Podcasts of the Week Ending January 25


Back Story :: The Real Martin Luther King: Reflecting on MLK 50 Years After His Death

Breaking through the softened, public persona of Martin Luther King to reveal the radicalism of his life work.

Best of the Left :: Our Longest War Has Been a Lie All Along (The Afghanistan Papers)

Back in 2001, I stated that a full-scale military invasion of Afghanistan, was not only immoral but a strategically unsound response to the criminal acts of the September 11th attacks. I have sadly been proven correct as the United States remains mired in this deadly quagmire going on 19 years.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: 4′ 33″

The story behind John Cage’s famous composition and why it’s more than a joke or a gimmick.

Have You Heard? :: History Wars: How Politics Shape Textbooks

How history is taught in schools is guided by textbooks, and the content of those textbooks is heavily shaped by politics, especially the government educational policy of two large states, California and Texas.


Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending January 26


More Perfect (via RadioLab) :: Sex Appeal

How Ruth Bader Ginsburg convinced the Supreme Court to take on discrimination against women, by taking a case involving discrimination against men.

On the Media :: Rethinking MLK Day

The downside of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy in the African-American is how his idea of masculinity is used against women and anyone who doesn’t fit into the perception of respectability.

Hidden Brain :: How Science Spreads: Smallpox, Stomach Ulcers, And ‘The Vegetable Lamb Of Tartary’

This episode focuses on the way in which scientific ideas spread and how they are accepted within communities.  It focuses on the dissemination of misinformation, but also how it is a necessity that we accept scientific ideas without having individually tested them.  I was particularly intrigued to learn about Mary Wortley Montagu, who spread the idea of smallpox inoculation in 18th century England, around the same time Cotton Mather was doing so in Boston.  Rather unfairly, I hadn’t heard her story before.


Running tally of Podcast of the Week appearances:

links of the day for 22 January 2008


  • Ramak Fazel: 49 State Capitols An exhibition at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, NYC – one man travels to all but one of the US state capitol buildings and documented the experience in photographs and postcards. Sounds like an exhibit worth seeing if I had a chance to be in New York prior to March 8th.
  • A cool poster of Boston neighborhoods – a definite delight for fans of maps and Boston (via Universal Hub).
  • Their House to Yours, via the Trash by Susan Dominus (New York Times, 1/18/08) – the fascinating story of people who scavenge discarded books and resell them on the streets and at the Strand bookstore. “Is there any other industry in which such high-quality goods regularly make their way to consumers via a trash bin? Stand in the bookselling line at the Strand and the store starts to feel less like a dusty bastion of erudition and more like a messy, mulchy place where old ideas struggle to find new life.” I believe I read a book by Iain Sinclair where he talked about the life of book vendors on the streets in London that sounds like a similar lifestyle to these New Yorkers.
  • As gentrification spreads, rich, poor seek a balance by David Abel (Boston Globe, 1/20/08) – rich newcomers to Boston neighborhoods decide they can’t have longstanding homeless shelters near their homes and businesses. Yuppies make me sick.
  • WBUR’s Here and Now (1/21/08) has an interview with the mayor of a town in Louisiana who had the telephone exchange off 666 changed because of requests from Christian citizens (opens in Real Player). I’m amused by this since my telephone exchange in Somerville (alluded to by Robin Young as a “town near Boston”) was 666 for 9 years. Interestingly enough I’ve been told it originated as the first letters of MONument referring to the Bunker Hill Monument in nearby Charlestown.
  • Today Might Have Been Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 79th Birthday by Anna Clark (Isak, 1/21/08) – in a great article Anna wonders what it would be like if MLK were still alive and offers some profound reflections on his real legacy regarding economic justice and US militarism.
  • What the Birds in the Park Think of Us (Francesco Explains it All, 1/21/08) – this just made me laugh.