A podcast probably isn’t a soliloquy

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I choose today’s word because I see it misused all over the Blogosphere. The word is Soliloquy.


Dave Winer used the term in a October 1, 2004 post. I heard an Adam Curry critic used it to describe the Daily Source Code, and if you google “blog soliloquy” you will get 24,000 results.

I read through a lot of definitions on the internet and in print. They all gave roughly the same meaning. I will offer the definition from my O.E.D. since it gave the shortest clear definition.


Soliloquy- A noun. An act of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when alone regardless of hearers, especially in a play.

In short talking to yourself. A great example is Hamlet’s “To be or not to be…”


Now at first you might think yup that’s a podcast or a blog. But Hamlet wasn’t talking to anybody but himself. Podcasts on the other hand definitely have an audience. Certainly Dave and Adam have an audience. I heard 50,000 listeners for the DSC. While they are “speaking one’s thoughts aloud,” they are definitely directing their thoughts to us, the audience. They aren’t talking to themselves.

Based on the server logs this podcast is probably a soliloquy. If it isn’t drop me an email at scott at todayspodcast.com or call me at (435) 514-4859 and let me know what you think.

12 Monkeys & Your Flu Shots

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Let’s start this week off with a movie quote.

This one is from 12 Monkeys. One of Terry Gilliam’s finest works. Much more successful than the comic tragedy that became Lost In La Mancha. If you haven’t seen Lost In La Mancha I can’t recommend it enough. It is a documentary about Terry Gilliam’s failed attempt to remake Don Quixote.


Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt): Take germs for example.

James Cole (Bruce Willis): Germs?

Jeffrey Goines: Uh-huh. Eighteenth century, no such thing, nada, nothing. No one ever imagined such a thing. No sane person. Along comes this doctor, uh, Semmelweis, Semmelweis. Semmelweis comes along. He’s trying to convince people, other doctors mainly, that’s there’s these teeny tiny invisible bad things called germs that get into your body and make you sick. He’s trying to get doctors to wash their hands. What is this guy? Crazy? Teeny, tiny, invisible? What do they call it? Uh-uh, germs? Huh? What? Now, up to the 20th century, last week, as a matter of fact, before I got dragged into this hellhole. I go in to order a burger at this fast food joint, and the guy drops it on the floor. James, he picks it up, he wipes it off, he hands it to me like it’s all OK. “What about the germs?” I say. He says, “I don’t believe in germs. Germs is a plot made up so they could sell disinfectants and soaps.” Now he’s crazy, right?


Now this Ignaz Semmelweis was a real guy and he did discover germs and more importantly he realized the tie between hygiene and the spread of puerperal fever. This was a big problem for mother’s and newborns in the middle of the 19th century. It was passed from patient to medical staff and back to other patients.

Semmelweis figured out if the staff washed all the tools and themselves the rate of infection plummeted.

Unfortunately, it took 20 years for his learnings to be adopted by the medical community at large.

So if you missed out on a flu shot be sure to scrub your hands extra well this season.

Mark Twain on Short Speeches & Podcasts

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Mark Twain once said, “It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.”

I also heard a it said it takes days to prepare a five minutes speech but an hour long speech only takes a few minutes.

I think the same is true of a short podcast.

This week of producing todayspodcast has certainly borne that out. I took the ├╝ber podcaster, Adam Curry’s advice and came up a short podcast format, but I have been shocked how long it takes to prepare a short podcast. I love it though. And I think I am getting better. I would love to heat what you think.

November 4th- TodaysPodcast – To win on lies

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Sticking with a political theme, today’s quote is from Arthur Calwell a 20th century liberal Australian politician. Calwell was a controversial leader who opposed the popular, at least at first, vietnam war and supported a racist policy called the white australia.


Independent of his controversial positions I think his words are poignant today.


It is better to be defeated on principles than to win on lies.
Arthur Calwell

Hard to believe
“freedom is on the march.”

Because we all came from the sea

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I first heard this recording of JFK talking about the sea and mankind’s relationship with the sea about 5 years ago on NPR. It has stuck with me since.

Kennedy made these remarks to the American and Australian yacht racing teams on the eve of the America’s Cup race. I think his remarks were off the cuff and rather casual. But as I think you will hear he begins a little slow and stammers a bit but when he starts to talk about man’s similarities to the sea water he hits his stride. He stops stuttering an just hits his point home.


“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.”

President Kennedy, August, 1962


I think it is interesting to note Kennedy’s suggestion that we come from the sea. A suggestion that seems consistent with a belief in evolution, a somewhat controversial position for the second most powerful Catholic in the world.


If I had to put a sticker on the back of my car it would be a fish with legs.