Organic, revealing conversation with fascinating, freaky folks.
Ever wanted to hang with a dominatrix, comedian, famous health guru, or Italian prince? Here's your chance. Tangentially Speaking is dedicated to the idea that good conversation is organic, revelatory, and free to go down unexpected paths.
Kelly is a postdoc at Stanford. She's using fMRI to investigate whether cognitive processes may help predict relapse after addiction treatment. But we talk about everything from free will to hallucinogens to how the brain generates the feeling of having a mind. Download.
My conversation with Tyler (Kelly's hubby).
A.J. walked away from a corner office on Wall Street because he realized that his life was inauthentic. Since then, he's been on a roll. He founded Misfit—one of the most enigmatic, admirable hunter-gatherer enterprises around. His life is full of travel, love, passion, and positive energy. Plus, he's brilliant, good-looking, quotes Shakespeare from memory, and dances like a Cuban. Fuck that guy. Download.
Dr. Suedfeld is an emeritus professor at the University of British Columbia, and a Holocaust survivor. His research has focused on how people experience extreme, unusual, challenging, and traumatic events and environments -- including arctic explorers, astronauts, and prisoners. Download this episode.
Music: "Forest," by David Beckingham.
I met Georgina on a plane. Long before the seatbelt sign had gone off, I knew I was going to enjoy chatting with her all the way to LA. Getting to know this smart, funny, candid, and quirky woman, the hours flew by. She agreed she'd appear on my podcast a few weeks down the road--once she'd finished shooting a film. I doubted she'd get around to it, but true to her word, she found some time for this wide-ranging conversation about fame, beauty, Hollywood, Australia, and what it's like to make a living pretending to be someone else.
(Conversation begins at minute 15.)
Wade Davis is an extraordinary man. Follow this link to his full bio, which is pretty mind-blowing. Despite all his titles, awards, and other accolades, you'll hear that he's a very approachable guy who's having a blast living his life. Poetry seems to flow naturally from Wade's mind without effort or artifice.
I recommend all of his books, but One River and The Wayfarers are two of my favorites. The Lost Amazon is sort of a companion book to One River, featuring photographs Richard Evans Schultes took on his expeditions to the Amazon between 1941 and 1953. It's an incredible document.
Among other things, we chat a lot about our mutual friend Andrew Weil. Here's my conversation with Andrew.
Music: "The Message," by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
(Interview begins at minute 34.)
Poem: "The Journey," by Mary Oliver.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Darcia Narvaez teaches in the Psychology department at the University of Notre Dame. She's an expert in how human beings raise children in various cultures around the world. Darcia has provided links to much of her research here. Her Psychology Today blog is here.
Academy award nominee, playwright, banjo player, dancer, rabble-rouser, and kick-ass pasta saucer, Josh Fox is a freakin force of nature. Join us as we talk about the state of the world, how Josh became Josh, and how to arrange for a great 4-day party to run itself. Download this episode.
Music: "So Beautiful," by Unity to Thrive; "Maggot Brain," by Funkadelic; "If I Had a Rocket Launcher," by Bruce Cockburn; "Imperfectionist Xmas Recordings for Lee- Playing to the falling snow," by Josh Fox.
Deia makes documentary films. She has worked with troubled kids in the remote wilderness and walked from Ecuador to the tip of Tierra del Fuego, through the Andes. We recorded this one floating on a pond in northeast Pennsylvania. Hence, the "pondcast." Download this episode.
Update: DEIA IS IN JAIL FOR JOURNALISM!
Please consider signing this letter and spreading the word.
Tyler is a filmmaker, entrepreneur, winner of The Amazing Race, and has walked the length of Japan--then made an award-winning documentary about the experience, called Kintaro Walks Japan. He wrestled 100 Mongolians (made a film about that, too). He ran Iran. Dude is busy! Plus, he's super smart and funny. Download this episode.
West of Pecos (the restaurant in SF).