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
Originally posted 12 February 2018
In This Episode: You want to know what TRUE is really about? Then listen to this one — don’t read the transcript. You’ll hear the true passion of one of my rants, because it’s in my voice. Seriously: if you don’t have a podcast player, stream it from the Show Page.
Continue ReadingPodcast 025: The Rants Get Serious
Originally posted 5 January 2018
Updated with Post-Eclipse photos and video. (Jump to Updates) A solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface. This can happen only during a new moon when the sun and the moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to … Continue Reading
Originally posted 6 August 2017
Long-time readers know that This is True was created while I still had a Day Job. It was a very cool job: I was on the engineering staff at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1986-1996 — True was started in 1994, so there was a two-year overlap).
Shortly after I left to pursue True full time, a friend of mine there took over a public outreach program: the “Solar System Ambassadors” who help educate the public about what NASA (and JPL in particular) are doing.
Continue ReadingBehind the Scenes at JPL
Originally posted 3 July 2017
I Think Alexander Went Too Easy on the schools in a story this week. First, let’s start with the story, from True’s 23 February 2014 issue:
Continue ReadingWhy People Die in Gun Free Zones
Originally posted 24 February 2014
The first most people in the world heard of paramedics was “Johnny and Roy” (Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe) — the lead medics in the Emergency! TV series (NBC, 1972-1977) based on the real life exploits of the Los Angeles County Fire Dept., which was one of the early pioneers in modern Emergency Medical Services.
But they weren’t the first.
Continue ReadingThe First Paramedics
Originally posted 11 November 2013
The NBC television show Emergency!, which ran 123 episodes on NBC from 1972 to 1977, plus six made-for-TV movies that aired in 1978 and 1979, did a lot to make the public aware of professional Medics, playing a significant role in elevating the profession from mere “ambulance drivers.” The show starred Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe as Paramedics Johnny Gage and Roy Desoto, running out of the fictitious Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Station 51. It was the last show created by Jack Webb (of Dragnet and Adam-12 fame).
Continue ReadingRandolph Mantooth: Still Active in EMS
Originally posted 11 September 2013
It’s 2012. There are no more adventures. Been there, done that, seen it, ho hum, right?
There are still adventures to be had in this world, and several of them happened this past week.
Continue ReadingThere Are Still Adventures
Originally posted 15 October 2012
I posted this on Facebook on Sunday. The response was amazing:
Continue ReadingThe Worship of Joe Paterno
Originally posted 23 January 2012
Old jokes clogging your inbox are bad enough. Stupid “warnings” about the most unlikely hazards are worse: they irritate the smart people and panic the dumb ones. Now and then, when someone forwards an urban legend to a bunch of people, they really pay a big price.
Continue ReadingDon’t Forward That Warning!
Originally posted 16 January 2012
Today I’m working while listening to my collection of “weird Christmas music,” which I’ve compiled over the years. Things like the “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” mashup duet — by Bing Crosby and David Bowie in 1977. Yeah, really.
Continue ReadingChristmas Blues
Originally posted 19 December 2011
There’s a story that’s going around (and around, and around) that’s so full of crap, I thought it was time to set the record straight — it has turned into an urban legend. It also has some profound implications on how someone is trying to manipulate you.
Continue ReadingThe Few, The Proud, the Falsified News Story
Originally posted 5 November 2011
I can’t just title this page “The End of the World” because that has been predicted before. And before that. And before that, and — well, you get the idea.
Continue ReadingThe End of the World: 2011 Edition
Originally posted 16 May 2011
Yet another astounding story from the front lines — our nation’s schools.
From True‘s 28 November 2010 issue:
Continue ReadingThe Opposite of Zero Tolerance
Originally posted 3 December 2010
People often try to tell me California is the weirdest state in the union. No way, I always reply: Florida is. I find more weird stories there than from any other state, even though California (with about 37 million residents) has twice the population as Florida (with about 18.5 million). One of their newspapers even has a recurring feature called “FloriDuh” — they know the weirdness that permeates the state.
Originally posted 24 May 2010
My recent blog post analyzing a Zero Tolerance case (Patrick Timoney’s “Gun”) showed just how crazy people can get trying to control others, and their desire to punish non-transgressions just the same as if the person was actually doing something wrong. Most people fully got the point. Others, to my shock, didn’t.
Continue Reading1984 in 2010: a ZT Influence
Originally posted 22 February 2010
I generally don’t want suggestions for True‘s Honorary Unsubscribe feature; my usual problem is having far too many possibilities for the one slot each week. In July 2009 a new trend started: people wanting me to do an Honorary Unsubscribe write-up for Ed Freeman, a brave Vietnam War helicopter pilot who saved about 30 shot-up kids and was awarded the Medal of Honor — the U.S.’s highest military decoration.
Continue ReadingEd Freeman and Political Manipulation
Originally posted 4 January 2010
Some readers will be a bit puzzled why I would spread this message in my blog: “Do not, under any circumstances, be interviewed by the police without advice from a lawyer.” You have a right to remain silent, and I urge you to exercise that right. Especially if you are innocent.
Continue ReadingDon’t Talk to the Cops
Originally posted 5 June 2009
Anytime I run a “gun story” I get a lot of comment from both hugely polarized Americans, who want to rant for or against guns, and foreign readers, who don’t understand the American “obsession” with arms. I’m going to take a stab at helping foreign readers understand it a bit better. But first, the “gun story” that prompted this essay, from True’s 15 February 2009 issue:
Continue ReadingGuns in America: Why?
Originally posted 16 February 2009
I mentioned in my post last week that being in Washington D.C. was “more surreal than usual” because it was election time. Well, imagine being inside the White House just two days before the election! Because indeed, that’s where I was.
Continue ReadingVisiting the White House
Originally posted 10 November 2008