The amount of things we take for granted in any given moment are astronomical. Right now, you can read this, for instance. In a moment you’re about to listen to this episode. That means that someone created language. It was passed down to you. You didn’t have any inherent learning disabilities that kept you from assimilating the language or learning how to read. Someone taught that language to you. The list goes on and on. At the very top of that list, and yet somehow often overlooked, are our senses. You can read this because you were born with the ability to see, and you still have that ability today. You can listen to this podcast and all of the beautiful, wonderful noises in the world because you have the ability to hear. What would you do if that ability started slipping away, or went away completely? Or if you had a child that was not born with hearing the way that you were? You would go and see an intelligent, caring audiologist like today’s guest, Lauren Keller.
When most of us are in school we don’t know exactly what we want to be when we grow up. Yet, we know that we’re going to work for someone. We put a lot of effort into learning as much as possible, grooming ourselves to be good employees for our future employers. Then, we go through the rigors of career fairs, mock interviews, and finally the real thing. Somehow, it never occurs to us, most of us, that we could spend this time and effort trying to find a way to work for ourselves. Trying to do our own thing. Today’s guests had this epiphany during their senior year of college in the midst of their own get-a-job hunt. At the end of the year they were both offered jobs, which they later rethought and rejected, due to a budding fashion accessory company they launched. A year later and they’re doing just fine having never worked a day for anyone but themselves.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” These are the words of the Statue of Liberty. Back when the statue was placed in New York, and even more true before it was ever erected, these were not hollow words. Many people you ask in America can trace back their lineage to a poor family in another part of the world that was looking for a new start. Men and women looking for a chance to give their children, and their children’s children, a better life. However, since the statue was placed in New York in 1886, the U.S. and world population have increased 6 fold and 7 fold, respectively. A lot has changed since America was a young country, and it unfortunately does not look like we can lift quite as bright a lamp beside our golden door as we did for our ancestors when they made the journey. Today we speak with an immigration attorney to learn about the what life looks like for immigrants that want to come to America, and how that picture becomes murkier with the governance of the new administration.
When I was a kid my sister and I used to play video games together while listening to music. The games weren’t too particularly complicated back then, so it was perfect to turn the sound to the game on and turn some music on instead. Since we were kids we didn’t have too many games, or too big of a music selection, so to this day I can still remember every single album tied to every single game we would play it with. Some games I don’t even remember the title, but I sure do know what we listened to with it. Samurai Showdown and TLC’s Crazy Sexy Cool. Some cartoony Mario Cart-esque snowboarding game and The Wedding Singer soundtrack. I have countless memories like this from my life where I can remember exactly what song was playing with what memory. Music is a pretty powerful thing! Today’s guest knows all about the power the music and its tie to emotion and memory. Chris is a composer and specifically he regularly composes music for movies. Some pieces that are out in the forefront, and some pieces that stay back and subtly influence a scene. He’ll tell us all about both and the music writing process.
Wine? Check. Travel? Check. Why do we need to complicate our lives with much more than that? Today’s guest Brent realized that he sure as hell didn’t. He left his prestigious job as an Engineer to travel the world and make (and drink) wine, and he’ll tell you how you can do the same.
I have a confession to make. I am a long time milk-aholic. In my youth I drank it straight, in high-school and college I would go through a gallon a week absolutely drowning bowls of cereal multiple times a day, and now that I’ve given up straight dairy and things like cereal, I’ve replaced liquid milk with it’s solid butter and cheese cousins. Who doesn’t love a salty gruyere or a creamy brie? Who doesn’t love butter on…everything? Yep all of my life I’ve owed a huge debt to our good friend, the dairy cow. Today we learn about how our amazing friends are fed and what impacts the finished product that we love.
Do you consider yourself a pretty discerning customer? Do you like having cool stuff instead of having lame stuff? Well, the whole reason that people like us are even allowed to be discerning and have nice things is thanks to people like today’s guest, Jimmy Huynh. Jimmy is an industrial designer which means it’s his job to make products look nice and function well. Apple would be the primary example of a company that has considered industrial design a top priority. Jimmy will break down the fun and difficulties of working in the industrial design world.
F-R-A-N-K, is there a more beautiful combination of 5 letters in the Latin alphabet? Frank and I have been friends since we were 8 years old. He is, and always has been, one of the most genuine and giving people that I know. When I had the idea for my podcast 2 years ago I called Frank and told him all about it and asked it I could have his help with editing the audio of the show. Frank, you see, is an audio engineer for a living. Since I had just quit my job to start the podcast I had nothing to offer Frank other than digital high-fives and my thanks, and yet, Frank being Frank said that he would love to help in any way he could. He proceeded to chop together an awesome intro for me that made the show feel ‘real’ and to this day edits the audio on every episode of the show. Today we get to take a look at the man behind the curtain, Frank.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you have had some not fun times with customer support in your life. Perhaps even reading the words customer support makes you have flashbacks of one such time that really takes the cake? Deep down we know that we should be happy that companies even have customer support, and yet you’d be hard pressed to find someone that has a favorable opinion of their time spent on the phone trying to solve a problem. Today’s guest, João (Joe), is the manager of a customer support team for an international travel website. He’ll give us the inside scoop on what it’s like to deal with all the haters and live life on the other side of the telephone.
Do you ever wonder where your food came from? What sorts of approvals and checks and balances it had to pass before making its way to you? As we recently learned in the ‘Organic Farmer’ episode, getting produce on your table is not as simple as you might think. For better or for worse, if you live in the Western world your food will endure quite a bit of scrutiny before it ever makes it to you. Today we learn about another side of this food chain. Natalie was recently employed as a North Pacific Groundfish Observer for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division (FMA)…quite a mouthfull. Natalie’s long title meant that she lived on fishing boats off the coast of Alaska and made sure that everyone was following the rules. Thanks to people like Natalie sustainable fishing that makes minimal impact on the overall ecosystem is a reality in the majority of the United States.
I have a question for you. What is the one thing that permeates EVERY aspect of consumer interaction with a company? If you looked at the title of this episode you can probably guess that the answer is the brand. Think about it. When Chipotle decides to add a new menu item the number one question they need to ask themselves, even more important than ‘Does this taste good?’, is ‘Does this new item fit in with our brand?’. When Apple decides to appoint a new employee as a speaker at an event, ‘Does this person represent our brand?’. When Target decides to update the lighting inside their stores, ‘Does these lights feel cohesive with our brand?’. It’s pretty crazy when you really think about it. The bigger and more successful the company, the smaller and more mundane the change that needs to pass the brand test. Today we learn all about this test and how we can better cultivate our own brands.
Food. It’s pretty important, ya know? There’s the whole entire ‘don’t eat it and you’ll die’ thing, but for most of us food is so much more than just death prevention. It’s our means to feeling good physically. It’s our means to feeling comforted mentally. The invention of agriculture was our main reason for coming together in large scale societies. Pretty important stuff. It’s no surprise then that we’re always trying to think of ways to make it better. Currently, better means organic. Today we speak to a large scale organic farm manager, Doug Kaba, to get his perspective on what better means, and learn more about the farm side of the farm to table movement.
I know, I know, we just recently had two episodes about sex…but something those episodes taught me is that sex is a giant topic with so many ins and outs and little intricacies that it can never really be fully explored. It also taught me that we all have our own relationship with sex, our own knowledge of it, and our own lack of knowledge of it. It is with those lessons that I decided to invite this week’s guest on the show and do another sex filled two part interview. Amy Baldwin is the owner of Pure Pleasure sex shop in Santa Cruz, CA, and is also a certified sex educator. Different from a typical HHI interview, I put out a call to listeners to send in your sex related questions. In part one we mostly cover questions sent in by women, in part two, men. Enjoy.
Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas! In this special Christmas day episode of Half Hour Intern we speak with a Mall Santa and learn all about the life of Mr. Claus.
Sports is generally not known for having high caliber reporting. In fact, most of the time when I’m watching I’m amazed at how boring the questions seem that are being asked on the sidelines. But despite this perceived laid back nature there is a ton of work that goes into sports reporting. I’m talking stats. I’m talking about demanding an interview from someone that doesn’t want to talk to you right now. I’m talking about trying to say something intelligent while not overwhelming the interviewee and trying to keep everything under 30 seconds. There’s a whole lot that goes into it. And that’s just the sideline reporting side of things. Today we speak with Angela Lauren, who has been there and done that with just about every job in the sports reporter field.
Sex. It pretty much makes the world go round. They say that nearly every major invention ever can be traced back to a desire to impress someone that you are sexually attracted to. Moreover, adoption of new media and tech over the past 50 years has been heavily influenced by sex and the porn industry. One of the major reasons VHS won over the Betamax format was VHS was the main format for porn. By the late 1970s, erotic film accounted for over half of all VHS sales in the United States. On the internet 13% of all searches are for erotic content, somewhere between 4-30% of all traffic is for porn, and at any second 30,000,000 unique people are viewing porn online. Online payment was invented to collect money on porn sites. Makes you wonder what the future will hold with virtual reality and artificial intelligence…actually it doesn’t, it’s going to be a lot of porn and sex. Something this all encompassing takes a lot of time to talk about, and this will be the first of many of those talks. Today’s guest, Maxine Holloway, is a porn actress and director, live show actress and director, an escort, a sex activist, and a college level sex educator that has her masters in public health. As you can imagine, we had a lot to talk about.
Social media is such a pervasive fixture of modern society. You may love it, you may hate it, you may think it’s a waste of time…but there it is. Seemingly not concerned with peoples’ varying and ever-changing opinions of it, it remains, stronger than ever. Today we interview a social media manger for a major fitness brand, Beach Body. Jake will tell us about the ins and outs of trying to manage something as amorphous and massive as social media, and he’ll make us all feel a bit better about the social media hustle.
Most of us have the luxury of being able to speak our primary language every minute of every day. If we choose to speak in a language other than our native tongue, it’s usually that, a choice. We may learn to say things like “Where is the restroom?” or “Nice to meet you”, but rarely are these phrases necessary. They’re usually learned to make conversations on vacation more easy, not with any real sense of urgency. However, children all over the world are immigrating to countries where they simply do not know the language. For economic or other reasons kids and teens find themselves in a new land, with no ability to speak the language. In these instances they MUST learn the language, and there is a very real sense of urgency. Today’s guest is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Phoenix, AZ. Holly teaches teens that are brand new to America, with no prior experience in speaking English. She’ll tell us about what it is like to try and teach students like this and how the classroom dynamics play out.
It is an interesting time to be a member of law enforcement in America. There have been many events in the past two years that have drawn the ire and suspicion of the greater public regarding the people that are hired to serve and protect them. This is on the one hand good, as we should question everything all the time, and audit our government employees to make sure they are serving the purpose for which they were hired. This is on the other hand bad, as public sentiment and backlash fracture the country further. Worse, it can cause good law enforcement officers, who risk their lives to help make our cities safer, to feel ostracized and looked down upon. Today I interview one such officer, Matthew Barton, a sheriff from Yavapai county in Arizona. We’ll discuss what it’s like being a sheriff in today’s world.
Think about how different the world is from how it was 100 years ago. A century ago we barely had cars, paved roads, or phones. The world wasn’t connected by air travel, television, computers, or the internet. Revolutionary advancements make the modern world unrecognizable from the not so distant past. Yet there are certain places you can go where the impact of progress is less felt. If you were to enroll in a university and go to class a century ago things would flow in a very similar way to how they do today. The clothes and culture would stand out far more than the format of classes and education as a whole. Today’s guest, and the university he works for, is aiming to change that. Laurence works for Minerva University where the progress is the norm, the world is your classroom, and skill mastery is on the agenda. It’s time for revolutionary advancement to come to the world of education.