Tangentially Speaking

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.

230 - Michael Shermer (Skeptic, Atheist)

Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the author of The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things, Why Darwin Matters, and others. His latest book is The Moral Arc, now out in paperback.  Download this episode.

The case of the man who's brain is (mostly) missing. 

Music: "Devil's Detail," by Lateef and Z-Trip. 

228 - Allan Havey (Actor/Comedian)

Allan has enjoyed a long career as a standup comic and actor. You may have seen him in Mad Men, The Man in the High Castle, Hail Caesar!, and anywhere else top notch comics or actors are found. Download this episode.

Music: "Treat Yo Mama," by the John Butler Trio.

227 - ROMA 13

In which I rant about the usual: Carrie Fisher, Karl Marx, Matt Le Blanc, micro-aggressions, love, sex, fading passion, and growing despair. Download.

Music: "N'Jariñu Garab," by Cheikh Lô; "Sinama Denw," by Habib Koite; "Me Ki Sa Oule," by Kali; "Unnamed Song," by Will Irlam (The Ha'Pennies).

226 - Robert Clarke (Cannabis Expert)

Robert Clarke is one of the world's foremost cannabis experts and an author, most recently of Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany (together with Mark D. Merlin). We met by chance in Hanoi in 2003 and have been friends ever since. Also, fishing. Download.

Music: "Green Grass," by Cybele.

Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany
By Robert C. Clarke, Mark D. Merlin

224 - Kelly Hennigan MacNiven (Cognitive Neuroscientist)

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).

The most intense wedding invitation ever sent. When some thugs steal an important wedding document, a highly trained tactical team is sent in to save "the date."

222 - A. J. Leon (Misfit)

A screen grab from AJ's Instagram feed.

A screen grab from AJ's Instagram feed.

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.

Music: "Distinto," by Orishas; "Lekela Muadi," by Tshala Muana.