Podcast of the Week returns! Here are five podcasts from the past week that I think are worth listening to.
The Memory Palace :: The Taking of Tom Sawyer Island
That time when the counterculture Yippies attempted a hostile takeover of the land. Disneyland to be specific. Except only about 200 of them showed and half of them were there for a goof. What a long strange monorail trip it’s been.
Smithsonian Sidedoor :: red, white, and brew
Home brewing is a big thing these days, among a stereotypical group of white men, but has a long history in the United States among women, enslaved people, and immigrants.
WBUR The Artery :: Stacks Of Books, But Short On Cash: New England’s Public Libraries Face Funding Troubles
Libraries are used to tightening the belt financially, but in these days of Federal and state cuts they are facing unprecedented struggles.
DecodeDC :: DC History 101, Swamps and Scandals Then and Now
The history of Washington, DC, built on an actual swamp, and how the development of the city reflects the views of the ruling parties over time.
ESPN 30 for 30 – Yankees Suck
Here’s a new podcast based on ESPN’s successful television sports documentaries. This episode covers the history of the notorious Red Sox fan chant and how a bunch of hardcore punks made a profitable business out of selling t-shirts emblazoned “Yankees Suck!” Brings back good memories of late 90s Red Sox games.
All this month, I’ve heard about the campaign to spread the news of podcasts called TryPod. As I am a voracious listener of podcasts (you can see the complete list of my current subscriptions and other recommendations on my podcast page), I figured I ought to participate while I can. So I will post about one of my favorite podcasts every day for the last 9 days of March.
Decode DC is a different breed of political podcast, less focused on horse races and hot takes on breaking news, and more interested in delving into political culture, in depth behind the scenes stories, and the history that informs today’s politics.
I’m going to do something a little bit different this week and list some of my favorite podcast episodes from the past week with a blurb on each.
BackStory – “The Pursuit: A History of Happiness”
This is a good episode overall, but the segment on the Okeh Laughing Records and the psychology behind their popularity was particularly engaging.
Decode DC – “Learning to Love The F Word: Federalism”
The changing nature of state rights can be used to actually oppose discriminatory laws instead of uphold them.
The Gist – “Reduce, Reuse, and Re-Evaluate”
Mike Pesca discusses with Maria Konnikova is recycling is really benefiting the planet. The answer is complicated and shrouded in myth and morality.
Invisibilia – “Frame of Reference”
I was particularly fascinated with the second segment where children of immigrants internalize their parents’ disregard the daily indignities of children and teenagers in the United States because they pale in comparison to the problems of their home country.
All right, your turn. Let me know what you think in the comments. Do you like this format for Podcast of the Week? What podcasts did you listen to this week?
Two podcasts this week with a shared theme: the people who work to sell you food (that’s largely bad for you).
The first is Planet Money (Episode 700: Peanuts and Cracker Jack) which spent a night at Fenway Park to learn of the economy of concessions vendors at a Red Sox game. There’s a draft for products and sections of the ballpark and then it’s up to each individual to use their skills to sell as much as they can. The mystical Jose wears #1 on his back for his marketing skill. Surprisingly, vendors don’t seem to make much money for their efforts (although I supposed no one would have a job that’s only about 4 hours 81 times per year as their sole source of income).
More sinister is this week’s Decode DC episode (Episode 139: Big Sugar’s Secret Playbook) where tobacco industry marketing and legal tactics are used to get you eating (and paying for) more sugar in your diet.
The topic of this week’s Decode DC is the worst decision ever made by the United States Supreme Court. Korematsu v. United States validated interning Japanese-Americans during World War II, and has never been overturned. With the idea of surveillance and internment of Islamic-Americans under discussion in the 2016 election, a lot of people are asking if this Supreme Court decision could allow it to happen again. The discussion here is alternately chilling and reassuring.
Decode DC once again comes to Podcast of the Week with “How Ann Boleyn Gave Us Our Right To Privacy.”
Today Americans view privacy as a fundamental civil liberty, a right that puts a boundary on what the government can do. Our ‘right to privacy’ has become part of the essential contract Americans make with their government, a system that protects individuals from the government’s ability to intrude into the private sphere.
But it wasn’t so long ago that the very idea of a right to privacy, even of a right to one’s own thoughts, wasn’t such a foregone conclusion.
This week on the podcast, we take you through a history of the right to privacy, where we got our ideas about privacy – specifically personal privacy – and then how that right to privacy has been applied in famous Supreme Court Cases like Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade.