Podcast 0: Introduction

In This Episode: For practice, and to test out the new hosting platform for the podcast, I thought I’d do a quickie (5-minute) introduction. As promised, it’s set up so you can download it manually if you wish.

Episode 1 will come out on time on Friday (7 July).

How to Subscribe

You can subscribe via iTunes, or using many other apps that use the iTunes directory as an information source.

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Those of you who don’t use iTunes can usually still rate and review the show through your app. Thank you for helping others find Uncommon Sense by your ratings and reviews!

But You Can Still Subscribe, if you’re a bit savvy, by using the direct “RSS feed URL,” which is https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast

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Show Notes

Each episode will have a page like this, and will include “show notes” — links of anything mentioned in the episode.

With a quick intro like this one, there aren’t any show notes. 🙂

Also on each episode page, I plan to provide a transcript. It may take a week or so for the transcript to be added when we’re doing the regular “live to tape” shows. Since this episode was both pre-planned and short, I already have it ready. See below.

Previous Episodes

A list of all episodes (most recent first) is on this page.

Comments and Questions?

Your comments on this episode are welcome below. Questions can be added there, sent via this site’s Contact Page, or tweeted to @ThisIsTrue.


Welcome to Uncommon Sense, the This is True Podcast. I’m Randy Cassingham, and this is Episode number …well, zero. Pretty much, this is just a quick introduction to the show. My goal is to have a 20-to-30-minute episode each week as a parallel to the email newsletter.

This is True is, as far as I know (and I have been looking), the oldest Entertainment newsletter on the Internet. It was launched in early 1994, and has published every week since then to tens of thousands of email subscribers.

TRUE, as I call it for short, is social commentary using weird news as its vehicle. I bill it as Thought-Provoking Entertainment — with entertainment being its first mission so it’s fun to read. It’s amazing, and even funny, to see the results of the lack of common sense in the general population.

But just laughing at it would be pretty shallow, so the goal is to be thought-provoking, at least over time, since the world really needs more thinking. A lot more. And if you’re not sure that’s true, just wait until you read — or hear in the podcast — the stories TRUE covers.

And here’s a tip: read the stories to your kids, or, if they’re a bit older, let them read the stories themselves. One thing we’ll be exploring in upcoming episodes is how parents use This is True to teach their children the value of thinking — and the consequences of not thinking. Common sense is anything but common in our society, which is why I’ve recently adopted the tag “Uncommon Sense” for TRUE’s web site, and using that as the title of the This is True podcast.

Now, we all make mistakes. We’re all stupid sometimes. With TRUE, we can see ourselves in the stories. A common comment from readers over the years when commenting on a story is, “I’m glad I’m not THAT stupid!”

If you’re smart, you’ll learn from the stories. Or the way I say it is, if you’re smart, you learn from your mistakes, and if you’re really smart, you learn from the mistakes of others. And that’s what the This is True newsletter has explored since 1994.

What really makes it work is that the stories really are true. I do think that there is such a thing as objective truth, and over time, the stories published in the newsletter help illuminate the truth of the human condition. But that comes with a caveat: when I use the title “This is True,” I do so with the knowledge that the news media often doesn’t get every exact detail correct. Hell: even eyewitnesses who were paying attention often don’t agree on what happened. So what I strive for is to ensure our summary of each story is at least true to the news report, because, again, TRUE is news commentary, and the goal is that the entire body stories illuminate the big picture.

I’ll have a co-host most of the time, to be introduced in Episode 1, and from time to time, there will be special episodes that feature one of my favorite rants, so you can literally hear them in my voice.

If your podcast app allows it, please do rate the show, and maybe write a short review once you’ve heard a couple of episodes: ratings and reviews are critical to podcasts to find new listeners, especially on iTunes.

So please do subscribe via iTunes, via the This is True web site (at thisistrue.com/podcast), or through your favorite podcast app. Of course, if you’re new to This is True, I hope you’ll subscribe to the text newsletter, too: it’s the core of my work; there’s a subscribe form on pretty much every page of the web site at thisistrue.com. I believe you’ll be amply entertained, and you’ll certainly gain an amazing appreciation for what happens when people don’t think.

Thanks for listening, and look for the regular weekly episodes. I’m Randy Cassingham, founder of This is True, and I’ll talk at you soon.

Originally posted 5 July 2017

11 thoughts on “Podcast 0: Introduction

  1. First off, good voice. The lead-in and lead-out music was kind of catchy too. I linked over from the email, played it directly on the site, then downloaded to my desktop and played a bit of it again. Everything looks good. Didn’t have to adjust volume or anything. I’m looking forward to episode 1. Thanks for the teaser. Hear you Friday.

    Thanks much for your feedback! My biggest peeve with podcasts is lousy audio, so we worked hard to make the audio top notch. -rc

  2. Cool beans! It’s interesting how different reading can be from listening- kinda like the missing comma (“Let’s eat gramma/let’s eat, gramma”). I have always enjoyed almost every newsletter, so I’m looking forward to interacting with the podcast.

    And yes, obliviot has entered my vocabulary, and is in my dictionary…

  3. I too, listened directly from the email link and read the transcript as I listened. I’m excited to be part of the first audience of listeners… I’ve received your newsletter for too many years to count but it’s been through at least 5 different computers and 2 email providers over the years. (Maybe you can tell me when I began following you?). At any rate, the audio was clear and smooth, I’m not really a morning get-up-and go type of person, not one who talks right out of bed, but I listened while having my 1st cup of coffee and there was nothing objectionable audio-wise to disturb my slow ascent into my day! Thanks for all you do!

    Early subscription records are incomplete, and change of providers almost always means change of address, so I wouldn’t know what to look for even if I did have records. But I can say that you upgraded to Premium on 22 April 2007, and have never let it lapse. -rc

  4. I subscribed to the RSS feed in my podcatcher, and it tells me “No episodes found”.

    Yeah, I saw it that way in my app, too. 🙁 I’ll be asking my tech to look at it when he gets in. Another reason why it’s smart to do a “pre-episode,” eh? -rc

    • Now it seems to be working! Lets see what happens when Ep 1 goes up.

      Yes, figured out the problem. Working now on getting #1 cranking. -rc

  5. FYI, I get a “couldn’t find a podcast feed at this URL” error in Overcast (iOS podcast player) when trying to manually add the feed URL https://thisistrue.com/feeds/podcast – not sure if related to the other error report, figured I’d report it anyway.

    Thanks: I assume it’s related. It’s in the tech’s ballpark now. -rc

  6. Thanks, Randy. Just one suggestion from my many years as a software engineer. If you rename that as episode000 and always use three digits, your podcasts will sort by name in the expected order — unless you run this series for longer than 19 years (if there’s a chance of that, use four digits). I cannot tell you how frustrating it is (and how often this has happened to me) to search and search for something that might or might not be missing, when the numerically named somethings do not all have the same length. 297 comes between 29 and 3.

    Good point. I do presume I’ll do them for at least two years, so three digits it is — at least in the feed titles/file names. -rc

  7. Congrats on getting the podcast started! Interestingly, when I searched for it, I found some of your old (from 2009) video feeds. 😉 Don’t know if you want to add them to the ‘historical’ feed for this podcast? Just an idea.

    I have subscribed using iCatcher! which is my podcast app of choice on iDevices. I’ll wait (impatiently! 😉 ) for Episode 0 to appear in my feed ’till I actually listen to it.

    Heh! I like your plan. My tech is so far stumped. How non-techie people do this, I don’t know! As far as the old videos, I’d prefer to keep them separate. -rc

  8. Sounds good. Also sounds like it’s going to be very interesting. Can’t wait to hear episode#1.

    I’m sure it’ll take us a few episodes to really get up to speed, but I think it’ll be pretty entertaining. -rc

  9. I enjoyed your first 2 podcasts and am looking forward to more. Thanks especially for the tip about Podcast Republic for Android. One of the coolest features (for me) is the playback speed adjustment.

    I love that, and the 15-second skip forward (for the “yeah, I’ve heard this 30-second intro a million times already”) or back (for the “WHAT did he just say?”). -rc

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