Prof Vincent Racaniello at Columbia University created “This Week in Virology” over three years ago, then added “This Week in Parasitism” followed by “This Week in Microbiology”. Each presents discussions amongst experts about current publications and email questions from professionals and lay listeners. Education in each area is useful to understand the discussion, but not essential. What really is obvious, after you listen to some episodes, is a need for everyone to better understand the material because it impacts on everything we do. These podcasts definitely address that problem. An outstanding example of TWIV is episode 160 at http://www.twiv.tv/. An outstanding example of TWIP is episode 22 at http://www.microbeworld.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=99&Itemid=259. An excellent example of TWIM is episode 16 at http://www.microbeworld.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=107&Itemid=275.
Lisa Hendrickson is an IT professional who created Call That Girl (http://www.callthatgirl.biz/) for computer repair. She and her increasing number of employees often do their work remotely since most computer problems are software related. Remote repairs are much more convenient for customers and the cost is often less than for a house visit or shop call. Her contribution to a field dominated by men, and her creation of jobs within the United States make her both very innovative and a role model for younger women. She has been interviewed four times for about four hours worth of discussion covering how she evolved, at http://www.podnutz.com in episodes 274, 302, 316 and just this week in number 332.
Zionism isn’t something that started before Christ was born. How and why it came to be is discussed in two Canadian broadcasts at http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2011/10/24/zionism-from-within-part-1/ and http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2011/10/25/zionism-from-within-part-2/. Here’s the summary from the web site: “Since appearing on the international stage in the 19th century, Zionism has evoked strong emotions, both positive and negative. Nowhere have its meaning and aims been more hotly debated than amongst Zionists themselves. Frank Faulk speaks with Zionists about the movement’s troubled history and the current struggle over its meaning.”
Last year Stephen Colbert interviewed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson for eighty-four minutes and the entertaining results about science and the universe are at http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/watch/2010/01/29/stephen-colbert-interview-montclair-kimberley-academy. The interview is fun, educational and thought-provoking by two very intelligent people about what can oftentimes be very dry subjects. A family or classroom of young or old students will enjoy this. It’s a year old and I just discovered it!
We are full of exosomes, another tiny new piece of human biology, and once discovered they appear to be useful in delivering treatment for degenerative diseases. The Science Show from Australia provided exosome details and discussion buried inside two podcasts, one on 12.03.2011 at the end, and then at the beginning of the 12.09.2011 episode. Start at http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/feed/2885480/podcast.xml where all the episodes are shown and download the Dec 3 and 9 entries.
Lastly the BBC did a nice documentary piece about orphanages in Bali which are created to generate income for owners rather than kids. It’s probably a model for many charitable activities around the world. Somehow I feel that all the cute puppies and kittens in pet shops that are bought and later discarded or abused also fit this model. Very sobering account, found at http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/docarchive/rss.xml under the title “Exposing Bali’s Orphanages”.