Podcasts of the Week Ending May 15


Consider This ::  How One LA Neighborhood Reveals The Racist Architecture Of American Homeownership

The story of a vibrant Black neighborhood destroyed to build a highway is an all too familiar story in the US.

99% Invisible :: Tanz Tanz Revolution

How the Berlin Wall, and its fall, lead to Berlin becoming a center of Techno dance music.

Radio Boston :: New Data On Chelsea’s Guaranteed Basic Income Program

To help struggling people in Chelsea, MA, the city gave them direct cash payments as relief.  Good things happened.

What Next :: The Palestinian Perspective

A rarely heard perspective on the continuing crisis between Israel and Palestine.

What Next :: I Was a Teenager in a Syrian Prison

Omar Alshogre tells his story of being imprisoned for protesting the Syrian regime and eventually becoming a student at Georgetown University.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending April 17


Best of the Left :: Our Democracy is Filibusted, Time to Kill the Filibuster

The filibuster is a tool of white supremacy and it must be eliminated to allow the United States to pursue freedom and equality for all.

99% Invisible ::  Welcome to Jurassic Art Redux

The best way most people have to understand how extinct animals like the dinosaurs lived is through art.  Over the years, paleoart has transitioned from maintaining outdated ideas, to illustrating new understandings of dinosaurs, to entirely speculative art of different possibilities of how dinosaurs looked and acted.

Throughline :: The Real Black Panthers

If your understanding of the Black Panther Party is informed by depictions like Forrest Gump of a group of radical Blacks who hate white people, it’s worth listening to this podcast to learn what they actually understood.  In reality, the Black Panthers were seen as a threat by the FBI, and others, due to their radical vision of cross-racial activism.

The Story Collider :: Stories of COVID-19: Teachers

Teachers have dealt with a lot during the pandemic, from the brunt of redesigning education for remote learning on a moment’s notice to being the target of anger from parents and politicians.  Here are some of their stories.

Unf*cking the Republic :: AOC & the Lying Men Hydra

New York congressional representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the target of rage from Republicans, establishment Democrats, and Leftists alike.  This podcast explains what they have in common.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending April 10


99% Invisible :: The Real Book

How a book of pirated sheet music became a must have for students in jazz music programs.

Throughline :: Policing in America

A history of police in America and how it has served the purposes of white supremacy.

Unf*cking the Republic :: Mass Incarceration: The War on Drugs

A  profanity-laden summary of the work Michelle Alexander and others have done to detail how increased policing and imprisonment is being used to infringe the rights of Black Americans.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcast of the Week Ending March 13


Afropop Worldwide :: The Black History of the Banjo

Many people associate the banjo with white music from the rural Southern United States, but the instrument has its origins in Africa and is heard hear in a variety music styles of African and the African diaspora.

Futility Closet :: Eugene Bullard

The fascinating life of Eugene Bullard, a Black American who became an expatriate in France where he was a prizefighter, combat pilot in WWI, a nightclub owner who jammed with the great jazz artists of the day, and a spy in WWII. Someone make a biopic about this man, quick!

99% Invisible :: Artistic License

” I guess those are the two extremes in thought. It would seem to me that somewhere in between ‘Live free or die’ and ‘Famous potatoes’ the truth lies probably it’s a little closer to famous potatoes.” – George Carlin.

An episode about license plate design that touches on its promotional uses and issues of free speech.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending February 26


AirSpace :: Nicotine Stain

How flight attendants lead the fight against public smoking and raising awareness of the danger of second-hand smoke

Consider This :: Optimism About Case Rates, Vaccines, And Future Of The Pandemic

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Judas and the Black Messiah

This podcast series ties into the new film about Fred Hampton and explores the Black Panther leader’s life with interviews with people who knew him, as well as behind the scenes of making the movie.

99% Invisible : The Batman and the Bridge Builder

The story of how the design of a bridge in Austin, Texas lead to it becoming a center of bat conservation (featuring bat scientist Merlin Tuttle).

Throughline :: Remembering Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the March on Washington

The life of Bayard Rustin, a pioneering activist of nonviolence in the American Civil Rights and labor movements.

Up First :: Christian Nationalism & Disinformation

How white evangelical churches perpetuate the ideology that led to the Capitol Insurrection.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending December 26


Welcome to the final Podcasts of the Week post for 2020.  Stay tuned for the Podcasts of the Year post on December 29!

Radiolab :: A Terrible Covid Christmas Special

Is Santa an essential worker? This and other questions are answered about Christmas in Covid Times.

99% Invisible :: Mini-Stories: Volume 9

Some short pieces on topics such as the process of novelizing a hit movie, Switzerland’s strange defensive measures, and ABBA’s outlandish outfits.

 

RUNNING TALLY OF PODCAST OF THE WEEK APPEARANCES

Book Review: The 99% Invisible City by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt


Author: Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt
Title: The 99% Invisible City
Publication Info: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2020]
Summary/Review:
99% Invisible is one of my absolute favorite podcasts series. It focuses on “the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world,” which sounds like a highly specific thing but actually leads to a wide diversity of fascinating topics. This book is a hand “field guide” to the little secrets of design you find in cities around the world. It includes many of the stories previously covered in podcast episodes as well as a lot of new material. You can read it straight through like I did, hop around the book at your leisure, or even just refer to it as a reference book.

Oddly fascinating topics you can learn about include:

  • decoding the spray paint markings on pavement made by utility companies
  • electrical substations disguised as ordinary houses
  • seemingly useless architecture that is nevertheless maintained, known as “Thomassons”
  • municipal flag design
  • the Olympic history of those inflatable figures that dance outside of car washes
  • the mysteries of rotaries/traffic circles
  • boxes on the exterior of many buildings with emergency information for first responders
  • an island named for Busta Rhymes
  • synanthropes, or the animals who live among us (squirrels, fish, pigeons, racoons, etc.)
  • hostile design the specifically targets “undesirable” people
  • the story of a Buddha statue placed in an intersection to prevent littering that became a local shrine

All of this and more in this fascinating volume!


Recommended books:

 

 

Rating: *****

Podcasts of the Week Ending December 12


Planet Money :: How the Rat Blew Up

The history of Scabby the Rat, the inflatable mainstay of union demonstrations.

This Day in Esoteric Public History :: United States vs One Book Called Ulysses (1933) w/ Kurt Andersen

The history of obscenity laws in the United States.

99% Invisible :: According to Need

A series about homelessness in the United States.

Throughline :: Supreme

A history of the Supreme Court that explains how it became the final arbiter of the law in the United States.

RUNNING TALLY OF PODCAST OF THE WEEK APPEARANCES

Podcasts of (Two) Weeks Ending November 21


I’ve had bloggers block lately and I’m not keeping up with my posts.  So, many apologies for having two weeks of podcasts for today.

What Next :: How Democrats Took Latino Voters for Granted

An autopsy on one of the main reasons why Democrats failed to gain seats in Congress.

99% Invisible :: You’ve Got Enron Mail!

How an archive of emails released to the public during the Enron scandal have become a resource for researchers and developers.

The Rewatchables :: Toy Story

The groundbreaking computer-animated film classic was released 25 years ago today!

The Story Collider ::  Stories of COVID-19 

A series of personal stories of the most significant scientific event in recent history

Futility Closet :: Friedrich Kellner’s Opposition

A German opponent to the Nazi regime performed resistance through documentation.

The Tomorrow Society :: Seth Porges, Writer and Co-Director of Class Action Park

The story of the most dangerous amusement park, that thrived in New Jersey in the 1980s, get the film treatment.

Best of the Left :: The Conservative Fever Swamp is Reaching Critical Mass

Trump is leaving office but the Republican party is permanently the party of racisms and conspiracy theories.


RUNNING TALLY OF PODCAST OF THE WEEK APPEARANCES

Podcasts of the Week Ending November 7


60-Second Science :: Science Sound (E)scapes

Three podcasts provide soundscapes of the Amazon: Amazon Pink River Dolphins, American Frog Choruses at Night, Head Banging and Howling in the Amazon.

99% Invisible :: The Lost Cities of Geo

A podcast near and dear to my heart because it is about web archiving, particularly the effort to save the first great iteration of the world wide web: Geocities.

Futility Closet :: Peace Pilgrim

The life and mission of a woman who dedicated her life to walking across the continent sharing her message of peace

RUNNING TALLY OF PODCAST OF THE WEEK APPEARANCES