Randy Cassingham’s Blog

Author’s Notes from This is True® — Thought-Provoking
Entertainment Online Since the Internet’s Dark Ages.

Note: Randy’s blog — more than 600 entries — goes back to 1994, the start of This is True itself. If you’d like to read through all of them, it’ll take you awhile — but you’ll be amply entertained. The first entry is here: Introducing My Blog, and there are links at the bottom of each page (above the comments) to get to the next entry.

Note 2: See bottom of this page regarding comment photos.

Blog Categories: 

A Listing of ALL Blog Entries is here — the listing is long: there are over 600 pages. Note there’s a search function in the navbar if you’re trying to find something specific. The following is a listing of the most-recent entries:

  • Cosmic Comeuppance - This Week’s Newsletter (dated 1 July 2018) is the first in True’s 25th(!!) Year. It’s a solid issue with tragedy and comedy, and this blog post has examples of both. While you may seethe at the first story, you’re almost guaranteed to laugh by the end of this page. Let’s start with some outrage, remembering ... Continue Reading
  • Podcast 040: What a Talking Ape Can Teach Humans - In This Episode: It's easier for young children to learn basic sign language than to speak, and what a head start they get on learning! Proof of concept: a gorilla. It's a fascinating episode of the Thinking Toolbox. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast40
  • “…But You Can’t Make Them Think.” - Yesterday, I created a fun True News, or Fake? quiz (“5 questions, not easy. 🙂 ”), and introduced it in the free edition of the newsletter this way: Before the Stories: Can you tell True news from Fake? The concept sure has been in the …uh… news lately! And you’ve had plenty of practice while reading ... Continue Reading
  • Podcast 039: Mind Over Matter - In This Episode: Mind Over Matter, or how to defeat your rationalizations so you can make a needed change. Plus a segment of No Longer Weird that maybe hasn't even appeared in This is True before. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast39
  • Michelle Wolf and Other Famous Names - It Has Been Weird to see all the news coverage lately for comedian Michelle Wolf, who was thrust into the limelight after a searing routine at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where comics commonly roast the president — although the famously thin-skinned Mr. Trump refuses to go to the dinner, unlike most. Why “weird” for ... Continue Reading
  • Online News: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back - Sometimes I Smile, Sometimes I Roll My Eyes: About the news business, that is. As a news commentary column, news is, of course, the road this publication drives on. Here’s what I mean. True’s Honorary Unsubscribe the week of May 20 featured Bill Gold, known for being a prolific creator of movie posters. On May 28, the Los ... Continue Reading
  • Podcast 038: Can’t Hold Us - We're Back! We talk about another pack of clueless, ridiculous school officials who run rampant over students -- and a meek "anything goes" school board. Plus a segment of No Longer Weird. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast38
  • The Race to Pluto - Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto by Alan Stern & David Grinspoon I’ve been waiting for this one! After pre-ordering months ago, this book arrived on its publication date: May 1 — and it’s spectacular. In the early 1990s, I worked on the Pluto mission pre-project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, so ... Continue Reading
  • Podcast 037: What IS Thinking? - In This Episode: The question is harder to answer than you ...think! But really, what IS thinking? Plus, if you use the "Dunning-Kruger Effect" to judge other peoples' thinking, you're doing it wrong -- says Dr. Dunning. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast37
  • Podcast 036: The Way to …Spain? - In This Episode: Another No Longer Weird story for the list, why episodes will be a bit sporadic over the next six weeks, and the role model that is Homer Simpson. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast36
  • Can’t Help But Laugh - When readers unsubscribe from the free newsletter, the service I use allows them to send feedback — and while not everyone provides that, I always read it when they do. Happily, the most-common feedback is along the lines of “I’ve upgraded to Premium” so they don’t want the subset of stories in the free edition ... Continue Reading
  • Podcast 035: “Why Should I Have to Develop a Sense of Humor?” - In This Episode: Another story based on religion, another complaint from a reader asking "Why should I have to develop a sense of humor?" In this week's podcast, my response to that question.
  • Podcast 034: Mind Triggers - In This Episode: Scenarios are a great way to do long-term planning and thinking, but here's a great trick for short-term results. Also: another segment of No Longer Weird. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast34
  • Dust Storms May Exist - While Driving Across southern New Mexico this morning, I rolled my eyes a bit at a warning sign: “Dust Storms May Exist”. Well yeah, so might space aliens bent on beaming someone up from the desert. Reminds me of the one I see farther north: “Icy Conditions May Exist”. Are lawyers writing road signs now? ... Continue Reading
  • A Quarter Century of Increasing Optimism - “Why Aren’t You Cynical by Now?” It’s a common question: I’ve been writing True for nearly 25 years now, chronicling the sometimes staggering obliviocy of our species, but I still have an optimistic view of humanity. In fact, my optimism has increased over time — probably because I’m such an avid people-watcher. So I sigh ... Continue Reading
  • Podcast 033: Don’t Say You Haven’t Been Warned - In This Episode: Whether you “need” a monkey (wait… what?!) or “want” something for nothing, scammers are eager to take your money from you. And what’s No Longer Weird this week. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast33
  • Podcast 032: The Poison Keyboard - In This Episode: A really interesting cautionary tale for anyone who posts anything online -- on social media, on a review site, even a comment on a blog. Can you be sued ...and LOSE? You bet! Even if you "don't listen to podcasts" you might want to try this one -- or at least read the transcript. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast32
  • 1989: An Amazing Year for NASA/JPL - Note: I actually wrote this in January to explain the background on an item I had put up for auction. It was deleted once the auction was over, but a reader wanted to be able to point someone at the text because he thought it was interesting. So here it is. –RC It Was Truly ... Continue Reading
  • Podcast 031: Letting Kids Set Boundaries - In This Episode: Following on the previous episode, a lot of child abuse could be stopped if we encouraged our kids to set boundaries — and then we honored them. The story from the middle school in Utah where girls were not allowed to say no to boys asking them to dance really drives this all home: the rule actually sets girls up for abuse. Plus another segment of No Longer Weird. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast31
  • When Good People Do Nothing - See Update Below Last Week’s Story about the teacher-student sex scandal in a Colorado school — the principal and vice principal were indicted for failure to report the case, as required since they’re “mandatory reporters” of child abuse under state law — is followed up this week by another that really applies to the whole ... Continue Reading

How to Include Your Photo on Comments

You’ll note some comments include a photo representing the commenter. The comment system uses Gravatar to pull up user photos. Register there if you already haven’t; it uses your e-mail address to associate your stated address when you comment with your Gravatar account, and then it’s automagical on any site that uses Gravatar (which is a lot).

If you wish to remain anonymous and not have your photo show, then add an “address” tag to your address (because comments that use fake addresses are automatically rejected). That is, if your email is your.name @ gmail.com, you can use a tag like your.name+nopic @ gmail.com — that changes your address enough that it won’t pull up a photo. You’ll still get notifications (if you sign up for them), too.

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