RSR: Episode #1: The Launch

Aug 312009

I’m pleased — and a bit nervous, I must admit — to announce that I’ve begun podcasting. My podcast is called “Rationally Selfish Radio” — and below you’ll find the first episode.

For the moment, I’ve just thrown the audio file on I was hoping to upload it to a podcast host with a nice feed and the like. Unfortunately, I’m traveling at the moment, and my internet connection is so spotty as to be nearly useless this evening. I suspect that the broadband company is sending some bytes on the backs of turtles as part of a government project to combat testudine unemployment. (Note: I’ve now uploaded the files to a podcast host and changed the links accordingly.)

For the next month or so, I plan to post a new podcast every Tuesday and Friday. I’ll post them here on NoodleFood, and I’ll also create a feed. You’ll also be able to subscribe via iTunes. I hope to have all that settled by the time I release the second podcast on Friday.

This fall, as I’m getting started, my podcasts will be somewhat eclectic. I want to try out a wide variety of segments and formats. I want to experiment — to discover what I like doing and what I do well. Moreover, I need to cultivate my skills. While a graduate student, I did a fair amount of speaking — mostly in the form of teaching, but also some lecturing. Podcasting — and radio, which I ultimately want to do — is more demanding. It’s a purely audio medium, so I cannot use my usual array of bodily movements, gestures, and facial expressions to convey meaning. Also, I cannot get any feedback from an audience — not only via their questions and comments but even more importantly from their body language too. So I have much to learn about using this new medium well.

For now, I’d like two things from you:

  • Tell me what you like and dislike about my podcasts — as concerns not just substance but also style. You are welcome to post comments, questions, and criticisms to the relevant NoodleFood comment thread. You can also e-mail me at [email protected].

  • Tell me what topics you’d like to hear me discuss on the podcast. Again, you can e-mail me questions to [email protected]. As I indicate in this first podcast, I’m particularly interested in questions pertaining to the real-life application of philosophic principles. Any questions that you send me to answer on the podcast will be anonymized, unless you tell me otherwise. Feel free to suggest a pseudonym, if you like!

And now… go take a listen: Episode #1: The Launch

In this episode, I introduce myself, discuss the new Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups sponsored by Front Range Objectivism, and offer my advice on an ethical question about a no-show at a wedding.

Listen Now

27:39 minutes

Download This Episode

Learn More

An Unhappy Customer

Aug 312009

This letter from a seriously unhappy customer of a British telecommunications company is damn funny — and then it turns downright hysterical toward the end. Read the whole thing — slowly, so as to savor it.

Oh, how I do love the Holy Internet, and its amusing Begotten Son E-mails from Crazy People! They bless us with The Funny.

How Anne Sullivan Taught Hellen Keller to Speak

Aug 302009

Those of you have have seen the movie and/or play versions of “The Miracle Worker” might be interested in this short 1930 newsreel clip in which Anne Sullivan explains how she taught Helen Keller to speak:

Ayn Rand was a great admirer of “The Miracle Worker“, a now-classic play about Sullivan and Keller.

In her essay, “Kant Vs. Sullivan” (from Philosophy: Who Needs It), Rand wrote:

…Annie Sullivan, her young teacher (superlatively portrayed by Anne Bancroft), is fiercely determined to transform this creature into a human being, and she knows the only means that can do it: language, i.e., the development of the conceptual faculty. But how does one communicate the nature and function of language to a blind-deaf-mute? The entire action of the play is concerned with this single central issue: Annie’s struggle to make Helen’s mind grasp a word — not a signal, but a word.

…To my knowledge, “The Miracle Worker” is the only epistemological play ever written. It holds the viewer in tensely mounting suspense, not over a chase or a bank robbery, but over the question of whether a human mind will come to life. Its climax is magnificent: after Annie’s crushing disappointment at Helen’s seeming retrogression, water from a pump spills over Helen’s hand, while Annie is automatically spelling “W-A-T-E-R” into her palm, and suddenly Helen understands.

The two great moments of that climax are incommunicable except through the art of acting: one is the look on Patty Duke’s face when she grasps that the signals mean the liquid — the other is the sound of Anne Bancroft’s voice when she calls Helen’s mother and cries: “She knows!”

We had the pleasure of seeing a theater version of “The Miracle Worker” with some friends when it came to Denver last year, and it was a real treat precisely because of the talent of the actresses who played Sullivan and Keller.

If you can’t see a theater version live, you can always rent the excellent 1962 film version from Netflix.

Recap #56

Aug 302009

This week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM: Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine:

Sunday Open Thread #90

Aug 292009

Here’s yet another Open Thread for your thoughts:

For anyone in the fiery grip of a random question, comment, joke, or link they’d like to share with NoodleFood readers, I hereby open up the comments on this post to any respectable topic. (Please refrain from posting personal attacks, pornographic material, and commercial solicitations.)

Bacon, Bacon, and More Bacon

 Food, Funny
Aug 292009

Horror of all horrors, I think that I’m out of bacon at the moment. However, this flow chart tells me exactly what to do:

(Click for a larger version.)

Spot the Difference

Aug 292009

Today’s “Spot the Difference” quiz features recent brain MRI scans from Diana and Paul. Can you tell the difference between the two?

Hint: Diana has a PhD in philosophy, which means she spends her days pondering deep thoughts about “the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man’s relationship to existence.”

Paul is a radiologist, which means he spends all day “looking at the pretty pictures!”

Diana’s brain:

Paul’s brain:

Translation FAIL

Aug 282009

I’m pretty sure the humor of this image is self-explanatory:

Perhaps the translation was done by this Chinese lady, taught English by her very helpful grandson:

Be the Local Computer Expert!

Aug 282009

Oh, this one is soooo going to all of my relatives… :^)

[from HT: JasonG]

The Objectivism Seminar: Past and Future

Aug 272009

The Objectivism Seminar just wrapped up its intensive tour of Dr. Leonard Peikoff’s seminal book, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. It was great!

We got to chew on the entire system and its distinctive methodology in the course of some 53(!) sessions, going section by section from metaphysics to esthetics. Some of the participants already had a decade or three of study under their belts, while others were brand new — but we all came away with a more grounded, integrated understanding relative to where we started (that whole “spiral theory of learning” thing :^).
The recordings are available for anyone who wants to join in after the fact — just visit The Objectivism Seminar’s page at TalkShoe to listen or subscribe to the podcasts.
But it’s much better to actually be a part of the conversation, so please join in on our next adventure: Dr. Peikoff’s other book, The Ominous Parallels! It seems so fitting with our current political trajectory and speed.
Is the freest country on earth moving toward totalitarian dictatorship? What were the factors that enabled the Nazis to seize power in pre-war Germany? Do those same conditions exist in America today?

These are the questions raised — and answered, with frightening clarity — by Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand’s intellectual heir, in his powerful book The Ominous Parallels.

“We are drifting to the future, not moving purposefully,” Peikoff warns. “But we are drifting as Germany moved, in the same direction, for the same kind of reason.”

The first session will be in about two weeks (September 7), so you have plenty of time to order your copy and be ready to bring your knowledge and questions to the conversation! This isn’t as technical a work as Objectivism, so we’re planning on moving at the rate of about a chapter each week or two. Please visit for more information.

Hope you can join in!

Home | Live Webcast | Archives | Blog | Question Queue | Connect | Support Us | About Us
Copyright 2012 Diana Hsieh | Email | Twitter | Facebook | Blog
Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha