Podcasts of the (two) weeks ending November 20


Consider ThisYoung Activists At U.N. Climate Summit: ‘We Are Not Drowning. We Are Fighting

Some of the most powerful voices for action on the climate crisis are the youngest.

Radiolab – Mixtape

Radiolab ran a five-part series on the history and influence of the cassette tape (one of my all-time favorite pieces of technology) and they are uniformly excellent, so I’m listing them all here:

ThroughlineNikole Hannah-Jones and the Country We Have

In interview with investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones about The 1619 Project, soon to be released as a book, and the backlash against it.

What NextHow Schools Surveil Your Kids

Remote learning allowed the introduction of surveillance tools on children’s computers that are now becoming standard.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

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.

 

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

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.

 

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

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.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending April 17


Best of the Left :: Our Democracy is Filibusted, Time to Kill the Filibuster

The filibuster is a tool of white supremacy and it must be eliminated to allow the United States to pursue freedom and equality for all.

99% Invisible ::  Welcome to Jurassic Art Redux

The best way most people have to understand how extinct animals like the dinosaurs lived is through art.  Over the years, paleoart has transitioned from maintaining outdated ideas, to illustrating new understandings of dinosaurs, to entirely speculative art of different possibilities of how dinosaurs looked and acted.

Throughline :: The Real Black Panthers

If your understanding of the Black Panther Party is informed by depictions like Forrest Gump of a group of radical Blacks who hate white people, it’s worth listening to this podcast to learn what they actually understood.  In reality, the Black Panthers were seen as a threat by the FBI, and others, due to their radical vision of cross-racial activism.

The Story Collider :: Stories of COVID-19: Teachers

Teachers have dealt with a lot during the pandemic, from the brunt of redesigning education for remote learning on a moment’s notice to being the target of anger from parents and politicians.  Here are some of their stories.

Unf*cking the Republic :: AOC & the Lying Men Hydra

New York congressional representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the target of rage from Republicans, establishment Democrats, and Leftists alike.  This podcast explains what they have in common.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending April 10


99% Invisible :: The Real Book

How a book of pirated sheet music became a must have for students in jazz music programs.

Throughline :: Policing in America

A history of police in America and how it has served the purposes of white supremacy.

Unf*cking the Republic :: Mass Incarceration: The War on Drugs

A  profanity-laden summary of the work Michelle Alexander and others have done to detail how increased policing and imprisonment is being used to infringe the rights of Black Americans.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending April 3


Fresh Air :: The High Stakes Of Amazon’s ‘One-Click America’

The vote to unionize an Amazon warehouse in Alabama and what that means for labor in America.

Planet Money ::  Socialism 101

A primer on a widely misunderstood economic theory.

Radio Boston ::  New Study Supports Suffolk DA Rollins’ Focus More On Serious, Violent Crimes

Rachael Rollins ran for and was elected as Suffolk County District Attorney promising not to prosecute many nonviolent offenses and focus on more serious crimes.  Newly released data is proving her approach to be correct.

Radiolab :: What Up, Holmes?

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes originated a metaphor for free speech as “the marketplace of ideas,” but is there a better way to conceptualize freedom of speech?

This Day in Esoteric Political History :: Three Mile Meltdown

A partial nuclear meltdown at a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania was apparently not as bad as it is always made out to be.

Throughline :: Our Own People

The story of a social justice activist I’ve never heard of before, Yuri Kochiyama. A Japanese-American woman who fought for Asian American equality, Kochiyama allied herself with numerous liberation movements. She was friends was Malcolm X and held him as he died.

What Next :: Can a Highway Be Racist?

There’s a long history in the United States of working class BIPOC communities being leveled to build and enlarge highways.  The freeway revolt against this practice continues in Houston.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Two Weeks Ending March 27


Best of the Left :: Democracy Under Siege

Republicans are attacking the right to vote in order to retain power and maintain white supremacist fascism.

Code Switch :: Lonnie Bunch And The ‘Museum Of No’

An interview with the first Black Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution focusing on his work in bringing the National Museum of African American History and Culture to fruition.

Have You Heard? ::  What They’ve Lost

Boston Public Schools students talk about their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and not being able to attend school in person. Also includes a good discussion of why the focus on “learning loss” only adds to the trauma rather than addressing students’ real problems.

Hub History :: Disaster at Bussey Bridge

134 years ago, corporate malfeasance lead to the death and dismemberment of several railway commuters at a site not far from where I live today.

Planet Money :: The Even More Minimum Wage

The history of the tipped minimum wage and how it maintains inequality. I was particularly stunned by how tipped employment is often the first jobs for young women and that it conditions them to accept sexual harassment in order to get tips.

Seizing Freedom :: Interview: Rhiannon Giddens

For the second POTW post in a row I’ve found a fascinating podcast about the banjo in Black music, this time an interview with the contemporary folk musician Rhiannon Giddens.

This American Life :: The Campus Tour Has Been Cancelled

Many colleges and universities have suspended using the SATs and other standardized tests for admissions because of the COVID pandemic. Tests like these have a gatekeeping effect and this podcast explores how their absence can open up college opportunities for poor, BIPOC, and first-generation applicants.

Throughline :: Chaos

Stories of humanity and chaos, including the real life The Lord of the Flies.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: 20th Century Fox

The composition and history of the deceptively simple 20th Century Fox fanfare.

The War on Cars :: Jamelle Bouie Has Seen the Future of Transportation

Journalist Jamelle Bouie talks about his experience using an electric bike in Charlottesville, VA and the future of transportation and housing in the United States.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending February 26


AirSpace :: Nicotine Stain

How flight attendants lead the fight against public smoking and raising awareness of the danger of second-hand smoke

Consider This :: Optimism About Case Rates, Vaccines, And Future Of The Pandemic

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Judas and the Black Messiah

This podcast series ties into the new film about Fred Hampton and explores the Black Panther leader’s life with interviews with people who knew him, as well as behind the scenes of making the movie.

99% Invisible : The Batman and the Bridge Builder

The story of how the design of a bridge in Austin, Texas lead to it becoming a center of bat conservation (featuring bat scientist Merlin Tuttle).

Throughline :: Remembering Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the March on Washington

The life of Bayard Rustin, a pioneering activist of nonviolence in the American Civil Rights and labor movements.

Up First :: Christian Nationalism & Disinformation

How white evangelical churches perpetuate the ideology that led to the Capitol Insurrection.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending February 13


Sidedoor :: Reservation Math: Navigating Love in Native America

The story of “blood quantum,” a concept used to define Native American identity from it’s colonialist origins to the personal impact is has on indigenous peoples today.

Throughline :: ‘Black Moses’ Lives On: How Marcus Garvey’s Vision Still Resonates

The history of Marcus Garvey and his vision of pan-Africanism and the Black Star Line.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: Sound 101

The science of sound with Bill Nye.

 

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021