000: Podcast Relaunch Introduction

In This Episode: Uncommon Sense relaunches this week with a slight change of focus.

000: Podcast Relaunch Introduction

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Show Notes

  • To help support Uncommon Sense, see the Patron’s Page, or the form in the sidebar.
  • If you already subscribe to the podcast with an app, you don’t have to do anything to continue to get it. The “feed” remains the same.
  • Yes, the No Longer Weird list will be maintained, and added to. But additions won’t be mentioned in the podcast episodes.
  • I will continue to have transcripts of each episode made for those who would rather read than listen (or want to know what that mumbled word was!)
  • I appreciate your listening. -rc


Welcome to the relaunch of Uncommon Sense, the podcast of This is True. This “Episode Zero” is a brief introduction.

I’m Randy Cassingham, founder of This is True, and like my newsletter, I mean for this podcast to provide thought-provoking entertainment, but they’re going to be doing that in slightly different ways.

The This is True newsletter, available at thisistrue.com, is the oldest online entertainment feature, launched in June 1994 and written every week since. TRUE mostly tells stories of people who didn’t think, who couldn’t muster up an ounce of common sense when they needed it.

While that’s certainly entertaining, simply laughing at what I call obliviots isn’t really the point. The idea is to also be thought-provoking by showing just how dumb we humans can be — all of us — and why taking just a little more time to think is such a good idea. They’re the kinds of stories that smart parents read to their kids, or, if they’re a bit older, they let them read the stories themselves. Many parents have told me they use This is True to teach their children the value of thinking — and the consequences of not thinking. Not by trying to scare them about unlikely scenarios, but story after story after story of real people who did truly dumb things, and either suffered the consequences or put a huge burden on others — and usually both! And best of all, the kids can draw those conclusions themselves, which really drives home the lessons.

The first year of the podcast pretty much extended that theme, often retelling or getting deeper into the stories from the newsletters. But the episodes that I really liked the most, and were often the most popular, were actually a little bit different.

Those were the episodes where I talked about people who did think, and therefore enriched our lives. They went above and beyond, and provided a positive example for kids, and adults, to follow. They are, as I’ve often said, the people who exhibit Uncommon Sense — which, after all, has been This is True’s tagline for a while now — it’s what I’m trying to encourage. Yet their stories are not often told very widely, and I aim to change that.

So I’ve taken down that first year of the podcast. For this relaunch, I’ll be focusing more on the totally cool people who set good examples. Since some of the previous episodes did focus on that, at least in part, I’ll be re-recording and re-releasing them, so the best stuff won’t be lost, don’t worry!

You can listen using your favorite podcast app, which automatically downloads episodes for you, or you can stream each episode from its Show Page on the This is True site. That page will have a transcript of its episode, and will include any links available for more information.

Two of my favorite episodes are coming up soon: my impressions when I went to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to witness the destruction of the Cassini spacecraft, and the story of a woman who realized the best way to help her country was to become a spy, and outsmart the Nazis. I’m aiming for each episode to be in the 10-15 minute range.

So please do subscribe, rate the show through whatever app you use, and enjoy! And, please, try to exhibit some Uncommon Sense at least once in awhile.

The Show Notes for this episode are at thisistrue.com/podcast0. I’m Randy Cassingham … and I’ll talk at you later.


Note the comments below start with comments on the first year’s intro. You’re welcome to add your thoughts on the relaunch.

14 Comments on “000: Podcast Relaunch 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

    • I’ve learned that lately, “Best Practice” is to not use episode numbers at all — the podcast apps automatically sort by date anyway. The actual MP3 files, though, will still be named with episode numbers so if you download, they’ll always be in the right order.

  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

  10. I’m glad this Podcast will resume even if it’s with a different focus. I’ve missed it very much. Keep up the good work!

    Thanks, Gilah. Episode 1 will be out Monday morning. -rc

  11. Don’t forget to do episodes like mind over matter, while getting rid of b.s. excuses can be hard, it also is uncommon sense. It takes a new point of view to change a mind. Your episode literally changed my mind on how I do things. That episode changed my family’s way of eating and looking at what we do. So you have changed my life and have probably helped to extend my life through your advice. You and Kit have also managed to talk some uncommon sense into 2 teenagers, we have all quit soda within a week of that episode and now drink water almost solely. So thank you for your time and efforts.

    No worries, I do understand that is uncommon sense! And kudos to you for keeping your mind open to other ways of thinking, and realized what your family was doing was unhealthy. -rc


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