Open Culture has a new directory of the "Best Podcasts to Enrich Your Mind"

Open Culture has a page with capsule reviews of The 135 Best Podcasts to Enrich Your Mind. The list includes "great podcasts on art, music, history, philosophy, plus captivating true and imagined stories."

Some are familiar to me and I already subscribe to them. Here a few that are new to me that I just subscribed to:

Last Seen - Apple - Spotify - Google - Web Site - RSS -  It remains the most valuable — and confounding — art heist in history: 13 artworks stolen from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Twenty-eight years later, not a single piece in a haul worth half a billion dollars has surfaced. The art, and the thieves who made off with it, remain at large. With first-ever interviews, unprecedented access, and more than a year of investigative reporting, "Last Seen" takes us into the biggest unsolved art heist in history. A joint production from WBUR and The Boston Globe. Read more here.

Blackout - Apple - Spotify - Google - Academy Award winner Rami Malek stars in this apocalyptic thriller as a small-town radio DJ fighting to protect his family and community after the power grid goes down nationwide, upending modern civilization.

The Walk - Apple - Spotify - "Dystopian thriller, The Walk, is a tale of mistaken identity, terrorism, and a life-or-death mission to walk across Scotland. But the format of this story is — unusual. The Walk is an immersive fiction podcast, and the creators want you to listen to it while walking.

Read the rest

A new podcast explores the CIA's involvement with writing a hit song for the Scorpions

Journalist Patrick Radden Keefe has done plenty of extensive and gripping longform journalism, including his most recent book, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (which I could not recommend more highly). His newest project is a slight departure from covering topics of crime and radical separationists, but still deals heavily with espionage and subterfuge.

It's about the Scorpions, the English-speaking German rock band who rocked you like a hurricane. And also the CIA.

Here's the official blurb:

It’s 1990. The Berlin Wall just fell. The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. And the soundtrack to the revolution is one of the best selling songs of all time, the metal ballad “Wind of Change,” by The Scorpions. Decades later, journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumor: the song wasn’t written by The Scorpions. It was written by the CIA. This is his journey to find the truth.

Told through exclusive interviews with former CIA officers, on the ground reporting, and more - this podcast embodies the traditional tones of investigative journalism while keeping listeners on their toes through its cinematic pacing, simulating the theatricality of the critically acclaimed film Argo in a podcast. This 8-part series follows Patrick’s search for the truth, a 10 year investigation that traces the 70 year history of our government's meddling into pop music, including everyone from Louis Armstrong and Nina Simone, to Bon Jovi and the Beach Boys.

I've listened to the first two episodes available so far (which is also embedded below), and I'm absolutely hooked. Read the rest

Podcast interview Maureen Herman, former bassist of Babes in Toyland

I really enjoyed this episode of Coffee or Suicide with my friend Maureen Herman. She was the bassist for Babes in Toyland, and is a writer and a frequent contributor to Boing Boing. In this episode, she "talks about the need for access to mental health care services, her experiences with addiction and trauma, and why she never called herself a riot grrrl." Read the rest

Boing Boing contributor Thom Dunn interviewed on the Cool Tools podcast

My guest on the Cool Tools podcast this week is Thom Dunn, a frequent contributor here at Boing Boing! Read the show notes here.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page Read the rest

Interview with photographer Meeno Peluce about his favorite tools

My guest this week on the Cool Tools Podcast is Meeno Peluce. Meeno grew up as a successful child actor in Hollywood, and his kid sister is Soleil Moon Frye of Punky Brewster fame. He then moved behind the camera and has spent his life photographing and filming the world around him, from the burning ghats in Varanasi to the luminous landscapes of Tinseltown. He’s a proud Papa and ask him his profession, and he’ll tell you he’s a Meeno, and all that might entail. He gave himself the name when he was two in Nepal. It’s been an adventure of individualism and a constant search for personal experience ever since. You can find him on Instagram @meeno_the_man.

See show notes here Read the rest

What happens when you steadily ramp up the speed at which you listen to podcasts

Human speech averages 150 words/minute, but human thoughts run more like 400 words per minute. Steve Rousseau decided to try "podfasting" (listening to podcasts at faster-than-normal speed) at progressively higher speeds to see whether he could consume more of the internet-mattress-subsidized high-quality audio bubble as he could before that bubble burst. Read the rest

Podcast: The case for ... cities that aren't dystopian surveillance states

For my latest podcast, I read my Guardian Cities column, "The case for ... cities that aren't dystopian surveillance states," which was the last piece ever commissioned for the section. Read the rest

Uncovering two lost comedy albums from cult comic Dick Davy, who once championed civil rights and antiracism

Jason Klamm from the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) writes, "In late 2018, I uncovered the true identity of comic Dick Davy. Since starting his archive, I've come across some real gems, but in August, one find took the cake. His niece, Sharon, mailed me two records that had been sitting in a box, and it turns out these are unreleased acetates of material no one has heard in almost sixty years. I had Firesign Theatre archivist Taylor Jessen transfer and do a quick clean-up of them. This episode discusses their contents and what their future might be." (MP3) Read the rest

Radicalized is a Canada Reads finalist, will be a graphic novel, and is eligible for the Hugo Award!

My 2019 book Radicalized has been named one of the five finalists for Canada Reads, the CBC's annual book prize -- Canada's leading national book award, alongside of the Governor General's award! Read the rest

Extraterrestrials, UFOs, and the Voyager Golden Record

The wonderful Brains On! science podcast for kids just completed a four part series on "Making Sense of Myths" and the final episode, "Aliens and UFOs," includes an interview with me about the Voyager Golden Record! Listen above! Of course the Voyager Golden Record is the iconic message for extraterrestrials attached to the Voyager I and II space probes launched by NASA in 1977. The Voyager Record tells a story of our planet expressed in sounds, music, images, and science, from Bach to Blind Willie Johnson to Chuck Berry, to greetings in dozens of human languages (and one whale language).

A few years ago, my friends Timothy Daly, Lawrence Azerrad, and I released the Voyager Golden Record on vinyl for the first time, as a lavish box set. Our project's resonance with the public, and the Grammy that we were honored to receive for it, are really a testament to the majesty of the original record and brilliance of its creators.

I hope the story of the Voyager Record included in this Brains On! episode sparks kids' imaginations and instills a sense of wonder about humanity's place in the universe! It certainly does for me.

The Voyager Golden Record 3xLP Vinyl Box Set and 2xCD-Book edition is available from Ozma Records.

Read the rest

Podcast: Inaction is a form of action

In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my latest Locus column, Inaction is a Form of Action,, where I I discuss how the US government's unwillingness to enforce its own anti-monopoly laws has resulted in the dominance of a handful of giant tech companies who get to decide what kind of speech is and isn't allowed -- that is, how the USG's complicity in the creation of monopolies allows for a kind of government censorship that somehow does not violate the First Amendment. Read the rest

Podcast: Science fiction and the unforeseeable future: In the 2020s, let’s imagine better things

In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my Globe and Mail editorial, Science fiction and the unforeseeable future: In the 2020s, let’s imagine better things, where I reflect on what science fiction can tell us about the 2020s for the Globe's end-of-the-decade package; I wrote about how science fiction can't predict the future, but might inspire it, and how the dystopian malaise of science fiction can be turned into a inspiring tale of "adversity met and overcome – hard work and commitment wrenching a limping victory from the jaws of defeat." Read the rest

Michael Moore just launched a new podcast and it's great, full of hope and anger

I just got back from a longer-than-usual family holiday during which I did much less work than I usually do when I'm off (I recommend both to you!), but one exception I made was tuning into Michael Moore's outstanding new podcast, Rumble, which Moore records from his apartment, usually with a special guest (I tuned in when I saw that he'd done an episode with the wonderful Anand "Winners Take All" Giridharadas (previously). Read the rest

A great new podcast explores the cultural and political impact of the Only Band That Matters: the Clash

I met Andy Bothwell on Warped Tour in the summer of … 2003, I think? My friends' emo band had somehow secured a spot on the Code Of Tha Cuts Hip-Hop side stage. He jumped on stage to freestyle during a song in his MC alias as Astronautalis, and absolutely blew me away. We did a few shows together over the next couple years, but I've remained a huge fan of his talkin'-blues-indie-rock beats ever since. He's gone on to tour with artists like Tegan & Sara, and recently put out a new collaboration with POS from Doomtree that — coincidentally — includes a song about the late great Joe Strummer.

Being that I was a teenager hanging out on Warped Tour, it's perhaps no surprise that I'm a huge of the Clash. But I was surprised to find that this brilliant indie rapper I'd hung out with a few times was hosting Consequence of Sound's new podcast, The Opus, and that the latest season would focus on the only band that matters.

Admittedly, I haven't listened to the other seasons of The Opus yet, which focus on albums by Willie Nelson, Ozzy Osbourne, and more. But the three-part series on "London Calling" is absolute essential listening. Bothwell oozes excitement as he talks about the band's magnum opus. He also brings on a diverse range of guests to share their own takes, including Lee "Scratch" Perry, Laura Jane Grace from Against Me!, Donita Sparks, Houston rapper Fat Tony, and more. Read the rest

Party Discipline, a Walkaway story (Part 4 -- the final part!)

In my latest podcast (MP3), I conclude my serial reading of my novella Party Discipline, which I wrote while on a 35-city, 45-day tour for my novel Walkaway in 2017; Party Discipline is a story set in the world of Walkaway, about two high-school seniors who conspire to throw a "Communist Party" at a sheet metal factory whose owners are shutting down and stealing their workers' final paychecks. These parties are both literally parties -- music, dancing, intoxicants -- and "Communist" in that the partygoers take over the means of production and start them up, giving away the products they create to the attendees. Walkaway opens with a Communist Party and I wanted to dig into what might go into pulling one of those off.

Here's part 1 of the reading, here's part 2, and here's part 3.

We rode back to Burbank with Shirelle on my lap and one of my butt-cheeks squeezed between the edge of the passenger seat and the door. The truck squeaked on its suspension as we went over the potholes, riding low with a huge load of shopping carts under tarps in its bed. The carts were pretty amazing: strong as hell but light enough for me to lift one over my head, using crazy math to create a tensegrity structure that would hold up to serious abuse. They were rustproof, super-steerable and could be reconfigured into different compartment-sizes or shelves with grills that clipped to the sides. And light as they were, you put enough of them into a truck and they’d weigh a ton.

Read the rest

My annual Daddy-Daughter Xmas Podcast: interview with an 11-year-old

Every year, I record a short podcast with my daughter, Poesy. Originally, we'd just sing Christmas carols, but with Poesy being nearly 12, we've had a moratorium on singing. This year, I interviewed Poe about her favorite Youtubers, books, apps, and pass-times, as well as her feelings on data-retention (meh) and horses (love 'em). And we even manage to squeeze in a song! Read the rest

From Enron to Saudi Arabia, from Rikers Island to ICE's gulag, how McKinsey serves as "Capitalism's Consigliere"

On this week's Intercepted podcast (MP3) (previously), host Jeremy Scahill (previously) takes a long, deep look at the history of McKinsey and Company, whose consultants are the architects of ICE's gulags, a failed, high-cost initiative to curb violence at Rikers Island that used falsified data to secure ongoing funding -- a company whose internal documents compare management consultants to "the Marine Corps, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Jesuits" and whose government contracts bill out freshly hired, inexperienced junior consultants at $3m/year. Read the rest

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