March 29, 2021

Offside, Office, and Offenders


Episode 20 of Thank The Week included:

  • More crazy auctions
  • Hairy chested vaccinations
  • A wild sporting idea
  • Some exciting, thrilling, exhilarating, Microsoft Office News!
  • A new watch
  • A new TV series
  • Some impossible foods
  • And special guest Carla Youngblood!

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Transcript
Craig Williamson:

This week we have more crazy auctions, we have hairy chested vaccinations, a wild sporting idea, some exciting thrilling exhilarating Microsoft Office news, we have a new watch, a new tv series, some impossible foods and a special guest with Carla Youngblood.

Announcer:

Thank The Week. Learning to be thankful for last week and excited for this week with your host Craig Williamson.

Craig Williamson:

Welcome to episode 20 of Thank The Week for the week of the 29th of march to the fourth of april 2021 let's find some positivity together as we thank the week with an upbeat look at news sports tech entertainment and my own daily life let's celebrate all that was great about last week and all that we've got to be excited for this week let's get started

Announcer:

News

Craig Williamson:

Some crazy auctions to tell you about we've had a few of them on this show we had the del monte us banknote that had the banana sticker on it and that sold for $400,000 we had the bernie doll that was $20,000 and we also had the none fungible token for a piece of digital art that sold for $70 million and my head still hurts a little from trying to explain about non fungible tokens you can go to episode 18 for my attempted explanation but anyway this week we've had two more auctions to get excited about Steve Jobs the lead co founder of apple had a job application that he wrote in 1973 so this was a printed page that he had brought his application on and that's sold this week at auction for $222,000 it's about over 160,000 pounds now that is something tangible you can get your hands on it you could frame it you could hang it on your wall you could pass it down to your children so i kind of understand that steve jobs very important tech figure in history so understand that one this next one however another non fungible token so a buyer paid $2.9 million that sort of a 2 million pounds again for a non fungible token and this was for the first ever tweet this was from jack dorsey the founder of twitter it was 25 characters or there abouts and the tweet said just setting up my twitter now you could type that right now into your phone or into your computer and you've got it you don't need to pay $2 million for this kind of thing it's just crazy that people are doing this i guess it has some historical significance but the digital factor just really blows my mind so anyway a couple of interesting auctions for you this week Quite a few interesting items going on in COVID this week in England more restrictions are easing from monday and i'll talk a bit more about that later on in the show there's some early evidence that vaccinated pregnant mothers can pass COVID antibodies to their babies now this is pretty remarkable very early evidence are still a lot of scientific analysis to be done but this indicates that both before birth but also after birth if they're receiving breast milk that babies can actually carry these antibodies over from vaccinated mothers which is really exciting development a couple of different studies there from the us and israel so yeah some some really promising news they're in live injection news which you know i'm a big fan of i don't have any big ones to report unfortunately there were no important people getting her vaccinations live on tv but there are a few photos that did catch my eye and one was a uk politician and another was a french politician now this is something i've not heard of before but these guys took off their shirts to get the vaccine and it seems a little bit unnecessary and ridiculous to me and actually matt hancock that uk health secretary stepped in and he said that middle aged men should wear short sleeve shirts to get their jobs to avoid having to strip off and show their hairy chests which i'm sure might be offensive for some people but yeah it just seems strange that people are going the whole hog and actually taking off their shirt just wear a little short sleeve top and besides i think if you passed out you'd look a little bit silly having flexed your guns beforehand and taking that shirt off so just think before you strip off when you get your vaccine now another thing about vaccines is some tantalising news that they might be able to soon supply the vaccine through nasal spray and these are early stage trials but it's very good for anyone i don't know who this might be but anyone who might not be too keen of needles and particularly have been put off having the injection because of that i don't know who these people are who do not like needles sadly for me this might not come early enough as i say it's very early stage trials however i'm a veteran of nasal sprays so every every summer i get hay fever and i use a nasal spray throughout the summer to ease my symptoms so i'd be very confident receiving this you know what i could even volunteer to go on tv and have them Live first nasal spray vaccination. Maybe I should even take myself off of that and show my confidence for the nasal spray anyway, watch this space for how that develops.

Announcer:

Sport

Craig Williamson:

March Madness continues this week with the climax to the US college basketball season. That's the NCAA basketball. We had the sweet 16 games last weekend and this week, it is the Elite Eight, which is the quarter finals really to me on Monday and Tuesday of this week. And then we have the final for the semi finals on Saturday and Sunday. I did actually watch a bit of the NCAA action last week. It was sad to see my Colorado Buffaloes lose in the second round. That was last Monday. I think it was Florida State 71 Colorado 53. I did study in Colorado for a year so I was a season ticket holder. I watched all the men's basketball games really enjoyed seeing that Colorado obviously got a much better side than when I was there because they weren't even getting through to any tournaments back then. So good to see them actually reaching March Madness. And yeah, looking forward to some more good basketball action this week. There was a thrilling end to the Six Nations rugby last Friday. It was the final match of the tournament and France had to beat Scotland with a fairly high score in order to take the overall title. But Scotland went on the night which handed the Six Nations trophy to Wales so well done to Wales for winning the Six Nations rugby. Finishing off with football. There was a really interesting article on Sky Sports. It was an interview with former Dutch player Marco van Basten, and he was talking about his proposal to scrap the offside rule. Now if you know football, you that might blow your mind. And you think that's going to completely change so many aspects of the game. And it's really difficult to think about that. But he was quite keen that that should be explored. Apparently field hockey had an offside rule and they got rid of it in 1998. So they've proved that it works and you can actually still go on it would obviously change the tactics and what but yeah, really interesting seeing how that idea might play out. If you want to read the full article. I'll link to it in the show notes at thank the week.com slash 20. Last week we talked about it was International Men's football so England and the USA men's teams both had some good results in their midweek games last week. The USA beat Jamaica for one in a friendly and England beat San Marino five nil in a World Cup qualifier. Both the USA and England also played last Sunday but I'm recording before those games have taken place. This week the USA are not playing but England do have another World Cup qualifier. So on Wednesday evening, it is England against Poland. And then coming up on Saturday and Sunday it is back to Premier League action here in the UK. And the pic of those for me is a big Saturday night matchup between Arsenal and Liverpool

Announcer:

Tech

Craig Williamson:

In last week's podcast I previewed the OnePlus event that was coming up and that did happen last week. They released their OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro new phones with Hasselblad branded cameras, prices starting at $730 in the US, and 629 pounds in the UK. But I'm not going to talk about the phones because they did actually launch a watch at the same time. That is the OnePlus watch. Now this is going to retail for $159 in the US 149 pounds in the UK, which is actually quite a reasonable price for a smartwatch. It's got around OLED display with a sapphire glass screen, which is very high tech, very scratch resistant screen, one to two weeks of battery life, which is pretty unheard of for such a watch. It's got built in speakers, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi Fi, all the things you might expect. It's using one plus his own operating system. So it's not an Android Wear watch, but you can use it on any Android phone. And apparently in the future, you will also be able to use it on iPhone, so they do have an iOS app planned in the future. Anyway, the specs do look very impressive. And especially at that price point of around $150 150 pounds there abouts. So the OnePlus watch is coming soon it will be available on the 14th of April in the US and the 26th of April here in the UK. Now calm yourself down. This is the one you've been waiting for. Since that little teaser at the front. This is hot Microsoft Office news. Yes, it's maybe not cool. But Microsoft Office is in almost all of our lives, whether you're at school, college, or use it for work. So I have three items of Microsoft Office news. And I do think it is quite interesting. So we'll see if you agree. The first thing is that Microsoft Word is getting text predictions. So you might have seen this on your phone where you're typing a message or typing an email, and it will predict the next word that you're going to type and it shows it ahead of the cursor. And basically then you swipe across if you agree with that, so it's using artificial intelligence to predict what you're saying. And that is coming to Microsoft Word. So very soon. After your cursor on the right of that you'll see a greyed out word which is what Microsoft thinks is the next word you're going to type. And if you like that word, just press tab. He accepts that and jumps forward. So I think that's pretty clever use of machine learning. And also in Word, apparently using Word Online. So this is not available yet in the desktop version. But if you use Word Online, if you go to office.com, if you're a subscriber, you can access word. And what you're now going to be able to do is to start with a Word document. So let's say you've written a report, and it will use artificial intelligence, again, to automatically create a PowerPoint presentation based on that text. So it extracts a summary of that and highlights the relevant information and puts that into a PowerPoint presentation. Now, obviously, that probably still needs a bit of polishing to add some images and make it look a bit neater. But that's potentially a really great time saver if you've got a document and you need to create a presentation from it. So that's coming soon to Word Online. And then finally, back to Microsoft PowerPoint. Again, Microsoft have a feature called presenter coach. So if you are practising your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, this is apparently been available on the web version of PowerPoint for a while, but it is now coming to the desktop or mobile versions. So PowerPoint presenter coach listens to you while you practice your presentation. So you flicking through the slides on your computer, but you're speaking out loud, and the microphone on your computer picks you up. And he analyses what you're saying. It can warn you if you're going a bit too fast or a bit too slow. It can also highlight if you're using filler words like M or M. So those kinds of things it will pick up and then it gives you a nice little report at the end and tells you how well you performed and things that you have to work on. So I think that is just a terrific way to do it. It also tells you not to swear. Which Yeah, who knew that was something that you're not supposed to do in business presentations. And if Microsoft listening to your presentation wasn't creepy enough, you can also activate your camera. And it will see how good you are at giving eye contact and what your body language is like as well. So some really advanced features here. I think if you're really into your presentations and use PowerPoint, a lot, really worth checking out that. So a few new features there for you to try out a Microsoft Office

Announcer:

Entertainment

Craig Williamson:

There is a new comedy series coming out on TV for us to get excited about. This is called Rutherford Falls. And it features Ed Helms who was Andy Bernard in the US Office. And the story is about Ed's character, and another one played by Jana Schmieding. And they're trying to help their small town not to forget its cultural roots. There's a little trailer out there, which actually looked quite funny, and I was quite impressed with it. I'll put a link in the show notes. Thank the week.com slash 20. This series is going to be exclusive in the US to peacock streaming. And I don't yet have details of when it will be released or where in the UK. But yeah, check that out. It's coming soon. And I think it's due to premiere in the US on April the 22nd. I talked last week about my new binge watch, and that I had a list of six candidates and I was going to audition them all. So I've done my homework. And I'm here reporting that to you right now. Three of them made it through to a second episode, but only one was left standing. So let's go through in last place. And this is a bit unfair because I think this one didn't quite fit the requirements. Just to backtrack a little I was looking for a nice comedy series with a good story and lots of episodes behind it. Last place is Misfits. Now. I did watch the start of this. I didn't get through it all it was more of a sci fi than a comedy. It was about a group of young offenders who take on superpowers, which sounds a bit bizarre. It was reasonably interesting, but not what I was really looking for. So misfits was ruled out. Then I watched Phone Shop and I have to say I did not laugh once. I'm sure many people do enjoy Phone Shop, it just wasn't to my taste. So Phone Shop dropped out. And that finished number five, then there was Man Down another comedy that I did laugh in a couple of places, but there weren't enough laughs for me. And it was just a bit of a silly storylines. So I left that one in fourth. So now we get into the top three, you're getting excited. In third place was Black Books. And I did watch two episodes of this. It was okay and had a few laughs in it. But it's more of a sketch comedy. There was kind of little personal interest in the characters and the storyline and I think I wanted a bit more of that. So I left Black Books after two episodes. In second place was The IT Crowd and that was a bit similar in terms of very kind of choreographed humour, so quite sketch based. He didn't really get much interest in the characters themselves. So I did watch a couple of episodes and did enjoy them but I won't be watching more. So the winner and the one that I will be now watching 30 episodes off. This one ran for four series from 2011 to 2016. And it is Fresh Meat and it is about six students who are living in a house together in their first year at university in the UK. I think it's set in Manchester and it stars comedian Jack Whitehall. Apparently this was his first acting role. And also Joe Thomas, who was Simon in The Inbetweeners. If you haven't watched the InBetweeners is a highly recommended series and a few films from that as well. But anyway, Fresh Meat, yeah, lots of good bits of humour throughout and characters that you really want to see develop as well. So I'm excited to go through those four series as I said 30 episodes, and I'll start getting stuck into those this week.

Announcer:

Guest

Carla Youngblood:

Hi, my name is Carla Youngblood and I'm located in Birmingham, Alabama. I am a comedian, and July marked my 10th year, a performer professional comedy, I have performed in LA and New York, and many states in between. Unfortunately, the pandemic has taken that part of my business and put it on hold. That's why it is on hold. But I can tell you to write the jokes. And when the time comes, I will be ready for the stage. But what the stage time being taken away from me. I wanted to keep my voice a lot. So I started a podcast. Yes, I am the host of On The Edge Of The Truth podcast where your voice matters. It is recorded every Thursday via Facebook Live. The podcast focuses on finance and entrepreneurship with the touch of comedy. I interview guests with specialised expertise, with the pandemic now lingering on its own and all the podcasting competing to fill that void of missing the stage. So ever turn to my second love writing. I am the author of Cancer Ain't Funny. Laugh in a way. I know you say what's funny about cancer when when you walk through my journey, and you're a comedian, you can put an imprint in ideas. After winning the battle over cancer, I decided to share my story in a humorous tale. The book was released in 2019 was that book was released, speaking was added to my repertoire. But today, I'm excited about my latest project 'Bama Tales With A Twist. I wrote this book during the pandemic, because I was here stuck in the house alone. And crazy thoughts kept coming to my head. So I decided to write this book. This book is a collection of short stories that take place in various locations in the state of Alabama. Last week, it was sent to the publishing company. Oh, I can't wait to get it back and have it in my hands. But next week what I will be doing, I will be hosting a book launch. I will be discussing the book on my podcast, and I will be interviewed about the book on a local TV station. I am truly excited. For more information about me. Visit my website at keep you laughing.com to find out more about me to connect with me on social media and to book me for comedy or speaking engagements. Again, that website is keep you laughing.com. Until next time, I'm Carla Youngblood and I'm signing off

Announcer:

Life

Craig Williamson:

Not really a tech update for you this week. Although I have spent some time hunting online for clingfilm or foil dispenser. This is completely unrelated to anything you may have heard on last week's podcast and any lingering animosity in the Williamson household. This is just something I thought well might be nice to get a new little dispenser, but I'm really struggling to find one. If anyone's got any tips, please please let me know. The issue is you need to get one that's not specific to a specific brands. So you don't want to be tied into always be buying the clean rapport or the foil from a particular brand. You want one that will work with anyone, but they all seem to be a bit too small. So our cling film is 35 centimetres in length. And now this is really interesting. I can talk more about Microsoft Office if you really want but for now, 35 centimetres is what I'm looking for for clingfilm dispenser, let me know. Okay, what else is going on in my life? Well, last week, we finished our second round of homeschooling again, Henry was self isolating at home, you may remember and Monday last week was his last day quarantining so he was able to go back to school on Tuesday, which was really good for us. And our entire household is now self testing for COVID twice a week. We've got all these tests to administer at home Henry gets who's from school, we have to pick up hours from the local test centre. So yeah, twice a week. Now we're all testing and we're getting pretty familiar with shoving that thing at the back of our throats and then help I know it sounds a bit gross, but it works and it just gives you that nice peace of mind. Anyway, we do have an exciting week ahead of us because the next step of lockdown easing takes place in England from this Monday the 29th of march so we're really excited for this so the rules are changing in a number of ways firstly you're not restricted to only going out once per day so you can go multiple times and there is no longer a stay at home order so you are allowed to travel a bit further afield but still encouraged to stay local to your town we can meet outdoors in groups of up to six or two different households and that can be outdoors in a public area or even in private gardens as well outdoor sports are back on so things like tennis and golf and also formally organised sports can have more than six people together so that's things like kids football and running clubs so that's going to be a huge change for us this week and so for example henry is going to have two or three football training sessions in the evenings this week he's also got a football match on saturday he'll normally have one on saturday and sunday and the kids can have their friends round to play in the garden and we've got a big trampoline that they often enjoy going on so just to have some friends round for them is going to make a huge difference the stonehenge striders running club will be back in action so i think they're already run scheduled for i think wednesday night friday night and sunday as well some of those may clash with henry's football so i might need to smooth out this clingfilm dispenser issue and see if dawn will forgive me and perhaps take on some of the football driving duties i'm sure we'll come to some kind of agreement on that but yeah we're all excited to have that little bit more freedom and get things back to normal and as if that wasn't enough next weekend is easter so that means a lot of things to a lot of people and chocolate is one of those so the kids are actually finishing school on thursday and then they have two weeks off so holidays are a big thing about this as well and the whole family gets a long weekend because friday and monday i public holidays here in the uk and then easter sunday is the big one where the easter bunny delivers all the chocolate eggs as well so lots to look forward to this coming week

Announcer:

Harper

Harper Williamson:

So once again it is book of the month and if you don't know what book of the month is yet it is basically a book that i have read and that i am suggesting for you to read in the coming month today i only have two books but there is only one of them that is book of the month the first one is The Ickabog by JK Rowling and before i was given this book for my birthday i had no idea that JK Rowling did any other books apart from harry potter and i'm not a very big harry potter fan but it has a really short blurb and it is as tall as two horses eyes like glowing balls of fire long razor sharp claws the Ickabog is coming i really enjoyed this book because i don't want to give it away but i think that the moral of the story is not to assume things because maybe something can be much better or nicer than you expect it to be i think the more that they're actually trying to tell you and they say this loads and loads of times in the book and it's once you start telling lies you can't really stop so you have to make more lies to cover up those other lies that you've done so basically she's telling you it's not very good idea to lie about things my second book is called Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell and the author also wrote The Explorer which is quite a sort of well known book and this book is my book of the month for april because it really shows how different people can be and what other people's opinions are it's a story of a girl who as a baby was on a shipwreck and then a man called charles found her in a cello case in the sea and she became his ward and that's what they seem to call them a lot in the book and he takes care of her until she's around 12 but she has always wondered who her mother is and basically she goes out on a journey to find her mother and from the title of the story you'll probably be able to tell it has something to do with rooftops once i get to the end i really wish that there was another one and i think there is actually another one because in the previous book of the month i talked about world book day and one of the world book day books that was for 2021 was Sky Steppers and i'm just assuming that it has something to do with Rooftoppers so i really suggest these books to you and i'll have more to say about books in a month's time

Announcer:

Random

Craig Williamson:

I have three days to talk about this week plus one public service announcement day which i'll come on to in a moment so tuesday the 30th of march is take a walk in the park day it's encouraging us to connect with our outdoor spaces and spend time with friends and family outside and i think with the lockdown easing here in england that makes more sense than ever so on tuesday go out and in england you can have up to six people exploring those outdoor spaces for take a walk in the park they're now thursday the first of april is april fool's there now this is more of a public service announcement than anything i'm just wanting to be on your guard and watch out for crazy things that you may see announced on thursday the first of april i'm not a big fan of april fool's day as i try and stay out of them if at all possible i find them a little cruel at times and just a bit cringy as others however i did find a website which gave the top 100 april fool's jokes of all time this website was called the museum of hoaxes and i'll put a quick link to it so if you've got to thank the week.com slash april it will take you to that website that's thank the week.com slash april for the top 100 april fool's jokes so what was shocking to me was how many of these are actually really cruel and actually quite dangerous it seemed to be a common thing certainly in the US this was back in the 50s and 60s newspapers reported really important buildings collapsing and that just seems really bizarre to me in 1947 in holland they reported that an atomic mist was on its way and that had obviously potentially lethal health consequences which just seems insane why would you even say such a thing and there was then widespread panic around holland because of that there were a couple that were a bit more clever one of them this one still is very cruel and possibly dangerous but there was a bit of cleverness to this so in 1974 in alaska there's a dormant volcano and someone thought it would be a good idea let's not publish something in a newspaper saying it's going to erupt i know i'll do i'll go all the way to the top of volcano with a bunch of old tires and i'll set them alight so that everyone in the town below will see this dark smoke billowing out of this dormant volcano and that is just yeah it's really cruel it's really dangerous do not do things like this but there was a bit of cleverness to that so anyway that obviously caused panic and mayhem as people thought this volcano was about to explode another one which is a little bit more innocent and i did like this one this was in 1992 los angeles airport puts out a huge sign visible to all passengers on approaching plants that said welcome to chicago and i just thought that i had a quite a nice ring to it and i'm picking out a few here that are now a bit more harmless and i'm going to go through i think three or four of them and they're all food related which i'm not quite sure why but i suppose food is relatively harmless so in 1957 the BBC here in the uk broadcast a tv documentary about a bumper spaghetti crop that happened in switzerland and even showed people picking spaghetti off spaghetti trees now i must admit pastel was a bit of a mystery to me until i reached my 20s it was when i went to university and people were buying these huge bags of pastor and i never seen them before you know i'd never seen a plate of a pastor or a bowl of pastor before never mind a bag of it so probably back then you could have convinced me that pastor did grow on trees but now obviously i know better so yeah that was back in 1957 in 1996 Taco Bell the us fast food company published a big newspaper ad saying that they had purchased the liberty bell and they were going to rename it to the tackle liberty bell and as you can imagine lots of complaints ensued from that in 1998 i like this one Burger King advertised that they'd come up with the left handed whopper that was the same ingredients but all the ingredients were rotated 180 degrees so it was a left handed whopper rather than the standard right handed whopper and apparently they did get lots of customers going into the stores asking for the left handed whopper just to confirm how successful they were and then the last one i mentioned 2002 british supermarkets Tesco has published a full page ad in a newspaper for their new product called the whistling carrot. And what they've managed to do was genetically modified a carrot to grow such that it had these special holes inside of it, so that when it was fully cooked, the air holes caused it to emit kind of a whistle noise so that you knew it was ready to eat. So that was quite a cunning advert there by testicles. So do watch out Thursday, first of April, April Fool's Day Be on your guard. Don't be cruel. Just keep an eye out and make sure that everything runs smoothly and safely. And if you want to see that top 100 list got a thank the week.com slash April, Friday, the second of April, you know, when you hear this, you're gonna kick yourself that you didn't think of it before. It's such an obvious combination, such an obvious set of two things to put together in a special day. It is poet in a cupcake day. Yes, that's right. It's all about celebrating your favourite poets, while making your favourite cupcakes. I must admit I this one, somehow went over my head, I didn't quite see the link between poets and cupcakes. But if you like poetry, and if you like making cupcakes, then why not do them together. So that's Friday, the second of April poet in a cupcake there. And we'll finish with Sunday, the fourth of April. That's Easter Sunday. But we're not going to talk about chocolate No, because it is international carrots there. It is a day to celebrate the humble carrot. And my recommendation to you is perhaps visit Tescos and ask them if they've got any of those whistling carrots. So maybe you could then make some carrot cupcakes and have them whistle a little background tune while you recite some of your favourite poetry. That's Sunday, the fourth of April, international carrot day. Thank you so much for listening this week. Links to all the stories are in the show notes. Thank the week.com slash 20. If you want to get in touch, you can always connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. @ThankTheWeek. And on the website, thank the week.com there's also an old fashioned web form if you just click on Contact, you can take the details in there and get in touch. And I've got three reasons why you might want to get in touch number one, if you want to have one of the little guest slots on the podcast talking about what you're thankful for recently. And also maybe to advertise your business or your podcast or your book or whatever it might be, then do get in touch. Happy to have you on the show. Number two, if you've got any leads on a clingfilm dispenser, then I do need to hear from you right now. And number three, just to let me know that you're listening and maybe give a little bit of feedback. It'd be really nice to hear from you. So please, please do get in touch. And all the ways to connect are linked from ThankTheWeek.com. And I look forward to seeing you all again next week. Goodbye!

Announcer:

Thank The Week. Discovering positivity and excitement in every week of the year.