February 4th – National Create a Vacuum Day with Patti Freeman-Evans

Learn How to Listen and Subscribe (for free)

Today’s National Day is Create a Vacuum Day and I’m thinking you have no interest in cleaning. So listen to this episode instead!

Thanks(?) to my friend Patti Freeman-Evans, host of the Life Over Pain podcast, for challenging me to find a podcast episode related to this day. 

The Podcast Gumbo podcast playlist, made from love, will include almost all the episodes mentioned in this podcast going forward to make it easier for you to enjoy all these recommendations. 

Do you want more podcast recommendations? Sign up for my Podcast Gumbo newsletter which recommends 3 podcast episodes every Wednesday. 

You can also find me on Twitter at @paulkondo.

Thanks for listening,



Hey. This is Paul Kondo. This is the Podcast Gumbo podcast and I’ve got a rhetorical question for ya.

Are you like me and find those things we call National Days, like Cheeseball Day or worse, Moldy Cheese Day, amusing? Yeah, me too. So each week, I’ll have one of my podcast friends challenge me to find an episode related to one of those days and I’ll be releasing it on the actual day it occurs. 

So, let’s get to it. What is today’s National Day?

Hi Paul. This is Patti. For my day I’ve chosen February 4th – National Create a Vacuum Day. This day is kind of interesting to me because I’m not sure what it means. Create a vacuum. Does that mean you make one? Like build it or do you create it? So, tell me what it means, Paul. Give me some insight. Thanks. 

To date, we’ve had days about fruitcake, rubber ducks, popcorn, and opposites. All pretty simple stuff. It was just a matter of time before someone threw a little pain into my podcasting life for me to overcome. 

As my friend Patti said, February 4th is National Create a Vacuum Day. 

Because my instructions weren’t so clear when I asked Patti for a day, she did a ton of research. So I’m just going to cheat off her paper which is pretty much how I slid through 16 years of school.

So, how does one honor this day? 

Would you build a vacuum? That seems like too much work to do in one day although, how long do you really think it took the FlowBee haircutting vacuum to be invented?

Would you vacuum seal some of those delicious pork ribs you made in the Instant Pot? Probably not because who the heck has leftover ribs!?

Would you create a social vacuum, by moving to another state and leaving all your New York friends behind? Wow, apparently someone is still reeling from my move up north. 

Before I get to my recommendation, let’s take a step back and understand what a vacuum is. A vacuum is a space devoid of matter. 

So, the ubiquitous cleaning vacuum makes sense – it helps you clean up all that dirty matter all over your house. 

Food sealing machines remove air from bags to help keep your food fresher.

So the question is how will you celebrate National Create a Vacuum Day?

My recommendation is to listen to the How I Built This podcast interview with James Dyson, the creator of those colorful bagless vacuum cleaners. 

The thing that struck me the most was that Dyson created over 5,000 prototypes before perfecting his idea. I haven’t even brushed my teeth that many times. 

So listen to this episode today, tag me in a tweet and use the Create A Vacuum Day hashtag. 

Today’s challenge comes from Patti Freeman-Evans. I’ve known Patti for a really long time. And oddly, she still hangs out with me. In fact, we sadly celebrated the closing of the Zum Schneider German beer hall on my last trip to New York City. 

Patti is the host of the Life Over Pain podcast that shares inspiring stories from people with chronic pain and/or traumatic brain injury. Their stories are about how they are not defined by their pain or injury. 

One of the latest episodes is with Scott who had one-third of his brain taken out when he was 8 years old. Today, Scott even has his own podcast called CentsAble Chat, a podcast about money and budgeting. 

Our final podcast recommendations (oooh, that’s plural) come from Patti. She recommends a three-part series from Season 4 of Revisionist History, which discusses the Jesuit approach to looking at sticky moral issues.

Patti says she picked these because this approach to reasoning helps to reframe her own thinking and to not rely only on the way things have always been done. Patti thinks this content is particularly relevant as we try to grapple with the polarization we are experiencing in our society today.

So that caps another episode. But before I go, I want to thank listener Nate, who gave me a thumbs up for a previous episode. Nate – I hope you got to throw all the fruitcake your heart desired on National Fruitcake Toss Day.

And a happy birthday shoutout to my friend Guido. This is just a reminder that you will always be older than me. Yes, I’m a bully. 

As always, take a look at the show notes for links to all the podcasts mentioned in this episode as well as other life-altering information. To make it easy for you, there’s also a link to a podcast playlist that will contain all the episodes ever mentioned in this show. 

See you next week sometime for another round of recommendations. 

Are you still listening? Do you still want more podcast goodness? If so, get on over to podcastgumbo.com and subscribe to my newsletter today. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *