For over 50 years, the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent has been an opportunity for reporters to share a bit of context, some relevant history, one or two of the characters encountered en route, some description of a foreign country or capital, in 5 or 10 minute segments. The program is available online in various formats: the weekly 30 minute version can be heard (in its entirety or individual segments) via the BBC website, or there are a wide variety of podcasting options available for those who prefer to download. Alternately, the BBC World Service daily 10 minute version can be heard online. For a different approach, the FOOC Archives have the past few years' worth of segments, sorted by geographical region. [more inside]
Strongly Connected Components is a podcast of interviews with mathematicians. Hear complexity theorist Scott Aaronson (of Shtetl-Optimized), Tom Henderson (of Punk Mathematics) algebraist Olga Holtz of UC-Berkeley, master combinatorist Richard Stanley of MIT, and many more.
One day in 1984 character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day, the original, unaired pilot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer) was walking down the street when Jonathan Demme pulled up and asked if he wanted to see a movie he was finishing. Tobolowsky accepted: taking his girlfriend Beth Henley, they went to the Academy Linwood Dunn Theatre to watch the rough cut of the movie, Stop Making Sense. The audience in the otherwise empty theatre consisted of Tobolowsky, Henley, and Demme, along with members of Talking Heads, including David Byrne and Tina Weymouth. Later, Byrne passed Tobolowsky on his bike and asked if he wanted to work on a new movie. Interest sparked again, and during the ensuing collaboration Tobolowsky shared his past experience of psychic phenomena. Inspired, Byrne went on to write Radio Head. The song was heard by Thom Yorke and became the name of his band. All of this is a true story, based on puzzling evidence. [more inside]
Over 143 episodes of audio, Mike Duncan has covered the founding of Rome through the Crisis of the Third Century in his History of Rome podcast [previously], having now reached the last pagan Emperor, Julian The Apostate. Enlivened by drawing on comparisons to popular culture, from The Empire Strikes Back (when Hannibal makes his appearance) to The Godfather (as a metaphor for Rome's social client system), Mr Duncan's work makes for fun, informative 25-minute sessions with the greatest empire of the ancient western world. If you're interested in more, the podcasts could be handily supplemented with... [more inside]
Stuck on a train for an hour every day and sick of sudoku? Hands love to knit but the brain gets bored? Riding out the recession as a streetcorner sign-twirler? Or maybe you've just got a burning desire for "cultural conversation of the depth you demand." If so, then Metafilter's own Colin Marshall has got what you need at the Marketplace of Ideas. [more inside]
Mixcloud is a website that allows anyone to upload a podcast/radio show/mix, and anyone else to stream it in-browser. A quick glance at the categories page should show you that it leans somewhat clubbish, but you can also find a fairly good range of music (e.g., musique concrete) and talk (e.g., Lithuanian politics) that's not so dancefloor-oriented. There are some big names posting on the site (Carl Cox, FACT mag, Mary Ann Hobbs), and a pretty good tag and search system for poking around what's available. I've been pleased to find a couple of dirty south car rap mixes, an Italian programme offering bitesize chunks of pop from Africa + the African diaspora, and regular postings from a rare soul/funk club night in Hull. Hopefully you can find something to suit
all most many some tastes.
Huffduffer is like Instapaper, but for audio. You can create your a personalized podcast from audioclips you find on the Internet, but don't want to listen to right that second. [more inside]
"For about six months now, Sound of Young America editor Nick White and I (Jesse Thorn) have been working on a secret project. Now, the secret can be revealed... please welcome WTF with Marc Maron, the public radio series!" [more inside]
365 Days of Astronomy is a 5-minute podcast where each episode is written and recorded by volunteers. Monthly night sky surveys; the early universe; seeing far– these podcasts are made by volunteers, and more are needed.
Despite the federal election focus on BC ridings, Vancouverites are having a hard time looking past the municipal. Things are quite dramatic in the urban planning scene. The city's regional growth plan was recently paralyzed by disagreement from Coquitlam. TransLink announced permanent cuts to bus service during Earth Week, describing it as "service optimization," highlighting its own chronic funding issues. The city successfully stopped a "megacasino" project after community backlash, but the $3 billion freeway Gateway Project continues despite ongoing protests. As the city struggles to find its way to the goal of Greenest City 2020, it's a good time to look at the paths not taken, via this excellent podcast on Vancouver's relationship with roadways. Part of a series called "Moving Through" from the Museum of Vancouver. [more inside]
Rob Walker, who writes the "Consumed" column for the New York Times Magazine, talks with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich about the whys and wherefores of their popular WNYC science radio show and podcast, RadioLab.
The Department. Regular listeners to The Bugle (previously) will have been missing their usual weekly dose of historico-politico-silliness. But there is a fallback. [more inside]
Ira Glass does an atypical bit of investigative reporting about an especially punitive drug court in rural Georgia. [more inside]
Following the success of The Haunter of The Dark, the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcasts presents two new readings, From Beyond and The Picture in The House, by Andrew Leman and Bruce Green. Both recordings are available "In 3D". Alternatively if you like your Lovecraft with both pictures AND sound, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society version of The Whisperer in Darkness is complete and being shown at worldwide film festivals - it's a talkie! (The HPLHS are now also offering a rather handsome "official membership" pack.) Want something more interactive? Cthulhu Dark offers a complete Lovecraftian tabletop RPG system that fits on two sides of a sheet of paper. Please note: "If you fight any creature you meet, you will die. Thus, in these core rules, there are no combat rules or health levels. Instead, roll to hide or escape."
99% Invisible is a quick hit public radio show about design by producer Roman Mars. The show recently kicked off its second season with a look at the periodic table (the "infographic apotheosis"), but season one includes episodes on maps, designing human habitats in space, city flags, semi-private public space, blind architect Chris Downey and more. [more inside]
Marc Maron — comedian, former Air America host, and now podcaster of WTF fame — attempts and fails(?) to interview prop-comedy bête noire Gallagher. Total batshit insanity ensues. (Interview starts just after the 20-minute mark; WTF podcast is of course NSFW.) [more inside]
Dogs Themselves - A 3-Part CBC Ideas Program (MP3) Do they think in visual images - or maps, or strings of ideas, or perhaps in whole stories? Do they think at all? [more inside]
Ted Chiang is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied. A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light. Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
A 3 hour podcast interview (part 2 here) with British comics legend Pat Mills, most famous for the anti-war WW1 strip Charley's War, the creation 2000ad and many of the most enduring characters within it, superhero hunter Marshall Law and numerous other comics. His work usually combines combines dark humour, a dash of left wing politics and ludicrous amounts of violence, now as much as ever with puritan zombie hunter Defoe. Subjects discussed in the intreview include the death of artist John Hicklenton, being Irish-English, Sláine and the comparitive lack of celtic heroes in modern popular culture, Oliver Cromwell and the Levellers. Bonus link: 20 pages of Metalzoic, Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neills "lost" story.
Twelve Tales of Christmas is a podcast just launched by The Guardian featuring notable modern authors, such as Jeanette Winterson, Ali Smith, Colm Toíbin and Julian Barnes, reading one of their favorite short stories, by authors including JG Ballard, Katherine Mansfield, Italo Calvino, Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Carver. A story will be posted daily for the next 12 days. The first author and story is Philip Pullman reading The Beauties by Anton Chekhov (mp3). [rss, iTunes]
Aaron's World - a kids podcast about dinosaurs, by a kid.
A simple idea: take an ordinary savings account, but instead of paying interest to account holders, hold a lottery to see who gets the lump sum. Freakonomics Radio investigates Prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts (Part 1, Part 2), which combine two things that seem completely at odds with each other: saving money and gambling. In Highland Park, MI, PLS accounts have been very successful at converting "non-savers" into "savers". Why hasn't it caught on in the US? It's illegal in most states, of course.
A Brief History of Mathematics is a BBC series of ten fifteen-minute podcasts by Professor Marcus du Sautoy about the history of mathematics from Newton and Leibniz to Nicolas Bourbaki, the pseudonym of a group of French 20th Century mathematicians. Among those covered by Professor du Sautoy are Euler, Fourier and Poincaré. The podcasts also include short interviews with people such as Brian Eno and Roger Penrose.
Philosopher Alvin Plantinga discusses the evolutionary argument against naturalism with philosopher Stephen Law. Plantinga, now retired from his position at Notre Dame, is one of the most well known analytic philosophers of recent times. The podcast is targeted at a non academic audience and keeps things on a fairly basic level in non-technical language. Plantinga and Law conduct a congenial, mutually respectful discussion of the issue. Previously. [more inside]
Chrontendo is a video podcast in which a guy systematically described and discusses every Famicom/NES game released. Currently up to 33 episodes and counting, and covering hundreds of games. [more inside]
Shows like This American Life, All Things Considered, and similar stalwarts of Public Radio in the UK, Australia, and Canada have combined with the explosion of podcastery to inspire hordes of (fantastic) imitators. The result? An irresistable smorgasbord of intellectual content. Bill Mckibben examines the history of the trend, and how it can be maintained. [more inside]
Splitsider posts a "Fairly Comprehensive Guide" to Comedy Podcasts. The comments thread begs to differ. [more inside]
Gay USA [slow-loading link, Wikipedia entry] is a long running weekly news show covering GLBT issues, hosted by Andy Humm and Ann Northrop. It can be found on Manhattan public access television, Free Speech TV [DISH Network channel 9145, DirecTV channel 348, local cable affiliates], via rss feed [individual episodes and subscribe link], and now as an iTunes podcast [iTunes link]. It is a valuable capsule summary for any who seek to stay on top of GLBT related politics, issues, and entertainment. [more inside]
The Island by Peter Watts (previously), winner of this years Hugo Award for Best Novelette. An audio version is available over at StarShipSofa (previously), itself a Hugo recipient.
A Widow's Journey [MP3]. "In 1989, Appapillai Amirthalingam - the most prominent political figure of the Tamil community - was assassinated at his home in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Twenty years on, the Tamil Tigers have been defeated by the military. Appapillai's wife and son travel back to their homeland in search of his legacy in an attempt to understand what the future holds for Sri Lanka's Tamil people."
Human society cannot be rationally understood until what it is seen it for what it is: The Story of Your Enslavement. [more inside]
What's China up to in Africa? What books should I read on the world's most populous nation? How's their environment doing? This, and much more from the weekly updated Sinica podcast. Hosted by Popup Chinese.
The Haunter of the Dark - The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast presents a superb reading of Lovecraft's last tale by Andrew Leman. Kenneth Hite gives some background to the story, which was part of a in-joke laden trilogy of stories by Lovecraft and Robert Bloch, in which they killed off thinly veiled fictional versions of each other.
Bob Ducca isn't just the saddest divorced man in the world, he's also an addict of 12 Step recovery programs, a sufferer of ailments unrecognized by the medical community, a remote controlled motor boat enthusiast, and the holder of the world record for longest sigh. [more inside]
Fish Schtick, a video tribute to the Fishstick, the official dance of You Look Nice Today, announced two years ago this week. With due credit to Archie Bell and the Drells' Tighten Up. Previously, previously.
David Mitchell's Soap Box features The Peep Show's David Mitchell giving his opinions on various topics. The new series starts with Mitchell pondering the myth of King Cnut attempting to turn back the tides. The comedian has covered many issues, such as respect for the elderly, beer and being asked how much one earns. You can also subscribe to the series as a video podcast [iTunes link]
BBC World Service has over 500 audio documentaries you can download. The subject matter is incredibly wide ranging, for example, internet cafés, the influence of Islamic art on William Morris, South African female AIDS activist Thembi Ngubane, Yiddish, the importance of cows, novelist Chinua Achebe, financial risk management, Obama as an intellectual, the physical and emotional effects of a car crash and many, many more. If the quantity and variety are overwhelming, you can subscribe to a podcast, which delivers a new documentary to you every single day.
Following Steve Eley stepping down as editor of Escape Pod, the first and probably most popular science fiction podcast magazine, Mur Laffety has taken up the reins. Probably best known for I Should Be Writing, a podcast for wanna-be fiction writers, Mur also currently hosts Tor.com's fiction podcast.
In the wake of their Webby nominations for their Bohemian Rhapsody video (previously), Nerdist Podcast interviews The Muppets. [46m, actual interview starts at 10m40s] Listen on the website, or find download links on the page to take it with you.
Known today mainly for hosting Web Soup on G4 (and MTV's Singled Out back in the mid '90s), Chris Hardwick also blogs at Nerdist and has recently started a podcast featuring long-form (hour-plus) interviews with such funny-smart characters as Andy Richter, MetaFilter's own Adam Savage, and his Soup-master/nemesis Joel McHale. Fresh Air this ain't. [more inside]
If you enjoy Jonathan Goldstein's contributions to This American Life or his recent book Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! you'll probably enjoy the quirky, self-depricating comedy of his newly podcast (previously) CBC show WireTap, now in its sixth season. [more inside]
Anglo-Saxon Aloud: Daily readings (and podcasts) from the Complete Corpus of Anglo Saxon Poetry, presented by Prof. Michael Drout, Wheaton College. For those that like to read along, the Corpus presented in text (no translation, though).
"Starting with the precedents set by Charles Ives and John Cage, VARIATIONS presents the principal milestones of Sampling Music, looking at examples from 20th century composition, popular art and the mass media, and the way all of these currents converge today." Curated by Jon Leidecker, who records and performs as Wobbly. "Poet Kenneth Goldsmith presents selections from UbuWeb, the learned and varietous online repository concerning concrete & sound poetry, experimental film, outsider art and all things avant-garde" in Avant-Garde All the Time. Goldsmith's the founding editor of UbuWeb and sometime DJ on WFMU as Kenny G. (Previously: CodPaste - a 14-part podcast about the history and practice of sound collage and mashups. )
Maybe you'd be interested in full, downloadable live concerts by Iggy Pop and David Bowie (1977), P. J. Harvey (1992), Neko Case (2006), or the Arcade Fire (2008)? The online, L.A.-based music publication Web in Front hosts a terrific collection of concert podcasts from rock bands and songsmiths of every era. From Talking Heads (1979) to Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. (1994); from dour troubadours like Lou Reed (1976) to dour troubadours like Nick Cave (1998), it's an inexhaustible trove. (Recent podcasts.)
How to Succeed in Evil is the story of Edwin Windsor, Evil Efficiency Consultant. He's like Arthur Anderson for Supervillans. A novel by Patrick E. Mclean (the guy behind the Seanachai podcast). The novel (promo mp3) will be available March 16th, but the entire thing is already available free in audiobook form as itunes files (zipped) (err..should be eventually but dropbox was giving a 500 error when I tried it) or mp3/stream. There is also a promo comic (pdf) illustrated by Nicolaus Rummel.
RadioLabour "presents 'The Solidarity Report', a half hour audiocast of international union news every Sunday morning." Main mover and presenter Marc Bélanger describes the journalistic and educational goals of the new service.
Due to a rewording of the rules Science Fiction podcast StarShipSofa (previously, previously, previously) could be eligible for a Hugo award. Meanwhile the current episode features The Gambler (text version here), a story by Paolo Bacigalupi - best known as the author of The Windup Girl, one of TIME Magazine's ten books of the year ("Not just science fiction, mind, but fiction, generally") and almost certainly a favorite for the Hugo's best novel category.
Go Superego is pretty funny. [Warning: bad words and adult concepts. Warning: no guarantee is made that you will personally find this funny. Warning: it's a podcast.] [more inside]
The Urban Bird Sounds Project and podcast. The students of Codman Academy Charter Public School have developed a free CD to help you learn to "recognize bird sounds in the city." [more inside]
The Tobolowsky Files is a series of podcasts by character actor Stephen Tobolowsky - one of Those Guys, a recognizable face that has popped up in a multitude of productions but stayed mostly in the background. Following the style of Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party, where he shares many stories from his experiences, the podcasts bring a fascinating, sometimes humor-filled and sometimes tragic, look on the life of this almost jack-of-all-trades actor. It is hard not to be pulled in as he speaks of the death of his mother, his wild journey through Paris as a young student with his girlfriend, and many other tales from acting jobs to the random people he's encountered throughout his years. [more inside]