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A very special audio blog posting. Vote for me!

The Public Radio Talent QuestI’ve been distracted by a very demanding new job for the past few weeks, but in the back of my head I’ve constantly been thinking about this cool Public Radio Talent Quest contest that a friend alerted me to. It’s like American Idol (sort of), only instead of discovering new singers the idea is to discover new public radio hosts. The winner gets a professionally produced public radio show — ideally, mine would be related to science and skepticism, of course.

Contestants go through rounds in which they have to complete certain tasks — round one’s objective was to simply introduce yourself in any way you see fit, in two minutes or less.

The contest organizers say they’re looking for a trait called “hostiness,” which is not a word but probably should be. After coming up with and discarding dozens of different ideas, it came down to me and a microphone about two hours before the deadline at midnight last night. I decided to use my two minutes to explore what aspect of “hostiness” I might offer, using (what else?) science.

So if you’re interested, you can listen to my entry here:

and vote for how many stars you think I’m worth (I recommend five, but I suppose you’re free to decide…). There are more than 1,000 entries and of those only ten winners advance to round two, so let’s just say I have a realistic outlook on my chances. But hey, you can’t win if you don’t play, right? It was so last minute I didn’t even get a chance to listen to the uploaded file, so I’m hoping it came through okay. If it did, and if you like it, please pass it around to your skeptical friends!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. No way! This would be like Bride of the Skeptics' Guide, the two shows living together in matrimonial harmony and possibly one day having a baby TV show or something.

  2. I took a drink at the precise point you suggested, and I was amazed at how much hostier you became!

    I've always avowed that the applications of booze are limitless, and your intro adds further credence to that notion.

    I would ask that you have many many drinks at this time, and sign me on as your co-host with a binding contract before you have a chance to sober up. Just to help me further my research of course.

  3. Hmm. Well, Rebecca, if you do get the job, and I finish my MA in Film Studies without going mad, I fully expect to be your skeptical film correspondent.

    After all, people are always complementing me on my hostliness. Why, just the other day an old woman walked past me on the street, then turned to her companion and said, 'My, what a hostly young man!' IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

  4. I promise that if I'm voted into the final round and am able to make my own show, every single one of you is guaranteed a position as co-host. GUARANTEED. For some (unusual) definition of the word co-host.

  5. Rebecca, I am SO holding you to that :-P

    Did I mention that, in addition to being hostly, I'm also quite curious? It's true. When Alice remarks 'Curiouser and curiouser!' she's actually talking about ME. That no-good Lewis Carroll just re-framed her statement to make it fit in with his story.

    And everyone knows the old saying: 'Curiousity killed the ex pat'

  6. Rebecca said,

    May 15, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    "I promise that if I’m voted into the final round and am able to make my own show, every single one of you is guaranteed a position as co-host. GUARANTEED"

    Damn it. You drank too much!

    I had this wonderful image of the two of us doing one of those Morning Zoo programs where crank calls and bad sexual innuendo are the most hilarious things ever invented. You know, the kind of program where each of us does several stupid voices, and our audience is mostly arrested adolescent males? We'd even have a traffic guy named something clever, like Rutherford Parkway or something. I even have a fart machine.

    But now you've gone and promised everyone a co-hosting spot. My vision for success is ruined.

  7. I see it as some kind of Orwellian euphemism thing. Like how some companies don't have employees, they have "associates" or "team members". In much the same way, Rebecca's show doesn't have listeners, it has "co-hosts".

    How very Radio 2.0 of her!

  8. You didn't sound like I thought you'd sound, though I'm not sure what I *thought* you'd sound like, but you definitely sounded most 'presenterble'.

    However, it doesn't seem like I can vote without inventing myself a state and zip code.

  9. Woe to us people who don't have zip codes and can't vote! Hmm, does it count if I was on holiday in the states once. I'm sure I had a zip code then…

  10. Well, I *did* get a package this morning from a guy in Massachusetts who probably isn't going to use his vote, and I have done volunteer trail-work for a US National Park.

  11. Oh no, I didn't realize you had to be living in the US to vote! There goes a good-sized chunk of my fan base, save for the dedicated few who decide to move to our fair country just for the purposes of voting me into the 2nd round, who I will surely treat to a coke upon making it big!

  12. Well, it doesn't say 'US only' in the rules, it's just that the login page requires Zip code and state and doesn't have an option for 'none'.

    Experimentation indicates that there's probably nothing fancy (like IP filtering) stopping people registering from anywhere if they fill the form in. Whether any first-round winners might have country-based analysis done on the location of their voters, I couldn't guess, but I suppose someone can't be held responsible for overseas people choosing to vote for them if they haven't asked for it explicitly.

    If the users are numbered sequentially from 1, I guess it means that a lot of people won't be getting many votes at all, since I'm somewhere under #12,000.

  13. I really doubt that they'll check up on everyone's zip codes. So c'mon all you bloody foreigners. ;) My zip here in LA is 70094, my old one in IN was 46514. Use either to help out our ringed-pupiled Pretty.

  14. Officially speaking, I do not condone the wanton making up of zip codes! Unofficially speaking, I've always been fond of 99901, Ketchikan, AK, when asked for my zip by retailers.

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