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Andrew has written a memoir, The
Doper Next Door, about his yearlong adventure with doping. As a
journalist, he initially tried to interview everyday people who dope,
but they wouldn't speak to him. So, out of curiosity and to become his
own subject, he tried the drugs himself. During that year, he
experienced the improved performance and body that come with doping but
also the hormonal changes and mood swings, as well as exposure
to the seedy underbelly of doping subculture. Andrew's work has
appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Outside, and other publications.
In 2010, Jonathan drove a '59 Renault Dauphine from Austin to
Alaska and back. To help you understand the significance of this, Time
magazine rated this car one of the worst 50 of all time. Yet, for
Jonathan, an auto mechanic specializing in foreign vintage cars, this
trip was simply an adventure and a challenge.
Ben is the director of Winnebago Man, a
hit 2010 documentary
about Jack Rebney, known as "the angriest man in the world" after the
profanity-riddled outtakes from his 80s Winnebago ad shoot went viral.
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDQQfBrSUs0) Ben went in search of the
hermit Jack Rebney and found him, and made a fascinating and funny film
about the experience.
Apoko & Linda Freiheit—Global Youth Peace Summit
The Global Youth Peace Summit, put on by Amala Foundation,
took place August 6–13. The summit brought
together 70 refugee, immigrant, local and
international youth from more than 25 countries for a conference
devoted to peace, dialogue, cultural awareness, and the importance of
service to others.
Many of the youth who attend have
experienced the atrocities of war, genocide, extreme poverty, religious
persecution, child labor, gang violence, and neglect. Some of these
children have literally run for their lives; many have been uprooted
from their native cultures and struggle to integrate into an entirely
foreign world. I interviewed Evaline Apoko, who was kidnapped by a
rebel group in her homeland of Uganda and forced to live with them for
3 years. After a bomb dropped, blowing off half her face, Evaline
escaped to freedom. She was one of the Peace Leaders at the Summit.
Linda Freiheit, youth director for The Amala Foundation, also joined us
in studio to tell us more about the work they do.
The 555 Collective
is an arts organization that supports survivors of violent trauma.
Joseph Carman, who founded it, understands violent trauma well, having
grown up in an armageddonist cult until age 16. He
worked as a psychologist with the Texas Youth
Commission, where he witnessed numerous examples of suffering, and also
worked as an investigator for judges specializing in sex cases.
Joseph's goal for the 555 Collective, as he puts it, is
"to make sense of the world by
creating something beautiful amidst all the pain
and ugliness I've encountered."
Giselle is the author
of The Modern Muse, a book about
learning that we are
each our own gurus or muses, and don't need to seek out gurus in order
to find our own inner wisdom. Giselle came to this realization after a
long journey to find herself, which included: becoming a yoga teacher,
learning Buddhism, following a spiritual master for years (which turned
out to be a cult that shut down in scandal), hunting for
gold, and following a guru in Argentina.
On March 9, Crockett was on the show talking about
the pituitary tumor and major cerebral hemorrhage he had, the latter of
which almost killed him. He had to learn to walk and talk all over
again—and still has some speech difficulty. Crockett has a PhD in
Applied Physics and was a research scientist at the University of
Iowa for almost 30 years. The reason I had him back on the show is
that Crockett's professional opinion is that the World Trade Center
pre-planted explosives, and not from fires due to the plane
attacks, as the official report states. He believes the official
explanation is a swindle and has written a book on the
Swindle on the World Trade Center,
detailing all the evidence for his assertions.
||Eric Michaud & Jamie Schwettmann
& Eric met while working at Argonne National Laboratory, a division
of the Department of Energy focused on science and engineering
research. (They are both super smarty pants.) Eric has a strong
background in security and Jamie has always been interested in picking
locks and tampering. On the show they explained why it's easy to pick
locks and tamper with tamper-resistant devices, and even explained how
to do such things. Picking locks is a visual thing, so if you're
interested to learn more, they are teaching a lock picking class next
Wednesday, July 27 at Nerd
||Dinesh Ranasinghe & Diane McDiarmid
– Austin Paralympic Experience
On Saturday, July 16, Texas Rowing For All-Paralympics Sport Club and
the US Olympic-Paralympic Committee are sponsoring a 1-day event, where
citizens with disabilities learn and participate in several water-based
sports, adaptive tennis, handcycling and other activities. The event is
free and open to the public. Diane is the founder of Texas Rowing for
Dinesh will be one of the participants and he has an extraordinary
story in his own right. His right leg was amputated at age 9 and, as an
adult, he became an avid athlete. In addition to participating in
adaptive softball, football, basketball, and rowing, and having his
scuba license, Dinesh has climbed to Mt. Everest Base Camp
(and summitted a nearby peak, Kala Patthar) and climbed to the top of
Mt. Kilimanjaro. He shares his inspiring story and attitude with us.
Steven is an Army
veteran with a chronic stomach
disease called gastroparesis. In the last 9 years he has been in the
hospital 84 times, and gone through 13 surgeries, 4 heart attacks and 7
kidney failures. His constant companion is his dog Djaingo, who
comforts him and can alert the neighbors when Steven needs medical
attention. Steven and Djaingo have gotten fame via YouTube—in
a video Steven created, he and Djaingo say grace.
Stephanie came on
Inner Views May 18 and talked
about her past life of heroin addiction, prostitution, burglary and
prison time. She is coming back on to share another aspect of her life:
Stephanie is transgender. We'll find out what it was like for her
growing up, when she made the transition, and how that affected her in
various ways, including when she was a prostitute.
2009, Carla adopted a beautiful 8-month-old
baby boy named Julian. The boy's parents were drug addicts and had been
giving their infant Nyquil to sleep. Carla was thrilled to have Julian
and loved him very much. But just a few months later, Carla was
notified that CPS was coming to take Julian away because the parents
had changed their minds and wanted him to go to a different family. In
Carla's heartwrenching year-long battle, she fought to keep
him—but ultimately lost.
Smith Hale & Nadia Esseghaiar
Sofia is a
15-year-old freshman at Austin's
McCallum High School. She created a movie short that is screening at
Cannes Film Festival in May! The film is titled "How to Be Kids" and
features her friend, Nadia, which was shot in the course of one weekend
in response to a film class assignment to make an instructional video.
Her film teacher was so impressed that he submitted it to the film
festival's Short Film Corner. As I write this (May 17), Sofia &
Nadia are in Cannes.
Growing up, John's
parents just weren't around, so
he and his sister essentially raised themselves. They were also poor
and no one at school wanted to be friends with John. Craving attention,
he got in the with the wrong crowd and, from a young age, started
getting into trouble, including drugs, theft, armed robbery, auto theft
and more—leading him to jail many, many times. One day, John had
a moment that changed his life—he cleaned up his act, started a
church to help others like himself and has been happy and thriving ever
County Jail Organic Garden
accused of being soft on crime, Travis
County Sheriff Greg Hamilton doesn't care because, if learning how to
tend an organic garden helps inmates learn a skill and stay out of
prison, then he's all for it. In its first summer, the garden produced
1 1/2 tons of vegetables, including pumpkins, radishes, beets,
broccoli, peas, spinach, carrots, winter peas, mustard and collard
greens. Joining me in the studio from the Sheriff's office were Pete
Trotman and Sgt. Dianne Bratchett.
was born to alcoholic parents. As one of seven children where
every single one of them became addicted to drugs or alcohol,
Stephanie's drug of choice was heroin. Whatever you can imagine someone
doing under the influence of heroin, Stephanie has been there,
including 8 years in prison for robbery and burglary. One day, she
finally realized she was done and got sober. She is going on 4 years
clean and works for an agency that helps people with HIV.
One day in 2008,
Barbra all of sudden collapsed on
the floor, having lost the ability to use her legs. She was diagnosed
with one of the most severe cases in the world of Guillain-Barré
Syndrome, a neurological disease that attacks the immune system causing
temporary paralysis. She has written a book about the experience, Why Didn't I Die?, in which she describes the
almost-total paralysis that overtook her, the loss of sight, hearing,
and speech, the coma she went into, as well as her long and difficult
||Texas State Bus Roadeo
you know that bus driving is also a sport? The Texas State Bus Roadeo
showcases the safety, customer service, and technical skills of
operators and mechanics in the 35' Bus Division, 40' Bus Division, Para
Transit Van Division, and Maintenance Division. This year Austin's
Capital Metro bus drivers took home half the trophies, and winners will
be competing in the - believe it or not - International Bus Roadeo in
Memphis on May 22. Winners from this year's competition joined
me in studio to tell us about this (very serious!) sport.
||The Road to
In 2009, I interviewed Delia Meyer, whose brother Louis Perez has been on
death row since 1999. She steadfastly maintains his innocence and has
been visiting him regularly all these years. Now, the Austin
Documentary Collaborative is creating a film, The
Road to Livingston, about her almost-weekly journeys to the prison
and the people and places she meets along the way. Filmmakers Erik
Mauck and Chelsea Hernandez join me in the studio and share fascinating
stories of the characters they meet.
Israel grew up surrounded by drugs, alcohol and
At age 13, he started to sell drugs himself, forming a crew of 9
"business associates" who traveled as far north as Michigan selling
pot. At 18 he got ratted out and sent to prison for a total of 5 years.
Israel is now 40, owns his own remodeling business and has turned his
life around. He also volunteers with at-risk kids, becoming, as he
puts, a "stepping stone" rather than a "stumbling block" for them.
Tri's son Nathan has
a rare genetic disorder called Pelizaeus-Merzbacher
Nathan is just 7 months old and has a prognosis of
1–3 years. His brain is not developed and he can't hold up his
head, walk, talk, or feed himself. Tri also doesn't believe he can see
or hear. The gene is carried on his wife Teresita's side and PMD has
wreaked havoc on many members of her family.
Sharon is a Realtor today but in the 60s, she was a nun.
She grew up in St. Louis where the parish was the center of activity
and, for her, entering the convent was a pretty natural step. Her
parents supported her - her friends thought she was crazy. What was it
like inside the convent? What was the daily routine? What were the
rules? Sharon says she had a lot of fun - what exactly is she talking
about?!?! Sharon answers all these questions and more.
since she was a child, Cristen has been entering contests . . . and
winning! She won the mother of all contests in 2008: a yearlong trip
around the world from Lonely Planet.
It was a photo contest—see Cristen's winning
(Scroll down to the Golden Gate
Bridge) Cristen shares details of that trip, and talks about some of
the other contests she's won.
– Documentary About the "Texas Two"
About Better This World:
Two boyhood friends from
Midland, Texas – David McKay and Brad Crowder –
under the sway of a charismatic revolutionary ten years their senior.
At the volatile 2008 Republican Convention the "Texas Two" cross a line
that radically changes their lives. The result: eight homemade bombs,
multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high stakes entrapment
defense hinging on the actions of a controversial FBI informant. I
interviewed Brad Crowder, producer Mike Nicholson and cinematographer
Crockett has a PhD in
Applied Physics from the prestigious
Caltech. He considers this to be the greatest accomplishment of his
20s. He was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor and later had a major
cerebral hemorrhage, which almost killed him. Crocket had to learn how
to walk and talk all over again, which he considers to be the greatest
accomplishment of his 40s. He never stopped working as a physicist, and
has published all or part of 7 books and over 100 papers.
Most of us are
familiar with the bestselling book by
Robert Kiyosaki, "Rich Dad Poor Dad." But most of us don't know that
Keith Cunningham is Rich Dad! Keith's own story is incredible: He had
amassed $100 million in real estate, only to lose all of it (ALL of it)
during a real estate crash, declaring bankruptcy in 1991. Keith has
since re-amassed millions by buying and growing businesses and teaching
business seminars. His company is Keys
to the Vault.
Andrew is a filmmaker whose credits
Is, which I interviewed him about in 2009. (Listen here.) Andrew is working on a new film, The Teller and
about the search for Francis Wetherbee, a 24-year-old
bank teller who disappeared without a trace from Smithville, Texas in
1974. Andrew discovered her through a haunting photograph and decided
he had to try to find her (and make a film about it), which has
literally taken him around the world on a 5 1/2 year search. The Teller and
the Truth is slated to open at
SXSW in 2012.
||Carl Webb & Hart Viges
Carl and Hart joined the army in 2001
and both left in 2004
because they stopped believing in what they were doing. In Carl's case,
he became an army deserter just after being called to Iraq and went
underground. Hart became a conscientious objector for religious reasons
shortly after returning from Iraq and received an honorable discharge.
Brandon drag races motorcycles and
the speed record at San Antonio Raceway at 211 mph. Oh, and Brandon is
17 years old. He's been riding motorcycles since age 4, racing since
age 15, and now looking to turn pro. He has won 72 trophies in the 2
years he's been racing.
Rick has competed in
America (RAAM) 6 times. The RAAM is known as the world's toughest
bicycle race, and completing it just once is seen as an extraordinary
accomplishment, let alone 6 times. The 3,000-mile race starts on the
West coast and ends on the East coast and, unlike the Tour de France,
there are no stages, no start and end time each day — it is one
On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech
Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting spree, killing 32 people. Austin
Morton was a student at Virginia Tech and the resident adviser for
Seung-Hui Cho at the time. Austin shares what it was like to be at
Virginia Tech, to know who the killer was, and to come to terms with
Jason was born with Cystic Fibrosis,
genetic disorder that causes excessive mucus production, making it
difficult for Jason to breathe. Though given a 3-year prognosis, Jason
is now 31. But the antibiotics he take to keep his lungs clear have led
to renal failure. Loathe to go on dialysis, which would radically
change his life and likely make it difficult for him to manage the
Cystic Fibrosis in other ways, Jason is now on the transplant
list—but he needs a double lung as well as a kidney transplant.
He is raising money for the $800,000 operation and
$5,000/month cost of anti-rejection drugs.