April 1, 2020

Living In America: Is It Like In The Movies?

Image: Wikimedia Commons
America for many Brits seems like a wondrous place. Thanks to a lot of movies and television, we've grown up with this perception that they all ride around on horses in Texas and are cowboys, they all eat Chinese food from little white boxes, all the taxis are yellow and checkered, all the school buses are yellow and everyone has guns.

Well. I'm here to tell you that it's all true. Every last bit of it. All the stereotypes. Just kidding. April Fools and all that. Though that would have been something if everyone had believed me.

No, the only thing that's fully true about those perceptions are that they do all eat Chinese take out food from little white boxes (Well, the rice anyway) and all school buses ARE yellow.

But no, the rest of it is not. The most important of these is the gun stereotype. Yes, some people do have guns but they're not walking around with them on the hip ready for a quick draw. The people you see at those gun conventions walking around with assault rifles, those conventions are usually held at secret locations in the desert because the people are paranoid that they'll be persecuted for their love of firearms. Which, in truth, they very well may be.

So, to sum it up, America is not like it is in the movies, except for the good bits. Whatever those good bits are, they're up to you to decide.

March 31, 2020

Time Travel + Shout-Outs! - Episode 135

Chmee2 / CC BY-SA

With the massive success of the Starz series 'Outlander' starring Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe, we decided it would be fun to talk about what time period we would go back to if we could and we even give some of our Instagram followers a shout out who told us which period they would go back to! Have a listen to see if we mentioned you!

Would you travel back in time if you could?

March 26, 2020

European Things Americans Don't Understand - Episode 134

Image: Dominic Williams
There are many things in Europe that are extremely foreign to Americans. I've met many in America who visited Europe and say "Oh, it's old and run down!" and "I found it to be really dirty and everyone was smoking!"

Well, we talk about all of that and more in this episode. Europe doesn't have the facilities for modern conveniences such as air conditioning and in most of the continent, there isn't the need for screens on the windows.

What do you think the strangest thing about Europe is?

March 25, 2020

Living In America: Can The USA Be Quarantined?

In quarantine until further notice. Image: Pixabay

With the current climate of a world pandemic, I'm asking can a country like the USA be fully under quarantine??

I mean, not everybody is going to follow government advice and if they try to clamp down, then we know it won't end well. Already, there's people still going out to public places in defiance of the lockdowns with phrases like "No virus is going to stop me having a good time" and "The government can't tell us what to do!"

Until it does and they do, of course.

Until this pandemic is over, we MUST follow advice. We MUST take precautions to stop the spread. This is imperative until we're given the all clear. This is going to require everyone to do their bit, as they used to say during the war. But will the people do this? There's going to be plenty who won't. It'll be business as usual until they catch this virus or someone they love catches it and the consequences are dire.

For future historians, the Covid-19 virus is a pandemic around the world and most countries are under quarantine restrictions until further notice.


March 24, 2020

Toys of the 80s and 90s - Episode 133

Talkgirl was the logical next step for Talkboy. Image: Wikimedia

Ah nostalgia! It hits every time we see, hear or smell something from the past. Remember your childhood? Remember those toys you really wanted and were really popular that are now just memories? Walk with us down memory lane as we explore the toys we remember. Except walk at least 6 feet apart from us because of the social distancing regulations.

Do you remember some of these toys?

March 19, 2020

Outlander - Episode 132

Image: Still from the Starz series Outlander, Fair Use

We ramble.  It's just what we do.  And today we're rambling on a bit about our new favorite Covid-19 quarantine-ing pastime, which is watching the television series, Outlander.  Yes, perhaps we are late to the party, but you know what they say, better late than never.  We're only about halfway through the first season, so come and listen to what we think thus far.  We're discussing what we like, and perhaps, dislike about the show, and also attempting to explain what the heck a jacobite is.  Also, Dominic rambles about someone called Bonnie Prince Charlie.  It's a hoot (?).  Take a break from the constant coronavirus updates and come check out Scotland in 1745 with us, won't ya?

March 17, 2020

St. Patrick's Day - Episode 131

A St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Top of the morning to ya! Okay, that might be a very outdated Irishism now but it feels right this St. Patrick's Day to say it to you all. As you are no doubt aware, the world is in the grip of COVID Mania. We've all been advised to stay indoors and self isolate and all that so here's a podcast to lift your spirits! We're talking all about St. Patrick's day and what the different traditions are in the USA and the UK on this day! So get some corned beef and cabbage, a pint of Guinness and have a listen below!

Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

March 12, 2020

Name That Song, 1990s Edition - Episode 130

Image: Spice Girls as Madame Tussaud's in New York by InSapphoWeTrust, CC By-SA 2.0

Recently I fell into a giant YouTube hole of videos of today's teenagers reacting to music from the 1990s.  Luckily, I've since found my way out of said hole, and returned with an idea which has become today's podcast.  No, we're not teenagers, but we are reacting to music from the 1990s, or more specifically, we are each choosing five songs that the other has to try to guess either the name of, or the artist who sang them.  Now, this works because, while many songs from the '90s were hits on both sides of the Atlantic, many songs that made it big in either America or Britain were not popular in the other country.  Come listen and play along, then let us know if you knew all the songs that were played.  And, if you enjoy this podcast, please let us know if you'd like us to do another episode of songs from a different decade and if so, which decade.

March 10, 2020

CORONAVIRUS 2020 - Episode 129

Image: Peter O'Connor, CC By-SA 2.0

Remember the Ebola outbreak of 2014?  Yeah, clearly not.  Well, here's the gist: it wasn't great.  And now, here we are in 2020, faced with a shiny new virus, and we're all acting like we haven't been there, done that.  In fact, people are straight up losing their minds, acting like they've never seen an illness, like... ever, panic buying literally ALL the hand soap, hand sanitizer, Tylenol (paracetamol, for our British friends), disinfectant spray, and randomly... toilet paper.  Seriously, some stores in the UK are sold out.  Some stores in Australia have security guards patrolling the toilet paper aisle!  Has the world finally lost its collective mind?  We think that might be a possibility, but we'll discuss all things Coronavirus as best we can in today's podcast.  Here's a preview: You can't catch it by drinking Corona beer.  Phew.  I know.  Have a listen and then, please, do chime in.  We'd love to know your thoughts and experiences, as we're all in this madness together.

March 5, 2020

Dominic's American Rant - Episode 128

It's ranting time, as the Power Rangers never said, and Dominic is here to do an American rant, in a similar vein to Erica's British Pet Peeves episode. In this episode, Dominic asks why the media is so parochial and US-Centric. Why sales tax isn't included in the display price and why Americans don't appreciate the convenience that surrounds them!

Are you triggered by Dominic's rant?

March 4, 2020

Living In America: Offended By Everything?

Easily Offended, Overly-Sensitive. Image: Daniella Urdinlaiz

These days, it seems there's an awful lot of offended people around. You see them all over social media being offended by things a public figure has said.

Many people, especially on social media, seem to have a non-existent sense of humour. Sarcasm seems to go over the head of quite a few Americans and they take a deadpan joke quite seriously, sometimes personally, and end up getting offended and worked up over it.

Many times you might see this in person, I have made a few jokes that have been deemed "not funny" by an American. Now, these are not jokes that are designed to piss people off but rather to make light of a situation. It can get frustrating when someone takes offence to a glib comment and demands you apologise when it really isn't that big of a deal. It's just been blown WAY out of proportion.

Have you ever come across an American that has taken offence to your sense of humour? Did they blow it far out of proportion?

March 3, 2020

Liverpool Guide For Beatles Fans - Episode 127

Erica on the Cavern Club stage. Image: Dominic Williams

Liverpool is a city known for the music, in particular the Beatles. Any time Liverpool is mentioned anywhere, the Beatles are mentioned too. They can't escape it and though many have tried to escape the connection, it will always remain. In this episode, we discuss our favourite and must do Beatles sites and attractions and let's just say, we have a lot of thoughts on what are our favourites and what is a must see so this episode we ramble a bit! If you're not a Beatles fan (why?) then sorry! (Not sorry).

Would you ever visit Liverpool?