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Best podcast episode ever - Mystery Show Case #3: Belt Buckle

belt-buckle

In the 1980s a nine-year-old boy found an elaborate belt buckle on a Phoenix street. It had a chef's hat, a frying pan with eggs (painted yellow and white), a corkscrew, and a toaster with tiny pieces of toast that pop out when you flick a tiny switch. Truly a magical thing for kid to find in a gutter. The belt buckle was inscribed with the name "Hans Jordi." The boy gave the belt buckle to friend, and that friend hung on to it for decades.

The Mystery Show Podcast is a show that helps people solve everyday mysteries. I love it. In this episode (which ran in June) host and co-producer Starlee Kine helps her friend, the person in possession of the belt buckle, attempt to track down Hans Jordi and return the belt buckle to him. It's wonderful, emotional story, and I'm not going to say anything more about it. I think it might be the best single podcast episode I've heard.

Mystery Show Case #3: Belt Buckle

Interview with Windell Oskay, Co-Founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Windell Oskay is the co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, a Silicon Valley company that has designed and produced specialized electronics and robotics kits since 2007. Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories also runs a popular DIY project blog, and many of its projects have been featured at science and art museums and in Make, Wired, and Popular Science magazines. He's the co-author of the recently published book, The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory.

See shownotes and links to the tools Windell uses.

windell-oskay

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My friend and Cool Tools business partner Kevin Kelly and I are podcast fanatics. We’d like to find out what your favorite non-fiction podcasts are and why you like them. Please take this survey to help us create a Guide to the Best Non-Fiction Podcast Series.

A mid-century UFO hoax

One of my all-time favorite podcasts, Nate DiMeo's Memory Palace, is back and on a weekly schedule. In the latest episode, Nate tells the story of a mid-century UFO hoax.

And don't miss Nate's live shows in Seattle, Portland, and LA!

Interview with Ben Krasnow, the guy who made his own electron microscope

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Every week on the Cool Tools Show podcast, Kevin Kelly and I interview an interesting person, and ask them about four of their favorite tools. Our guest this week is Ben Krasnow. Ben works at Google[x], Google’s semi-secret technology development facility, where he creates advanced prototypes. Ben previously developed virtual reality hardware at Valve. After work, he spends time on various projects that usually involve circuit design, machining, and chemistry. Ben makes things that usually require a lot of money and sophisticated equipment: an electron scanning microscope, silica aerogel, and freeze-dried astronaut ice cream (I’ve tasted it, and it’s spectacular). You can follow Ben’s projects on his youtube channel, Applied Science.

How Google uses behavioral science to make work suck less

From Dilbert to Fight Club to Joe Versus the Volcano, the world of white-collar drones and managerial ineptitude has long been a goldmine for parody.Read the rest

LISTEN: Rare George RR Martin/Howard Waldrop collaboration

Tony from the Starship Sofa podcast writes, "Listen to George R R Martin's The Men of Greywater Station over at StarShipSofa. It is the first time this story has appeared anywhere online. It was written with Howard Waldrop in 1976 and appeared in Amazing Science Fiction magazine."

Read the rest

Poverty is a tax on cognition

In an outstanding lecture at the London School of Economics, Macarthur "genius award" recipient Sendhil Mullainathan explains his research on the psychology of scarcity, a subject that he's also written an excellent book about.

Read the rest

Today's jam: Embrace the Sun!

This morning's walk delivered a new jam, courtesy of the music in the latest Welcome to Nightvale "Weather" segment: Sifu Hotman's Embrace the Sun.

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Is The Magician’s TV Quentin Too Handsome?

Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt talk about the latest in science fiction and fantasy. Everything you’ve ever read seems to be coming to TV. Plus Veronica tries to uncover Tom’s secret political conspiracy, while Tom changes Veronica’s opinion of 1940s era swashbuckling.

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The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

LISTEN: Overcoming our irrational and sometimes crippling fear of rejection with Jia Jiang

What if you could give yourself a superpower – not Hulk-level strength, not telekinesis, but something realistic, something that added a superhuman ability by taking away a normal human limitation?

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Kazuo Ishiguro on writing, characters and novels

Rick Kleffel sez, "I spoke with Kazuo Ishiguro about his new book, The Buried Giant, and his means of using the literary toolkit of the fantastic to excavate the human psyche. It proved to be great fun. "

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Podcast of two Kim Stanley Robinson Martian stories

Tony from Starshipsofa sez, "StarShipSofa podcast is very proud this week to have two short stories by the great science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. First up is the 1999 short story Purple Mars, then we play Discovery Mars published in 2000. Both stories can be found in KSR's Martians collection."

Kickstarting more episodes of the podcast Aaron Swartz helped start

Ben Winkler and Aaron Swartz created "The Good Fight," a podcast about David and Goliath stories; now Winkler is raising money to keep the series going.

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Podcast: should I worry about this?


Eden Robins sez, "My friend Cat Oddy and I worry a lot, so we decided to create a podcast to exorcise those worries: we research a different topic for each episode, and then discuss if it is actually worth worrying about."

Read the rest

Interview with Elfquest's Wendy and Richard Pini

In my spare time, when I'm not protecting wildlife with the National Wildlife Federation or guest-blogging for Animal Planet and here at Boing Boing, I'm also the co-host of a podcast called The Elfquest Show, about one of America's longest-running fantasy series, with my fellow uber-geek Ryan Browne.

I was lucky enough to sit down with series' creators Wendy and Richard Pini to record this interview for the show. We talked about the events of the latest Elfquest story arc called The Final Quest, the difference in fan reactions today versus 36 years ago when the series premiered, and a lot of other juicy tidbits.

If you're an existing Elfquest fan, or are just curious about the series, give it a listen.

Boing Boing will remember that The Final Quest story arc of this epic, long-running fantasy series launched right here a couple of years ago.

The series is now several issues in and is published both in print and digitally by Dark Horse Comics.

Serial and the uncomfortable sensation of reality radio

hae-min-lee This American Life offshoot Serial, where Sarah Koenig is presently digging into the 1999 murder of 18 year-old Hae Min Lee, has become a sensation. Koenig's deep dive into the oddly-patchy evidence and her interviews with key people -- notably Hae's ex boyfriend Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the crime and is still incarcerated -- has turned a nation of listeners and Redditors into amateur sleuths and jurors.

There is something unsettling about The Guardian's recent series of photographs of the case's key locations: it's their bleakness, their small town-ness. Or maybe it's because they serve as a reminder that what's effectively become "reality radio" for listeners concerns a real-life place, a real victim and family.

The Guardian also interviewed Syed's family on what the apparently wholly-unexpected Serial sensation has meant for them. It's certainly interesting to listen to Koening's methodical study of the case, and my household's definitely hooked. Wouldn't it be amazing if her work leads to the truth about a situation where there arguably weren't enough answers?

Watching the murder become property of public opinion—especially with Syed's brother being told by a Reddit moderator that a key witness and former person of interest in the crime might be participating in the threads—leads to complex feelings.