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Unique ExperienceI am Mr. Trash Wheel, I’m a trash-eatin’ googly eyed sentient machine in Baltimore’s harbor, here for an Earth Day AMA!

Apr 21st 2017 by TheMrTrashWheel • 36 Questions • 1719 Points

My short bio: I was born in 1942 in the village of Barta, then Romania, now called Plavnia in Ukraine. My father was drafted into the Romanian Army (then allied with Nazi Germany) in 1942, eventually coming home after the Battle of Stalingrad, only to be drafted again in 1944 but this time by the Red Army after the Russians took the Romanian region of Basarabia.

We were now part of the Soviet Union. I grew up in a house with my Mother and Grandparents. I had a total of 7 brothers and sisters, 3 of whom eventually succumbed to hunger and diseases around 1946, when the Soviets started taking all our food to send back to Russia. My Grandpa also died of hunger when he refused to give up his horse. Back then we relied on roots and small rations of soups as everything was for the collective.

In 1956 I finished 7th grade in the local school. I wanted to study, but everything was far away, we had no roads and no chance to reach any other schools so I started learning how to sew from my neighbor in her improvised shop. This unfortunately didn't help our condition as I couldn't earn any money with my skills.

Once Stalin died, a lot of deported men and women where allowed to go back to their homes, and in 1962 I met one of those men, who wanted us to marry. We did, but I set a condition: I would only become his wife if I we moved to his village, Cuza-Voda, since they had a high-school and I could study 3 more years.

Having finished high-school, I moved to the capital city of Moldova, Chisinau, to become a pharmacist while my husband studied in the Music Collegium. We eventually moved back Cuza-Voda, had a daughter and lived through the Soviet Union, after which our country became the independent Republic of Moldova in 1991. It is indeed weird to see all these countries named in such a small region; now imagine having 3 different identities throughout your life: Romanian, Soviet and Moldovan.

My family was always very patriotic and I'm a big History and Geography fan. It'd be my pleasure to answer any questions you might have.

My Proof: This is me with my Granddaughter, who is helping me with this AMA and translating things to English: Last summer, and this is us now.

Q:

Hi Mr Trash Wheel, big fan here. Now that you have your own beer, are you afraid that one day you might be cruelly forced to devour one of your own empty cans? I feel like that would be a sad moment

Also, did you spare this poor human in the kayak, or was he sent to cleanly power Maryland homes like everything else?

A:

Hello Dr.Michelle!

I became seriously depressed after some traumatic events that I don't want to talk publicly here. I am currently taking sertraline (an SSRI), which makes me feel better but at the same time I feel like I am loosing all my focus and It's hard to keep concentrated on a single task.

If instead of going directly to an SSRI, I'd have taken serious psychotherapy sessions, would I have the same problem with my focus and concentration?


Q:

Bill, what was it like collaborating with Tyler, the Creator for the theme song for the new show? What made you choose him initially? Do you have an ongoing friendship with him?

A:

Hello! If you could go back in time and stop anything, anything at all, what would it be?


Q:

MTW: Let me make this clear, anyone buys my beer and does not recycle the cans, I have a message for you.

I did not eat that human. Like sharks, I think human flesh tastes gross.

A:

WobblyGobbledygook is correct in pointing out that I am a psychologist, so I don't prescribe meds. I do know an awful lot about treating trauma, though. When a traumatic event occurs, there are often physical symptoms, like depression and anxiety, as well as existential issues that need to be addressed (e.g., "Why did this happen?" "How will I go on?"). If a physical symptom like depression is very serious, I think meds are indicated. However, a lot of depression (if it is a single episode and clearly the result of an event) can be resolved from simply going to talk therapy. In NO CASE should some treat depression JUST with meds. Talk therapy is ALWAYS the primary treatment for depression, especially depression stemming fro trauma.


Q:

Oh we hang out all the time. He comes by The Planetary Society; we talk about the cosmos and our place in space.

A:
  1. When the Soviet Union collapsed, I would unite Moldova with Romania.

Q:

Mr. Trash Wheel! You are one of my FAVORITE Baltimore celebs!

My question is this: Is a hotdog a sandwich? Why or why not?

Thanks!

A:

In your professional opinion if said depression is often severe and recurring...if the trauma had not be present is there a chance the person would have never dealt with depression? Out of curiosity because I am a survivor of childhood abuse and someone who has been dealing with recurrent depression (some of the episodes severe) for the past eighteen years.


Q:

Thanks so much for being here. Any chance of working with Disney again on the Energy pavilion at EPCOT? Lots of people would love to see an update based on everything we know about the subject now as opposed to twenty years ago - especially if you had something to say.

A:

What life advice do you have to give to a young person?


Q:

MTW: I go with Judge John Hodgman's rulings on all matters. A hotdog is not a sandwich.

A:

Depression can be a product of nature or nurture. Some people who have recurring depression are genetically predisposed to the disorder. That's nature. On the nurture side, there is a direct link between childhood trauma and depression. (Indeed there is a direct link between childhood trauma and a laundry list of mental illnesses.) Therefore, unfortunately, it is absolutely possible that your depression is directly related to the abuse, and that you may not have suffered from it otherwise. There is a great deal of research to support the fact that children who are abused suffer permanent damage to parts of their brains as a result. I believe I am one of those people. The abuse I suffered permanently left me susceptible to depression and anxiety. As a result, I take medication every day to keep my mood stable.


Q:

Not my choice. Please ask the Disneynians to refresh the ride. It was a fun job. It was sponsored by Exxon, while they still owned a division that made bearings for wind turbine generators, and before their climate denial documents from 1977 were discovered and published in the New York Times. I'd love to do a new show though.

A:

Have a strong will. Don't want to much. Go ahead and study and take the best from life. I had a goal my whole life: to work and have a family and a good education.


Q:

Hi Wheelium! I traveled from IL to Baltimore last summer to see you and the city and you and Baltimore did not dissappoint. I would love it if there was a way for IL to get a Trash Wheel in our waterways. Is there any hope of us getting our own Trash Wheel? What would need to be done?

ps. We have plenty of snek and duck here who need a Trash Wheel friend

A:

Thanks! I've always been curious.

You see my father also suffers from depression but my grandfather probably also treated him poorly. It's interesting to me that it did seem to take some time for the depression to set in (I was fifteen when I was diagnosed) but I definitely dealt with some anxiety problems even prior to that. I was told at around age 25 or so that these would probably be lifelong problems for me that I'd just have to learn to manage....and so far that's true (I'm nearly 34). I'm in therapy and getting ready to restart the medication that I thought I'd be ok without (which I was wrong about).


Q:

Bill, What are your thoughts on Elon Musk and what he is doing for the scientific world through Tesla and SpaceX?

A:

What is the best thing about living in Moldova?


Q:

MTW: Thanks for visiting me. One day I hope my kind will visit all of the duck and snek of the world! You can support my quest for global domination by purchasing this awesome new t-shirt!

A:

I think it is human nature not to want to admit that we need meds permanently. Personally, I have gone off my meds several times--always with disastrous results! It's sad for me to accept that the abuse I suffered caused some damaged that cannot be fixed. Thank goodness there are meds now that really do help.


Q:

He and is companies are shaking things up in a great way. Some disclosure, he served on the Board of The Planetary Society for a while, but has had to recuse himself as SpaceX became Yuge. (I gave him a ride to the airport once.) The Tesla outperforms conventional gas-powered cars (as does my new all-electric Chevy Bolt). If the reused lower stage of the Falcon rockets proves profitable, it will change space exploration in great way. Go Elon! (He's an immigrant to the U.S., bt-dubs.)

A:

We have very good climate, good soil and very welcoming people. Come and visit!


Q:

I hope that one day you guys will consider doing tote bags...it would be very on-message since they could replace plastic shopping bags.

A:

I think you're right and I agree fully!


Q:

Hi Bill, thanks for doing this - I've got a question, I know that maybe it's not specifically in your field, but I would still appreciate your thoughts as someone trying to "save the world".

To what extent do you envisage automation replacing common jobs anytime soon, on a large scale? If this is accomplished do you think it will be a current player (amazon/google/tesla), something completely left-field no one expected, or a community effort from thousands of small to medium sized enterprises working together?

Thanks!

A:

do you want the union with romania?


Q:

MTW: Sometimes the nice folks at Healthy Harbor have these available at their events!

A:

:)


Q:

Self-driving vehicles seem to me to be the next Big Thing. Think of all the drivers, who will be able to do something more challenging and productive with their work day. They could be erecting wind turbines, installing photovoltaic panels, and running distributed grid power lines. Woo hoo!

A:

Da!


Q:

I'm okay with it, but honestly I like the "Keepin' It Wheel" shirt a little more. Any way to get my hands on those?

A:

I've been doing therapy for years and gained a huge amount of personal insight, but last year the therapist I was working with suggested that I try to overcome one of the defense mechanisms that I was still experiencing during difficult therapy sessions. Shortly after that, I started to experience severe depression during sessions. Talking about my problems only made things worse. I had regular breakdowns every week.

I stopped seeing that therapist and went to another one, but I was still experiencing the same issues. While I still recommend therapy to other people, it unfortunately messed me up really badly. I'm currently on antidepressants but am not doing therapy, which I feel has been the right choice for me.

Would you still say that there are absolutely no cases in which medication without therapy should happen?


Q:

Bill, Should I continue being a paramedic or just go for it and try to become an emergency department physician?

Edit: spelling. The ambulance gets bouncy and I got a 911 call as soon as I typed this.

A:

Of all the years you've lived through, which has been your favorite, and why?


Q:

PTW: They aren't sold online anymore, but I understand the humans at Healthy Harbor still bring them to events... you could get a ticket to the Lost Python Ale release party tomorrow and snag one!

A:

Obviously, without knowing a lot more about the circumstances, it's hard to answer you fully. I am concerned about the suggestion to "overcome one of the defense mechanisms" that you were using. My belief, based on my excellent therapist's advice, is that defense mechanisms exist for a reason. When we feel safe and ready to let them go, we naturally do. I don't think it's wise advise to force anyone to let go of their defenses--unless they are exceptionally unhealthy as is the case with drugs or alcohol. All that being said, I have to wonder why you suddenly started feeling so "depressed" during sessions. By "depressed" do you really mean sad? In letting down your defensive guard, were you actually starting to feel your real feelings? Were you sad and grieving? Is this what you mean by "breakdowns." If that is the case, I understand why you felt disconcerted. There is a fine balance between allowing yourself to actually feel pain and grief and learning how to contain those feelings so they don't make you feel overwhelmed. It seems like you may be afraid of your painful feelings, which I completely understand. BUT that is exactly why it is important that you face them, with proper support and containment. I wish you well, and I am sending you love.


Q:

Go for it! People seldom regret what they do; they, or we, regret what we don't do!

A:

Good years were when I had my grandchildren, when I had goats, sheep and turkeys and I made cheese. I had land and worked it but now I'm old things are harder for me, but still I'm happy because I'm proud of my grandchildren who are studying.


Q:

Have you ever eaten a human by mistake?

A:

All by way of saying, NO ONE can know what other people suffer privately. And while abusive backgrounds almost certainly do some damage (usually a lot of damage), it is possible to become a "balanced and productive person." I certainly have.

That is very impressive and inspirational; I can sense your life mission in this, and applaud it unreservedly.


Q:

First, thanks for making science class so great in middle school. I still have that theme song stuck in my head.

What is our worst case scenario assuming nothing gets done to save the world and what does the timeline look like? How much is my life going to be affected? My kids? I know we need to do something, but what if it doesn't work out?

A:

Thank you for your answer! Two more questions, if you have time.

  • What is your favorite kind of cheese, both to eat and to make?
  • What are your grandchildren studying?

(also, greetings from Colorado!)


Q:

MTW: Not by mistake.

A:

Thanks! Xo


Q:

The quality of life for people everywhere will go down. There will be less food and less clean water available in the developed and the developing world. It's reasonable that this will lead to conflict: more violence, more war. Here in the super-developed US, people will have to abandon homes in Miami, Galveston, Norfolk, and other coastal towns. It will lead to defaulted mortgages and people looking for jobs inland. Where will those jobs come from? Sooner we get to work the better.

A:

After slaughtering a lamb, we take the gall and let it ferment. We use it afterwards for making goat and sheep cheese. That's my favorite. Do you know how to milk a sheep? You have to milk it from behind, under their tails. We often mix goat and sheep milk.

My granddaughter is in Germany and my grandson is in the USA.


Q:

Welcome back Mr. Trash Wheel!

I see you're having a beer released soon, but it's an IPA and I don't really care for those - too bitter/hoppy for my tastes. Any chance you could talk the nice beer folks into making a Professor Trash Wheel Porter? Or a Snek Stout?

A:

Do you think the sadism part of it was a result of his own mental illness, or that "evil people exist"?

If mental illness caused sadism which caused trauma which caused mental illness, but every decade we grow much, much better at treating these issues and breaking down stigma (even if it is too slow and we have many miles to go), is there hope that as we fray the knot of illness/abuse that it will become exponentially better, as fewer cycles continue?


Q:

Hey Bill, what's your take on our chances of becoming a multi-planetary civilization in the foreseeable future?

A:

Hi! Do you have any regrets? Or anything you would have done if you had the chance?


Q:

MTW: If you see a single of the Lost Python Ale somewhere you should give it a try! It's a Session IPA so it's not as bitter/hoppy as you might think.

Professor Trash Wheel Porter and Snek Stout sound amazing! If this first one is successful maybe Peabody Heights Brewery will want to collaborate with us again!

A:

I cannot say for certain what made my stepfather a sadist. I don't believe anyone can. As a psychologist, I know that early childhood trauma (especially physical abuse and bullying at home) can make some boys sadistic. But others just seem to be born that way; it can sometimes be the result of problems in the cerebral cortex. For those who become sociopaths as a result of childhood abuse, I think it is sometimes possible to help them--especially if the intervention is done in the prepubescent or adolescent years. Unfortunately, it is the nature of both sociopathy and narcissism that the sufferers DO NOT BELIEVE THEY HAVE A PROBLEM. If a person doesn't believe they have a problem, they have no motivation to change.


Q:

Infinitesimal. If you think you want to live on Mars, try living in the dry valleys of Antarctica for a few years. And to play fair, you have to bring your own air to breathe. Inhaling the local atmosphere on Mars would kill you in an instant. You'd never go outside, not really. You'd live in some dome, and when you go out, you have to be in a spacesuit, which is just another dome, only really tight fitting. Oh, and there is absolutely nothing to eat.

A:

I would've liked to study further. For now, I would like to have more work, have a better sight, sew more! laughs and take care of my great grandchildren. (Comment from granddaughter: she can never stay still!)

Edit: I would've liked more children.


Q:

Union definitely needs a better tap room. Kinda wish they had grabbed the Waverly spot, which is awesome but has mediocre beers.

A:

For a previous job, I spoke to a child-adolescent psychiatrist who said in passing that a child who has chronic mental health problems at age 13 will never "recover" because regardless of whether the cause was nurture or nature, the damage has been done on a developing brain and that 'damage' (if you term it that) has thus changed the physical shape of the brain.

The psychiatrist didn't realise that I was actually also a patient and have been in treatment since I was 13 (17 years ago). So that hit me quite hard.

I wonder what your belief over this is? I didn't get the sense the psychiatrist felt people like me are "doomed", but rather than we will spend the rest of our lives learning to "manage" our mental health rather than one day live without a mental health problem.

Do you think this is true? Or do you think people with chronic mental health problems can one day live without a mental health problem? I struggle to understand how one can have an MH problem and be happy, see. Because IME having an MH problem means being in pain.


Q:

Hey there Bill!

Was curious, what was your favorite episode of the old Bill Nye the Science Guy show? There must have been one episode you did that stood out to you more than others.

A:

What has been the most difficult time in your life? Especially since you have lived through so much.


A:

My book, SCARED SELFLESS, talks about this issue in depth. I was told by several therapists that I was essentially a lost cause, because I had been so damaged by abuse. Thank God I found a better therapist who told me I could heal and go on to lead a full and rewarding life! I worked very hard to overcome my chronic mental health problems, and I am happy to say I lead a very good life. Was my brain "damaged" as a child? Yes. Is it still damaged. Yes. But through therapy and time, I have learned how to work around most of my mental health issues so that they don't bother me anymore. The brain also has incredibly plasticity. This is true even in late adulthood. So, anyone who says anyone else is doomed by their past is just a pessimist. NOT HELPFUL!


Q:

Nope. When you get your job as a dancer on broadway, don't ever tell people who your favorite dance partner is. Otherwise, you won't get a chance to dance with anyone else. There is something in every episode that I just love. The spit take in Ocean Life cracks me up as does the screaming skull I'm holding in Bones & Muscles. And, who doesn't love passing out in a fighter plane pulling 7.5 g's?

A:

When I finished school and I didn't have where to continue with my studies. I was too young to go anywhere, we where 'naked' (didn't have any clothes) and bad food. I started to go to another village but coming back hungry through the snow was too difficult. Everything felt hopeless then.


Q:

For the ball python: What's your favorite sporting equipment and your favorite programming language?

A:

Not necessarily related to childhood physical abuse, but is there any validity to claim that an absentee father can cause his daughter to grow up with 'daddy issues'?


Q:

In your opinion, why are so many eager to discredit climate change brought about by human activities? What are the most obvious signs that they are ignoring?

A:

Thank you for doing this AMA. What is your sweetest memory?


Q:

Snek: Sssssssssssssssssssss

A:

That's an interesting question--although a little bit beyond my area of expertise. I think many things in childhood could cause either gender of child to grow up with "daddy issues." For instance, having a dad who is abusive in the home or having a dad who lives with the family but doesn't really show interest in the children could cause "daddy issues." I think the most important thing, whether there is a father in the picture or not, is to give either gender child positive male role models. I, for instance, am in a lesbian marriage. We have a son, so there is no father. However, we try very hard to surround our son with other men (who we call "uncles") who love him and can show him how to be a good, loving, kind man.


Q:

The fossil fuel industry has successfully introduced the idea that ±2% is somehow the same as ±100%. Just as the cigarette/cancer deniers, did, only global and affecting billions rather than millions. Sooner we embrace renewable energy sources, the sooner we can bring the military home and be energy independent. Let's go!

A:

Sweetest memories are with my grandchildren. Seeing them singing and playing music with my husband. I've always really enjoyed sewing, so every time I've finished a piece, I feel a lot of satisfaction.


Q:

The Bay was just given a C- health rating, the highest rating in a while. How concerned are you about EPA cuts after it seems like we're finally making progress, and what are some local non-profits that we can donate to to help combat the cuts?

A:

Thank You for sharing your knowledge.

Are you familiar with re-evaulation counseling? And if so, what are your impressions of it?


Q:

We've heard the chant of your name even wayyy over here in New Zealand. :) Just a small question. Favourite astronomy point in the night sky?

A:

In those tough times, was there anything that brought you happiness? Some moments that was enjoyable?


Q:

MTW: If you're an experienced paddler you could join the Baltimore Floatilla to show support for continuing to clean up the Harbor! And on a larger scale you could also support the Chesapeake Bay Trust!

A:

It is my understanding that re-evaluation counseling is a repackaging of Scientology. While I am not hear to judge anyone's beliefs, I will say this: I believe that it is best to seek treatments that have been empirically shown to be effective. That means they have been studied in double-blind experiments and published in peer-reviewed journals. As much as talk therapy with a psychologist may look like "just talking" (as one would with a co-counselor in re-evaluation counseling), psychologists actually have YEARS of training in psychological issues and the empirically-validated best ways to treat them. Mental health professionals must have a master's or doctorate degree, get years of training in the field as interns, pass difficult state and national tests, get licensed, and maintain those licensed through continued learning. So, needless to say, I think a licensed professional is in a better position to help than re-evaluation counseling.


Q:

Thanks for your support. I don't have a favorite (favourite). Saturn is beautiful. And, I am fond of the Earth's Moon.

A:

I didn't know what happiness was. I was happy when I had a little bit of bread.


Q:

My friend and I are planning to cosplay as you two at Id10t Festival in CA in June!

What do you think is the quickest way to explain when people are like "what the heck are you?".

Any design tips for our costumes?

A:

I have very little in common with you except that I needed help from my support network and I felt awful about being a drain. Worse than a zero. Someone for whom things are done instead of the one who helps. But, they reached out to me saving me the horrible step of asking to be supported (not sure of your gender but I am male and I tie an unhealthy amount of my self-worth to being independent and helpful).

I'm on the other side now and I've had ample opportunity to pay it all back, literally and karmically. Working on you is the route to the other side.


Q:

Mr. Nye, How tall are you?

A:

What was the worst thing you experienced and what was the best thing you experienced in life?


Q:

MTW: You'll need a python, a couple thousand cigarette butts, and an intense loathing for ducks. Cover yourself in algae and human sewage and you should be set. No one will get close enough to you to ask what you are.

A:

Agreed! I believe that if every human being took their own mental health seriously, this world would be a better place because we'd all have so much more to give each other.


Q:

183

A:

Hunger and cold was the worst that's ever happened. We didn't know about candies like now, there was nothing to buy. The best thing was when my daughter was born after seven years of trying to get pregnant.


Q:

Got it, throwing them in the harbor from now on

A:

That's interesting to me. I was younger (15) when it really hit me but the abuse had been going on before then. I was a pretty anxious kid but then things snowballed in high school...it was really bad for me (multiple suicide attempts, bulimia, self-harm) until I was 22 and a housemate confronted me about my depression (which beyond post suicide attempt I'd had zero treatment for...my parents didn't put a lot of stock in medicine period much less mental healthcare ) and found out I was contemplating suicide and drove me to the ER....I actually told the truth and was admitted for five days and then given a plan for outpatient care...which I followed. I was good about treatment until a few years ago...and I regret dropping it because dealing with restarting on my own WHILE depressed has been very difficult.


Q:

Hey Bill,

What are your thoughts on animal agriculture and the promotion of a vegan diet as to reduce our impact on climate change?

A:

Please share with us a nice wholesome Moldovan recipe? :)


Q:

MTW: Nooooo what have I done

A:

Please don't beat yourself up for stopping treatment. There is no perfect way to approach mental healthcare. I went in and out of therapy and on and off meds many times before I figured things out. I hear what you're saying about how hard it is to find a good therapist when you're already in the throws of depression. If the depression is very bad, perhaps you should consult with your regular doctor right away about getting on anti-depressants. While they are no replacement for talk therapy, they can help take the bottom out of depression very quickly. Also, if you have a good friend that you can trust, enlist them to help you find treatment. When we are feeling weak, it is sometimes best to lean on someone stronger for support. Please, please, please take care of yourself and DO WHATEVER IT TAKES to get yourself some help. YOU DESERVE TO FEEL BETTER.


Q:

Plant-based diets are the future. I look forward to food preparations that are not "derivative bits," as we say in comedy writing. Instead of "coconut bacon," for example, I hope there is just delicious stand-alone coconut preparations. Cooking is a competitive business. I look forward to the emergence of new plant-based dishes.

A:

Take a three month-old chicken that you raise yourself, you fry onions, put some carrots and then the pieces of the chicken. Take some home-made red pepper paste and two or three spoons of flour. Add some water just to cover the meat and let it simmer. At the end add some parsley and some dill. Serve it with mamaliga (polenta), salt and pepper. Serve with kompot.


Q:

Do other trash devices get jealous of your wheel, or gorgeous eyes?

A:

I've actually reconnected with a doctor at the psychiatrists office I'd been to before. I started therapy again last month but it's pretty clear that I'm still doing really bad at this point. I have an appointment with the psychiatrist on the 28th.


Q:

Where do you shop for ties? I grew up in a bow tie family. I want a Bill Nye Science Guy Signature Bow tie!

A:

QUESTION: If there was one thing you could say to the youth of today, what would it be?

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to do this. Much love from California.


Q:

MTW: Considering that I myself get a little jealous when I see my reflection in the water, I can only imagine they're overflowing with envy.

A:

Good. Please hang in there. When you're in the pit, it's hard to remember that it can and does get better. Be very kind and gentle and patient with yourself until the treatment starts to help.


Q:

Check out Nick Graham. com. Consider buying our ties!

A:

(This is her granddaughter now. She couldn't believe she got greetings from California, thanks a lot!)


Q:

How does it feel to be internet famous?

A:

You mention talk therapy and sometimes needing medication to treat the effects of trauma. Will my MFT know if I need meds? If she can't prescribe them to me, then how will I know I need to be on them and that talk therapy isn't enough?


Q:

Hey Bill,

Do you think your TV show has helped or hurt the messages you're trying to spend? Does your reputation make people listen or tune out?

A:

Greetings from Florida! The Australia of the United States.


Q:

MTW: It feels like be wrapped in a warm blanket made out of Doge's fur while being thrown into Nyan Cat's toaster and being shot out as a double rainbow that rains down on Grumpy Cat's parade.

A:

It's all about your symptoms and history. If a client comes in who is depressed because he recently got divorced, but has no prior history of depression, I am not going to immediately suggest the med route. If his depression worsens though, or he starts talking about suicide, I'm going to refer him to a psychiatrist immediately. If another client comes in depressed, and has had recurrent episodes of major depression as well as a family history of mental illness, he is a likely candidate for being on meds for the rest of his life. It's situational and any good mental healthcare provider should be working with their clients to monitor symptoms and suggest a med referral if it seems warranted.


Q:

I hope people coming of age have a respect for the process of science in part because of my show(s). If not, I guess I've failed, but I did and continue to do my best. Checkout Bill Nye Saves The World, which starts on Friday on Netflix. There are 13 episodes. Binge 'em, and turn it up loud!

A:

I know Texas but I've never heard of Florida. Is it Trump's? I know he has a lot of money somewhere.

Edit: I have a map of the United States, I wish I was closer and further from Russia.


Q:

Mr. and Prof. Trash Wheel! Hi! thanks for all you do. My questions are:

1) What humans would you say you look up to the most?

2) I've noticed you've been featured on some pretty fancy-schmancy online sites and blogs. How have you been celebrating your newfound celebrity status? How will you stay humble as your popularity grows?

A:

Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully the awareness you are spreading and that other sources are starting to produce more support and understanding for victims, and lead to harsher laws for offenders.


Q:

Hi Bill!! You're doing great work.

My questions for you are:

What is your favourite element and favourite subatomic particle?

What scientific mystery do you most want to solve?

A:

What are your feelings towards Romania ?


Q:

MTW: Favorite people – Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and Joey Chestnut. One time I ate a can of cham-paggin, does that count as celebrating?

PTW: Favorite people – Bill Nye, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Thelma Estrin, Grace Hopper, Wangari Maathai and Holtzmann. I like to celebrate by doing my job and doing it well.

A:

That is my life's work: to educate the public and inspire survivors. To that end, I provide a lot of good information on my website: MichelleStevensPhD.com and on my charity's website: Post-TraumaticSuccess.com


Q:

Favorite element? Don't have one, but I am fond of the compound water. In fact, now that I've sipped it, I don't think I could live without it. Subatomic particle? Not sure, but I'd sure like to know if there are particles associated with dark matter. Darkons?

A:

It's my home country. I've always wanted us to be one whole country, I grew up with Romanian radio and even during Soviet times I was dedicated and aware of everything that was happening in Romania, educated my children and grandchildren with a love towards the Romanian Nation and they've now regained their romanian citizenship.


Q:

Mr. and Prof. Trash Wheel! Hi! thanks for all you do. My questions are:

1) What humans would you say you look up to the most?

2) I've noticed you've been featured on some pretty fancy-schmancy online sites and blogs. How have you been celebrating your newfound celebrity status? How will you stay humble as your popularity grows?

A:

Ethically child sexual assault is considered as bad as, or by some, worse than murder. What length of charges do you think these perpetrators should get? Do you think they receive the required psychological helped needed in prison?


Q:

Bill Nye! My AAAS membership led me to the IDP Career Test at ScienceCareers.org. I am 27 years old and am finally considering a college education. My top result is "Science Education for non-scientists" of which I believe you have ample experience. How would you suggest entering this career field? Would any specific college major help or will any science based major suffice? Would you ever consider letting an individual, such as myself, job shadow you for a couple days? Lastly, do you plan to attend this year's StarTalk Saturnalia party? I'm also a member of the Planetary Society and have to thank you and your team for your science advocacy! I look forward to watching "Bill Nye Saves the World"; keep up the great work!

Bonus Question: Have you heard of "The Show About Science" Podcast run by 6 year old (Yes only 6!) Nate Butkus? I would love to hear you interviewed on his show! You have been an inspiration since my youth; I know you'd inspire him also.

A:

Grandma, where is one place in the world you have always dreamed of visiting?


Q:

PTW: sigh Really Wheeliam? You can't choose one real scientist? I'm pretty enamored of the other two honorary chair people of the March for Science: Mona Hanna-Attisha and Lydia Villa-Komaroff. My all time favorite scientist is Sylvia Earle who has done so much for our oceans.

A:

Admittedly, forensics is not my area of expertise. I am more versed in helping survivors than punishing offenders. I believe that our society's response to perpetrators is very complicated. Many, many people say pedophiles should be castrated or sentenced to death. But would people still think this is if the perpetrator was their husband, son, brother or friend. Because 90% of the time, it is. We seem to be a society of extremes when it comes to this issue--either lock 'em all up or deny that CSA exists. Unfortunately, this black and white thinking is not very helpful. The truth is: perpetrators are varied. Some are die-hard pedophiles who are intent on molesting as many children as they can. These guys probably cannot benefit from therapy and should be locked away or monitored very closely on the outside. Others molest a child not because they are pedophiles but because the circumstance presented itself. These guys may be able to be enlightened. I have personally worked with guys who are incarcerated for owning child porn. When I discuss what it feels like to be THE CHILD in those pictures, some guys clearly get it and may never look at child porn again. Some guys don't. They're too narcissistic to see it from the child's perspective. There is no easy answer here.


Q:

Be sure you can do algebra. It is a key to success in a technical field. I work in a writers room these days. If you want to do what I do now, look for a job as a television writer. Thanks for being a member of The Planetary Society. We advance space science and exploration. Let's know the cosmos and our place within it!

A:

I've always felt weird about people here who just wanted to go to Russia or France but I want to know Romania, such a beautiful country with lakes and forests. My husband died, with his dream unfulfilled of seeing his country from the other side of the river Prut.


Q:

Hey Mr. Trash Wheel and Snek, have either of you considered sporting a hat? You're both stylistic icons and throwing a ball cap/top hat into the mix would really be somethin' else.

Also, how 'bout dem O's baby?

A:

Hi Dr. Stevens, I have another question (if you have time to answer). According to WHO, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. What's your take on why depression is so widespread these days? It can't all be from chemical-imbalances can it? In cases where childhood trauma is a factor, I believe depression is a symptom of the trauma. How do you think societies should address this growing phenomena - clearly the conventional methods aren't enough. Personally, I am a huge supporter of therapy but sometimes even combined with medication, it doesn't seem to be enough for the severity of trauma that many of us have gone through.


Q:

imagine having 3 different identities throughout your life: Romanian, Soviet and Moldovan.

That's interesting. Do you identify with any particular one of these identities more than the others?


Q:

I am aware of the statistics on worldwide depression. The question I have to ask is this: Is depression really increasing, or are we all just becoming more aware of it? Before the 1960s/70s, I doubt if the word "depression" was even used in mainstream society. So, I have to ask myself if people are really more depressed than they were fifty years ago, or if they just have a word for it now. (I also wonder if people nowadays have unrealistic expectations that they should feel more happy more of the time due to advertising, especially drug advertisements.) In terms of trauma-induced, treatment resistant depression, it's tough! Believe me, I know! I have suffered with depression all of my life and still struggle with it today, despite meds and therapy. The thing is: the more you work through the trauma and accept the symptoms of trauma (like depression), the less hold they have over you. If I feel depressed nowadays (and I do sometimes!), I accept that it is part of life. I don't overreact. I don't assume it'll be forever. I just accept that I'm in a hole, and I do the things I know will get me out of that hole based on past experience. I call my therapist. I exercise. I hang out with people who love me. Often, I just power through--work distracts me from my feelings. So, it's really a matter of ACCEPTING your feelings whatever they are, doing what you can to comfort yourself, and assuring yourself that IT DOES NOT LAST FOREVER.

A:

When there was a census, I wrote I am Romanian, yet I don't see it in my official results. I've always considered myself Romanian.


Q:

Ya love to see it. Keep up the good work.

A:

Thank you so much for sharing your perspective! I have found similar relief with acceptance and mindfulness (learned via DBT).


Q:

As the area you are from seems to have changed hands many times in your life, which country/ethnic or cultural background do you most identify with?

And also, what were some of the repercussions and effects of these territorial changes?

A:

Snek: Ssssssssssss


Q:

Yes, DBT can be incredibly helpful. I was in a DBT group for a while during my healing process.

A:

While growing up and during my teenage years, my village was part of Soviet Ukraine so I started to identify myself with that, learning a few ukrainian words. Moving 40 km away from there with my husband meant I was now living in Soviet Moldova. It's always been hard to talk about these things because I felt restrained and had no freedom. (Granddaughter: even now it takes her time to think about these things and give a concise answer)


Q:

Are you planning on having children? And if so, where would you like them to live? (We'd love a baby Trash Wheel in Seattle!)

A:

How would you accurately describe "PTSD" versus other combat related issues, and do you feel "PTSD" is overused to a problematic affect.

I feel like I hear people toss the term around too easily, because they keep hearing the phrase on TV. I find myself constantly trying to point out to people that (correct me if I am wrong) PTSD is still different from say "combat stress" or "battle fatigue" (ex: the cumulative mental effect of being in a state of high stress or hyper awareness for days, weeks, months on end).

It seems like too many people just go "Acts weird now" + "was in the military" = "That guy must have PTSD".

Is there a example or list, cause or symptom wise that you might use to explain the idea to someone of something that IS PTSD, vs something that affects people including veterans but IS something else? Thanks.


Q:

Is there anything you dislike about the present society, something that wasn't present in your younger days?

A:

PTW: Trash wheels have a rather strange reproduction cycle so who knows if or when I'll have children. I'd love to trash wheels all over the globe, especially in the Emerald City.


Q:

I think the term PTSD is overused and that the condition is over diagnosed. In order to truly develop PTSD, a lot of conditions must be met. First, a person has to have experienced a horrifying, life-threatening crisis. Second, that person has to experience a whole myriad of troubling symptoms that are listed in the DSM. Third, those symptoms have to markedly interfere with the person's functioning. Fourth, those symptoms must last more than a month. About 50% of the population will experience a severe traumatic event that could cause PTSD, but only about 7-8% of the population will actually develop the disorder. The percentage of combat vets who develop PTSD is actually quite high because they are usually subjected to multiple severe traumatic events and can witness especially horrifying things.

A:

I don't like that the laws are not respected, everything is falsified. People are very greedy and materialistic. Values have shifted, even concerts and artists have nothing for the soul.

Edit: Before, the name of your family was very important. When you did something, your family's reputation was at stake.


Q:

Are you going to write a novel with your choose your own adventure stories?

A:

Hey, I take pregabalin/ lyrica for my acute anxiety and BPD conditions. What do you think about this treatment? It's currently working - takes away the voice that I hear, allows me to be more sociable etc and talk to people. Another question is, what do you think about the addictive side of this drug, and do you think it's maybe worth it if it's working? :)


Q:

My russian grandmother (who you sort of look like btw) lived in Russia during the blockade and had to eat glue and the soles of her shoes to survive, what is the most ridiculous thing you remember eating to satiate hunger? Also she is your age and wouldn't even understand Reddit let alone how to type a paragraph so props to you.

A:

MTW: I made little eBooks out of each of my adventures but I'd love to write a full scale novel some day. Until then you can read The Great Rubbish Robbery and Adventure is Atlantis.


Q:

I think that if you have a chronic condition and there are drugs that treat it with little side effect, then why wouldn't you take them? Personally, I take two psychotropic meds--one of which is extremely addictive. Do I like that I have to take these meds to feel emotionally stable? No. Am I grateful they exist and that they work? Yes.

A:

I ate green berries that made me puke. I still never eat them. We ate sticks from sunflowers. I lived on the shores of a lake, but was not allowed to fish.


Q:

These are amazing. I need to hear them narrated by Stephen Fry or Morgan Freeman.
If you could get them narrated, who would you ask for?

A:

I am somebody who is skeptical in psychology's ability to model reality. In particular, I don't really accept any results that are just done based on behavior observations or surveys without physiological evidence.

What would you say to me to convince me that your discipline in particular is a viable model of reality?

edit: I wrote psychologies instead of psychology's. error of plural versus possessive.


Q:

I lived on the shores of a lake, but was not allowed to fish.

How did they enforce this? Did they have the police or some sort of government agent watch natural resources like the lake to make sure no one used it for personal nourishment?

A:

MTW: Cecil Baldwin, but only if he narrated it as his Nightvale alter ego and if he could get me an audience with the all-mighty glow cloud.


Q:

I'm a bit unclear about what you are asking. It seems that you are talking about research and how it relates to creating diagnostic criteria. Am I understanding correctly? In other words, you do not believe that simply observing someone's behavior or having them fill out a self-report can be used to diagnose someone if there is not physiological evidence to back up the diagnosis. Can you please let me know if that's what we're talking about?

A:

There were boats on the lake with guards watching.


Q:

SNEK: Who's your favorite historical figure from Baltimore?

A:

yes. this is exactly what I mean. I am not convinced that filling out a survey or observing behavior yields a well rounded model of reality. and although I did not particularly say it, yes, I don't believe that a survey and observing a behavior is enough to diagnose somebody of a disease. So what would you say to me to convince me otherwise.

and just to put into perspective how I feel. Suppose I was held at gunpoint. And the man with the gun would spare my life if I could predict the time it would take for a ball to land when dropped from a building. My only resource is a physics textbook and the mass and chemical property of the ball, I would be very confident in the guess I make because physics is a very reliable model of reality.

but. if a man pointed a gun to my head. Had a child in front of me, asked me to predict if he has autism or something of the sort based on a survey and based on observations of how he interacts with people. And my resources were the appropriate textbooks for that topic of psychology, I would rather try to take the gun from him than guess if the child was autistic because that's how much I don't trust psychology to be an accurate measure of anything.


Q:

What do you most want to be remembered for?

A:

Snek: Sssssssssssssssssssssss sss ssssssss; sssssssss ssss.


Q:

If you're asking me to convince you that psychology is hard science, sorry. No can do. While psychology is an empirically based field of study, diagnosis is usually based on the observation of behaviors and symptoms, as well as self-reports. That being said, some measures (such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, which is a self-report) have been extensively validated over decades--meaning the test can accurately diagnose a variety of psychiatric conditions. But no psychological test is perfect. Then again, no medical test is either. Interesting, many psychological conditions that used to be diagnosed only by observable behaviors can now be verified by medical tests. Dissociative Identity Disorder, the condition from which I suffer, can now be seen on some brain scans.

A:

That was a human who managed to achieve everything through my own work and respected everyone, just like I respect and remember my father, who was such a good example to me. In Moldova it is said that everyone should once build a house, dig a well, plant a tree and raise a child and I did all this through my own work.


Q:

Hey MTW, what's it going to take to get you on a forced breeding program and start spreading some little BTWs around the country? As someone who lives surrounded by the greatest concentration of fresh water on the planet, I would think the Great Lakes could use some of your progeny!

A:

When did your hunger "break"? Do you remember the first big, satisfying meal you had after being in hunger for so long? What was it and how did it feel in detail?


Q:

MTW: I don't know how I feel about the whole Handmaid's Tale thing. Maybe in a post-apocalyptic world where there aren't enough people left to solve the litter problem without the help of sentient trash interceptors.

A:

A week after easter, we go to the cemetery to remember the dead. My grandma baked a turkey and we all ate it there and we even had enough to share with other people. Smiles


Q:

So maybe we could just get some of your DNA blueprints out here, maybe a "How to grow your own MTW" instructions. I had some Sea Monkeys I sent away for once. They were pretty awesome but they just made the bowl they were in messy - so maybe something the opposite of that!

A:

As someone who lived through the Soviet Union, how do you feel about it? Do you think it helped anyone or did it cause more trouble for those within it?


Q:

MTW: As long as you don't mix it with frog DNA. We all saw how that ended.

A:

Only bad. Long silence. Before the Soviet Union we had a house, we had our gardens, we had our crops. We had it all throughout the war, and only when the Soviet Union came we lost it all. They didn't teach us true history, we only learned the history of the communist party. All summer, my father worked with us to collect the harvest and in August, he had to travel to Kazakhstan to collect the harvest there and have enough to feed us.


Q:

How did it feel being all lit up for Light City?

A:

Thank you for your stories! Do you see any countries that, based on what you've seen, appear to be headed in a negative direction? What are the warning signs they should look for?


Q:

MTW: I was right next to a beer tent during Light City so I'm not sure who was more lit – them or me.

A:

North Korea has a mentally-ill leader. We don't have to talk about that. I don't like Erdogan, but Turkey voted for him. My own country isn't going anywhere.


Q:

Hi Mr. Trash Wheel, another big fan here. I try to raise awareness of your project wherever I go, from Seattle to San Sebastian. People love the shirt, and are genuinely interested if they have the time for me to tell them about you. However, sometimes I just don't have the time to get your story across. What's the quickest/best way to engage potential supporters to your cause?

A:

I am a Welshman coming to possibly visit for the Moldova vs Wales football match in the World Cup Qualification in September. What should I look out for? And convince me to book flights 😊


Q:

MTW: I think the easiest and best way to get people engaged is to have them talk to me! I love chatting with people on Twitter!

Thanks for all the support!

A:

I am far from sports. What if you don't like Moldova? Should I take such a responsibility? If you have enough money and don't know what to do with it, you can come. Come!


Q:

As a wheel with natural googly eyes, do you find Emergency Googly Eyes to be a flattering homage or an offensive mockery?

A:

When, in your opinion, was the most terrifying time in your history for the world?


Q:

MTW: This is a sad outcome of a national crisis. I encourage all of my naturally-endowed friends to follow my example and register as a googly-eye donor.

A:

It was very tragic when the Soviets came and took so many good and hard-working people to Siberia where they died of hunger. The deportations. This was horrible. Everything was left behind, people where taken at night in animal wagons in Siberia.

Edit: For some of them we never heard again. I also have family that I never knew where they're burried.


Q:

How's Professor Trash Wheel doing? How much trash has she munched?

A:

Thanks for doing this AMA. Can you comment on how most people obtained food in the 1940s and what sort of employment opportunities were available for your brothers? Also, how many languages can you speak? Your English is quite good.


Q:

PTW: Since I got here in December I have consumed 8 tons of garbage from the mouth of Harris Creek. I would say that I'm doing as well as can be expected in this situation

A:

I was very young during the hunger times, I was 5 years old. I remember when my parents found a small piece of bread, they'd give it to me and stare at me as I ate it. We struggled because we didn't want to join the kolkhoz, but were eventually forced to do so.

I speak Russian and Romanian. My granddaughter is helping with the English translation, sorry if it was not clear.


Q:

Mr. Trash Wheel, thank you very much for cleaning up our harbor! It looks great so far. My question is, are you aware of your popularity in the vore community?

A:

Was there an equivalent of E Germany Stasi and neighbors spying on neighbors during USSR times? If so, how did it affect society then and how does it affect Moldovans' attitudes today? What are your thoughts on Putin's Russia?

Thank you for this AMA, hearing from people like you is one of my favorite things about Reddit.


Q:

MTW: No, I did not. There are things I will never be able to scrape from my brain. Thank you?

A:

There where people who were saying "that guy has grains hidden!". There have been and there are still that kind of people. Even my neighbor was one of those, they had a net. You know them with how they speak and even in 2009 they where going around agitating people. On the surface you don't see them, they're normal people.

Edit. Putin laughs I have bad opinions. I don't respect him. I don't like him because he has no family. What does it mean? This age and single?


Q:

When the trash goes up in flames, leaving only a bit of temporary smoke, how do you feel? Happy, sad? Hungry for more?

A:

Very intriguing! I admire you so much for sharing your story with reddit! I am a second-generation Czechoslovakian, my mother, her sister and their parents were all born there and in 1969 when the Soviet Union invaded my grandparents wanted to do everything possible to escape. It took them a little while but managed to get to Austria to live with my grandfather's sister as they applied for their American visas. They then moved to Australia as that was the only place they would find safe passage to the U.S. but still had to wait for visas. So they stayed there for a few years, but it was much better than living under a communist regime. I can only imagine how tough that would be.

My question for you is, looking back, do you often wonder how your life would've been different if the Soviets hadn't taken over? I can only imagine how tough of a life you had to live, watching those you love suffer from huger and yourselves having to survive on the bare minimum, although it made you who you are today. You are a very strong woman and I'm glad you found your footing in life. Also, do you still live in Europe? Or did you come to America? Your English seems very well!


Q:

MTW: I contemplate the nature of existence. I ask myself how much trash must a wheel put in his gullet, before you can call him a trash wheel? How many seas must a white duck sail before he becomes evil again? Yes, and how many times must the polystyrene fly before they're forever banned? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. Just like the ashes of the fire, the answer is blowing in the wind.

A:

Of course, our lives would be very different. I remember where I was when the Soviet tanks invaded Prague and I had really strong emotions. I've always admired the courage and the strong will of the czech people, as they confronted the Soviet Regime. Small pause Václav Havel.


Q:

Hi Mr. Trash Wheel. Since you are doing a great job cleaning the Baltimore harbor has there been any talk about a Mrs. Trash Wheel. Maybe even if she goes to a neighboring river?

A:

Have you ever travelled to North America? Is there any place you would like to visit, in Canada, the USA, or Mexico?


Q:

MTW: Professor Trash Wheel is currently at the mouth of Harris Creek and has currently cleaned 8 tons of trash since she arrived in December! Here's a map of where we live!

A:

I would like to, but it's late. I would like to visit my grandson who lives in Boston.


Q:

That is so awesome! I hope your family grows and you plan for world domination works!

A:

You mentioned that you had strong feeling about when you saw the Soviet tanks come in, can you expand on that moment? When did it really set in that the Soviet Union was there to stay, or was that never really a question?

Thanks for doing this AMA and hello from Virginia!


Q:

MTW: I do receive public funding for a portion of my operation and maintenance. I am your stormwater fee hard at work!

A:

We were scared, we never thought it would end. I lived my whole life in the Soviet Union with fear. I am very sorry the communist regime took religion away from us. We had no hope. (Granddaugher: she looked for Virginia on her map and smiled)


Q:

Howdy neighbor. I know you don't like to starve, but how the hell do we get the impoverished neighborhoods in Baltimore to care about littering?

A:

What are your favorite parts of Moldovan culture? Are there any special holidays or traditions you can tell us about?


Q:

PTW: We all have a responsibility to reduce the amount of waste we generate, regardless of our income. Littering is a universal problem and anyone can make the mistake or putting a recycling bin out without a lid on a windy day or letting the birds and rats get into a trash bag. First we need to increase awareness about the impact that trash is having on our oceans and then we need to work toward longterm behavior change.

A:

Moldova is a country rich in tradition and people love to celebrate. We even celebrate double christmas and new year! (Granddaughter: some people use both the western and russian calendars)

Only now we celebrated the beginning of spring with mărțișor, and easter is always a big holiday that we celebrate by going to church at night and baking "cozonac" and painting eggs.


Q:

Is John Kellett as cool as I remember him? I think he's a genius for inventing you!

A:

Can you provide context about past big changes, rise of Fascism in WW2, Communism, and the current political changes. Do they feel similar or are is it over reaction to this we are approaching some substantial turning point? Your insight and perspective is appreciated.


Q:

MTW: He's the coolest!

A:

I think Putin is worse than Stalin. Maybe he doesn't bring people to Siberia. Yes, maybe people talk about Trump (Granddaughter here: she pronounces it 'Troomp'. She's very informed though) and about all the horrible things that the talks about, but he has limited power, whereas in Russia, in my opinion, there's a totalitarian Regime and Putin dictates as he wishes.


Q:

Are you planning on branching out of Baltimore? There is a lot of trash to eat elsewhere too!

A:

What is your favorite meal?


Q:

MTW: I will pretty much go anywhere they would have me. Especially if that place was Mars, I would pretty much do anything to go to Mars. I would sell the kidney I don't have to go into space.

A:

Mamaliga cu tocanita de miel! I actually really like soup with home-made pasta and chicken. But all food is nice.


Q:

There's loads of satellite trash to gobble up.

A:

Is your granddaughter married? May I ask for her hand?


Q:

MTW: Dear NASA, my body is ready

A:

She's dating a Mexican.


Q:

Hello! Great work you're doing.

Does that weight include the weight of water the trash has taken on, or is it an estimated weight pre waterlogged?

A:

MTW: I stay pretty hydrated, so the weight does include whatever water is present in the trash or debris I pick up!


Q:

Is Snek still with you, or was he ever relocated? Perhaps to the bottom of the harbor? :(

A:

MTW: Snek is alive. Snek is in Philly. Snek is eating milk steak with jelly beans.


Q:

Hey Mr. Trash Wheel, some dude i met at Patterson Park Pond said he caught a carp on the fly near you. Seems like a hell of a feat considering the difficulty of sight fishing at that part of the Jones/Harbor. Do you have any fly recommendations for the fish that hang around your under carriage ?

A:

MTW: The carp are so annoying. They swim too close to and tickle my dumpster barge, so I'm going to recommend a good carp tickler.


Q:

I got 2!

  1. How does this wonderful device pick up garbage that has sunk to the bottom of a body of water?

  2. Any plans for expansion?

A:

MTW: 1 – I don't! I am strictly a surface dweller. 2 – The best way to help keep me and Professor Trash Wheel floating is by supporting Healthy Harbor!


Q:

I visited you with my kids on April 2nd, as I always do when I'm at the Inner Harbor. We noticed that your belt wasn't moving and your water wheel wasn't turning. It was sunny enough and water was flowing by. What was going on?

A:

MTW: What, a Trash Wheel can't take a little smoke break from gobbling up all those cigarette butts? Sheesh.

No, no. I kid. The truth is that I'm most active and ravenous after a storm or severe weather; not every current gets me spinning.


Q:

Mr. Trash Wheel,

How do you feel about Philadelphia?

A:

It's where my all time hero the Trashman is from so it's pretty wonderful in my book.


Q:

@MrTrashWheel(MTW): I'm a big fan of your team's work. Have you considered helping the Administration by going nation-wide with MTW to Make America ('s waterways) Great Again? Any anti-terrorism capabilities on the features roadmap for MTW's to come to help sell this idea?

A:

MTW: Global domination is on the to-do list, right after I finish playing through all the games on the NES Classic that came down the river. As for anti-terrorism capabilities, I do a mean rake lift


Q:

Follow up question, how does that work

A:

MTW: Very carefully.


Q:

Where do you think trash wheels will expand to once the word spreads outside of Baltimore? Rio? The Philippines? India? I know we're very excited about the idea up in Narragansett Bay.

A:

Hawaii seems like it will be the first place to get a new trash wheel. We have interest from around the globe, so who knows there might be one popping up in your hometown too.


Q:

Would you eat me, like if I really wanted you to?

A:

MTW: Are you sure you wouldn't rather be eaten by someone else? Bey is always watching, you know!


Q:

I heard you may be a big brother soon. Any thoughts on being a big brother? Some life advice for him/her?

A:

MTW: While there's no plans for me to be a big brother anytime soon, I would be pretty adamant about making sure they knew they could grow up to be whatever they wanted to be


Q:

Hello Mister and Professor Trash Wheel,

What's next on your list for Trash Wheel Domination? I seem to recall some discussion about a project on the Anacostia in D.C. - is this still being talked about?

A:

PTW: We're still looking at DC but they haven't swiped right yet.


Q:

What's good Mr. Trash Wheel, Professor Trash Wheel and SNEK?!

First time long time man, love your work! Was introduced to your stuff by your self proclaimed "secretary", not really sure if that's a thing but you know.

1.) If you could have a song written about you and PTW/SNEK what would be the genre and who would write it? Like a pop Carly Rae Jepsen "Call me, Maybe" or classic Journey "Wheel in the Sky" (except its harbor)? Maybe get some Culture and collab with Migos?

Also I live in NYC, can you come help out the East River?

A:

MTW: I think I would have Jonathan Jensen from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra write it and it would be a folk/jazz fusion thing. The lyrics would go something like:

When the rain would start a-pouring down the Jones Falls waterway, There were tons of trash that would splish and splash all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.

Till a super-smart inventor built a nifty new machine. Now the floating trash disappears in a flash and the water stays clear and clean.

Mr. Trash Wheel, Mr. Trash Wheel, He’s the hero of the harbor.

Every plastic bag and bottle, every Starbucks latte cup, goes a-floating south to a big wide mouth where the trash wheel swallows them up.

He’s collected logs and tires, even snagged an old guitar, but a python snake really takes the cake For the strangest find by far.

Mr. Trash Wheel, Mr. Trash Wheel, Mr. Trash Wheel - He’s the hero of the harbor.

Now they built him a companion, in a slightly smaller size. Looking cute and chic down at Harris Creek with her long-lashed googly eyes.

And together they work wonders for the harbor and the bay, scooping up the yutz and the cigarette butts up to twenty five tons a day.

Mr, Trash Wheel, Mr. Trash Wheel, Mr. Trash Wheel - He’s the hero of the harbor in Baltimore!


Q:

That...that was breathtaking

A:

Thanks, I think I'll have Tongue In Cheek perform it at my beer launch tomorrow evening.


Q:

Dear Mr. Trash Wheel,

Are you ever moved around to other parts of the harbor to clean trash?

And can you get a pinwheel? I think a huge colorful pinwheel will look good on you.

A:

MTW: I'm not a Roomba, those things are jerks! I stay at the end of the river where there's plenty of current to turn my wheel. I like the idea of a giant pinwheel, though. Perhaps a Mrs. Pinwheel to keep me company on the cold and windy nights.