The following audio files were selected from a larger group of 174 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 33 podcasts converted to 1.5x speed can also be downloaded as a single 201 MB zip file here for four months (vs 932 MB normal speed). 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.)
Alcohol in America 57 mins – “The cliche may be that apple pie is the most quintessentially American of foods but, in truth, hard apple cider might stake a more rightful claim to that title. Alcohol and our taste for it has shaped this country from its inception, when the founding fathers themselves played a role in encouraging our national hankering for the hard stuff: Jefferson loved his hard cider and wine, Washington had a thing for rum, and Benjamin Franklin loved it all so much he compiled a list of 228 synonyms for “drunk” into what is known as “The Drinker’s Dictionary.” ” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Apocalypse Scams 51 mins – “December 21st, 2012 marks the end of the “Mayan Long Count” calendar, and has triggered another round of prophesies about the end of the world. So we figured we’d spend this particular period of end-times looking back on all the good times we had… worrying about end-times. On this episode: moments when we thought the game was about to be all over. From Indian prophets to bunker builders, the History Guys try to figure out why apocalyptic visions gain traction when they do, and ask what they tell us about American hopes and fears through the centuries.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Archaea First Recognized 64 mins – Profs Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, and Stanley Maloy review the scientific career of recently deceased microbiologist and biophysicist Carl Woese. ” …Woese was famous for defining the Archaea in 1977 by phylogenetic taxonomy of 16S ribosomal RNA, a technique pioneered by Woese which revolutionized the discipline of microbiology.”[Wikipedia] At the subject link right-click “TWIM #50” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast. Also here’s a seven-minute YouTube explanation from BozemanBiology, an excellent source of knowledge about biology.
Car Dealerships 16 mins – “In survey after survey, people rank buying a car as one of their least favorite experiences.Why hasn’t anyone figured out a better way to sell cars? Why can’t you just go to a car store and shop for cars from a bunch of different manufacturers? Why don’t cars have real price tags — with real prices, that people actually pay?Today on the show: Why car buying is so unpleasant, and what your local legislators may be doing to keep it that way.” At the link find the title, “#435: Why Buying A Car Is So Awful,” right-click “Media files npr_171850047.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.
Cholera Cure 17.8MB 15 mins – “Among the latest developments in cholera control are the recommendations that antibiotic agents be given to patients with moderate dehydration, as well as to those with severe dehydration (always in conjunction with aggressive oral or parenteral rehydration), that all patients be treated with zinc, and that use of an improved two-dose oral cholera vaccine be expanded. The vaccine has been administered successfully in pilot trials in a number of locations where cholera is endemic and, in 2012, during epidemics in Haiti and Guinea. The WHO recently agreed to establish a vaccine stockpile for emergency use to encourage greater production at lower cost. These developments are welcome additions to the anticholera armamentarium, but public health professionals know that they do not address the underlying problem.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Congo 76 mins – “Over the last decade, the United States and much of the world has reengaged with the government and the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the hope of promoting security and development. This support has included military training and reform, diplomatic engagement to increase regional stability, and millions in foreign assistance. Despite these efforts, the DRC continues to face serious political, security and development challenges. The tense elections of 2011 were followed by violence and chaos. The recent attacks by M23 rebels have destabilized the eastern region and the ongoing humanitarian crisis has been marked by rampant violence against women. On February 11, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings hosted a conversation with Ambassador Johnnie Carson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs, on finding a lasting solution to instability in the DRC.” At the link select the audio tab, then right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Crowdsourcing 44 mins – TWIT’s Triangulation Episode 91 is an interview of James Beshara, CEO of Crowdtilt. Beshara’s first effort at crowdfunding started with micro insurance for such things as farm animals, so a family wouldn’t have to pull its children out of school when the animals suddenly died and destroyed the only source of school financing. That effort in the 80’s failed due to new U.S. laws, but today might, again, be possible. His current effort raises funds similar to programs like Kickstarter but with innovative twists that he explains in the interview. Beshara and the Leo Laporte, the host, recommend Paul Graham‘s essays. Graham is co-founder of Y Combinator. At the link right-click “Audio” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Cuba 53 mins – “In this episode, we consider the outsized influence that Cuba has had throughout American history. Over the course of the hour, the History Guys consider several major episodes in US-Cuba relations, including the filibustering expeditions of the 19th century, the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. In each case, they learn that the episode’s standard storyline gets a whole lot more interesting if you dial its starting point back in time.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Domestic Violence 16 mins – “Leslie Morgan Steiner was in “crazy love” — that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. Steiner tells the dark story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explaining how we can all help break the silence.” At the link click “Download” then right-click “Download to desktop (MP3)” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Domestic Terrorism 52 mins – “On September 16, 1920, a bomb exploded on Wall Street as workers took their lunch break. The explosion killed 38 people and injured hundreds. The targets? What we’d call today “the one percent” – the powerful financiers who ran J.P. Morgan & Co. The Wall Street attack remained the deadliest terrorist bombing in the U.S. until Oklahoma City in 1995. But at the time, people saw it as just one more bombing in a long string of anarchist attacks that historian Beverly Gage calls America’s “First Age of Terror.”” At the link right-click on”Download” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Drone Policy 12 mins – “This week saw a fount of new information come to light about the US government’s controversial and secretive drone program. Brooke talks to Stanford Law professor James Cavallaro, author of the Living Under Drones project, in which law students conducted interviews in northwest Pakistan to better understand the full impact of our lethal drone strikes.” At the link find the title, “The Week in Drones,” and click on the down-pointing arrow to get the podcast.
Drugs in America 51mins – “In December, recreational marijuana use became legal in Washington and Colorado. But back in the early 20th century, both states were among the first to ban the drug. If that seems like a radical change, well – it’s hardly the first time a drug has undergone a major image overhaul in America. This week, we trace the changing face of drugs – and drug users – in the U.S. We start in the 19th century, when opium and cocaine were perfectly legal, and heroin was touted as for cure for morphine addiction. And we bring the story right on up through the 1970s, when Vietnam vets and suburban housewives triggered two very different drug panics. Throughout, we’ll look trace the story of the criminalization – and in the case of pot, decriminalization — of those substances. Along the way, we explore the influence of the medical establishment, as well as the role of popular culture, in shaping American attitudes about drugs.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Education Gender Gap 18 mins – “Host Michel Martin continues the conversation about why boys fall behind in school. She speaks with a group of parents and experts: author Christina Hoff Sommers, New York University education professor Pedro Noguera, University of Virginia Dean Bob Pianta, and Glenn Ivey, father of five boys.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Emancipation Proclamation “…President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It declared that all slaves in the rebellious states “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Today, Lincoln is remembered as “The Great Emancipator,” but the story of emancipation is complex and contradictory. And the question of how we choose to commemorate this anniversary can be touchy. On this episode, we set out to understand the way Americans thought about emancipation in 1862, and reflect on its shifting meanings since then….” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Epidemics 52mins – “When yellow fever struck Philadelphia in 1793, the entire federal government picked up and left town, leaving individuals to fend for themselves. A hundred years later, the pendulum had swung sharply in the other direction. Health workers took extreme measures to contain disease – imprisoning the sick, burning entire districts, and vaccinating resistant citizens at gunpoint. In this hour of BackStory we trace the trajectory of that change and examine the shifting role of the state when it comes to coping with epidemics. Where do we draw the line between promoting the public good and protecting individual rights? How did people understand the causes and experience of disease in their own time? The History Guys look at a drama that unfolded in a New York City immigrant neighborhood when smallpox hit. We’ll also explore how diseases ravaged camps of escaped slaves behind Union lines during and after the Civil War. And contributor Catherine Moore shares the devastating story of what happened in Philadelphia when soldiers returning from World War I brought the Spanish flu home with them.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.
Guns in America 54mins -“In the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Americans of all political stripes are wrestling with one big question: who should, and shouldn’t, have access to guns? So in this hour of BackStory, that’s the question we’ll be pushing back through the centuries. On this episode, the History Guys look at the changing ways Americans have regulated gun ownership, and at what those weapons have meant to different segments of society. They consider the importance of the militia to the drafting of the Second Amendment, and explore the central role of the state in arming citizens. They also pay a visit to a 21st century version of the armories of the past: a gun show.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Haida Nation 54mins – “The Haida are an ancient and powerful nation, internationally renowned for their artwork. Despite modern day assimilation, the Haida of Haida Gwaii are fiercely proud of their culture and history. Their stories of creation and transformation illustrate the richness of that culture. CBC Radio’s Legends Project compiles traditional oral stories, legends and histories of Canada’s Inuit and First Nations, gathered in communities across the country.” At the link find the title, “Legends of the Old Massett Haid,” right-click “Download Legends of the Old Massett Haida” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Hillary Clinton 41 mins – “Kim Ghattas analyses Hillary Clinton’s record as America’s chief diplomat and conducts an in-depth interview about her past, present and future.” At the link find the title, “Hillary Clinton’s Journey,” right-click “Download 19MB” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Hip Replacement Issues 51 mins – “The Food and Drug Administration recently issued new warnings on the safety of some hip replacements. As part of our occasional series, “Mind and Body,” Diane and her guests  discuss what patients need to know about safety and cost of hip replacements.” The link only allows online listening, but the program is included in the zipped file of podcasts noted in the header for this edition.
Jihad Meaning 12 mins – “For many people in the West, the word ‘jihad’ conjures up images of a violence and terror. WNYC Reporter Arun Venugopal investigates a campaign which aims to remind people that for most in the Islamic world, jihad means ‘internal struggle.’ Venugopal speaks with Ahmed Rehab, the man behind the campaign, as well as Columbia University Professor Adam Galinsky, and conservative pollster Frank Luntz.” At the link find the title, “The Struggle to Reclaim the Word Jihad,” and click on the down-pointing arrow to get the podcast.
Inaugurations 53 mins – “As the rest of Washington looks forward to the next four years, BackStory is looking back — at the last 224 years of presidential transitions. On today’s show, the History Guys focus in on several of the most high-stakes presidential inaugurations, and ask what these moments tell us about the social and political forces at work around them. Why was Washington’s voice trembling when he took the Oath of Office? Why did Lincoln’s contemporaries greet his now-famous second inaugural… with a shrug? What incoming president in the 1870s feared the specter of a rival inauguration by armed opponents? And in the larger scheme of things, why do inaugurations really matter, anyway?” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
Indian Politics 97 mins – “While the world’s attention has been focused on leadership elections and selections in countries like China, Israel, Japan and the United States, recent political developments in the world’s largest democracy also warrant attention. Although national elections will not take place in India until 2014, recently there have been crucial state elections and party leadership changes, and elections in ten states are due over the next year. Rahul Gandhi has been elevated to the position of vice president of the Congress party, further stoking discussions about his role in the party and government. The potential impact of the recent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) presidential elections on the party’s direction over the next few years is still being debated. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s third electoral victory in state elections has once again sparked questions about his prime ministerial aspirations and chances. Speculation also continues about the national political prospects of others like Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the podcast.
LAPD 18 mins – The first half of this segment discusses “…the manhunt for Christopher Dorner kept the country on its toes for a week. Now that it’s over, what questions remain? Host Michel Martin and the guys weigh in.” The second half deals with the minimum wage question. At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.
Methane Issues 27 mins – “This is an extended version of the KGNU Science Show, How on Earth. It features Greg Frost, a scientist with the University of Colorado at Boulder and with NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He’s on the team led by Gabrielle Petron which has been studying leaks from natural gas production. In this extended interview, Greg tells us about natural gas wells in Colorado that are leaking twice as much methane and benzene into the atmosphere as official estimates have indicated. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Benzene is a carcinogen. Greg Frost tells How on Earth’s Shelley Schlender what their study of leaking methane from gas wells found.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Municipal Broadband 27 mins – “Glasgow was a true pioneer in community owned broadband networks, starting with its own cable plant in the 1980s. Billy Ray, CEO of Glasgow Electric Plant Board, has been an inspiration for municipal broadband networks — one can’t dig into the early history of LUS Fiber[Lafayette Utilities System] in Louisiana without running into something from Billy Ray, for instance. Glasgow’s network has been a tremendous success, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of benefits to the community. In our interview, we discuss the bitter legal fights of the early years as Glasgow built its own cable network and eventually began offering Internet access. Additionally, we discuss the important role of these information networks in creating more efficient (and less costly) electrical systems — an incredibly important implication that does not get enough coverage.” At the link right-click “download this MP3…” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
National Information Infrastructure 25 mins – “Have you heard of the National Information Infrastructure, or the NII? Most of us either haven’t, or have forgotten we once knew what it could be. Dewayne Hendricks joins us to remind us what it was and why we should care. It’s “kind of a big thing.” Since we conducted this interview, unlicensed spectrum issues became a hot topic;… In our discussion, Dewayne walks us through the original vision, one that now seems fanciful: a world of mobile devices that interconnect with each other on the wireless networks that surround us. While we do have wireless networks in most places, they are often controlled by a few companies, like Verizon and AT&T, that restrict how we can use them and how our devices can talk to each other.” At the link right-click “download this MP3…” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Nitric Oxide 13 mins – “Our bodies get Vitamin D from the sun, but as dermatologist Richard Weller suggests, sunlight may confer another surprising benefit too. New research by his team shows that nitric oxide, a chemical transmitter stored in huge reserves in the skin, can be released by UV light, to great benefit for blood pressure and the cardiovascular system. What does it mean? Well, it might begin to explain why Scots get sick more than Australians …” At the link click on “Download” then right-click “Download to desktop (MP3)” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
South Park Origin 12 mins – “In 1995, roughly a decade before YouTube ushered in the age of the viral video, a couple of upstart young film-school grads created an underground, analog video sensation. Producer JP Davidson brings us the story of that video and its unlikely role as viral video’s ‘patient zero’.” At the link get the title, “Viral Video’s ‘Patient Zero’,” and click on the down-pointing arrow.
Speed 59 mins – “We live our lives at human speed, we experience and interact with the world on a human time scale. But this hour, we put ourselves through the paces, peek inside a microsecond, and master the fastest thing in the universe.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the file.
Transparency 57 mins – Episode 198 of This Week in Law covers four topics deserving increased transparency and scrutiny by taxpayers. They are cyber security, the Google algorithm, the fracking “trade secret,” and a very low profile rather obscure Trans-Pacific Partnership in which the U.S. negotiates policies with other countries on such controversial topics as online piracy (SOPA) and intellectual property (PIPA). Various protective organizations, such as Consumers International, and the US Trade Representative are presented as tools used to protest and educate. David Levine , professor and Hearsay Culture radio talk show, is the speaker. At the link right-click “Audio” or other download format and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Wall-Street-to-Occupy 64 mins – “Cathy O’Neil, data scientist and blogger at mathbabe.org, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her journey from Wall Street to Occupy Wall Street. She talks about her experiences on Wall Street that ultimately led her to join the Occupy Wall Street movement. Along the way, the conversation includes a look at the reliability of financial modeling, the role financial models played in the crisis, and the potential for shame to limit dishonest behavior in the financial sector and elsewhere.” AT the link find the title, “Cathy O’Neil on Wall St and Occupy Wall Street,” right-click “Media files ONeilwallstreet.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the drop-down menu.
Over 130 feeds used to prepare this weekly blog are harvested with Feedreader3. The feeds are available in this opm file which Feedreader can import. 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, and 591 for Jul-Dec here. Podcasts are grouped into zipped files for easier downloading and segmented due to a 300MB limit on file uploads. A commenter recommended this $1.99 iPhone/iPad app for mobile devices; leave a comment if you try it. Another is xSpeedChanger. Please comment on any problems with the links and downloads.
Thanks for visiting.