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Grade A Nation

  • E182: Uniform of Youth -- Mystic Ventures from Crypto to Skin Care with MadeMan Jeremy Gardner!

    19 MAR. 2023 · After moving out of the public eye for a bit, Jeremy Gardner stops by for a cool conversation. We cover his early years as an only child at tension with his parents for not listening and rebelling against authority; some of this might be attributable to being neurodivergent. Jeremy discusses how his time at the University of Michigan facilitated the development of the Bitcoin Education Network, a nonprofit encouraging blockchain awareness and adoption around the world. Interacting with more and more people in the crypto space led to the development of the betting platform and prediction market Augur, as well as Jeremy stopping at numerous destinations speaking at Bitcoin conferences. Jeremy reflects on the wild times he had spreading the word about crypto (not to be confused with spreading his seed with many lovely ladies), and why he felt it was necessary to shift his priorities as time progressed. Jeremy has started up a men's skin cream product called MadeMan which he hopes will get more people talking about masculinity and self-care. He is also the founder of Mystic Ventures, which invests in medicinal applications of psychedelics. Don't miss out on all of this Grade A discussion, especially the part where the country that has the best romantic partners is analyzed in rich detail ;) To learn more about MadeMan, go to https://getmademan.com/
    Escuchado 1h 57m 9s
  • E181: A Crypto Green Thumb? Environmentally Conscious Bitcoin Mining w/ William Szamosszegi!

    19 FEB. 2023 · William Szamosszegi is the CEO and founder of Sazmining, a project that works with renewable energy hosting facilities in an attempt to provide sustainable powered mining rigs that can be used by individual investors interested in Bitcoin mining. For those concerned about the energy wastefulness and potential environmental harm presented by Bitcoin mining rigs, Sazmining pools money from customers together and places a bulk order on discounted mining rigs along with renewable energy contracts. William discusses what inspired his work in this area and the logistics of carrying it out. He also states why he views Bitcoin as fundamentally different from the rest of the crypto space, reasons why everyday investors might be interested in mining Bitcoin, whether Bitcoin mining poses viable returns to investors in the long term, views about how Bitcoin mining should be as simple as signing up for a Netflix subscription, business aspects learned after a prior business venture with a social media app, and offers his thoughts on possible technological advances with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the ChatGPT world. Come for the Bitcoin mining talk, stay for the discussion on playing tennis against a Robot John McEnroe in yet another free-flowing and organic discussion involving technology that is listener-friendly by not being overly complicated! To learn more about Sazmining, go to https://www.sazmining.com/ Timestamp of discussion [00:14:20] Smart regulations can help be transparent with customers and track transactions for trust. [00:16:30] Bitcoin provides hope to people who fear their money will be devalued or stolen and can be sent quickly and safely with low fees. [00:23:50] Building a business, learning lessons from prior business ventures, realizing blockchain technology can make a large impact, assessing accomplishments and failures as lessons. [00:26:59] Making tough decisions, accepting mistakes, working hard, value in choosing something you love. [00:29:38] Interest in building things since childhood; technological innovations replace manual labor; Internet & AI provide exponential efficiencies; paradigm shift in how humans interact with technology. [00:32:32] Technology replacing jobs leading to increased unemployment due to potential complexity of new jobs. [00:37:59] Building a successful business requires finding the best people, filling skill gaps, and passion. [00:42:14] Competitive & passionate attitude can be an asset in business, similar to that of athletics. [00:51:43] Company goes through changes in skills needed to reach goals. Mission is to improve humanity's relation to energy and money through Bitcoin mining.
    Escuchado 55m 40s
  • E180: Personal Food as Medicine Plans? Talking Elo Health (not Electric Light Orchestra) w/ Ari Tulla!

    18 FEB. 2023 · On this installment of Grade A Nation, Ari Tulla, the cofounder and CEO of nutrition service Elo checks in to talk about how better food choices are a core part of a strategy to achieve personal wellness and feeling healthier. Elo strives to give personalized nutrition products based on a collection of information about each member, as well as direct video chat consultations with a dietician. In the course of the conversation, we discuss the fast food epidemic, how so much is spent on wellness each year while more people are increasingly either overweight and feel sick, gaps in the current health system, whether it is appropriate to treat health as a high priced commodity, private personal data management and security in the health sector, the three things CEOs of companies must do, and the importance of prioritizing family time while still running a company. A powerful conversation that is delicious food for your noggin! To learn more about Elo, check out https://www.elo.health/
    Escuchado 59m 1s
  • E179: There's Goldbacks in Them Thar Hills! – Talking Physical Gold Money with Jeremy Cordon

    14 FEB. 2023 · On this installment of Grade A Nation, Jeremy Cordon, the founder and CEO of Goldback Inc., joins the program. A Goldback is physical gold money that can be used in transactions small and large in several U.S. states. Jeremy discusses how his time at a Libertarian think tank shaped his views about precious metals, his prior work on a cryptocurrency project Quintric and how that experience influenced the Goldback project, why Goldbacks grew in popularity during the pandemic, whether the viability of the Goldback project long-term is tied to the political choices made by states to recognize gold as legal tender, how much work goes into producing each Goldback, his thoughts about criticisms of the gold standard as a monetary system, and why Goldbacks might have long-term appeal for people beyond the sheer novelty alone in collecting them. You won’t have to worry about panning for gold and coming up empty handed listening to this conversation filled with interesting nuggets of information! To learn more about Goldback, go to https://www.goldback.com/
    Escuchado 1h 3m 21s
  • E178: Nothing Too Serious -- Painting from Miniature Las Vegas with artist Daniel Matthew York!

    1 FEB. 2023 · On this installment of Grade A Nation, Chris Thomas chats with artist Dan York about his delusionism paintings. What is delusionism, you ask? The paintings are certainly unique; some folks will call them funny, others might call them provocative, while even a few others will potentially label them deranged nonsense. Dan wouldn’t have it any other way! We discuss his upbringing, artists and comedians he admires, his opinion on critics, the art scene in Nashville compared to other cities, his love of buck-toothed women with large breasts (or at least his love of painting women that way), and the potential future of art given the blockchain, NFTs, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Daniel Matthew York – if that is his real name – is one interesting cat! To learn more about Dan York’s art, go to https://danielmatthewyork.com/
    Escuchado 55m 16s
  • E177: Turning a Negative into a Positive -- Interviewing 80s Music Stars with Robbie Burgess!

    22 ENE. 2023 · Robbie Burgess lost his father and attempted to take his mind off the grief by starting an online music station. While struggling to make it financially viable, he wanted to press on and interview the musicians that made the 80s music so memorable to him with a podcast show. Robbie’s passion for music came about at a very early age. His parents split up when he was one; going along to his dad’s gigs in a country music band immersed Robbie into the music world. A self-proclaimed music fanatic, Robbie talks Queen, Phil Collins, Steely Dan, Wang Chung, Duran Duran, Prince, Talk Talk, Tears for Fears, and so many more incredible artists. He also provides great tips for those looking to play the drums or to start a podcast of their own! Somehow, we also cover Benny Hill, Page 3 Girls, J.K. Rowling, the risks of a cancel culture world, and how loathsome the band Oasis happens to be (in our view). We run the whole gamut. To learn more about The 80s Rewind Show Podcast, go to https://www.the80spod.com/
    Escuchado 1h 37m 44s
  • E176: A Teen Mom Triumphs Over Abuse and Divorce!

    21 DIC. 2022 · Original Summary - On this installment of Grade A Nation, we have the opportunity to hear the amazing life story of Marie Mosley. Marie had a difficult childhood which led to rough circumstances in her teenage and adult years, but she was ultimately able to persevere. We discuss: -Her dad passing away from diabetes when she was five years old, living in a shelter after a building fire, then losing one of her sister’s and a niece when she was just twelve years old. -Feeling like God hated her and challenges of feeling like there was a cloud hanging over her head. -Her support system while experiencing all of this hardship. -How getting pregnant at 13 and having a baby at 14 years old revitalized her relationship with her mom. -Not being exposed to sex education in her teenage years and not having interest in sex, but feeling peer pressured into doing it. -Seeing the positive in toxic times. -Experiencing physical abuse from the father of her children. -What it was like being a parent while she herself was still growing up. -The father of her children being unfaithful throughout their relationship. -The turmoil of the dynamic with the father of her children leading her to contemplate taking her own life. -Why she stayed in such a dysfunctional relationship with the father of her children for so long. -Abusing drugs and alcohol leading to tension with her children at times. -Having her own side relationship where she found happiness and inner peace. -Giving the father of her children multiple chances despite all of the problems. -How the father of her children would be psychologically abusive to them. -Despite his flaws, how her children still have love for her father. -Her thoughts on whether God sent her into a path of infidelity to save her from hurting herself. -Being a hands-on mom with her children ultimately experiencing so much success. -Losing her mother during COVID but being able to have a beautiful celebration of her life in a massive church. -Finding a new partner, personal fulfillment, and breaking the tumultuous cycle! -How her life experiences helped her in guiding the lives of students as a school counselor. -Why a pretty divorce is ultimately about feeling good about yourself again. To learn more about Marie Mosley and her book, go to https://www.theprettydivorce.com/ Background on Episode - A heartwarming conversation that felt cathartic!
    Escuchado 1h 24m 44s
  • E175: A Beautiful Mind! Bill Ottman --- CEO and Co-founder of Minds

    8 DIC. 2022 · Grade A Nation has the honor of welcoming Bill Ottman on to the podcast. Bill is the CEO and co-founder of the social networking app called Minds. Bill is definitely a polymath with keen insights into a lot of different things, which makes him a Grade A podcast guest!  We discuss: -Acquiring the Minds.com domain name and the chaotic domain name market -The purpose of Minds as a social platform, with an emphasis on free expression and creator monetization -Minds integrating with the decentralized relay protocol Nostr that can eventually bring about interoperability between a variety of social media platforms to create a broader community of conversation -Minds attempting to facilitate commissioned work in a way different from platforms like Cameo -How Minds might be a viable option for small and medium-sized content creators to develop a larger following -Trying to overcome the skepticism people have about Web3 projects -Preparing oneself for a potential severe collapse in economic markets if that were to occur -The crypto market having long-term benefits in that it is not being propped up, which allows for authentic correction -Energy and financial independence being forms of national security -Willingness to work with Elon Musk and Twitter -Thoughts on mass media portrayals of himself and Elon Musk as enabling those that are politically on the far-right, and whether Twitter has saboteurs from the inside -Why the decisions of people like Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg have undermined an honest and free exchange of ideas -Views on why Hive and Mastodon are darlings of the mass media in recent times -How deplatforming makes radicalization worse -People assuming he is a conservative extremist simply for appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience and Tucker Carlson Tonight -How being a CEO has been a process of personal growth -Whether TikTok should be removed from markets like the U.S. -The inability for artists to stop similar works being created with advances in technology like AI -Concerns for society moving forward -Predictions on the 2024 U.S. presidential election And actually quite a bit more in this extensive and entertaining conversation. To learn more about Minds.com --- go to, you guessed it, https://www.minds.com/ 
    Escuchado 1h 28m 12s
  • E174: The Biktarvy Playhouse Theater Presents the Mike Cotayo Comedy Cavalcade!

    2 DIC. 2022 · On this four year anniversary edition of Grade A Nation, Chris Thomas chats with Mike Cotayo. There is a famous joke about Mike: "a comic, a social worker, and an escort walk into a bar, and they're all Mike Cotayo." Okay, enough kidding around! Mike Cotayo is a great comic that has done it all and seen it all. From flying through a windshield in a car crash at 18 months old to getting HIV in a West Village sex club, Mike has a ton of life experiences to incorporate in his stand up material. We cover Mike's: -lack of confidence in himself growing up because of the inability to use his left hand and hatred of being treated differently due to having a disability -stand-up comics that he idolized from an early age -riding the Staten Island Ferry as a young man hooking up with other men and getting a thrill in encounters with total strangers (don't call him the Staten Island Ferry Fairy....show some respect) -experiencing assault without consent while on a Holocaust museum field trip  -what made him interested in social work and his assessment of how he did as a social worker -smoking crack; just say no folks! -his thoughts on why he was engaging in behaviors he would tell his social work clients not to do -how after contracting HIV he decided to pursue his stand-up dreams -having success as a stand-up that became almost too much to handle due to the arrival of panic attacks -sometimes identifying as gay and sometimes identifying as bisexual over the years -grieving after the passing of his mother and his love for family -whether he can see his dad being with another woman in the future -a brief stint as an escort  -his sometimes self-destructive tendencies in his comedy career -getting props from his peers in stand up comedy -falling in love with a married woman that is a mom and having her leave her husband for him, only for the ex-husband to end up living in their basement (I smell a My Two Dad's reboot in the works) -being an extra on SNL and his comedy goals A spectacular conversation with an honest and funny man! Go to https://www.funnymanmike.com/ to learn more about Mike Cotayo.
    Escuchado 1h 28m 31s
  • E173: A Jack of All Trades -- Chatting with Playwright, Actor, and Musician Jack Canfora!

    26 NOV. 2022 · Jack Canfora chats with Grade A Nation about his various pursuits over the years. Although Jack has accomplished quite a bit, his heart is in writing plays and the live theatre. On the show, Jack and Chris Thomas talk about: -Jack's passion for the written word and the musical nature of English -which genre of music matches Jack's voice -how to approach writing and editing in a way that accentuates your strengths -why being paralyzed by depression in his twenties might have inhibited Jack's progress as an actor -what it means to be a natural born pessimist and the challenges of raising children when you don’t always have an optimistic mindset -actors Jack would like to work with…apologies in advance to Carrot Top -his parents supporting Jack's career choices despite the fact they did not share as much interest in literature -becoming enamored with The Beatles as a young man -writing plays with dialogue not reflecting Jack's New York upbringing and also with an awareness of the challenges women face -crafting language to sell a product that is not Jack's own -the pluses and minuses of being a ghostwriter for non-writers that can’t write but still have something to say -making a living as a writer by diversifying the projects one works in -avoiding writer’s block and keeping the professional juices flowing -New Normal Rep creating podcasts as an approach to democratizing theatre -why the arts should not be considered a luxury item and should be prioritized in education -the thrill of observing a live audience reacting to one’s creative work -the background of Step 9, an audio drama podcast based loosely on a true story about a woman who receives contact from a man trying to make amends that violated her thirty years ago -how to integrate a bit of humor when artistically discussing serious subject matter -whether theatre might appeal to younger generations of today -the ways in which theatre might capture society in a way that film or television might not -a cool opportunity to watch a play online from New Normal Rep! Check out more about Jack Canfora on his website https://www.jackcanforawriter.com/ or his personal blog https://thewritingonthepaddedwall.com/ . See the New Normal Rep in action at https://www.newnormalrep.org/ 
    Escuchado 1h 17m 21s

Grade A Nation is what podcasts are meant to be: great conversations with great guests from all walks of life. We get to the bottom of discerning fact from fiction...

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Grade A Nation is what podcasts are meant to be: great conversations with great guests from all walks of life. We get to the bottom of discerning fact from fiction in a world that is sometimes seemingly filled with phonies and fakes. Topics are discussed with a quirky blend of humor and honesty. Hear from the interesting personalities of the day at their most unfiltered with compelling interviews. The podcast for folks that don't want to be pandered to or have their time wasted. A program presented by Grade A USA and hosted by Chris Thomas.
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