Podcasts of the Week Ending April 4


Hit Parade :: La Vida Loca Edición

A history of Spanish-language hit songs on the Billboard Top 100 from the 1960s to the present with a special emphasis on Latin crossover artists Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and Shakira.

Memory Palace :: Stories to Wash Hands By

Twenty stories of historical events that last twenty seconds each, the perfect length of time to wash your hands.  Whether or not this is practical (I mean if you push play on your device before your hands are clean it will be contaminated, no) the stories are all very interesting tidbits of history.

Radiolab :: Every Day is Ignaz Semmelweis Day

The story of the Viennese doctor who determined that medical professionals should wash their hands to prevent the spread of deadly infections long before germ theory was even understood.

Sidedoor :: The Milkmaid Spy

The mindblowing adventures of Virginia Hall who worked as a spy in occupied France during World War II, helping establish resistance networks.

60 Second Science :: Bird Fossil Shared Earth with T. rex

Scientists discover evidence of the earliest modern bird, the Wonderchicken.


Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending March 28


BackStory :: Fighting Jane Crow: The Multifaceted Life and Legacy of Pauli Murray

The life and legacy of an overlooked 20th-century figure in civil rights, women’s equality, and gender identity.  We all need to learn more about Pauli Murray’s efforts to fight injustice and promote equality.

Decoder Ring :: Rubber Duckie

The history of the iconic bath toy.

Throughline :: American Socialist

My mother always likes to refer to herself as being “to the left of Eugene Debs.”  This podcast breaks down the history of the prominent socialist who found success as a presidential candidate and activist over 100 years ago.

Throughline :: 1918 Flu

102 years a deadly influenza pandemic spread through the world killing millions.  The 1918 flu is brought up as the most recent parallel to the current COVID-19 pandemic. This podcast traces the history of the 1918 flu and most importantly offers striking differences between the flu and the current crisis.


Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending March 20


It’s been hard to keep up with my podcast listening with my normal routine disrupted and working at home with kids I can’t tune out the way I do my co-workers.  Podcasts have actually been a good source of news on the pandemic, imo, because they’re discrete, thoughtful packages of news on current events as opposed to the deadly trickle of fear and unknowing on tv.

Anyhow, here are some other things worth listening to this week:

Fresh Air :: The Case For Abolishing The Electoral College

A historical look at how the US elects the President, why states have chosen a winner-takes-all model, and why it’s logical to reform the election to represent the popular vote.

Science Talk :: David Quammen: How Animal Infections Spill Over to Humans

An interview from 2012 about how infectious disease jumps from other animal species to humans and how that makes it difficult to eliminate those diseases.  Lots of fascinating facts including the first transmission of HIV from chimpanzee to human in Cameroon way back in 1908!

Smithsonian Sidedoor :: The Last Man to Know It All

Prussian scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt had a huge influence on how Americans relate to their natural environment and inspired the origin of National Parks.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending March 14


Scientific American :: Coronavirus Hot Zone: The View from the U.S. Epicenter

Insightful reporting from Washington during the early days of the coronavirus outbreak.

99% Invisible :: Map Quests: Political, Physical and Digital

I love maps and the curious things that they can show us.

What Next :: If Prisoners Could Vote

Felony disenfranchisement has denied millions of American their right to vote. Interviews with prisoners gets their opinion on voting and their insights into politics.


Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending March 7


Afropop Worldwide :: Remembering Johnny Clegg

A tribute to Johnny Clegg, who died last year, reviewing his genre-defying career of blending Zulu music and dance with pop in apartheid South Africa.

Futility Closet :: If Day

The true story of an effort to sell Canadian war bonds by staging a Nazi invasion of Winnipeg.  (This was dramatized in the weird and wonderful Guy Maddin film My Winnipeg).

Hub History :: Remembering the Boston Massacre

250th years ago this week, British soldiers fired into a rowdy crowd in Boston, killing 5.  Nat Sheidly reflects on the deeply personal tragedy for the people involved and how the incident has been reinterpreted in popular memory.

This American Life :: Everyone’s a Critic

Stories about white tourists observing Black church services, a Chinese journalist investigating coronavirus, and a woman who love the movie musical Cats.

Throughline :: Public Universal Friend

A glimpse into transgender identity in American history through the story of a Revolutionary War Era leader of a Quaker sect known as the Public Universal Friend.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: Satanic Panic

The history of backmasking in popular music and the moral panic that ensued.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending February 29th


Radio Boston :: School Choice: A Push For Reform Or A Disruption Movement?

Education historians Diane Ravitch and Jack Schneider discuss three decades of flawed “education reform” and what should be done instead to provide equitable public education.

Fresh Air :: The Supreme Court’s Battle For A ‘More Unjust’ America

The Supreme Court is  not supposed to be a partisan organization but since the Nixon presidency, it has taken sides with corporations and the wealthy against the poorest and most vulnerable Americans.

Throughline :: The Invisible Border

A history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the agreement that brought a fragile peace to the region, and how Brexit may undo 20 years of progress.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending February 15


Hidden Brain :: Passion Isn’t Enough: The Rise Of ‘Political Hobbyism’ in the United States

How politics in the US is harmed by the “reality show” entertainment aspect of national politics and dearth of involvement in local politics where real power can be exercised. It even calls out Massachusetts voters!

Memory Palace :: The House of Lowe

Ann Lowe designed dresses for the women of the 20th centuries elite family, including Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress, but never received public credit for her work. Find out why she was kept as “society’s best secret.”

More than Enough :: Complete Series

A four-part series examines the idea of guaranteed income, or universal basic income, from the point of view of those who need it most,poor people.

Science Talk :: Kirk, Spock and Darwin

Interspecies romance is common on Star Trek but less so in real life. Find out why.

Throughline :: Becoming America

How the Spanish American War and the rise of empire lead to the people of the United States to call their country simply America.

The Tomorrow Society :: Nathalia Holt on The Queens of Animation

Interview with an author of a new book about women animators at the Disney studios as well as women who workef at the Jet Propulsion Lab

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending February 8


Anthropocene Reviewed :: Works of Art by Agnes Martin and Hiroyuki Doi

It’s not often that visual art can be made so poignant in an audio medium.

LeVar Burton Reads :: “Tidelne” by Elizabeth Baer

This postapocalyptic story of a bottle robot and a orphan boy made me weep.

Decoder Ring :: The Stowe-Byron Controversy

Long before Twitter, Harriet Beecher Stowe drew out the cancel culture for spreading the (most likely true) story of Lord Byron’s incestuous relationship.

99% Invisible :: Missing the Bus

Forget about autonomous cars and the hyperloop.  The best way of moving people around in big numbers is already here: the bus.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending February 1


Futility Closet :: Helga Estby’s Walk

The story of two women walking across the United States in 1896 needs to be made into a movie.

RISK! :: Little Big Man

A storyteller remembers how he realized his talent in high school basketball was limited when he played against Kobe Bryant.

Hit Parade :: The White and Nerdy Edition

Chris Molanphy tracks the career of the most successful “novelty” musician, “Weird Al” Yankovic, with a considerable portion of the episode analyzing the history of novelty songs on the music charts.

What Next :: A Radical Voter Suppression Tactic

A chilling effort by GOP to limit allotment of representatives by the number of people eligible to vote rather than by the total population.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Podcasts of the Week Ending January 18


Best of the Left :: A Look Back at 2010

A retrospective view of the news events of ten years ago, with some interesting perspectives of hindsight.

Fresh Air :: The Murderous Coup of 1898

Another event from history I’d never heard of before.  Wilmington, NC in the 1890s was relatively integrated for the time with Black leaders in city government until white supremacists organized to overthrow the government.

Hidden Brain :: Emotional Currency: How Money Shapes Human Relationships

An anthropological approach to money as an element of human relationships.

Throughline :: Everybody Knows Somebody

A history of the Violence Against Women Act from the 1980s to today.

What Next :: Australia’s Fires and the Upside of Anger

Responding to climate change, not with sadness, but with anger, which can ultimately lead to hope for the future.

 

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020