Now that the new season of No Parking is upon us, a lot of people have been asking me what episodes of Season 1 they should check out so they know what to expect. Here’s my top five:
1. Everyone, especially my mom, loved “Would You Trust A Robot Dentist?” with entrepreneur Yaz Shehab. He’s building exactly what you think he is, and the best part is when he and my co-host Bryan Salesky each say they would trust their own technology, but they’re not entirely convinced of the other’s. And then they try to sell each other. “Never trust an inventor, “ Mom said after listening, “who isn’t willing to use himself as a test subject. Your friends pass my test.”
2. I loved Dr. Mark Rosekind, the former head of the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, bluntly explaining what trust and “safety” really mean. He’s not interested in soundbites or ad copy, at least not the easy kind. He really wants people to think about he’s saying. My favorite line of his is “You can blame people, or you can have safety.” It’s a quote about which one could write a book. Good stuff.
3. Film production designer Hannah Beachler was one of the astounding minds behind the fictional nation of Wakanda in the 2018 release “Black Panther.” She shares what it would take to get her mom into a self-driving car, and why—although the residents of the Golden City’s utopia don’t want or need cars—she will never give up taking her Porsche to the track. Hannah articulated how a lot of people feel: we want better, safer choices, but not necessarily at the expense of our freedom.
4. Our conversation with Red Whittaker, the father of field robotics, illuminates what it takes to inspire teams to do the impossible. Whittaker is a one-of-a-kind engineer, inventor, thinker and doer who helped save the U.S. from an American Chernobyl in 1979 and now builds lunar robots. I love him because he’s a figure above politics who speaks to America’s highest ideals. This episode generated more email than any other, and the message was always the same: Wow. That man is inspiring.
5. And San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority Director Jeffrey Tumlin inverts expectations about the free market and urban mobility with wit and wisdom. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Tumlin has successfully implemented many of the ideas discussed on our show, and his social media following continues to blow up.
Which are your top picks? Tweet me here.