Podcasts of the Week Ending December 11


Decoder RingTruly Tasteless Jokes

This episode discusses a series of joke books that were inordinately popular in the 1980s.  By extension, it explores the shift of how transgressive language was initially used by the Left as part of the movement to advance free speech.  But these books made offensive jokes so ubiquitous that they became old hat.  Eventually only people on the right were interested in sharing offensive jokes.

99% InvisibleThe Epic of Collier Heights

The story of the creation of a Black Mecca, a prosperous African American neighborhood in suburban Atlanta which was created by aggressively acquiring property around segregated white areas.

This Day in Esoteric Political HistoryThe Coup in Wilmington (1898)

Wilmington, NC was governed by democratically-elected white and Black leaders until white supremacists staged a violent insurrection in 1898.

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Podcasts of the Week Ending October 30


Consider ThisThe Great Resignation: Why People Are Leaving Their Jobs In Growing Numbers

“Take this Job and Shove It (2021 Remix) feat. Labor Organizing”

SidedoorBloodsuckers!

LEECHES! They’re our friends!

This Day in Esoteric Political HistoryCentral Park’s Black Village is Demolished (1857) w/ Bobby Wooten

The story of Manhattan’s Seneca Village, a prosperous predominately Black settlement destroyed to build Central Park

ThroughlineThe Dance of the Dead 

Halloween is an adaptable holiday that has gone through numerous changes from its origins in pre-Christian Ireland to today’s corporate synergy.

 

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Podcasts of the Week Ending October 23


99% InvisibleI Can’t Believe It’s Pink Margarine!

This controversial history of margarine you never knew you needed to know!

RadiolabOf Bombs and Butterflies

How an artillery range may help an endangered species prosper.

This Day in Esoteric Political HistoryThe Textbook Wars Spiral Out of Control (1974)

Shockingly violent opposition to school textbook and curriculum changes in the West Virginia in the past seem to a harbinger of things to come in our present day.

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Podcasts of the Week Ending October 16


Scientific AmericanBeethoven’s Unfinished 10th Symphony Brought to Life by Artificial Intelligence

It took 200 years and an algorithm to finish Beethoven’s final symphony.

This Day in Esoteric Political HistoryThe Hojo Incident

Racial prejudice in Delaware creates an international incident when restaurant staff refuse to serve a diplomat from Ghana.

ThroughlineThe Nostalgia Bone

As someone who is extremely nostalgic, I found this an interesting history.

 

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Podcasts for Two Weeks Ending September 25


Scientific American 60-Second ScienceDinosaurs Lived–and Made Little Dinos–in the Arctic

Dinosaurs were so cool. Literally!

This Day in Esoteric Political HistoryAttica

The attrocity at a New York state prison, the media complicity in perpetuating the false narrative of the authorities, and how little has changed in criminal justice in 50 years since.

This Day in Esoteric Political HistoryCalendar Confusion

That time in 1752 when everyone in the British Empire lost 11 days.

Twenty Thousand HertzListening to the Movies

How audio description for movies originated and how it is done.

What NextEmpty Shelves Everywhere

Ongoing supply chain problems of the global pandemic.

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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.

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Podcasts of the Week Ending August 28


This Day in Esoteric Political HistoryThe Battle of Blair Mountain (1921)

A century ago in West Virginia, the largest labor uprising in American history began.  The US government responded with aerial bombing.

What NextWhat Does Haiti Actually Need?

Haiti doesn’t have bad luck but suffers from over a century of imperialism and international aid programs that rarely get money and resources to Haitians.

 

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Podcast of the Week Ending July 31


This Day in Esoteric Political History :: Kerner and “The Long Hot Summer” (1967)

A government commission produced a report in 1967 showing that the USA needed to stop overpolicing Black communities.  It was ignored.

This Day in Esoteric Political History :: The U.S. Rewrites the Haitian Constitution (1915)

The poverty and political instability of modern-day Haiti has its roots in United States’ imperialism from over a century ago.

What Next :: On the Front Lines of California’s Wildfires

Meet some of the incarcerated women who fight wildfires in California at great risk to themselves for little pay.

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Podcasts of the Week Ending July 23rd


Decoder RingTootsie Shot

How the shot of a movie protagonist walking on crowded New York City sidewalk became iconic, and how its meaning has changed over time.

Radio BostonAdvocates Want To Make The T Free. So How Would That Actually Work?

Free public transportation is one of the greatest measures a city can take for its health, affordability, and reducing harm to the environment.

This Day in Esoteric Political HistoryThe Lost Robert E. Lee Oath Theory

The American historical memory is short and twisted.  Example: on July 22, 1975 the United States Congress voted to restore citizenship to a long dead of a traitorous insurrection.

Throughline Olympics: Behind The Five Rings

A short history of how the International Olympics Committee and corporate sponsors have exploited athletes and host cities for profits.

The TruthZoe Butterfly

An audio drama about an 8-year-old who connects more with a nature documentary narrator than any people in her life.

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Podcasts of the Week Ending July 2


 

Decoder Ring :: The Invention of Hydration

How bottled water became a mainstream commodity and the questionable claims of the wellness industry that undergird our collective thirst for hydration.

Decoder Ring :: That Seattle Muzak Sound

The history of Muzak, first created to provide background music to encourage productivity, how it diverged from popular music in the 1960s, and its strange intersection with the 1990s grunge scene. When I was a DJ at my college radio station, I used to play selections from Grunge Lite in the background when I talked.

Radiolab :: The Vanishing of Harry Pace

This 4-part series (with perhaps more episodes to come?) is the story of Harry Pace who founded Black Swan Records, a successful and influential Black-owned enterprise, a century.  He also worked to desegregate Chicago neighborhoods. And yet his grandchildren grew up knowing little about him and believing they were white!

This Day in Esoteric Political History :: Mandela in Boston (1990)

Nelson Mandela visited Boston in 1990 as part of a thank you tour for anti-apartheid activists in the area as well as because he had family in Boston. The podcast also touches on how Mandela became a figurehead for the American Civil Rights movement at a team when there weren’t clear leaders within the country.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021