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Across the Margin: The Podcast

Hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson bring you Beyond the Margin, guiding you deeper into the stories told at the online literary and cultural magazine, Across the Margin. Listen in as they take you on a storytelling journey, one where you are bound to meet a plethora of intriguing writers, wordsmiths, poets, artists, musicians, and unhinged eccentrics illustrating the notion that there are captivating stories to be found everywhere.
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Jun 14, 2017

In an episode separated into two distinct halves, but dedicated entirely to the science of climate change, host Michael Shields interviews two prominent and passionate meteorologists who have made the study of climate change their life's work. The first half of the podcast features an interview with John Morales, the renowned Chief Meteorologist at NBC6 in South Florida. John (@JohnMoralesNBC6) is a three time Emmy Award winner and the longest tenured broadcast meteorologist in South Florida. He is one of a select few broadcast meteorologists elected to be a prestigious Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and has earned an AMS Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advance of Applied Meteorology. In 1997, John participated in Vice President Al Gore’s White House conference on global warming and climate change and John had the opportunity to return to the White House at the invitation of President Barack Obama in 2014 for the release of the National Climate Assessment because of his fabled contributions. His passion for communicating the risks associated with climate change is resolute, and in this podcast John expounds upon the reasons for and the risk associated with the global concern, and he also discusses multiple scenarios where climate change is affecting Planet Earth at this very moment.

In the second half of the podcast, Michael takes the time to hear the other side of the argument concerning the issue of climate change with help from veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi (AccuWeather, WeatherBELL). Joe (@BigJoeBastardi) is one of the most prominent skeptics within the growing movement to curb climate change. He has famously clashed with Bill Nye on the topic, and he can be seen regular sharing his opinions on CNN and Fox News. His viewpoints are steeped in his meteorological studies, and his suspicion of man-made global warming has made him a hero of the right, and a villain by those on the left. Michael and Joe’s discussion is expansive and allows for those who have yet to be exposed to the argument in opposition to what has become the consensus across the globe about climate change to better comprehend the division in understanding.

May 27, 2017

In this episode, the head editors of Across the Margin, Michael Shields and Chris Thompson, delve into all the happenings on the website the first half of 2017. Expounding upon all the fiction, non-fiction, poetry and more that can be found Across the Margin, Michael and Chris steer the listener towards a few of their favorite stories published this year, including deeply affecting pieces by Cameron Finch (“We Are Not Made Of Glass”), Christina Rosso (“Exposure”), Miriam Hamilton (“Manosphere”), Donald Hubbard (“Ridge”), Roger Gude (“Leon Is Going To Die”), Patrick Dalton (“Anatomy of Shadows”), Bonnie Wilkins Overcott (“You Can Do Anything to Them”) and William Lucas (“Reunion”).

Indulging their passion for music, Michael and Chris also delve into several articles that are a part of ATM’s Twenty Years Later series, celebrating albums by Radiohead, Yo La Tengo, Elliott Smith, and Nick Cave and then later hinting at their selections from ATM’s forthcoming article regarding the best songs of 2017 (so far!). So dive deep, and join us on a journey that travels both Beyond and Across the Margin, with an episode that includes not just one, but two, special announcements concerning the future of ATM.

May 4, 2017

This episode of Beyond the Margin features an interview with Omar Banihani, Marketing Manager at the Jordan Tourism Board. In his current role, Omar handles the design and implementation of consumer and trade advertising campaigns, as well as forming strategic trade marketing partnerships to increase travel to Jordan. Acting as a tour guide of sorts for the podcast, Omar shines a bright light on the lands of Jordan, opening up the listener's eyes to the extensive marvels (both natural and manmade) and the rich, vibrant culture of an oft-misunderstood country.

While digging into the history, the people, and the boundless wonders that await a tourist in Jordan (particularly, the City of Petra!), we get to know the country through the personal experiences of Omar, a man who now considers both Jordan and the Unites States home, and who can specifically expand on the dual experience of being a Middle Easterner in the United States and an American in the Middle East. So dive deep, and journey with Beyond the Margin on a trip halfway around the world, and into the heart of a profoundly fascinating, and endlessly beautiful, country.

May 1, 2017

In the latest episode of Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields is joined by frequent co-host Brian Sachson (and later on, in the second half of the podcast, is joined by Across the Margin cohort Christine Roden!) to wax political. On the eve of both the 2017 People’s Climate March in Washington D.C. and the day marking Trump’s 100th day as President of the United States, the group assembled discuss their motivations for attending the People’s Climate March, and then subsequently dig into their views surrounding the pros and con's of protest marches in general, all while stressing the need for action in the face of our planet’s looming environmental ruin.

In an episode which is divided into two parts, the first half recorded prior to the march in D.C., and the second half recorded post march in Baltimore, MD, President Trump’s first 100 days in office are analyzed, the president’s achievements (or lack thereof) are examined, and the administration's incompetence and the inherent danger of mixing policy making and ignorance are placed directly in the line of fire. So dive deep into one of Beyond the Margin's most politically charged episodes to date.

Apr 17, 2017

In its latest podcast, Beyond the Margin introduces you to the exciting and eclectic world of GAMBA. GAMBA stands for Generating Authentic Momentary Boundless Art, and is the brainchild of founders Melissa Hunter Gurney and Christopher Carr. Melissa is a Brooklyn-based independent writer who dabbles in painting when the characters she creates in her novels and stories drive her to the brush. Her written work (which she describes as “fiction because there is no truth”) explores the multi-faceted aspects of being a woman and an artist in today’s world. Chris is the quintessential Brooklyn indie artist. He’s a photographer, an emcee, and the founder of Brooklyn Wildlife (an event planning/creative firm specializing in indie/alternative art and music). As a creative partnership Melissa and Chris founded GAMBA Magazine, GAMBA Z’s Artist Residency and GAMBA Forest (an art gallery and event space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn).

In this podcast host Michael Shields makes a visit to the GAMBA Forest to learn more about Melissa and Chris’s art and inspirations, as well as the bountiful and diverse events held in the Greenpoint, Brooklyn art space. Michael, Melissa and Chris dive into the early days of GAMBA Magazine (including the charming story of how the founders met!), the challenges of combating norms in art and life, motivations and process in creating, Chris’s recent life-altering bike accident and much, much more. So come along and join us for another trip Beyond the Margin and into the heart of GAMBA.

Apr 5, 2017

In its latest podcast, Across the Margin welcomes in studio George Guidotti, a seasoned and enlightened software executive who has advised and served registered investment consultants and financial professionals throughout his lengthy career. George guides host Michael Shields, who wades deep outside of his comfort zone and into murky financial waters, to discuss the mystifying inception, and potentially dubious intentions, of The Federal Reserve of the United States. Utilizing George’s vast knowledge of the inner workings of the banking industry, the duo digs into The Federal Reserve from the bottom up, discussing what in fact The Federal Reserve is, why it was conceived, and its benefits and numerous imperfections.

In a conversation that begins lighthearted, where the practice of meditation is lauded, and that ends equally blithesome with a hopeful discussion about humans’ innate desire to unite, what occurs in the meat of this podcast is an in-depth, and often eye-opening, discussion about greed and misconduct. Utilizing and critically dissecting author (and “far-right conspirator”) G. Edward Griffin’s weighty novel, The Creature from Jekyll Island, which promotes undisclosed theories about the motives behind the creation of the Federal Reserve System, this podcast attempts to get to the bottom of the innermost, and often obscure and controversial, workings of arguably the most influential institution in the United States. So join in as Beyond the Margin takes dead aim at the way money is employed and manipulated in the United States (as well as much, much more!), in an “Attack on the Fed!”

Mar 22, 2017

In the latest episode of Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields conducts an interview with Gabe Moskoff, better known to fans and the hip-hop community as Trackstar the DJ. Trackstar is best known for his prolific mixtape work and as the touring DJ (and unofficial third member) for Run the Jewels (RTJ), the rap supergroup composed of El-P and Killer Mike. Trackstar has performed at hundreds of venues and dozens of festivals all over the world, including Madison Square Garden, Coachella, and Glastonbury Festival. Along with longtime collaborators Run the Jewels (which has never performed with another DJ), DJ Trackstar has also appeared on Late Night with David Letterman (twice), Conan O’Brien, the NME Awards, the BBC, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Trackstar has released over one hundred and fifty mixtapes, including collaborations with Royce da 5’9, Big Boi, Killer Mike, El-P, Lupe Fiasco, Hot97’s Peter Rosenberg, Pete Rock and Camp Lo, amongst others, and he is the man behind the popular RAP FAN clothing line. In this podcast Michael and Trackstar converse about their shared love for hip-hop and traverse through Trackstar’s notable career, eventually coming upon the remarkable story of how he first came to know Killer Mike, forging a relationship which ultimately led to his becoming the touring DJ for Killer Mike and then Run the Jewels. Disclosing what it is like to be the “non-famous guy” amid the RTJ phenomenon, and expounding on what an unbelievable experience it has been to be taken on such a remarkable ride, Trackstar offers up a unique perspective of a true hip-hop and rap fan who is authentically living every hip-hop junkie’s dream.

Mar 16, 2017

In the latest episode of Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields, with help from BTM regular Brian Sachson, delves into life as a ski bum and the profound benefits of a livelihood brimming with travel in an interview with Timothy Konrad, Founder and CEO of Unofficial Networks. Unofficial Networks hails itself as a “ski bum's guide to outdoor news and entertainment” and is an increasingly popular outdoors website with a focus on skiing and snowboarding. In addition to his work with Unofficial Networks, Tim advises on strategic growth and development at gCaptain, currently the world’s largest online maritime publication, and produced the cult-classic ski-film G.N.A.R. The Movie. He also works in association with SkiDUCK, a volunteer based non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of disadvantaged and financially underprivileged youth through teaching and sharing the joys of skiing and snowboarding. In this latest outdoors-themed episode, Mike, Brian and Tim delve into the pacifying effects of a life spent deeply immersed in nature, expound upon the astonishing expanse of The Dolomites in Northern Italy, and Tim, ultimately and impactfully, provides an answer to the question: Where can one go to embark upon the ultimate ski adventure? So dive deep as Beyond the Margin takes you on a whirlwind adventure around the globe, and takes a closer look into the heart and soul of a lifelong, passionate ski bum.

Feb 14, 2017

Appalled by the Trump Administration's lack of empathy for those in need of urgent help, host Michael Shields and Beyond the Margin regular Brian Sachson explore President Trump's failed attempt at halting the flow of refugees into the U.S. and the impetus that underscored this unsuccessful executive action. Opening on the global stage, Michael and Brian dig deep into the worldwide refugee crisis, assessing the authentic threat (or lack thereof) refugees entering the United States pose while expounding on the rigorous vetting process they must endure to gain entry. Vexed by the current state of affairs, your hosts express their disappointment over the Trump Administration’s clear abandonment of those in need while harshly criticizing its efforts to demonize those of Islamic faith.

To help illustrate the decency and goodwill of refugees throughout the world and the depth of their struggle, this episode of Beyond the Margin includes an interview with Kim Proal, a volunteer who works in conjunction with the Norwegian-based NGO, Drapen i Havet (“A Drop in the Ocean”), that provides aid to Syrian refugees in Greece. In this podcast’s second act, Kim walks the listener through the refugee camps she has worked in, providing insight and understanding into the daily lives of those she helps and in doing so she draws attention to the continuing struggles of those she grew close to, people Kim describes as “the the kindest, most generous humans” she has ever met.

Feb 1, 2017

In the latest episode of Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields conducts an interview with Micah White, a lifelong activist who co-created Occupy Wall Street, a global social movement that spread to eighty-two countries, while an editor at Adbusters magazine. His essays and interviews on the future of protest have been published internationally in such noted publications as The New York Times, The Guardian,The Washington Post, Poder (Brazil), and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He has been a featured guest on major network television shows such as Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect, the BBC's Newsnight and The National, Canada’s flagship nightly current affairs broadcast. Widely recognized as a pioneer of social movement creation, White has been profiled by The New Yorker and The Guardian, and Esquire has named him one of the most influential young thinkers alive today.

In this podcast Michael and Micah discuss the failings of the mass mobilizations that are occurring throughout the United States today and Micah offers his ideas on how protestors and activists can more effectively channel their passion, time, and energy. In a discussion that examines the aftermath of the 2017 Women's March on Washington, the idea of rural activism and mental environmentalism, and that dives into climate change and its role in the future of protests, Micah White’s insight and ideas aren’t simply profound, but ultimately inspiring and downright hopeful.

Jan 13, 2017

In the latest episode of Across the Margin’s podcast, Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields attempts to unravel the mysteries surrounding The Singularity, a moment in time that American author, computer scientist, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil describes: “Within a quarter century, nonbiological intelligence will match the range and subtlety of human intelligence. It will then soar past it because of the continuing acceleration of information-based technologies, as well as the ability of machines to instantly share their knowledge.” To navigate the ins and outs of this technological wonder, Michael employed the help of frequent Beyond the Margin contributor, Brian Sachson and this episode’s secret weapon, Rurik Peterson. Rurik has worked in Information Technology for over twenty years across a number of different industries including education, entertainment, and healthcare. He has worked in all aspects of technology from desktop support to systems administration and is currently focused on cloud-based solutions. Rurik is also a part-time actor, writer and filmmaker. Having struggled to balance his logical, rational, and nerdy facets with an emotive and creative artistic side, Rurik is a true renaissance-man and knowledge junky, and the perfect person to help as Beyond the Margin explores the idea of a world dramatically altered by technology.

Dec 19, 2016

In the latest episode of Across the Margin’s podcast, Beyond the Margin, the Head Editors at Across the Margin, Michael Shields and Chris Thompson, sit down to wax nostalgic about another lively year at the magazine. As 2016 (finally!) draws to its close, Mike and Chris dig into another eventful year, one where Across the Margin launched its publishing imprint, ATM Publishing, and released its first book, Seneca Rebel by Rayya Deeb. Simultaneously, the magazine released a generous helping of articles and stories, numerous podcast episodes, and pioneered new avenues for getting its stories out into the world. Beyond the Margin's latest podcast commences with a passionate discussion amongst the editors regarding their choices for the Top 50 Albums of 2016, dissecting what it takes to earn the top spot on the countdown and focusing on works by David Bowie, Car Seat Headrest, A Tribe Called Called Quest, and Kevin Morby. Mike and Chris then discuss Across the Margin's popular series, Twenty Years Later, expound upon the plethora of superb fiction published throughout the year, and even pre-empt the Oscar buzz by discussing a few of their favorites films in 2016, plus much, much more.

Nov 24, 2016

Host Michael Shields welcomes into the studio Brian Sachson to discuss his work in film, the 2016 Election results, and much, much more. Brian has been involved in the film and television business in New York City for the past 15 years. He is the co-owner of Eclectic Productions, and has most recently created and produced the series Motor City High on Complex, the award-winning short The Backup Singer, and the feature film Four Bottles, which is currently in post-production. He has also worked in production on some of the biggest features, television shows and commercials to come through the city, including Law and Order, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock, Fringe, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Julie and Julia, Date Night, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Brian's extensive experience traveling around the world and his passion for film production has been instrumental in developing his creativity. He strongly believes that filmmaking and the shared passions of individuals can bring people together and solve even the most daunting global problems.

Oct 30, 2016

Host Michael Shields welcomes Mitch Lucas into the studio to wax nostalgic about a mutual love of film and comedy. Mitch Lucas is a New York-based director and comedian from Bristol, Tennessee. His short films (Shogun of the Upper East Side, etc.) and sketches (“Cash for Pizza” / “The Reunion”) have been featured on Funny Or Die and festivals around New York City. He has performed long form improv since 2012 at the People's Improv Theater and currently Mitch can be seen on Saturday nights at 8pm with his house team Gypsy Danger. In this podcast the expanse of Mitch’s influences are dissected, from his early days in Tennessee, unto his later years in Pennsylvania, Kansas, and finally New York City. Mitch digs deep, and throughout this consummate discussion of his life and career, he reveals a terrifying moment from his youth, the exact date of the greatest day of his life (July 2nd, 1984!), his affinity for the work of aquarist Takashi Amano, how a photograph by Leon Levenstein drew him to New York City, and much, much more.

Oct 6, 2016

Host Michael Shields welcomes to the studio novelist Jonathan Marcantoni to talk about his three novels (Traveler’s Rest, The Feast of San Sebastian, The Kings of 7th Avenue) which all deal with issues of identity and corruption in both the Puerto Rican diaspora and on the island, and his forthcoming novel, Tristiana. Jonathan, formerly the Editor in Chief of Aignos Publishing, begins a new venture this October with the launch of La Casita Grande, an imprint of Black Rose Writing that specializes in Latino and Caribbean authors. Michael and Jon dig into the reasons for this change in Jon’s career, the style he chooses to champion (“Visualism”), and his undying love for Diego Velázquez's 1656 painting Las Meninas and how it has impacted his writing. As the discussion progresses, Jon delves deep into the many atrocities and hardships facing Puerto Ricans in their quest for Independence.

Sep 20, 2016

In the latest installment of Across the Margin’s podcast, host Michael Shields welcomes former-co host (and veteran Across the Margin Co-Editor), Chris Thompson, into the studio for a reunion to discuss all the changes in Chris’s life. In one of the most revelatory podcasts in the history of Beyond the Margin, Chris expounds upon the motivations underlying his move to the West Coast and his experiences during his road trip across the United States (with his father as his co-pilot). Mike and Chris, holding little back, leave no stone unturned discussing many of their formative moments in life, topics such as the ills (and benefits) of emerging technologies, the National Emergency that is a possible Donald Trump presidency, a visit to the Studebaker Museum, Louie CK’s most recent performance at Madison Square Garden, and much more. From quips about “Al Gore Truthers,” horseless carriages, a yearning for a return to the days of town criers, and the remote locations of college towns, listeners are offered another episode in the “Unhinged” series, where Mike and Chris sit down with no agenda and allow the conversation to take them where it may.

Sep 14, 2016

Across the Margin proudly introduces you to Rayya Deeb, author of Seneca Rebel - the first book released under Across the Margin’s publishing imprint, ATM Publishing. Throughout this podcast, listeners are afforded the opportunity to get to know Rayya, as the discussion courses through her history in screenwriting, her many influences that forged the path towards Seneca Rebel, and much, much more. Opening the door into the expansive world of Seneca, Rayya outlines the premise of the novel, delves deep into its subtleties, reveals the man responsible for Han Solo, discusses the benefit of the Save The Cat writing process, and even hints at what is to come as the franchise continues.

Aug 10, 2016

In the latest episode of Across the Margin’s podcast, Beyond the Margin, hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson sit down to discuss the current state of affairs at the magazine, delving into its most recent articles and stories and examining the spectacle that is our present-day political climate as we head into the home stretch of the 2016 US Presidential Election. As the episode unfolds, Mike and Chris dive into the present electoral cycle and explore the prevailing idea that today’s voters are being faced with choosing between the “lesser of two evils” as their choice for Commander in Chief. In consideration of the crazed and adequately corrupt systems deeply entrenched in the United States political system, America’s shortcomings are mulled over and in doing so a measure of hope for the future in technology’s ability to bring us together is, by some means, unearthed.

May 31, 2016

Hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson discuss Across the Margin’s foray into publishing (ATM Publishing), the release of their first novel, Rayya Deeb’s Seneca Rebel (available now!), and share the fruits of their recent writing workshop (Writing Your Truth) with two readings, Tiffany Yu's "Dear Dad" and Patrick J. Dalton's "Living Remnant."

May 19, 2016

Across the Margin welcomes award-winning filmmaker Ben Selkow into the studio to talk about his latest film, Buried Above Ground, a documentary that embarks on the road to recovery with three post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) survivors. Buried Above ground is an important film that contributes to reshaping the way our society thinks about mental health issues and helps viewers dispel the myths and misconceptions about PTSD.

Feb 29, 2016

Across the Margin, with the help of Dr. Frank Battaglia (Atlantic County For Bernie Sanders), examines in this podcast the compelling Presidential campaign of the Junior Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.

Dec 27, 2015

In the latest episode of Across the Margin’s podcast, Beyond the Margin, hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson sit down independant of guest and wax nostalgic about another lively year at the magazine and expound on all the stories and articles that affected them deeply in 2015.

Oct 31, 2015

Hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson enlist the help of the prolific lyricist and performer, Iron Solomon to provide a glimpse into the underground phenomenon that is Battle Rap. Iron Solomon is a wordsmith, one of the most accomplished battle rappers in the history of the sport, and as he walks Mike and Chris through his background and extraordinary career, the techniques of the artform are explored, and a world awash with unparalleled wordplay is unearthed.

Oct 7, 2015

With the help of John O’Leary, a researcher and writer chronicling the story of three Americans who discovered the holy grail of Mercedes Benz cars, a Nazi-commissioned 1939 540K Aktion P, hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson get behind the wheel of a fascinating car-centric adventure story as they talk with John about one of the most unique automotive finds of World War Two.

Sep 26, 2015

Brace yourself as hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson let their hair down, and in stepping back from their traditionally themed episodes present an installment of Beyond the Margin simply entitled, "Unhinged." In this fifth chapter, Mike and Chris delve into all the recent stories and articles at Across the Margin, ruminate on pertinent current events, and even get a little personal - expounding on those things that inspire and fascinate them. Listen in, to the most revealing episode of Beyond the Margin yet!

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