Wow. You would think that after 40 episodes we'd have our process figured out. You'd be wrong. This episode probably snatches the title for the most delayed episode ever, coming out an entire month later. Not a good start to our refreshed Season 4 with a one-month release cadence...
The unfortunate reality is that Hisho and I are getting older, and at the start of this year I had my mock exams 💀 which meant I was really busy. I should've then gotten back into FF, but I took my time a bit too much, and due to a combination of that, and rubbish scheduling, it took until late February to think of an idea, write it, and record it. It then took me another week to edit it.
But the technical difficulties on this episode were on another level entirely. Hisho couldn't hear me at first, which took ages to resolve. Then when we finally were able to start recording, we spent a quarter hour figuring out the beginning. Then Hisho's recording stopped randomnly, losing a lot of data. That took a while to restart. Then, at the end, my computer gave up existing and just froze. Thank god my file was somehow auto-saved, but I didn't realise the problem until I finished my five-minute spiel (which was all lost). Hisho finished the episode without me. Then when I finally came to edit, I found that the levels of my audio were horrifically low. My mixer had been used by my dad between this recording and the one prior, so some messed-up settings meant that the waveform was barely visible. Luckily, the microphone is good enough that with a strong amplification and a tiny bit of hiss reduction, the audio sounds fine but not perfectly crisp.
Overall, this is a banging start to a new as-of-yet-unnamed season. See you in March!
Hisho has been resentful that he didn't choose to host the consumerism section, so he's been steadfastly refusing to come up with ideas for episodes. The day we were hoping to record, I was brainstorming in my head all morning and finally came up with the idea of "the Insane Consumerism of Christmas." Hisho liked the idea too, so we quickly wrote the notes and recorded the episode. The recording itself went really well.
However, when I came to edit it, I was faced with a new problem that I hadn't experienced before: somehow, a click track had been burned into Hisho's track: a 120 BPM metronome was clicking underneath the whole time. Luckily, this issue is fixable by basically doing noise cancelling on it: Hisho created a new track that was just the metronome, and then inverted its phase. When the original wave in his podcast track is played at the same time as its inversion, they cancel each other out perfectly.
This one, again, had to be pushed back to the last minute, and due to Hisho's most unfortunately coming down with malaria, I had to write the show notes. In all honesty, I didn't really mind, as this is something that I feel passionately about and didn't need to do too much research for. We recorded on the day of intended release, but I was a lazy arse so I didn't edit it until the week after... I think for Season 4 we'll switch to a monthly release schedule: we're both getting busier and busier with school, and this initial fortnightly schedule was started in the COVID era of excess free time. We had a fantastic recording, and then today I had an absolute blast making a Fighting Failure Coke can - it looks so cool!
I'm afraid I'm writing this three weeks after this episode went out, so I can't remember the shenanigans too well, but this was certainly one of those episodes that were pushed to the last minute in terms of recording and release. In fact, this was initially meant to be the episode about advertising, but when Hisho went to write the show notes, I woke up to find an episode about pets instead! It's a great one, though: enjoy.
37: The Future of Climate Activism
Back when I recorded Degrowth with Dexter, the other topic he had suggested when he originally applied to come on the podcast was 'The Future of Climate Activism'. Due to my holiday timings, I knew - and told Hisho in advance - that I would have to record *this* week (one week after recording Fast Fashion). He didn't read my message for the whole week, though, and told me on Friday when I wrote to confirm timings that he was away, find someone else. With a short, sharp sigh I phoned up Dexter, and, like a champ, he was able to come to my house with very short notice and record an almost-hour-long episode about a fascinating topic. This is something incredibly different from what we tend to cover on this podcast, and I think it's very necessary that we cover it.
36: Fast Fashion
Hisho was pretty panicked when we originally wanted to record this, as he didn't know what topic to choose. We ended up delaying recording by a week as I had stuff on both weekend days (not ideal). When we did record, we spent forever faffing about levels (although I'm glad we did), meaning I cut a 1h10 recording into a 40 minute episode. That does explain the short delay, as this episode came out one day later than I would've liked. We *should* be back on it for next time... but we'll have to see about that.
Editing was fairly straightforward, and I made a lot of content cuts, so hopefully this should be a sharp and interesting episode.
35: Planned Obsolescence
This is one of the craziest episodes in a very long time. I think it's a very good final product, but the path to get to this point has been... rocky. Initially I had wanted to record this episode before the summer, but in the end we weren't able to. So, when I came back from the long holidays I knew I would need to record an episode quickly. It's kind-of my fault for trying to organise the recording a bit close to the time, but Hisho was unavailable the weekend it would need to be released. We scheduled for the weekend after and had a great conversation, but when I went to edit it Hisho's audio was unrecoverably clipped (when the gain is turned up to high, the audio peaks and it sounds atrocious). It was a good episode, so I couldn't bring myself to 'publish it anyway'. I knew I couldn't do that to our listeners. So I decided, with a heavy heart, to reschedule again, meaning we would have to re record the whole thing. That Tuesday I recorded a quick bonus episode to fill the gap in the production cycle. Then, we recorded that weekend and had another great - and shorter - conversation. But Hisho didn't send in his recording, meaning I wasn't able to edit until a week later. But the episode was fun to edit and is now finally out! We should be returning to a more normal production cycle - hopefully!
33: Food Waste & 34: Paper Waste
As I write this, I leave for a 6-week holiday in just over 7 hours, so we needed to record enough episodes to buffer the holiday season. Luckily I had recorded with Dexter, meaning Hisho and I only needed to record two episodes to bridge the gap.
After a bit of back-and-forth and planning, Hisho and I did a double recording of 33 and 34 and I edited and scheduled both of them later that day.
A while back my friend Dexter Twycross, a prominent member of my school's environment group, suggested to me that he would like to appear on an episode of Fighting Failure. I recently contacted him about it and he suggested talking about degrowth.
So he came over to my house one Tuesday morning, I set up some chairs and we had a great conversation. It flowed really well from his conversation points and we just passed the microphone back and forth (I only have one).
I trimmed and EQ'd it and here you have it!
31: Plastic Recycling
We spent longer on my exam-induced break than we would have liked, and Hisho was rightly annoyed that I was perhaps setting a double standard for when we do and don't record.
We eventually recorded the weekend it was released on a Sunday morning. I had freshly prepared the notes as well on a topic that really interests me - the falsity of plastic recycling.
We had a great discussion but Hisho's WiFi was of course not working well - despite being in the US. Everything else went smoothly though - the upload etc. I waited until the evening to edit but managed to do the whole thing in an hour without compromising on my quality standards. It could have been more interesting, for sure, but it was polished.
I didn't have much time to make marketing materials but I quickly whipped up a plastic-resin-code style logo which I found quite funny. Enjoy!
30: Sustainable Architecture
What a nightmare this episode has been! On recording day we spent about half an hour trying to figure out why Hisho's mic was making a strange noise, and finally deciding it was probably his headphones not the mic? Wilf interrupted me halfway through as well, but ultimately I think the recording went very smoothly.
Then I left future me a massive challenge by writing in the show notes "extract from episode X plays" which meant I had to dig through YT transcripts for the right thing to include while editing. Thanks.
Furthermore, Hisho had massive trouble uploading his recording onto the Google Drive. For some reason, it took him 3 weeks to finally do it? Not blaming him though, we all know Skyband is the real offender...
When release day rolled around I had literally nothing to present, but I realised I had forgotten to publicise episode 29 on Instagram! So that came out on 30's release day, and editing 30 would have to wait, as I was going to Israel & Palestine!
After two cancelled flights, I finally got back to the UK and I edited this episode that night. Somehow my voice managed to bleed onto Hisho's recording, but it was quiet enough that it didn't make any difference. I'm very happy with the outcome of this episode and we want people to share it far and wide.
Now Hisho's unavailable for 3 weeks, and I have exams, so it's going to be a month and a bit before anything else gets released. See you in Season 3!
29: Public Transport
I really have been getting behind on these blogs! Episode 29 was fun to record, and fairly uneventful in general. I had great fun photoshopping FF29 onto an image from Australia... and then completely forgot to upload it. I think I've forgotten that I can schedule stuff in advance for Instagram...
< How many references can you spot??
28: Every Type of Pollution
Oops, forgot to do this earlier. Life's been super hectic recently. But I've attempted to recall the details, and I think we were jamming up against when I needed to leave for Australia and there was zero time in my calendar for recording, so we had (got) to hand over to Taran to record with Hisho for that episode. I did edit it and it came out on time... Fun!
5 : Veganism & Vegetarianism [2022 rerun]
I thought I'd create this as a bit of a buffer episode as I knew we were falling slightly behind with recording. That turned out to be very useful. On something a whim I opened up the audio file for episode 5, listened to parts, cut out parts and inserted reactions. I disagree with a lot of the stuff I said but I was quite impressed with parts as well. This episode, which is the podcast equivalent of "xyz debunked" reaction videos, is worth a listen, even (especially) if you haven't listened to the original (I cut out the drivel).
27: Summer Sports
As I mentioned in the last blog, we did a double recording, and this was specifically for Nature Sports #1 (Winter) and #2 (Summer) - the latter being this episode. As a result, the details are virtually identical to 26.
The editing, however, was done one day before my departure to Down Under, just in time for its release. On the same day, I reacted to episode 5 (hopefully resulting in a special episode coming soon), and 28 (shenanigans for which will be available in the next installation).
I think this nicely ties up the sports series, see you next week!
26: Winter Sports
Slightly annoyingly, we had to reschedule the recording to the release day, which is always an annoyance. I'm going away soon so I wanted to do a double recording. So when Hisho said he didn't have much time, I said something along the lines of 'that's fine, we can do two next week'. By which I meant we would record one this week, and do the double-up next time. But (in hindsight obviously) he interpreted it to mean we wouldn't record this week.
All of that is to say that we recorded on the day of release. I have a play next week, so I needed time to learn lines too.... but it worked out in the end.
In all honesty, I probably spent more time on the thumbnail image thing of the FF branded skis than the actual edit.
The episode is less than thirty minutes - hopefully this makes it more accessible to listeners without a ton of time on their hands.
Update on Theo Ansell Debunks Veganism 2: This has been postponed twice due to Theo's illness, hopefully it'll be available soon. Update again: it might be another month yet....
We had some fun with this one! Hisho made some show notes but I helped flesh them out. We recorded without much issue. Editing was also pretty simple, and I had good fun with the effects, especially at the beginning. I do think Hisho's audio sounded a bit different though - is that just me?
The episode came out a few hours late, but on the right day. It took me another week to get the promo out, but I'm so happy with my first ever Instagram carousel! In other news, we've also changed our small logo to the Ukraine flag colours in support of justice, peace and cooperation.
I've been watching quite a bit of 'city planning YouTube' recently so it was great to discuss this topic on the show. I've linked a ton of relevant videos at the bottom of the show notes if anyone else is interested.
Coming up next: Theo Ansell Debunks Veganism | Part 2: Oscar Archibald Debunks Carnism
We were going to record this a week before we did, but it was just before Hisho's PP deadline so he wasn't able to make good enough notes unfortunately. He suggested I step in and write them, but I knew this was going to be a great episode so I didn't want to potentially degrade it.
Hisho did deliver and a week later we had some superb notes ready. We recorded on a Saturday afternoon (unusual, I know) as I had DofE on Sunday so it was easier for both of us to do Saturday. As Sandhya's no longer permanently co-hosting, we were also not limited by the time of night in India. (although we have at times in the past recorded very late for her!).
The recording went well on the whole.
I did the edit on a Wednesday afternoon (unusual, I know) as was going away on Saturday, meaning the weekend wasn't an option. I used Global Clip Stretching to edit at double speed. I'm seriously facepalming for why I haven't been using this in the past. Live and learn, I suppose.
The podcast is sounding really good these days, as both Hisho and I have proper mics. Mine is a Shure SM-58 inherited from my parents (environmentally friendly) and Hisho''s is some sort of good one for his digital music career.
I'm really liking that we're integrating some music into the shows as well; for the last two episodes we've had Hisho strum something during the 'interval' that I use at the beginning and end two - it sounds really good IMO.
I think Ali Abdaal is quite right when he says that the best way to learn is just by doing it, and not getting bogged down in perfectionism. Having listened to many podcasts before starting this one, I can admit that I came into this with a fixed-ish mindset of how good it should be, and I'll tell you that, having re-edited Episode 1, that that wasn't the case. Of course it's not going to be perfect on the first episode. Why would it be? But through this amazing journey as the producer of this show, I've been able to really carve out our niche of how we want this podcast to sound. And of course there's still miles to go.
But let's put journey before destination and focus on enjoying the process and improving, one episode at a time.
See you in the next one 😊.
23: We need to talk about LEDs
One thing that has stood out to me from amongst my many chats with John Lucas (of Episode 18) is his views on Light Emitting Diodes. For me, as with most people, I had always assumed LEDs were good and efficient and that was that.
But John has a more nuanced view on the topic: while he recognises the great potential LEDs have, perhaps retrofitting fluorescent fittings with LEDs isn't the best strategy.
In this episode we had a great chat about the benefits and drawbacks of this technology, and we also touched on some other topics within the scope of how to save energy in the home.
Uploaded a week later than schedule, but we'll get back on it with 24.
22: Your Carbon Footprint Is a Lie
A while back I got sent an article about the "climate shadow," so I immediately thought to make an episode about it. Although it doesn't fit into my energy section, nor did "Is Cow a Sin," so I decided to stick the two out-of-theme episodes together.
Recording went very smoothly, and for the first time, everyone was using a professional microphone! It was a really great and productive discussion.
I waited a week to edit because I had no time otherwise, which meant I was editing on the day of release. However, I was finally brave enough to use "Global Clip Stretching" on Adobe Audition, meaning I could edit at 2x speed, greatly reducing the time to edit.
In the interlude between problems and solutions, Hisho played a beautiful instrumental on his guitar, so I made full use of that in the edit too.
I also introduced our "Listen on Spotify" bar in the YouTube version, to let people know that they can listen on a dedicated podcast app. I think it's better as people are more likely to pause and come back to it, or listen in the background.
It took a while to ̶p̶e̶r̶f̶e̶c̶t̶ get fairly good, but I'm quite happy with the logo for this episode - the number 22 with a shadow against a concrete background.
21: Is Cow a Sin?
Back in the summer of 2021, Hisho recommended to me a book entitled "Defending Beef: The ecological and nutritional case for meat" by Nicolette Hahn Niman. Intrigued, I read it.
And there's a lot to talk about!
So much, in fact, that I specially created a very complex public show notes document, available at defendingbeef.fflinks.tk. I specified all the for and against arguments, my take-home advice, and lots and lots of citations.
In terms of recording, Sandhya wasn't available on the day of recording, so I pulled in my friend Clement. He doesn't have a special interest in beef, but when I went over to his house recently I saw he got a snazzy microphone.
I wasn't sure what episode I wanted to record that day, so when we decided on Defending Beef, all we had to go off was my PDF of Kindle highlights and notes.
We went on for almost two hours talking about only a small subset of the book. But I think we really covered what's important and what to take home from the book. In addition, in my document that I created (see above), I covered some of the other points too, and at the end of the podcast I summarised the other chapters.
This was also the first time that I used my microphone. It's a Shure concert mic that my parents had from when they performed in a band. I used their old mixer, too. I must say I was impressed with the quality, but unfortunately I cannot hold a mic in one hand and a pop filter in the other whilst navigating the show notes, so you'll have to excuse the odd plosive.
After recording I doubted if I would ever be able to edit such a monstrosity, as I did have technical difficulties with headphones, at one point I even flung my phone onto the ground by pulling accidentally on the headphone wire. (Note to self: charge your headphones).
However, once I sat down to edit it wasn't too bad. I cleaned it up, but otherwise let the conversation flow, deliberately leaving some of the interjections in (it's a debate, after all). However, Clement had cut out half an hour of silence in the middle, messing up my alignment, and Hisho had his headphones unplugged for the first 40 minutes. Annoying, but not unsurmountable problems.
I stayed up far too late making a gif of a cow jumping across the YouTube thumbnail of the episode. (But I'm very happy with how it turned out).
Overall, I appreciate that the book comes from an ex-vegetarian environmental lawyer rather than some internet troll who thinks plants feel pain too. But I worry that her encouragement of meat consumption from sustainable cattle will stop people from going veggie or vegan, and hence fuelling the market for unsustainable meats like feedlot cattle or pigs and poultry.
Additionally, I did learn a lot about nutrition science.
To see the full breakdown of the debate, and to see scientific sources on both sides, visit defendingbeef.fflinks.tk.
See ya! 😊
9th January 2022
20: Bitcoin and NFTs
We had been quite behind on the recording schedule for a while, even recording Episode 18 on the day of its release. However, with this one I knew I had Episode 19 already recorded, which could give us a much-needed leg-up in our recording schedule. We recorded one week after Episode 18 came out, although Sandhya didn't pick up the phone 😢. It was quite short but I think we covered everything necessary. The edit was simple and pain-free, so I hope you enjoy this comparatively short episode!
Update: So the blog is always about the shenanigans, and there amazingly seem to be shenanigans for every episode... except this one. But fear not, listeners, for of course I gave myself more work to do. I spent far too long designing an FFcoin and making an entire library of FF pixel art images, despite the fact that I could never release them, at least until Ethereum (which would be the platform NFTs and an FFcoin token currency would be based on) transitions to the far less energy-intensive Proof of Stake system.
Thoughts: The basis of Bitcoin's security is that, instead of trusting people, governments, or institutions, we can instead trust computational work. This computational work is in the form of guessing and checking SHA256 hashes until it starts with a number of zeroes (this number of zeroes is determined such that finding the right guess takes 10 minutes). Whilst from a mathematical standpoint I am wowed by the genius of this idea, and of the Bitcoin whitepaper in general, but from an environmental standpoint it seems completely pointless to spend Terawatts of electricity doing pointless calculations just to verify transactions on a ledger that is objectively worse than something like Visa in metrics like time to verify a transaction and transactions per second. Plus, if you forget your Bitcoin hardware wallet password.... (have you seen the statistics about lost Bitcoin?) Ultimately, cryptocurrencies are really interesting and perhaps promising, but I think we have to focus on sustainability, and finding decentralised trust systems that don't rely on Proof of Work - like the Ethereum transition to Proof of Stake.
Boxing Day, 2021
19: Heat Pumps with Michael Thomas
Heat pumps are perhaps the most overlooked climate solution, but their potential for decarbonising are homes is amazing.
I'm so excited to announce our first professional guest interview! Michael Thomas founded Carbon Switch, a company which encourages the uptake of heat pumps for home heating. I found out about him from a Vox video about heat pumps, where he was interviewed. When I was planning out this episode, I thought he might be good as a guest, so I looked him up and reached out to him to ask if he wanted to be a guest on the show. I was very happy when he replied and we found a recording time that worked. I did have to miss my sister's music concert though 😬. The recording went very smoothly and I edited it a month or so later the week before it came out, as I knew the edit would be easy. Overall, a really great episode with a very special guest.
12th December 2021
18: The Problem with Renewables
We were already cutting it quite tight, planning to record just a week before release, but both Hisham and Sandhya were unavailable that weekend (plus I had exams) so we rescheduled to the day of the release. We welcomed Electrical and Electronic engineering student John Lucas onto our show and he was an excellent guest. Because of the time constraints, I kept everyone on the meet until their files showed up in the shared Google Drive. Predictably Sandhya was the first to leave. After finding his password to his Google account, Hisho uploaded his. Only John remained. He had recorded his audio to Audacity, which was refusing to export. It just didn't respond. Luckily it had an auto-backup function, but upon restart it refused even to save the project. After many minutes (hours?) of troubleshooting it finally turned out that John's double-VPN-file-server setup wasn't doing him any favours, and with that sorted we were good to go. I finally got around to editing in the (late) afternoon and got the episode published a mere 5 hours late. I experimented with using the left and right channels (rather than the usual mono podcast) to express tangential remarks and corrections - so listen with headphones and let me know what you think.
28th November 2021
17: Biofuels are Liarfuels
This was pretty smooth IIRC.
14th November 2021
Season 2 - House of Cards
Season 2 is all about the built environment - energy, urban expansion and waste.
And yes, I did design and print a deck of cards just for that photo.
16.18: Halloween Special
(FYI 16.18 is phi * 10)
I've always been fascinated by the Halloween celebration. I've lived in Australia, Sri Lanka, Malawi and the UK, and in each country it's been celebrated differently. But one thing links them all: costumes and candy. Personally, I've never bought an outfit specifically for Halloween. We had a "dress-up box" full of random stuff we'd picked up at the op-shop (read: second-hand) in Canberra, and every I just found some stuff in that to use as a costume (it was a witch most years). I once even went in my dressing gown as the "grim reaper." Anyhow, I was incredulous to learn the huge scale of devastation that consumerist Halloween practices have on the environment. From costumes to candy wrappers to single-use decoration, the negative impacts of Halloween are widespread. However, this podcast is called Fighting Failure, not Explaining Failure, so in this episode we dive into the ways you can enjoy your Halloween celebrations without the spooky effect on the climate.
31st October 2021
Episode 16 is the final episode of Season 1 of Fighting Failure. We recorded - miraculously - two whole weeks before publishing - but this was not without great effort on my side to convince everyone! I wasted half an hour before the podcast started trying to make the word "Coexist" out of emojis (☪🕐E✡ℹ☯✝), but it was more religious-tolerance style than animal and human coexistence. Anyway, after recording I waited one and a half weeks to edit (secretly thanking Hisho for taking forever to send in his recording), but it was in the half term (yay) so no pressure. In a way it made editing more enjoyable because I was listening to the content afresh. I was very happy with how the edit turned out - 34% of recorded content was cut, giving you guys a nice 33 minute episode (Maths question: how long was the original recording?). While editing I stumbled across the phrase we mentioned - "Coexistence Mindset" - which I thought perfectly encapsulated the idea that we were trying to get across in the episode. Do enjoy and see you next time in Season 2! (except for the Halloween special)
24th October 2021
There's not that much to say about the making of this episode. Recording was pushed back a week (because of an embassy event), then forward a day (because of a tech rehearsal I had). Recording was uneventful, as was editing. But there are some interesting things that we've done this episode that we hope will give you a better experience. Firstly, I recorded in a fort under my desk surrounded by blanket/doona/duvet/comforter (choose your word) to reduce echo and I think it worked really well. Secondly, we are now hosting our show notes through Notion. This means that we can have images, links, videos etc in one place for each episode. It makes it easier to work with on our end and better to look at on your end. Head to shownotes.fightingfailure.earth now!
10th October 2021
We're all back at school after the summer holidays so everyone's busy. Hisho's in Year 11 in the IB system so he has a lot of work for his Personal Project. I'm starting learning for 10 GCSEs. Sandhya's very busy too. We want to continue the fortnightly release schedule we established over the summer, so I wanted to record two weeks in advance. However, on the day Sandhya said she had time constraints and Hisho said he couldn't do it at all due to an upcoming deadline. With a heavy sigh on my part we pushed back the recording to the weekend before release. I informed Hisho that if he couldn't make this one he wouldn't be in it. On the day he informed us that he was going to the lake for a long weekend. But we forged ahead without him, and understudy Taran Caston was able to sub in for him - and he did very well! Additionally, due to renovations, I was in a different space, so the audio might sound different. Or maybe not. Adobe Audition's de-reverb is surprisingly good. We had a great discussion about Palm Oil, and I must say this is among my favourite episodes. Enjoy!
26th September 2021
Fighting Failure has been a learning experience for me and for everyone involved. Other than one episode of The Improv Challenge which was edited in Shotcut (a free video editor), I had zero experience editing podcasts. Similarly, almost all the skills needed to create a podcast were picked up along the way: editing, making artwork, publicising, hosting. This means that a lot of our earlier work just wasn't as good. In particular, Episodes 1-2 (including φ) had very strange audio - I think I set the AutoGate filter too high. These episodes did have quality check listen-overs, but somehow this terrible defect escaped my perception. Listening to them today is painful. Since the first episode is where many people start with a podcast, and since I was proud of the actual content within them, I have decided to re-edit these first episodes using the original audio (which I am so glad we kept). Episodes 1 and φ are already up, and 2 is coming soon. I have edited the original podcast upload so they should still appear at the bottom of your feed. I realise that it is an Internet 'tradition' to leave up old and bad content so I will leave the old audio on YouTube for old time's sake. If you originally failed to listen to these episodes then I recommend you give them another shot.
Keep sharing the climate l💚ve,
12th September 2021
It's already difficult to find a time to record when Hisho and Sandhya are 10.5 hours apart. But for this episode, Hisho's cousin Emily - who has just been accepted into the University of California to study Marine Biology - was booked in to guest, and she lives in Arizona, which means that early morning for her is late night in India. Kudos to Sandhya for putting up with late nights while Hisham was in the US.
I was away for my Duke of Edinburgh expedition so I wasn't able to witness how it unfolded but from what I can see it went very smoothly. I joined in the last 10 minutes when I got home and I had a great time talking about the one point they hadn't already mentioned 😜. I edited it in the last 2 hours before I had to leave for my holiday so it was a very rushed edit. I was also annoyed to find that the audio somehow got out of sync halfway through! Anyhow, I finished the edit in the nick of time and hopefully it sounds good!
Update: When I got back from my holiday I decided that the edit just wasn't good enough so I went over it meticulously with a fine toothcomb so I now know that it does sound good - to me, at least.
12th September 2021
Another simple blog. Sandhya and I recorded without Hisho as he didn't turn up at our recording time - we needed episodes before I went away. It was a really interesting episode to talk about and I think it's really great that so much of the paper we use nowadays in packaging and books comes from recycled paper - a real tribute to recycling efforts worldwide. Having only two people talking, this episode was blissfully simple to edit - just cleaning up, really. Please do give it a listen - it's only half an hour 🤗
15th August 2021
There's less to say about this one than Episode 10, as its recording came about as a side-effect of efforts to record Episode 10. As I mentioned last time, we were trying to record Episode 10 but Hisho couldn't come, so we ended up recording Episode 11. This was Sandhya's first time hosting an episode, and she did a stellar job. Theo was also really good considering he had no notice he would be on this episode. It was relatively simple to edit as well, which was a bonus. Awesome!
15th August 2021
So Hisho is still travelling in the United States and as always finding a recording time was difficult. My pal Theo Ansell was booked to guest on this episode so we had to find a time that worked for four people. Hisho didn’t have time to write show notes, so I did an outline and Theo fleshed it out from there. This worked out better than you might expect as both Theo and I were really interested in this topic. I was going on holiday soon - I am writing this from a train platform in rural Scotland now - and wouldn’t be able to edit, so we had to record enough episodes to tide us through the summer months.
To further complicate matters, Theo and I had Duke of Edinburgh expeditions on both weekends before I went away, meaning that our usual recording time was not possible. After struggling to find a time to record that worked for everyone, we finally settled on Monday 3:30 BST. The day rolled around, and everyone except Hisho was on the meet. He texted saying he couldn’t make it. Sigh. We decided that we couldn’t waste this recording time and so Theo became a surprise guest on Episode 11. We recorded the same time on Tuesday and everyone made it succesfully.
It was a really interesting topic and I’m so glad we covered it. When the time came to edit, I was gutted to find that Theo’s audio wasn’t nearly loud enough. On my audio editor it barely registered above background noise levels. This was especially confusing given that his audio was actually really good in the call. I struggled for hours to try in vain to make it sound decent. I ended up just silencing the parts where Theo didn’t talk and turning up the volume by almost 20 dB. I subsequently spent all day editing it to make it really interesting and easy to listen to. I also got Theo to re-record some of his longer speeches so hopefully it mostly sounds good now!
I think this topic is really important so please do listen to it and implement some of the solutions. You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan, but I think reducing cheap meat intake is a really great start towards a healthier, happier planet.
1st August 2021
Breaking news: PLOUGHING YOUR SOIL is bad for the environment
Tillage is actually one of the biggest problems in agriculture! Listen to find out more...
Finally, what I've been waiting for! A smooth podcast release. Although I unfortunately couldn't make the recording (and nor could my fill-in - thank you, internet), the 2-person discourse made for much easier editing for myself. I edited it rather swiftly - in fact so swiftly that it was finished before Episode 8. Which wasn't really that helpful. But anyway. The episode was scheduled to release almost 2 weeks in advance which gave us a chance to record some episodes before everyone goes off for their summer holidays - we're that dedicated to your entertainment and education.
If you have any feedback to give us it is more than welcome via the usual channels Twitter/Instagram DMs, email, or Discord.
18th July 2021
Kiss the Ground
"Do enjoy the episode 👇 as it is a super important topic, and see you next time for Episode 9. Hopefully the gap won't be as long this time as we've already recorded it!"
Oscar Archibald, 16th May 2021
It is now the 4th of July (hello Americans) and only now have we released Episode 8. Almost 2 months later. What's my excuse this time? First of all, my audio for Episode 8 was corrupted. So we had to find a time to record again. And you can guess how that turned out. And then I had exams. Lots and lots of exams (I did well I'll have you know). In addition to exams I have had lots of other stuff on to do with the end of term. And of course procrastination. But it's here now. Episode 8. Basically a drawn-out praise of an incredible documentary (it's a good episode, I promise).
I pinky promise Episode 9 will come in two weeks time because not only have we already recorded it but we've already edited it. Hopefully we will return to a fortnightly release schedule by recording and editing ahead of time.
If you have any feedback to give us it is more than welcome via the usual channels Twitter/Instagram DMs, email (we can now send email from that email address), or Discord.
4th July 2021
So after our 'Vegetarianism and Veganism' I was left considering my eating of meat. I also listened to an excellent talk from a teacher and my school, and the final nail in the coffin was an excellent book called 'Farmageddon.' I started having the veggie meals at school and soon after I officially went vegetarian.
Although my main reason was environmental, I think ethically, for me, eating meat was questionable - I wouldn't kill an animal myself, and I definitely wouldn't eat a dog or a horse! I guess I feel more morally correct now. The third reason is somewhere between the two - feeding animals uses food (unless pasture-grazing) that poor people across the world could eat, and there are other problems along that line.
I have gone fully vegetarian (even verging on vegan; I have mostly removed dairy from my diet), but I still support 'flexitarianism' - eating sustainable meat and fish only a few times a week. I do agree that some meat eating can be sustainable, but for me I liked having a blanket rule.
It's useful having veggie meals always available at school, and naturally breakfasts are vegetarian, so the main hurdle has been dinner. Luckily, my parents have been very supportive and catered to my new diet. Not eating gummy lollies was difficult but luckily Fruit Pastilles recently went vegan, so I subbed that in. Still waiting to get non-gelatine marshmallows, though (they do exist). I did feel more virtuous refusing these things, though.
Overall: I would recommend vegetarianism, but any reduction in meat is a bonus, so don't feel that you need to go all the way at once.
9th June 2021
Update 2022: I'm now an ethical vegan, but there's no blog post for that.
What you put on your soil - Fertilisers
Compared to Episode 6, this wasn't nearly as hard to record - if I remember correctly, the process went relatively smoothly. However, once we put our microphones down, it became a bit harder. First of all, we (as usual) had a hard time getting Hisho's audio out of Malawi, but even once I had the audio files, I didn't have time to edit! Every weekend I had volunteering, rowing and DofE so once I had done my homework I didn't even have time to procrastinate, let alone edit. I finally found a free afternoon and did a simpler edit - so I made all the interchanges sound natural, but I didn't aggressively edit the speech itself, so you'll have to tolerate a few uhhms and aaahs for this one 😉.
Do enjoy the episode 👇 as it is a super important topic, and see you next time for Episode 8. Hopefully the gap won't be as long this time as we've already recorded it!
16th May 2021
What you put on your soil - Pesticides
This episode was a bit of a roller-coaster to make! We were supposed to record, as usual, on Sunday morning (or afternoon for Sandhya), but not only did Hisho have a tight schedule, so would have needed to record at a different time, I had forgotten it was my brother's birthday until the last minute, so I couldn't make the recording. We rescheduled for Monday, but then Hisho had some guests. We postponed yet again to Tuesday, when for reasons I can't remember we couldn't start recording until 11:30am UK time, 2.5 hours later than usual. We tried to use the Discord voice channel feature to broadcast our podcast live, but that was an absolute failure! Then Hisham had to take his sister out for lunch, so we reschedule to 1:30pm UK time. We managed to get on a Meet call that time, but we were still plagued with terrible lag - I managed to edit it out so it sounds smooth, but there were many times when we confusedly interrupted each other because we were hearing 5-10 seconds old audio.
View transcript below.
6th April 2021
Saving the climate is a collaborative effort, so we wanted to be a part of that collaboration. We created a Discord server where any member of our community can join in and discuss climate stuff with everyone else - or even just hang out with our friendly community.
In the #ideas-and-feedback channel people are free to contribute to the podcast that they love so dearly.
We also hope to do live podcasts on the server so people can listen in live while we record - umms, aahs, pauses, y'knows and bloopers included! We will still be recording and releasing an edited version later on.
5th April 2021
At Fighting Failure we love our community, and as part of an IB programme (that Hisho is dealing with) which encourages us to engage with our community, we have decided to each take on a couple of understudies. The role of the understudy will be to interact with the community, help with research and show notes, and of course fill in if one of us is away. We also hope to give them some time on the air so they can develop their podcasting skills.
5th April 2021
Switching Merch Suppliers
Fighting Failure is a podcast about the environment and how we can save it. Especially for a podcast that looks down upon consumerism and fast fashion (#keepthingslocal) we increasingly thought it was disingenuous to sell merchandise. Although we argued that it was 'sharing the climate love,' - and that is true, showing off this merch is a great way to inform people about the environment and keep comfy - when we found out about TeeMill (the only merch company Greenpeace would use) we thought we had to switch. We didn't want to be caught out for talking the talk but not walking the walk. So even if you can no longer get a Fighting Failure fanny pack, and fewer colours are available, as we always say - you have to make sacrifices for the climate. So I hope you go out and grab a sustainable t-shirt, but if you don't want/need one, don't feel pressured to get one. Sharing this podcast is enough.
4th April 2021
Blog started - 4th April 2021 - so things that happened before this point (e.g. previous episodes) won't be shown.