Podcast of the Week: “The Supreme Court’s Loaded Gun” by Decode DC


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…

Podcast of the Week: “There Goes the Neighborhood”


Gentrification is a serious issue for anyone who cares about the future of cities.  For every neighbor “revitalization” there’s pressure on long-term communities to be pushed out. How can we make cities places that don’t have winners and losers?  Can we have housing that’s affordable in neighborhoods that aren’t derelict?  Can more prosperous people move…

Podcast of the Week: “Music of the Civil Rights Movement” by Sound Opinions


Show 534 of WBEZ Chicago’s music show Sound Opinions combines some of my favorite things: music, history, and social justice!  Hosts Jim and Greg discuss the importance of music to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s and play uninterrupted tracks of brilliant songs such as “Mississippi Goddamn” and “A Change is Gonna Come.”…

Podcast of the Week: This American Life – “579: My Damn Mind”


“My Damn Mind” is an episode of This American Life that tells the story that ties together several topical issues: Alan Pean, an African-American man living in Houston suffers from a delusional episode but in his lucid moments has the presence of mind to go to the hospital for help.  Except, while at the hospital he…

Podcast of the Week: “How Did the Flint Water Crisis Happen?” by ProPublica


How Did the Flint Water Crisis Happen? is an important podcast by the investigative journalism agency ProPublica about one of the greatest criminal acts performed by a government against its people in American history.  This is an important listen for gaining better understanding of this still under-reported humanitarian crisis in Michigan.

Podcast of the Week: “Zoo Chef” by The Specialist


I just started listening to a new podcast called The Specialist and the first (and so far only) episode I heard is the fascinating behind the scenes story  about the staff at a zoo who prepare food for the animals.  The series is described as “A podcast about work we don’t think about and the…

Song of the Week: Dawn of Midi


This is a little bit different from my typical Song of the Week as it is in fact a podcast discussing music.  That podcast is Radiolab, the show that explores curiosity and science through storytelling.  This episode of Radiolab Shorts explores the music of Dawn of Midi who use an electronic approach to acoustical music…

Song of the Week: The Souljazz Orchestra – Cartão Postal


This weeks song by Canada’s The Souljazz Orchestra brightens up a dark and dreary (but still unseasonably warm) day with samba and semba rhythms.  And it’s about postcards, one of my favorite things. I learned about this song through a podcast from Minnesota Public Radio’s Current Song of the Day.  Other places I hear new music include:…

Economics


It’s amazing what a major fiscal crisis can do to you.  I’ve basically have no interest in economics.  In fact I even managed to weasel myself out of the required economics course in High School by taking a special course in Japanese taught by a college professor (that worked out well as I know something…

Obama’s VP: The Perfect Choice


I was listening to the To the Best of Our Knowledge podcast entitled Sturm and Twang and I had an epiphany on the perfect person to run on the ticket with Barack Obama. This candidate brings to the table: Extremely popular with backcountry rednecks AND with freewheeling hippies! Would help bring in red states like…

Podcasts Always Come in Threes


Three more episodes of podcasts worth listening too: “Disgustingly Adorable” – Colonial Williamsburg: Past & Present covers the annual spring lambing, a big event for Phi Pi fans. Previous sheeplore: Fuzzy Pigs and Out Like a Lamb. “News from Lake Wobegon” – A Prairie Home Companion is a classic radio show, although it’s a bit…

Three is the magic number (for podcasts)


Here’s another edition of my irregular feature of spotlighting good podcasts I’ve listened to recently: Writing the World is a recent episode of the Wisconsin Public Radio show To the Best of Our Knowledge. It features interviews with several prominent and award-winning authors about their craft. What struck me is that while we often talk…

Old Sounds


I haven’t promoted it yet, but I added a new page to the links at the top of this blog called “PODCASTS.” It’s basically a list of all the podcasts I (try) to listen to sorted into a few broad categories. Some of the podcasts appear in multiple categories. I probably should also add a…

Friday Sillies: Simulacraceae


Simulacraceae I heard about this project on the Scientific American podcast “Science Talk“.  It is no less than exhaustive, six-year project in the taxonomy of artificial plants.  Be warned, the Ethnobotany Journal article (pdf) contains requires knowledge of Pig Latin.  The publication date is interesting as well.

News of the News


Here are some sundry news items of note that I find interesting but can’t otherwise turn into a narrative: On WBUR’s Here and Now podcast, I heard an interview with Ruben G. Rumbaut of the Immigration Policy Center who has c-written “The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation.” The study find that…

My Favorite Podcasts


Not so long ago, I was under the impression that I would never need a mp3 player. After all, who needs to have 1000+ songs at once? After I received an iPod as a gift my opinion swiftly changed, and found that listening to a shuffle of a 1000+ songs was a good way to…

Fuzzy Pigs


I am a big fan of travel guide writer Rick Steves who is responsible for a series of excellent guidebooks to Europe, a useful travel website, travel specials on public television, and a radio show called Travel With Rick Steves. I listen to the latter regularly as a podcast. While generally the show features travel…