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Your Paracast Newsletter — May 3, 2020

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The Paracast Newsletter
May 3, 2020

www.theparacast.com

Explore Amazing Ghost Phenomena with Investigator Stephen Williams on The Paracast

The Paracast is heard Sundays from 3:00 AM until 6:00 AM Central Time on the GCN Radio Network and affiliates around the USA, the Boost Radio Network, the IRN Internet Radio Network, and online across the globe via download and on-demand streaming.

SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY A PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE AT A SPECIAL LOW PRICE! We have another radio show and we’d love for you listen to it. So for a low subscription fee, you will receive access to an exclusive podcast, After The Paracast, plus an enhanced version of The Paracast with the network ads removed, when you sign up for The Paracast+. We also offer a special RSS feed for easy updates of the latest episodes. Flash! For a limited time you can save up to 40% on your subscription, and we've made it easier than ever to subscribe. So act now! Check out: http://www.theparacast.com/plus/ for more details about The Paracast+.

This Week's Episode: Gene and Randall welcome Stephen Williams, founder of Memphis Ghost Investigations & Spirit Rescue, an experienced trio of intuitive paranormal investigators and spirit communicators based in Memphis, Tennessee. According to Stephen, he is a veteran clairsentient, paranormal investigator and former member of the Ghost Stalkers of West Tennessee and the Memphis-Midsouth Ghost Hunters who has been investigating and clearing haunted locations in Memphis and across the U.S. since 2002. His notable national investigations include the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana; the infamous “Screaming House” in Union, Missouri (the first paranormal team to investigate there); the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas; the Thomas House in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee; and the St. Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine Florida.

J. Randall Murphy's Ufology Society International: http://www.ufopages.com/

Memphis Ghost Investigators and Sprit Rescue: https://memphisghostinvestigations.com/

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on May 3: Ghost investigator Stephen Williams, founder of Memphis Ghost Investigations & Spirit Rescue Website, returns to continue the interview started on the May 3, 2020 episode of The Paracast. He first joins Gene and Randall in some politically incorrect chatter about the coronavirus pandemic before jumping full stream into the world of the paranormal. During the wide-ranging discussion, Randall brings up the possibility that ghost phenomena and other paranormal events, such as UFO sightings, might have similar origins, and whether that should form a possibility for ongoing investigations.

Reminder: Please don't forget to visit our famous Paracast Community Forums for the latest news/views/debates on all things paranormal: https://www.theparacast.com/forum/. Check out our new YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheOfficialParacastChannel

Making It Simple!
By Gene Steinberg

As many of you know, I long ago went the Apple Inc. route when it came to tech gear. But it wasn’t an emotional decision.

Ever the practical Virgo, I tried to find the simplest solution. When I first began to play with personal computers, they used a text-based interface, DOS, and thus you had to write out precisely what you wanted it to do, even if just to save a file.

And as some of you recall, what you wrote out was something other than plain English.

While not the first graphical user interface, the Apple Macintosh helped popularize point and click. Pictures were used to mimic real-world functions, such as file folders in which to store documents.

Microsoft went ahead and adopted a similar scheme, but Windows was almost always more difficult to use. Not to get into the platform wars — you like what you like — but things that would normally take half a dozen steps on a Mac were decidedly more complicated to manage under Windows.

All right, Microsoft has learned a few tricks along the way, but you can see what I’m coming from.

Now when it came to building my own sites, I mostly relied on apps with pretty interfaces, although I had to get my hands dirty from time to time in writing pure HTML, PHP and other commands.

Yes, I did have help along the way in doing much of the heavy lifting so I could focus on the things I knew how to do.

All of the elements on our web sites are mostly managed with GUIs that greatly rely on the conventions most of you learned when using Macs and PCs. Smartphones and tablets have the same lineage, but they usually replace the mouse, trackpad and keyboard with your fingers.

Letting your fingers do the walking indeed.

Our forums are run by a “script” known as XenForo, our sites are handled in WordPress. Both are platforms designed in a script language, PHP, but it’s all displayed with pretty text, backgrounds and graphics to make it as user friendly as possible.

Understand that I don’t for a moment consider myself to be a real web designer. I can put the pieces of a puzzle together, and I think I have an eye for simplicity, more or less. But I know my limits.

So I have tried to make the sites as easy as possible to navigate. Whenever I put in a new feature, I test it to see if there’s a better way. I also welcome suggestions from listeners as to what I can do to make things more efficient, not to mention displaying faster.

When we set up The Paracast+, I went for a system that worked with our present system of posting show episodes. I didn’t want to add yet another portal, another place to visit, for the premium ad-free shows, so I relied on a method that was already available — the ability to set up member upgrades in our forum.

The second element was a XenForo add-on, Resource Manager, which, as the name implies, sets up a repository to store and organize file downloads.

So when you upgrade your forum membership to The Paracast+, you get access to a “hidden area,” where you can download the episodes.

I will admit that it’s not such an easy process to sign up. If you’re a forum member, you have to go to the Account upgrades page in your control panel. If you’re not a member, you have to join first before you can upgrade.

So I wrote up directions trying to explain all this in detail, and I think I made it far more confusing than it should have been.

Well, I think I have a solution — more or less.

I’ve set up a system where you can both register for the forum and subscribe to The Paracast+ as part of the same process. You’ll see the fancy signup window when you join.

To get there, just click or tap: Choose Your Membership

You’ll have the choice of joining the forum, free, as before, or subscribing to The Paracast+.

If you’re already a member of our forum, you can use the same link to get to an Upgrade page.

If you’re a member but haven’t logged in when you want to Upgrade, you’ll see a prompt on the screen giving you direct access to the login area, so you can join directly from the control panel.

I hope this makes it easier, so I’ve eliminated the step-by-step description.

As soon as your subscription is active, you’ll have immediate access to The Paracast+ with all the downloads and extra forums.

Yes, I admit it’s a work in progress, and there are more features that will be added in the future, such as being able to order a gift subscription as part of the signup process. We can do it now, but it has to be handled manually.

Meantime if you have a problem subscribing to The Paracast+, please let me know and I’ll work with you to get it all figured out.

And, if you’ve got some web designer skills and can work comfortably WordPress, and PHP, we’re still looking for some volunteer help. The main goal is to overhaul theparacast.com and make it look and work better on smartphones and small tablets. It would be nice to integrate the site with the forum a little better also.

If you do agree to work with us, we’ll give you a lifetime subscription for The Paracast+, and a free Microsoft 365 subscription for a year. That’ll get you the Office apps for Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad and Android, plus 1TB One Drive storage for your stuff.

So if you’re interested in being of help with the site overhaul, or you have some ideas on how we can make things run better, please let me know.

And one more thing: If you’ve let your Paracast+ membership lapse, or you haven’t gotten around to joining, please check it out. I know the economic meltdown has made it difficult for everyone, so prices have been slashed up to 40% and more.

Once again, to upgrade just click or tap: Choose Your Membership

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