'Everything is Alive' podcast interviews a bar of soap and other inanimate objects

I've only scratched the surface of former NPR producer Ian Chillag's podcast Everything is Alive but I'm already tickled by it. The premise: serious interviews with inanimate objects.

So far, Louis (a can of cola), Maeve (a lamppost), Dennis (a pillow), Tar (a bar of soap), Ana (an elevator), and Paul (a tooth), have had their time in the limelight. Listen in here.

(Waxy) Read the rest

Seth Godin's Akimbo podcast is definitely worth a listen

I generally don't listen to podcasts. It's not that I don't want to, it's that it's difficult for me because a) I'm not good at multi-tasking (listening and writing do not go hand in hand) and b) I don't have a commute. But I do make exceptions, especially when a podcast has been recommended to me.

The rotten thing, in this case, is that I can't remember who to thank for recommending Seth Godin's podcast to me. I took two trips to SoCal in the past two weeks, one by car and one by train, and got hooked on Akimbo. I listened to as much of it as I could while watching the beautiful state of California fly by me.

It's about how to change culture and it's terrific.

Akimbo is an ancient word, from the bend in the river or the bend in an archer's bow. It's become a symbol for strength, a posture of possibility, the idea that when we stand tall, arms bent, looking right at it, we can make a difference.

Akimbo's a podcast about our culture and about how we can change it. About seeing what's happening and choosing to do something.

The culture is real, but it can be changed. You can bend it.

Now, I think of Seth Godin as a marketing guy, and he is. But this podcast is something more. It goes beyond that. I guess what I'm saying is that I think it would be interesting to non-marketing folks. . Read the rest

Bubble, a new dystopian podcast sitcom!

The Maximum Fun podcast network (home to such shows as Judge John Hodgman (previously), Oh No Ross and Carrie (previously), and Sawbones) has just launched its most ambitious project to date: a science fiction sitcom about life in a domed city in a monster-haunted wasteland called Bubble, and it's hilarious. Read the rest

Podcast: Learn the hilarious stories behind the weird and quirky products of Archie McPhee

Want to know the stories behind finger hands, Handerpants (underpants for hands), and some of the other great novelty products from Seattle-based novelty giant Archie McPhee? I'm going to guess that you do. Let me point you to their new podcast Less Talk, More Monkey on iTunes and Google Play. It's hosted by my buddies-in-pop-culture Shana Danger, David Wahl, and Scott Heff.

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L.A. stories: New podcast looks at the real Los Angeles

Often when people think of Hollywood and Los Angeles, they perceive it to be glitzy and glamorous. The bubble is thick, but what is L.A. life really like?

In KCRW's new podcast Welcome to L.A., host David Weinberg bursts that bubble to examine what's really going on in (native-or-not) Angeleno culture.

He writes:

Since the first boosters marketed Los Angeles as a Paradise by the Sea people have been rolling into town with big dreams. And the city has crushed a lot of those dreams. In this series I explore a few of the many L.A.s that exist between the Pacific and the Mojave. And you’ll meet a lot of fascinating characters along the way.

A judge who throughout her career had been told to just keep her mouth shut. But she refused. And because of that she became a star.

The former voice of Ronald McDonald. He considers himself a sexual healer now. He convinces straight men in the military to have sex with him on camera and then sells those videos online.

A musician who spent his inheritance to put up a giant billboard of his face on Sunset Boulevard which was all part of a long game strategy to completely redesign the city of Los Angeles.

I'm your host David Weinberg and in Welcome to L.A. I take you into the corners of the city that L.A. noir fiction writers know. The seedy motels, the yachts, the broken down RVs and the mansions of the successful.

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Podcast asks: "What would you say to the one who got away?"

I've just learned of a lovely new podcast. It's called "The One Who Got Away" and this is what it's all about:

We all have a lost love, a forgotten romance, a missed connection. If you had the chance, what would you say to the one who got away?

The One Who Got Away is a new podcast by Oliver Blank, featuring you. In 2014, with the help of New York Times best-selling author John Green and PBS Digital's The Art Assignment, Oliver put a phone-number out into the wild that asked callers one simple question: “What would you say to the one who got away?”

Four years later, over three thousand people from all over the world have called the number and left their own messages for the one who got away. This short question taps into something all of us share: we all have someone or something that got away from us. These deeply moving messages reveal the spectrum and commonality of human emotion. The resentment of rejected lovers. Sweet streams of consciousness remembering an old friend. Playful anecdotes capturing a moment lost in time and preserved in memory.

The show is available on all major podcast providers, including iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher, listen and subscribe via www.theonewhogotaway.com.

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A new podcast hopes to solve an infamous unsolved death in Norway's Isdalen Valley

In November, 1970, just outside the Norwegian town of Bergen, two kids found the partially burnt remains of a woman's body. Surrounding the woman's remains were a number of objects: some bottles of water, a rubber boot and a burnt newspaper. All of the labels had been removed from the woman's clothing. Why the woman – known in Norway as the Isdal Woman, named for the remote valley that she was found in – died or who she was has been a mystery for close to 50 years.

Norwegian journalist Marit Higraff and BBC documentary maker Neil McCarthy are working to shed light on the Isdal Woman's very, very cold case. Working together, they've produced a new podcast called Death in Ice Valley. The first episode is available to download or stream, right now.

During the course of the podcast, Higraff and McCarthy will talk to those that investigated the crime back in the day, as well as forensic experts and anyone else they feel might propel them towards the answer of who the Isdal Woman was and why she died. But they're not stopping there. Listeners of the podcast are invited to talk to one another and the podcast's producers about the case on social media, in the hope that a breakthrough for the case could be crowdsourced.

I listened to the first episode yesterday. It starts slow, as many BBC radio productions often do. But the questions that the pair of journalists raise surrounding the Isdal Woman's death and what they uncovered, even in the first episode, has compelled me to continue with the series to see how things turn out. Read the rest

Dopey, a podcast on the 'dark comedy of drug addiction'

A few years back I wrote about Dave, one of the hosts of Dopey podcast. It was before Dopey though. Back then, he was working on another project that caught my fancy. It was good but can't tell you about it because he's gone anonymous for this one.

I can tell you about Dopey though, in Dave's words:

The show is about all things addiction related; using, crazy stories, consequences, and of course recovery. The format is basically a hang out between me, and my podcasting partner Chris. Between the two of us we’ve been to a million detoxes, rehabs and jail as well as used every substance under the sun besides angel dust. Our show is the first ever media platform to deal with addiction in a new way, a funny way, a way that doesn’t shame addicts for destroying their lives. Instead, Dopey celebrates the absurd life of an addict, the horrible mistakes, and the crushing defeats. We also champion recovery and sobriety without pandering or ever being overly sanctimonious.

Since they started just two years ago, they've gained a dedicated audience (known as "Dopey Nation") who downloads their show 40K times a month.

Dave writes, "Many of our listeners who have gotten clean have offered some gratitude to Dopey, saying it helped point them in the right direction. Others have said if two idiots like you guys could get clean, then anyone can."

Dr. Drew Pinsky will be a guest on their show this Saturday to talk about the opioid epidemic "raging through our country." Read the rest

A podcast where a straight white man listens to people from different walks of life

Straight White Guy Listening is an experimental five-part mini-documentary and podcast series where host Graham High (the straight white guy) interviews folks who are different from himself.

These earnest and conversational interviews explore contemporary topics with an emphasis on empathy. The host refrains from defensive commentary and, instead, actively listens, creating a space for the guests to explain their point of view without reproach. The show’s goal is to both create a platform for disenfranchised voices and to explore the act of listening.

In the first episode, Graham starts by going to San Francisco to learn about active listening skills from Dr. Kelsey Crowe, an empathy expert and co-author of There is No Good Card For This.

With his new skills, Graham heads to Sacramento to talk with Konnor, transgender man of color:

Full podcasts can be found here: episode 1, episode 2. And, of course, more are coming. Read the rest

TED Chief Chris Anderson on the neuroscience of memes and the future of TED

Before Chris Anderson bought it in 2001, the TED conference was like a hip indie band only the in-crowd knew about. It was cool, small, had incredible buzz, and always sold out its small-ish venue. An unabashedly for-profit jam, TED had never posted a video online (it was too early for that), and happened once a year in Monterrey, California.

What a difference a decade and a half makes. TED videos are now viewed 2.5 billion times per year, and volunteer-organized TEDx events – many of them far larger than the main conference – take place somewhere on our planet ten times a day. And TED no longer funnels earnings to an owner, but pours every dime earned by its cash cow of a main conference into spreading ideas, free of charge, to anyone and everyone on Earth.

Chris has strategized, managed, and overseen TED’s extreme makeover. We discuss it, Chris’s remarkable personal story, how evolution wired humans to transmit ideas via charismatic oratory, and much more in this week’s edition of the After On podcast. You can hear it by searching “After On” in your favorite podcast app, or by clicking right here:

Links to interviews with other thinkers, founders, and scientists can be found here, with topics including Fermi’s Paradox, quantum computing, drones, the dangers of superintelligence, synthetic biology, consciousness & neuroscience, augmented reality, and more.

Though I’ve known Chris for decades and have spent hundreds of hours in conversation with him, I learned quite a bit from this interview. Read the rest

Chris Anderson: Drone mogul and former bass player for REM (no, not *that* REM).

(Photo: Joi Ito, CC-BY)

He’s not the only major figure in the world of tech and ideas who goes by Chris Anderson. His namesake runs the TED conference - whereas the Chris Anderson of this article was Editor-in-Chief of Wired for twelve years. During that stint, he co-founded a company that helped launch the consumer drone industry, which he now runs (the company - not the industry).

There are those who think these guys are one solitary, mega overachiever, but no. They could settle who has rights to the name through some kind of brainy public smackdown - the nerd equivalent of a battle of the bands, say. But not a chance. This Chris Anderson has been through that once already. With his band. They were called REM.

No - not that REM. That REM clobbered Team Chris in musical combat back in 1991 (at the storied 9:30 club in Washington), winning rights to the name. Chris’s band then took Mike Mills’ suggestion that they rebrand as Egoslavia – a clever-ish name back when Yugoslavia wasn’t just a fading memory and a handful of spinoffs.

Chris and I cover this, plus the story of his impressively misspent youth in an hour-plus interview you can listen to right here (or by typing the name of the podcast series – “After On” – into the search bar of your favorite podcast app):

But we mainly talk about drones, his company (3D Robotics, or 3DR), and how he launched and grew it to millions in revenues in partnership with a Tijuana teen, while winning awards for running the world’s most influential tech magazine as a day job. Read the rest

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast covers Game of Thrones S7E4, "Spoils of War"

The fourth season of Game of Thrones hits its midpoint, and Boars, Gore, and Swords is here to push you out of the way of "Spoils of War".

Ivan and Red discuss the ongoing Stark family reunion, Arya coming into her own as a dual-wielding murder machine, Sansa's incredibly ability to count grain, Daenarys's saviorhood, and Jaime Lannister's attempt to save his raid from wiping.

To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon. Read the rest

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast covers Game of Thrones S7E3, "The Queen's Justice"

Listen: Boars, Gore, and Swords for Episode 3, "The Queen's Justice."

The new season of Game of Thrones has come ashore, and Boars, Gore, and Swords is ready to count the many fleets burned in their recap of "Queen's Justice". Ivan and Red discuss Cersei's worsening mental state, a surprisingly subtle torture, Tyrion's massive strategic self-own, and so much more.

To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon. Read the rest

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast covers Game of Thrones S7E2, "Stormborn"

HBO's Game of Thrones continues its new season, and Boars, Gore, and Swords is here to recap all the talky and fighty events in "Stormborn". Ivan and Red cover extremely gross pot pie transitions, reunions both affecting and not, Daenarys's managerial style, and Cersei's parallels to other floundering leaders.

To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon. Read the rest

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast catches up with every current Game of Thrones character

Boars, Gore, and Swords prepares for the imminent return of HBO's Game of Thrones by going through the list of every current character and their whereabouts as of the end of Season 6 in this refresher episode. Ivan and Red cover who's alive and who's been hardcore merced, what they might end up doing, and even throw in some Baby Driver and Spider-Man talk. And don't forget to check out all the extra episodes and content available on the Patreon.

To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. Read the rest

Podcast recommendation: Pod Save America

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of snark and insight to get you through the Trump administration, look no further than Pod Save America. Hosted by former Obama White House staffers Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Tommy Vietor, and Jon Lovett, the twice-weekly podcast starts with a conversation about current political events and then moves on to interviews with politicians, analysts, and social justice advocates. One particularly strong recent episode featured an interview with Elizabeth Warren, who was funny and frank in her assessment of the Democratic Party.

Pod Save America is the flagship series for a larger network of political podcasts, which also includes Tommy Vietor’s foreign policy-focused Pod Save The World and DeRay McKesson’s activist-focused Pod Save The People. You can learn more on the Crooked Media website. Read the rest

My guest-appearance on Hello From the Magic Tavern

I'm a huge fan of the fantastically rude improv/current affairs/high fantasy podcast Hello From the Magic Tavern, I've enjoyed it ever since I binge-listened to the first season halfway through. Read the rest

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