Life 2.0
The Friday File

The Friday File

September 4, 2020

So, what do China, haircuts and cellphones all have in common...? Those elements are part of my recent hiatus that includes launching an international radio show, my visit to Ray's Barbershop (haircut is just $12) back in my old neighborhood and my ongoing angst about cellphones becoming part of people's workout routine in my gym. They are apparently more interested in building up their scrolling muscles instead of their biceps. 

Hannah’s War

Hannah’s War

August 9, 2020

75 years ago today, August 9th, 1945 the city of Nagasaki was obliterated by the second atomic bomb in human history, the first being on Hiroshima, three days earlier. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only uses of nuclear weapons in armed conflict. 

Jan Eliasberg, an award-winning screenwriter and director of film and television, was perusing microfilm in the New York Public Library and came across an issue in the New York Times published on the day U.S. Forces dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945. A one-sentence paragraph caught her attention. 

"The key component that allowed the Allies to develop the bomb was ... (provided) by a female, non-Aryan physicist." 

That's all it said. 

"My immediate thought was, 'Who IS this woman and why has her face not been staring out of the pages of every science magazine ever?" 

In "Hannah's War," Eliasberg makes her thrilling historical debut, with a novel about a female scientist working to develop the first atomic bomb during World War II, and the young military investigator determined to uncover her secret past. 

Put this book in the "Can't put it down" category, a terrific read based on the life of Dr. Lise Meitner

Opening music bridge McGuire's Landing by Pete Huttlinger. Used by permission.

Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For?) written and performed by John Denver. Used by permission.

USCG 230th Anniversary Pt. I

USCG 230th Anniversary Pt. I

August 4, 2020

I have covered a lot of ground since this picture of me, taken at USCG boot camp in Alameda, CA back in 1980. While I've touched on just about every subject in radio for the past 20+ years, I have never produced anything on the incredible men and women I served with-until now.

This is part I of the recognition and celebration of the efforts of the men and women whom I served with at Coast Guard Air Station Chicago from 1980-84. They are all heroes to me, with tireless dedication to duty and a high degree of professionalism and military bearing-but also knew how to have more fun than legally allowed. Semper Paratus "Always Ready."

USCG 230th Anniversary Pt. II

USCG 230th Anniversary Pt. II

August 4, 2020

This is part II of the recognition and celebration of the efforts of the men and women whom I served with at Coast Guard Air Station Chicago from 1980-84. They are all heroes to me, with tireless dedication to duty and a high degree of professionalism and military bearing-but also knew how to have more fun than legally allowed. Semper Paratus "Always Ready."

The Wednesday Rant

The Wednesday Rant

July 29, 2020

It was the great writer and philosopher George Santayana who insisted that-"Those who can't remember the past are condemned to repeat it." History, if studied and learned from, is our greatest teacher-but humans aren't always the sharpest tool in the shed. Basically its the same sh*t, different century as we once again muddle through another pandemic, as Cyrus The Virus continues to remind us that even with all our modern medical advances, its obvious that technology far surpasses our humanity, and that when you strip away all of the bells and whistles of society, and we are left with just ourselves, it's not a pretty picture.

Grass Drills

Grass Drills

July 25, 2020

Little did I know that going out to cut the grass in near 90 degree heat yesterday, was going to be a "Back to The Future" type experience that opened a portal, taking me back 44 years-to 1976. It was the bi-centennial year, Carter beat Ford for the Oval Office, the Concorde enters service and cuts transatlantic flying time to 3 1/2 hours, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest was at the theater and gas was .59 cents a gallon. But the big news was that double sessions for football was gearing up and how countless hours spent on a small dirt field have been a rudder for me ever since. 

Etched In Stone

Etched In Stone

July 24, 2020
105 years ago this very morning, a light rain was falling on Chicago, in the early morning hours of July 24, 1915 as passengers lined up to board the the S.S. Eastland, known as the "Speed Queen of the Great Lakes," that was part of a fleet of five excursion boats assigned to take Western Electric employees, families and friends across Lake Michigan to Michigan City, Indiana, for a day of fun and fellowship. But the festivities were short-lived and quickly turned tragic.
 
The Eastland, docked at the Clark Street Bridge, never left the Chicago River. Tragedy struck as the ship rolled over into the river at the wharf's edge. More than 2,500 passengers and crew members were on board that day – and 844 people lost their lives, including 22 entire families.
 
The makeshift morgue for the Eastland victims was the 2nd Regiment Armory located at Washington and Carpenter Streets. 75 years after the disaster, that same building would become the home of Harpo Studios and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Rumors of strange occurrences, sounds and even sightings of people from another era had been reported over the years, but I didn't pay much attention to that stuff while I was on staff at Oprah Radio-as the building I worked in was across the street from the main studio.
 
"Etched in Stone" is a chapter from my book "Phenomena: Sacred Moments, Messages, Memories & Other Sh*t I Can't Explain" that recounts the day in Edit 1 back in 2008, when a "voice" reached out through a speaker that wasn't even connected to anything with the demand that "Neils Petersen will not be forgotten"-not once-but twice. That "event" was heard by three people besides me....but that was just the beginning of a strange journey.
 
One of many in my life, that I share in the book. 
Never Say Never

Never Say Never

July 18, 2020
" I'll never, ever change the name of my football team." Washington owner Dan Snyder. 
 
As the old saying goes, never say never.
 
After years of pressure from Native American groups and attempts at rescinding the patent on the logo in court, it finally came down to the almighty dollar-actually losing lots of them-from sponsors. FedEx, Nike, Pepsi and Bank of America all lined up against the name, which was given to the franchise in 1933 when the team was still based in Boston.
 
BTW, the team was called the Boston Braves back then, and after just one year as the Braves, the franchise was renamed to the Redskins in 1933, four years before the team moved from Boston to Washington. The reason for the name change was simple: Boston's new coach, Lone Star Dietz, and several of his Native American players disliked the name Braves and lobbied for the team to change its name to the Redskins, a name the players felt denoted courage and strength.
 
Joe Podlasek is the CEO of the Trickster Gallery, a Native American cultural center in Schaumburg, Illinois and for the past ten years has built a working relationship with the Chicago Blackhawks, that has become a template for other teams to follow when it comes to Native American mascots. In full disclosure, I add my 7 cents worth as well, in regards to an "empirical study" that concluded that all mascots (even the positive ones) are harmful to Native American youth. I wonder what Jim Thorpe would think of that.  
 
"Potter's Wheel" written by Bill Danoff, performed by John Denver.
 
Charlie Daniels-The Man & His Music

Charlie Daniels-The Man & His Music

July 11, 2020

Country music legend Charlie Daniels passed away on July 6th at the age of 83. He was a pioneering singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to Southern rock, country, and bluegrass music. He is also remembered for his humanitarian efforts, support of veterans and ability to touch generations of fans around the world. This is a long play-"double album" with country artists John Berry, Heidi Newfield, Kent Blazy, J.P. Pennington, Jim Horn and Michael Cleveland sharing their memories and moments about one of the most influential artists in music history. 

Tom Dreesen

Tom Dreesen

July 8, 2020

I don't toss words like "icon" and "pioneer" around lightly-but both those descriptions fit Tom Dreesen like a custom- made tuxedo. From dirt-poor humble beginnings to serving in the US Navy, to finding his niche in comedy and breaking the interracial color barrier with Tim "WKRP" Reid to opening for "The Chairman of The Board" Frank Sinatra, Tom has had a life and career arc that is worth putting into a book- and he did just that. Its a candid, no-hold barred conversation about the best-selling "Still Standing: My Journey from Streets and Saloons to Stage, and Sinatra." 

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