The following audio files were selected from a larger group of 108. The link to each podcast is at the highlighted topic and reached by double-clicking or ctrl-clicking it. All 16 podcasts converted to 1.5x speed with two exceptions can be downloaded as a 134 MB zip file here for four months.
Journal Access and Policy Testing 30 mins – The first item in this four-item edition is the Finch report, a UK Government report into science publishing. “Its findings were not widely covered despite feelings running high about the influence of the multimillion pound science publishing industry. Many scientists are unhappy with the current science publishing system, where important research findings are published in commercial journals. They say scientific data gleaned from publicly funded research should be freely available.” Mention is made of Aaron Swartz who is in trouble for bootlegging over 18,000 research papers. The digest item is about Policy testing by use of randomized trials. Scientist and journalist Ben Goldacre describes a new push to use methods from medical testing to examine the effectiveness of government social policy initiatives. The last two items concern new solar cells and sustainable packaging. To download the podcast go to the link, locate “Material World: 28th June: Science publishing, science in social policy, science wins prizes and science in packaging,” right click “material_20120628-1800b.mp3” and select “Save Link As.”
Crony Capitalism 66 mins – “Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago and author of A Capitalism for the People … argues that the financial sector has used its political power to enhance the size of the sector and the compensations executives receive. This is symptomatic of a larger problem where special interests steer resources and favors based on their political influence. Zingales argues for a capitalism for the people rather than a capitalism for cronies or the politically powerful. The conversation concludes with a plea by Zingales to his fellow economists to speak out against behavior that is legal but immoral–lobbying Congress for special treatment that exploits others to benefit one’s own industry, for example.” During the interview the concept of Bootlegers and Baptist Theory of Regulation by Bruce Yandle is noted. He discusses this for 68 mins in 2007 and “… explains why politics makes such strange bedfellows and the often peculiar alliance of self-interested special interests with more altruistic motives. He uses his insights to explain some of the seemingly perverse but politically understandable effects of the Clean Air Act, the tobacco settlement and other regulation.”
Drug Restrictions 60 mins – an extended interview with the scientist and former government drugs adviser Professor David Nutt. Prof Nutt has written a book Drugs – Without the Hot Air: Minimizing the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs and has been a vociferous and controversial figure in the debate around the harms and benefits of legal and illegal drugs. Prof Nutt came to public attention in 2009 when he was sacked from the government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs after tabloid outrage over a paper he wrote claiming that ecstasy and LSD are less dangerous than alcohol. His book is available from Britain, but can’t be bought from Amazon in the U.S. until September. To download audio file go to the link, right click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As.”
RC Pilot Magazine 67 mins – Michael Kranitz of RC Pilot Magazine talks about his new online magazine. It is similar to Edgey, another multimedia publication from Yellowknife in The Northwest Territories of Canada. Mr Kranitz discusses the difficulties and benefits of this new type publication starting about 24 minutes into the program. Download the file at the link by right clicking “Direct Download: _233_-_Michael_Kranitz_of_RCPilot_Magazine.mp3” and selecting “Save Link As.”
Libor Scandal 21 mins – “There’s a certain amount of trust underpinning the financial markets. But recent news out of the United Kingdom has shaken the world’s faith in a key element of the system.That element is the number banks use to determine how much to charge their customers — think of it as the measuring stick that determines nearly every other other interest rate around: mortgages, credit cards, corporate loans, complex derivatives transactions. It’s called LIBOR, or the London Interbank Offered Rate, and it pretty much underpins everything. …it turns out that at least one big bank — Barclays — was skewing the numbers, during the financial crisis and before. Emails cited in a regulatory complaint against the bank show the casual way the efforts were discussed. Other banks are under investigation as well.The result: Criminal and parliamentary inquiries on two continents, lawsuits, and a lot of mistrust and uncertainty about interest rates across the financial markets….” To download the audio file go to the link, locate “#384: The Little Lie That Rocked The Banks,” right click “npr_156230850.mp3” and select “Save Link As.”
Microbiome 15 mins – “Science journalist and blogger Ed Yong explores the physical and philosophical implications of being host to billions of microbes. He reports the latest science showing how the bacteria we come into contact with can profoundly affect our lives – from the ability to digest different foodstuffs to our susceptibility to asthma, diabetes and even stress and anxiety. And he asks whether he should be seen as a human, or a universe of bacteria in a “human shaped sack”? You can listen at the link, but not download; however, it’s included in the collection offered as a zip file at the head of this blog. The microbiome is also a major topic of discussion at the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) which hosted over 8000 microbiologists and scientists representing 72 countries in San Francisco for four days last June. Several attendees discuss the microbiome in this recent 80 minute TWIM podcast where at the 54 minute mark one of them gives a shout-out for Quartzy Networking Cards . The free cards were used at 3,300 of the ASM poster presentations — that’s a lot of posters to examine. The cards are 4×6 inch size, double-sized, containing poster and researcher information that viewers can haul away rather scribble a few notes that later may not be legible or adequate. Dr Michael Schmidt, who lauded the cards in the TWIM podcast, also describes study of the microbiome as a profound development: “As to your comment about the Microbiome. This was the watershed meeting. The initial results were laid before the members of the Society and the challenge of discovery was both implicitly and explicitly offered. Results from this initial global study will be as transformational to our discipline as was the introduction of agar for the cultivation of bacteria. Thinking about how the community of microbes reacts with humans and in human health and disease processes will not only transform microbiology but will similarly transform drug discovery, immunology, and medical diagnostics. Advances in each discipline when considering the microbiome may potentially lead to the development of new prevention strategies, treatments or even potential cures for many of the chronic diseases currently plaguing humans.”
Mexico Elections 93 mins – “On June 29, the Latin America Initiative at Brookings hosted a discussion on the challenges facing the future Mexican government. The discussion was based on recent research conducted by Mexican and U.S. scholars on key economic, security, political, educational and energy issues facing Mexico. Panelists included: Arturo Franco Hernández, resident fellow at the Center for International Development at Harvard University; Carlos Ramírez, an analyst with the Latin America practice at the Eurasia Group; and Christopher Wilson, associate with the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Diana Negroponte provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.” Go to the link, right click “Download” beside the down-pointing arrow on the left side of the page, and select “Save Link As” to download.
Health Care Stories 19 mins – “The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health-care law will change peoples’ lives. On today’s show, we talk to a few of those people. When the ruling came down, we were visiting people who work at a health insurance agency in Connecticut. The Court’s ruling means the company needs to find a new line of business or close down altogether. (Here’s more on our visit.) We also hear how people’s lives changed when they lost health insurance — and when they got it.” To download the file go to the link, find “#383: What The Health Care Decision Means For Peoples’ Lives,” then right click “npr_156019918.mp3” and select “Save Link As.”
Health Care Discussion 52 mins – This Affordable Care Act discussion by four specialists on the subject with answers to call-in questions and comments on how implementation of the law could affect consumers. Several examples of situations people are experiencing and how the law will probably apply are discussed. You can listen at the link, but not download. However, the file can be downloaded as the package of podcasts noted in the intro paragraph at the top of the blog.
Iran Sanctions 102 and 99 mins – “On June 29, Foreign Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion assessing the wide-ranging implications of the Iran sanctions regime and considered the prospects for a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue.” in two parts. Download each part by going to the link, selecting each part, then right clicking “Download” beside the down-pointing arrow and selecting “Save Link As.”
Afghanistan Concerns 90 mins – “On July 3, Foreign Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion on the current situation in Afghanistan, featuring keynote remarks from Alex Thier, assistant to the administrator and director of the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Following his remarks, Thier was joined by former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann, author of The Other War (Potomac Books, 2009), and Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, co-author of Bending History (Brookings, 2012) and the report “Towards a Political Strategy in Afghanistan,” for a discussion.” Download the audio file by going to the link, right clicking “Download” beside the down-pointing arrow and selecting “Save Link As.”
Self Publishing 19 min – “The wild growth in e-books and self-publishing has spurred a fiery debate over the future direction of the industry. While some argue that the growing mountain of books makes it harder than ever for any single title to succeed, people like Keith Ogorek, author of 7 Secrets of Successful Self-Published Authors, say that this time, our time, is the best time ever to be an author.” I heard a reference is to “tango.com,” but it’s “http://www.booktango.com/.” Download the audio file at the link by right-clicking the “Download” option towards to bottom right-hand side of the page and selecting “Save Link As.”
Nigerian Corruption 23 mins – “In this edition of Assignment Peter Marshall talks to the law enforcement officers who secured the conviction of James Ibori, one time governor of Nigeria’s oil rich Delta State. It is a dramatic story, involving years of detective work, attempted assassination, a high speed car chase and a sack full of cash.” Get the audio file via the link, by locating the title, “DocArchive: The King of Corruption – Assignment,” right clicking “docarchive_20120628-0100a.mp3” and selecting “Save Link As.”
The 95 feeds used to prepare this weekly blog are gathered using Feedreader3 and are available as an opm file at Google Docs. A PDF of feeds is also available there. Free Commander is used to compare old and new downloads to remove duplicates. MP3SpeedChanger is used to change playback speed of multiple files as a batch. A speed listening background article here. Sixty-five podcasts for 2010 and earlier at 1.5x are listed alphabetically in this PDF and can be downloaded in two sections as zip files: Part 1 and Part 2 each holding about 350 MB. For 2011 this alphabetical PDF list of 184 podcasts at 1.5x is available, and the actual files can be downloaded in five segments: Part 1 to 5 (Part 1 – 276 MB; P2 – 291 MB; P3 – 284; P4 – 153 MB, and P5 – 256 MB). Leave a comment about problems with the links and downloads. A similar list and downloads for 362 podcasts for Jan-Jun 2012 is here. Those podcasts are grouped into eight zipped files for easier downloading. The number of parts is due to a 300MB limit on file size.