Life & Style

Encore: 7 Random People on Their View of The American Dream

In this episode we hear from seven people who talked with Tim to answer the question, “What is the American Dream?”  Tim set out to get the answer to the question on the streets of his hometown, Pittsburgh.  You’ll hear from Vidya, Dwayne, Chuck, Leah, Jack, Tamara and Charlie. Each person was selected randomly in “man on the street” interviews, and we had no idea what they would say, but all of their answers were moving, thought-provoking and inspiring. This episode was first released July 4, 2022.

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Encore: How the Nazis Turned Ordinary Men Into Kill Squads

Historian and author Christopher R. Browning joins Tim to talk about his study of the Holocaust and the “Final Solution” in Poland. In this episode, Christopher discusses his book, “Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland” and how a group of otherwise average, everyday men turned into one of Hitler’s most prolific killing squads in World War II. This episode was first released January 24, 2022.

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Encore: The Art of Cross-Examination with Attorney Charles Rose

Advocate, author and attorney Charles H. Rose, III, joins Tim to talk about the art of cross-examination in the court of law. Charles is a successful lawyer, a trial advocate, an author, and currently, he’s the Dean of the Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University. In this episode, he talks about one of the most dramatic features of any courtroom, the cross-examination of a witness at trial. Cross-examination is often where cases are won or lost in the court of law. This episode was originally released on February 28, 2022.

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Encore: The Story of Fallen Police Officer Drew Barr

Cayce, South Carolina Police Chief Chris Cowan joins Tim to talk about something both of us wished we didn’t have to talk about. He tells the story of the recent and tragic loss of one of his officers who was shot and killed while responding to a call. He tells the story of and pays tribute to Officer Drew Barr. In the process, he tells the story of the risks and sacrifices police officers take every day to ‘protect and serve.’  This episode was originally released May 16, 2022.

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Encore: It’s Groundhog Day…Again

Groundhog Club Inner Circle member John Griffiths joins Tim to talk about Groundhog Day and why a little town called Punxsutawney becomes the epicenter of weather prognostication one day a year. John is the handler of Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania ground hog famous around the world for predicting whether or not we have another 6 weeks of winter. February 2nd is better known as Groundhog Day. This episode was first released January 21, 2019.

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Encore: Marc Summers Remembers Nickelodeon’s “Double Dare”

Television host and producer Marc Summers joins Tim to talk about the classic Nickelodeon show that put him and the Nickelodeon cable network on the map, Double Dare. Before Double Dare, kids didn’t have their own game show and the Nickelodeon network was not as widely known as it would become after this crazy, messy, green slimy “party” that millions of millennials would rush home after school to watch. This episode was originally released on March 16, 2020.

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Encore: Mark Seal on the Making of The Godfather

Author Mark Seal joins Tim to talk with Mark about the subject of his popular new book about the making of The Godfather movie. The book is called, “Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli.” Mark has is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair where he’s covered scandals, history makers and pop culture icons. This episode was originally released January 10, 2022.

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Encore: Amy Herman on What’s Hiding in Plain Sight

Amy Herman joins Tim to talk about a one-of-a-kind career she made for herself, all centered on using art to help people see the world differently and better in order to do their jobs better.  Amy is the author of the books, “Visual Intelligence” and “Fixed: How to Perfect the Fine Art of Problem Solving.” In short, Amy helps people find information and solutions that are hiding in plain sight. This episode originally was released February 7, 2022.

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Encore: New Years’ Traditions

Alexis McCrossen, a professor at SMU and an expert on how cultures have marked time in history, Joins Tim to talk about our New Year’s Eve traditions with a special focus on the story behind that Times Square Ball Drop. This episode was first released on December 24, 2018.

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Encore: 7 Random People’s Favorite Holiday Memories

Today is Christmas. We’re in the peak of the American holiday season, which started at Thanksgiving. So, it is with this in mind that I thought I’d take to the streets of Pittsburgh once again and talk to people about their holiday memories. That’s what this special holiday edition of the Shaping Opinion podcast is about. This episode was originally released on December 19, 2022.

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Encore: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Plan on watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation this holiday season? Listen to the film’s director Jeremiah Chechik talk about the impact that movie has had on him and on our holiday entertainment traditions. He’ll talk about the making of the film and why the Griswold Family have become a staple in holiday viewing. This episode was originally released on December 2, 2019.

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Encore: The Real Story Behind Santa Claus

Author Gerry Bowler joins Tim to discuss the story of Santa Claus. Gerry is the author of the book entitled, “Santa Claus: A Biography.” He talks about everything from Santa Claus’s birth and evolution over the centuries, to his role in modern day culture. Santa Claus the philanthropist, Santa Claus the gift giver, and Santa Claus the ad man. This episode was originally released on December 17, 2018. Parental warning: If your child believes in Santa Claus, you may not want him or her to listen.

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Encore: The Christmas Truce of 1914

Historian and author Terri Crocker joins Tim to talk about the still remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914 at the outset of the First World War. Terri wrote the book, “The Christmas Truce: Myth, memory and the First World War.” In this episode, we look at the Western Front where against all odds and their commanding officers, German and British troops, and others stepped out into no man’s land on Christmas Day for a day of peace. This episode was originally released on December 23, 2019.

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A Children’s Episode

This is our special Children’s Episode. It was written and produced for young listeners and was inspired by a movie that Tim recently saw. It is not designed to entertain, though it may. It is not designed to educate, though it will. It is designed to make the listener think, to question and to want to know more. As you listen, please know I can’t know what you like or don’t like, or more importantly, what your kids like or don’t like, unless you tell me. Please use the contact form on this site. That will help me plan future episodes.

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Robert Page: Does Weed Attack Your Heart?

Robert Page, a professor in the Departments of Clinical Pharmacy and Physical Medicine at the University of Colorado, joins Tim to talk about some new developments in determining significant cardiovascular risks associated with marijuana use, regardless of the reason. He’s the lead author on a new paper from the American Heart Association that exposes major risks. We talk about his paper, some of the myths surrounding medical marijuana usage, and what it all means.

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