TourismI am a traveller who has stayed in many hostels over the past 15 years and founded the world's largest hostel information website. AMA about hostels and travel!
Jan 1st 2017 by hostelz • 26 Questions • 107 Points
I've been studying lions in Africa for nearly 40 years. My research has been important in reducing the prevalence of lion trophy hunting and raising awareness regarding conservation challenges. I spend my days working to improve the future for African lions in both fenced and unfenced reserves, and starting at 5:00pm Central Time, I'm an open book. Ask me anything!
Edit: We're done for the day. But if you'd like to learn more about lions, the Lion Center or me, you might be interesting in checking out my two books on Amazon: Lions in the Balance
Want to help out? We're currently hosting a Crowdfunding Campaign to raise money for additional camera traps in Africa!
What month are hostels cheapest in Paris? What country has the highest ratio of girls to guys staying in the hostels? What's the highest rated hostel in Italy? What's the worst rated? What country has the cheapest hostels? What percent of hostels are listed on Hostelworld? What percent of hostel bookings are for a solo traveler? What percent of hostels in Spain allow pets? What's the dirtiest hostel in Europe (lowest cleanliness rating)? What percent of hostels require you to bring your own sheets? What country has the most hostels?
Thanks for doing an AMA. So I just want to know, what ship you designed changed the most from the first idea to the final model? Oh and what do you think about the newer ships in the SW franchise that are based on your ideas?
If I'm being pulled over by a civilian vehicle with a siren light on the roof like a detectives car in tv shows should I call 911 before pulling over? I'd be concerned that it was someone trying to rob me with a $10 light off eBay. What should one do in this situation to confirm the "officer" is legit?
I've heard that trophy hunters actually fund more conservation of lions with the money it costs them to obtain permission to hunt a single lion, is that true?
You ask such good questions! I'm not sure if you really want to know the answer to every one of the sample questions from my post, but I will answer the first one at least.
These are the average prices in USD$ for one dorm bed for one night based on price data of hostels in Paris from the past 12 months:
- January $24.82
- February $25.27
- March $26.85
- April $27.41
- May $27.28
- June $26.74
- July $27.49
- August $27.64
- September $26.91
- October $26.61
- November $25.64
- December $26.04
So January is the cheapest, with November being a close second place. So, go now!
The Millennium Falcon was originally designed in a lizzard shape. We learned that another film had created a similar design, so it was immediately modified into its final form.
A beautiful bastard named James, gave my father a kidney. This was after hundreds of people applied to get checked to see if they were a match for a transplant. I was emotionally blown away, and am still thankful and shocked to this day that people cared enough to help.
If you don't know my story, my father and I both have PKD, which slowly kills our kidneys. One day I'll have to be on dialysis and/or get a transplant as well.
If you feel the other car may not be an actual cop, absolutely please call in. All our units advise us immediately that they are doing a traffic stop, for everyone's safety.
Foundation. No wait, Foundation and Empire... nah, it's gotta be Second Foundation. Or maybe it's Foundations Edge. Or Prelude to Foundation.
The real question is, when is somebody going to throw $100 Billion on the complete Foundation Series as an epic TV series to end all epic TV series?
This is only true in a few parts of Africa. In most places, the hunting fees are far too low to cover the costs of protecting the hunting blocks from poachers, cattle herders, etc. The hunting blocks are typically rented out to individuals with close contacts inside the range-state governments. So the government "official" gets the money rather than the government agency that pays the rangers' salaries, etc. In short, the high idealism of sport hunting fails because of rampant corruption.
Do you think theres a lack of accountability in the YouTube scene? Like when you look at what Tmartn and Tom Syndicate did with the whole CSGO betting thing and the probably hundred of YouTubers who dont disclose sponsorship deals properly, but nothing in terms of repercussions ever seems to happen?
Do you think things need to be tighter or they need to be punished, or is this happening but most people dont hear about it?
How hard is it to understand people in a real state of panic? Do you have a standard procedure?
I've expressed this to both Tmartn, Tom, and other major players who don't properly explain that what they are putting out is a paid sponsorship or something they will profit from: IF YOU AREN'T UPFRONT ABOUT YOUR SPONSORSHIPS, YOU ARE LYING TO YOUR AUDIENCE AND YOU'RE BEING A DIRTY SHADY CUNT.
As far as accountability there is more and more these days. Will there ever be a perfect system...probably not. Will people still abuse it and try to sneak sponsorships, yes. The more mainstream Youtube becomes, the more governments have become aware and stepped in. I'm not a big believer in government restrictions, but when it comes to people being shady and lying to their audiences, I think those people need to be held accountable/penalized.
So statistically, only a small percentage of callers are found to be "too distraught" for us to get any info, meaning we should almost never be unable to get anything unless someone just hangs up/loses connection.
With that said, sometimes it is really hard! With background noise and crappy cell reception it's hard enough.. but add in panic and we have to ask people to repeat things all the time, unfortunately. We do have a protocol we have to follow to maintain our certifications, and it always starts with us confirming the address, phone number, and name. That way, if nothing else we know where to send units and can get info while they're on the way to reduce response time
Hey Phil! What do you consider the "biggest" backlash you got from one of your news videos?
Imagine triangulating a cellphone signal is not as easy and quick as I imagine it to be.
Did you notice that the very first thing in the first video is 'a hard-science web-series with no green-screen' - then, the production-video right below it shows you filming literally everything on a green-screen?
Where does the majority of your funding come from and what is your daily work routine?
Most backlash comes from people who are one-and-doners. People who tune into one episode and just shout LEFTY SJW CUCK or NAZI RIGHT WING RACIST!
Example: There are people who are classic feminists and I love and respect them. They believe in equality of men and women and are down for conversations to get us to a point of understanding, BUT there are people in that same group who are toxic, regressive, and guilty of the things they say they are against. So when I make a video where I am very critical of a person like the one I just described, and I get called a woman hater by someone just tuning in.
If I criticize Trump, there are people who watch me that know I would and have done the same exact thing to Obama or Hillary, but for someone tuning in for the first time, sometimes they toss my opinion to the side because they think I'm a Republican hating super liberal.
Opinions aren't always the best for business, but I love the conversation too much to stop sharing mine and listening to yours. I know that I'll keep the audience and people I want, and shed those that can't deal with that.
We literally just have a button to "re-bid" the call, meaning try again to get a location, but beyond that there's nothing we can do from our chairs
Great question... the answer is simple however. The green screen shooting that you saw was actually filming Miniatures, so that they could be composited and projected onto a screen using rear projection. So our actors won't be acting in front of a green screen, when they look out their space ship window they will be seeing and engaging with live images of space, planets and other ships.
When we say no green screen, what we mean is virtually no VFX, because all of the images are being projected live while we're filming. It's a bit inside baseball but that's the gist of it. We're going back to the techniques used by Kubrik, or in Star Wars, and Alien... old school, practical FX.
Davin and Sebastien, our production designer, are both extremely skilled VFX artists, but the aesthetic of this show is to be as real as possible and as true to the classic SciFi we all grew up with and loved. And the theory is, that things are far too computer generated these days, and we're losing a little something that used to be there in those old films by doing all the special effects with a green screen and a computer.
-- The Producer (But Davin / Rob / Jaymie might have more to say on this)
For the past few years, the majority of my funding has come from National Geographic in the US, with additional funding from the National Research Foundation in South Africa.
During the fall semester each year, I teach at the University of Minnesota. For the rest of the year, I work with researchers and wildlife managers in various parts of Africa, including South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe -- I also advise various projects in Tanzania. This mostly means that i spend a bit of time with lions in the protected areas and the rest of each day working with people who spend all their time in the field.
Hi Phil, what was the most difficult story for you to cover on PDS?
Does it fail that often?
Difficult emotionally- Anything that involves children. Becoming a father made me much more empathetic to others, but it also made me more of an emotional rage monster when it comes to anyone who hurts kids. As someone who prides himself of being unbiased its hard to maintain that when it comes to a pedophile/abuser. If there was a way to sign up, I would sign up to personally curbstomp child abusers.
Difficult to report on: It was a challenge to cover the election this year. People hate each other for political beliefs all the time, but this year was next level. The episodes I did after Trump won were very challenging, because emotions on both sides were peaking. I had people in my office literally crying because Hillary lost, and heard from friends of similar experiences in their work places. There was a lot of gloating online from some Trump supporters. If you just peeked at facebook/text chains, people were blowing up their relationships left and right because of the election. But it also gave me an opportunity to be someone who tried to unite those on the left, right, and moderate. I feel like I've done a pretty good job of that.
Hello Phil, what was you favorite Game, Movie and TV show of 2016?
I really wish you'd make a video about that every year because I do like your taste.
My five-year-old brother called 911 once because he saw a stray cat and he thought it looked hungry (he was sobbing on the phone hahaha). An officer came out and had a chat with him about when we call 911 about a real emergency and when we can just try to help stray kitties. It was sweet.
Anyway, what's your favorite (not sad!) little kid calling 911 story?
I knew that the opening scenes had to be exceptionally successful, but little did I foresee the outcome.
I share too much, everyone underneath already knows my favorites. lol
Westworld, Black Mirror season 3 was amazing, Mr. Robot, Game of Thrones had one of its best seasons to date, and I can't remember if it was in 2016 but the last season of House of Cards completely redeemed that setup season imo.
Movies: Arrival, Rogue One, Don't Breathe, Green Room, and...gah this is hard. I'll add La La Land. It made me feel things.
Video Games: I've played the fewest number of video games this year because I got so busy. My go to is Rocket League bc I can play for 15 minutes or 3 hours. ooo wait. I'll get shit for this but I played the campaign for Infinite Warfare over christmas break and loved it. It was the first COD campaign I've played in 3/4 iterations and it was fantastic imo.
Usually the only cute ones we get are toddlers going "goo goo gaa" into the phone that they mashed buttons on, then their mother/parent saying "Hey, don't call them!" and hanging up
Despite the bad stuff in 2015 for lions -- and the bad stuff in 2016 for the rest of us -- a lot of good things may be starting to happen for lions.
First, the US Fisheries and Wildlife Service has been very strict about preventing the import of lion trophies from Africa to the US -- USFWS requirer the African countries to provide solid evidence that sport hunting makes a POSITIVE contribution to lion conservation in their territories, and so far South Africa is the only country to make a convincing case. Thus across all of Africa, only a handful of wild lions were shot for export to the US in 2016, whereas in earlier years hundreds of wild lions were shot and imported to the US every year. In addition, USFWS banned the importation of "canned" lion trophies in 2016. Canned lions are raised on lion "farms" in South Africa and shot at close range. Over 500 of these "trophies" had been imported into the US every year for the past decade. Thus the American market for lion trophies has virtually disappeared. Let's hope that USFWS will be allowed to continue these strict policies into the new Administration in Washington DC. Second, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the world must find a better way to finance African wildlife conservation than has been possible thru sport hunting or ecotourism. The costs are simply too high to be shouldered by Western families on holiday in the Serengeti or sport hunters chasing after lions like Cecil. I attended a meeting in Oxford in September where a number of lion conservationists like myself were able to make the case to the British Govt and to organizations like UNESCO and UNEP that Africa's iconic parks and wildlife will only survive if the entire world helps cover the costs through some sort of global funding program to the National Parks services of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, etc. We received quite a sympathetic ear, and I think we might be able to move the idea forward to world leaders in the coming years -- though the US Govt may not be the best place to start right now!
You've talked recently about wanting to create a news network, any new developments or ideas in that regard?
Do you ever accidentally slip into dispatcher mode when you're on a regular ol' personal call?
There are a few things in the way right now. Current legal/contract obligations and to do what I REALLY REALLY want to do, I will need full creative control, investment AND it has to be money from someone that doesn't want to control the "angle" of the network. Someone who just believes in me and what I want to do.
There are more independents and moderates than ever. Everyone goes left or right because often emotions control views, but I want to showcase what both sides are saying and let people come to their own conclusions.
TLDR: Worst case, ask me again next year ;)
Ha.. yeah, I do. Especially if I have to spell something over the phone, the phonetic alphabet comes right out
By one important measure - breeding - lions fare very well in zoos. Most zoo lions have been sterilized or fitted with contraceptives to prevent a baby boom. Otherwise, zoo lions don't really have enough to do, and they often get obese because of a lack of exercise. If their enclosure were bigger and they were allowed to catch dinner -- and also to fail most of the time -- their lives would be much better.
What's your reaction/thoughts on callers who use phonetic alphabet?
Does it happen often or is it rare?
Looking back on it, the ones that created the most important scenes won out. May both of you create favorites that light up your audiences.
Whats nice about my audience is that for the most part everyone is really nice and respectful. No one has ever threatened/harassed me IN PERSON or done anything negative on purpose when they meet me. Worst case, you have someone who is just very very excited and isn't equipped for that social situation, so they shut down or get a little bit weird/have no sense of personal space/get a little stalky at events like Vidcon. I'm a weird awkward anxious person, but I have years of faking being a socializing normie though, so I am as helpful/respectful as possible.
I attribute this to my audience being a bit older and mentally mature compared to many other youtube audiences/fandoms. Also that when I share my opinions most know I open to a conversation or debate on the topic and don't think of myself as infallible.
Which phonetic alphabet do you guys use?
We call it the "Law Enforcement Phonetic Alphabet"
Adam, Boy, Charles, David, Edward, Frank, George, Henry...
instead of the Military version or the Greek Alphabet
Hunting was permitted at the site where Cecil was shot, but the local hunting operator's permit was restricted to a different part of the country -- so the outfitter pulled a fast one, and it left the dentist looking like the bad guy. It is extremely common for hunting operators to set out baits at the borders of the national parks so as to lure the lions into the hunting concessions.
Hi Colin! Thank you for doing this. Were you approached by Disney to work on the new films?
Who do you watch the most on YouTube?
What happens if the caller doesn't speak English? How many languages are supported by the 911 dispatchers?
What is perhaps the biggest threat facing wild lions today? Also, if every trophy hunt were 100% legal and the funds always went towards lion conservation with no corruption present, would trophy hunting (with the fees as they are today) help conservation efforts more than it harmed the lion population?
Gary Vaynerchuck's DailyVee and Joe Rogan's video podcast the most these days.
Also a big fan of TLDToday, Marques Brown, The Rubin Report and thats where I'm going to end the list because it'll turn into me just listing all my subscriptions.
We use a translator service, like as a 3-way call, to speak with non-English speaking callers
Some dispatch centers will let you speak another language with callers, some won't, it's an issue of liability. If you "know" Spanish and mess something up, it's on you. If you use the translator service, it isn't your fault if there's a mistranslation
The biggest threat, ultimately, is rapid human population growth across Africa == by 2050 population density in much of Africa will be similar to India today. Lions need vast tracts of land -- and open areas outside the parks are disappearing fast while the parks themselves tend to be underfunded.
Sport hunting could only make a difference if it raised about twenty-times as much money per square mile. Lion conservation costs about $2,000 per square kilometer, and lion hunting seldom generates even a third as much -- and in many places, hunting only generates $20-100 per sq km.
This could either be achieved by greatly increasing the fees per client or making it much more difficult to actually shoot a lion -- most lions are shot at baits and outfitters practically guarantee one lion per client. If only 1 in 20 were successful, a lot more revenue would be generated. So big changes would be necessary.
Hi! So, did the trench run finale actually come about because of your design?! Did you meet Carrie Fisher?
What is the difference of the YouTube community from 10 years ago to now? (i.e. knowing all the top people or there being a lot less before and a lot more now)
I did not meet Carrie. The trench was my idea... thereby the action scenes
I actually think its way better, but that may just be my personal experience. The biggest thing I hear is that the community used to be way closer. Its still very close, but its so big that there are just a ton of different friend circles.
Yes, there are negatives like people being FAKE and using others for personal channel growth and money, but those people have always existed. Yes, there is a lot more "drama", but that is just the inclusion of youtuber's into celebrity gossip. Also at times the community can be blood thirsty, like when everyone wanted to kill the Fine Bros and they cheered on/live-streamed their massive sub loss. BUT in general I believe in the good of the community.
Its important that whether it be about Youtube or anything in life, that you don't put on your rose colored glasses and romanticize the past. Things change, and the most you can do is put in, what you want to see more of in the future. Its one of the reasons I constantly promote small creators when I can. Its harder to blow up on youtube organically so if I can promote creators I think are good, it will in theory, make the site as a whole better.
What do you think about the large influx of CGI use in recent films? Do you think there's some level of authenticity that can't be achieved with digital renders as opposed to physical miniature props?
What are some of your favourite memories at Sourcefed?
Is 911 the best number to call for non-emergency traffic situations?
For instance, after a windy night, when a tree branch is blocking a traffic intersection? I'm sure there is a city service for this, but if i notice while i'm driving i may not have those phone numbers handy.
What is the craziest thing you have seen throughout your 40 years in Africa? (Wildlife related).
CGI has come a long way. Hands on for me is my kind of fun. But I was a pioneer in CGI as well.
All the early days. We didn't fully know where it would take us. I will pat myself on the back til the day I die over my selection of the first 3 and then first 6 hosts. Such fun weird times. Also the first time I did a DeFranco Does live event with Steve and Joe.
You can call State Highway Patrol or go ahead and call 911 and we can transfer you or advise them ourselves
We did a research project about 15 yrs ago that tested why lions have manes, so we obtained a set of life-sized toy lions with removable manes and set them out two at a time to see if females preferred long manes over short manes or dark manes over light manes. We didn't really know if it would work until we tried it the first time -- and we gave a set of 3 females a choice between black and blond. Amazingly, they responded as if the dummies were actual male lions - and approached them with considerable interest (and a certain amount of flirtiness). That first group of females clearly preferred the dark maned dummy and even tried tugging on its tail to get it to respond. Our later tests all showed the same thing, and we eventually learned that real live males with dark manes are superior competitors to their blond rivals. But that first test made my students and me all laugh and hop up and down with such excitement that it was one of the true highlights of my scientific career.
I have seen pictures of the Y-Wing you made with a WWII fighter cockpit for a canopy, which was later changed to the squared styrene one that it has now, and which was painted by McQuarrie. Did you often meet with George Lucas while building the models, and how often were you asked to modify or change a build?
What's one of your guilty pleasures?
When there's a fire/accident/crime on/near a major road do you receive several dozen calls for it? How do you handle that, as in do you tell them that there are units responding and try to free up the line as quickly as possible or do you continue to ask them for information?
Makes sense, just wish they could've done something else I guess. Thanks for taking time to answer.
I met with him to ask mostly about the role of the ship storywise. A lot to begin with and less frequently as time went on. He seldom made suggestions on design changes.
Like Spice Girls or r/RealGirls guilty pleasure? lol
Oh yes. Ohhhhh yes.
And yep, we tell them "we have received reports, units are enroute" and document the call. Unless the original caller gave very little info and the new caller says they are on scene at the accident or were involved or something and we can get more info from them
It's always a tough situation when it comes to exotic animals -- lions are just too dangerous!
Ooh, hello Sir, congratulations and thank you for your amazing work! I'd love to see you team up with Dr Michio Kaku - what a dream team that would be! Have you got a ticket for a commercial space flight? Who'd be your dream team to go to space with?
Hey Phil! Thanks for doing this AMA.
Is there anything about the Youtube creator community most people don't know about?
I saw on a tv show this guy was getting home invaded, and he called 911 and tapped SOS in morse code into the phone to avoid making any sound
Does this happen? And if it were to happen would you be able to follow thru?
What country/regions are they faring the best? Which areas are they doing the most poorly? Are there any diseases that you are really worried about? I've seen some with terrible flies on them, is that condition normal? Are their numbers down greatly and if so are their prey populations growing? Are other apex predators taking their place? What's the overall effect of reduced lion populations on their ecosystems?
i did significant flying while lying in bed with tuberculosis as a child. No ticket yet, but Stephen Hawiking would be a REAL TRIP.
Theres a secret monthly orgy. 500k subs and up only.
If we get a call and nobody says anything, we are going to send law enforcement regardless of anything else. It may just be a hang up, it may not.
I personally would probably recognize the S-O-S pattern, but we aren't trained in Morse code or anything, it would just be from seeing it in movies
Lion numbers are declining throughout most of West, Central and East Africa, largely owing to loss of habitat, loss of prey and human-lion conflicts. Lions eat people and their livestock. People retaliate with spears, guns and poison. The only areas where lions are thriving are in southern Africa -- either where all the reserves are fenced (like in South Africa) or where the reserves are located in deserts with no surrounding populations of people (like in Botswana and Namibia). Where lions are declining, leopards tend to fare better -- lions ordinarily keep the leopard populations lower -- leopards also survive better around people. The only real disease problems are bovine tuberculosis in inbred lion populations (outbred populations can withstand bTB ok) and canine distemper virus when an epidemic happens to coincide with an outbreak of tick-borne disease -- otherwise lions seem to cope with CDV ok. The flies are usually a sign that the lions are too sick to brush them off.
Do you have an idea how the Core Fires series is going to pan out or are you just making it up as you go along? And how far have you got with the sequel?
What are some of your favorite youtubers you watch for nonbiased news?
CoreFires Two is complete and will be out before the end of 2017.
I don't watch others on youtube for nonbiased news. I do tune in to see what their left/right opinions are. Its why I will check in to see what TheYoungTurks, HuffPo, Breitbart, and The_Donald are saying about a topic.
You can't really have a productive conversation with people if you aren't listening to whats being said.
Hi, impressive resume! What were your inspirations behind the various Star Wars designs? Did Lucas already have an idea in mind for each, did he just say something like "Go talk to McQuarrie and ask to see his paintings", or did he let you come up with whatever you wanted to come up with?
Do you ever find it difficult to remain unbiased in the PDS? I admire your work Phil! been following since 2007!
Some had individual inspirations, too long to go into detail for all of them. All were from my mind.
No. I present the facts. I present the arguments from all the involved parties. AND THEN I let you know this is separate and give my opinion on the topic. I think its why people trust me. They know what they are disagreeing with is my opinion and not if the info I'm saying is mean to mislead. Also because if the facts turn out to be different or something was a hoax, I will own it and inform them, instead of being fine with them thinking a falsehood is true.
Why are the TIE Fighters so different from the various rebel craft?
Hey Phil. I've been watching on and off for as long as I remember. I want to thank you, your wife and your son for creating content and entertaining me, helping me power through my depression for as long as you have. It means the world, you make the world a better place.
My question to you is: How do you balance life at home, friends and work? Also; as someone genuinely interested in doing Youtube as a hobby, albeit mostly video game related, what can I do to get myself out there properly?
How much do you want to punch your coworker when they suggest it might be a quiet shift?
Hi Craig, thanks for your hard work! I've always wondered, all lions look similar, if not identical, to me. Have you ever had difficulty distinguishing lions from each other? Or they just have distinct personalities and roles in their groups that it wouldn't be too hard to tell them apart?
I wanted them each to be evil and "instantly" identified on the screen.
Well first thanks for being a part of this weird experiment :)
As far as balance, it is what I struggle with the most. I have found that one of the three will always suffer. Family is at the top of the pyramid for me though. If my family needs me I would abandon the show to help. Luckily I have very understanding and supportive friends/family. That wasn't always the case, but you should try to limit the number of negative influences in your life. <--That gets much easier when you leave home imo.
As far as how to get yourself out properly/marketing yourself from ground zero, that is an incredibly hard question. It depends on the genre. If you have no connections, I would say try streaming first. I've found a ton of smaller creators on Twitch because I went to see what games were trending and then clicked on the stream of the 10th person down on list of live viewers, because their thumbnail looked interesting. That and work with others as often as possible.
Before marketing I would say focus on the quality first. IT WILL SUCK AT FIRST, so fail when only a few people are looking while you can. Look at the genre you want to break into, and borrow what you like, change/tweak the things you don't like, and add your own personality/flair into the content.
If you have a cat on hand, take a close look at its whiskers -- there is a unique pattern of dots on each side. We use whisker spots to identify each lion when they are young. As they get older, they acquire various notches in the ears, some get broken tails, others have conspicuous scars on their noses, etc. These all help, but, you are right -- they are very hard to keep straight without a good pair of binoculars! Except for the males, of course, which have quite variable manes.
Have you ever realized that if you made a nation out of the "nation", you would lead the 118th most populous country?
With that in mind, how would you rule your country?
And of course most importantly, who is the most beautiful bastard in the nation??
First: I called 9-1-1 when I was a kid, I can't remember why. It was me being dumb and wanted to see if I could hang up right after dialing and not get caught. I got caught (obviously). I've always felt guilty about that.
Second: I called 9-1-1 only 1 other time and that was because I suspected (correctly) my mother was being physically abused by her boyfriend. This was 7 years ago. I was spurred into action when I heard her in the other room say "Stop it, you're hurting me! Let me GO!" I straight up bolted out of the house and called on the land line. To me it sounded like the dispatcher was trying to not send a unit out and asked multiple times "did you only hear it, or actually see the abuse?" Is there some kind of rule regarding suspicion of domestic abuse? Also, the next thing that happened was she said that she would forward our report to the sheriffs office, then she hung up. about 10 minutes later I got a call from the sheriff and he showed up. Was it incorrect for her to get off the line in a situation like that? Thanks for all your hard work!
how did you get started studying about lions? and why lions of all animals?
How? Horribly. Most Beautiful? Ryan Gosling
First, I'm sorry that happened and I hope she is in a better situation
Second, it sounds like that dispatcher was not doing their job correctly. Could have been a lack of training, or they were just disgruntled, etc. Either way, no, we are trained to take every call seriously and at face value. You say you're being attacked, we tell the police you're being attacked, it isn't our call to decide differently.
I started off studying monkeys and became intrigued by the way that baboons sometimes cooperated in their disputes with each other (mothers helped their daughters vs. other females; a pair of males would form a temporary coalition against a third). So as time went on, I wanted to find a highly cooperative species that I could study in more detail, and lions fit the bill: they hunt together, raise their cubs together and defend joint territories -- so it was a good choice!
- What is the weirdest non-emergency you ever answered to?
- Ever happened that someone asked for food or groceries because they were literally starving? I once read this article and wondered how frequently something like this happens
Do you think the Lions will win the superbowl and why do you think they will?
Weirdest thing: one lady said she saw a puma with a bald head cross the road... Surprisingly, responders could not locate it.
I've never had someone actually say they were starving, but we do have social services resources for both adults and children if something like that were reported to us
I'm thinking that the Lions will have a hard time getting past the Packers this weekend...
I currently work for NASA and I was wondering, with Mars on the horizon do you think that traveling to Mars will be covered in the news outlets as much as the Moon landings?
If you had the chance, would you like to cover the Mars landing?
Hey Phil! I love your channel and have been watching for years and even got a ton of Marines to start watching it while I was in! You are fantastic!
I don't mean to be rude with this question, but it seems your videos have slowly switched to more "gossip" news (YouTube drama and what not) and not so much about actual real news (Russian ambassador assassinated on 12/20/2016) as it used to be. I was wondering if there was a reason for this? Is this for more views? Which I could totally understand! Just wondering if there was more of a reason? Legal reasons ? Harder to find full details?
Thanks you if you answer this! Love your face!
Last time I called 911 was two years ago when I found that my roommate had hanged himself. Police were at my door in under 2 minutes.
What is the step by step process that goes into a call like that? All I remember is they asked me, "Can you confirm he's dead?" At which point I started screaming and crying. Then someone was at my door.
Looks like you're not a Lions expert
Hopefully it would be more accurate than the cover image of National Geographic which swapped the lowest terrains with the highest. Yes I would like to cover the Mars landing.
- Thanks for watching, serving, and spreading common sense :)
- The answer is actually lame. In December I was impacted the harshest from trying to quit my adderall prescription. My energy was snuffed out, the other lesser stories didn't require as much time, and from mid december I was using back up editors, so I tried to limit how long the shows were to make sure we could get a quality show up on time.
Thanks for the question!
We will send EMS and Law Enforcement and probably first responders no matter what you say in that situation, and they will come as fast as possible unless you tell us certain things (like his head is off, he is already decomposing, etc) that we call "unequivocal death" meaning there is no doubt he is deceased.
Ha! Well, good luck to you -- but don't you think that the Lions should change their team colors from Blue and Silver to, say, Brown and Tawny or Sienna or something more lion-like? After all, the Bengals are orange and black!
I called 911 when I spotted a butt naked man walking down the street at midnight. It was hard for me to not laugh as I called 911. The poor dispatcher seemed confused, asked me to repeat myself several times then, I swear I heard, a little chuckle. What is the funniest call you have received? (The situation ended up being pretty serious. The guy had some sort of nervous breakdown and was convinced God had told him to commit suicide by walking himself to death. He was also my neighbor who lived across the street but I didn't know it at the time.)
Why are academics often so humble?
Why do so many academics lack the courage to call themselves "the world's authority" on their field of study?
Oh geez, yeah that's not funny at all in the end!
I mentioned in another comment that a caller called 911 to say two "crackwhores" had stolen his wallet and not had sex with him after he solicited them, so he got ripped off and robbed.
We asked their names. His answer?
Crackwhore 1 and Crackwhore 2.
I flinch whenever I hear people call me that -- but I guess everyone wants to know who's the #1 in their respective fields. And I reluctantly agreed to the title on this AMA because my research group and I all really did want to grab everyone's attention!
Was there ever any discussion about the death star's propulsion? Watching the old and most recent film, I thought it might be the most cavalier thing of all to not acknowledge what it would take to move an object of that size and shape through space. So was that ever discussed in relation to it's appearance?
On one of your videos a while back you mentioned that you were an atheist who carries some baggage from the Catholic church. Being an atheist who carries some baggage from the Mormon church, I was excited to hear that.
I understand not wanting to offend or alienate your audience, but I think problems in religion can only be solved if people speak openly and freely about them. With that said, what are some of your current thoughts on religion and what do you think the future holds for faith?
How do I report a dispatcher? There was an Uber driver outside my house that wouldn'y leave after I accidentally mentioned I would be home alone for a few days. He was banging on the windows and trying to find a way in. When I called the dispatcher it was this very unpleasant and unprofessional woman who kept asking if I had ordered the Uber driver. Ultimately I ended up flashing my airsoft gun in the dark with my hand over the orange tip, so it looked like a real MP5k to scare him away. When I told the dispatcher he left she threatened to have me fined and charged for prank calling 911.
Would you ever have a lion as a pet and how easy/hard would it be to take care of one if possible?
Not by me. I thought it more mysterious without detailed explaination.
I want there to be a God, but I don't believe there is one. I'd actually be horrified if there was one. A God that would allow childhood cancer, Alzheimer's disease, natural disasters like the earthquake/tsunami that killed around 240,000 people back in 2004 is no friend of mine. And thats without jumping into the horrors of things like war and genocide where men are pulling the strings. You can say its a challenge/test, but thats a pretty demented test. Thats the way you play a twisted game of Sim City you are bored with, not people.
BUT, before you run off. Hear me out.
I have no issue with religion as long as it doesn't take away someones rights. As long as you aren't preaching about someone being lesser, just because of the way they were born. As long as its about the love your family, love your neighbor, put more good in the world stuff, I am fine with it. Even though I don't believe I'll let my children know what other people believe. I'll recommend reading the books of many faiths, because being informed is always a good thing. If they want to test the waters, I'll go to church with them.
As far as the future, organized religion isn't going anywhere right now. I think believing in something larger than yourself is comforting, and can also be very important.
Call back and ask for their shift supervisor to file a report. If that doesn't work, speak with the county manager!
Lions should never be treated as pets. Once they grow up, they are far too dangerous and will have to be put down.
Thanks for the AMA! Huge fan. How do you feel the modern Star Wars movies i.e. The force awakens and Rogue 1 compare with the original trilogy? Thanks!
As a youtube OG how do you feel about how youtube treats it's content makers and it's viewers?
How do you know exactly when I am ready to dig into my meal or take off my boots? Are there cameras in our station so you know the worst possible moments to tone us out? Do my sacrifices to the dispatch gods get seen, or should I just stop doing them all together?
In all seriousness, we love our dispatchers (most of them anyway) and really appreciate hearing 'stay safe' from time to time.
EDIT: Huh, this blew up. Thank you for the gold and kind words below. From the EMS community to you, PLEASE STAY SAFE THIS NEW YEARS! If you think about it and have the ability to do so, send a thank-you note to your local EMS station during this busy time of year. It'll mean more than you probably ever know.
How does one suddenly get involved in conservation efforts? Do people approach you knowing that you're knowledgable, or did you have to seek out an organization?
I really enjoyed seeing the new story tellng in both.
They do an okay job. Their main problem in my opinion is communication, internally and with creators. Example: There were people in the organization who didn't realize Youtube Heroes was a program that was launching, until they saw my video on it.
I think as long as they realize this flaw and actively work on it, we are headed in a good direction. Sometimes the only way to get them to notice/respond is to make videos complaining, which I hate. It makes us seem like angry spoiled children, when we're really just contractors looking for answers from a company that isn't always the most forthcoming.
We usually try to hold all pages until lunch time, dinner time, and the middle of the night, so it's good to hear we're being effective :)
Thank you, truthfully, for what you do :) The gods are pleased
It really depends on where you are in your life. If you are still in school or college, you could consider entering the field of conservation biology or environmental science. If you already have another career, you could think about working part-time or volunteering for a conservation agency -- there are volunteer opportunities out there for periods ranging from a few weeks to a few years. If you are wealthy, you can find an organization that you believe in and make a financial contribution. Hope that helps!
What's the craziest call you've ever gotten? What's the dumbest call you've ever gotten?
What do lions taste like?
"Her vagina done fell out" ranks as one of the strangest complaints we've gotten....
I had a call a few months back from a woman saying her neighbor's house was in flames. Turns out it was the sunset reflecting off the windows. (PSA please always call if you think there's a fire, we just might laugh a bit later if it's something like this)
I don't know. A number of American restaurants have served lion meat over the past few years, but they got into a lot of trouble with animal rights organizations!
So having worked with NASA during the broadcast of the first moon landing; what exactly were you doing during that time, and what are your feelings about those people among us who say it was a staged event? (I for one know we landed on the moon, but I have met others who swear we didn't)
You know Linz clogged before Trey & marriage, right? You can stillview her older vlogs on her old channel- I'd love to know though if anyone ever recognises him as Lindsay Defranco's husband 😁
I was sitting behind Walter Cronkite and known as the "Hal 9000 Computer". During his broadcast I was listening to NASA and feeding Walter the information he was broadcasting on live TV.
As far as skeptics, give me their names and I'll sell them the London Bridge.
For a second I thought clog was a weird sexual term and I was like, "WTF YOU SAY ABOUT MY WIFE MATE?!"
Hey Philip I love your work dude! Keep puttin more good in the world. What's your go-to drink/booze-thingy? - a beautiful bastard
Do you get annoyed at people calling about petty things? like dogs off the leash or personal disputes?
The Death Star was a sphere because objects needed to be able to fly around it and attack it from all sides. When the two plastic hemispheres arrived, I had to invent a way to use them without revealing their equitorial flaws.. Hence the trench.
I'm loving tequila anything more and more...except Tila.
We get a little annoyed, we joke about it, we make sarcastic comments after we hang up with the caller... but we still advise our units of every single one! We take your life and safety seriously, even if you're being a little silly or petty :)
Thanks for all your great work.
What specific shots did you work on in 2001? (A description in words or DVD or Blu-ray timings are fine.)
How much guidance did Kubrick give you, how much did he explain or describe what he wanted? Did he give you general or specific instructions? Did he look at your work in progress and say "No, try again--experiment, surprise me" or "No, I will tell you exactly what I want it to look like ..."?
Hi Phil! I'm Gordon and I've been a beautiful bastard of the nation since 2009! You've helped me grow up with a better perspective on things and I'm thankful for that! Now for my question:
What happened to the monkey intro? Is it ever going to come back?
I cut it and don't see it coming back soon. The inclusion of an intro actually seemed to hurt video views. Jumping into the story/content as fast as possible helped our watch-through rate, which in turn boosted my videos in the youtube algorithm. Youtube rewards videos that keep people watching longer on youtube.
PS. Thanks for being a beautiful bastard and not running away :)
Sure! In my area, we would send the fire department to go clean it up so it doesn't cause an accident
Hi Colin, I understand the millennium falcon design was a collaborative effort- what parts of the ship we're your concepts? I've always thought the dish was your idea but was interested if any thing else was.
What kinda music are you into?
Something I've always wondered: can you get an address/gps location without having to speak to the caller? For example, say I call 911 on my cell phone and just put it in my pocket without saying a word; can you find me?
The turret survived the re-invention of the millennium falcon from my original lizzard design.
Eminem, Hamilton, Nas, Kid Cudi, Chance The Rapper, mostly early Kanye, and "Barbie Girl" by Aqua.
If it comes from a landline, we get a location that is reliable in most cases
If it comes from a cellphone though, we might get a location within 30 yards...or we might never get an automatic GPS location (called a "phase 2" plot) which means we have no idea where to send them
No I was not involved, but enjoyed the ships a lot.
I've joked about it before, but I feel like I can do more good out of office. That said...DEFRANCO 2024!! :-p
Last winter, I took a call from a guy who says he was going to shoot himself, and then he did it while I listened. The silence after that gun shot was... heavy
How did you land these awesome jobs? Talk about a dream come true.
Do you think there are still avenues and ways for aspiring creators to "hit it big" on YouTube anymore?
The reason I ask is because it seems like a lot of the guys that are getting big nowadays seem to be either heavily promoted by already popular YouTubers, or they randomly have a fluke video go viral.
i am sorry for having to listen to that! did they take you off work and give you counseling for it?
Based on the work I had previously done, many of these jobs were referred to me by others.
Its possible without help, but it is far far far more probable if you have help. Its one of the reasons I do TodayInAwesome and consistently check my subreddit to see if the community found something awesome I can share with my larger audience.
They always offer counseling after major incidents, and it's an available resource any time we want it. I didn't take it after that call
My sister was being attacked by her boyfriend and called 911 and he hung up the cell phone. The dispatcher called back and spoke with the boyfriend and told her it was fine, she believed him because he said he was a paramedic and hung up and no help was sent. Is that normal to take ones word for it when there is a person yelling for help in the background or did the dispatcher drop the ball? How much of your job is based on judgement vs. protocol?
I painted the original ship, then others took over for the final model
Watched? Probably the TMNT parody on WoodRocket. I covered it on the show. As far as in actual consumption, its pretty tame; asian granny choking cake farts. Obviously...
No no no no! Bad dispatcher!
If someone says they're being attacked, the proper response is to send law enforcement and EMS and let them sort it out. We as dispatchers should never, ever make decisions like that.
The only time we don't send EMS is if the victim declines it. If someone says they were being attacked, there's no way in hell we would cancel law enforcement. Even if the victim is just making it up to get someone in trouble, that's not our judgement call to make, that's for the officer/deputy who responds.
I'm genuinely, earnestly sorry that was handled so poorly, and I really hope your sister is okay and in a better situation.
What's your favorite small scale project? Any smaller movie collaborations your particularly proud of?
Do you keep making money on videos even after you post or like 1yr old videos?
Have you ever had anyone call you up to admit to a crime and summon the police?
My last architectural design submitted to Frank Lloyd Wright before he died. Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
We do, but it is far less because most of my views come from the first 36 hours it is up. In fact if it doesn't get shared somewhere, 1/2 the views usually come from the first 3-5 hours.
We do get people wanting to turn themselves in for outstanding warrants. I did have a guy report that two "crackwhores" had stolen his wallet after he solicited them... genius
It varies, I think the last one was for receiving stolen goods if I remember.
Yep! It triggers the alarm company who then call us and then we dispatch
Do you still have those two large wonderful models that Jason Debord showed in his interviews with you? It was fascinating to see them, as they seem to be spiritual cousins to the Star Wars models you designed. We see many of the same parts used (the large howitzer used on your Sandcrawler for example). Do you also have any "raw parts" left or did those all sell at auction?
And did you take any reference photos of the models that have not come to light yet? There are many parts that have been knocked off over the past 40 years (like the "skis" and "pitot tubes" on the Skyhopper) and it is always thrilling to see what is missing.
What do you think the impact of "fake news" will be in 2017? Do you think "common sense" will prevail?
Is it difficult for you to detach emotionally once you know there's nothing more you personally (or anyone if that's the case) can do for the caller?
Sorry, everything was sold at auction. I don't have any photos of any of my models, but lots of memories.
Common sense prevail? No. Humans more often than not are controlled by their emotions over logic. But as long as we can continue to grow the number of involved, interested, and open people I will take that as a win.
It is easier for me then some of my peers for whatever reason. I just don't get very emotionally invested unless it's someone I know or care about. I know it sounds very heartless, but I'd argue it makes me better suited because even seasoned veterans in this job can get a horrible call and freeze up... and that's when things go really wrong
Was the design of the Imperial Star Destroyer (triangle) directly affected by the need to provide an impact in the opening scene? Thank you!
Edit: Imperial Star Destroyer since I am a dummy.
My brother is a dispatcher. They got the call when one of their coworkers committed suicide.
Edit: This answer was the only reason I'm confident you're not my brother (handwriting is really similar).
Very strongly. That opening series of scenes had to work for the film to succeed.
Man, that is really rough, my condolences to him and his team. We are very close here, that would be devastating
Hello Mr. Cantwell! You designed so many of the iconic images of our time. But have you ever looked back at something you designed and wished, despite its popularity, that you had done it differently?
How do you decide when you should stay on the call instead of just take the call and dispatch and then disconnect?
It's kind of a hard thing to put into words, sometimes you just get a feeling like "hey, those background noises are weird" or " this caller's voice sounds scared even though she says she's fine".
Other times, the caller themselves asks you to stay on, especially with some bad medical calls
Hey! We are friends on Facebook and I saw that you would be doing an AMA. My question is this: how many revisions did the original ships go through before they came up with the end product that we all saw in the movies?
Every time I've called 911, the operator stayed on the phone until the police arrived
It may be their policy to do so, it may be that they were slow enough, it may just be that they felt it was necessary
As a manufacturing/design engineer myself, how do I get into the movie/tv industry? What job positions should I look for?
When calling 911 as an adult, what are the most important pieces of information that you, as the dispatcher, need and what is the preferred order? Does any of that change for teaching children? For example, if I was talking to a child about calling 911, what should points should I stress?
Location, first and foremost.
Then your phone # in case we get disconnected.
Then what is going on/what's the emergency
I know it seems like we should ask the emergency first, but if we get "he's on fire" and no location, then we can't send help, but if we get a location and nothing else, we can still send responders.
As a young adult trying to make it in the film industry in LA, where should I start and what should I avoid? Thank you!
Do you usually trace the callers location without explicit permission? I imagine it could save lives in case of kidnapping/hostage situations
Sorry. I started in architecture and NASA projects. I really don't know what it would take to get into the film industry today.
We can have a cell traced but there is a process and it has to be done at the request of law enforcement under very specific circumstances
Do you have something to say to moon landing deniers to shut them up for good?
If you're unfamiliar, they claim that astronauts only went to space and back. They claim moon landing was filmed on earth. And they claim that photos taken show proof of earthlike conditions.
You don't have to adress all of the above, but please let me know how being the CBS lead analyst for the moon landing makes you confident that it did happen.
What happened to that whole being charged for calling 911 thing?
I was practically there. It would be pretty hard to fake the Apollo 11 lift off with millions watching. The fake landing story was started by a friend of mine as a joke. It grew from there.
People still get charged, it just requires a pattern of behavior and calling for no reason at all/ every little thing.
In light of Carrie Fishers passing, do you have a personal memory oft her?
When were you the most panicked on job and why?
She was an important part of the film, but I never had the opportunity to meet her. Very sad that she is gone.
The last time I felt panicked, I was listening to a woman scream "god please let him start breathing"
If she had instead came back to the phone I could've talked her through CPR and maybe saved that guy
In the day and age of cell phones I imagine many people do not know the address of where they currently are located. With a landline it could be easily traced to an address. How do you track a cell phone to a specific address?
It shows up as a little dot on our map and we look at the closest valid address and hope for the best
If I call in and once you answer I blurt out something like, "A minivan just ran off highway, rolled down hill, Highway X, mile marker Y, send help!" and immediately hung up or stuffed my phone in my pocket so that I could run and help, would that have been helpful or useless? Would I be better off standing there talking to you? Do you have everything I said on recording to go back and re-listen if I blurted too fast? Do you often replay recordings as part of a dispatch effort?
With the highway and mile marker we would send fire and ems immediately, and hopefully they would find the accident!
We can go back and re-listen, and we hope you are correct when you give us that info! Sometimes people say one location and really they are a few miles past it, it's just the last thing they saw
First off, good job for doing what you do and secondly I'm Dutch and not American so things most likely will be a bit different here. Do dispatchers ever try to keep you occupied if you call? Two years ago our chicken barn was on fire and I called the Dutch version of 911. I got the feeling they tried to keep me on the line just to prevent me from doing (possibly stupid or dangerous) anything.
Is that a thing that gets done or is there a big chance I imagined that?
If the dispatcher thinks the caller is in danger by staying on the line, they should tell them to put the phone down and leave the area if possible and get to a safe place.
If there is more information to be gained, or you might hurt yourself/commit suicide, we will try to keep you on as long as possible to help you until responders can find you
Have you ever taken a call from someone you know and how did it affect you having to listen to someone you know asking for help? Also did they recognize your voice or did you tell them it was you? Did they calm down if you did?
Thank the gods I have not yet had a call from someone I care about, but other people in the center have and it's horrible for everyone...
It can be pretty stressful sometimes, but where I work that tends to come in spurts. There will be periods where it's slow and we get a few calls in ten minutes maybe... then the next moment we have thirty units headed out on six calls all at once and things are just crazy.
The hardest part sometimes it's just having the 12 hour shifts and just being seated and indoors for that long, but people do burn out and get secondary PTSD from what we have to deal with :/
Is it ever OK to call 911 from your cell phone to make sure you are routed to the proper call center? I remember people being concerned about this early on but I don't know if it is still a problem.
Absolutely! Just please stay on the line and tell us why you called. Not every call center does this, but we send law enforcement to every 911 hang up, and your call comes through immediately after you hit send, so don't hang up, it wastes time :)
When I accidentally hung up on 911 they just called me back and had me report the accident I just saw all over again. You'd think the CAD would be able to say "this person just called and spent so long on the line with this dispatcher" but I guess it just sticks everyone in a queue and has someone call them back.
Not that I mind the diligence, it's good to know their standard procedure is actually to verify that the call I said happened did happen.
We will tell the responding officer "Joe Smith just called back and said it was a misdial/pocket dial" and it's then the officer's discretion to continue responding or not
I'm curious to get your opinion about a 911 call I made for something that I felt was an emergency: I was driving about 25 MPH towards a bridge that led to the freeway. As I merged into the left hand lane a bee flew into my truck and I swerved, almost hitting the car next to me and then came close to rear-ending the car in front of me.
After I stopped and rolled up my window I noticed a sign next to me on the median that was covered with a huge swarm of bees. There were hundreds of bees in the air and it was the kind of day where a lot of people had their car windows open. I felt it was a dangerous situation that was sure to cause an accident or worse, that the bees might sting someone who's allergic.
So I called 911 to report this road hazard and I was curtly told that 911 was for emergencies only and then they hung up on me. I was stunned because those bees needed to be removed ASAP. So who should I have called if not 911?
I would have called 911 in that situation too! I think if I got that call, I'd end up having to send Wildlife Enforcement because Animal Control really only does domestic animals like dogs and cats and farm animals. Yeah, that could cause wrecks though!
Am I supposed to call 911 if I suspect someone of drunken driving? Is that considered enough of an emergency?
Please do! Drunk drivers kill way too many people every year
How long have you dispatched? How often do people call by accident? What call turned out to be the most rewarding?
I've been with this agency for a few years now, almost five in total in the job.
Accidental hang up calls are and will always be our most common call, haha
Any time we guide someone through giving CPR and the patient survives is extremely intense and extremely rewarding because we literally just saved a life
So sometimes kids call 911 for funny reasons simply because they don't know any better or they perceive something to be more of a problem than it actually is (for example, "I need help finishing homework." Have you ever had calls like this and if so how frequently?
Haha, sometimes we get kids who "prank call" and call us names or swear at us (I had a kid say "crap you, you bastard" then hang up)
We send law enforcement :)
Say I call in and can't speak for some reason: choking, held captive, etc
What should I do?
Try to keep the line open as long as possible and make whatever noise you can manage to let us know you're there.
Ive always wondered if it is okay to call 911 to confirm an unmarked car pulling you over as an actual police person on duty. Is this allowed? I see so many unmarkes cars now that it could really be anybody posing as a police official.
As I told another caller, all our law enforcement units tell us as soon as they stop a car, and give a location, for everyone's safety. So if it's a legit car, we know about it and will confirm with you