Questions and Answers: Volume 12

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Podcast Transcript

I’m at the store buying something at the checkout counter, and I’m talking to the cashier. A guy overhears my voice and says, “are you that guy from the podcast?”

I reply, “Yeah, I have a podcast.”

He says, “Well, I love your podcast, and I want to sponsor it for one million dollars.”

I said, “That’s great”.

He says, “But there’s a catch. You have to go with me right now to sign the contract.”

So, I told him, “I’m sorry but I can’t.” 

He asked why, and I said, “it’s because I have to go and record installment number 12 of questions and answers on this episode of Everything Everywhere Daily.

Let’s get started with the first question. Andrew Reck asks, “When you were doing travel photography, what did your kit include? (what was your) Go to lens for urban or streetscape photos? Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc?”

When I began traveling, I purchased a Nikon D200. It was a crop sensor camera, which was fine, but I always had issues with how it performed in low light. I eventually upgraded to a Nikon D300s and waited for years for Nikon to upgrade their crop sensor line. 

After years of waiting, I finally gave up and decided to switch platforms completely. I eventually purchased a Sony a7rii. It was a big switch not only going from Nikon to Sony but also from a crop sensor to a full-frame camera. 

I never carried very many lenses with me. It just isn’t practical for doing travel photography. Lugging everything around got in the way of getting shots, and having to change lenses in the field caused problems as well.

I only used three lenses on a regular basis. A 50mm f/1.2 prime lens, which I have to admit I seldom used, a 16-35mm wide angle lens, and a 24-240mm super zoom lens. 

Those lenses really were able to do pretty much everything save for wildlife photography. I had a 600mm lens that I used for wildlife, but I wouldn’t usually travel with that.

That being said, since I started the podcast, I haven’t taken my camera out of my bag. 

Matt Goulet Top asks, “Do you think if the Allies were successful in assassinating ?Hitler, it could have turned the war in Germany’s favor, given a more competent military leader could fill his place?”

It totally depends on when the assassination happened.  The most serious attempt to kill Hitler was Operation Valkyrie, which took place in July 1944. The plotters behind the assassination didn’t plan to fight the war better. They wanted to come to terms with the Allies. 

Honestly, I don’t think there is anything the Germans could have done once they invaded the Soviet Union. In the big picture, the resolution of the Second World War wasn’t a matter of decisions on the battlefield. A more competent ruler might have made the war go on longer, but I don’t think it would have changed the outcome. 

Once the United States was in the war, the industrial advantage, coupled with the Soviet’s manpower and the British navy, put the Germans in a position they couldn’t win. 

Craig Oliver asks, “Outside of the Packers, what sports teams do you follow?”

I tend to support all of the Wisconsin teams. This is definitely a down year for football in the state, but the Bucks are doing OK and recently won a championship, and the Brewers are perpetually disappointing. 

There are several sports that don’t have teams in Wisconsin. In those cases, most people either support teams in Chicago or the Twin Cities. Given that I lived in the Twin Cities for years, I tend to support the Wild in hockey and Minnesota United in soccer.

Outside of the state, I’ve adopted Liverpool as my English Premier League team., and Bilbao as my La Liga team. In International Rugby Union, I tend to support the All Blacks, which I saw win the World Cup back in 2011.

Michael Miller asks, During your travels, have you ever encountered paranormal activity, voodoo, or something akin to that? If so, what happened, and do you believe in the paranormal?

Nope. I have never experienced anything like that, and I don’t really believe in it. There has been an explosion in cameras over the last ten years. Billions of people around the world now carry a camera in their pockets every day, yet there hasn’t been an increase in photographic evidence. What little exists is still blurry photos. 

Sevy asks over on the Discord server, “What’s the most and least popular episode by listens? Usually, you do encore episodes that are statistically less listened to. Do you incorporate the data back in to see what the new popularity is?”

The honest answer is that I don’t know. There aren’t wild swings in downloads per episode. They are all pretty much the same. This has held true over the last few years. 

The least downloaded episode is probably one of the earlier ones, and one of the most downloaded episodes are a recent ones.

That being said, when people tell me what their favorite episode is, I never get a consistent answer. Different people like different episodes. 

One of the fundamental premises of the show is that the topics are somewhat random every day. I don’t want to let individual episode popularity determine what episodes I do in the future. 

I’ll just keep doing whatever topics I find interesting.

Nonato Nonnie Ramirez asks, Have you been to the Philippines, and what is unique that you can have a podcast about it?

Yes, I have been to the Philippines on two different occasions. I’ve explored Luzon, going up to Baguio, Banaue, and Vigan, and I also went to Puerto Princessa to visit the underground river. 

I haven’t done many episodes on the Philippines, but I do have several on my list. Topics I have in mind include Jose Rizal, the Siege of Manila, the history of Manila, and the Philippine–American War. 

Nonato Nonnie Ramirez also asks, “What is the most dangerous travel adventure experience you had? Risky travel due to weather or extreme sport or natural disasters or crime?” 

The most extreme thing was probably a hike I made to the Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia. The people organizing it told us nothing about what it entailed. In fact, we didn’t even know we were going to be hiking. 

Erta Ale is basically an open lava pit, one of the few like it in the world. It is also located in the Danakil Depression, one of the hottest places on Earth. As we were driving there, the temperature reached 50C or 122F, probably the hottest I’ve ever experienced.

Before we got started, they gave us beers, which it turned out was a horrible thing to do because alcohol gets you dehydrated. We still had no idea what was in store.

It turned out we began the hike after sunset because of the temperatures. We walked for hours in the extremely hot night desert…and we had no water, and our guides were walking so far ahead of us they had no idea we were getting dehydrated. 

Were it not for the fact that a guy with a camel was following behind us with water, I’m not sure what would have happened in the pitch dark of the Ethiopian desert. 

When we finally got to the volcano, there were noxious fumes. Other groups that were there had gas masks because they knew what they were getting themselves into. We did not. We had to put ourselves upwind to avoid the fumes we had no idea we would be encountering. 

In the middle of the night, we began walking to get back before sunrise.

What made the entire episode so bad was that I had no idea we would be doing it. We weren’t prepared. 

I’d actually do it again, but only because I know what I’d be getting myself into now.

Tim DeLong asks, “Have you ever been recognized by a listener because of your voice? Like in a checkout line or while ordering at a restaurant?”

Nope. It has never happened, and to be honest, I’ll be shocked if it ever does. 

Fabio Fidanza asks, “How did you come up with the title music?” 

I selected the music from a stock music website. It is only a small snippet of a much larger piece. I actually played the entire piece on episode 100 of the podcast if you want to listen to it. 

Jerry Gardner asks, “Did you dress up for Halloween? If so, who or what? Instead of handing out candy, did you give trick-or-treaters cards with fun facts on them? 

No, I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in probably 25 years. That isn’t to say I never will, but I’ve spent a lot of the last several years in places that didn’t celebrate Halloween.

Also, I didn’t give out any candy because I live in an apartment building that doesn’t have very many kids. 

That being said, if I was giving out something, I wouldn’t do something so lame as giving out cards with facts on them. If I did that, kids would rightfully toilet paper me or throw eggs at my door. 

If you are going to give something out for Halloween, do it right. Don’t give out fruit or popcorn balls. Fun-sized candy is the baseline. If you give that out, kids won’t hate you, but they also won’t love you. They will just forget you.

What you really want to do is give out full-sized candy bars. Yes, this will cost a bit more, but you will be remembered forever. I can still remember the houses that gave out full-size candy bars decades after I got them. 

Brian Ross asks, “What was the most memorable food you ate on each continent?”

In no particular order:

In Africa, it would be foul—a bean dish I had with shaved dried beef that I had in Cairo. I’ve never had it before or since, but it really stuck out in my mind. 

In Europe, I’m going to go with Calçots. These are usually only found in Catalonia. These are large green onions that are roasted over a fire, served on a terra cotta roof tile, and they are only served at the beginning of the year. 

In Asia, I’m going to go with a Japanese dinner that was served to me on the island of Yakushima. To this day, I’m not sure what I was served, but it was amazing.  I think I’ve mentioned this meal before in a previous Q&A episode.

In Oceania, I’m going to go with Poisson Cru. This is the national dish of Tahiti. It is raw fish in lemon juice and coconut milk. I had it from one of the food trucks that go around the island known as La Roulottes.

In South America, I have to go with an Argentine Asado, which is their version of BBQ. Argentina has the best beef in the world, and an asado is one of the best culinary experiences you can have.

In North America, I might go with a Boucherie than I had in Lafayette, Louisiana. It is a Cajun tradition where they use all the parts of a hog in a community celebration. 

…and I actually have an answer for the best thing I had in Antarctica. The answer is….ice. And no that isn’t a joke. 

When we’d go out from our ship in a zodiac, we would look for bits of glacier ice that were floating in the water. However, we had to find pieces that were crystal clear and didn’t have any bubbles inside to cloud it.

We would bring it back on the ship, and it would be used in the evening in the bar for drinks. We would literally be drinking part of the Antarctica ice sheet.

Finally, the last question comes from Janelle Alvstad-Mattson, who asks, “You’ve made so many episodes at this point that it made me curious if there are any topics you have told us about that you have already forgotten the details of.”

The answer is yes and no. 

For a long time, I figured there would come a day when I’ve done so many episodes that I accidentally did one that I’ve done before. 

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I’ll come up with an idea for a show and then remember what I’ve already done it. 

It isn’t an issue of forgetting things so much as a matter of recall. Once I see the episode artwork, everything tends to come back immediately. 

I would say that I could extemporaneously talk about the vast majority of the episodes I’ve done without any preparation. And for some episodes, I could probably talk ad nausem about them. 

The remainer, I think I’d probably just need a few minutes to review what I have already done.  

So, it isn’t a case of completely forgetting, but just needing a refresher. 

That’s it for this month. If you want to ask a question for next month’s Q&A just join the Everything Everywhere Daily Facebook group or Discord server. There you can get a sneak peek of what the next day’s episode will be, and can talk with other listeners.

You can find links for both destinations in the show notes.