Podcasts of the Week for Two Weeks Ending May 19


I’m not doing well at getting these podcast recommendations up every week, but here’s a good crop of podcast for your listening pleasure.

HUB History :: The Battle of Jamaica Plain

There was a gang shootout right here in my own neighborhood over a 100 years ago that had international implications and ended up involving Winston Churchill, and I’d never heard of it?!?

Hidden Brain :: Baby Talk: Decoding the Secret Language of Babies

It’s been a long while since I’ve had a nice chat with a baby.

Planet Money :: The Land of Duty Free

The mass quantities of liquor, cigarettes, chocolate, and perfume sold in airports has always fascinated/perplexed me.  Here’s the story of how the duty free shop got started at Shannon Airport in Ireland.  It also confirms my suspicions that duty free shop purchases aren’t really bargains.

LeVar Burton Reads :: “As Good as New” by Charlie Jane Anders

A live performance of LeVar Burton reading a hillarious/poignant story about a worldwide apocalypse, a genie in a bottle, theater criticism,  and the nature of wishes, complete with an interview with the author

BackStory :: Shock of the New

The history of World’s Fairs fascinates me and this episode commemorates the 125th anniversary of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, with special focus on women’s and African American perspectives on the fair.

Smithsonian Sidedoor :: Cherokee Story Slam

The stories and life of the talented Robert Lewis.

More or Less: Behind the Stats :: Tulipmania mythology

The Dutch tulip bubble always makes a good story about economics and finance, but the truth of the story is not as dramatic as the myths, albeit more interesting in many ways.

 

Podcasts of the Week Ending March 27


Radiolab :: Border Trilogy, Part 1

Stories of the Mexican-American border featuring a high school in El Paso where the students resist their harassment at the hand of the border patrol.

Risk! :: Babies

Mariah McCarthy’s story about her pregnancy, labor, and turning over her child for adoption is beautiful and weep inducing.

99 Percent Invisible :: Airships Future Never

I love airships and the future of airships that never was.

Levar Burton Podcast :: “A Fable with Slips of White Paper Spilling from the Pockets”

A humorous and touching story about a man who buys a coat at a thrift store in which slips of papers appear that have the prayers of people in the vicinity.

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: Babies


Title: Babies
Release Date: 7 May 2010
Director: Thomas Balmès
Production Co: Canal+
Country:  France
Language: English | Japanese | Mongolian
Genre: Documentary
Rating: ***1/2

Summary/Review:

It does what it says on the tin, 75 minutes or so of babies from birth through their first birthday without narration and very little context.  And who doesn’t love babies?  Four babies are featured, two from rural communities in Namibia and Mongolia, and two urban infants from Tokyo and San Francisco.  There’s not much structure as it really is footage of babies doing the things babies do.  I really like the scenes like the one of Mari from Japan having a really frustrating time with her toys and kicking the floor in a tantrum.  Of course there is a hidden structure as the filmmakers have selected what scenes to include and arranged them so that they often show contrasts between the modernized and developing parts of the world.  They also often exclude other people – even the parents although you can hear there voices offscreen – and focus on isolated babies in an almost unnatural state.  Animals are popular theme too.  Three of the babies have pet cats in the family, while Ponijao of Namibia lives on a farm and interacts with a lot of domesticated animals.  Overall it’s a very mellow movie and while I kind of feel there should be something more to it, I did appreciate a lot of what it is.