Uncommon Sense: True’s Podcast

This is True’s Podcast, Uncommon Sense, debuted 7 July 2017 — with the first issue of the publication’s 24th year. A new episode comes out most every Friday to get your weekend off to a great start.

To See a List of Available Episodes, scroll down or click here.


You can subscribe via iTunes, or using many other apps that use the iTunes directory as an information source: just search for “Uncommon Sense” and look for the graphic shown here. You can also subscribe directly through our RSS feed (RSS links are how podcast apps find new episodes). That direct link is https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast/

Too complicated? You can also listen by going to each episode’s “Show Page” and clicking on the Play button at the very top.

What’s a Podcast?

Podcasts are how I listen to my favorite radio show, NPR’s Science Friday, as well as several other high-quality shows with information I want or need. With iTunes on an iPhone or iPad tablet, you can subscribe to any of thousands of different titles that automatically download to your phone. You can listen to the shows at your convenience, and that way you can hear shows you really want to hear, rather than what happens to be on the radio when you are on the road needing something to listen to. I don’t like brain-rot shows that are interrupted every three minutes by strings of even more brain-damaging commercials; I want to listen to what I really want that makes me smarter, or is at least intelligent entertainment.

Not an iPhone/iPad Person? Actually, I’m not either: I use an Android phone myself; there are plenty of podcast apps you can get free that will download, manage, and play the shows you subscribe to. I now use Podcast Addict since it’s highly configurable and flexible, but not terribly complex to figure out how it works. Like many such apps, it can be set to only download shows when connected to WiFi (to not use up your mobile data plan).

Show Format

The True podcast is a “live to tape” show (read: very light touch on the editing, like removing technical snafus). It will decidedly not be a recording of me reading stories: I’ll usually have a co-host, and we’ll talk about the stories, interview guests, talk about the “story behind the stories,” and, yes, from time to time you’ll be able to hear some of my “rants” about various issues, in my voice, coming to you for 20-30ish minutes each week, on Fridays. In other words, it’s completely separate from the newsletter, not an audio version of the newsletter. It’s also free, with sponsor and/or reader support (via the existing Patreon page).

Episode List

  • Podcast 041: I Learned There Are No Boxes - In This Episode: A This is True reader was shown Uncommon Sense — and adopted the practice for himself. A profoundly moving episode that shows how even terrible humans can change. John's story is one of the most powerful ever told by a reader. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast41
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Podcast 030: What ‘Mandatory’ Means - In This Episode: A home-town story has a notable parallel to a national story, and they both hinge on men in power taking advantage of the young -- while other supposedly responsible adults failed to do their legal, and "mandatory", duty. It was a tough one to record, and it'll be tough to listen to, but it's an important, and thought-provoking, issue: what would YOU do? Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast30
  • Podcast 029: I Thought You Were a Christian Organization! - In This Episode: Two segments of No Longer Weird to catch up a little, and one of the most ridiculous reader complaints about a story EVER (and my response). There’s a twist at the end: even in this kind of hilarity, there’s a real lesson to be learned about The Human Condition, supplied by an amazing reader letter. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast29
  • Podcast 028: I Have a Scenario For You - In This Episode: A remarkable letter from a reader who was inspired by This is True to do ...what?! And another powerful tool in the This is True Thinking Toolbox: Scenarios aren't just for critical situations, but everyday life. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast21
  • Podcast 027: Thinking in Emergencies - In This Episode: Thinking in emergencies, as didn’t happen in Hawaii -- but here’s how to do it better at home using the first tool in the "This is True Thinking Toolbox". Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast27
  • Podcast 026: That’s Not Hypocrisy, It’s Clear Thinking - In This Episode: Is it a contradiction to laugh at Oregon and New Jersey for not allowing self-serve gas stations, AND to urge businesses to offer better customer service to help them with online competitors? At least one reader thinks so, and here's why he's wrong. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast26
  • Podcast 025: The Rants Get Serious - 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: https://thisistrue.com/podcast25
  • Podcast 024: A Second Opinion - In This Episode: A very different kind of episode: we talk about a story that's not from the newsletter, but rather one that's too long and complex to be shortened to 100ish words plus a pithy tagline. It's an amazing story of hope and renewal that's perfect for the New Year. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast24
  • Podcast 023: It’s Tough to Find a Hero - In This Episode: It's really fun to find patterns in weird news stories: Randy gives a couple of "paired" examples. But really: people have to turn to weeds and rocks as "heroes"?! Certainly "celebrities" and national leaders aren't worthy of being looked up to these days. Yet another entry in the No Longer Weird file, and a fun Easter Egg at the end. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast23
  • Podcast 022: Death is Taboo? - In This Episode: A wonderful, uplifting story …about death. Would U.S. paramedics been praised for such an action, or reprimanded? Patreon really screws up, and then walks back their announcement with apologies. And another segment of No Longer Weird. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast22
  • Podcast 021: All About Mawwaige - In This Episode: A couple in Australia was so upset over the possible legalization of SSM — Same-Sex Marriage — they promised to ...get a divorce in protest. Flash update to that story. And another segment of No Longer Weird. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast21
  • Podcast 020: A Teaching Opportunity - In This Episode: A teacher gives sixth-graders an "inappropriate" quiz, and how that loops into an "inappropriate" military stunt from last week's issue, and another segment of No Longer Weird. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast20
  • Podcast 019: The Headlines Lied - In This Episode: Announcing a new podcast. Another No Longer Weird. And then there are the lying "Marijuana Overdose Death!" headlines: agenda-driven clickbait shockers that many other media outlets jumped on with without checking the facts first. It's stupid, and wrong. Plus: a fun Easter Egg. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast19
  • Podcast 018: Think Harder - In This Episode: Kit thinks we should go deeper into the featured story to really understand the "thinking" implications: it's not all about laughing at a funny tagline. Plus, I explore Kit's approach to coaching a bit more, since I had some questions after hearing her on a couple of other podcasts! And: another segment in No Longer Weird. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast18
  • Podcast 017: How to Lose Everything, Instantly - In This Episode: More on the story about the loss (to fire) of the Hewlett-Packard archive of papers about their early formation, with a special guest connecting in from the coast to talk about how that could have been prevented. Because H-P's loss has a lesson for all of us, which is why I called the story "Wake-Up Call". Plus, another segment of No Longer Weird. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast17
  • Podcast 016: Unfit for Office? - In This Episode: A new co-host, an interesting question from a reader, another segment in No Longer Weird, and a story about a political candidate who is ...a bit "out there." WAY out there. And, of course, another segment of No Longer Weird. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast16
  • Podcast 015: That’s Legal Now - In This Episode: A complaint about last week's featured story, which leads to why prices online end in "77" (vs ".99" offline), another segment of No Longer Weird, and how to be so stupid you can get busted for possession of marijuana in Colorado -- where pot is legal! Plus: why Uncommon Sense doesn't have "sponsors". Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast15
  • Podcast 014: An Act of Charity - In This Episode: A mostly seasonal segment for No Longer Weird. Then, it seems like just a funny story, but a crusty donation to a food bank maybe isn't so charitable after all, and -- when you think about it -- demonstrates the value of thinking about your actions before doing. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast14
  • Podcast 013: How ADD Made TRUE Possible - In This Episode: Society seems to think ADD/ADHD is some sort of curse. Yet when properly managed, it provides "superpowers" that are an absolute gift. Randy and a special guest -- his high performance coach (who specializes in entrepreneurs with ADD/ADHD) -- talk about why that is, and what it takes to get away from the "monsters" that are created by society dealing with our neurological types. Plus, an extra-fun segment of No Longer Weird. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast13
  • Podcast 012: Hurricane Response …Florida Style - In This Episode: Hurricane Irma is a major disaster, so how does Florida handle the aftermath? With typical Floridiocy, of course. Plus, another segment of No Longer Weird, and the story of an everyday hero. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast12
  • Podcast 011: Cassini: The Bigger Picture - In This Episode: From California, where I came to see and reflect on the End of Mission for the Cassini spacecraft -- its so-called Grand Finale. This isn't about the mission per se, but rather the thinking behind it, how that fits into True’s mission, and how that ties into this week's Honorary Unsubscribe! In other words, The Bigger Picture. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast11
  • Podcast 010: Zero Tolerance - In This Episode: No Longer Weird: An obliviot trying to pass a 99-cent "$1 million bill". And it's Episode 10: you're darn right it's time to do a bit of a rant on zero tolerance! We talk about an older case that was so clearly a case of "Sue 'em!" -- that the family did. But it sure wasn't an easy road, in part because the offending school fought it hard. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast10
  • Podcast 009: We Need Better Heroes - In This Episode: When the people in charge fail our kids. And what, really, is the lesson kids learn when sports gets high priority, but the things that they're actually in school to learn are cut? There's a direct connection to this week's Honorary Unsubscribe here, and we delve into both the school story, and that "awe-inspiring" Honorary Unsubscribe. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast9
  • Podcast 008: A Little Bit Brighter - In This Episode: A "new" term is introduced to be the contrast to "obliviot" -- and something else really bright (or is that dim?) from Real Life this week: Randy is at a loss for words trying to describe the total solar eclipse. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast8
  • Podcast 007: A DUI-What? - In This Episode: We talk about two stories: the new "DUIE" law in Washington state, that was the subject of last week's "Story of the Week", and a fairly amazing story also from last week, about a minor slap on the hand for an apparently long-term sexual predator. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast7
  • Podcast 006: The Best of Humanity - In This Episode: While the stories in This is True usually point out the pitfalls of not thinking (or "obliviots doing stupid things"), the Honorary Unsubscribe holds up the best of humanity. This episode not only features a interesting example, but adds some extra details and commentary. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast6
  • Podcast 005: Politics, Religion, Oh! And… - In This Episode: Politics and religion can't be talked about in polite society? Don't forget sex (eek!) A new occasional segment, "No Longer Weird" (stories that are too commonplace to be featured as a This is True story anymore). Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast5
  • Podcast 004: Forget Polite, Let’s Talk Religion - In This Episode: "We're told that in polite society that you don't talk politics or religion." Yeah, whatever! Let's go there. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast4
  • Podcast 003: Reading TRUE to Kids - In This Episode: A topic I've been wanting to talk about for literally years: should you consider reading This is True to your kids? Lots of parents do -- or let the kids read it themselves. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast3
  • Podcast 002: Political Unrest and Insider Tours - In This Episode: The Missouri Parole Board was awfully bored, so why not mess with people's lives? Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast2
  • Podcast 001: My Co-Host - In This Episode: "This is Episode 1 ...so we'll probably flub it up!" I said in the opening. But you know, for our first try, I think it's a pretty decent effort. 🙂 Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast1
  • Podcast 0: Introduction - In This Episode: An introduction to This is True, and the Uncommon Sense Podcast. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast0

Originally posted 22 May 2017

4 thoughts on “Uncommon Sense: True’s Podcast

  1. It would be great if, in addition to podcast and web listening, it was also possible to download episodes as plain MP3 files. To some of us, a good ol’ MP3 player is much easier to use than a smartphone.

    Looking forward to hearing you 🙂

    When your device downloads a podcast, it is downloading an MP3 file. But yes, I’ll make manual downloads possible too. Thanks for making sure. -rc

  2. I was amused by your statement about Science Friday that, “I don’t commute, so I was pretty much never in my car when the show was on…”. It is possible, you know, to buy a radio that works inside your house 🙂

    Heh! Yeah, radio is just one of those things I Just Don’t Do at home. Interestingly, I will listen to a podcast — but even those I’d rather listen to on the go. -rc

  3. At least two other “uncommon sense” podcasts already exist.

    I checked for trademarks, but I didn’t even think about checking podcast directories! I found a third, but only one is still active: it covers “all things Chesterson” (I assume writer G.K.) I’m OK with that: not much overlap. -rc

  4. Did the Uncommon Sense podcasts stop?? (Hope not). Last one I received or listed as available, was #033. Haven’t seen any mentions as to status.

    No, I did announce in the newsletter that we were going to skip one due to travel. Timing ended up being such that we were too exhausted to record one when we got back, so it ended up being a two-week skip. We’ll be back later this week. -rc

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