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S2 E12 – 100 of the Worst Ideas in History with Mike Smith

There were some pretty bad ideas throughout history, and not just picking the wrong color for a room or something line that. Writer and Producer Mike Smith has compiled a list of 100 huge ones in his new audiobook, The 100 Worst Ideas in History.

Mike – with a lot of humor and several guest voices – tells these stories in the audiobook and will discuss them with you and your audience, hoping we are not doomed to repeat humanity’s historically boneheaded moves including:

How a confused chauffeur helped start World War I
Who turned down the greatest product placement opportunity in cinema history
How a baseball game helped hasten the death of discoa
A toad that nearly ate Australia
The most dangerous children’s game ever invented
The tasty new snack food that’s likely to give you diarrhea
What was President William McKinley thinking by opting to not wear a bullet proof vest on the day he was assassinated?

Enjoy our conversation with Mike Smith.

S2 E11 -Top Entertainment Lawyer Norman Bacal’s Advice for Young Professionals Post-COVID

What is the difference between an average career and a successful one? Why are stellar communication skills critically important? What is grit and why does it matter more than innate natural ability? How do some people pull themselves out of poverty and into the ranks of successful entrepreneurs and professionals? Top Entertainment Lawyer Norman Bacal, in his clear and insightful book Take Charge, faces these questions and challenges young professionals to build the skills which can empower them toward professional success.

“You can float along, hoping everything works out; or you can take charge of your future beginning right now. There are tools you need to survive and thrive,” says Bacal.

The founder of prestigious Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie and an attorney, Bacal has decades of experience and learned wisdom to draw on. Across the span of his career, Bacal noticed a void between what he was taught in law school and the practical skills he later developed that actually made a difference in building a successful career. In Take Charge, he provides a guidebook which gives back to the world of budding professionals, helping students and young entrepreneurs find their way toward success.

Norman Bacal is a retired attorney and the founder of the Toronto law office Heenan Blaikie. While building and leading this firm, he also became a widely sought expert in tax law for the entertainment business. He has represented studios such as Warner Brothers and MGM, and served on the Board of Directors for Lionsgate while they were producing the Hunger Games film franchise.

Upon retirement from practice in 2015, he took up writing, authoring the Globe and Mail bestselling memoir, Breakdown, as well as his Amazon bestselling fiction novel Odell’s Fall and a soon to be released second novel, Ophelia. Bacal actively mentors young professionals and is a frequent keynote speaker at universities, firm retreats, and conferences. Bacall holds a third degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and is an avid golfer. He currently resides in Toronto with his wife, Sharon.
Visit his website at www.NormanBacal.com

S2 E10 – Kenneth James Moore: Pieces of Wood. Exposing WWII Atrocities Against Women

If we do not learn, or know enough about history, perhaps we will repeat mistakes of the past. In an era when history has been oversimplified, much of the important events and lessons are forgotten or completely ignored. Such is the case with the atrocities committed against women by the Imperial Japanese before and during World War II. Kevin James Moore tells the story about the regime’s “Comfort Women” in his new novel, Pieces of Wood.

Kenneth James Moore was researching the whereabouts of his World War II hero uncle who died during the battles in the Pacific Ocean between US and Japanese forces. While tracking down the events of his uncle’s service and death, Moore uncovered information about how women were taken from poor villages in Japan and the nations it occupied then brought to any one of a series of facilities to be used as “Comfort Women” to be brutalized and used as sexual slaves by Imperial Soldiers. Moore turned this information into the informative and intriguing novel designed to tell us what schools and much of the media eschewed.

When one is seeking answers regarding World War II in the Pacific, it is virtually impossible to avoid uncovering Imperial Japanese atrocities,” says Moore. “I was looking for data regarding my uncle’s plane. I initially had no intention of writing a novel focused on violence against women. Though that subject has haunted me the vast majority of my adult life, it wasn’t until happening upon the ‘ovens’ that the need to write such a work imploded across every measure of my being.”

Kenneth James Moore was born in 1949 in Tacoma, Washington. He graduated from Arizona State University and continued his education as a graduate student at Georgetown University. Political science and international relations were his calling.

Mentored by a former professor who was a Cold War counter-intelligence officer, Ken spent a year long stint as a volunteer alongside Admiral Bobby Inman, the Director of the National Security Agency during its reconstruction phase. Ken and his wife Patricia moved to Southern California, where Ken worked at Beverly Hills Securities as a commercial loan officer. He quickly moved to the investment banking side of the house and was able to retire at 45.

In 1994, Ken was the victim of a horrific automobile accident. Rehabilitation consumed every moment of the next four years as he relearned how to talk, walk, and swallow solid foods.

Ken was haunted by a promise he had made to his mother at age seven, pledging to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of her youngest brother during WWII, Lt. Billy Weber, a B-29 Bomber pilot. His journey to the Pacific theater lead him to write the books The Hunt for the Life of Riley and Pieces of Wood. Learn more about Ken at www.kennethjamesmoore.com.

Host Chris Cordani

Host Chris Cordani

Chris Cordani, host of Book Spectrum, used to love reading the backs and sides of cereal boxes, which led to him soon hearing about this place called the Library. After asking, “The library? What’s going on down there?” he decided to check it out. Years later, he created this podcast.

Through his career, Chris has created, hosted and produced several genres of talk and entertainment radio programs, creating and growing several throughout his career. Among his work, Chris also hosts the internationally-syndicated Revenge of the 80s Radio show, produces two shows airing in the NY-Metro market and worked in several capacities for stations of various formats throughout New York, including longtime talk station WOR. Through his work, Cordani creates content for radio shows and podcasts, books and interviews top newsmakers, leaders and celebrities from varied fields including entertainment, business, current events, politics, sports and history.



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