Podcasts of the Week Ending November 6


This American Life :: An Invitation to Tea

A man was held at Guantanamo Bay for 14 years on charges of terrorism that the US government was never able to prove.  In this episode, he speaks with three of his former captors.  The conversations are a lot friendlier and well, stranger, than you might imagine.

 

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending October 9


Disney History InstituteDisney World’s 50th Anniversary

50 years of the Florida resort and theme parks through the lens of one pianist who performs on Main Street, U.S.A.

SidedoorMake Way for Elephants

How people in India and China are learning to coexist with elephants.

This American Life  My Bad

Stories of great embarrassment and what we learn from them.

What NextAre We Ready for the Next Pandemic?

Pandemic preparedness means more than technological solutions but also a commitment to bold social welfare programs

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of Two Weeks Ending September 11


Hub HistoryBoston’s Oldest Buildings and Where to Find Them, with Joe Bagley

Boston city archaeologist Joe Bagley talks about his new book about Boston’s historic architecture.

The Memory PalaceThe Life and Works of a Monumental Figure

The story of social activist Jane Addams.

This American Life This Is Just Some Songs

A mixtape of stories.

This Day in Esoteric Political HistoryTeacher In Space

In the 1980s when it came time for ordinary civilians to go to space, teachers were the obvious choice.  This podcast is especially interesting about Barbara Morgan who was Christa McAullife’s back-up and became a career astronaut.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending August 21


Hit Parade What a Fool Believes

Yacht Rock.  Love it or hate it, it has some catchy tunes.  Chris Molanphy defines what it is and what it isn’t and how a genre was retroactively created for the music decades after the fact.

Lost MassachusettsUrsuline Convent Fire

An account of a nativist riot that destroyed a Roman Catholic convent school in Charlestown (now, Somerville) in 1834 and its lingering symbolism.

One YearJesus on a Tortilla

I always thought of the face of Jesus on tortilla as kind of a memeish thing, but it’s actually based on something that happened to a family in New Mexico in 1977.  This podcast is a compassionate story of how the phenomenon affected the family, who, despite accusations against them, never profited from the Jesus tortilla.

The Thirty20EightSpace Mountain: A Journey Through Time & Space

A global history of one the most popular rides at Disney theme parks and the first real thrill ride at Disney.

This American Life Essential

The hidden stories of the workers deemed essential during the pandemic and how it changed the workers.

 

 

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending January 9


I didn’t listen to too many podcasts this first week of 2021 because I was too busy following the news. But here are a couple from earlier in the week that I enjoyed.

Scientific American :: A Breakdown of Beavers

Beavers have a significant role in the environment and the success of other species. A fascinating podcast!

This American Life :: The Show of Delights

Take a break from the bleak reality of our times with stories about delightful things.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

 

 

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 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 November 23


Only one new podcast episode this week, plus a recommendation for a podcast series to listen to in its entirety (I’m only halfway through myself).

This American Life :: The Out Crowd

Important journalism for anyone who wants to know the extent of the crimes against humanity being carried out in our names at the border.

The Report

This 15-part podcast breaks down the Mueller Report for those of us who don’t have time to read the report and/or need an assist with the legalese.

 

Running tally of 2019 Podcast of the Week appearances:

Podcasts of the Week Ending October 19


Dolly Parton’s America :: Sad Ass Songs

This is a new podcast about possibly America’s most beloved living person, Dolly Parton. The debut podcast focuses on issues ranging from murder ballads to feminism.

99% Invisible :: Unsure Footing

The story of how soccer changed the backpass rule leading immediately to an embarrassing period for goalkeepers, but ultimately to a more exciting game.

Hub History :: Race Over Party

The history of African American politics in Boston in the late 19th century.

This American Life :: We Come From Small Places

The immigrant experience explored through stories from the Labor Day Carnival and the West Indian American Day Parade in Brooklyn.


Running tally of 2019 Podcast of the Week appearances:

Podcasts of the Week Ending July 20


This American Life :: Save the Girl

Stories of men trying to save women, and not taking into account whether they even need to be saved.

Next Left :: Pramila Jayapal Is Not Backing Down

An interview with the Congresswoman from Washington, one of my favorite present-day politicians.

Travel with Rick Steves :: Pluto, One Giant Leap, Astronaut’s View

Rick Steves usually talks about travel in Europe, but here he interviews scientists exploring Pluto, the author of a book on the ordinary people who made the Apollo program possible, and an interview for astronaut Chris Hadfield.


Running tally of 2019 Podcast of the Week appearances: