Jon Ronson On "Each week in a series of interviews, short location reports, scripted monologues, phone calls etc, Jon Ronson delves into a world of personal stories surrounding the central theme which all shed light on the human condition." You can download all the episodes here.
Audiophoolery: Pseudoscience in Consumer Audio. You might think that a science-based field like audio engineering would be immune to the kind of magical thinking we see in other fields. Unfortunately, you would be wrong [...] As a consumerist, it galls me to see people pay thousands of dollars for fancy-looking wire that’s no better than the heavy lamp cord they can buy at any hardware store. Or magic isolation pads and little discs made from exotic hardwood that purport to “improve clarity and reduce listening fatigue,” among other surprising claims. The number of scams based on ignorance of basic audio science grows every day. Via.
Randy Moller is the radio announcer for the Florida Panthers. In the tradition of Jack Brickhouse's "Hey Hey", and Harry Caray's "Holy Cow", Moller, tends to get exuberant. [more inside]
MAN is one of a number of animals that make things, but man is the only one that depends for its very survival on the things he has made. That simple observation is the starting point for an ambitious history programme that the BBC will begin broadcasting on January 18th in which it aims to tell a history of the world through 100 objects in the British Museum (BM). A joint venture four years in the making between the BM and the BBC, the series features 100 15-minute radio broadcasts, a separate 13 episodes in which children visit the museum at night and try to unlock its mysteries, a BBC World Service package of tailored omnibus editions for broadcasting around the world and an interactive digital programme involving 350 museums in Britain which will be available free over the internet. The presenter is Neil MacGregor, the BM’s director, who has moved from the study of art to the contemplation of things. “Objects take you into the thought world of the past,” he says. “When you think about the skills required to make something you begin to think about the brain that made it.” via The Economist [more inside]
On December 24th, 1979, radio personality Alan Maitland started a tradition on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's program As It Happens. That Christmas Eve, Maitland read a Frederick Forsyth story that featured the unlikely meeting of a Vampire and a Mosquito. His telling has been re-aired every year since. [more inside]
Just because those amateur radio operators on the Jay Leno show can out-text Ben Cook, former world SMS champion (160 chars in 57 seconds or about 33 wpm), doesn't mean that you can't try to beat them by joining them: iDitDahText lets you input Morse code on your iPhone with a software iambic keyer at up to 50 words per minute, no sleeve garters or green-visor required.
The Third Coast International Audio Festival recognizes excellence in audio documentary, and the 2009 awards have been announced. You can listen to all of the winners' work as well as a two hour broadcast of the highlights.
The last announcer plays the last record. The last watt leaves the transmitter. Circles the globe in search of a listener.
The end of (big) radio? Citadel, the 3rd largest in the US, announced chapter 11 bankruptcy today. Even Clear Channel, the largest US broadcaster is seeing a huge decline in revenue. Failed innovation and an increasing disenfranchised listenership coupled with massive revenue declines are increasingly showing the decline of the medium as a whole.
In 1975 and again in 1984-1992 Dr. Demento was distributed on LP vinyl records. There was a history of distributing shows on transcription discs, but this and other shows are now found all over the internet along with other forms of "bootlegs" thanks to digital recording and LP record players co-existing. [more inside]
WNYC's Radiolab took a look into Orson Welles' 1938 radio production of H.G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused mass panic in the United States when listeners mistook a radio drama for actual reporting. They then explored the question of whether such hysteria could be recreated in a similar way, recounting stories from Quito, Ecuador in 1949 and Buffalo, New York in 1968. (There was one other attempt in Santiago, Chile in 1944 which is not mentioned in the Radiolab synopsis.)
Type Design on the Radio. TTBOOK (previously) does an hour-long program about typography (podcast here, RM stream here). Segments include interviews with Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones of Gotham fame (they say their "Obama Font" worked best of those in the campaign; others agree), a Verdana-centric interview with Matthew Carter (he comments on the IKEA kerfluffle), and interview Kitty Burns Florey, author of Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting . [more inside]
Comparemyradio.com analyses the playlist data from all the major UK radio stations. If you want to know who's playing the current number one, what's the overlap between Radio One & Two or whether you should bother checking out Radio Six, this is the site for you.
WKBW aired a night of Halloween Goodies on Halloween Night 1973. Its quite worth the listen,especially the intro to the entire night. More within..... [more inside]
"I leave with a heavy heart as part of the changes that have, in my humble opinion, destroyed the station that I helped to set up 29 years ago."
Radio Fail documents (mostly UK) radio bloopers and cock-ups.
Radio Fail documents (mostly UK) radio bloopers and cock-ups.
BBC Streams has rekindled my love of all things BBC Radio 4, now I can listen to The Today Programme on my iPhone whilst on my commute.
"QSL cards confirm either a two-way radiocommunication between two amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station. They can also confirm the reception of a two-way radiocommunication by a third party listener. A typical QSL card is the same size and made from the same material as a typical postcard, and most are sent through the mail as such." Here's a substantial collection of them.
Bridge to Somewhere: Lessons from the New Deal, an American RadioWorks documentary, chronicles Roosevelt's recovery-through-work programs (the CCC, the WPA, and the PWA) and their lasting impact on America's infrastructure. Rich with oral histories and actualities.
Japan -- Media Environment Open; State Looms Large (August 2009, PDF) [more inside]
Old-time radio (often abbreviated as "OTR," also known as the Golden Age of Radio) refers to a period of radio programming in the United States lasting from the proliferation of radio broadcasting in the early 1920s until television's replacement of radio as the dominant home entertainment medium in the 1950s, with some programs continuing into the early 1960s. The origin of radio dramas in the United States is hard to pin down, but there is evidence of a remote broadcast of a play in 1914 at Normal College (now California State University at San José), and the first serial radio drama was an adaptation of a play by Eugene Walter, entitled "The Wolf," which aired in September 1922. Given the age of the programs and the fact that home reel-to-reel recording started in the 1950s (followed by Philips "compact cassettes" in 1963), it might be surprising that quite a few of these old shows have survived. Thanks in part to original radio station-sourced recordings made on aluminum discs, acetates, and glass recordings and other unnamed sources, many radio dramas and newscasts from decades past are available online, and more are being digitized and restored to this day. [more inside]
Back of the Mike | Around the Corner | Behind the Bright Lights | Sky Billboards | Just a Spark [more inside]
Expanding Mind - "This week's guest is Dennis McKenna, ethnobotanist, expert in the pharmacology of ayahuasca and other visionary plants, and brother of legendary mushroom bard Terence McKenna." (via) [more inside]
Sydney radio station 2dayFM earned the ire and backlash of the Australian public - rape counsellors, Australian media, and Community Services ministers - after an on-air stunt by morning crew Kyle and Jackie O went horribly wrong. During their regular "lie detector" segment, a 14-year-old girl was interrogated by the hosts and her mother over her sexual history, against her will, and revealed that she had been raped at 12 on air (warning: possibly triggering audio clip embedded in news article). [more inside]
Urban exploration has been featured here once or twice before, but Jim Griffioen's site photo-documenting his discoveries in and around Detroit deserves a look. Griffioen was recently interviewed [direct mp3 link] on the American Public Media radio program The Story. [more inside]
Don't want to wait until bedtime (UK bedtime that is) to drift off to Sailing By (one of Jarvis Cocker's Desert Island Discs)? Well thanks to permanent bedtime you can listen to the BBC shipping forecast all day. Oh? What's that? It's no use because it's from months ago? Okay, here's the Met Office current data, and the listen again page on the beeb. Or test yourself: can you name all the weather areas?
"This Friday, June 12, TV stations nationwide will cease broadcasting analog signals and switch to digital-only broadcasts. That’s fine with me. I have a digital television, and I have cable anyway, so it won’t affect me. At least that’s what I thought. Only recently did I realize that one of my favorite ways to enjoy television will go away. Starting Friday, I can no longer get TV on the radio."
The English town of Doncaster has a new mayor. English Democrat Peter Davies was elected on the 8th of June 2009. His first engagement in his new role was an interview with the local BBC Radio station. Listen here (MP3 link) with a transcript here.
Adventures in Odyssey is a twenty-year-old children's radio series out of Focus on the Family "The series centers on the fictional town of Odyssey, and in particular, an ice cream emporium named 'Whit's End', and its proprietor, John Avery Whittaker." [more inside]
The FCC investigated a pirate radio station in Boulder, Colorado earlier this month and left a copy of their official inspection policy asserting that they have the authority to perform warrantless searches of private property if there is any FCC-licensed equipment on the property, including cordless phones, cell phones, wireless routers, intercom systems, and baby monitors. [more inside]
In last night's Sony Radio Awards - the UK's radio equivalent of the Oscars - Electric Radio Brixton won four prizes, including 2 gold awards. The kicker? It is broadcast for and by inmates in Brixton Prison 24 hours a day, part of an ambitious project by the Prison Radio Association. Some background here. [more inside]
War of the Roses These are trashy, but fun, 3-8 minute radio segments in which suspected cheaters are tricked into revealing their dirty sinful business over the phone. Typically, the DJ posing as a local flower shop tells a suspect boyfriend he has won a free bouquet of roses; will he send the roses to his girlfriend or to the dreaded Other Woman? The girlfriend waits in silence to ambush him if he gives the wrong answer. Some are sad. Some are infuriating. Most, I'm ashamed to say, are pretty funny.
On March 18, 39 licensed amateur radio operators were apprehended throughout Brazil for clandestine activities of telecommunication. This followed six months of investigations from local officials who received information from the US Department of Defense in regards to unauthorized use of Fleet Satellite Communications System. These geosynchronous satellites, also known as FLTSAT, were used by the U.S. Navy for UHF radio communications between ships, submarines, airplanes and ground stations. These satellites are simple repeaters with no authentication or control over what they retransmit. But the illicit satellite use was not limited to those experimenting with radio systems. Truck drivers love the birds because they provide better range and sound than ham radios. Rogue loggers in the Amazon use the satellites to transmit coded warnings when authorities threaten to close in. Drug dealers and organized criminal factions use them to coordinate operations. [more inside]
Oregon! Oregon! A Centennial Fable in Three Acts is a musical comedy by famed radio comedian and Looney Tunes voice actor Stan Freberg that was commissioned in 1959 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Oregon statehood. This year, on the 150th anniversary, Stan Freberg and Pink Martini will revive the musical with a new 4th act written by Freberg (check out the complete Pink Martini concert on the page). For more Freberg goodness check out these 15 episodes of his radio show and this 1999 interview which includes some of his classic sketches (sketches in RealAudio format).
Construction of Radio Equipment in a Japanese POW Camp: A tale of human ingenuity.
For the fourteenth year, Yo La Tengo will murder the classics tonight. (Previously: 2002 2006 2007 2008) [more inside]
"We are urging music stations all over the U.S. to send us photos of their gold and platinum records." Hearings are starting on the RIAA's new pet bill. They're feeling the pinch and would like a few of their gold records back. [more inside]
the doyouinverts sings songs about old friends who don't play videogames anymore, Edge Magazine's scoring system and a love song to an imported Japanese videogame. They are a regular feature on British videogame radio show/podcast One Life Left.
Paul Harvey 1918 - 2009. At 7:30 PM the Paul Harvey site looked like this. Now if looks like this. (via) [more inside]
Feel like listening to a concert tonight? Something classical? Or maybe folk is a bit more your style? World? Jazz? Nearly every day, two or three more live concert recordings are added to CBC Radio2's 'Concerts on Demand' library, with nearly 900 concerts now in the list. Each concert is given just as presented live, and you can either stream the whole thing, or choose track by track. Timings are given for all the music, and photo galleries and full descriptions and credits round it all off. All in all, it's a fabulous presentation, and there is more music here than you will ever be able to keep up with!
A tale of two countries Some time ago, the french & German tv channel Arte had created an internet extension devoted to audio only, Arteradio. This website contains hours of audio creations. This is the place where you can listen to The first radio drama /la première fiction radio /in two languages and one version /en deux langues et une seule version /a BBC-ARTE Radio coproduction /enregistrée à Paris et London /recorded on location /diffusée en hertzien /broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 on February, 4th, 2009 /online on arteradio.com. You can also listen to McKenzie Wark, or to the moment of silence created on September the eleventh 2002, to Steve, to English pupils in Paris, to Susan George, to Dean Hurley commenting his work, and then dive into the complete unknown, and pure French sounds, like these testimonies about masturbation, or about la chanson, like a Paris postcard, or even a street snapshot.
Progressive rock was kicked off American radio circa 1985 (not so much fired as pressured into resigning); today, there's virtually nothing on mainstream radio in an odd meter (5/4, 7/8, etc.). At Odd Time Obsessed, though, everything is. [more inside]
Radio Lajee is one lone Aussie woman in the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank, teaching young Palestinians how to podcast and share their stories with the world. The project's been going for a little over six weeks, but already there's four episode up on the site; all of them in English. These include a story about the beginning of the Camp, a day in the life of a 14 year old Palestinian girl, a celebration of the traditional dance style of Dabke and a cooking segment by future celebrity chef, Amal Abu Srour.
Public Radio Podcasts : NPR is a treasure trove of great audio content but most of it is not accessible via a podcast feed. This site uses the NPR API to construct proper podcast feeds for their shows that don't current have feeds (e.g. Morning Edition, All Things Considered) as well as per reporter and topic based feeds. Enjoy! [via mefi projects]
The poet is a radio. The poet is a liar. The poet is a counterpunching radio. Jack Spicer was a poet, linguist, & early gay rights activist. For a long time, his poetry was out of print and difficult to find, but now Wesleyan University Press has (finally!) published his collected poems. The book takes its title from Spicer’s last words: My Vocabulary Did This to Me. [more inside]
Produced and recorded in the studios of Kootenay Co-op Radio in Nelson, British Columbia, Deconstructing Dinner has been designed to dispense and discuss current food issues. This weekly radio show hosted by Jon Steinman features a wide range of topics revolving around food security. [more inside]