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The first time I heard of Leo Laporte was when he was doing his TV show Call For Help on Tech TV in San Francisco. I was booked as a guest by my book publisher for the launch of my book in 2003 or 2004. It was supposed to be a one-off but Leo liked me and I liked him because he was so easy and fun to work with. He really knows how to make people feel comfortable on camera and there’s no one else that knows technology like him.
I flew up to the San Francisco studio numerous times to do travel tech segments and followed him around when the network kept moving his studio, first to Vancouver for The Lab with Leo Laporte and then to Toronto for a reboot of Call for Help.
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We lost touch for a few years but in 2012, he asked me to be a guest on his nationally syndicated radio show and podcast because he was doing some research for an upcoming cruise and a story I wrote about that very ship showed up. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and Skyped in. Again it was supposed to be a one-off but Leo and his listeners liked what I had to say and he asked me back the following week.
Believe it or not, I’ve been doing Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy show every Saturday at 12:30pm PT for the last eight years. I’ve only missed a couple of episodes because no matter where I was in the world, I would make sure I could Skype in, whether from a safari lodge in Kenya or a cruise ship in the middle of the Mediterranean, using a satellite phone. I must have called in from over 30 countries and six continents, even if it meant getting up from a group dinner in Europe or in the middle of the night in Asia. FYI: Occasionally, I moved my interview to Sunday if I was on a long flight since Leo does his show on both weekend days.
This past Saturday, we were talking about the latest studies regarding air quality on airplanes and about how one doctor recommends wearing either a face shield or goggles during boarding and deplaning (in addition to wearing a face mask the entire duration of your flight). Leo said he always wears a face shield when he goes to the store and an O2 Curve Mask. If you watch the interview, I go on about halfway through the show at 1:16:00. You can see me writing down the name of the mask because I wanted to check it out.
The O2 Curve Mask is available on Amazon and is described as follows: “Provides premium respiratory protection without compromising on comfort or style. Designed to deliver exceptional protection from airborne particles with a tight face seal and highly breathable filters.”
-Medical grade silicone provides exceptional comfort and face seal
-Ultra soft silicone ear loops that won’t disturb your hairstyle
-Adjustable neck strap with snap-button clip
-Won’t fog your glasses
-3-pack of electrostatic filters included free. Replacements sold separately
A 3-pack costs $49.99.
UPDATE: I had a lot of questions from readers asking if it was okay to wear this mask on a plane because there’s a valve. I asked Leo and he said, you need to wear a surgical mask over it which you probably want to anyway because it’s so ugly. He said he wears the O2 because it protects him and he wears a mask over it to protect others. You can watch us talk about it here (1:26:00).
If you want more of Leo, besides watching all of his shows on the TWiT Network, you can watch my 39 Travel Questions interview with him here.
I am afraid the reviews on the mask aren’t great. Not on Amazon, not anywhere. Also terrible customer service.
When N95 is not accessible, all the medical sources suggest one stick with the next best thing– 3-ply surgical mask. At long last, there are 2 manufacturers in the US now making legit surgical masks and I’ve ordered from both. The masks are well made, well-fitting, and both places offer excellent customer support.. Besides, it’s good to support American business.