbage Patch dolls. It was Heelies shoes and bleached tips and RPG’s that kept you inside for years at a time.

It was the golden era of our lives, and we’re here to take you on a throwback.

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July 19, 2016

When was the last time you took a damn risk?

TDW is joined by podcast giant Kevin Allison, the host of RISK! and former cast member of the sketch TV show “The State.” Tune in for Kevin’s feelings about treatment of the gay community, the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and behind-the-scenes stories of the making of RISK!.

Show Notes:

Name: Kevin Allison

Occupation: Host of the addictive storytelling podcast RISK!, a show about true stories you never thought you’d dare to share

Current Diet: Vegan

Current Drink: Green tea

Current Book: “The Union of the State,” which details the uncensored story of the hit TV show “The State” on which Kevin and friends starred

Current Guilty Pleasure: Dramatic documentaries like “The Act of Killing”

Current Fantasy: The day when he finally visits San Francisco during a “Meet the Boys” weekend at a gay club called “The Endup”

Current Interests: Taking controlled micro doses of acid and journalling his experiences

Current Disappointment: Witnessing cops meeting their quota at a gay beach in Brooklyn over Fourth of July weekend

Current Excitement: Hanging out with the folks at This Damn World

To get a little more Kevin in your life, check him out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also hit him up through us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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