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Brian performs what he calls Bizarre Magic. His act includes fire
eating, sticking his eye with a pin, and breaking blocks over his head.
He is dynamic and entertaining and his show, despite what you may
think, is family friendly. You can learn more about the show here, and see
his web TV show, Scam School, which shows tricks you can play on
Mark and his wife and 4 children cycled 5,000 miles across America,
from Oregon to Maine, on recumbent tricycles! We discuss getting kids
ready for such a venture, the day to day of the trip itself, and how
the family grew closer from it. In his professional life, Mark offers seminars
on leadership, the lessons of which were very much at play during this
trip. He's also written a book on
the subject, Leadership For All the Mountains You Climb.
Scott drives a taxi known as the Land Yacht. When you step in his van,
you enter another world altogether, with its booming sound system,
giant music collection and numerous music videos, all activated from a
computer touch screen. Scott loves providing a musical experience
tailor-made to each customer, and tells us his favorite stories about
||999 Eyes Freak Show
This is a genuine freak show, apparently the only one of its kind in
the world today. They travel around the country providing a truly
one-of-a-kind experience, where they play music and perform acts, all
showcasing their physical uniqueness. I talked with members of the
troupe, including Jackie the Human Tripod, T-Rex (who has flippers for
arms/hands), and Lowrent the Clown.
At age 9, Diane was almost kidnapped by a man who was ultimately sent
to prison for killing other little girls. This experience led to her
fascination with true crime and she ultimately came to write true crime
novels. She has published 9 true crime books to date, which can be seen
Sherif is a Muslim by choice. He was born in Egypt and grew up
Christian Copse. He converted to Islam as a teenager and, when he met
his wife-to-be, she converted as well. With their 6 children, they lead
a very traditional Muslim lifestyle here in Austin. We talk about what
it's like to be Muslim in America today. (Incidentally, Sherif is a
mixed marital arts fighter. As a Muslim, he's not allowed to hit
someone in the face.)
Joe is a dumpster diver, which means he literally goes into dumpsters
looking for wasted food and other items that are in perfectly good
condition. The things that people throw away are quite remarkable! Joe
does this to help the environment (reduced waste in landfills), to help
other people (he gives things away), and to keep his budget low (free
Trevor is a prolific children's book writer and illustrator. He also
travels around the world visiting and speaking to children, with a
focus on helping them to reach their potential. His books and
presentations are humorous, and his energy and enthusiasm are downright
contagious. To see his books, DVDs, CDs, videos, posters and more,
Farrah is a romance novelist. While some may think anyone can write a
romance novel, the field is actually extremely competitive. Farrah
discusses the process of getting recognized and published, and why
romance of all things is her chosen genre. You can check out
her books here.
Due to a technical glitch, the first few minutes of the interview are
missing, but you'll be able to jump right in.
Raul is a homeless artist and also a salsa dance teacher. Although he
did not initially want to be homeless, he now chooses to live that way
so that he can pursue his art full time. While you may question his
choice (since it requires him to accept government assistance and
charity), you'll agree that he maintains a positive attitude and is
optimistic about the future. Click here to
see his art, and here to learn more about his salsa teaching.
David is the host of 2 shows on KOOP: A Neighborly Conversation and Texas Politics Today. Both of these shows reflect
his passion for grassroots activism. Right out of school David cared so
much about being a grassroots activist that he went to work in
corporate America for 15 years with the sole purpose of earning enough
money to quit and be an activist full time. David succeeded and is now
living his dream—on Inner Views he discusses how he made it
||Trisha Yeager Menke
Trisha is a cat trainer. Yes, you read that right! Trisha's cat, Kit
Casanova, can jump through hoops, is potty trained to use the toilet,
and loves to dress up in costumes. Trisha believes all cats are
trainable and shares some of her techniques with us. She has also
written a book on cat training called Potty Talk by
Jennifer is a psychic who sees, hears and talks to dead people. She is
quick to point out that she is a "regular chick" with a husband and
kids, and that she herself didn't believe in psychics until she could
no longer deny the experiences she was having. She is aware of beings
from the other side around her almost all the time, and offers readings
to people who want to connect with their departed loved ones.
For his 70th birthday, Gerry climbed Grand Teton in Grand Teton
National Park in Wyoming. He summited this 13,760 foot mountain in 5
days with a friend and the help of a guide. Gerry is truly young at
heart—not only does he rock climb, but he is an avid cyclist,
won 25 state championship gold medals in his age class.
Judith was very much in love with Mark and they were engaged after
dating for a few years. He was working in Saudi Arabia when Judith got
the call that he had suddenly—and literally—dropped dead
from an unknown cause. To make matters much, much worse, Mark's family
completely shut Judith out, which was both emotionally and financially
devastating for her.
a 32-year-old, Lashonda has been through the wringer: a heart attack, a
stroke, and a premature baby. It turns out that high blood pressure is
at the root of it all, a trait she found out runs in her family.
Despite it all, Lashonda is upbeat and is even performing stand-up
comedy around Austin.
has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease causing the muscles to
deteriorate. At age, 37, she has already beat the life-expectancy odds,
and is accomplished in her studies and volunteer activities. The one
thing that hasn't gone her way, however, is getting a full-time job,
which she believes is due to discrimination.
Stephanie has vitiligo, a chronic skin condition resulting in the loss
of pigment. As a Mexican woman, Stephanie was born with dark skin, so
the white-colored patches all over her body create quite a contrast and
draw attention wherever she goes—an attention that she doesn't
The author of the newly released book Moose:
A Memoir of Fat Camp,
Stephanie talks about growing up fat and being shunned at school. Her
parents, who had their own issues surrounding her weight, sent her to
fat camp, where she spent several summers. The good news is, she
actually successfully lost weight.
& Ginsie Stauss
Water Safari is billed as the
world's toughest canoe race.
Debbie and Ginsie decided to take it on in a 2-person canoe, completing
the grueling race in 3 days. A month later, they are still recovering
from the physical challenge, but have incredible, funny and crazy
stories to tell. Dangers abound, things go wrong, and people
Julie has Crohn's Disease, an auto-immune illness that is an
inflammation of the intestine. Crohn's is incredibly debilitating as it
ends up affecting many other
parts of her body, to the point where Julie has been hospitalized many
times. Julie believes Crohn's is incurable, but she has not had a
flare-up in quite some time and is doing much better now. In fact, she
is now a belly-dancing teacher, of all things!
|Jacquelyn Ann Covington
The author of Who?
An Addict Like Me, Jackie was a
drug and alcohol
addict for 30 years. She describes her years of substance abuse and
ultimately how she recovered by attending the Magdalene Program in
|Michelle & Katy
Michelle & Katy are a lesbian couple with twin daughters,
through artificial insemination. They talk about how they decided who
would be the biological mother (Michelle), picking a donor, the
artificial insemination process, and issues surrounding being gay
Adrienne spent 19 years as the the color artist for the Batman comic
books. She absolutely loved her job, which she performed in the
pre-computer era when pencilling, inking and coloring were done by
|Mindy Freeman, Part 1
At age 13, a close friend of Mindy's committed suicide. Devastated by
the event, Mindy began to cut herself as a way to cope, which she
cotinues to do to this day (though much less often). This is a
fascinating look inside the mind of someone with an extreme coping
mechanism, but be warned: Mindy describes the cutting in detail and
without any apologies.
|Mindy Freeman, Part 2
I brought Mindy back in to talk about another aspect her life. She says
she is bisexual but clearly prefers women. That said, at age 20 she
will not pursue a lesbian relationship because she lives with her
parents and they strongly disapprove. (When you listen to the
interview, you may decide Mindy is really just a lesbian.)
|Amanda & Marcus
Marcus used to be in the Air Force—until they kicked him out.
being a part of the Air Force, but everything changed when he had a
routine examination where it was discovered he had a rare eye disease
called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Since it's considered to be genetic, the
Air Force decided he had a pre-existing condition—not only
longer want him in the Air Force, but he was essentially dishonorably
discharged. This has led to severe financial hardship for him and his
Richard, who makes his home in Austin, is one of the most successful
video game creators ever. Since he was a kid, though, watching his
astronaut father go into space with NASA, Richard has wanted to go into
space himself. This October, he will get the chance as a space
tourist, a $30 million venture
on a Russian rocket. Richard tells
the extensive preparation involved and shares some great stories from
At 86 pounds, Gina started seeing a therapist for anorexia. She was
exercising several hours per day as an escape from her daily life, and
skipping meals. With the help of therapy, she has gained 10 pounds and
is learning to approach her problems instead of avoiding them.
From 7 to 10 years old, Deborah was raped repeatedly by her
uncle. In her teen years, she turned to drugs, eventually selling coke
in her twenties. A check-writing spree (to pay for her coke habit) led
to her to prison. A few years later, she ended up in prison again, this
time for selling meth-amphetamines.
Deborah served her time and completed a program for women in prison
Be Told, which
helped her turn her life around.
Seven is the inventor of an instrument called the Planck. It looks
similar to the neck of a guitar without the body, and is played by
tapping ones fingers on the instrument's 7 strings. You can see what it
looks like here.
Helen says her mother never treated her well growing up but says she
did nothing wrong and can't explain her mother's behavior. After Helen
had a son, her mother came by under the guise of a visit. In fact, she
took Helen's son and immediately filed for permanent custody. Many
years and court battles later, Helen's mother succeeded in getting
custody of Helen's son. That was over 20 years ago and Helen still has
no idea why this happened and does not believe there was any
justification for it.
Richard holds the patent to a disposable baby bottle; his goal is to
provide safe, healthy formula to babies in third-world countries where
there's no access to clean drinking water. And, yet, despite his good
intentions, every step of the way towards getting those bottles there
has been thwarted by greedy people, says Richard. He has bizarre
stories to tell about partnerships gone sour, thieving attorneys, and
|James Clayton, Part 2
James was on the show two weeks ago (see February 20 above) talking
heart attack he had at age 35. He came back on the show to discuss two
aspects in greater detail: his near-death experience (where his
grandfather foretold things that would happen in James' life) and the
series of hallucinations he had while in a coma for a month. See also
Part 1 of the interview on February 20, below.
3, 2009, almost a year later, James Clayton was arrested for allegedly
breaking into friends' homes and stealing $60,000 worth of bicycles.
Apparently there are several warrants out for his arrest in Arizona for
similar reason. Who knew that I was interviewing a bicycle thief?!
(Alleged bicycle thief, I guess I should say.)
|Jarrett Crippen a.k.a. The
Jarrett is Austin's very own superhero! He went on the Sci Fi Channel
TV show "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" as The Defuser, and beat out 9
other contestants to win the title. The Defuser is a supercop who
catches criminals without using deadly force, and successfully defuses
explosive situations with his clever gadgetry.
On June 29, 2007, Diane's son Lance committed suicide. Diane shares the
details of how he died, why he did it, and what she's doing about it.
Diane created the Lance Benjamin Memorial Scholarship Fund, which
will provide scholarships to gay youth. You can check it out here.
In 2000, Jared took a dive into the Rio Grande. The next thing he knew,
in a hospital, paralyzed from the neck down. Jared now paints, which he
accomplishes by holding a brush in his mouth. To see his work, click here.
Jared talks about his painting, along with how he handles the tasks of
|James Clayton, Part 1
At the age of 35, professional mountain bike racer James Clayton had a
heart attack. After being resuscitated, he was medically induced into a
coma to prevent shock. One month later, he awoke and basically had to
start learning how to move all over again. Now 41, James is a very
active cyclist and the owner of a cycling coaching business. See also
Part 2 of the interview on March 5, above.
February 3, 2009, a year later, James Clayton was arrested for
allegedly breaking into friends' homes and stealing $60,000
bicycles. Apparently there are several warrants out for his arrest in
Arizona for similar reasons. Who knew that I was interviewing a bicycle
thief?! (Alleged bicycle thief, I guess I should say.)
Author of Damned
to Eternity, a book about James
Scott, the only person to be
convicted for intentionally causing a catastrophe. Scott is spending
life in prison for causing a levee to break in Missouri during the
Great Midwestern Floods of 1993. Adam portrays an unsavory portrait of
Scott, yet effectively sheds doubt that Scott is actually guilty of the
is off the air
for 3 weeks due to a fire (intentionally set) to our studios. See
January 30 below for an interview about it.
Dept. Chief Greg Nye, Andrew Dickens, Leah Manners
the night of
Saturday, January 5th, a fire was intentionally set to KOOP Radio's
studios. On Monday, January 28th, Paul Feinstein was arrested for the
crime, which he confessed to. Paul Feinstein was a former DJ at KOOP
and a well-liked volunteer. In this show, we talk about what happened,
possible motives, and how
led to Paul.