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Caitlin Doughty
 Interview: Caitlin Doughty
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This episode Derek steals some time away from Caitlin Doughty, a past guest of Skepticality from 2012 right around Halloween. Once again, Caitlin comes back for the spooky holiday time of year to discuss her first book, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", which is a personal account about what it is like to work in the 'death business'. Find out a bit more about what brings someone who was born and raised in a sunny location like Hawaii to find herself as a professional in the business of death.
Show Notes

– Date – October 28th, 2014
– Send your cool ‘SCIENCE!’ shout-outs to
– Theme song by Steve Seamans of the Daisy Dillman Band. Get the song HERE.
– Thank you to everyone who has been purchasing books, Skepticality stuff, or using our Amazon link to help us!

Skepticism, Past and Future [1:55]
– Senator James Inhofe born November 17, 1934 is a U.S. Senator and climate science denier.
– Senator Tom Harkin born November 19, 1939 has pushed government funding for alternative medicine research.
– Senator Royal S. Copeland born November 7, 1868 entrenched the legality of homeopathy into US Federal law.
– Representative Ignatius L. Donnelly born November 3, 1831 wrote about many fringe ideas after leaving Congress.
– USA Today and FactCheck’s political ad tracker can be downloaded for iOS.
Ad Detector is a plugin for Chrome or Firefox to “advertorials” or “native advertising”.
– Skeptic History facts are posted daily on social media find out where on this page at Tim’s blog.

Wikipedia [7:30]
Skeptical About Skeptics.
A pair of facts beats a full house of myths – RIP Fred Green.
Kirill Alferov interview on The Skeptic Zone.
– Get involved with the Skeptics on Wikipedia project today!

The Odds Must Be Crazy [12:25]
– This week's featured story is, "The Spooky Cab Ride".
– Story was submitted by Skepticality listener Celestia Ward.
– Please visit the story link for a more detailed analysis and to add your comments.
– Additional thoughts and considerations provided by Ed Clint.
– Our theme music comes to us courtesy of Brian Keith Dalton, AKA Mr. Deity.
– Visit our new webhost, Skeptic Ink Network at
– Please visit The Independent Investigations Group Los Angeles.
– The Odds Must Be Crazy can be found on Twitter at @OddsMustBeCrazy, Facebook at TheOddsMustBeCrazy, and Google+ at thier profile.
– Wendy Hughes is on Twitter @Wendy91602.
– John Rael is on Twitter @skepticallyPwnd.
– Jarrett Kaufman is on Twitter @TurboFool.
– Barbara Drescher is on Twitter @badrescher.
– Brian Keith Dalton is on Twitter @MrDeity.
– Thanks to our friends Emery Emery and Heather Henderson for hospitality and support for the production of the segment. Visit them at

Interview: Caitlin Doughty [19:05]
– Caitlin runs the 'Order of the Good Death'.
– Because Skepticality isn't the only folks who think that morticians make good Halloween fodder, she was listed in a sexy Halloween list
– Last time Caitlin was on Skepticality was October 2012. When the world didn't end.
– When she was on the show last time she discussed how to make a cake out of corpse ash.
– Caitlin is still trying to do more 'Ask a Mortician' videos for You Tube.
– The book is about the crematory, not the creamery.
Can you get Ebola from a dead body?
Does DNA survive the cremation process?
– The first story in the book is about Mata Hari, a WWI exotic dancer who was also a spy who faced the firing squad.
– Mata's story kind of should remind you of Ernest Bekers book 'The Denial of Death'.
– Another author who discusses the reality of our mortality is Joseph Campbell, keep in mind… death is going to happen.
– How do we figure out how to describe things without using the word 'morbid'?
– Fun fact: A cremation machine is called a 'retort'.
– A few of the people who have interviewed Caitlin have seemed quite creeped out about the idea of working around the ashes of the dead and how covered you become with the remains.
– People forget that all dust is, usually, dead skin flakes and other bits of dead 'stuff' which the human body sloughs off all the time.
– The Earth and all life on it is only here due to decomposition and death. Even most of the chemicals which make up all of us are from the deep innards of dead stars.
– Joe, the man who founded the center where Caitlin got her first job in the death industry, he was known for being the guy who took down the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science.
– She was also ahead of the 'trend' since she was dressed as a Zombie Prom Queen at the time, long before the current Zombie craze.
– Caitlin put the amount of death which happens in the United States alone into context. Picture that no one dies until New Years Even, then… suddenly, the entire city of Chicago dies all at once.
– One Christmas Eve she had to drive the 'Body Van' from LA to San Diego to pickup and bring back several 'overflow' deceased.
– She almost died in a car accident where she says, try to avoid the 'Bad Death' and strive for the good version.
– Maybe this is why Caitlin created 'The Order of the Good Death'?
– It is healthy for those who are secular and non-religious to still have some form of way to have a way to get proper closure when someone from their community or a loved one dies.
New Orleans in the United States has an amazing way they tend to treat death and how the community gains proper closure.
– She also has started a new business, 'Undertaking LA', which is helping families help themselves in their time of greatest grief.

International Freethought Film Festival
– Come see Derek interview the director of 'House of Thaddeus' after the movie showing.

Check out details for tickets and show times.

Outro Music [40:33]
– Outro music donated by Trent Brusky of Dropfox.

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