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  Over the years, paleoart has transitioned from maintaining outdated ideas, to illustrating new understandings of dinosaurs, to entirely speculative art of different possibilities of how dinosaurs looked and acted.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

Pandemic-versary


This week marks the anniversary of when the SARS-CoV-2 virus turned the world upside down.  I confess when I first heard of the coronavirus in China and then spreading elsewhere, I didn’t take it very seriously.  In recent years there has been fears of SARS, MERA, ebola, and H1N1 that ultimately did not become global catastrophe.  I figured COVID 19 would be similarly contained, greatly underestimating the contagious properties of coronavirus while overestimating the abilities of governments and people to respond to the threat.

My wake up call came on March 10, 2020, when I learned that Harvard University had made the decision to go to remote education for the remainder of the year.  I remember I had taken the day off and was planning to catch up on some movies and went to see Knives Out wondering if I should be worried about coming into contact with the virus.  The next day the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and that night the NBA canceled their season.  Shit was getting real.

And yet, the rest of the week, I went to work as normal.  There were fewer people on the MBTA and I was happy about that.  We talked at work about “dedensifying” and having a rotation of working from home a few days per week.  On the evening of Friday, March 13, the mayor of Boston announced that schools would be closing for four weeks.  On Monday, March 16, the kids went into school to clean out their desks and pick up assignments.  I went into work expecting to get a schedule for the rotation of working from home.

Except that didn’t happen.  I worked from exclusively until January of this year when I started going into the office once a week.  My daughter started going to school twice a week at the beginning this week, and my son will start hybrid schooling this week.  I’m feeling optimistic about the future, but I also still have no idea when things will go back to “normal.”

I also may be the only person who thinks we should have another strict lockdown.  Like just pay everyone to stay home for the month of April, and prevent the virus from spreading and forming variants and killing anyone else in the meantime.  Then when we were ready to reopen in May, we could really reopen instead of having the stops and starts of scattered breakouts of the virus happening.


Things from the pandemic era that I hope remain commonplace:

  1. Wearing a mask when you have a viral infection.  Like even if you have had a common cold or a norovirus and are feeling well enough to go out in public again, it would still be awesome if it just felt normal for people to wear a mask for few days.
  2. Everyone who worked from home during the pandemic should have the flexibility to have routine work from home days in the schedule.  Employers have no excuses for not letting this happen.
  3. Continue to have conferences, meetings, and seminars that either are entirely remote or allow people who can’t travel to attend remotely.
  4. Keep treating retail workers, healthcare workers, postal workers, and teachers with high respect (and we can even add to that giving them raises and benefits too!).
  5. Participation in mass social movements like last summer’s protests against police brutality continue to remain high.
  6. Republicans paying political consequences for their callous indifference to humanity and losing office.
  7. New movies are still available for streaming.
  8. mRNA vaccines are developed to prevent other infectious diseases.

Things I’m looking forward to doing in the post-pandemic era:

  1. Hugging family and friends who are not in my household.
  2. Seeing a movie in a theater.
  3. Drinking a draught beer at a bar.
  4. Attending a professional sporting event.
  5. Going to a street fair, parade, and/or annual event like the Boston Marathon.
  6. Browsing books at the public library.
  7. Sitting in a cafe for a long time sipping a cup of coffee while reading a book.
  8. Going to an amusement park.
  9. Singing with other people.
  10. Not wearing a f@*#ing mask every time I go out of the house.

Podcasts of the Week Ending January 30


Have You Heard? ::  Reopening a Can of Worms

A deep dive into the debate over sending children back to school during the pandemic.

Lost Massachusetts :: The Lost Corner: AKA Hells Acre, The Oblong, Etc.

I’ve always been fascinated with “The Oblong” on the CT-NY border but had not known of the lawless settlement that once was in the corner of Massachusetts.

The Memory Palace :: The Stone

Long before the fears of a “9/11 Mosque” were stoked by prejudiced Americans, another fear of an outsiders’ religion manifested in protests and violence over a stone for the Washington Monument.

Radiolab :: Smile My Ass

Candid Camera created “reality television” by redefining how we viewed reality itself.

What Next :: Did the Media Fail the Trump Years?

Yes.

 

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

Podcasts of the Week Ending December 19


Ben Franklin’s World :: The World of the Wampanoag

A two-party history of the indigenous people of Eastern Massachusetts who encountered the Puritan settlers of Plymouth in 1620.

Planet Money :: We Buy a Lot of Christmas Trees

A behind-the-scenes look into how the Christmas tree market works.

Planet Money :: The Case Against Facebook

A suit filed by the federal government and 46 state attorney generals against Facebook is stirring up the long-dormant history of anti-trust action in the United States.

Radiolab :: The Ashes on the Lawn

The purposes of protest and why they can’t be modulated to avoid offending people as seen through the story of the ACT UP protests to support relief from the AIDS crisis.

Smithsonian Sidedoor :: Edison’s Demon Dolls

Talking dolls are creepy and have been so since they were first invented in the 1890s by Thomas Edison himself.

Snap Judgment :: The Crossroad

A true story of a good Samaritan in the time of COVID 19.

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 Two Weeks Ending September 12


AirSpace :: Me and the Sky

The story behind the musical Come Far Away which draws upon the life of one of the first women to become a commercial airline pilot, Beverly Bass, and the grounding of 38 passenger planes in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland on September 11, 2001 (a story also covered in the book The Day the World Came To Town).

The Moth :: All Together Now​: ​Fridays with The Moth​ – Caroline Hunter & Anne Moraa

I’m sharing this particularly for Caroline Hunter’s story of working at Polaroid in Cambridge, MA and discovering that her supposedly progressive company was aiding the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and how she lead the fight to stop it.

99% Invisible :: Podcast Episode

This podcast traces the rise and fall of generic supermarket products in the 1970s & 1980s through the story of the Canadian chain Loblaws.

:: Where Do We Go From Here?

The controversies over transgender people using public restrooms is only the latest issue related to toilet facilities that has split the American people.  Designers in this episode note that public restrooms are actually poorly designed for most people and introduce a new design that would address the problems faced by transgender people, disabled people, and many others.

Planet Money :: The Old Rules Were Dumb Anyway

The COVID-19 is changing many of the rules from medical practices to restaurants. This podcast episode argues that the rules should not revert to normal when the pandemic ends.

Radiolab :: Translation

Several stories that address the idea of translation and attempting to find truth and meaning.

Sound Opinions :: The Replacements & Mission of Burma

Two of my favorite bands in one podcast.  The Replacements get the biographical treatment, with the help of the author of Trouble Boys Bob Mehr, and then we hear an in-studio performance by Mission of Burma.


RUNNING TALLY OF PODCAST OF THE WEEK APPEARANCES

Podcasts of the Two Weeks Ending August 15


I subscribe to too many podcasts while simultaneously having less time to listen to them. Forgive the interlude as I catch you up on two weeks of podcasts.

Brattle Film Podcast :: Behind the Scenes on Boston Movies

The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge had a great series on Boston Movies and all four podcasts are worth listening to, but I particularly liked this final podcast where they interview on-set dresser Adam Roffman about the behind-the-scenes production of movies in Boston and how they’ve changed over time.

Fresh Air :: Jeffrey Toobin On The ‘Tragedy’ Of The Mueller Report

How the Democrats were out-maneuvered by the Trump administration allowing him to get away with obstruction of justice.

Radiolab :: Uncounted

An episode on voting rights focuses on the District of Columbia’s non-voting delegate to Congress and the movement to lower the voting age to 16.

This American Life :: Nice White Parents

A public middle school in Brooklyn with a predominately non-white student body deals with an unexpected influx of white students and the effects that of white parents involvement in the school operations.  This is the first episode of Chana Joffe-Walt’s series called Nice White Parents that is both fascinating in its exploration of the changes at one school over time and cringe-inducing by the careless and clueless behavior of white parents (and the school districts who cater to their interests).  I particularly like that Joffe-Walt asks tough questions and doesn’t let people get away without answering them.

Have You Heard :: Pandemics Pods: Parents, Privilege, Power, and Politics

Speaking of Nice White Parents, you may have heard of the latest trend of “pandemic pods” where parents pool together funds to hire a teacher or tutor to educate a small group of students at home instead of returning to school during the Covid-19 pandemic. This podcast explains the devastating effects this latest form of “white flight” will have and how it opens the doors to the worst offerings of disaster capitalists.

99% Invisible :: Policing the Open Road

A century ago, the rise of the automobile as a predominant form of transportation led to an increase of policing to enforce road rules. The changes lead to a vast increase in ordinary peoples’ interaction with the police, increased police power and professionalization, and even the loss of Constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizures.

Throughline :: Reframing History: The Litter Myth

In the 1950s, industry leaders organized to create Keep America Beautiful that produced public service announcements against littering. The seemingly benign ads had the effect of transferring responsibility for the environment from industries that made disposable single-use packaging to the personal responsibility of consumers. This conflict in how to deal with environmental issues persists to this day, and corporations still rely on “greenwashing” to make them look environmentally responsible.

Code Switch :: Kamala, Joe, And The Fissures In The Base

If you listen to pundits, and the Democrats 2020 presidential candidate, you might come to believe that Black Americans are a monolithic voting bloc.  This myth is dispelled in Code Switch where the diversity of opinions and conflicts even within Black families over politics are strong.

Decoder Ring :: Mystery of the Mullet

The mullet hairstyle, short in front and long in back, is worn by a diversity of people ranging from macho men in rural communities to lesbian women, from hockey players to heavy metal heads. But the Oxford English Dictionary traces the use of the term “mullet” only to 1994, surprisingly late for a hairstyle identified with the 1980s.  Willa Paskin investigates this linguistic mystery.  Personally, I never heard the term mullet until the late 1990s and had heard them called short-longs prior to mullet gaining popularity.


RUNNING TALLY OF PODCAST OF THE WEEK APPEARANCES

Podcasts of the Week Ending August 1


Anthropocene Reviewed :: Mortification and Civilization

John Green evaluates how we remember the most embarrassing moments of our life and the definition of civilization.

Memory Palace :: A Brief Eulogy for a Minor League Baseball Team

The cancellation of minor league baseball’s 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic also means that the Red Sox Triple A farm team will not play a final season in Pawtucket, RI before moving to a new ballpark in Worcester, MA.

Radio Boston :: Rep. John Lewis Is The First Black Lawmaker To Lie In State In The Capitol Rotunda

Two great Boston leaders, Tito Jackson and Rev. Mariama White-Hammond reflect on the life and legacy of John Lewis.

Radiolab :: Dispatches from 1918

The history of the deadly influenza virus, its lingering effects and what it can teach us about COVID-19.

Retro Disney World :: Haunted Mansion with Kat Cressida

Interview with a pioneering woman voice actor on Disney Parks attractions.


Podcast of the Week Ending July 25


Consider This :: Money Is Flowing For Big Banks. For Unemployed Americans, It’s About To Be Cut Off

This podcast, formerly Coronavirus Daily, exposes the grave injustice of corporate welfare flowing from the federal government to banks while ordinary working people suffer little to no help