Last update: 2015-06-24

Episode 42: The Baltimore Riots

2015-06-24 :: Kip Clark and Joe Walsh
If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable
— Louis D. Brandeis
You can’t just lecture the poor that they shouldn’t riot or go to extremes. You have to make the means of legal redress available.
— Harold H. Greene
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
— Voltaire
Where the government fails to protect the Negro he is entitled to do it himself. He is within his rights.
— Malcolm X

Although the death of Freddie Gray happened over two months ago, on April 19th, 2015, the tragic event and the riots which followed are a result of deeper problems in human and United States history. We don't claim to have the answers to these substantial and systemic issues, but we ardently believe they are worthy of discussion, however uncomfortable or difficult that may be. This week, we welcome resident of Baltimore, Joe Walsh, to engage in this conversation in the pursuit of further understanding. As always, we hope ours are not the only voices in this discourse. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us.

Further Reading:The Atlantic, "Nonviolence as Compliance"The Huffington Post, "Mortal Men and the City of Baltimore"Black America Web, "Did Mainstream Media Focus On Violence Instead Of Peaceful Protests In Baltimore?"Countercurrent News, Media Deliberately Covering-Up 10,000-Strong Peaceful Protests on the Streets of BaltimoreMic, "One Tweet Shows the Hypocrisy of the Media's Reaction to Riots in Baltimore" …

Episode 41: Understanding Death

2015-06-17 :: Kip Clark and Caroline Borders featuring written contributions
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
— Steve Jobs
To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.
— Buddha
Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.
— William Shakespeare

A follow-up to last week's episode on life, we examine various approaches to the terminus of death, what it represents and how it affects each of us differently. This certainly is not an easy or comfortable topic for most, so we understand reluctance and respect any decision to avoid this episode. That said, we do encourage listeners to consider the episode as a lens to consider death in different contexts.

As was true of "What It Means to Be Alive," this episode would not have evolved into this final conversation without the honest, eloquent and substantial support of our contributors, whose work will be available to read below. We want offer our sincerest thanks to Rachel Cunningham, Ali Stamatoiu, Emma Munger, Brett Miller, Maureen Hoff, Sarah Miller, Qusay Alsattari, Atticus Koontz, Kay Kelley, Richard Pera and Tim Jurney for their assistance in this episode.

The Written Pieces of Our Contributors (Made Anonymous):FirstSecondThirdFourthFifthSixthSeventhEighthNinthTenthEleventh

Episode 40: What It Means to Be Alive

2015-06-10 :: Kip Clark and Caroline Borders, featuring written contributions
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
— Soren Kierkegaard
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
— George Bernard Shaw
Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.
— Sholom Aleichem

A different type of discussion which touches on the broad, inexplicable and wondrous nature of Life as a whole. We do not have any particular direction in this conversation, but instead ideas and musings on human life, the life around us, and how we appreciate (or fail to) the complexity and variability of the system which arranges, organizes and defines our existence. This is not a conclusive conversation but rather an inclusive one, which invites listeners to contemplate their own values and approaches to life.

This episode is one of a pair, the next of which will discuss Death in a similar fashion. We also want to thank those who were kind and articulate enough to contribute to this episode: Emily Bulik-Sullivan, Hayden Fowler, Patrick Mershon, Will Quam, Sara Carminati and Naomi Ali. We appreciate the knowledge and insight you all shared and this episode is decidedly better for your participation. For those of our audience who would like to read what they wrote, their contributions are available below.

Written Contributions (Made Anonymous):FourthFifthSixthFirstSecondThird Â 

Episode 39: Issues with Multitasking

2015-06-03 :: Kip Clark and Caroline Borders
When we think we’re multitasking we’re actually multiswitching. That is what the brain is very good at doing - quickly diverting its attention from one place to the next. We think we’re being productive. We are, indeed, being busy. But in reality we’re simply giving ourselves extra work.
— Michael Harris
“We are the generation capable of doing many things at once, without enjoying any of them..”
— Dinesh Kumar Biran
How often have you heard people brag about what great multi-taskers they are? Perhaps you’ve made the same boast yourself. You might even have heard that members of “Gen Y” are natural multi-taskers, having lived their whole lives constantly switching their attention from texting to IMing to Facebooking to watching TV— all supposedly without missing a beat. We even see training classes designed to teach managers how best to multi-task their Gen Y staff, the implication being that asking someone to focus on a single task through to completion has now become ridiculously old-fashioned for, if not downright heretical to, the new world order.

Don’t believe it.
— Michael Hannan

This week we wanted to consider something all of us do in this day and age: multitasking. Several studies and experts conclude that it has detrimental effects on both our mental processing abilities and our productive potential. Certainly it does not originate from one source in particular and we address several responses to the issue which permeates various aspects of our lives.

Further Reading:

BBC, "Multitaskers bad at multitasking"

Stanford News, "Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows"

Time Magazine, "The Multitasking Generation"

Episode 38: The Treble with Trainor

2015-05-28 :: Kip Clark, Caroline Borders and Maureen Hoff
I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I’m down for my first opportunity to say something to the world to be so meaningful. If you asked me, ‘What do you want to say?’ it would be, ‘Love yourself more.’
— Meghan Trainor
I just think women should love themselves more than they do. Because I think - with all the social media stuff - we look at ourselves too much, and we just destroy ourselves when we’re way cooler than we know.
— Meghan Trainor

In this episode we welcome Maureen Hoff to discuss a recent sensation in the music industry: Meghan Trainor. We chose to examine some of the lyrics in two of her most popular songs, entitled "All About That Bass" and "Dear Future Husband". Both songs, satirical in their own way, deal with issues of ideas of femininity and masculinity, body image, beauty standards and marriage. We examine some of the issues with her approach and inadvertent issues with her delivery and lyrical choices.

Further Reading:

The Guardian, "Meghan Trainor 'All About That Bass' Interview" 

Forbes, "How Meghan Trainor Is Exploiting Body Image, Just Like Everybody Else"

PopCrush, "Meghan Trainor Is Not About That Photoshop"

The Federalist, "How Dare Meghan Trainor Or Any Woman Look Forward To Marriage"

Episode 37: Starbucks' 'Race Together' Campaign

2015-05-20 :: Kip Clark and Caroline Borders
White people control almost 90 percent of the nation’s wealth.
— Starbucks on Friday, March 20th, 2015 in a newspaper advertisement
‘Race Together’ grew out of concerns over police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and New York. In announcing the campaign, Schultz called it “an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society – one conversation at a time.
— Tom Kertscher of Politifact, March 31, 2015
Most Starbucks baristas simply don’t have the time to discuss anything other than coffee with customers. Amid responsibilities like taking orders, working the registers, making complicated drink orders, and preparing food from the company’s newly expanded menu, there is no time to write extra words on cups — much less entertain a debate on race relations.
— Hayley Peterson of Business Insider, March 29, 2015

Spurred by an article in the March 23rd edition of Advertising Age, we felt it would be pertinent to work through some of the issues facing the 'Race Together' campaign. While we applaud Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for his attempt at being progressive, we highlight issues regarding the Catch 22 for workers, the intended speed of fast food and the complexity of commercial influence.

Further Reading:Business Insider, "Here's Starbucks internal memo showing the 'Race Together' campaign was always doomed"Politifact, "In its 'Race Together' campaign, Starbucks says white people hold nearly 90% of the nation's wealth"The LA Times, Op-Ed: "What if Starbucks' 'Race Together' had caught on in corporate America?"

The article in question from Advertising Age which inspired this episode.

The memo distributed by Starbucks to its employees

Episode 36: Hillary Clinton's Nomination

2015-05-13 :: Kip Clark and Sam Whipple
Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times. But the deck is stacked for those at the very top.
— Hillary Clinton, 2015
If Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, then how will she be able to attack the Republican nominee for being a tool of Wall Street — which she will have to do (and do convincingly) in order to beat the Republican?
— Eric Zuesse, The Huffington Post

This week we welcome Sam Whipple, who joins us to offer some opinions and insight on Hillary Clinton's recent bid as a potential Democratic candidate in the 2016 Presidential Election. We discuss some of the criticisms and concerns facing her and how the political landscape might react to this decision in the long term.

Further Reading:

Washington Monthly, "Could Elizabeth Warren Threaten Hillary Clinton's Nomination?"

The Atlantic, "Hillary Clinton Makes It Official"

CNN, "Hillary Clinton emails: Did she do anything wrong or not?"

The Hill, "'Clinton Cash' author: Jeb research 'compelling' so far"

The Washington Post, "Hillary Clinton’s Worries Mount"

The International Business Times, "Who Will Be Hillary Clinton's Running Mate? 10 Possible Vice Presidential Nominees"

The Huffington Post, "Why Hillary Clinton Would Be a Weak Presidential Nominee for Democrats"

Episode 35: Why Dogs Do That

2015-05-06 :: Kip Clark and Caroline Borders
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.
— Gilda Radner
Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.
— Emily Dickinson

A much more lighthearted episode than our typical fare, we wanted to find a text which was both informative while also being easy to consume. We give a reading from several chapters of Tom Davis' book Why Dogs Do That. The chapters explain and offer a variety of hypotheses for canine behavior including why dogs chase cars and why certain breeds point or fetch instinctively.

Further Reading:

CBS News, "Is Your Dog Crazy? 15 Nutty Behaviors Explained" 

Episode 34: The Advent of Vlogging

2015-05-06 :: Kip Clark and Caroline Borders
The popularity of independent young video bloggers, the ‘vloggers’ who film their thoughts and observations for thousands of followers to enjoy online, is already setting the future shape of marketing and advertising.
— Dalmeet Singh Chawla, The Guardian

As video-blogging or "vlogging" becomes increasingly popular on sites like YouTube, we wanted to discuss the influence and potential of this new medium. It is simple to use and offers brief glimpses to the lives of others as reality shows have long claimed to do. Unlike reality TV, however, vlogging is edited by the individuals on-screen, who have a much more personal and constant relationship with their various audiences. 

Further Reading:

The Independent, "Zoella: YouTube vlogger buys five-bedroom Brighton mansion worth £1million"

The Guardian, "The young vloggers and their fans who are changing the face of youth culture"

Tube Filter, "ShayCarl Says He’ll Cut Back After Another Year Of Daily Vlogs"


              The Shaytards

         The Vlog Brothers

Episode 33: "You're Not Special"

2015-04-22 :: Kip Clark and Caroline Borders
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.
— David McCullough Jr.

A very sentimental episode for a number of reasons. First, this episode will be released during graduation season. To the recent and upcoming graduates, congratulations! Secondly, this marks the first episode with the newest co-host, Caroline Borders. Finally, in addition to the massive attention this received,  this was the speech given at Kip's high school graduation in 2012 and he holds this speech and its orator, Mr. David McCullough Jr. in very high esteem.

Further Reading:

The Atlantic, "Advice to High-School Graduates: 'You Are Not Special'"

The Boston Globe, "'You Are Not Special' by David McCullough Jr."

Newsweek, "Book Review: This Book Is Not Special, Either"

Episode 32: Why We Study Film

2015-04-22 :: Kip Clark, Hector Marrero and Iggee Tianci Hu
Movies are not about the weekend that they’re released, and in the grand scheme of things, that’s probably the most unimportant time of a film’s life.
— Quentin Tarantino
A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.
— Orson Welles
A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.
— Stanley Kubrick
Realism is a bad word. In a sense everything is realistic. I see no line between the imaginary and the real.
— Federico Fellini

This episode marks Hector's last as a permanent co-host on the show. As such, he wanted his final topic to pertain to his love of film. The following discussion (with guest Iggee Hu) encompasses film as a passion, a medium and a form of expression and communication. Both film majors offer their opinions on how to engage with film, what they personally enjoy about it and call attention to several finer details within film. We also discuss the unique approaches of a few directors as well as the impact of film on the masses.

Further Reading:

The Telegraph, "Avatar fans suicidal because planet Pandora is not real"

Hortense Powdermaker, "Hollywood: The Dream Factory"

Martin Scorsese, "The 85 Films You Need to See to Know Anything About Film"

                                                                          Michelangelo Antonioni

                                                                                  Federico Fellini

Episode 31: Violence in Video Games

2015-04-08 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
One of the problems in this field is that people confuse aggression and violence. Some research will call sort of a competitiveness-type aggression as equivalent to violence in the real world. There is absolutely no evidence that any video game or violent movie for that matter has ever caused a real-world violent act.
— Cheryl Olson, Harvard Medical School
No one is suggesting that [violent video games are] the only reason they went out and committed those horrific acts, but was it a tipping point? Was it something that pushed them over the edge? Was it a factor in that? Perhaps. That’s a really big deal.
— Jim Steyer, Common Sense Media.

Often a source of criticism and concern, we wanted to discuss how violence in video games affects our opinions of their entertainment value. We also examine violence as it relates to American culture, what we are willing to tolerate or embrace and actions we do not tend to code as "violent" in nature.

Further Reading:

The Huffington Post, "Video Games Are Not to Blame for Mass Shootings"

NPR, "It's A Duel: How Do Violent Video Games Affect Kids?"

Psychology Today, "Can Video Games Cause Violence?"

WARNING: The video below contains highly graphic and disturbing imagery. Viewer discretion is advised. …

Episode 30: The Doors Which Language Opens and Closes

2015-04-01 :: Kip Clark, Hector Marrero and Alex Urist
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
— Nelson Mandela
You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.
— Geoffrey Willans
Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language.
— H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Alex Urist joins us in this episode to discuss his thoughts on language and how it affects our opportunities in life. In particular, we focus on his experiences with China, dialects of the country and his memories of street cuisine and other related stories. We also speak about the best ways to engage with a language and why everyone should pursue skills in multiple languages.

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis:

The 2013 Tiananmen Square attack:

                                                            China: A guide to the best street food

                                                                            Shanghai Street Food

酱爆茄子 or Eggplant

WOW Barbecue

北京烤鸭 or Duck

Xiaolongbao or steamed bun

酸辣土豆丝 or  Potatoes

Episode 29: The Microsoft HoloLens and Augmented Reality

2015-03-25 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
By most accounts, Microsoft has created a technology that blends the real and the virtual into a helpful hybrid by overlaying a screen on what we see. I just wonder if more screen time is what we really need.
— David Carr of The New York Times
The Hololens is pretty amazing. Microsoft has put a lot into the chips and the software. It is the start of virtual reality. Making the device so you don’t get dizzy or nauseous is really hard — the speed of the alignment has to be super super fast. It will take a few years of software applications being built to realize the full promise of this.
— Bill Gates

In this episode, we offer an introduction of sorts to Microsoft's latest creation, the HoloLens. First announced on January 21, 2015, the HoloLens is described by Microsoft as a utility which brings "high-definition holograms to life in your world, where they integrate with your physical places, spaces and things". We discuss how the HoloLens integrates long-standing practices of socializing and recording information. We also consider policing and regulation of new virtual and augmented reality technologies. Finally, we examine future uses for the device, including educational possibilities, as well as the dangers of the technology and its effect on our perceptions of reality.

Articles/Further Reading:

The New York Times:

Information Week:

The Verge:


The Motley Fool:

Venture Beat:

The Irish Times:

Episode 28: Strangely Like War

2015-03-18 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
Trees, how many of ‘em do we need to look at?
— Ronald Reagan

In this episode, Hector gives a reading from Strangely Like War: The Global Assault on Forests by Derrick Jensen and George Draffan. He reads from Chapter 1, "Deforestation" and Chapter 2, "Forest Dwellers". We discuss human impacts on global forests, our various relationships with nature and how different cultures respond to and appreciate our environment.

Episode 27: Storytelling and Comedy

2015-03-11 :: Kip Clark, Hector Marrero, Mike Jest
After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.
— Philip Pullman
There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.
— Erma Bombeck

In this episode, we welcome guest Mike Jest to discuss how comedy and storytelling often work in conjunction with one another. We examine some of the basic forms of comedy, as well as the structure of several sitcoms. We also discuss variations on interweaving story-lines and some of the fundamental rules and tips in comedy. Finally, we look at comedy as a means of social and political satire.

Episode 26: Functions of Art

2015-03-04 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
— Scott Adams
Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
— Banksy
The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

In this episode, we reflect on art as a human product, and the effects it has on us. We discuss the intentions of artists as well as the uses art has found historically and politically.

Episode 25: Fear and Horror Movies

2015-02-25 :: Kip Clark, Hector Marrero and Issa Polstein
“Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.”
— Stephen King
“The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it’s when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it’s when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there’s nothing there...”
— Stephen King

We are joined in this episode by Issa, who discussed some of his favorite horror movies, his appreciation for the genre, and how they instill and explore various fears. We also examine what these fears say about us as people and what we look for in horror movie experiences.

Episode 24: Hip Hop and Cooking

2015-02-18 :: Kip Clark, Hector Marrero and Lucas Pastorfield-Li
I want kids of this generation to see that everything is cool, that there’s some kind of unity in hip-hop. We all found something that’s really important to us, and music is all we’ve really got.
— Missy Elliott
Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors - it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.
— Wolfgang Puck

In this episode, Lucas joins us to express his passions for both hip hop and cooking. In doing so, he also elaborates on what links the two together, how both are social and self-reflective. He describes his personal exploration of both while also offering suggestions on how one could improve either as a craft.

Episode 23: The Concept of Friendliness

2015-01-28 :: Hector Marrero and Kip Clark
We try to be real nice and friendly to people, but sometimes they take advantage of that.
— Layne Staley
It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.
— Mahatma Gandhi

In this episode, we discuss "friendliness" as an idea which refers to strategic kindness and sympathy shown towards others primarily out of interest in social standing rather than genuine concern. We discuss how this phenomenon, conceived by Michael Moffatt, an anthropology professor at Rutgers in the 1980's, operates and what validity we ascribe to it.

Episode 22: Ideas of Home

2015-01-28 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
When you finally go back to your old home, you find it wasn’t the old home you missed but your childhood.
— Sam Ewing
Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.
— Tad Williams

In this episode, we discuss some of our memories of home, how we define "home" as a place and as a set of ideas. We also consider how changes in environments affect our perceptions of home and what we seek in a home.

Episode 21: Introductions to Music

2015-01-22 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
Remember the first time you went to a show and saw your favorite band. You wore their shirt, and sang every word. You didn’t know anything about scene politics, haircuts, or what was cool. All you knew was that this music made you feel different from anyone you shared a locker with. Someone finally understood you. This is what music is about.
— Gerard Way
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
— Plato

In this episode, we wanted to discuss our introductions to music, how our musical tastes developed and how we pursue new music and share our favorites with others.

Episode 20: Video Game Protagonists

2015-01-14 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
I’m interested in flawed protagonists. I was raised on them.
— Laura Dern
Over time, it’s occurred to me that my protagonists all originate in some aspect of myself that I find myself questioning or feeling uncomfortable about.
— Julia Glass

Given our shared love of and interest in video games, we wanted to begin talking about some of their characteristics and so we chose to first examine the characters we control - protagonists in video games. We discuss some of our favorites as well as how we relate to or sympathize with them.

Episode 19: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

2015-01-08 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
Something wonderful begins to happen with the simple realization that life, like an automobile, is driven from the inside out, not the other way around. As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It’s absolutely true that, “Wherever you go, there you are.
— Richard Carlson

In this episode, we give a reading of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" and discuss some topics which Dr. Carlson mentions in his book, focusing on patience, listening in humility. If you are interested in getting the book for yourself, we've included some links below.

Amazon link:

Audible (audiobook) link:

Episode 18: Percussion

2014-12-24 :: Kip Clark, Hector Marrero and Sam Graf
The thing about playing percussion is that you can create all these emotions that can be sometimes beautiful, sometimes really ugly, or sometimes sweet, sometimes as big as King Kong and so on. And so there can be a real riot out there, or it can be so refined.
— Evelyn Glennie

In this episode we welcome our second guest, Samuel Adam Graf, who was kind enough to speak with us about his experiences with percussion, and his thoughts on the topic.

Episode 17: Our First Jobs

2014-12-10 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.
— Calvin Coolidge

As we gradually move away from our own experiences and onto larger topics, we wanted to consider the first jobs in our lives, who we worked with and what we learned during those initial experiences.

Episode 16: The Pale Blue Dot

2014-12-03 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
— Carl Sagan, 1934 - 1996 …

Episode 15: Our First Shows of the Year

2014-11-26 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.
— Mae West
The highest levels of performance come to people who are centered, intuitive, creative, and reflective - people who know to see a problem as an opportunity.
— Deepak Chopra
Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.
— Ralph Marston

As we reflect on our respective years thus far, our first a capella and improv performances stand out as defining moments for both ourselves and our groups. We wanted to discuss some of the ideas and preparations that go into the days and weeks leading up to the first shows.

Episode 14: Censorship

2014-11-12 :: Kip Clark, Hector Marrero and Armand Hernandez
The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.
— Tommy Smothers
Censorship is saying: ‘I’m the one who says the last sentence. Whatever you say, the conclusion is mine.’ But the internet is like a tree that is growing. The people will always have the last word - even if someone has a very weak, quiet voice. Such power will collapse because of a whisper.
— Ai Weiwei

In this episode we welcome our first guest and friend of the show, Armand Hernandez, who wanted us to discuss ideas surrounding censorship. We actually cover self-censorship, some of the benefits of censorship and what we learn about those that restrain or withhold certain ideas.

Episode 13: Hauntings

2014-11-05 :: Hector Marrero and Kip Clark
Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.
— Neil Gaiman, M Is for Magic

In this episode, we wanted to continue with some of the Halloween spirit and discuss some of the things which haunt us, both trivial and serious.

Episode 12: Halloween

2014-10-29 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
When witches go riding
And black cats are seen
The moon laughs and whispers
’Tis near Halloween
If human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween
— Doug Coupland

In this episode we wanted to examine some of the history of Halloween, which traces some origins back to the United Kingdom. We offer a number of facts about the history and tradition of Halloween while also speaking of our personal experiences and thoughts.

Episode 11: Instragramming Culture

2014-10-29 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
Everything you post on social media impacts your personal brand. How do you want to be known?
— Lisa Horn, a.k.a. The Publicity Gal.
On February 27, 2013, Instagram announced 100 million active users, only two-and-a-half years after the launch of the app. As of September 9, 2013, the company has announced a total of more than 150 million monthly active users.
— Evelyn M. Rusli, September 8, 2013 "Instagram Pictures Itself Making Money," The Wall Street Journal.

In this episode we wanted to discuss the increasing trend to express ourselves on social media through photography. The argument can be made, however, that we do it too much, to a detrimental degree and we wanted to explore this further.

Episode 10: Mediocrity

2014-10-12 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
If any of you have a desire to be mediocre, you will probably find that you have already achieved your ambition.
— Hugh B. Brown
He was marked out by his relentless ability to find fault with others’ mediocrity—suggesting that a certain type of intelligence may be at heart nothing more or less than a superior capacity for dissatisfaction.
— Alain de Botton, "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work"

It is natural to compare yourself to those around you. In this episode, we wanted to discuss what it means to be average or mediocre, how we respond to mediocrity and how we overcome it.

Episode 9: Favorite Teachers

2014-10-12 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth’
— Dan Rather

This episode is one of particular importance to us. We've been students for many years and so our teachers have been some of the most influential figures in our lives. We discuss some of our favorites, the work they put in and how teachers impact their students.

Episode 8: Online Shopping

2014-10-12 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero strives to be the e-commerce destination where consumers can find and discover anything they want to buy online.
— Jeff Bezos
In e-commerce, your prices have to be better because the consumer has to take a leap of faith in your product.
— Ashton Kutcher

With online sales increasing annually, we wanted to look at the trend and discuss some of our own experiences. We also examine some of the positive and negative aspects of shopping online. We’d love to hear what you think, feel free to write us!

Episode 7: Spaces

2014-10-12 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
When I was growing up, there was a feeling in one’s living room as much as in one’s local gallery that a little elitism was good for the soul.
— Andrew O'Hagan

In this episode, we felt it pertinent to be a bit more abstract with our discussion. We chose to discuss the spaces we live in and the spaces around us; how we conceive of space and what the relationship is between people and space.

Episode 6: First Impressions

2014-10-01 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility.
— Malcolm Gladwell

With a new school year well underway, we felt it would be appropriate to discuss first impressions. In our frequent encounters with new names and faces there is a lot to consider when it comes to first impressions, we look at our first impressions and what we think about when we first meet others.

Episode 5: Public Transportation

2014-10-01 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
Public transit situates us so that we are given license to accept what’s right in front of us, but will likely arouse our desire to compare our narrative to someone else’s, to give ourselves permission to speculate upon a person’s private space, or life, with no fear of recourse or punishment.
— Julie Wilson, Seen Reading

We've both had interesting experiences and thoughts on public transportation. Especially for college students, many of whom will live in or visit cities, we felt this would be a pertinent topic. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts on this one. Leave us a comment!

Episode 4: Distractions

2014-10-01 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
Multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself.
— Marilyn vos Savant

Now more than ever, distractions are an increasingly present element in our lives. We felt it would be worth a conversation. We discuss the distractions in our lives, what role distractions hold and how we interact with them.

Episode 3: The iPhone

2014-09-24 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
Today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device. So, three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device. An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone...are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone. Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.
— Steve Jobs, Macworld Expo, 2007

With the recent announcement of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+, we felt it pertinent to analyze the cultural impact of Apple's 7-year-old handset and the changes it has made in a modern world. We begin the episode with a discussion of the newest models and then offer our thoughts on the pros and cons of the revolutionary telephone.

Episode 2: The First Year of College

2014-09-24 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
And yet not a dream, but a mighty reality- a glimpse of the higher life, the broader possibilities of humanity, which is granted to [those] who, amid the rush and roar of living, pause four short years to learn what living means.
— W.E.B. Du Bois

In this episode, we discuss our experiences as first-year's in college. We reminisce on our introduction to the college lifestyle as well as our preconceptions about college before our initial moments. We conclude this episode by offering some advice and suggestions to recent and upcoming inductees into the collegiate world.

Episode 1: The Beginning

2014-09-24 :: Kip Clark and Hector Marrero
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
— Lao Tzu

In this first episode, we discuss and introduce several aspects of Stride and Saunter. We talk about ourselves a bit before discussing how the podcast came to be, what our plans are and how we hope it grows, develops and changes over time. As always, we invite any questions, comments and input on the episode and the show in general. Especially for this first episode, we want to give our audience a clear understanding of the podcast and all of its components.

About this podcast:

Stride and Saunter

The brainchild of Hector Marrero and Kip Clark, Stride and Saunter is a podcast which aims to examine a variety of thoughts and experiences through meaningful exchange. It is built on the principle that humans are creative, communicative and conversational beings. As such, the success of Stride and Saunter will not be determined by the dialogue between its two hosts but by the conversation among its listeners, whose ideas, input and opinions will create its community.

Stride and Saunter