Experiences Shared by Humans

You may not want to answer this question—During a conversation the other day, my friends and I were talking about a bunch of philosophy-type things. One person asked, ‘What experience have all human beings—dead or alive—shared? What do you say? – BC

BC: What were you folks smoking? I thought about this for a day or so before writing this answer. This is what I came up with:

My answer comes from an old Neil Diamond song called "Done Too Soon." In that song, he names several people (as examples of all humans) and says that they all have "Sweated beneath the same sun and looked up and wondered at the same moon."

I agree with Neil—we have all experienced (shared) the same sun and the same moon (possibly another star, but that's unlikely).

Some people might also include birth and death, but I would disagree since all births and all deaths aren't the same. Plus, I don't think we really remember being born. For the life of me, I can't remember that my brother emerged 4 minutes before me. (We obviously have no language when we're born.)

There may be one more: breathing. Although I'm not sure if we all have experienced the same breathing. You decide.

Experience vs. Education

I just graduated from high school, and I can go to college and major in radio broadcasting, or go through this mentor program called ‘Radio Connections' (www.radioconnection.com) If you were going to hire an on-air personality what would you look for? Thanks in advance. - Anonymous

Anon: You're welcome.  Let's forget about what I would look for if I were hiring an on-air personality. Let's take a look at your decisions.

You're somewhere around 18 years old since you just graduated from high school. A young puppy. Right now, you're looking at a career as an on-air personality. There is nothing wrong with that. But . . .

Will you still want to be an on-air personality when you're 25, 35, 45, or any other age? If your answer is "yes," then the Radio Connection approach may be best (assuming that it's a good program). If your answer is either "No" or "I don't know," then maybe you need to consider a few things. Let me tell you a little story. I hope I don't bore you to death.

When I was 22 and finishing my Master's degree program, one of my advisors told me that I shouldn't put "all of my eggs" in one basket when I asked him about what I should do with my future. He didn't tell me what to do. Instead, he explained that I would always be a marketable commodity if I had several skills, not just one. His advised me to get the skills I thought I needed to allow me to pursue a variety of jobs. So I worked for two years and then received my Ph.D. when I was 26—all along planning for a variety of opportunities, not just one. Guess what? My advisor was correct, and that's what I'll pass on to you . . .

Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. If you carefully analyze the program at Radio Connection and find out that it offers the opportunities you need, then go for it. If you find that the program is limiting in some way, then you need to look at the college route. Now, a college degree is not a guarantee of success (nothing is), but I do know that the college experience will give you opportunities to see other areas of broadcasting, or maybe even fields you have never thought about. (This may be true with Radio Connection. I don't know enough about it.)

Only you can decide which of these two paths will provide you with the most eggs. If you're like most young people, you may not even know what you want to do when you "grow up." That's OK and don't worry about that—I know many people in their 50s who are still looking for the right path.

Select the path you are most comfortable with and the one that will open the most doors. That will be the right decision.

By the way, you can also get on-air radio experience at colleges and universities that have radio stations.

Experimental Research

I'm a college student and have taken a few research classes. One of the classes I took was in experimental research design. From what I read in the radio industry newspapers and elsewhere, there doesn't seem to be a lot of experiments conducted in radio. Why is that? – Larry

Larry: Good observation. The reason you don't see experimental research in radio (except for academic research) is that broadcasters don't want to spend the money to conduct experiments. For example, instead of spending money to find out how many commercials in a row people are willing to listen to, industry people (I guess) find it satisfying enough just to argue about it. I think this is usually referred to as a "pooling of ignorance."

Over the years, I have heard many radio industry "leaders" raise questions about many things in radio. When I suggest that they should fund an experiment to find an answer, they usually move along to another topic, such as "What's for dinner?"

In addition to an unwillingness to spend the money, I find that many broadcasters already know all the answers and feel that scientific experiments are a waste of time.

Explorer Help

I love your column.  I make my jocks read it.  Anyway, I have two questions that I can’t find any information on:


1.  I have Internet Explorer 6.0 and can’t “Open In A New Window” when I go to a link!  I have reinstalled and it still doesn’t work.


2.  I have Office 2000 and all my clip art is gone.  When I go to insert clip art it says it’s not installed.  I have re installed it and still no clip art.


What’s wrong Doc? - Anonymous


Anon:  I’m glad you enjoy the column.  Thanks.  I hope your jocks enjoy it too.


Since I’m not a computer expert, the only thing I can do is search for answers on the Internet.  I set up a few Google searches for you for each question.  Not all of the entries in each search are relevant, but I think you’ll find your answer.  (I read many of the references and I think you’ll get your answer.)


1.  Open in a New Window:  Check these…Window One, Window Two.


2.  Clip Art:  Check these…Clip Art One, Clip Art Two, Clip Art Three.


Do you know anything about people using their home computers to search for other life in the universe? - Anonymous


Anon:  Yes, I have heard of that.  It’s a program called SETI@home based at the University of California-Berkeley.  On the website, it says:


“SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).  You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.”


You can check it out by clicking here: ET Phone My Computer.

Eye Bags

Dear Doc, Your column is great! I know you've been asked some pretty wacky stuff and you've always answered the question—without judgment. Here's a great one for you. No matter how much or little I sleep I get, my eyes are puffy and have those annoying black circles (bags). I've relieved the puffiness by placing cold cucumber slices on them. But, I don't know what to do to alleviate the bags. What are they? From where do they come? And like in-laws, how can I send them packing? I await your response. Thanks and keep up the good work. - Anonymous


Anon: Thanks for the comments about the column. I'm glad you enjoy it. As I said, I'll answer almost any question, so here goes.


When it comes to questions outside of my area, I always add a disclaimer, and this time the disclaimer is that I'm not a medical doctor. With that in mind, I called a plastic surgeon here in the Denver area and asked him for the answer to your question. This is a paraphrase of what he said:


As we get older, our skin loses elasticity and stretches. The eyelids are particularly susceptible to stretching because the eyelid skin (above and below) is the thinnest skin of the body. The muscles and membranes that hold fatty tissue around our eyes weaken and cause the fat to protrude or bulge. Eyes look worse in the morning because of fluid collection in the fatty tissue while sleeping. Although some of the puffiness may disappear after you stand up and walk around for a while, if you have a lot of fatty tissue under the eye, the puffiness may never completely disappear.


There are four main reasons for bags under your eyes.

There really isn't much you can do yourself to eliminate the problem. You can try cool tea bags or cucumbers placed on the lower eyelid, but both of these are temporary solutions—and usually don't work well anyway.


If you prefer, you can go through plastic surgery to correct this problem. The procedure is called trans-conjunctival blepharoplasty, which involves making incisions from the inside of the lower lid to remove excess fat.


I suggest that you visit a doctor who specializes in this type of situation.

Eye Grease

Doc:  You may have been asked this before, but I thought about it when I was watching a football game the other day.  I have always (it seems) seen many football players put black grease (or whatever it is) under their eyes, and I assume they do this to reduce the glare of lights or the sun.  Does that really work, or is it just something they do to make them look tough (or something like that)? - David


David:  I haven't been asked this question, but it's something I have thought about before and never pursued an answer.  I pursued it for you.


According to a 2003 study titled, The Ability of Periorbitally Applied Antiglare Products to Improve Contrast Sensitivity in Conditions of Sunlight Exposure, conducted by two medical doctors, Brian DeBroff and Patricia Pahk, the black grease does actually reduce the glare from the sun.  (Nice title for the article, eh?)


I was surprised with the results and can read an abstract of the study by clicking here.


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