The Kids return to the tunnels that lead from Willard Library to uncover the truth behind the strange Russian whispers and learn more about the Green Clawed Beast that lurks beneath the streets of Evansville, Indiana. They concoct a plan to capture the beast and in the process discover a strange containment unit that holds secrets that will affect The Kids' world in ways they never could have imagined.Tales from the Loop is a tabletop role-playing game that explores the lives of kids living in the 80s. It examines the mundane moments of school life and nagging parents, mainly exploring the mysteries that surround these small towns through the eyes of children. The world is depicted in the artwork of Simon Stålenhag, a crossing point of retro-futurism and nostalgia.What is The Loop? Technically, The Loop is a huge underground particle accelerator built under your hometown. These are the mysteries that the children explore in order to escape from their everyday lives. What they discover is meaningful, magical, and life changing.A Tales From the Loop RPG Live Play Utilizing Foundry VTTJoin us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dreamslayerstudios.entertainmentCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters and Orphans of the Blip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music underscore in this episode provided by Eric Matyas - www.soundimage.org
Just in time for Halloween! The Orphans travel to Ravencroft Sanitorium in search of Lilith's brother, the man signed in as Patient 86. In a "Silence of the Lambs" quid pro quo, some questions are answered, but more riddles abound before all hell breaks loose. And who is the waifish little girl locked up with all of the super-powered criminally insane inmates? All this and more as the orphans meet The Sun King!Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the immediate aftermath of Thanos' Snap, this series follows the exploits a group of young heroes trying to find their way in this near apocalyptic new world. Left completely alone after the Blip, they are brought together by chance - will they get past their differences and forge a new path or wallow in their misery? These are the Orphans of the Blip!A Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play utilizing Foundry VTTCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music from this episode may come from the following sources: https://www.darrencurtismusic.com/https://tabletopaudio.com/https://www.digitaljuice.com/
I go over the promotional tactics that have worked for me for The Haunted Zoovie. Use this as a reference. To see all these tactics go to my IG: @conorholway Use my: - Blip billboard tactic - Celebrity Shoutout Tactic - IG Story tactic Also Don't Use: - My Tik Tok Strategy - The Man on the street content - My Venice Beach Car PA System Tactic —— Get Tix to The Haunted Zoovie Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-haunted-zoovie-tickets-426109965377
The Orphans are back! After licking their wounds from their confrontation with the Bushman and his mercenaries, The Orphans are paid a visit from a certain lawyer from Hell's Kitchen, Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil. After being schooled in the Sokovia Accords, the team sets out to learn more about Lilith's father and come face to face with the man who was present at the time of her father's Blip - the enigmatic Dr. Druid!Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the immediate aftermath of Thanos' Snap, this series follows the exploits a group of young heroes trying to find their way in this near apocalyptic new world. Left completely alone after the Blip, they are brought together by chance - will they get past their differences and forge a new path or wallow in their misery? These are the Orphans of the Blip!A Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play utilizing Foundry VTTCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music from this episode may come from the following sources: https://www.darrencurtismusic.com/https://tabletopaudio.com/https://www.digitaljuice.com/
Tonight's rundown: Talking Points Memo: Is American sentiment shifting among voters? Corporate media working overtime to convince you otherwise. Independent pollster Scott Rasmussen joins the No Spin News President Biden with yet another misstatement. How much is he damaging the Democrats? The ACLU is giving incorrect data to those seeking asylum at the border American Airlines has agreed to a settlement over unfair baggage fees This Day in History: John Lennon and Yoko Ono were arrested for marijuana possession Final Thought: Amazing News Bias In Case You Missed It: Read Bill's latest column, 'Trump's Revenge' Get a BillOReilly.com Premium Membership today and get "Killing the Legends" free! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This interview features Zach Blume, Co-Founder and President of Portal A. We discuss how he built a 360 monetization strategy for an early Internet video series, launching one of the first branded content studios with his childhood friends, creating one of the most well-known and longest-running digital formats in YouTube Rewind, how Portal A ended up selling a minority stake to Brett Montgomery's Wheelhouse, why feeling like outsiders is central to their identity, and what's up next for the Portal A team.Subscribe to our newsletter. We explore the intersection of media, technology, and commerce: sign-up linkLearn more about our market research and executive advisory: RockWater websiteFollow us on LinkedIn: RockWater LinkedInEmail us: firstname.lastname@example.orgInterview TranscriptThe interview was lightly edited for clarity.Chris Erwin:Hi, I'm Chris Erwin. Welcome to the Come Up, a podcast that interviews entrepreneurs and leaders.Zach Blume:We built a business model around it that included merchandise, ad revenue share, ticketed events, and sponsorships. And so we actually ran that show at a profit, even though it was early internet video web series. And the idea was to build an entertainment property on the web that could become multi-season, could eventually travel to TV, which it did. It later became a TV series called White Collar Brawlers. It was super experimental, and I would say, looking back on a fairly innovative for three guys who had really no idea what we were doing and had no training in any of this, we built an entertainment property on the internet that was profitable.Chris Erwin:This week's episode featured Zach Blume, Co-Founder and President of Portal A. So Zach grew up in Berkeley and had a self-described normal suburban life of sports and friends. Zach then went to University of Oregon to study political science and pursued an early career running local political campaigns in California. But an opportune moment reunited Zach, with his two childhood friends to create one of the internet's earliest digital series White Collar Brawlers.After some unexpected success, the friend trio then became the founding team for Portal A, an award-winning digital and branded content company. Some highlights of our chat include his 360 monetization strategy for one of the earliest internet video brands, what it takes to co-found a successful company with your friends, how they landed a strategic investment from Wheelhouse, why feeling like an outsider is central to their identity, and how they're building towards the next massive creator opportunity. All right, let's get to it. Zach, thanks for being on the Come Up podcast.Zach Blume:It's a pleasure to be here.Chris Erwin:From our conversation yesterday, amazingly, I believe this is your first podcast interview ever. Is that right?Zach Blume:It's true. A lot of interviews over the years. Some predating the podcast era, some during the podcast era, but I'm honored to be invited onto yours. I've listened to a bunch of episodes, and we'll see how it goes.Chris Erwin:Awesome. All right, so as is typical, let's rewind a bit before we get into the whole Portal A story, although it actually starts pretty early on. So why don't you tell us about where you grew up and what your childhood was like?Zach Blume:Yeah, I grew up in Berkeley, California, the son of two die-hard New Yorkers who had moved out to California. My dad was born in the Bronx. My mom was from Manhattan. They were part of the New York exodus to California, and I was the first kid in my family who grew up in California and, of all places, Berkeley, childhood filled with lots of sports and playing in the street and all that good stuff. And the really interesting tie to the Portal A story, obviously, is that I met my two co-founders when we were somewhere between four and five years old. The stories differ, but we met in kindergarten, and we're close friends basically since we were little kids and played a lot of basketball together growing up. And the court that we played basketball in was called Portal A, which eventually became the name of our company 25 years later. The founder story of Portal A is very tied up in the childhood story of all for all three of us. I live in Oakland now, so I didn't stray too far from home.Chris Erwin:Got it. I remember in doing a little bit of research for this episode, I was trying to look up Portal A parks around the US, and I kept finding some in Orange County, so I thought you were an NorC kid, but No, you're a NorCal kid.Zach Blume:I mean, I think if there's an opposite of Orange County, it would probably be Berkeley.Chris Erwin:That's probably right.Zach Blume:But the court was actually an El Cerrito, which is an adjacent town to Berkeley, and it still exists. It's still around, and we should probably go play some hoops over there, but we haven't for years.Chris Erwin:Yeah, that'd be fun. So I have to ask, what did your parents do?Zach Blume:My dad has a business background. He runs and, up until actually six months ago, ran an investment advisory firm helping individuals manage their investments. It was a small company, five to six employees, just a great business, really community based, all about relationships and helping people manage their life and their money. And yeah, it's taught me a lot about business growing up, for sure.My mom was a therapist. She's retired now. She was a private practice in Berkeley. They've known each other since they were 20. They actually both went to the Wright Institute, which was a psychology graduate school in Berkeley. My dad was a psychologist briefly for about six months before he went back into business. And my mom was a therapist for 25 years. It was an interesting mix of business and psychology growing up, for sure.Chris Erwin:Got it. And were there any siblings?Zach Blume:No siblings? I'm the only one and-Chris Erwin:Oh, only child. Okay.Zach Blume:Yeah, interestingly, five of my closest friends, all groomsmen at my wedding, were from that same kindergarten class where I met Nate and Kai, my two co-founders. So there's definitely been a brotherly nature of those relationships. And at this point, I kind of consider Nate and Kai almost like brothers. We've known each other for 35 years, and we've been in business together for over 12 years, so it's pretty deep. Those relationships run pretty deep.Chris Erwin:Was there a part of you early on where you thought you might go into business and finance or become an investment manager like your father?Zach Blume:So there was also a lot of political kind of conversation and learning in my house. I remember from a very early age, my dad, when I was like eight, he would try to sit me down and read the Sunday Weekend Review in the New York Times. And it was like torture for me. But I think it got in there somewhere.In college, I actually studied political science and, for years, worked in the political world after I graduated from school. And I really thought that was my path, and it was for many years. I worked on campaigns. I started managing campaigns. I worked for political communication shop in San Francisco for years. I kind of burned out on the world of politics. I've since been re-engaged in a lot of different ways. But when I burned out on politics, that's when I thought I was going to go into business.I left the political world, was studying to go to business school, doing all the GMAT prep, and that's when Nate and Kai came to me and said, "We should make a web series together." Because I had a three-month gap, and it sounded so fun. We had made some stuff together just for fun earlier on. And so, while I was studying for the GMAT, I joined Nate and Kai to make this web series in the early days of internet video. And that's kind of the origin story of where we are today is that that web series, it was called White Collar Brawler. It was totally weird and crazy and awesome, and it started us on our journey to where we are today.Chris Erwin:Got it. So going back even a bit further, I'm just curious because you met your co-founders, Nate and Kai, back when you were in kindergarten, as you said, four to five years old, when you were in middle school, or when you in high school, were you guys part of the theater club? Were you creating any types of videos for your classes? There's something about meeting people early in your childhood, particularly in digital media, that I think blossoms into different relationships. So was there any kind of through line early on where you were interested in media entertainment before getting into PoliSci, which as part of your early career?Zach Blume:Yeah, I think there definitely was for Nate and Kai. There was less so for me. So Nate and Kai started making, maybe not in high school, but in their college years, they both went to school on the East Coast. This is like 2003, 2004, 2005. They started making internet, video, and web series when they were in college. And Kai was a film major, so he had some training, and they started just playing a lot of comedic stuff earliest day pre-YouTube, so quick time player-type stuff.So yeah, high school, I'm not so sure college for sure for them, at least it started building. And then, right after college, the three of us, plus another friend, grabbed a flight to Hanoi, bought motorcycles in Vietnam, and traveled across the country, and we made a web series called Huge In Asia.So it was like a 30-episode comedy travel web series, kind of just chronicling our journey across Vietnam. And then, they went on, I had to come back to the States for some work, but they went on to Mongolia, China, Laos, all sorts of different countries across Asia. That's where it really started for us the idea that you could not be in the formal, either entertainment industry or advertising industry. You could buy a pretty shitty camera, have an idea, start producing content and build an audience. And that was 2006. So the interest in internet video as a medium really started there.Then we all went our separate ways, and all did kind of normal early career professional stuff, but that Huge in Asia as an idea and an adventure was really the starting point for us. So yeah, so I would say the interest in video and film and just the distribution of it online started college years, and then the year after, we went to Asia.Chris Erwin:Got it. So just to add some context here, because I think YouTube was founded around 2004, and then it was bought by Google around '05, '06 pretty shortly after founding. So when you're coming out of college, I think this is around a 2006 timeframe, as you noted, when you guys decided to go to Asia and to do this motorcycle tour, was there a goal of, "Hey, there's an explosion in internet video, we have a chance to build an audience and make money off of this?" Or was it just, "Hey, this seems like a really fun thing to do. We're just coming out of college, we're kind of this in this exploratory phase, we like spending time with one another, let's go do this and see what happens." When you were thinking from the beginning, what was the end goal of that project?Zach Blume:Much more the latter. I mean, it was purely experimental. It was all about the adventure. I think there was a sense that we were at the dawn of something new, and I think that YouTube, Vimeo, I mean all the other platforms in the investment of history at this point, but there was an explosion of internet video technology that was enabling people like us to start making stuff. So I think there was like a sense that something was happening. It definitely was not a money-making endeavor. In fact, it was the opposite. And it was really just to experiment and play and see where it took us.Looking back on it, 15 years later, 18 years later, whatever it is, I think it's 100% served its purpose. We got our feet wet. We started experimenting. We started learning what worked, what didn't work, what audiences responded to, what made us happy. It kind of gelled our relationship as young adults versus as kids. And we never would've known at the time, but it did 100% lead to Portal A, and that's to where we are now.Chris Erwin:Okay, yeah, I hear you. I think, looking back in retrospect, it was definitely a catalyst to the forming of Portal A and where you got to where you are today, but it wasn't because when you came back from that trip, it wasn't like, "Oh, let's found Portal A and let's get going." You actually entered into the political realm for two to three years before founding Portal A, right?Zach Blume:Yep. That was always my plan, and that was the career I was going to pursue for sure.Chris Erwin:So, but the seed had been planted, but yeah, in '06, for the next two years, you become a political campaign manager. What campaigns were you working on?Zach Blume:First campaign was a Congressional campaign in Southern California. That was actually my first job out of college. We got trounced by 22 points in a very heavily Republican district by Mary Bono, who was Sonny Bono's widow. We had a candidate that we really liked, and it was the 2006 election, so it was kind of the midway point or the later stages of, I guess, Bush's first term. And there was a ground swell of just whenever there's a presidential election, two years later, the other party is the one that's like kind of getting their grassroots organizing on.So it was definitely an exciting time. It was an exciting election year. I happened to work on a campaign that was in a... It was Palm Springs. It was like that area, heavily Republican area, but I learned so much, and I was running a third of the district, and I loved it. I loved organizing. I felt like I was on the right side of history and doing the right thing.That then led to this fellowship that I did called The Coro Fellowship. I met one of my best friends on the campaign who had done the Coro Fellowship, and it was a year-long fellowship in political and public affairs. Everybody listening to this podcast will never have heard of Coro, but in the political and policy world, it's well-known and well-regarded, and that was a great experience. I got exposure across a bunch of different sectors, including government, labor unions, business, nonprofits, et cetera.Out of that, I started managing a campaign for the California State Assembly in Richmond, California, with a candidate, Tony Thurmond, who is now the Superintendent of Public Education in California. So he's gone on to do pretty big things. He's an amazing guy.And that led me to work at Storefront Political Media, which was a political media and communication shop in San Francisco that, at the time, ran all of Gavin Newsom's campaigns. He was then the mayor of San Francisco, obviously, is now the governor of California.I ran the mayor's race in Houston, of all places, elected Annise Parker, who was the first lesbian mayor of a major American city. And she was a fantastic executive out in Houston and then had a bunch of different clients, including firefighters unions, individual candidates. Ultimately, I was working for a client that was leading initiatives that didn't necessarily align with my own political values. And that was part of what led me to say I was ready to move on from the world of politics. So it was a fantastic experience, I learned so much, but that's what kind of prompted me to want to go to business school, which is what I was going to do until Nate and Kai came along and said, "Let's make a web series."Chris Erwin:Yeah. When you were working on these political campaigns and also working with Storefront Political Media, which is a national communication media and PR firm, were you bringing some of your grassroots internet video tactics to help build community, to help build influence and sway some of these elections? Was that part of kind of some of the unique flavor that you brought to these teams?Zach Blume:For sure, I was definitely the internet guy at that shop. I mean, there were a couple of us, there was a couple of coworkers who were of my generation. This was just when kind of Facebook was becoming a powerful tool for communications pre-Instagram, pre all those other platforms we're familiar with now. I definitely brought my expertise in video and the distribution of content online to that work. It was an interesting time politically. It was just at the advent of the internet as a powerful communications tool for campaigns.Chris Erwin:So then you're considering going to business school, you take the GMAT.Zach Blume:I got halfway through the class, and White Collar Brawler, that series, came calling. It was all-consuming. It was so fun. And we produced the hell out of that show, and it got a lot of notoriety. We got a big write-up in the New York Times, like big-Chris Erwin:Give us the context for White Collar Brawler again. What exactly was that project, and what were you supporting?Zach Blume:The log line was basically what happens when you take office workers whose muscles have become dilapidated by sitting in front of a computer all day long and train them to become amateur boxers. It just so happened that the two White Collar workers that were the stars of the show were Nate and Kai. So it was very, kind of like meta, we were the creators, and Nate and Kai were also the stars.The experimental part of it was shooting and producing the series in real-time. So there was an experiential element to the show, meaning as Nate and Kai were training to become boxers, fans of the show could actually come out and train with them, run on the beach in San Francisco or go to a training session with a boxing coach. We had events happening throughout the course of the show. It eventually culminated in an actual fight, a licensed fight in Berkeley between Nate and Kai for the Crown. And we had, I think, 1500 people showed up to that site and paid tickets-Chris Erwin:Was it boxing, mixed martial arts? What was the actual thoughts?Zach Blume:No, just old-school boxing.Chris Erwin:Okay.Zach Blume:It was the real deal. And-Chris Erwin:I may have missed this in the beginning. Who funded this? What was the purpose of it?Zach Blume:It was partially self-funded. It was partially funded by a friend of ours who had sold, in the early internet days, had sold his tech company to Google in one of the early Google acquisitions. So he just privately financed, I mean, we're not talking about big dollars here, and we built a business model around it that included merchandise, ad revenue share, events, ticketed events, and sponsorships, which I was in charge of in addition to other things.And so we actually ran that show at a profit, even though it was just an early internet video web series. It was actually a profitable property, and the idea was to build an entertainment property on the web that could become multi-season, could eventually travel to TV, which it did. It later became a TV series called White Collar Brawlers. And so it was actually super experimental, and I would say, looking back on it, fairly innovative in terms of for three guys who had really no idea what we were doing and had no training in any of this, we built an entertainment property on the internet that was profitable.Back to the question, I mean, that's what distracted me from going to business school because I felt like, first of all, I was learning so much, I was having so much fun creating content with two friends, and you just had a feeling that we were onto something and we didn't know what that thing was. We thought we were going to be an original entertainment company that would just make shows like White Collar Brawler, but we knew there was something. We knew there was a lot of activity and interest in this space. And so that took up all my attention and then took up my attention for the next 12 years.Chris Erwin:I will say from personal experience it saved you a couple of hundred thousand dollars and a lot of agony of actually taking that test.Zach Blume:Right, exactly.Chris Erwin:And being two years out of the workforce, speaking from personal experience.Zach Blume:Right. I know, I know.Chris Erwin:So, okay. And look, this is interesting to think about how you guys, as a founding team, were gelling and coming together. When you guys started talking, "Let's do this White Collar Brawler show as a team," what was your specific role, Zach? What was it like? What are you going to focus on?Zach Blume:Yeah, I mean, it actually reflects the role that I now play and ended up playing when we turned White Collar Brawler into a business. So Nate and Kai are more on the creative side, the creative and production side, both had experience. They had both actually before me had left their kind of "normal jobs," moved to LA, and started making internet video with a vision for again, "We don't know what it is, but there's something going on here, and we want to be a part of it."They had background as almost as creators themselves and also some training, actually with the physical act of production. So Nate and Kai were always much more on the creative side and the production side. And then my role was kind of capital B business. I was responsible for sponsorships. I was responsible for the operations of the show. I was responsible for where we were going to have office space, all that type of stuff. Basically the business side of creativity, and that's the same today. I mean, it's kind of like, it was just a foreshadow of the roles that we ended up playing as we were growing Portal A. And we've always had a super clear and complementary division of labor.I would say when looking for business partners, I think that might be, I mean, your rapport and your ability to communicate is lots of things are really important, but making sure that each person, each principal has a clear role and that they actually like that role and can succeed in that role is I think one of the keys to business success. So we've always had very clear roles. We've always liked our roles and felt like we belonged where we were. That's how it started with White Collar Brawler.Chris Erwin:That's awesome. Yeah, I have to give you some real kudos because you take very early on in your career, and in the digital entertainment ecosystem, you take an IP concept, and you create a diversified, sustainable business model around it where you have revenue coming in from advertising, sponsorships, merch, ticket sales, that's what many different IP properties want to figure out today. And many struggle to do that.Zach Blume:The only we could've described it back then as well as you described it now, but yes, that's basically what it was.Chris Erwin:Yeah, you look around at one another, you have this culmination in a ticketed event where there's over 1500 people pay to see the fight between Nate and Kai. And so you guys look around at one another and say, "Hey, we got something here." Is the next step? Let's found a business, call it Portal A and start doing this at scale. Or did it kind of just naturally happen, saying, "All right, let's find the next project and see where it goes from there."Zach Blume:It was much more, again, the latter. I mean, we did know that there was something brewing; I gave ourselves, at the very least credit for that. Did not have a business model. We did not have a plan. We had a kind of a concept and an idea and a good partnership. And I think that was really important too, is just how well we worked together.When we came out of White Collar Brawler, we had this idea credit to Kai. I believe we really wanted to do a show about whiskey, that that was going to be our next piece of IP that we wanted to develop and the concept behind the show, again because we didn't want, we were just going to be doing original series built for internet video was basically a distillery tour type show, but with a twist where there would be a membership model involved. And for anybody who was in a... 99% of viewers would just watch the show for the entertainment value, any type of good travel show that built that type of audience. But 1% of viewers would subscribe to the show and get a drum of whiskey. For each distillery that we were visiting as part of the show, they would actually get samples in the mail, and it would be kind of a whiskey of the month model married to an entertainment property.And we were coming out of White Collar Brawlers, we were visiting distilleries, getting drunk, trying to figure out this model. And we were super hyped on it. We thought it was a really interesting way to monetize internet video through subscriptions. And we even got into the logistics of shipping, and we were really going down that path, and in the meantime, we were broke, we were like 25 years old and-Chris Erwin:That was my next question. How are you funding all of this?Zach Blume:Well, we paid ourselves an extremely nominal salary. I would call it a stipend when we were making White Collar Brawler enough to survive. And then, coming out of that, we were trying to do our whiskey show, but that stipend went away. So we were without income, really. I mean, I remember going to Bank of America at some point, and there was so little... This is one of our funny stories that we tell each other. I remember this parking lot moment where the three of us had gone to Bank of America, where we had this White Collar Brawler account, or maybe it's a Portal A account. I'm not sure. And there was, I think, less than $1000 in there, and it was one of those like, oh, shit-type moments, and I remember going out to the parking lot and being like to Nate and Kai because I was always kind of the rah-rah guy of the three of us. And just, I remember basically having to give a motivational speech about that we were going to be okay, that this is going to be okay, despite the fact that we had absolutely zero money in the bank.That was where we were at that point. We were trying to figure out this whiskey idea, and then all of a sudden, because of the popularity of White Collar Brawler and some big YouTube videos we had made to promote the series, we started getting some inbound interest from brands. And that was never in the plan. We would think about sponsorships on our original series from brands, but never creative service worked directly to brands, and our first phone call was-Chris Erwin:Explain that difference for the listeners. I think that's a good nuance.Zach Blume:Yeah, I mean, if there was a business model, the business model we were considering was building properties like White Collar Brawler that could be sponsored by, in the best-case scenario, Nike or by Everlast, the boxing company, or by Gatorade or that's who we were pursuing for what-Chris Erwin:So think of title cards and brought to you by et cetera.Zach Blume:Exactly. Or like sponsoring events or merchandise or all that type of stuff. And we had some success, not from the big brands, but we had some success on White Collar Brawler with sponsorships from more regional brands, or like there were some beer companies and some smaller merchandising startups that were part of the sponsorship mix.I will say that we sent out about 500 to 1000 sponsorship emails and got about five sponsors. So we worked hard at it. And so that was the model we were going to pursue even for something like the whiskey show. We were going to look for sponsors and brand sponsors in that way. We never thought we were going to build a creative services company, meaning brands, an advertising company effectively, like brands hiring us as a service provider to create content. That was never, ever something we thought about.We started getting these phone calls. I remember being in a car one time, and I got this random call from a number I did not know, and it turned out to be a marketing manager at the Gap. Her name was Sue Kwon. Shout out, Sue Kwon, if you're out there. She was our first real client after White Collar Brawler. And we started making videos for the Gap, as kind of like a little agency production company.Then we got some more calls. There was a Tequila company that wanted us to make a web series called Tres Agaves Tequila. They wanted us to make a web series shot in Mexico about the origins of Tequila. Then we got a call from Jawbone, which was a hot Bluetooth speaker company at the time-based in the Bay Area. They wanted us to make a music video featuring a bunch of early YouTube influencers or creators.So we started getting these, we called them gigs at the time because literally all we were trying to do is pay our rent and so we could make the whiskey shows. We were just trying to get a little bit of income coming in so we could actually go out and make our dream whiskey show. And there were fun projects, and we weren't making advertising. We were making content, and that was a big difference for us. We weren't making pre-roll ads or 30-second ads. We were making web series for brands and music videos for brands and all that type of stuff. And without knowing it, we kind of stumbled across an area that was in high demand, which was brands trying to figure out what to do on platforms like YouTube and social media with video. We had established ourselves as understanding that world.So that's the origin of our branded content business which became the core of our business for many, many years was just one-off phone calls, unexpected phone calls, taking projects as gigs to pay the bills, and just kind of doing our best and seeing where it led.Chris Erwin:Hey listeners, this is Chris Erwin, your host of the Come Up. I have a quick ask for you if you dig what we're putting down. If you like the show, if you like our guests, it would really mean a lot if you can give us a rating wherever you listen to our show, it helps other people discover our work, and it also really supports what we do here. All right, that's it, everybody. Let's get back to the interview.What was the moment where you felt it evolved from, "Hey, it's the three of us rotating between gigs, hiring freelancers as need be, to what became a business, which is called a systematized and efficient way to deliver consistent quality around a good or service."Zach Blume:I think the first year was the gig model. It was just a patchwork of projects in order to generate some form of income. The second year it started to feel real. There started to be a fairly steady flow of inbound interests, and then a kind of something we be started to become known for a type of content. It was kind of humorous, entertaining, felt like it was native to the internet and to YouTube.I think in that second year was when it started to feel like a business, and then some light clicked for me that we actually needed to do some business planning and thinking, and I had no idea what I was doing. I mean zero, negative. Negative idea what I was doing. But I had grown up where my dad was a small business owner, so I had some exposure, but I just remember being it was just like a vast sea of unknown principles and requirements that I had to navigate.Chris Erwin:How did you figure that out? Did you put together an advisory board? Did you call your dad? Were you calling some other friends in business?Zach Blume:One of our earliest advisors was not a business advisor. He was our sensei in some forms in the earliest days. And this is another shout-out to Steve Wolf, who you may know, who was on the executive team of Blip, which was one of those many early internet video platforms. He really helped us understand the space.We did not have a formal advisory board. We did not have a board. And it was truly trial and error. That's the best way I can describe it. It was just using our brains and figuring things out through mistakes and successes. It is a total blur looking back on it, but I think we were a good partnership. We had our heads screwed on straight, and we kind of learned how to operate.Chris Erwin:Another important part, too, is, like you said, when you all looked at your bank account, and everyone's face went white, but you were the rah-rah guy, which is like, "Hey, guys, we're going to figure this out. Where there's a will, there's a way." And I think that's a very important role. Shout to Steve Wolf. He was one of the execs that oversaw the AwesomenessTV network when I was there in 2014, 2015 timeframe. Super sharp guy, OG in the digital space. So not surprised to hear that he was a valuable advisor to you.All right, so then I think there's another pretty big moment where your business takes an even bigger step up. And I think this has to do with becoming the official partner for the YouTube Rewind project. The moment where you felt, "Okay, we're really onto something here."Zach Blume:Yeah, it was coincidental. We were introduced to somebody at YouTube in 2011 as a three-person team that was making internet video content and mostly on YouTube. And Rewind was just a twinkle of an idea. I mean, it was like there was a minor budget. It was basically a countdown of the top videos of the year. The budget was, I think, $20,000 in the first year to make Rewind. And we shot it in a small studio location. It was one of our earliest projects, and it was before Rewind became Rewind, the big thing that many of us are familiar with. It was a major validator for us to start working with YouTube directly as a client. And Rewind eventually became a project that defined our growth for many, many years to come. But it started very, very small.Chris Erwin:From that project. You've been around for now for 12 years, being founded around 2010. What did the growth in scaling part of your business looks like? With YouTube Rewind and other marquee projects, you're starting to get a sense of what are we actually building towards. Was there a point of view there or like, "Hey, we have inbound interests, we're working with brands and advertisers," all of a sudden we're working with publishers, and were you just kind of being more reactive or was it a mix of being reactive and proactive?Zach Blume:The best analogy I can draw is to kind of riding a wave. This may resonate with you, but I don't think we knew what was around the next corner or what the next thing was going to look like. We were just building momentum in those early years and taking each project as it came. We knew we had something. We knew we had a good partnership. We knew we were starting to bring some really interesting, smart people to the team, clients that were really willing to push some boundaries. And I was learning as I went along how to run a business, and Kai was learning, and Nate was learning how to create amazing content, and there was not a lot of foresight. It was mostly about riding a wave and seeing where the wave took us. Then doing a really good job. That was really important because every project, the success or not success for the project kind of dictated what the next chapter was going to look like.So we just focused on trying to build some good fundamentals for the business, trying to make sure we were profitable because we had to be and just making work that we were proud of. That's the extent of our planning, I think, was just what did the next three months look like and how do we keep riding this wave?Chris Erwin:Yeah, and that's something I think worth emphasizing for the listeners where it's, so often people will say you have to be super strategic in planning every single move and where is their white space and how are you going to beat out your competitors to get it? But I think when you are building a small business, and this is something that I reeducate myself on consistently with RockWater, it's really about the basics, which is know your core service offering and nail it and delight clients, from there, that's really the core foundation from where you grow and where other things can emerge. And I think that's a testament to really what you guys have done for well over a decade is you know your lane, and you operate so effectively within it that is now, over the past few years, created some other really exciting opportunities for you, your success in your lane led to the investment by Wheelhouse a couple of years back. So how did that come to be? Because I think that's a pretty big moment for the company.Zach Blume:That fast-forward a bit over years of misery and happiness and everything in between. We threw ourselves entirely into growing Portal A for the bulk of our 20s. It was all-encompassing, tons of sacrifices that were made to other parts of our lives, which I'm okay with looking back. I do think that 20s are a good time to throw yourself and just be completely focused and passionate about something like this. And we built that branded business. We diversified the type of clients we were working with. Projects got bigger and bigger, Rewind got bigger, and all the rest of our projects got bigger.Starting around 2016, we wanted very badly to return to the original thesis of Portal A, which was creating an original entertainment properties for the web. That's where it all started. And we had spent so many years working with brands, and it was fantastic, and it was a good business, and we got to make really cool stuff. But we had this hunger to return to the kind of to our entertainment roots in some ways. And we're not talking at that point about TV shows on broadcast, but about entertainment that was built for internet consumption.So we started taking steps back in that direction. As we were continuing to grow the branded business and expand in that area, we were committing ourselves to the original entertainment dream and started making shows horribly oversimplified what it took to actually start doing that again. But we started making shows again. We kept the branded business running and growing. And-Chris Erwin:When you started making shows, were you deficit-financing these yourself? So you were developing them internally and then taking them out as a slate to pitch and sell? Or were these being funded by other digital and streaming platforms that were going to put this content on their channels?Zach Blume:We were developing them internally, as a kind of a traditional development arm, and then taking them out to streaming and digital buyers. We were not doing the White Collar Brawler model, where we were building properties completely independently. So we did kind of slot in a little bit more into back into the entertainment ecosystem versus building our own properties, which that could be a whole separate conversation about the drawbacks and the benefits of that.So we were finding our way to making original series, again, we hired ahead of originals a guy named Evan Bregman, who's now at Rooster Teeth who's a good friend. And we started kind of trying to build that business again, and eventually, we started to feel like the branded business was running really well and growing year over year. We felt in order to take the next step forward on the entertainment side of our business. We needed a partner.So we had been a completely independent entire course of our trajectory. We were running a really good business at the time. It was very profitable, and the growth trajectory was really attractive, I think to outsiders. And so we started taking meetings with potential partners with the idea of strategically aligning ourselves to somebody who could level us up. We weren't looking for a sale. We were looking for truly a strategic partner.Chris Erwin:Were you running a formal process here where there was a mandate of, "We seek a strategic partner, we're going to take meetings over the next two months?" Or was it, "Hey, these relationships that we create in the industry, we got some inbounds, let's take these meetings with perhaps a little bit more intent than we would've a couple of years ago."Zach Blume:It was not a formal process in the sense that we had a banker or some advisor who was guiding us through it. But it was a process in that it was fairly intentional. Remember sitting down with Nate and Kai and listing out the players in the original entertainment world, whether that was individuals or production companies, mostly who we think would be good partners for us, and starting to navigate through our network to see who would be interested in talking. And the thing that I've found, especially in that period, which was 2017, '18 was when we were starting to have those conversations, it was a pretty hot period for digital media. I think there was a lot of consolidation going on. Our experience was once we started having a couple of those conversations, and people started to see our numbers and see the fact that we were running an actually profitable business that was growing year over year.It just like word got out, and it was a little bit of a domino. And so I just remember over the course of 2017, 2018, we took like 15 or 20 strategic meetings with potential strategic partners. Again, not running it through a banker or anything like that, but just kind of word of mouth. And it was a really interesting experience, and learned a lot about ourselves and about the space. And we just really clicked with Brent Montgomery and Ed Simpson, who were, at the time they, had sold their TV production company to ITV and they were working at ITV at the time but starting to think about what their post-ITV move was going to be, which would eventually become Wheelhouse and just to immediate connection with both of them on a personal and kind of business level.To them, we looked like a really smart partner. They felt like a really smart partner to us. And that's how that started. And there were other conversations going on at the time, but Brent and Ed and eventually Wheelhouse always felt like the right fit for us.Chris Erwin:From that first meeting with Wheelhouse, did they indicate in the room, "Hey, we want to do a deal, we're going to make an offer," or did it take a while to get there?Zach Blume:Well, this story I always tell about Ed, who everybody should know, Ed Simpson, he's an amazing guy, is that within five minutes of our first meeting he asked us, "Are you Butellas?" And I was floored. I was like-Chris Erwin:Gets right to the point.Zach Blume:I was like, we just shook hands. We were just getting to know each other, but I think honestly it's a testament to directness, and I think that actually really helped was kind of just getting our cards on the table from early days. And I think from the beginning. It was clear that Ed and Brent were looking for their first partners. Brent is also like no BS. He knows what he wants, he goes out and gets it, and the intent for an investment, a partnership of some sort, was clear from the very beginning. The eventual process took very long.Chris Erwin:How long was that process?Zach Blume:I think the timeframe from offer letter or LOI to signed paperwork was about a year. But I think there was a six-month or eight-month, even maybe even a full-year courtship before that. So the whole process from first meeting with Ed, where he asked us what our EBITDA was after shaking his hand, to signing paperwork and then collapsing on the floor because we were so exhausted was maybe year and a half, two years.Chris Erwin:Yeah. It always takes longer than people expect.Zach Blume:Yeah. It's incredible. And there were multiple points where that deal almost fell completely apart. In fact, I was sure it was done. It was toast. And what I've learned from other founders that I've talked to that have done deals, whether it's a sale or a minority investment or some sort of strategic partnership like this, is every time there's a deal, it almost fails twice or three times or more.It's just in the nature of things when there's two negotiators that there's going to be some moments of staring into the abyss. And I actually haven't heard of a deal that hasn't had that. So I learned that, in retrospect, at the time, they were hugely existential moments because we had put so much time and energy, and money into making this happen and having the deal almost fell apart multiple times was, it was really intense.Chris Erwin:Yeah. After having been a part of many M&A and capital raising processes throughout my career before RockWater when I was a banker, and then also at Big Frame, where I hired my old investment bank to represent us in a sale to Awesomeness backed by DreamWorks. And then at RockWater now, there's so many variables. You have different business models, you have different team cultures, you have leadership, you have investors, and to align on, are we working towards the same mission? Do we want the same thing in the future? Do we want the same thing now when we integrate? Where are we complementary? Will we actually succeed combined, or there alternative ways to do this? And I think it really is a special thing. We read a lot of deal headlines in the trade, so everyone thinks like, "Oh, deals get done all the time, it's easy."For all those headlines of the success, there's many, many more instances where deals have fallen apart that we don't hear about. I think the best thing that you guys had, Zach, was your BATNA, your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, but also your leverage. You had a profitable independent business. It was you, Zach, and Kai as the founders. You were growing, and you were profitable, and you could sustain with a partner or without a partner. And essentially, that led to a great deal for you guys. So it's awesome to say.Zach Blume:Yeah, it's true. I mean, we were not trying to parachute at our business in any stretch. We weren't trying to sell to then do an arm out to then leave. We were trying to level up, and I agree it was our ability to walk was good leverage for us, but we really wanted to do it because we really had committed ourselves to making this type of strategic move. I think it's very different when you're trying to capitalize on a moment in exit versus when you're trying to make an actual partnership to take the next step up in a business. And we just weren't ready to, and we still aren't ready to sunset Portal A.This is becoming our life's work. We are committed. We are always kind of doubling down on our commitment. Sometimes I can't believe I've been doing this for 12 years. It's unbelievable. And I hope that we do it for many, many, many, many, many more years.Chris Erwin:You found your magnum opus in the first company that you founded pretty rare and pretty incredible, right?Zach Blume:Yeah. I mean it's amazing, but it also puts a lot of pressure on that to fulfill a lot of parts of your being and or your professional desires. When you're focused on one thing for so long, as opposed to a lot of entrepreneurs who kind of jump or leapfrog from one thing to the next. We've had to come to grips with the fact that this is our baby, and it's continuing to be our baby. And it's a long play. It's a long run.Chris Erwin:This is actually a good segue to think about how this business is fulfilling to you, kind of over the past couple of years, some key changes that you've made of, how you're rewarding some of your most prominent team members, elevating them to partner and then thinking about what you want to grow into. So let's get into that. I look at your business. In your 20s, it was kind of the freshman segment of Portal A really starting to become into a real business. Then in your 30s, it's kind of like the sophomore years where you're starting to scale up and start to realize some pretty incredible success. And now you've got this incredible foundation.So not to aid you in front of everyone, but I think you and the founding team are entering your 40s over the next year or two years or so, entering the junior and senior years of your business. And for you guys to continue to be excited and fulfilled, tell us about some of the recent moves that you've made at the company and then where you want to go. What does that look like?Zach Blume:It's a great question. I wonder what happens after the junior and senior year sets. We're definitely at a different life stage, just on a personal level, then we were when we were on the treadmill moving 100 miles per hour in our 20s and in the kind of like the first half of Portal A and the deal with Wheelhouse was definitely like a marker, or maybe it was the dividing line between the freshman and sophomore era as you put it.First of all, I mean the last couple of years have been crazy, the pandemic, the election in 2020, there's been a lot of volatility in the world over the last few years, but what we're trying to do in the face of that volatility and kind of coming out of the Wheelhouse partnership, which again marked a new chapter for us is, create A on the business side sustainability and kind of consistency. And we've been able to do that. I mean, we've been profitable, consistent from a numbers perspective for many years, but it definitely felt for many years, we were running on a treadmill trying to keep up.And over the last several years, we've been trying to do as we enter into new periods of our lives personally, as we bring other people into the business as partners is create a business that doesn't feel like you're about to gasp for air and collapse at the end of every year, but actually create something that's sustainable and supports other parts of our lives that are really important to us. Family, having kids, all that type of stuff.I think on the business side, it's like, and I think we've done this over the last several years, but how do we move from sprinting to running at a good pace and building something that feels sustainable over the course of the next chapter of our lives as our lives change. And that's been really important, and you mentioned this, but bringing, we brought four new partners into the business. Our head of production, our head of business operations, our managing director, and our head of talent partnerships all had been with us for five to seven years each. And we made them partners a couple of years ago.We've invested in our team in a way that we always try to take care of people, but we truly doubled down on that over the last several years so that people feel like they're working at a place that they can work at for many years and feel very taken care of and part of a community, et cetera.Chris Erwin:Quick question on partnership front. So when you elevate these individuals to partners, does that mean there's a compensation bump but is also a bigger voice at the table for bigger strategic decisions for the company? What is the value exchange for that?Zach Blume:They went from kind of executives to partners. I mean, they're always executives, and I think what a partnership means is they participate in the profitability of the company. They participate in an exit. If there is a future, another deal on the horizon, they would have a stake in that. And then they have visibility into all aspects of the business and a seat at the table for really important business decisions around the type of work we take on, the type of things we invest in, the vision that we lay out for the company, the priorities for the year or for the next few years, et cetera.So it's been incredible, and I think it was a big moment. It was always Nate, Kai, and I sitting in a room, staring at each other's faces and trying to figure things out. And to bring in Robyn, Emma, Elyse, and Brittani, they're all so incredibly smart and powerful in their own ways, and it's just made our decision-making much more thoughtful, multifaceted, strategic, and I think intelligent, that group of three became a group of seven. That's been a major milestone and moment for us.So that was a big part of things. And investing in our team and doubling down on the team's wellness and creating a pace of work that was sustainable, not working over Thanksgiving, all that type, taking long breaks, giving days, all sorts of steps we've taken over the last several years to make Portal A sustainable business entity over many years.So that's number one in terms of what this chapter looks like. And I think number two is we just want to make good shit. At the end of the day, when we put ourselves in the future and try to look back on what will feel most valuable about this whole experience, what we make because we are a creative company is at the top of the list. So investing in the quality of the work that we do, investing in projects that may not be the most profitable or they may even not be profitable at all, but that are important to us creatively experimenting in new content formats, longer form, feature-length type stuff, short film, all sorts of getting back to kind of our roots in some ways as experimental content producers and investing in the quality of the work that we're making either on the original side of the business or on the brand side of the business that has become kind of central to our whole vision and identity is just this relentless commitment to quality.Chris Erwin:I want to touch on that because when we were preparing for this interview, something that we spoke about was, yeah, your commitment to creative quality and craft. Sometimes that is undervalued, sometimes that feels like it's going against the grain, and like you said, Zach, maybe there's a near-term impact where these new IP concepts, they're not profitable immediately, but there's actually long-term value to it where adherence to that mission keeps the leadership and founding team galvanized and fulfilled. It also keeps your business exciting for new team members that you want to recruit, building towards future opportunity where there can be much more meaningful revenues to generate in the future.So that's hard to do when you face kind of the near-term headwinds of those decisions, but you got to be steadfast in that it's clearly worked for you guys for over 12 years, and I think that that's just an important reminder that this is a founding value of our company and that's what's going to continue to drive long term success for the next 10, 20 plus years.Zach Blume:Everything you just said, I would like you to come speak to our company, and we can all talk about it together. I mean, that's exactly where we are at. What we'll define the next five, 10, however many years of this adventure will be the quality of the work that we're making. I don't want to speak too soon, and I'm going to knock on wood, but I feel like we've cracked the code on how to run this business well and how to find good people, take care of our people, take care of ourselves, find our lane and operate really well in our lane. And what's going to define the next chapter is how good is the stuff we're making. Is it something we're proud of? And that's both from a kind of, almost like, a spiritual or existential level, but it does layer back to business because we believe what will differentiate us is the quality of the work that we're creating. And so it will lead to new opportunity and new horizons when we're making really good stuff.Chris Erwin:Last one or two questions before we get into rapid fire and we close out here is, are there any current projects that you're working on or things that you're thinking about that maybe are good signals to the listeners of the type of things that you're going to be doing more of going forward?Zach Blume:One really interesting one is completely different from a lot of the work that people may know us for, but my partner Nate is developing a feature documentary. We've done one feature-length documentary, we did it with YouTube original called State of Pride, all about the origins and the genesis of Pride festivals across the country. And it's a beautiful film called State of Pride. It's on YouTube. Nate did a really cool, together with Portal A, did a really cool 30-minute documentary in 2020 about the response from the Trump administration to the first year of COVID.So we've definitely played with longer-form documentary projects. This project is called Fault Lines, and it is a longer-formed feature documentary about housing in America and about the shortage of housing in America, which is driving up housing costs for everybody. Kind of like the deep backstory on where that all comes from.No brands associated with that project. It's going to be financed by foundations and private funders, but we're really excited about it, and it's that kind of getting back to telling interesting stories, experimenting with new formats. It's not going to be the core of our business for the next several years, but we are going to be investing in those types of projects where we can kind of make a name for ourselves in new spaces.And then, of course, we're doing all sorts of cool stuff with our brand partners like big, splashy campaigns that are coming out later this year that I shouldn't talk about yet, but doing a lot of work with Target and Google and we have long-standing partners at Lenovo, the computer maker and all sorts of cool branded stuff. We have original shows in the pipeline.So I think the business mix for us is branded content. Again, nothing that we make should ever feel like a commercial, and if it does, we've failed ourselves and our partners. So content that is made in partnership with brands feels like something you'd actually want to watch. That's one pillar. The second pillar is original series. We just released Level Up, which is a show on Snapchat starting Stephen Curry mentoring a new generation of athletes. So there's all sorts of series like that that we're working on.Then this new area, which is short films, documentary feature films that we're investing in as a loss leader, like truly a loss leader, but as a way to diversify the type of content we're making and invest in quality like I was just talking about.Chris Erwin:That's great. You guys are doing a lot. Last quick question before rapid fire, how would you succinctly describe how your leadership philosophy has evolved now, being, call it 12 years into the Portal A business?Zach Blume:When you're building something, especially for us, we started from zero. We didn't come from the space. We didn't have any relationships. It was completely homegrown and organic. When you're building something, it's like you're captaining a tiny little ship in very rocky waters, and it is survival in some ways. I mean, it's both like I'm just picturing someone on the deck of a little dinghy in the middle of the ocean, just like yelling and surviving and getting thrown all over the place, and you're just trying to survive and make it through the first few years. And I think that was in many ways what leadership, just getting through the choppy waters and trying to grow and survive, was what it looked like for many years in the early days of growing our company.I think now that we've made it through those choppy waters and kind of established ourselves and built something that has a foundation underneath it. I really focus on sustainability and vision. And so that means creating an environment where people can be fulfilled creatively in terms of the people that they work with in terms of the pace of the work, both for the team that works with us and also for us, for ourselves. So creating that kind of a rhythm that feels not like you're like a tiny boat in a gigantic ocean and just trying to survive, but that feels steady and sustainable and solid. So creating that kind of consistency and strength, and that's one side of it. And then, for many years, it was just eat what you killed. And that was so many years of growing the company.Now it's like, "Okay, who do we want to be and who are we and who do we want to be?" And I think I spend so much time thinking about that and then communicating that back to the team and then repeating it over and over and over and over again and giving people something that they can understand and hold onto and feel like they're working toward a common cause has become so much more important now than it was when we were just basically in survival mode. So I think, yeah, sustainability and vision have become the most important pieces.Chris Erwin:I love that. Very well said, Zach. All right, so last segment from me giving you a bit of kudos at the end of this interview. Look, a lot of the people that I interview on the show, I've known for years, if not decades or more. I've actually interviewed people that I've known for over 30 years on this show. I've really only gotten to know you over the past. I think like two to three months through a handful of conversations. But I will say some of the kudos is it feels like I've known you a lot longer than that. I think we have a really shared sensibility, and I think that that's a testament to in this space.What I really like about being at the intersection of digital and entertainment is that there's just some really good people in it. And I think that's not the same from a lot of other industries that I've worked in. And I think you really embody that spirit. I think you really care about your people. I think you really care about your clients and your team and your partners, and that's really valuable. And I can even sense that in what the audience isn't hearing in between these segments is I really just love that note, how you are like the rah-rah spirit for your team. You've even been that for me, talking me up about me as a podcast host and supporting our content work where I'm going through a bit of my own existential crisis with RockWater on, I can feel that very positive energy from you, and I think that makes you a very, very, very compelling leader.Lastly, just to reiterate one of the points I made earlier, you have this extreme focus on your core service and product and on your team and doing right by your client partners. And I think that is actually shows incredible strategic focus and vision versus some really complex framework for how Portal A is going to take over the entire digital entertainment ecosystem with 10 different business models. You guys have nailed your core, and it's given you so much opportunity for what I define as the very exciting junior and senior years that are going to come for you. So massive kudos to you and the team for what you've built exemplary, and I look forward to many more conversations in the future.Zach Blume:Thank you. It feels like you understand us, and I really appreciate that. So thank you for that.Chris Erwin:For sure. Easy to do. All right, so to the rapid-fire, I'm going to ask six questions and the rules or as follows, you'll provide short answers. Maybe just one sentence, maybe just one to two words. Do you understand the rules, Zach?Zach Blume:Yes, I do.Chris Erwin:Okay, cool. All right, first one, proudest life moment.Zach Blume:Birth of my daughter.Chris Erwin:What do you want to do less of in 2022?Zach Blume:Worrying about the state of our union?Chris Erwin:Okay, what do you want to do more of?Zach Blume:Making work that we are proud of and stands the test of time.Chris Erwin:One to two things drive your success?Zach Blume:Focus and commitment, and loyalty.Chris Erwin:Okay, last three here. Advice for media execs going into the second half of this year and 2023.Zach Blume:Brace yourselves. I mean, I don't want to fear monger or create an atmosphere of angst or anxiety, but I definitely can see that there are headwinds ahead and many of us have been through these periods before, and we can make it through, but it's definitely a time to focus on fundamentals and be aware of your costs and brace yourselves for what could be a choppy period.Chris Erwin:Yeah, well said. Any future startup ambitions?Zach Blume:Not beyond what we're doing. I mean, if there's ever sunset to Portal A, I would love to get involved again in the political world. And we've done a lot of political work over the years through Portal A but at the moment, continuing to double down on what we're building.Chris Erwin:Got it. The easy final one for you. How can people get in contact with you?Zach Blume:I don't know, old school email, I mean, really old school, I guess, would be a landline, but email Zach, Z-A-C-H@portal-a.com, or you can find me on LinkedIn, but that sounds really lame, so just send me an email.Chris Erwin:Okay. I think LinkedIn is great.Zach Blume:No, I love Linkedin, but I just don't want to be the guy hawking his LinkedIn profile.Chris Erwin:Got it. All right, Zach, that's it. Thanks for being on the Come Up podcast.Zach Blume:It's been a pleasure, Chris. It's a great service to the digital media, community and world and really appreciated being here.Chris Erwin:All right, quick heads up that our company has a new service offering. We just introduced RockWater Plus, which is for companies who want an ongoing consulting partner at a low monthly retainer, yet also need a partner who can flex up for bigger projects when they arise. So who is this for? Well, three main stakeholders. One, operators who seek growth and better run operations. Two, investors who need help with custom industry research and diligence. And three, leadership who wants a bolt-on strategy team and thought partner.So what is included with RockWater Plus? We do weekly calls to review KPIs or any ad hoc operational needs. We create KPI dashboards to do monthly performanc
A trove of new census data paints a picture of how and where we work in a post-pandemic world. Plus, the Bali bombings, 20 years on. Find out more about The Front podcast here and read about this story and more on The Australian's website or search for The Australian in your app store. This episode of The Front is presented by Claire Harvey, produced by Kristen Amiet, and edited by Tiffany Dimmack. The multimedia editor is Lia Tsamoglou, and original music composed by Jasper Leak.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Richard and Chris talk to Bill Nichols and Peter Cmiel co-presidents of Blip Toys about their careers, their strategies, the benefits and challenges of just being a "Blip" on the radar of the toy industry (despite major successes) and how they manage to keep the company lean, creative, and successful. Plus, they chat about Chris's favorite active play toy of 2022. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-playground-podcast/support
The Flagship Podcast returns with another loaded show as Texas prepares to put the loss at Texas Tech in the past entering Saturday's home game against West Virginia. Horns247's Chip Brown and Taylor Estes discuss the status of QB Quinn Ewers for the WVU game, the level of concern over Texas' issues shown at Texas Tech, state of the Longhorns' defense and much, much more! It's another loaded episode of The Flagship Podcast that Texas fans won't want to miss! To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices
NFL Week 3: What went wrong with our predictions Buying or selling -> Super Bowl challengers? Blip or Blueprint?NFL Week 4 Big Games Week 4 PicksAlbert Gets 700Judge Gets 60
Back on iTunes! I am all about working efficiently and having services where I can post to one place and have it syndicated to others. I set up our iTunes podcast for our videos as soon as iTunes and podcasts were a thing and we had tremendous reach on that platform as it has 800 million users. What I didn't know is that Blip.TV went out of business and it was providing my RSS feed to iTunes, so for the past three years we were not reaching anyone via iTunes. Fixing that has been on my To Do list for many months now because it is such a convoluted process. Yesterday I figured it out, made the changes, and today I'm live in iTunes and downloads are already starting to roll in. 40 yesterday and 60 today, but soon that will be in the thousands. Deep sigh of relief. Yesterday Jamie and I worked on scrapbooking together for the first time. She's so creative. I was thinking you just buy some fancy paper, stick four pictures to a page, and call it a day. No, no, no! Jamie has all kinds of tiny embellishments and then makes many of her own with detail work that is just amazing and way beyond what my shaky hands can do. I ended up buying about $300 in embellishments instead last night. Jamie said if I did this project I'd be hooked. Hi, I'm Carole Baskin and I've been writing my story since I was able to write, but when the media goes to share it, they only choose the parts that fit their idea of what will generate views. These are my views and opinions. If I'm going to share my story, it should be the whole story. The titles are the dates things happened. If you have any interest in who I really am please start at the beginning of this playlist: http://savethecats.org/ I know there will be people who take things out of context and try to use them to validate their own misconception, but you have access to the whole story. My hope is that others will recognize themselves in my words and have the strength to do what is right for themselves and our shared planet. You can help feed the cats at no cost to you using Amazon Smile! Visit BigCatRescue.org/Amazon-smile You can see photos, videos and more, updated daily at BigCatRescue.org Check out our main channel at YouTube.com/BigCatRescue Music (if any) from Epidemic Sound (http://www.epidemicsound.com) This video is for entertainment purposes only and is my opinion. Closing graphic with permission from https://youtu.be/F_AtgWMfwrk
During their search for clues to Nyx's past, The Orphans find themselves overcome by rage from a mystery bullet from a sniper's rifle as mercenaries descend upon Lillith's apartment. A hero falls in the chaos and The Orphans must deal with the consequences of their actions as they lick their wounds. Fortunately, they have a little help in that department with a surprise visit from The Night Nurse - Claire Temple.Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the immediate aftermath of Thanos' Snap, this series follows the exploits a group of young heroes trying to find their way in this near apocalyptic new world. Left completely alone after the Blip, they are brought together by chance - will they get past their differences and forge a new path or wallow in their misery? These are the Orphans of the Blip!A Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play utilizing Foundry VTTCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music from this episode may come from the following sources: https://www.darrencurtismusic.com/https://tabletopaudio.com/https://www.digitaljuice.com/
A Celtic State of Mind is a multi award-winning podcast. ACSOM was named as the UK's Best Football Podcast at the prestigious Football Blogging Awards in 2018. In 2020, the podcast was named as a finalist in the Best International Podcast category at the Football Content Awards. In 2021, ACSOM won a further three FCA awards - Best International Podcast (GOLD), Best International Club Content (GOLD), and Best Charitable Campaign (BRONZE).In this latest episode, Paul John Dykes is joined by Colin Watt and James McKenzie to discuss the last 24 hours in the world of Celtic.A Celtic State of Mind has gone from strength-to-strength over the last couple of years, and there are many more guests lined up in the weeks ahead from the world of sport, music, film, art, broadcasting, literature and politics.Connect with A Celtic State of Mind @PaulJohnDykes and @ACSOMPOD and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or through your podcast player.
IU Insiders Dustin Dopirak and Zach Osterman discuss a 35-22 IU win over Idaho that left fans understandably underwhelmed. Was it just a bad day on the field, or forecasting something worse? They break it down and look forward to Week 3.
With the help of Sorcerer Supreme, Wong, Nyx and the gang traverse the Astral Plane in search of answers to the origin of the amulet that is the source of her powers. What she discovers is a much deeper connection to her Father than she thought. Someone else is after her necklace, and the Orphans now find themselves in a race against time to discover the identity of the man who sent the artifact to her in the first place. But, their search comes to an abrupt halt when the team suddenly finds themselves at each others' throats!Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the immediate aftermath of Thanos' Snap, this series follows the exploits a group of young heroes trying to find their way in this near apocalyptic new world. Left completely alone after the Blip, they are brought together by chance - will they get past their differences and forge a new path or wallow in their misery? These are the Orphans of the Blip!A Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play utilizing Foundry VTTCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music from this episode may come from the following sources: https://www.darrencurtismusic.com/https://tabletopaudio.com/https://www.digitaljuice.com/
1) Biden approval falls to 38% in Reuters/Ipsos after an uptick to 41% last month 2) The economy, Immigration and Crime are main Republican issues. Democrats care about the environment, economy, abortion and health care 3) 74% believe the country is going in the wrong direction Democrats own inflation, gas prices, crime and 87K IRS agents as well as open border 4) 20 Whistleblowers come out against FBI Director Wrey lack of confidence and politicize the bureau. 5) Student debt plan is not paid for and likely to add to the federal debt. Democrats campaigning stay clear of the issue. 6) Biden smearing GOP as fascists will backfire as he is desperate. 7) Rubio leading Demings in Florida despite media effort to portray otherwise. The race will be close. Joe updates us on Levy - Blumenthal race in Connecticut 8) ADP shows a slowing in hiring at 130K jobs while the forecast was 300K. 9) Massive fraud anticipated in low income weatherization program which ballooned from $315M to $1B. 10) Gorbachev dies at 91
The Kids befriend a strange sentient creature that is connected to the disappearances of the missing children from Harrison Plaza. Visible only to Shay, they follow the glowing fish to a mysterious mechanism that hums softly in the middle of a clearing in the woods off of Boeke Road. What is this strange fish like creature and why is it only Shay can see it? And what happened to the missing kids?Tales from the Loop is a tabletop role-playing game that explores the lives of kids living in the 80s. It examines the mundane moments of school life and nagging parents, mainly exploring the mysteries that surround these small towns through the eyes of children. The world is depicted in the artwork of Simon Stålenhag, a crossing point of retro-futurism and nostalgia.What is The Loop? Technically, The Loop is a huge underground particle accelerator built under your hometown. These are the mysteries that the children explore in order to escape from their everyday lives. What they discover is meaningful, magical, and life changing.A Tales From the Loop RPG Live Play Utilizing Foundry VTTJoin us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dreamslayerstudios.entertainmentCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters and Orphans of the Blip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music underscore in this episode provided by Eric Matyas - www.soundimage.org
Mark Titus and Tate Frazier kick off the show with Mark's story time about his mustache and HBO's ‘Winning Time' (02:45). Then they play a game of “Blip or Bomb” featuring, Luka smoking cigs, the South Carolina mascot, and Barry Sanders's son (24:30). Next up Jim reads some “Dirty Laundry” on cheerleaders that coach, Coach Cal's artistic talent, Brett Favre dropping a bomb, and Nathan Fielder's ‘The Rehearsal' (45:45). They wrap up the show with shoutouts and closeouts (01:09:22). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
We're coming a little early this week but that's because this one was too special to hold on to! Paint Louis is in the Building! Donovan and No Socials T sit down with Coordinator of Paint Louis Bryan Walsh, Head of Cannvocate Doug Hall, and Midwest Avenger member/ member of the Paint Louis committee So'n'So. We talk to the Paint Louis crew about, The start of Paint Louis, background on graffiti writing, details to this weekends 25th anniversary, and much more! make sure you check out Paint Louis this weekend Sep. 2nd-4th at 1000 S. Warf St. St. Louis Mo. 63104. You can follow everyone:Paint Louis: @Paintlouisofficial on instagramDoug: @cannvocate on instagramSo'n'So: @esso314Follow Too T3rpd on Instagram Check out our videos on our Too T3rpd YouTube channel Leave voicemails/text to our Too T3rpd hotline (314) 399-9711Sign up for our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/TOOT3RPD Follow Donovan @Donovan2408 on all socialsFollow Tyler @nosocialst on instagram Follow Ryan @ryanriskyfargo on all socials Follow Eddie @Eddie_1991_ on all socialsSupport the show
This month’s podcast is a binaural recording from the July 2022 Space Out, Outside. It features Bob Lukomski (granular synthesizers, samples) and Irman Peck (conceptual cello/bass guitar). Its a really beautiful field recording, best experienced in headphones, with subtle interactions between the players, and their environment. If you enjoyed this podcast, please SUPPORT Errant Space via … Continue reading Errant Space Podcast Eighty Nine: BLIP →
Blip 6~! News and more! Here's the link to my profile on the Wisdom App: https://joinwisdom.audio/psyreaderlisa Thank you for listening. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/lisa-rusczyk/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/lisa-rusczyk/support
The Orphans' battle with the Shadow Pulpit suddenly goes very public, and the corrupt leader of the House of Blue Lights, Reverend Stephen Loss, has put a target on the back of not only the Orphans, but The Aquarian and The House of Ganymede are caught in the crosshairs as well. Damage Control comes calling, and the heroes take advantage of a brief calm before the storm to attempt to find a way home for Erilim by way of the new Sorcerer Supreme. Who is it that now protects The Sanctum Sanctorum of Doctor Strange? See how many MCU Easter Eggs are dropped in this episode! Bet you can't name them all!Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the immediate aftermath of Thanos' Snap, this series follows the exploits a group of young heroes trying to find their way in this near apocalyptic new world. Left completely alone after the Blip, they are brought together by chance - will they get past their differences and forge a new path or wallow in their misery? These are the Orphans of the Blip!A Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play utilizing Foundry VTTCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music from this episode may come from the following sources: https://www.darrencurtismusic.com/https://tabletopaudio.com/https://www.digitaljuice.com/
Disclaimer: This is merely entertainment. God bless the 1st Amendment(while it last), feel free to be offended. Do you believe in the mark of the beast? That is the biometric system predicted in Revelations, the last book of the Christian Bible. Revelation 13:16-17 states, “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.” What form will this mark take, and how will they sell it to you? (Inject Propaganda Ad Here) For limited time only allotted for the great tribulation, this cashless biometric system is coming to a New World near you! While submission is a must, there's two models to choose from. There's the standard chip in the right hand or next level implant in the brain! Step right up ladies and germs unify and join something greater than yourself. By pledging your flesh and blood with the chip implant you make the world greener and safer. We can track your transactions to make sure you're not funding terror. We can freeze your account for the planet so you don't buy too much gas or energy. The best part is, that no one can ever rob or steal from you because your body is your wallet. 'Why not take it a step further and offer your mind and soul with a brain implant and truly experience (redact: “hive-mind enslavement” unity, telepathy, and empathy. You MUST choose 1, for the sake of the environment, public health and safety, anti-terrorism, and for unity against the pending alien invasion. Regardless if it's a Biblical prophecy coming to pass or a form of monetary system blueprinted from the study of it, sovereign states and or private organizations, have the technology and the means to impose the will of the Biblical Antichrist. If you're not a fan of the proverbial system of the beast or any form of totalitarian financial control, you need Bitcoin…ASAP. Believe in God, then believe in Bitcoin. Cash will perish in the next fabricated **BLIP** under the guise that, “All that filthy paper money is making people sick…and it's bad for the environment! “ Good luck paying for goods and services with gold and silver Warrior and all ye gold bugs. Bullets are grand but Bitcoin is the new king. Whether it's in a biblical apocalypse or whatever reality we're in now, BTC is the best financial instrument to date. Will the US use this technology to UPGRADE AMERICA and save the world, or will a new sinister opposing super state assert its global crypto control coin? To be continued… --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/chris235/message
[Spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law "A Normal Amount of Rage"] It's time for a new series! In our introduction to Jen Walters we learn how she became a Hulk, and also find out more about what Bruce was up to during The Blip. Did Jen adapt to her new powers to quickly? Is there any place more supportive than a woman's bathroom? And just what is the status of Captain Steven Grant Rogers virginity? How are you feeling about the first episode of She-Hulk? Love it or hate it hit us up with your thoughts @TesseractTV or email us at email@example.com. Please don't forget to rate, review & subscribe wherever you're listening to this podcast!
This week, was Aberdeen's disaster v Motherwell just a blip you'd expect from a completely rebuilt side? There's clearly a need to keep players in their best positions ahead of St Johnstone on Saturday – although Bojan Miovski, at least, continues to look like he'll be a goalscoring machine for the Dons. Ross County also showed they still need to build consistency, after having an off-day at the worst moment v St Mirren. They won't go 10 games without a win again, will they? Meanwhile, Austin Samuels is impressing in a dynamic Inverness attack, as is Robbie Deas at the back. Although they took a heavy defeat at Caley Thistle, Cove are continuing to shape up, and Peterhead could be about to turn the corner, but are Elgin going to be ok this season?
The Kids explore the old Willard Carpenter tunnels under downtown Evansville and stumble across an imposing figure. elementary school kids are turning up missing and the Kids step up to help in the search, but stranger things are afoot as someone is seeing things that may or may not be there.Tales from the Loop is a tabletop role-playing game that explores the lives of kids living in the 80s. It examines the mundane moments of school life and nagging parents, mainly exploring the mysteries that surround these small towns through the eyes of children. The world is depicted in the artwork of Simon Stålenhag, a crossing point of retro-futurism and nostalgia.What is The Loop? Technically, The Loop is a huge underground particle accelerator built under your hometown. These are the mysteries that the children explore in order to escape from their everyday lives. What they discover is meaningful, magical, and life changing.A Tales From the Loop RPG Live Play Utilizing Foundry VTTJoin us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dreamslayerstudios.entertainmentCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters and Orphans of the Blip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music underscore in this episode provided by Eric Matyas - www.soundimage.org
Bryan Bashin was born fully sighted, but over time he lost his eyesight. Like many such people, he tried to hide his blindness. Bryan was, in some senses, different than many. Because as he began to discover that other blind people were leading full and successful lives, he decided that he could do the same. He received training and then began to seek employment and attained a most successful career. Bryan would tell you that he loves learning and advocating. He is an extremely inclusive individual although he clearly does do a powerful job of advocating for blind and low-vision persons. Oh yes, not vision impaired, but low vision. You will hear about this during our conversation. For the past 13 years, Bryan Bashin has been the CEO of the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind. He has proven to be quite an innovator due to his philosophical orientation concerning blindness. You will hear of his accomplishments. Bryan announced his retirement from the Lighthouse earlier this year. His future plans are typical of Bryan. Come along with us and hear Bryan's story and then please give us a 5-star rating wherever you listen to this podcast episode. About the Guest: Bryan Bashin, CEO, reports to the Board of Directors and supervises the directors of Communications, Development, Operations, Programs and Enchanted Hills Camp and Retreat. Mr. Bashin has served in this position since 2010. Mr. Bashin's extensive professional experience includes Executive Editor for the Center for Science and Reporting, Assistant Regional Commissioner for the United States Department of Education: Rehabilitation Services, and Executive Director of Society for the Blind in Sacramento. Mr. Bashin has been blind since college and from that time has dedicated a substantial part of his career to advocating for equality, access, training and mentorship for individuals who are blind or low vision. He serves or has served on numerous committees and organizations, including California Blind Advisory Committee, VisionServe Alliance, San Francisco State University's Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, World Blind Union, National Industries for the Blind, and California Agencies for the Blind and Visually Impaired. About the Host: Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog. Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children's Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association's 2012 Hero Dog Awards. https://michaelhingson.com https://www.facebook.com/michael.hingson.author.speaker/ https://twitter.com/mhingson https://www.youtube.com/user/mhingson https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhingson/ accessiBe Links https://accessibe.com/ https://www.youtube.com/c/accessiBe https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/ Thanks for listening! Thanks so much for listening to our podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the social media buttons on this page. Do you have some feedback or questions about this episode? Leave a comment in the section below! Subscribe to the podcast If you would like to get automatic updates of new podcast episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. You can also subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Leave us an Apple Podcasts review Ratings and reviews from our listeners are extremely valuable to us and greatly appreciated. They help our podcast rank higher on Apple Podcasts, which exposes our show to more awesome listeners like you. If you have a minute, please leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Transcription Notes UM Intro/Outro 00:00 Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I'm Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that's a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we're happy to meet you and to have you here with us. Michael Hingson 01:21 Welcome to unstoppable mindset. And I am really excited today to have an opportunity to talk with Bryan Bashin, the CEO of the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind. And you will see why as we go forward. Bryan is a very interesting and engaging guy. I've known him for quite a while. And I think we've both known each other we like each other, don't we, Bryan? Bryan Bashin 01:44 Yeah, we have traveled in the same paths. And we have been on the same side of the barricades. Michael Hingson 01:51 And that's always a good thing. So you're doing well. Bryan Bashin 01:57 I'm doing great. This is a this is a good time for me and Lighthouse after 13 years, thinking about sort of a joyous conclusion to a number of projects before I move on. Michael Hingson 02:10 Wow. Well, that's always a good thing. Well, tell me a little bit about you before the lighthouse growing up and stuff like that, so people get to know about you a bit. Bryan Bashin 02:20 Sure. The short version I grew up as a sighted boy started becoming blind when I was 12 became legally blind when I was a sophomore at UC Berkeley. And like all newly blind, low vision people tried to hide it for as long as possible, and really failed. I didn't have role models, then, like my Kingson. I didn't really know what was possible in blindness. That pivot came later in my life. And so I just did what a lot of low vision people do. Hide, try to pass all of that. So I did that in my early 20s. I started my career in journalism. I my first job out of Berkeley was at the CBS television affiliate in San Francisco KPI X, API X. Yes, Gen five and the news department there. And I worked there for a couple of years that I wanted to move up in the world. And I joined the channel 10, the CBS Benli a CBS affiliate in Sacramento, and I was higher up on that journalism, Michael Hingson 03:32 and wrong and you move and you moved from five to 10. Bryan Bashin 03:35 I did. I doubled. See. After after a few years in local broadcast news, television news, I thought I'm a little more serious person that and I wanted to go deeper. And so I quit my job and I started writing for newspapers, and then magazines, and specialized in science and public policy. So I did lots of work and environment, Space Science, energy usage, epidemiology. You know, for kind of curious guy like me, journalism was a really good fit because it fed all the things I want to learn about him. And I was in my 20s. Somewhere along the way, as I had less than less vision, I knew that I needed to get solutions. And I didn't know where those would come from, but I knew it involves people. But short version is almost 30 years ago. In a quiet time in my life. I just picked up some copies of the Braille monitor and started reading them. And in it, I found all kinds of stories about blind people doing amazing things. Things that I didn't think I could do as a person like travel where I wanted when I want it or efficiently use Computers, all that. So I went into a boot camp. It was then the fourth NFB Training Center. Actually it was in Sacramento. Just that the year that I needed it. It only lasted one year. The Marcelino center run by the California affiliate of the NFB, anyway, long story short, I threw myself into training, got training, and then had the most successful period in journalism I've ever had. And that's the first half of my working career. Michael Hingson 05:33 Did you ever know mozzie? Marcelino? Bryan Bashin 05:35 No, I didn't. He passed before the Senator that was named after him. That's right. Yeah. Michael Hingson 05:41 He was one of the very active early members of the National Federation of the Blind of California and managed a lot of the legislative activities of the Federation. In Sacramento, if you went with him into the Capitol, everyone knew Mazie. Which, which is important. Bryan Bashin 06:02 Yeah. Yeah, I certainly was living in Sacramento in the 90s. And his memory was an active presence, then. Well, I finished up my immersion training at the Marcelino center. Four years later, I was running the Society for the blind there in Sacramento. Having gotten the confidence, and aspiration, that I could do stuff there, Executive Director, retired after 33 years, and I interviewed and got the job. That's when I got my first taste of real service in the blindness community. Chance to like, think of a project, think of a problem, get funds for it, hire cool staff for it and do it. And for me, you know, I might have written an article in a magazine and a million people would read it, but I wouldn't meet any of them. And I wouldn't have that thing that we all love that community. So when I started working at society for the blind, that community was right there. And it was deeply gratifying. And so I started working on many, many projects. And I did that in Sacramento for six years, had a wild time with it. And then I was asked to apply in the US Department of Education, to be one of the regional commissioners in region nine for the Rehab Services Administration. So that was, that was really bittersweet to leave the Society for the blind, but I wanted to learn more. And suddenly, I found myself responsible for half a billion dollars in federal spending across all disabilities, and learning like a fire hose about the public rehabilitation system. And I did that until all the regional offices were closed by the administration. And I found myself for the first time in my working life, not knowing what I was going to do for a living. So I, I did some expert witnessing in court, I worked with a startup, I did some other things regarding direction, mentoring of blind people looking for employment. And then after 20 years, the director of the Lighthouse for the Blind, took a new job. And it was the first job I was hired for that I actually knew what I was doing when I came in, because I'd run another org like that. And that was 13 years ago. Michael Hingson 08:36 There you are. What who was the commissioner when the offices closed? Bryan Bashin 08:42 Yeah, well, it was Joanne Wilson until it was Joanne Yeah, yeah, it was Joanne Wilson, then Michael Hingson 08:48 no, no, she necessarily had a lot of choices. But Bryan Bashin 08:51 well, that's a long story. She used everything in her power to oppose this. But it was it was at a higher level that was made. Yeah. Michael Hingson 09:04 So you've been at the lighthouse 13 years. And tell me a little bit about what it was like when you started and why did you decide to go to the lighthouse? Bryan Bashin 09:19 You know, one thing that I can say is that my predecessor, had been prudent with funds. And so this was an agency that had good amount of money in the bank, like $40 million. I came from society for the blind. When I got there. We had six weeks of revenue. And we grew that and made it more stable. But I was attracted to the lighthouse because it was a storied organization. It had been around for, you know, 100 years. It owned this amazing camp in Napa that I'll talk about. It had the bones of a really great Oregon As a nation, and I thought I could do something with it. And I came there and I first saw the headquarters building then across from the symphony. And I thought, there's not enough places here to teach. There's not enough public spaces down. I have things happen. It was just the lighthouse had outgrown its its place. And I thought, oh, here we go. Again, I done a capital campaign in Sacramento to get its new building. Now, I'm going to have to do this again in San Francisco. But we looked at that and we thought, it's got to be close to transit. It's got to be in San Francisco, got to have cool places for people to work to ennoble the workforce not to be a dark hole windowless, undistinguished former garage, which was the old, old building, we found a place in the end, after many different things, we found a place right on top on top of the civic center BART station. And through a partnership and some other things we were able, I was able to convince the board to take this leap. And they did. And five years ago, six years ago, now, we occupied our new headquarters, which really has made us a place where people want to come and work and convene and hold events. It really now has the feel of a center. Michael Hingson 11:32 Chris, the other thing that happened for the for the lighthouse was you got a pretty significant capital infusion along the way. Bryan Bashin 11:40 Yeah, a little bit. I would do want people to know that this idea for a new building, the search for the Board's agreeing to do it and agreeing to buy it happened all before the big request, right? So we did, we made all that happen. In December and January, January 2014. Five months later, out of the blue, we got the first letter, understanding that we were going to be receiving receiving a request, that turned out to be the largest request in the history of American blindness to an individual $130 million. It turned out. And that allowed so much of what happened after to be possible. Michael Hingson 12:31 Right. And that was what I was thinking it wasn't so much the building, but then you could really put into practice the vision that you were creating. That's right. That's right. So how, how has the lighthouse changed in over, let's say the last eight years since 2014? Bryan Bashin 12:52 Yeah, I think I think I could say, ambition and reach and kind of audaciousness some things are pretty well known. We launched the Holman prize for blind ambition, it's a world prize, we've had, it's getting close to 1000 applicants over the seven years we've had the homerun prize. Those applicants come from every continent, maybe I haven't aggregated all of them. But it wouldn't surprise me to say 40 countries or so have applied. And if you go on YouTube and go to home and price.org. And look, you're going to see what blind people are saying they their dreams are from all over the world. And you cannot think about blindness the same way when you see people in rural Nepal or Africa or an urban Europe, talk about what's important to them. There is no real public way to aggregate all these things other than what we've done thus far. And so that's the kind of audaciousness that has come up in the last eight years. But it's been across everything. Michael Hingson 14:07 What is the homerun prize? Exactly. Bryan Bashin 14:10 Prom homerun prize is an annual prize awarded to three people each year by independent jury of blind people that the lighthouse convenes none of those juries are Lighthouse employees. The purpose of the prize is to show great growth and ambition in anything. It's not necessarily a project to do good in the world for blind people or though it can be it could be personal growth, like rowing a boat across the Bosphorus or climbing a mountain or organizing something that was never organized before that kind of thing. We award 320 $5,000 awards, and the price has been amazingly popular with hundreds of 1000s of views about blind people on our website and on YouTube. I'm happy to say that our partner Waymo, is now sponsoring one of the prizes at $25,000. Michael Hingson 15:11 That is pretty exciting. Yeah. And I've I've watched it through the years and it's it is absolutely amazing and wonderful to see the the different attitudes and philosophies and as you said, dreams that blind people have, because most of the time, we're not encouraged. Bryan Bashin 15:31 Yeah, most of the time people settle. This is, this is really, beyond mere skills that any blind organization teaches. And I don't mean to derogate them, the skills are essential. We can't do anything without skills. But they're not enough. Somehow my you got the confidence to be a captain of your own ship, metaphorically speaking. That's what got you out of the World Trade Center. That's what got you into business in science and everything else. We want to we this is the this is the mission that any Blind Agency really needs to focus on. Beyond skills. How do you teach confidence? How do you teach what Jacobus tenBroek said that we have a right to live in the world to be at that table, that we are not an embarr and a barren sea in the human condition. We're part of the human condition. And so getting that deep knowledge, something that the late James avec said, not just knowing it in your head, but in your heart, that It's respectable to be blind. And all of that that's, that's the best agencies get at that as well. Michael Hingson 16:49 We as as a class, need to be more in the conversation and it isn't going to happen unless we demand it. You know, it's it's interesting. We celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day last, what Thursday, and later in the year, we'll be celebrating some other events regarding disabilities. What amazes me is even with the visibility that's happened so far, it never seems to hit any of the mainstream television news. Casts or talk shows, the I don't see anyone celebrating Disability Employment Awareness Month, or anything relating to disability awareness, like we see African American history or LGBTQ pride, awareness and so on. Why is it that we're just not still included? Even though even though according to the CDC, up to 25%, of all Americans have some sort of a disability. And we'll of course leave out like dependents, which takes in everyone else, but nevertheless. Bryan Bashin 18:06 Well, you know, we live in a different as a longtime journalist, we live in a different journalistic culture now. And so what triumphs is narrative, not policy. What triumphs is something that gets is clickbait. Something that gets you emotionally. And I won't say that there, there haven't been good stories. The lighthouses then, Board Chair Chris Downey, who you know, is, as one of only a handful of practicing blind architects got 15 minutes on 60 minutes, one of their most popular episodes been rebroadcast four or five times now. That is a powerful narrative. So we need more of them. I really do think that in any state, any blind organization has stories, just like Chris is just as powerful. You know, our job is to actually be out there relationally with journalists so that they can understand what the stories are. But it's not going to be from a press release, or some some kind of awareness month. It's going to have to be the personal connections that we have with journalists so that we can wind up pitching stories. Michael Hingson 19:27 Well, it's the usual thing. What it really means is we need to tell the story. Bryan Bashin 19:35 That's right. As soon as it becomes a story about them. We lose, huh? Yeah. Michael Hingson 19:41 Yeah, we need we need to be out there and tell the story. And you're right. We need to tell it in a way that will click with people and interest people. But I think that that certainly is something that can be done and we We also collectively need to understand that we need to tell the story and not be shy about it. Bryan Bashin 20:08 That's right. Yeah, that's right. Michael Hingson 20:11 And I think all too often, we tend to be shy and we don't want to, to be out there talking about I remember early on after September 11, we got pretty visible in the news. And it was because really of me contacting Guide Dogs for the Blind, just to say, we got out because people from Guide Dogs had seen us in the world transip Trade Center, they've visited us. And I joined guide dogs in about a year afterward. And there was a lot of visibility interviews in the media. By that time, we had been on Larry King Live three times. And on one of the guide dog lists, somebody said, Well, he's just a meteor media whore. And a number of people fortunately reacted, I did not, but a number of people said, What are you talking about? He's out there telling the story. And that is, in reality, the case is that somebody needs to and we all should be out there telling the story saying we're better than people think. Bryan Bashin 21:12 That's right. That is really true. You know, there's an inherent tension between this knee that you just said about, we need to tell the story because otherwise Hollywood is going to tell the story about us. And the need, you know what the most radical thing is, it's the average blind person doing their average job, unremarkably, and without fanfare and attention, that is the revolution. And so, you know, why should Why should every blind person feel obligated to write a book or do a story. And yet, we have a responsibility as a you have taken to say, This is my life experience, people will learn from it. And so I'll do the hard work to get it out there. Michael Hingson 21:59 But the very fact that other people are just going to work, and trying to go to work, doing the job, and trying to even get better at doing the job is as much if not more of the story as anything else. Bryan Bashin 22:14 That's the real revolution. And that's the world we want to help bring about. Michael Hingson 22:20 So I am curious about something. I believe it's been attributed to you. Scary already. But but I've I've adopted it. People say that we're blind or visually impaired, and I object to the concept of visually impaired because I've always thought I looked the same. I don't like vision impaired because I think I got lots of vision, although as I love to say, but I don't see so good. But I can accept vision impaired. What do you think about that, that concept of the, the terminology like that? And where do words matter in what we do? Bryan Bashin 23:00 words do matter. And every every generation needs to own and invent words that are relevant to them. And so although I work in a building that says Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, I've come to see that word visually impaired is actually ablest. It means that we are being defined by what we cannot do, we have impairment of vision, we are not a normal part of society. You know, I think the more neutral and non ablest way to construct it is just to talk about people who are blind, or have low vision. Yeah, so that's, that's a positive way. It's neutral way. All these other things over the years, skirting around the word blind, as if that was something we shouldn't be proud of, are talking about the proud people with low vision, instead of looking at them as just simply a characteristic they have, they have low vision. We look at them as impairment or other other ways in which they're, quote, not normal. So that's why words matter. And we in our publications at Lighthouse tried to use a modern language to talk about blindness. Michael Hingson 24:19 And I do like the concept of low vision. If you talk to a person who is deaf, and you say hearing impaired, you're apt to be shot because that is absolutely unacceptable, deaf or hard of hearing, which is the same concept. Bryan Bashin 24:34 Yeah. And of course, you always want to talk to the people ourselves, about how we want to be caught. Yeah. Michael Hingson 24:43 Unfortunately, I think there's still all too many of us that have not really thought it through. But I think as people learn and recognize that we do have the same right to live in the world and are demanding it more, more and more people will wreck denies the value of something like blind or a person who happens to be low vision. Bryan Bashin 25:05 There are agencies around the country who have steadily taken the word blind out of their name. I think it's a profound mistake, as if who we are needs to be euphemized or just lately swept under the rug. I am a proud blind person because I've been around other blind people who haven't want to euphemized who we are. But yet we have agencies around the country with hundreds of millions of dollars who think that they don't want the word blind in their name. I think the first step in proper rehabilitation is to say who you are. Michael Hingson 25:46 And do it with pride. Yep. So well, and just to carry that on a little bit more, Dr. Ken Jernigan passed down the late Dr. Ken Jernigan, past president of the National Federation of the Blind, I think came up with the best definition of blindness of all, which is basically if you are eyesight is decreased to the point where you have to use alternatives to full eyesight to accomplish things, then you should consider yourself blind and there's nothing wrong with that. Bryan Bashin 26:17 Yeah, we're all in this together. Just like, I can't speak for that community. But it's been 150 years since African Americans blacks would talk about various grades and gradations of, of their, their heritage. Just part of the movement now as it should be, Michael Hingson 26:40 as it should be. And it's unfortunate that it takes some of the kinds of things that it has done to raise awareness for black lives, if you will. But hopefully we're making some progress, although the politicians tend to be the biggest obstructionist to a lot of that big surprise Bryan Bashin 27:01 there, Mike. Michael Hingson 27:05 Yeah, it is amazing. As I love to tell people I I try not to be political on this podcast. So I'm an equal opportunity abuser, you know, I'm, I'm with Mark Twain. Congress is that grand old benevolent asylum for the helpless and that's all there is to it. So we can we can abuse them all. It's it's a whole lot more fun. Well, so you have really made some evolutionary changes in the lighthouse. You mentioned enchanted Hills, which I first learned about when I was here in Southern California as a teenager, did not go to Enchanted hills. But I went to what that time, what was the foundation for the junior blinds camp camp Bloomfield, and but I've heard and kept up with enchanted Hills throughout the years and the camp had some challenges a few years ago with the fires and so on. That that took place up in Northern California, and you've been really working to address a lot of that. Tell us a little if you would about enchanted hills. Yeah. Where it was, where it came from, and and where it's going? Well, Bryan Bashin 28:17 a blind woman rose Resnick founded it in 1950, because she wanted blind people, blind youth and adults to be active participants in nature. At the time, most blind folks went to schools for the blind, urban and restrictive. And Rose had a great experience growing up back east, with camps for the blind, it was a liberation for her. There were no camps when in outwest, for the blind, he founded the first one that we've had at Lighthouse for 72 years now. Why is it important? That mentorship to see cool blind people who are just a few years ahead of you who are owning their lives, you can't learn this in a classroom. You've got to hang out with people, it takes time. It's like that, that same mentorship, you'll see in a convention, a blank convention. The power of that is you got to week, well, you've got a summer at camp, and you've got a summer with people where you can actually have time to finish your conversations and to get lost and try to grow in different ways and fail and try again. And this is a huge and powerful part. What any camp for the blind is there are only a handful left in the United States. So in 2017, those Napa fires we watched as the fires got closer and closer to camp we evacuated and then watch for week as the fires crept closer, we didn't know if camp would survive. And when we finally were able to get back in camp, we found that half of the buildings had burned the old camp deep in the Redwood Forest. We have 311 acres there. It's an enormous P and valuable and beautiful piece of property. And soon after, first we were relieved that nobody was hurt. But after our team realized like this was the opportunity that had waited for three generations, how could we reimagine camp? What are the things now in 2022 that bind people wish they had that we didn't have before. So yes, of course, we have the same all all American camp. Bryan Bashin 30:44 But we're rebuilding camp to be environmentally friendly, universally accessible, every building at camp every every building at El is will be wheelchair accessible. Every watt of power and use will not be through trucked in propane or hydro or fossil fuels, but be solar generated with our solar canopy over our park parking lot. Every building will be heated and insulated. So is changing from summer camp to a year round place where up to 220 people can stay and learn and form community, both informal things like classes, retreats, and all of that. But informally now, when we reopen, you'll be able to grow, go up to camp with a group of your friends and 20 people, family reunion, whatever you can cook for yourself, or you can take advantage of our full time kitchen staff and all of that. Imagine a blind Asilomar a conference center that is accessible, networked with everything from braille embossers, to the latest tech stuff. That's what camp is and every last part of it, please touch, please use our woodworking stuff, learn how to do ceramics, get to learn how to own and care for a horse. Get in that boat and Sue ads and, and row, go swim, go do arts, go do music and our wonderful new Redwood Grove theater, all of that stuff. So this was the inspiration when when the camp burned five years ago, we were able to get all these buildings on the master plan with a county, we found a contractor we're halfway through the rebuilding all of lower camp now you can see those buildings, the foundations are poured, the roofs are up we're putting in Windows this week. And when we were done, we'll have this amazing, beautiful village in the Redwoods where people can stroll and accessible paths, no guide ropes anymore, by the way, accessible paths. And as you go around camp, you'll be able to be just within hailing distance of other people, people you may not know but should know. So half of the program at camp and why it produces 40 50,000 hours each summer of people contacting people half that program is just that, not what we're talking at you about but people that you meet and form lifelong bonds. Michael Hingson 33:31 And that's a whole different idea for a camp in general, but it is really creating community and people will leave with I would think lots of memories they never thought they would get. Bryan Bashin 33:46 You know one of the key features that has been the hallmark of the last 13 years is that we usually have 20 counselors and another half dozen counselors in training. Three quarters or up to 90% of those counselors are now blind, or have low vision. No camp hardly in the country does that there are a lot of camps in which everybody in power. Every director and every assistant director and every counselor, they're all sighted. They're all very well meaning and giving. But where's the mentorship there? Where's the role modeling? So in Jannah Hills is different. The overwhelming majority of our counselors and counselors and training are blind. Our staff and area leaders are overwhelmingly blind as well. Because this is part of the purpose of camp to be able to meet people who are in charge of their own lives and a part of a community Michael Hingson 34:45 and that's as good as it can possibly get. How does the the camp then it's it's a separate entity but it's part of the lighthouse. How did the the two connect what kind of value does Is the lighthouse itself bringing to the camp and vice versa? Bryan Bashin 35:03 Yeah, we're all one organization. But increasingly, because of the new construction, we use camp as a retreat for people who want to go deep into their blindness. So for people who are newly blind, or for people who have been blind a while, and now have decided it's time to do something about it, we have an initial immersion called Changing vision changing lives, people go to camp. And there, they take their first steps, sometimes, first time they ever put a white cane in their hands, or their first introduction to what a computer could do. All these kinds of things. It's a deep dive and initial dive, immersion to whet people's appetites for the real hard work that comes after camp where they're going to put in time to learn skills of blindness. But before you start doing skills, you have to have the why, why are we doing that, and you have to have met a dozen or two dozen blind people who are just using those skills. So you're not learning that as an abstraction. Camp is wonderful that way. So the teachers who teach edtech and oh nm, and braille, and, you know, independent living and home repair, and all, these are the same people, whether they're at our headquarters in San Francisco, or they're in a special retreat in Napa. That's what we're going to be doing more and more of around the around the year. Same thing is true with our new program for little for blind infants and toddlers, lighthouse, little learners is an early intervention program. From across northern California, we have built camp in part to be a wonderful place for families of blind infants and toddlers to come together. Almost every family that has a newborn who's blind is utterly unprepared, and is so hungry for information. And of course, as you know, if you get it right, your child grows up and does anything that she or he wants. But those are key years. And so our family cabins now are built so that infants and toddlers, and then later on young kids will have time with their families before it's time for them to go off to camp individually, when they get into the middle years at a teens. Michael Hingson 37:33 You mentioned the blindness conventions like the National Federation of the Blind convention, and it brought to mind something that I think about every time I go to a convention or know that a convention is coming up, especially with the NFB because of the the way that the organization has handled conventions, there is nothing like watching a five year old who suddenly has a cane put in their hand. And they're given a little bit of cane travel lessons over a very short period of time at the convention. And then they're dragging their parents all around the convention hotel, that the parents usually can't keep up and the kids are just going a mile a second. Bryan Bashin 38:13 Yeah, that is, that's what we all want. We want that aha moment, like that. And parents are. So when they're new in the game, it's not just talking about the best ophthalmologist, although that's important and the best stimulation and the best this and that. They're also looking at those counselors and counselors in training and seeing their kids in 15 years. And they're just seeing competent blind people. Give them the sense about what's possible and why. And that that is another unspoken role of conventions, or in retreats like camp where you have the time to put into what is like the big change in life. Your blindness is not just something you do superficially, you got to dive in camp helps with that. Michael Hingson 39:07 It's a characteristic blindness is simply a characteristic. It is something that we all have as part of our beings. And I think it's an enhancement because it allows us should we take advantage of it to have a significantly different perspective on part of life than most people have? And it gives us a broader and more open perspective, which is as good as it gets. Bryan Bashin 39:38 Absolutely. You know, we're in an age which is supposedly celebrating diversity and all of that, well the diversity that we bring to the to the human experience is profound. And you know, we we will celebrate our intersectionalities with all the other human diversities. Are we are, we are good to live in an age, which doesn't sort of characterize and other, but works or at least seeks efficiently to include. Michael Hingson 40:13 Sometimes it's a little more superficial than we probably would like. And there are things happening in our modern technological era that are a challenge. For example, one of the examples that I often give is nowadays, there are so many television commercials that are totally graphic pictorial, they may have music, but absolutely no verbiage to the commercial. So a number of us are left out of understanding them. And of course, graphics are so easy to produce. But what the people who produce those commercials, it seems to me don't realize is that by not having verbiage, and having meaningful and full content, verbally presented in the commercials, they're not just leaving out us, but they're leaving out anyone who gets up from their couch or chair, when the commercial comes on to go get a drink. They'll never know what the commercials were about, they're missing a true dimension of access to all it seems to me. Bryan Bashin 41:19 Well, you put your finger on a key aspect of our culture, which is we live in an age of screens, great. Screens are ubiquitous and cheap. And so we're, we're in a in an age now where it's sort of post linguistic almost, that the ability to manipulate and to show successions of images, capture, you owe 90 some percent of people most of the time, but it does a great disservice to the abilities of human beings of all sorts to appreciate. And it kind of cheapens the subtlety and discourse, I think, you know, we this this ability, words are able to convey a universe of experiences in just a few syllables. Pictures, not so much, and not so standard. Michael Hingson 42:19 Someone said, I don't recall who but I read it somewhere. Maybe a picture is worth 1000 words. But it takes up a whole lot more memory. I love that. It's an it's so true. Yeah. And we, we really need to recognize collectively the value of challenging and using all of our senses, it's so important to do that, and no scent should be left out. Now, we haven't figured out a way yet to transmit, smell and taste through the television system. And that may be a long ways away. But we certainly have other senses that we should be using. And that isn't, and shouldn't just be screens. But hopefully we can get that discourse to occur and get, get people to change, maybe a little bit about what they're thinking and see the value in that change again. Bryan Bashin 43:21 Well, you've been a pioneer in this. And as things emerge, I know Mike Kingston is going to be part of it. Michael Hingson 43:29 Well, it's been fun to to be involved with some of the technologies. You know, for me, it started with Ray Kurzweil. And then last decade was IRA, which has certainly been a product that has made a significant difference for a lot of people but other butter products along the way being involved in some of the refreshable braille displays and, and a lot of people don't realize how easy it is in some senses to produce Braille today because refreshable braille displays means I can take any file, any like ASCII file or a Word file, and put it in a medium that I can import into a Braille display and suddenly read that document. That's, that's pretty new. Bryan Bashin 44:15 I think we are just now on the cusp of, of having critical mass in a refreshable Braille display that's got enough pixels to be useful as an image producer, and then ways to quickly and sort of economically produce those images. Yeah, Lighthouse has a unit MATLAB they have a group called touching the news. And here every week or two, there's a news graphic, the map of Ukraine during the war, the what is that helicopter on perseverance look like? Those kinds of things, the ephemera and the news of our society, the ability to get those quickly out. If you have a Braille display or a Braille embosser is going to really we're almost at the time when culture will pivot, and 61,000 Blind K through 12 errs in American schools will be able to get new and fresh material all the time, and compare it or look at the output of an oscilloscope in real time, and change and vary and act in a lab accordingly. So the efforts now to make real time expressible refreshable. screen displays are amazing and so important. Michael Hingson 45:39 The other thing that I would hope as we get into more of a virtual real world virtual reality world, is that we would do more with sound binaural sound which is easy to produce, which truly with a set of headphones allows you to hear sound coming from any direction. And actually can help immerse all gamers in games rather than it just being from the screen. But if they do it right, it certainly would make a lot of games more accessible to us than are available today. Bryan Bashin 46:12 If you've heard a good binaural recording of something, it can be terrifying. The lighthouse work with this group called The World According to sound to produce several dozen binaural shows about the rich experience that blind people have every day. And you can find those online. We worked with Chris and Sam, who just did splendid work for us about how we live how we how we go around what we notice the subtleties and richness in our lives. So there's there's importance for that. And then later, if you look ahead a few years, the metaverse and the idea of group connections, because what we're doing now Mike, on Zoom is not going to be just like a pandemic, Blip. This is the way people are going to interact. And we want this to be richer. I want to be in a room where I can hear who's on the left of the conference table and who's on the right. Right, I want to be able to face them in the three dimensional view on that screen. It's coming. It's coming quickly. And we need to be part of what MATA is doing as they may be the standard or other people may develop other standards. But this is around the corner. Michael Hingson 47:33 And the technology is really here to do it. It's it is a matter of making it a priority and deciding to do it in such a way that will keep the costs down. And that isn't all that hard to do. Yeah. So for you, you are I think you have been appointed to the Ability One commission. Bryan Bashin 47:58 That's right, President Biden appointed me last July. And it's been a wild ride ever since Michael Hingson 48:04 tell us about the commission and what you're doing with it and so on. Bryan Bashin 48:09 Well, this commission was set up during the FDR time in 1938. And it was designed originally to provide some way that blind people, and then later on, people with other significant disabilities could find work and an age where there was almost no work. The employment rate of blind people in 1938 was I don't know two or 3%, or something like that. So it was a groundbreaking bit of legislation in the 30s. But over the years, it became a place where blind people worked in non integrated settings. And some people call them sheltered workshops. There were many blind people who are earning less than minimum wage because of a loophole in the law there and all of that. This has been a fight for the last decades to eliminate the sub minimum wage, and also now to seek blind people not working in silos without the benefit of the wider world only working in a place with people with disabilities. But to integrate and find opportunities for that same federal contracting federal contracts federal government buys, what six or $700 billion worth of stuff every year. This ability one program uses about 4 billion of the 600 billion to provide employment, people will make things the lighthouse itself. We have a social enterprise we make environmentally sound cleaning compounds and disinfecting compounds using sort of state of the art Technology, we got an EPA Safer Choice Award for how benign our stuff is, instead of the other harsh ammonia and caustic chemicals. Anyway. So on this commission, the job is how much wiggle room do we have to provide integrated employment now, you know, if you're working in making airplane parts, only with blind people in a separate building, and meanwhile, Boeing has people doing the exact same job. along with everything else, and the glitz and glamour of working for international big company. Why shouldn't blind people be part of that, instead of the sort of set aside, it was a great idea in the 1930s and 40s, and 50s. Now it's time to change. So the first step of the change is our strategic plan. And we've rolled out the draft strategic plan, we have had eight or maybe more now community meetings about it. The public engagement with this change is 500%, more than we had in the past with the AbilityOne. Commission. We we have launched this strategic plan, I sure it'll be codified in upcoming weeks, when it is over five years, we're going to both look at ways that we can get competitive integrated employment experiences as much as we can. And that may require that we open up the Javits, Wagner eau de Act, the legislation in order to maybe change some possibilities to increase competitive integrated employment. Because in the 30s, it just said employment, that's our charge. The idea of competitive integrated employment for blind people, or people with significant that was science fiction, and FDR, Stein. Now it's something you and I have both lived. And why shouldn't the 45,000 people in the program right now have that opportunity? So that's my work in the AbilityOne. Commission, to bring the fruits of federal contracting to the hundreds of federal contractors, and let them benefit from a workforce that includes diversity of all kinds, including people who are blind, Michael Hingson 52:28 is the tide turning so that we can see the day that the Javits Wagner, eau de Act, Section 14, see will actually go by the wayside, and we'll be able to truly address the issue of competitive employment. Bryan Bashin 52:44 Yes, we have taken many steps along that line, the main step is that organizations that hold such certificates may not be allowed, in the very short term it very shortly to compete for new contracts. So the cost of paying subminimum h is going to be very expensive for people who wish to get more contracts. This is in process now. We are not going to, you know, pull the emergency cord and throw people out of work, who are now working under these programs, but new contracts, and new opportunities are going to be you know, bias towards competitive integrated employment. And, you know, on the blind side, there are no organizations in the blindness side of Ability One paying sub minimum wages Now, none. That's that's already ended on the significant disability sides. I think the number is around 3000. People still are working on legacy contracts like that. We expect that if I talk to you in a couple of years, Mike, that will be gone. Michael Hingson 54:02 Well, and historically, I think when the act was originally established, it was done with good intentions. And maybe it wasn't as five sided as it could be. But as I understood the original Act, the non competitive employment centers were supposed to be training centers to get people prepared to and then out into the more competitive world of employment. But it morphed and evolved over the years to something different than that. Bryan Bashin 54:33 It is and if legally, if you look, there's nothing in the ACT about training. It's just about employment. That's that was the mindset in 1938. Yeah. Now, of course, that's what we want. That's what we want to celebrate. We want to give the nonprofit agencies credit for training people and bringing them out into competitive employment. We think if we open up the act, we want to strike threat. So those agencies who are successful at getting people trained up and out, should be rewarded for that. Michael Hingson 55:08 That makes perfect sense. What is the pandemic done to the whole rehabilitation system? And what do you see happening as we come out of it? Bryan Bashin 55:19 This is not a happy topic. Michael Hingson 55:22 Yeah, it is a challenge. Bryan Bashin 55:25 The the number of people who are just enrolled in VR across the country has been slashed a third to a half those those people part of that is because VR with its three and a half billion dollars worth of funding, doesn't find, you know, the homemaker outcome, which is basically blind, independent living training, that's now no longer legal. So those people who went to VR thinking they could learn how to do certain things. But without a vocational goal, that is not not any, any more part of the public rehab system. So some people went away for that. But I think the larger question and it's kind of profound is that we've been through two years of a pandemic, after, after a century of saying to blind people get out there, learn to travel, be at everybody's table, take risks. And now we've had two years and more of stay in your place. It's a dangerous world. And our you know, my observation is all of our skills are rusty, are on him skills are rusty, our social skills are rusty. And everybody in the world will say, Oh, you're blind is easy to stay at home, look from look for work at home and all of this, but we lose if we're not in the room. And so the bottom line is that the pandemic has caused, I think a lot of us to take a giant step back in our social integration and just our horizons. Through the pandemic, I watched as my sighted friends could just get in the car and go where they wanted safely. Every time you and I want to go somewhere, Mike, we have to get into a conveyance with a person of unknown infectivity status. This is the nature code, we can't just Uber ourselves to a park without the sense like, okay, we're taking a controlled risk. This is why a future of autonomous vehicles is so great, no guide dog denials, no coughing driver, who may or may not be wearing a mask these days, technology can be our friend, if the technologists start considering our needs. Michael Hingson 57:53 Well, and autonomous vehicles are, are definitely in our future and the whole concept of opposing them. Anyone who does we're, we're seeing someone who just doesn't have a lot of vision, because the reality is that they're, as you would say, right around the corner. I think some of the things that have happened with Tesla vehicles is unfortunate, especially when, in reality, they were probably not using the technology correctly. And that causes many accidents is anything. I have a friend who owns a Tesla, I actually drove it down the I 15 toward San Bernardino a few years ago. But I called him one day and he told me he had an accident with his Tesla. Now he had driven some race cars in the past and he said that there was a situation where a car was coming at him. He had the Tesla in copilot mode and was monitoring. But when this vehicle was coming at him as a racecar driver, he said my inclination is to speed up and get away from it. The car wanted to slow down and he said I overrode the copilot and we had an accident. I should have let the car do Bryan Bashin 59:14 it. Your way there. I can't let that pass. Mike. You were in the driver's seat of a Tesla on Interstate 15. Michael Hingson 59:24 Absolutely, why not? No, he was he was there of course. And but I had my hands on the wheel and we had it in copilot mode and I could feel it moving. It was a pretty straight run. But we did it for about 15 minutes. And then I said no, I don't think that the Highway Patrol would be happy with us if we kept that going. Bryan Bashin 59:44 I don't think the statute of limitations quite expired on that one bike so Michael Hingson 59:50 well, they gotta prove it now. I don't know it's been more than two years and nothing and nothing happened. I will wasn't in the car with the accident, we had a completely uneventful time, I just want to point out Bryan Bashin 1:00:06 now, but these, these technologies, we must be pressing the companies for Level Five accessibility. That means from the time you walk down your friend steps to the car waiting there for the time you get to your destinations, front steps, you're in control the whole time. Yeah, it would be heartbreaking to have legislation that allows less than that. So that yeah, you have to like drive until you're on the freeway, and then you can do autonomous driving, that would lock us all out. That would mean this whole technology is useless for us. Michael Hingson 1:00:44 And that would be useless legislation, it wouldn't solve the big problem that the autonomous vehicle can bring us. I'm a firm believer, and we got to get the concept of driving out of the hands of drivers. Because, as far as I'm concerned, using a Tesla or not the way most people drive on the road, I would certainly be able to do as well as they do. Bryan Bashin 1:01:07 Absolutely. I wrote in, I wrote an autonomous vehicle in San Francisco last summer. And I felt it in control, confident, cautious, but it had a different sort of feel in that car and felt like I noticed like in San Francisco, if you want to make a left turn, a sighted driver would sort of drive into the intersection, start making the turn. And then once you're made the 90 degree turn, then accelerate the autonomous driver drives into the intersection and starts accelerating in the intersection intersection, knowing full well that it knows and has decided where it wants to go. So if it was more confidently powering into the term than a human one would do. I found that interesting. Michael Hingson 1:02:05 It is, and I just am firmly convinced that we will make the road so much more safer if we take not the decision making but the whole concept of driving away from so many people who haven't learned to do it. Well, it does mean that we need to program the technology appropriately. And well. We're still on the cusp, but it's coming and it's going to be here sooner than we probably think. Bryan Bashin 1:02:36 Yeah, well, the main thing is that all there may be 50 Different groups five, zero, looking at autonomous driving, it's turning out to be a much harder technical problem than people were saying just a few years back. But we need to be in those early design phases. You know, my car right now has a radio that I can't use. Yeah, because it needs a touchscreen. I mean, if they can't get that, right, what about the ability to change directions, at a stop on a whim, respond to a safety emergency, we need to let the folks know, all the ways that we need to be involved and not like was one set of the Mercury astronauts, we're not just spamming again. Michael Hingson 1:03:25 Right? Well, and the the Tesla, for example, is so disappointing, because everything is really touchscreen driven. So I could deal with the wheel and deal with the car once someone else completely shut it up. And there is some ability to do voice activation, if you do the right things with the touchscreen first. And the bottom line is I couldn't work the radio, I couldn't do anything that a passenger should normally be able to do. Because it's all touchscreen driven. And it really takes away, it seems to me from the driving experience, even because I have to focus on the touchscreen. I can't be watching the road as well as a sighted driver. Bryan Bashin 1:04:10 Yeah, this is not inherent to blindness. It's just smart design that's inclusive. And those are fun projects. And that's when you get blind people, engineers, by engineers, sighted engineers together on a problem that is a beautiful Association and it produces really great results. Michael Hingson 1:04:31 I'm remember I remember some of the early discussions that we had when we were working on the pedestrian enhancement Safety Act and we worked with the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers and eventually got a law passed that said that quiet cars and so on needed to make a noise although we're still really waiting for a standard so that there is a sound that hybrid cars and totally quiet cars produce and it's taking way To long, unfortunately, but still working together, we were able to educate and get some people to really imagine a lot more than they thought that they would. And we're making progress, but it sometimes it just seems like it's very slow. Well, let me ask you one last thing, what are you going to do when you leave the lighthouse, you announced that you're, you're wanting to move on. And I know that there is now a search to find a, a person who will step into your shoes, which I think is going to be an impossibility. But what are you going to do? Bryan Bashin 1:05:37 Well, I love I love the search, I love that lighthouse is going to have a long, open, transparent process to find that right person. So that will be wonderful to cheer them on when they show up. But for me, I am a guy who likes learning. And I've had 13 years of heavy responsibility running a large agency, I want to be in places where I have more of a beginner mind. That could be journalism, that could be advocacy, it will be advocacy. That will be in design, like we were just talking about autonomous vehicles or other interesting projects. I would like to be in those places, whether it be corporate boards, or design Charettes, or architecture, any of these things were blind people haven't been before, to sort of bring people together to make really exquisite designs, and beautiful human centered outcomes. So whether it's working with the Ability One Commission, or working on contract with companies that have a problem to design, whether it's it's talking truth to power, and making sure that our extended community has is protected and safe and supported in Congress in the state house. You'll find me in all those places. Michael Hingson 1:07:04 Well, I hope that as you move on and do things that you will come back and talk with us and keep us posted and give us a chance to learn from you and and maybe give you things that you can use as well. So I hope that this won't be the only time we hear from you on this podcast. Bryan Bashin 1:07:22 It's always a pleasure, Mike, it's in conversation with you. I learned so much. And I feel we are part of that same community. Michael Hingson 1:07:30 How can people learn about you, the lighthouse, and so on? Bryan Bashin 1:07:35 Well, our websites always a good place to start WWW dot Lighthouse dash s f.org. Michael Hingson 1:07:44 And everything is there, there are so many different programs that the lighthouse offers. And there's so much that all of us can learn from the various adventures and programs that the Lighthouse has. So I hope that you'll all go visit WWW dot Lighthouse dash s s.org and peruse the pages. And if you're able to do so maybe consider volunteering or being involved in some way. And I hope that you'll make that happen. If people want to reach out to me, we are always available. As I tell people every week you can reach me via email at Michael H I at accessabe.com or through the podcast page which is www dot Michael hingson M I C H A E L H I N G S O N.com/podcast. And once you finish listening to this, please give us a five star rating. We love those five star ratings and, and Brian, hopefully you'll listen and give us a five star rating when this comes up. Bryan Bashin 1:08:46 Oh, I'm already pre sold on this one. You're also welcome to leave my email address. I'll go folks on on the website or here. It's simply b Bastion b ba Shi n at Lighthouse stash fsf.org. Michael Hingson 1:09:03 So reach out to Brian and I'm sure that discussions will be interesting. And as I said we want to hear of your adventures as you go forward. Thank you, Michael. Thanks very much for being here. And to all of you. We'll see you next week on unstoppable mindset. UM Intro/Outro 1:09:23 You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you'll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you're on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you're there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.
With Secret Invasion just around the corner, which of our beloved MCU characters has been a Skrull this whole time? Go to http://mintmobile.com/BIGQ to cut your wireless bill to $15 a month. Go to http://avast.com to check out Avast One. As the MCU inches closer and closer to the Secret Invasion series coming to Disney+, we are starting to get suspicious of which of our favorite characters could be revealed to be a Skrull in disguise. While the Blip may have provided the perfect opportunity for a Skrull to assume someone's identity, there may have been Skrulls hiding among us from the very beginning of the MCU. In this episode of Big Question, MT and Off-Screen Producer Brandon present their evidence and start pointing fingers at the most likely Skrulls-in-hiding in the MCU. Check out our sweet, sweet merch! http://www.newrockstarsmerch.com Join the nerdy conversation on Discord! https://discord.io/newrockstars
The Orphans accompany Erilim the Grigori Angel to the site of his abduction to discover it under surveillance by an elite group of holy assassins known as The Shadow Pulpit. Mya gets in touch with her Dark Passenger and Shatter picks up a cool new weapon!Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the immediate aftermath of Thanos' Snap, this series follows the exploits a group of young heroes trying to find their way in this near apocalyptic new world. Left completely alone after the Blip, they are brought together by chance - will they get past their differences and forge a new path or wallow in their misery? These are the Orphans of the Blip!A Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play utilizing Foundry VTTCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music from this episode may come from the following sources: https://www.darrencurtismusic.com/https://tabletopaudio.com/https://www.digitaljuice.com/
Gemma does some more snooping in the basement of Willard Library. Billy Joe gets a hover-bike. Shay finds a better nest for the dinosaur eggs. The trio gets a lesson in Russian and climb into a dark and spooky hole. C'mon. How can you not listen to this episode?Tales from the Loop is a tabletop role-playing game that explores the lives of kids living in the 80s. It examines the mundane moments of school life and nagging parents, mainly exploring the mysteries that surround these small towns through the eyes of children. The world is depicted in the artwork of Simon Stålenhag, a crossing point of retro-futurism and nostalgia.What is The Loop? Technically, The Loop is a huge underground particle accelerator built under your hometown. These are the mysteries that the children explore in order to escape from their everyday lives. What they discover is meaningful, magical, and life changing.A Tales From the Loop RPG Live Play Utilizing Foundry VTTJoin us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dreamslayerstudios.entertainmentCheck out these other Dreamslayer Studios recommendations: Dreamslayer Studios RPG Podcast - edited for your listening pleasure! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dreamslayer-studios-rpg-podcast/id1549919041Dreamslayer Studios' first Actual Play series: The Great American Novel by Christopher Grey - Devil's Canyon: https://youtu.be/PaUfI-2SGqYDreamslayer Studios' Classic Marvel Superheroes RPG Live Play - IROSHAN Gods and Monsters and Orphans of the Blip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jDqzufIrg&list=PLZrWbwUCH4XA3EeGmthj67Y_fUMOpU2h-Music underscore in this episode provided by Eric Matyas - www.soundimage.org2n2rdgVWw6DxgD0DUhw2
(NSFW!) Max Headroom, Marvel needs directors, Marvel has directors, Tomb Raider, Rick and Morty, Guillermo's Pinocchio, She-Hulk, Orphan Black spin off, Batffleck, Harley Quinn, Gizmo v Grogu, Tony reviews DC Superpets, lots more
Angie Zelter is on her way to Loch Goil in Scotland. It's a beautiful summer's day, and her friends have packed a picnic. But that's not the real reason they're there. Angie has an urgent message to deliver to the world about nuclear weapons. And she's going to deliver it through an act of destruction. In this episode, Matthew Syed looks at the danger that nuclear weapons pose, even if nations never use them in a deliberate act of war. He hears about the moments we came within a hair's breadth of disaster through misunderstanding, negligence, accident and even a blackbrown bear. It's simple - the more weapons there are in the world, the more risk increases. But how to deal with this problem throws up complex solutions and viewpoints. Some would like the total eradication of nuclear weapons, arguing that disarmament across the world is the only way to avoid catastrophic risk. But others worry about disrupting the delicate balance of nuclear deterrence. As Matthew hears, history shows us that scaling back the numbers is possible - even at the height of the Cold War. He asks whether the possibilities for non-proliferation and scaling back through treaties and verification could be a way forward today. Contributors: Angie Zelter - Founder of the Trident Ploughshares movement in the UK, anti-nuclear weapons activist and Peace and Environmental Campaigner Eryn MacDonald - Global Security Analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists Patricia Lewis - Research Director for Conflict, Science and Transformation and Director, International Security Programme Mariana Bujeryn - Global Fellow with the Wilson Center's Nuclear Proliferation International History Project and Research Fellow at the Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center Presenter: Matthew Syed Producer: Nadia Mehdi Series Editor: Katherine Godfrey Sound Design and Mix: Rob Speight Theme tune by Ioana Selaru A Novel production for BBC Radio 4