The following audio files were selected from a larger group of 247 for the last week. The link to each podcast is at the highlighted topic and reached by double-clicking or ctrl-clicking the topic. All 26 podcasts converted to 1.5x speed can also be downloaded as a single 214 MB zip file here for four months (vs 748 MB, below). Accumulations of these are discussed at the end of this episode. (Some links in old episodes may be dead due to updating; try a current episode.)
Afghanistan Future 87 mins – “After more than a decade of great effort and sacrifice by the United States and its allies, the Taliban still has not been defeated, and many Afghans believe that a civil war is coming. In 2014, foreign forces will complete the handover of security responsibility to their Afghan counterparts, international financial flows will radically decrease, and Afghanistan’s presidential elections will intensify political uncertainties. These challenges are mounting at a time when Afghanistan is dealing with rising insecurity, dysfunctional governance, rampant corruption and ethnic factionalization, while the regional environment is not easily conducive to stability in the country. With the U.S. and international publics tired of the war, fundamental questions about any remaining stakes in Afghanistan and the efficacy of any persisting stabilization efforts are increasing.
African Issues 30 mins – “In this week’s programme we explore some of the best and biggest stories of the year: We revive the worst incident in Ivory Coast’s post election violence, how a sweet dream for a better life can be sour for Eritreans in Israel and we hear how two former child soldiers traded their guns for music.” At the link locate the title, “Bridges with Africa (20130104 00:00:00 – 00:30:00 UTC), right-click “Media files en_bridgeswithafrica 20130104_44_1kHz 20121220_142351.mp3” and select “Save File As” from the drop-down menu to get the audio file.
Bollywood Future 24 mins – “Does the Bollywood film industry need to broaden its fanbase to appeal to international, non-Indian audiences to survive in the future?” At the link locate the the title, “Bollywood Breaking Barriers 25 Dec 12,” right-click “Download 11MB” and select “Save Link As”.
Broadband Failure 65 mins – “In the Internet era, a very few companies control our information destiny. In this talk, and in her new book Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, Susan Crawford—a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation policy—demonstrates how deregulatory changes in policy have created a communications crisis in America. The consequences: Tens of millions of Americans are being left behind, people pay too much for too little Internet access, and speeds are slow.But everyday people can change this story—and what happens in the year ahead could change the game for good.” At the link right-click “MP3” and select “Save Link As” to download the audio file.
China Maritime 163 mins – ” The ascension of new leaders in China coincides with mounting tensions in the East China and South China seas, posing serious risks to the regional maritime order. Amid these disputes and uncertainties, China’s new leaders and the Obama administration are attempting to define the road ahead in Sino-American relations. The risks posed by China’s increasingly tense relations with its maritime neighbors are worrisome, and add to the complexities and potential consequences for the future of the U.S.-China relationship. On December 17, the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings hosted a discussion on China’s maritime disputes and the future of U.S.-China relations featuring leading experts on Chinese foreign policy and maritime strategy, and an address by The Honorable Kevin Rudd, the 26th prime minister of Australia and former minister of foreign affairs.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.
Copper and Phage Cures 71 mins – Professors “Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, and Elio Schaechter discuss the horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes on metal surfaces, and using bacteriophage to reverse antibiotic resistance.” At the link follow the insturctions to right-click “TWIM #47” and select “Save Link As” to download the audio file.
Corrugated Boxes 4 mins – “It’s a scene played out countless times every day. A truck pulls up to the curb, a uniformed driver jumps out, rings the doorbell, and leaves a box on the doorstep. Not just any box, but a box made of a remarkable product known as corrugated cardboard.” At the link right-click “Click here…” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu and to get the file.
Counterterrorism 84 mins – ” The United States is at a pivotal moment in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism. As a result of international cooperation with its partners and the application of a “smart power” approach that integrates diplomacy, development and defense, the al-Qaida core has been degraded and is finding it more difficult to raise money, train recruits, and plan attacks. Yet, while great strides have been made, significant challenges remain. Recent events in the Middle East and Africa—the Arab Awakening, Syrian civil war, and the upheaval in Mali, among others – add additional dimensions to America’s counterterrorism challenges. How serious are the current array of threats? What will it take to meet them? What’s next in the country’s fight against international terrorists?” At the link click the Audio tab, then right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.
El Salvador Gangs 23 mins – “El Salvador’s violent street gangs have made a truce. The murder rate has plummeted, and quality of life for many Salvadorans has improved dramatically. But can it last?” At the link locate the title, “Docs: El Salvador Dec 2012,” right-click “Download 11MB” select “Save Link As “.
Egypt 83 mins – ” On December 15, Egyptians voted on a new constitution. The vote was intended to be the culmination of Egypt’s journey from authoritarianism to democracy, but it occurred amid a political crisis and, regardless of outcome, will not resolve tensions. What can the United States do to help ensure Egypt moves toward stable democracy? How will the U.S. relationship with Egypt emerge from this crisis? On December 17, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion to explore these and other questions about Egypt’s constitutional referendum and its effect on U.S.-Egyptian relations. Panelists included Brookings Fellow Khaled Elgindy and Fellow Shadi Hamid, director of research for the Brookings Doha Center, who appeared via video conference from Doha. Senior Fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, moderated the discussion.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As”.
Foreign Factory Fixes 51 mins – “In this Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 file photo, Bangladeshi officials inspect a garment-factory where a fire killed more than 110 people Saturday on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. A Dhaka fire official said the Tazreen factory’s fire safety certification had expired on June 30, and fire officials refused to renew it because the building did not have the proper safety arrangements. The factory did not have any fire exits for its 1,400 workers, many of whom became trapped by the blaze. Investigators said the death toll would have been far lower if there had been even a single emergency exit.(AP Photo)… Debate over the safety of apparel makers and what can be done to improve conditions.” by four guests. You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.
Forest Service Maps 14 mins – “Roberta Quigley from United States Forest Service (USFS) discusses the many uses of GIS at USFS.” At the link locate the title, “United States Forest Service Uses GIS for Resource Management,” right-click “Media files user_quigley.mp3” and select “Save File As” from the drop-down menu to get the audio file.
Global Burden of Disease 3 part; 37 mins tot – In part one Richard Horton with the background and overview of The Lancet’s Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. In part two Chris Murray highlights key findings from the seven research articles in the GBD 2010 Study. In part three Horton and an expert panel discuss what happens next in the light of the launch of GBD. At the link right-click December 13, 14 and/or 19, then select “Save Link As” to download each file.
Gun Control 51 mins – “The horror and outrage in the aftermath of last week’s mass shootings in Connecticut are galvanizing new efforts to ban assault weapons. Diane and her  guests discuss Americans and gun control.” You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.
Head Trauma 52 mins – “A new study released last week looks at the brains of people who experienced repeated head injuries. It provides some of the clearest evidence yet linking recurring mild head trauma to long-term brain disease. Of the 85 people in the study, 50 had been football players. Athletes who play contact sports are always vulnerable to head injuries, but these days, football is in the spotlight. From youth leagues to the NFL, questions are being raised about the prevalence of head injuries and what can be done to make the game safer. For our series “Mind and Body”, Diane and her  guests discuss the latest science on head injuries and how to best protect players.” You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.
Internationalism of Law 85 mins – “On December 18, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted Professor Mireille Delmas-Marty to deliver the ninth annual Raymond Aron Lecture. A leading French legal scholar, Dr. Delmas-Marty is professor emeritus at the Collège de France and a member of France’s Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques. After a prestigious career in academia, including visiting professorships in major universities from the Americas to Asia, and advising the French government on constitutional and legal reform, Dr. Delmas-Marty has focused her work at the Collège de France on the internationalization of law. Dr. Delmas-Marty delivered remarks on how national bodies of law are increasingly being reshaped by transnational forces, including universal human rights norms, economic integration, and global risks, and the challenges this presents in terms of accountability, legitimacy and predictability. She discussed how direct dialogue among the world’s top jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice, has also changed conceptions of self-contained national legal systems; and suggest how cross-country comparisons and understanding the evolving nature of international law can help make sense of the rapidly changing legal landscape.” At the link click the Audio tab, right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu to get the file.
Iran’s Nuclear Weapons 54 mins – “Be it resolved the world cannot tolerate an Iran with nuclear weapons capability. That’s the resolution for the latest Munk Debate. On the pro side: Amos Yadlin and Charles Krauthammer. On the con side is Fareed Zakaria and Vali Nasr.” At the link locate the title, “The Munk Debates – Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions (Broadcast Version),” right-click “Download The Munk Debates – Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions (Broadcast Version)” and select “Save Link As”.
Mass Shootings 51mins – “Reaction to Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has been loud and swift. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on President Barack Obama to make gun control his No. 1 agenda. The dean of Washington’s National Cathedral said, “enough is enough … the massacre of these 28 people in Connecticut is … the last straw.” A sense of helplessness and frustration is palpable across the nation. While many are calling for more controls on guns and ammunition, others say we must focus on creating a more accessible mental health system. They worry we aren’t doing enough to de-stigmatize treatment. Diane and  guests discuss the effects of mass shootings on the American psyche.” You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.
Mental Illness Levels 51 mins – ” The vast majority of mentally ill people are not a danger to themselves or society, but for those who are, treatment is critical. Diane and her  guests discuss the challenge of identifying and treating severe mental illness.” You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.
Music Trends 52 mins – ” Bob Boilen of NPR’s All Songs Considered joins us on Thursday to run down his list for the best music of the past year, the records he comes back to over and over again, the songs he loves to sing along with. There are some canonical artists on his list – Leonard Cohen and Neil Young – and some critically-acclaimed indie acts – Cat Power, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors – but the band that came out on top debuted their first album this year. Tune in to hear that band and a lot of other great tunes.” At the link locate the title, “Best Music of 2012,” right-click “Listen” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Patient Health Care Reports 20 mins – ” Do patients’ reports of their health care experiences reflect the quality of care? Despite the increasing role of such measures in research and policy, there’s no consensus regarding their legitimacy in quality assessment. Indeed, as physician and hospital compensation becomes increasingly tied to patient feedback, health care providers and academics are raising strong objections to the use of patient-experience surveys. These views are fueled by studies indicating that patient-experience measures at best have no relation to the quality of delivered care and at worst are associated with poorer patient outcomes. Conversely, other studies have found that better patient experiences — even more than adherence to clinical guidelines — are associated with better outcomes. Which conclusion is correct? We believe that when designed and administered appropriately, patient-experience surveys provide robust measures of quality, and our efforts to assess patient experiences should be redoubled.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.
Religion for Atheists 52 mins – ” Is any religion true? The popular British philosopher Alain de Botton opens his latest book by declaring this the most boring and unproductive question a person can ask. de Botton is himself a resolute non-believer, but by setting that debate aside, he says we can look at the really good ideas religions offer about how to live and how to arrange society. Friday, Alain de Botton joins Doug for an exploration of his “Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion.” At the link locate the title, “Religion for Atheists,” right-click “Listen” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down list to get the audio file.
Religion in Government 176 mins – “The federal government has a long history of partnering with religious and secular charities in an effort to serve people in need. Former President George W. Bush formalized these efforts by creating a White House office and a number of centers across various federal agencies, and he also established a specific set of church-state rules to govern these partnerships. President Obama retained this White House office and has continued some Bush policies, while making notable changes in other areas. ” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.
Sandy Hook 8 mins – “…we want to continue our conversation in the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that took the lives of 20 children, along with six adults and the shooter. With us are journalists Paul Barrett and Craig Whitney. They’ve both written books about guns in American life. And with us, psychiatrist Dr. Carl Bell of the Institute for the Prevention of Violence.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu to get the audio files.
School Safety 51 mins – “Last week’s horrific attack inside a Connecticut elementary school has sent a wave of anxiety among parents across the country. Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut had a very good security system in place, and the teachers and staff there were well trained, but no system and no amount of training can create a completely secure environment. By every measure students are safer in school than anywhere else. Still, many parents are asking if schools in their own neighborhoods have adequate protections in place for their students…” Four guests participate in the discussion. You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.
Strand Bookstore 22 mins – “Fred Bass has worked for more than 60 years at New York’s Strand bookstore, which his father, Ben Bass, founded in 1927. In this interview he talks about how the Internet has affected the used-book business, how unionizing the workforce has been good for the store, and how sidelines—like the famous Strand tote bags—now make up more than 15 percent of the store’s sales.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save File As” to get the podcast.
Over 130 feeds used to prepare this weekly blog are harvested with Feedreader3. The feeds are available in this opm file. A PDF of feeds is also available. Free Commander is used each week to compare old with new downloads and remove any duplicates. MP3SpeedChanger is applied to podcast batches to change playback speed to 1.5x. A speed listening background article is here. Sixty-four 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 an alphabetical PDF list of 184 podcasts at 1.5x is available, and can be downloaded in five segments. A similar list and downloads for 362 podcasts for Jan-Jun 2012 is here. Podcasts are grouped into zipped files for easier downloading and segmented due to a 300MB limit on file uploads. A similar group for the last half of 2012 will be available in Jan 2013. A commenter recommended this $1.99 iPhone/iPad app for mobile devices; leave a comment if you try it. Please comment on any problems with the links and downloads.
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