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.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending July 10


Radio Boston :: Remembering, And Re-Examining, The Mayflower

The town of Plymouth commemorates the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Pilgrim settlers.  This podcast offers multiple perspectives on history and how it is remembered.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: Stay Tuned

When I was a kid, I was a fan of Mel Blanc and dreamed of doing voice acting for cartoons.  In this podcast we meet some people who made that dream come true!


Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the Week Ending June 19


Twenty Thousand HertzFoley Artists

Behind the scenes with the talented people who provide the everyday sounds for a movie.

WBUR Consider ThisConsider This: Why Some Black And Hispanic Parents Want To Keep Remote Learning

Amid the urgency to get children back to in-school learning and panic about “learning loss,” parents in some communities are finding advantages to remote learning.


Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Podcasts of the (Two) Weeks Ending May 29


I think I need to pare down the podcasts I subscribe to, because I don’t have a time to listen to all of them much less write about them.  If you’re a podcast creator and churning out multiple episodes per week and making them longer than ever, do me a favor and ease up!

Lost MassachusettsThe Long Ditch and Mother Brook: Secrets of Dedham

On this podcast we go on a paddling journey along some of the Commonwealth’s hidden and historical waterways. As an added bonus, the host calls out Panorama of the Mountains and the fact that I listen to way too many podcasts.

Radiolab – The Rhino Hunter

Despite being a vegetarian much of my life, I’ve long had respect for hunters.  People who hunt tend to be conservationists and have reverence for animals that people who just buy their meat packaged at the store don’t have.  This podcast deals with the complicated intersection of hunters and conservation of some of the earth’s most endangered species.

Slow BurnFour Dicks (and Vice President Cheney)

This season of Slow Burn deals with the decisions made leading to the U.S.-lead invasion of Iraq.  This episode  is informative and infuriating as it deals with the elected members of each party who put politics ahead of intelligence in justifying the call for war.

The Tomorrow Society – Author Bill Cotter on the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair

I’ve long be fascinated with the World’s Fairs in New York so I enjoyed this interview with Bill Cotter, an author who specializes in histories of World’s Fairs.

Twenty Thousand HertzProgression Obsession

An examination of chord progressions that make up many of the most famous songs in popular music.  Also, did you know that the ubiquitous Pachelbel’s Canon was virtually unknown until just over 50 years ago?

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 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

Podcasts of the Week Ending October 24


Code Switch :: Is Trump Really That Racist?

Trump says the quiet part out loud, but a panel of experts evaluates US Presidents over the past 50 years and finds that many of them enabled racism through policy and laws.

Planet Money :: Frame Canada

A whistleblower exposes the propaganda campaign he created to (succesfully) make Americans believe that medical care in Canada is inferior to that of the United States.

The Thirty20Eight :: Disney Princess Non-Princesses & Non-Princess Princesses

What is a Disney Princess and who makes the cut? A surprisingly fascinating discussion of a cultural phenomenon.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: Dies Irae

From medieval chants to symphonic compositions to the soundtracks of blockbuster films, a pattern of four notes has served to represent death.

What Next :: First Timers: Out of Prison and Finally Able to Vote

Incarceration strips American citizens of their right to vote, sometimes even after they are released. This podcast focuses on one formerly incarcerated person who will be participating in voting for the first time this year.

RUNNING TALLY OF PODCAST OF THE WEEK APPEARANCES

Podcasts of the Week Ending July 18


Afropop Worldwide :: Africa and the Blues

In this podcast, we learn about how African music is more than just “the roots” and the ties between Africa and American blues traditions.

Brattle Film Podcast :: Boston on Film, Part 1

Boston is the setting for many movies, and the crime movie – also known as the Three Decker Movie or Boston No-r – is one of the most common genres.  Here’s a discussion of some of the best.

Decoder Ring :: The Karen

The history of how an archetype of the entitled, middle-class white women became known as The Karen.

The Last Archive :: Tomorrowland

The final episode of the series on “Who Killed Truth” travels from time capsules to Disneyland to Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room to find answers.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: Hamilton Remix

A breakdown of the remarkable sound design that goes into the stage production of Hamilton: An American Musical.

What Next :: The First Federal Execution in 17 Years

The United States takes another step into a neo-fascist state by resuming capital punishment at the federal level.

   :: Sweden Screwed Up

While we may be focused on how the United States totally bungled the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can learn from Sweden of a complete different way to mess things up.

 

 


Podcasts of the Week Ending June 13


Coronavirus Daily :: Masks Are Even More Important Than We Thought

Wear a mask.  Keep your distance.  Wash your hands.  Repeat.

The Last Archive :: Unheard

The story of Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man, and the erasure of Black voices in history.

Throughline :: American Police

The history of policing in the United States from its origins in slave patrols to the present, with control of Black Americans as its central purpose.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: Copyrights & Wrongs

The curious and convoluted cases of copyright in popular music: are musicians stealing from other musicians or just drawing inspiration?

What Next :: The Antifa Myth

The Antifa Bus is coming / And everybody’s rioting / New York to San Fransisco / An antifacist disco.


Podcasts of the Week Ending May 30


Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Appearances in 2020

Anthropocene Reviewed :: You’ll Never Walk Alone and Jerzy Dudek

John Green analyzes a show tune that has become a beloved soccer anthem, and the performance of a Polish goalkeeper in 2005.

Code Switch :: A Decade Of Watching Black People Die

The murders, the videos, the outrage, the hashtags – the pattern of Black people murdered by cops and vigilantes is unsettlingly familiar.  When will it move beyond a grim voyeurism towards actual justice?

The Last Archive :: The Invisible Lady

The story of a sideshow attraction in 1804 New York expands into a wider analysis of the invisibility of women in public life.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: Makin’ Whoopee

The history of novelty toys, specifically the Whoopee Cushion, and why we find the sounds of farts funny.