10 reasons why podcasting is fun

10 reasons why podcasting is fun

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My 10 reasons for podcasting

Podcasting has been my latest little venture. I’ve just reached episode 69 of Medical Fun Facts. I’d love it if you visited and left me a comment. I’ve included the audio for that podcast in this blog post (see the black horizontal bar at the top of this post). Go ahead and listen or watch the YouTube video below.

Questions and answers Medical Fun Facts  YouTube

Medical Fun Facts Episode 69 | The microbiology of this sexual position Gary Lum
Medical Fun Facts Episode 69 | The microbiology of this sexual position

YouTube video podcast

To mark the number which has become a thing in popular culture I recorded a special show that went a little longer than normal and which also has an accompanying video. It’s been fun doing the writing, audio and now video for the podcast. One of the fascinating things has been doing the artwork. When I started I used free Getty stock images which had a watermark in them. This created a bit of a problem with unwanted messages when trying to navigate the blog. I figured the easiest way to counter this was to draw my own artwork. A couple of my most popular drawings are for episode 54 and episode 51. Please check them out and let me know what you think. Just a warning though, the drawings at NSFW.

Questions and answers

Why do I like podcasting?

It gives me another outlet to express myself.

How else do you want to express yourself? You’re already on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as having a food blog and this blog to share your every thought!

Yummy Lummy and My Thoughts and Stuff are great outlets for my non-professional side but I needed something for the microbiologist and medical practitioner within.

I wanted something a little fun and light hearted, not too heavy and not too complicated.

How did Medical Fun Facts come about?

Would you believe MFF was conceived during the Ebola virus infection outbreak in West Africa? A friend was working in the relevant team and whenever I’d visit she would ask for a medical fun fact. I’d share all sorts of stories from 33 years of exposure to microbiology and medicine. When the response to the potential threat was over, my friend suggested I start a podcast. I don’t think she thought I’d end up doing a show on cunnilingus and fellatio 😂

How easy is podcasting?

It’s easier than you may imagine. While I’m a fan of WordPress.org blogs, I had a Squarespace blog that was effectively working as a landing page for domains I own like garylum.com and gazpath.com

I did some reading about starting a podcast from within Squarespace and it looked pretty easy. I just add an audio file to the blog post and Bob’s your uncle.

To get the podcast into iTunes and Stitcher, you need to apply. It can take a week for a response, but it’s often only a few days.

What software do you use for each recording?

Up until recently, I was using MAC OS Garageband. Garageband is also available on iOS. It’s pretty easy. I use a USB microphone and do everything in my MacBook. I keep everything on a LaCie external hard disc drive which has a Thunderbolt connection for fast access and so I don’t have my MacBook’s hard disc burdened.

For the last few shows, I’ve been recording video. I’ve tried the iSight camera in my MacBook, a GoPro and a Sony α7s. I think I will use the Sony α7s from now on. The biggest problem with the iSight camera and GoPro has been latency between audio and video. I do the editing in Final Cut Pro X and for the podcast, I export the audio as a mp3 file and pass it through Compressor to reduce the file size. For the video, I save a high-resolution version and pass it through Compressor which converts it from mov to mp4.

How do you cope with poor upload speeds with ADSL?

I hate ADSL. My download is bad and my upload is worse. I’m lucky if I get 0.5 Mbps upload. So I take advantage of my Telstra 4G sim card in my iPhone. The upload speed is much better. Each video file though may be nearly 1 GB so I need to be careful. It’s so much faster though that the ADSL upload.

What sort of reach do you get?

I really have no idea. Squarespace provides some analytics, but I do this for myself. I know I have listeners in the USA and quite a few in Australia. I’d like there to be more and like blogging, I’d like more reach, but this is just a hobby. It keeps me occupied and my mind stimulated.

How do you see Medical Fun Facts growing?

I’m not sure. Now that I’ve done 69 shows, I may take a short break and think about what I want to do. It may be I end this series and go into Season 2 and try a more specific theme. So-called, “Season 1” was a run through the alphabet and a run on diagnostics.

Do you podcast about the work you do in the Australian Public Service?

I avoid the areas that may be regarded as controversial. Apart from that, I focus on material that I’ve learnt and taught over decades. If I get a question about specific policy areas I work on I will ignore them. Medical Fun Facts tends to focus on material from my time as a trainee, my time in Darwin and some aspects of what I do in Canberra at ACT Pathology.

Are there other things you’d like to podcast about?

I’d like to figure out a way to podcast about food and cooking meals for one to help people living by themselves. That’s really what Yummy Lummy has become. A repository of recipes that assist people like me to make a meal that is tasty and nourishing. Most of my meals are relatively quick to prepare and easy to cook. I’m a lazy person, or rather, I try to be efficient. If I can make something easily I will.

What else did you get up to this weekend?

I photographed cows

Do you like Monty Python?

If you don’t like Monty Python, I may not want to like you.

My warped and twisted mind

A fish out of water

An embarrassing story of racism


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18 Replies to “10 reasons why podcasting is fun”

    1. I look forward to podcasts about travelling with and without Choppy 😃

  1. You have a lovely voice, but how on earth do you not smile while reading your words aloud? I am so thankful I had nothing in my mouth when you said to remember what your mum said about putting things in your mouth! I may never be able to give a well behaved bj again. I hope giggles feel nice to the recipient. I enjoyed the cast and the video, I won’t watch/listen often. I need to do that after 2am Alaska time. It appears that is the non peak time for internet use and I can do whatever I want and not use up that time. Now, however, I have read/listened/watched and it is time for sleep!

    1. PS-my youngest got to perform ‘Look on the Bright Side of Life’ a few years back in Washington. He was a part of the band who accompanied Eric Idle at his daughter’s graduation.
      I’ve been a fan of Monty Python since I discovered the series when I was in college. We can be friends, right? :o)

    2. Thanks Kris. I needed a few takes because I did burst into laughter a couple of times.

  2. I Love Monty Python especially the Ministry of Silly Walks!! John Cleese and the rest of the gang are hilarious. For some strange reason I always thought that Marty Feldman the guy with the bugs eyes actor in Young Frankenstein was part of the group but one of my co-workers told me no. I guess I had Marty Feldman mixed up with the other cast members of Monty Python.

    1. I can well understand why you might have thought Marty Feldman was part of the group.
      The very first sketch I saw was Cleese and the Ministry of Silly Walks. I laughed till I cried. My mother couldn’t understand why I thought it was so funny.

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