An Evening with Jonathan Gray

One of my favorite interviews from 7 years ago. It’s worth another listen:

My guest tonight is archeologist JONATHAN GRAY. Jonathan is an international explorer, archaeologist and author, who has traveled the world to gather data on ancient mysteries. He has penetrated some largely unexplored areas, including parts of the Amazon headwaters. The author has also led expeditions to the bottom of the sea and to remote mountain and desert regions of the world.

No Harm Done


Whenever my sister and I watch a movie together we play a game. We don’t even have to take our eyes off the screen to play this game. The game is: I try and guess the next move the protaganist will make, or what the twist is, or who’s the murderer, or what’s the next conflict. I’m usually right 98% of the time. And my sister will laugh and say something like “You should go work in Hollywood.”

My answer is, “Yeah. Because I have all their formulas down pact.” Who was it that said everything ever written boils down to seven plots?

I’ve noticed that anytime I see an animal in a movie—whether it’s a cat, dog, horse, or whatever—it dies. This is a guarantee. It’s bad enough that I have to worry that “no animal was harmed in the making of this motion picture,” but the worse part is, they first endear the animal to you (like someone’s dole-eyed pet), and then they kill it. They don’t really kill it, the ‘character’ that the animal plays gets killed. This is especially true if the film is a thriller: the killer lurks in the woods, the dog barks, chases after the bad guy, and then the doggy death yelp.

How many times have I seen this in movies? Answer: almost every time I see an animal in a film. It must be a screenwriter’s 101 formula for setting up the tension. Let me compile a list of a few films:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Secret Window
Dead Calm
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
The Revenant
My Cousin Rachel
The Shape of Water

Forget the list. There’s too many to name, and I’m not sure about the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis because the cat’s body disappears after we assume it was hit by a car. It’s still a disturbing scene. And, remember the scene in the 1979 film Alien when the crew was evacuating the ship? At the last minute, Ripley hears the cat, Jones, meow over the intercom. Suddenly, she remembers to run back to get the cat. Someone in the audience yelled out, “Forget the cat!” A few people laughed, but I was relieved Ripley rescued the cat and they both escaped together.

So, there’s a few happy endings for animals in films.

It’s Crazy Out There

PC madness!…

Chicago police officer says she feared using gun while being beaten

CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer who is hospitalized after she was severely beaten said she was afraid to use her gun because of the scrutiny she would have faced, Supt. Eddie Johnson said….LINK

Assaults on NYPD officers are ‘up significantly’

While major crime continues to drop in the city, there is one group of victims that has been increasingly targeted for assault — police officers, authorities revealed Monday… LINK

Gravity’s Sweet Chariot

I enjoyed Alfonso Cuaron’s film Gravity. The special effects were amazing. Sandra Bullock gave a fantastic performance as Mission Specialist Dr. Ryan Stone. But, that ending bothered me. I mean, really now. A rookie astronaut who failed her Landing Simulator Training Test three times manages to land a space module—with instructions in Chinese, no less—in a daring and too prefect landing in a middle of a lake surrounded by a beautiful land mass. Even the weather was prefect.

Yeah, I know, Hollywood likes happy endings.

I walked out of the movie theatre loving the film, but in complete disbelief over the ending. Then it dawned on me. Bullock’s character Dr. Ryan died in space. She never made it pass the International Space Station.

What are you talking about? We see her survive at the end of the film. Or, did she?

Remember the scene in the ISS where she’s sitting in the Russian Soyuz space module and decides to commit suicide by carbon dioxide poisoning? And then the ghost of George Clooney’s dead character opens the air lock and sits down next to her? If you do remember the scene (watch the video below)….Clooney is not wearing an air tank. Why would he? He’s dead.

Well, Sandra Bullock’s character does the same thing: Not wear an air tank during a space walk. Twice, as a matter of fact. There is one scene where she goes outside (in space) to do repairs to the Russian module, and then there’s another scene where she is trying to maneuver the Russian module over to the Chinese space station but runs out of gas and is stuck several yards away. So, she goes outside with a fire extinguisher and hurls herself towards the air-lock of the Chinese craft. All without an air tank!

Now, I’m thinking to myself. Well, she is wearing a Russian space suit, so maybe they have some gadget in the suit that supplies oxygen to the astronaut that I’m not seeing. So, I Googled Russian space suits. Here is photo of the Orlan space suit that is used on space walks HERE. It is semi-rigid; has a solid body and helmet with flexible arms. But that’s not the suit Bullock is wearing. She is wearing the form-fitting cat suit version of the Sokol. It was first designed in 1973, and is still in use as of 2013. It is referred to as a rescue suit. It’s a pressurized suit that is meant to be worn inside the ship during launch and re-entry of the Soyuz, or in the case of an emergency, such as, a threat of depressurization inside the cabin. Instead of an air tank, hoses are attached to the abdomen of the suit to supply oxygen and ventilation. It is never worn on space walks. Read more info HERE. Watch the video below…where’s her air tank?

She doesn’t need an air tank, because she died, also.

Yes, Hollywood does make technical and historical mistakes. But, considering how meticulous Cuaron was to recreate the ISS, inside and out, the view of Earth from space…as a matter of fact, even the NASA astronauts have commented on how accurate the director was with the interior of the ISS and the equipment used in space. So, why would he forget an air tank? Because he didn’t. He was giving you a hint.

In the conversation between Clooney and Bullocks characters, Clooney tells her to “let go.” Yeah, I know it’s beautiful up here. There’s no one here to hurt you. And, finally “It’s time to go home.” And then she wakes up from her dream and the rest of the film is her journey of crossing-over. Cuaron couldn’t have been more blatant than that, unless he ended the film with a vision of Ryan Stone’s dead daughter standing on the beach.

Swing low, sweet chariot. Comin’ for to carry me home.

Homeopathy with Jennifer Johnson

My guest tonight is homeopath JENNIFER JOHNSON.

What is homeopathy? Homeopathy, which translates from the Greek and means “to similar suffering” is based on the Law of Similars, which states that the cure will be similar to that of the disease, as opposed to antipathy, which treats opposite to the disease. Homeopathy is a safe, simple, holistic, medical art; which avoids anything debilitating, and cures through medicines, which are similar to that of the disease.

How does Homeopathy work?
Homeopathic remedies address the core source of one’s problem, assisting the bodies own healing energies, rather than over-riding and masking symptoms, throwing the body even further out of balance.

The “Plastic Ocean” with Captain Charles Moore

This show originally aired April 5th 2013:

My guest tonight is CAPTAIN CHARLES MOORE author of “Plastic Ocean.”

Capt Moore found his true calling after a 1997 yacht race to Hawaii. On his return voyage, Captain Moore veered from the usual sea route and saw an ocean he had never known. “Every time I came on deck to survey the horizon, I saw a soap bottle, bottle cap or a shard of plastic waste bobbing by. Here I was in the middle of the ocean and there was nowhere I could go to avoid the plastic.” Ever since, Captain Moore has dedicated his time and resources to understanding and remediating the ocean’s plastic load. Along with collaborators from the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project he developed protocols for monitoring marine and beach micro-plastics which are now used worldwide.

He is the lead author of two scientific papers published in Marine Pollution Bulletin: “A Comparison of Plastic and Plankton in the North Pacific Central Gyre”. Article by C.J. Moore, S.L. Moore, M.K. Leecaster, and S.B. Weisberg, Algalita Marine Research Foundation and Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Published in Marine Pollution Bulletin 42 (2001) 1297–1300.

“A Comparison of Neustonic Plastic and Zooplankton Abundance in Southern California’s Coastal Waters”. Article by C.J. Moore, S.L. Moore, S.B. Weisberg, G.L. Lattin, and A.F. Zellers; Algalita Marine Research Foundation and Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Published in Marine Pollution Bulletin 44 (2002) 1035–1038.

The first paper documented his 1999 study, which shocked the scientific world when it found 6 times more plastic fragments by weight in the central Pacific than the associated zooplankton. His second paper found that plastic outweighs plankton by a factor of 2.5 in the near coastal surface waters of Southern California.