Auld Lang Syne and Reflections (Ep. 12)

new-year-1904770_1920

What Just Happened? – Auld Lang Syne and Reflections (Ep. 12)

Happy 2017! Auld Lang Syne has always been one of my favorite songs. But as Billy Crystal famously asked in the movie When Harry Met Sally, “What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means.” Today I talk about the meaning and story behind Auld Lang Syne, as well as share some of my own personal reflections about the past year.

Reach me at
My website: www.podcastenthusiast.com
Twitter @davidgchang
Facebook www.facebook.com/davidchang99
whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com

What Just Happened? – New Cover Art!

Room2

I am so excited about the new cover art for my podcast! Check it out above. But what does this image have anything to do with a podcast about news and current events, you might ask? I wanted to create a warm, inviting space for listeners to get comfy as they listen to an entertaining story. Hope you like it. 🙂

Reach me at
My website: www.podcastenthusiast.com
Twitter @davidgchang
Facebook www.facebook.com/davidchang99
whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com

Rest in peace Carrie Fisher

Carrie-Fisher-Princess-Leia-Close-up

Carrie Fisher died after our Star Wars episode was recorded. Like so many millions, I grew up celebrating her character Princess Leia. I was also a fan of her character “Marie” from the movie When Harry Met Sally. (“You’re right, you’re right, I know you’re right.”) Deepest sympathies to her entire family and may she rest in peace.

What Just Happened? Unscripted – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (SPOILERS!) (Ep. 11)

SUBSCRIBE, RATE, and REVIEW What Just Happened? on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play.

Reach me at
My website: www.podcastenthusiast.com
Twitter @davidgchang
Facebook www.facebook.com/davidchang99
whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (SPOILERS!) (Ep. 11)

Rogue One

What Just Happened? Unscripted – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (SPOILERS!) (Ep. 11)

Where Eugene and I talk all things Rogue One. We go deep into the mind of Galen Erso, the Battle of Scarif, Orson Krennic, Donnie Yen, that cray-cray ending, and Eugene’s beef with chompy doors.

Thank you Eugene Chang for a fun, in-depth review!

SUBSCRIBE, RATE, and REVIEW What Just Happened? on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play.

Reach me at
My website: www.podcastenthusiast.com
Twitter @davidgchang
Facebook www.facebook.com/davidchang99
whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com

WJH Interview – Angela Cheng (Ep. 10)

Angela Cheng profile

WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Interview – Angela Cheng (Ep. 10)

It wasn’t until her 40’s when Angela Cheng realized the strict discipline she thought her parents raised her on was actually abuse. Angela shares a fascinating story about her journey from victim to self-empowerment. And she reveals the first three words she would say to any newborn baby. Hint: It’s not “I love you” though those words would follow closely after.

Angela’s website.

The video we discuss of her singing with her mother.

SUBSCRIBE, RATE, and REVIEW What Just Happened? on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play.

Reach me at
My website: www.podcastenthusiast.com
Twitter @davidgchang
Facebook www.facebook.com/davidchang99
whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com

BACK FROM THE DEAD: THE NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE (EP. 9)

Ascent of the Blessed 2

WHAT JUST HAPPENED? – Back From the Dead: The Near Death Experience (Ep. 9)

Near death experiences have reentered pop culture in recent years with best-sellers like “Proof of Heaven” and “Heaven is for Real.” But are near death experiences legit? Are NDE’ers actually having out of body experiences and travelling towards a light at the end of the tunnel? Or are they merely illusions of the mind? Today we tell the harrowing, sometimes tragic, and extraordinary stories of three individuals who might just possibly have travelled to the other side.

SOURCES

Books for general reading:
Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of Near Death Experience, Pim van Lommel (2011)
God and the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-Death Experience, Jeffrey Long & Paul Perry (2016)
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, Todd Burpo (2010)
Near-Death Experiences, The Rest of the Story: What They Teach Us About Living and Dying and Our True Purpose, P.M.H. Atwater (2011)
Near-Death Experiences: Understanding Visions of the Afterlife, John Martin Fischer & Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin (2016)
Passage, Connie Willis (2002)
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, Eben Alexander (2012)
What Happens When We Die?: A Groundbreaking Study into the Nature of Life and Death, Sam Parnia (2007)
Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences: How Understanding NDE’s Can Help Us Live More Fully, Penny Sartori (2014)

Vicki Noratuk’s story:
NDE Stories
Near-death and out-of-body experiences in the blind: a study of apparent eyeless vision., Ring K, Cooper S., J Near-Death Studies. 1997;16:101–147.
People Born Blind Can See During a Near-Death Experience

Mr. A’s story:
AWARE Study Initial Results are Published, IANDS
AWARE Study Results Finally Published: Does Not Prove Life After Death
AWAREness Beyond Death?
The Seven Ways to have a Near Death Experience BBC

Jeff Olsen’s story:
I Knew Their Hearts: The Amazing True Story of a Journey Beyond the Veil to Learn the Silent Language of the Heart, Jeff Olsen (2012)
Near death experiences at heart of Jeff Olsen’s memoir, lecture in Colorado Springs, The Gazette

Additional resources:
IANDS, or the International Association for Near Death Studies, is an incredible resource for those who are just starting to learn about NDE’s or who are looking for a community of NDE’ers.

Alex Tsakiris has a podcast called Skeptiko: Science at the Tipping Point where in episode 326 he critically interviews Professor Mitchell-Yellin about his co-authored book and findings. It’s worth listening too!

Journalist Gideon Lichfield published an in-depth and interesting article about NDE’s for April 2015 issue of The Atlantic. The article is called “The Science of Near-Death Experiences: Empirically investigating brushes with the afterlife.”

Dr. Sam Parnia is one of several scientists (including Dr. Penny Sartori and Dr. Jeffrey Long, among others) who have been on the cutting edge of scientific research into NDE’s. Here is a blog post he wrote on HuffPo called “Erasing Death.”

SUBSCRIBE, RATE, and REVIEW What Just Happened? on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play.

Reach me at
My website: www.podcastenthusiast.com
Twitter @davidgchang
Facebook www.facebook.com/davidchang99
whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com

Post-Tiger Parenting in the Age of President Trump (Ep. 8)

trio-vintage-microphones-25124253

WHAT JUST HAPPENED? – Episode 8: WJH UNSCRIPTED: Post-Tiger Parenting in the Age of President Trump

When I first started podcasting, I had initially envisioned a debate and discussion type format with regular contributors, along the lines of Slate’s Political Gabfest. That idea eventually evolved into the “storytelling” format I use for regular episodes. But I finally had the opportunity to try the gabfest format after my friends Jennifer Lee Koh and Grace Ong agreed to join me for a conversation I’m calling “Post-Tiger Parenting in the Age of President Trump.” This was a really fun and interesting discussion and I hope you enjoy it. Thank you so much to Grace and Jennifer for playing along! 🙂

There will be more content coming to the podcast in the forthcoming weeks, including a full more “traditional” episode as well as my interview with an inspirational speaker.

Please SUBSCRIBE to, RATE, and REVIEW What Just Happened? on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play.

Reach me at
My website: www.podcastenthusiast.com
Twitter @davidgchang
Facebook www.facebook.com/davidchang99
whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com

The Death of Elisa Lam – now in Mandarin! (feat. Grace Ong)

Elisa Lam

What Just Happened? – Episode 6: The Death of Elisa Lam – now in Mandarin! (feat. Grace Ong)

After a loooong hiatus, new content is coming to the podcast soon. In the meantime, my friend, the amazingly talented Grace Ong, has produced a very special edition of Episode 6: The Death of Elisa Lam translated completely into Mandarin.

When Grace first approached me with this idea, I honestly wasn’t sure it would be possible. I certainly couldn’t contribute, since I can’t read Chinese or speak Mandarin. But through incredible persistence and effort (and possibly some help from the supermoon!) this busy mother of two managed to find time to translate the entire transcript of the episode, record the narration in Mandarin in her own voice, and edit the content into a finished product. Grace is clearly a person who needs her own podcast! 🙂

Grace told me she was motivated to do this project in order to spread word about Elisa’s story to a wider Mandarin speaking audience, particularly given the wild rumors and speculation about Elisa Lam’s death that were just as rampant in China as they were in the U.S. If you happen to know anyone who’s primary speaking language is Mandarin, please consider recommending this episode to them.

And thank you Grace for putting this episode together!

SUBSCRIBE to What Just Happened? on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play.

Reach me at:
My website: www.podcastenthusiast.com (NEW!)
Twitter @davidgchang
Facebook www.facebook.com/davidchang99
whatjustpodcast @ gmail . com

“It’s the life I’ve chosen.”

The Longest Shortest Time Podcast, Episode 79 — Terry Gross on Not Having Kids

Gross1Terry Gross shares insights that frankly many men would never have made.

I work weird hours. Most days, I’m at work by 6:00 AM and out by 3:30 PM. Typically we eat dinner around 5 and ideally the kids are in bed before 7:30. I’m usually asleep by 9.

I like to structure my day this way partly for the commute and partly because it’s nice to be in the office when it’s is super quiet. But mostly it’s for the kids. We’re believers in the “absurdly early bedtimes” approach to child rearing, and by getting to and leaving from work early, I can be home for dinner and to spend several hours with the kids before bed.
Gross2

However, there are tradeoffs with this kind of lifestyle. First and foremost, it’s exhausting. Not so much because it’s early but because of the nature of parenting young kids.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again: Stay at home parents and single parents are HEROES and deserve all the credit.

From the minute I get home, the next four to five hours are a relentless, rollicking, sprint of parental duties. Some of it is great. There are the conversations, eating together, socializing, horseplay, and hanging out. But there’s also dealing with tantrums, squabbles, and tears. There’s housework and cleaning and baths to be drawn and books to be read out loud (over and over and over…). And, as I’ve written several times in the past, I find a lot of it boring and monotonous. (Confession: I don’t enjoy arts and crafts.) There’s a reason that journalist and parent Jennifer Senior titled her recent book, “All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood.”

Gross3

My work schedule is also not conducive to “going out.” I can’t remember the last time I was up at midnight, even on New Year’s eve. On any given day, I’m much more likely to be awake at 5 AM than 10 PM. This actually works well for me. It turns out I’m a morning person. But I can understand how this routine could be extremely frustrating to people who like to go out and have more fun at night.

Finally, for people who are highly career-oriented, this schedule can be downright destructive. They say if you want to get ahead, be the first one in the office and the last one to leave. Well, there are days I happen to be the first one in the office but I’m never the last to leave. It’s not that I don’t do my job well. In fact, I’m proud of the quality of my work. But I also don’t have aspirations to rise up the corporate ladder. People who DO have such aspirations tend to be the ones that stay late or volunteer for extra projects or special assignments. I prefer to do my work well but leave by 3:30 PM.

Not long ago, Fresh Air’s Terry Gross went on the podcast “The Longest Shortest Time” and talked about her decision not to have children. It was one of the rare occasions when she was being interviewed, rather than the other way around. And she made what I thought were some pretty REMARKABLE insights. Some that quite frankly not many men would have made in her shoes.

Gross, 65, said she “never felt called to be a parent” and that she “couldn’t imagine having children AND having a career.” She also admitted she will “never know whether I would have enjoyed being a mother or would have been a good mother.” But Gross has no regrets over her choice. She said she got to “live the life I wanted to have. It’s the life I’ve chosen.”

Now granted, Terry Gross was a career woman who came up in the 1970’s, in an environment that was very different than what working parents experience today (although in some ways not THAT different). But listening to the podcast, I’m almost positive that for her it wouldn’t have mattered. For Terry Gross, her work IS her life—and remains so is today. She revealed, “You can’t do a daily radio show AND work part time. And I just didn’t want to give that up.”

And it wasn’t just being a mother that Terry gave up. It was virtually all relationships all together outside of her marriage. Gross was asked if she was able to maintain connections with her female friends as they became mothers over time. In response, she said she wasn’t really able to maintain friendships of ANY kind—with parents or otherwise. “I was spending so little time taking care of anything except meeting deadlines,” she said. “Those kinds of friendships disappeared. I didn’t leave room in my life for that kind of friendship.” Again, she didn’t speak about this regretfully. She repeated, “it’s the life I carved out for myself.”

Terry Gross had both the insight and humility to recognize she couldn’t “have it all.” She knew she couldn’t both be a parent and devote the time and energy to her professional work at the level and intensity she wanted to. By contrast, someone who lacked the same self-awareness was the father of Paul Kalanithi. Paul Kalanithi was the remarkable neurosurgeon whose posthumously published memoir “When Breath Becomes Air” became a best seller. His life was tragically cut short by cancer.

Gross6Dr. Lucy Kalanithi and Dr. Paul Kalanithi with their daughter, Elizabeth Acadia.

It turns out Kalanithi’s father was also a doctor. And in his memoir, he writes about why his difficult relationship with his dad made him initially reluctant to go into medicine: “I knew medicine only by its absence—specifically, the absence of a father growing up.” His father “went to work before dawn and returned in the dark.” And while his father’s “unyielding dedication to his patents” made him a “respected member of the community,” it was a very different story at home. “All I knew was, if that was the price of medicine, it was simply too high.” I wonder what Kalanithi’s life would have been liked if his father shared the same degree of self reflection Terry Gross appears to have in abundance.

On a personal note, I feel like I’m finally—maybe?—nearing the end of what is for many of us the most intense season of parenting, which is when you are raising young children. As my kids gradually get older and more independent, I’m not sure what that means for my own future. Will I have a little more free time? If so, how will I spend it?

What I probably WON’T spend my time on is trying to rise up the chain in my professional career. I’ve happily watched that train leave the station. Likewise, in her podcast “Millennial,” Megan Tan talks about the dream of freedom – no mortgage, no kids, the ability to pick up and go wherever and do whatever she felt like. That has also never been my dream.

Maybe I’ll double down on parenting, and just keep spending as much time as I am now with my kids. But if I were to take my own advice and try to be a little more self reflective, I’d say I would probably end up devoting more time to “projects” like podcasting, writing, or other pursuits that interest me. But as Gross herself speculates in the interview, “One of the gifts of being a parent is a child forces you to have a life outside of your own. It forces you into a world outside of the world you created for yourself.” As much as I love creating worlds for myself, in the end, that’s probably a good thing.

SUBSCRIBE to The Longest Shortest Time podcast.

Gross5

“I don’t care if the judge is Mexican or not. I’m going to do great with the Mexican people.”

GettyImages-499670390.0

Let’s be clear: When Donald Trump sees Judge Gonzalo Curiel, he does NOT see an American. It doesn’t matter that Curiel was born and raised in Indiana, went to college at Indiana University, or lived all his life in the United States. In Trump’s eyes, Curiel is Mexican. Full stop.
 
That’s why I think Trump doesn’t consider his OWN comments “racist.” To Trump, since Curiel is Mexican and since he (Trump) is showing hostility towards Mexico, of course there’s a conflict of interest. To Trump, certain broad categories of people who live in this country count as “real” Americans, and others don’t.
 
Again, listen to Trump’s language on tonight’s O’Reilly Factor: “I don’t care if the judge is Mexican or not. I’m going to do great with the Mexican people.” When he says “Mexican people” he’s talking about Hispanic American voters, who are by definition U.S. citizens. To Trump, these U.S. citizens are Mexicans first, Americans a distant second.
 

Ep. 5: The Secret Appeal of Donald Trump – What the Media is Missing and Why It Matters