Media Mining Digest 164 – 2 Jan 2015: Adaptive Technology, Alcohol Versus Marijuana, Amazon Women, American Indians, Attenborough, Awesome Stories, Bell Labs Design Engineer, Bells with Tangs, Buckyballs, Cat Genomes, Chuck Todd On Obama, Cotton History, Creative Couples, Creative Teamwork, Cuban Internet, Cyber War, Eco Shock, Econometrics, Economics and Race, Flipped Classroom, Forest Management, Gaming Usefulness, Getting Stuff Done, Holiday Stress, Hydrogen Boat, Hydrogen Storage, Infrastructure Repair, Iraq and Iran War, Jim Henson, Job Origins, Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra, Kit Production, Lighter Than Air Flight, Memory Basics, Middle Ages Christmas, Mythbusters Host, Neil Gaiman, Nepal Pollution, Pepper spray, Prescription Drug Abuse, Repetitive Strain Injury, Russian Economy, Science Commons, Secretary of Energy, Slot Machine Design, Solar Power Trend, Somali Ticket Winner, Tupac Shakur, Ukraine Investments, US Renewable Energy, Vermont Growth, Wallet Rubber Band, World War One

The following audio files come from a larger group of 175 for the week. Double or ctrl-click individual highlighted links, below, to get single podcasts.  A zip file of all 53 podcasts converted to 1.5x speed will download here for four months. Older groups of podcasts are discussed at the end of this episode.

Adaptive Technology 47 mins – “In this podcast episode, David Rose, an instructor at MIT’s Media Lab and CEO at Ditto Labs, sits down with Mary Treseler, O’Reilly’s director of strategic content for our design space. In the interview, Rose defines his mission: “to make technology more elegant, more embedded, and hopefully, more humane.” Technology itself isn’t what drives Rose — he’s looking for inspiration in places that have captured and fueled our imaginations for centuries… In the second segment, O’Reilly’s Nick Lombardi chats with Simon King, design director and interaction design community lead at IDEO. King talks about the human-centered design approach at IDEO, where design intuition fits in to the creative process, and how design is evolving as projects become more and more complex. King also has an interesting take on designing for context that you won’t want to miss.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow at the right end of the sound bar and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Alcohol Versus Marijuana 26 mins – “Imagine a fantasy world that’s exactly as the world is today except that two things are missing: alcohol and marijuana. And then imagine that tomorrow, both of them are discovered. What happens now? How are each of them used – and, perhaps more importantly, regulated? How would we weigh the relative benefits and costs of alcohol versus marijuana? That’s the topic of our latest podcast, “What’s More Dangerous: Marijuana or Alcohol?’” At the link find the title, “What’s More Dangerous: Marijuana or Alcohol?” right-click “Play Now” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Amazon Women 60 mins – “This week we’re learning how science can shed light on the stories told by our ancestors. We’re joined by folklorist and science historian Adrienne Mayor, author of “The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World,” to learn what archaeology can tell us about legendary warrior women in cultures from around the world. And we’ll talk to anthropologist John Hawks to learn how researchers gain insights from ancient human remains.” At the link right-click “Listen Now” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

American Indians 23 mins – “Earlier this month, as part of the $585 billion defense bill for 2015, Congress passed a measure that would give lands sacred to American Indians in Arizona to a foreign company. The deal gives the Australian-English mining firm Rio Tinto 2,400 acres of the Tonto National Forest in exchange for several other parcels so it can mine a massive copper deposit. This week, Bill speaks with Robert A. Williams Jr., a professor specializing in American Indian law, about how deals such as the one with Rio Tinto are a part of American Indian’s tragic history of dispossession. “Very much like African-Americans, the history of America is taking away resources, whether it’s labor or whether it’s land from one racial group to give them to the dominate racial group,” Williams, who is of Lumbee Indian heritage, says. He adds that the Arizona land set to become the “largest copper mine in the world” is one of the most sacred places of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. “These are folks that have been fighting the federal government over their land rights and cultural rights for a long time,” adding, “and here you have this little, small tribe of Apaches, one of the poorest tribes… trying to stop this.’” At the link find the title, “Full Show: American Indians Confront “Savage Anxieties,’” right-click “Media files Moyers and Company 351_Podcast.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Attenborough 20 mins – “Ed Yong is ecstatic to get an interview with his hero, Sir David Attenborough, but he’s not prepared for a lesson in what having a science hero really means. Ed Yong is an award-winning science writer. His blog Not Exactly Rocket Science is hosted by National Geographic, and his work has also appeared in Wired, Nature, the BBC, New Scientist and more. His first book I CONTAIN MULTITUDES–about how microbes influence the lives of every animal, from humans to squid to wasps–will be published in 2016.” At the ink find the title, “Ed Yong: Questioning A Hero,” right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Awesome Stories 52 mins – “After 5 seasons of Snap Judgment, we look back at some of our favorite moments of storytelling with a BEAT, from PRX and NPR.” At the link find the title, “Snap #532 – Look Back 2014,”right-click “npr_373210207.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Bell Labs Design Engineer 106 mins – “Welcome Shahriar from The Signal Path! If you’re not already, you should definitely be subscribed to the YouTube channel. Shahriar currently works in the ASIC design lab that is part of the Murray Hill building at Bell Labs.” and his interview… At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Bells with Tangs 20 mins – “On today’s show, a story on a Christmasy theme: Handbells! But also, a not-so-Christmasy theme: A decades-long feud between two big bell companies, located right down the road from each other.” At the link right-click “Download” from the pop-up menu.

Buckyballs 30 mins – “Sir Harry Kroto is the Francis Eppes Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State University.  He is also the co-discoverer of C60, the Buckminster fullerene molecule, which is a cage molecule with 60 carbon atoms.  The discovery of these “Bucky balls” led to Kroto, Robert Curl, and Richard Smalley to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996.  Kroto explains how his research in interstellar carbon led to this discovery, and about his early beginnings in chemistry.” At the link right-click the play button beside “Listen” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Cat Genomes 47 mins – “There’s a reason your cats act the way they do. Their genome shows, they’re not so different from wild animals. We’ll dive in. “I and Pangur Ban my cat / Tis a Like task we are at / Hunting Mice is His Delight / Hunting Words I sit all Night.”  Notice, the words “hunting” in that medieval Irish poem. Now, genetic sequencing of the feline shows that Pangur Ban is still a lion underneath, in short; still a lot more like felis silvestrus, like dogs are like their progenitors.  “When a Mouse Darts From his Den / Oh how glad is Pangur, then!” This hour, On Point: Cat Lore, cat Science, and why your Abyssinian is so — feline.” At the link right-click “Download this story” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Chuck Todd On Obama 63 mins – “Chuck Todd, moderator and managing editor of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” discusses his new book, “The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House.’” At the link find the title and right-click “Meet the Press” Moderator Chuck Todd” then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Cotton History 51 mins – “Five hundred years ago, Aztec villagers in Mexico were among the first people to turn cotton into cloth and dye it colors. But for hundreds of years, it remained largely a household crop. Then, in the 18th century, the cotton industry began a meteoric rise that would eventually land it at the center of European and American economies. Entrepreneurs and statesmen captured trades and skills in Asia, land in the Americas and enslaved Africans, to create a vast, cotton empire. Thousands of factories were built worldwide, which depended on cheap labor, and often, child workers. A new book on how cotton made and re-made global capitalism, and helped create wealth inequality that persists today.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, it’s included in the blog archive.

Creative Couples 12 mins – “Jolly old St. Nick wouldn’t be anywhere without all the elves and the team of reindeer — which got us thinking about the value of teamwork. One legendary duo – John Lennon and Paul McCartney – arguably created their best work together. But despite the fact that they were more creative together, they also experienced the downsides of depending on someone else for inspiration. Most people want to be acknowledged for their individual contributions, explains author Joshua Wolf Shenk. But, “once you get into a true partnership, by definition, there is some surrender of an individual identity and ownership over your work.’” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Creative Teamwork 6 mins – “Who invented the game Twister? Depends on the source you consult. Some say Chuck Foley, other credit Neil Rabens, and still others point to Reyn Guyer. And this twisted history of the game’s origins reflects that fact that its success is a study in teamwork. “It’s always multiple hands that touch a concept on its way from light bulb to actual physical product that you can buy in a store,” says Tim Walsh, a toy historian and author of “Timeless Toys.” It all started with Reyn Guyer – an inventor who believed that some of the greatest toys and games in history break a rule. Guyer broke the “don’t invade my personal space” rule with a game called King Footsie, where players stood on a mat and had to move like chess pieces. But nobody wanted to play – or buy – King Footsie. Undeterred, Guyer hired two experienced designers, Neil Rabens and Chuck Foley, to figure out a way to make it. One day, Rabens had an idea. If people can use their feet as the pieces, why not use the whole person? Feet, hands – everything. That’s where Chuck Foley came in. He took Raben’s breakthrough, and added a twist – literally….” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Cuban Internet 4 mins – “Now that the US and Cuba are resuming diplomatic relations, there’s hope that Cuba’s Internet dirt road will finally become the information superhighway much of the rest of the world has access to. For the past few years, though, some technically minded Cubans have come up with clever ways to promote access to the information that’s available on the Internet. It’s estimated that less than five percent of the population in Cuba has any Internet access at all, and the majority have only dial-up connections. Jonathan Watts, writing about Cuba’s Internet woes in The Guardian, says only a privileged few have fast connections. And that puts a huge chunk of the Internet technically out of reach. So, Cuba’s entrepreneurs have created a so-called “offline Internet.” “It’s an ingenious way of making up for the lack of broadband cables or Wi-Fi,” Watts says. “Instead of using their cable, people are using their feet, hard drives, USB cables and they’re literally carrying huge amounts of data from one place to the other and sharing them with each other.’” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow at the right end of the sound bar and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Cyber War 41 mins – “The United States military currently views cyberspace as the “fifth domain” of warfare (alongside land, air, sea, and space), and the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and the CIA all field teams of hackers who can, and do, launch computer virus strikes against enemy targets. In fact, U.S. hackers were crucial to our victory in Iraq. In this episode of Smart People Podcast, author and journalist Shane Harris takes us to the front lines of America’s new cyber war as we discuss his newest book, @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Eco Shock 60 mins – “We begin with a slice from the new album “The Rap Guide to Wilderness.” It’s called “Tranquility Bank” with guest artist Aaron Nazrul. But the genius rapper behind the whole project is Baba Brinkman. I’ll be talking with Baba from New York, a little later in the show. Baba suggests we can’t all head to the wilderness, without killing what’s left. Along those lines, I’m going to play you a radio documentary which takes up where the film “Escape from Suburbia” left off. Long-time listeners may remember my interview with the Director Gregory Greene. In this radio documentary by Gordon Katic, we find Jan Steinman. If the film, Jan and his wife sold their suburban home in Portland, Oregon, and travelled to British Columbia. They were seeking a safe haven to prepare their lives to live without oil, after peak oil threatened a decent from civilization. How did that work out? We find out, in this program called “The Terry Project“, which broadcasts on radio station CiTR on the campus of the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver Canada. We are going to travel to the “EcoReality” intentional community on Salt Spring Island, a mild climate spot in the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver.” At the link right-click the “Lo-Fi” link and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Econometrics   66  mins – “Joshua Angrist of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the craft of econometrics–how to use economic thinking and statistical methods to make sense of data and uncover causation. Angrist argues that improvements in research design along with various econometric techniques have improved the credibility of measurement in a complex world. Roberts pushes back and the conversation concludes with a discussion of how to assess the reliability of findings in controversial public policy areas.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Economics and Race 50 mins – “In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter Robinson interviews Hoover fellow and author Thomas Sowell, on his 5th edition of Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy. In this interview, Sowell brings the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Sowell draws on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history.” At the link find the title, “Thomas Sowell Brings the World into Focus through an Economics Lens,” right-click “Media files 20141219.mp3”and select “Save link As” from the pop-up menu.

Flipped Classroom 31 mins – “Guest Skeptic: Dr. Stella Yiu. Stella is an Associated Professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine and a Distinguished Teacher at the University of Ottawa.  Her interests include resuscitation and curriculum delivery in medical education.  She is particularly keen to use social media and technology as tools to teach. Stella runs an amazing FlippedEM Classroom for the clerkship program in Ottawa. Dr. Rob Rogers, otherwise known as Darth Educator,  runs the iTeachEM blog and podcast and director of the Teaching Course. Along with a good friend, Dr. Salim Rezaie, started an educational think tank called the Teaching Institute. Rob is moving in to the University of Kentucky in March of 2015 to join the Department of Emergency Medicine. He will be full Professor and Vice Chair of Faculty Development.” At the link right-click “SGEM99” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Forest Management 55 min – “Frank is joined by forester Marcus Kaufmann from the Oregon Department of Forestry.  Marcus breaks-down the current state of forest ecology in the Western United States, including the interruption of natural fire cycles by human suppression efforts, the role of climate change and drought in fire intensity, and the growing pressure insects are placing on our forests as the climate warms.  He discusses the social complexities of catastrophic wildfire, touching on the problem of wildland-urban interface and the institutional inertia of organizations like the Forest Service that are largely designed to fight large wildlfires.  Then Marcus tells us of ongoing efforts to create a market for small diameter wood products as an energy source, from small co-generation projects to large industrial projects like liquid fuels.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the poop-up menu.

Gaming Usefulness 32 mins – “News organisations turn to video games to attract a younger audience and readership.” At the link find the title, “DigitalP: Serious Games,” right-click “Media files digitalp_20141223-2030a.mp3,” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Getting Stuff Done 82 mins – “Carmen, Adam, and Jeff address a few methods by which engineers can track, organize, and prioritize the tasks for which they are responsible.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Holiday Stress 51 mins – “For many families, the holidays mean excess stress. From gifts and cards to meals and gatherings, we often face pressure to uphold tradition and make the season special for loved ones … even when it causes anxiety or exhaustion. Women in particular report feeling overwhelmed. Surveys say nearly half of women experience higher levels of stress between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This seasonal strain can take a toll on couples and families. That’s why some say it’s time to re-think our holiday priorities, with a focus on quality over quantity. A conversation about men, women and holiday stress.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, it’s included in the blog archive.

Hydrogen Boat  6 mins – “Rex Harris has applied his research into hydrogen fuel cells to a barge. It operates in the canal between Worcester to Birmingham. The barge uses a PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell, a permanent magnet electric motor, tanks of hydrogen and batteries. If renewable sources generate the hydrogen, then no carbon is released in the boat’s operation. The equipment is heavy and as Rex Harris explains, unlike in personal commuter vehicles, weight is not a problem in shipping, trains or buses.” At the link right-click “Download audio” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Hydrogen Storage 3 mins – “Hydrogen is the Holy Grail as a fuel source. It is produced from the electrolysis of water, and when burnt, the only product is water. If the power for electrolysis comes from wind or solar sources then an economy exists without the need for fossil fuels. The stumbling block has been the storage of hydrogen, which usually requires very low temperatures, or very high pressure. These storage methods have energy costs, and pose big practical and safety challenges. Researchers at the University of NSW are developing new materials which provide storage of hydrogen at room temperature. Nicholas Loeve describes the team’s success, and an innovative method of fund raising given reduced support from government.” At the link find the title, “New materials allow storage of hydrogen at room temperature.” right-click “ssw_20141213_1223.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Infrastructure Repair  47 mins – “In 2011, longtime New York Times op-ed page columnist Bob Herbert gave up his column and set out across America. He’d written for years from a liberal angle on the nation’s great challenges, great debates. He went out to see the country afresh. First-hand. Not the lords of New York, but the ninety-nine percent. All over the country. And he found trouble. Americans keenly aware of losses. Hurting, and very uncertain about the future, the direction of the country. Now he’s back, with his report.” At the link right-click “Download this report” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Iraq and Iran War 54 mins – “When Najah Aboud got wounded during the Iran-Iraq war, he crawled into a bunker to die. He was found by Iranian medic, Zahed Haftlang who made a decision to save his enemy’s life. Years later they would be reunited halfway across the world.” At the link find the title, “Enemies and Angels,” right-click “Download Enemies and Angels” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Jim Henson 12 mins – “The Muppets are a powerhouse team if there ever was one. But scratch beneath the surface of the Muppets’ creator, Jim Henson – and you’ll find an innovator who was able to combine creative and commercial success. Author Elizabeth Hyde Stevens explains how Henson remained true to his creative roots and earned money. “He thought differently from most businessmen because he spent a lot of money on art – on developing it – much more than a typically prudent businessman would spend.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Job Origins 21 mins – “­People have always worked. But the thing we think of today as a job — the thing you apply for instead of being born into, the thing you go to in the morning and leave at night — is actually a recent invention. The modern job can act as a buffer to protect workers from the daily ups and downs of businesses. But the job as we know it may be going away. On today’s show, we go in search of the very first modern job.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra 27 mins – “The Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste or Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra, is the only symphony orchestra in Central Africa. It was founded in the mid-1990s by Armande Diangienda. In the beginning a small handful of would be musicians, made long arduous daily journeys to rehearsals that lasted seven hours, Monday to Friday. They waited patiently to take turns on the few available instruments – and gradually taught themselves to play.” At the link find the title, “DocArchive: The Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra,” right-click “Media files docarchive_20141223-0232a.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Kit Production 120 mins – “We are joined once again by our old friend Jeff Keyzer (Mightyohm)! Last time Jeff was on show was after the 2013 Open Hardware Summit (episode 162). Jeff has been working on a new high volume consumer product and has been experiencing the need for DfX. Instead Jeff has learned that shotgunning issues is a more likely way to find problems. Back in the day Jeff used to do III-V semiconductor PA design. This was part of what we talked about last week with Shahriar. Dave was very curious about whether Valve would be showing anything at the upcoming CES. Dave just tore down an Apple Lisa. Chris asked if Dave and Jeff have needed to use IEEE 488/GPIB/HPIB for programming test equipment. Jeff (and his wife) have still been selling the Geiger Counter kit, both online and through distributors like adafruit. Adafruit has a tutorial about packing and shipping kits and talks about using a counting scale. Dave is currently hiring an assistant, but didn’t expect people to apply from outside the country. They would need a travel visa to work with Dave….” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Lighter Than Air Flight 60 mins – “This week, we’re revisiting an epsiode about the science and history of lighter-than-air flight. We’ll spend the hour with biographer and science writer Richard Holmes, to talk about his book “Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air.” We’ll talk about the technology of 19th century ballooning, and the pioneering men and women who took to the skies and changed our view of the world. And we’ll share a list of science-based charities to help you spread evidence-based holiday cheer.” At the link right-click “Listen Now” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Memory Basics 17 mins – Dr Gil Porat, a practicing Colorado Hospitalist and Board Certified in Internal Medicine, offers a podcast about memory formation and related ailments in his Hospital Medicine Podcast, Intended for the medical professional who enjoys learning for the sake of it. At the link click “Download,” then right-click, right-click “Download” again and select “Save link As” from the pop-up menu.

Middle Ages Christmas 20 mins – “This year for our Christmas special, I thought I would give you an idea of what Christmas was like for some of the people in Middle Ages Britain.  Now, Christmas in the middle ages was quite different from our modern experience in many ways.  And like with everything else, it would have varied from location to location.  However, in general the celebration would have been guided by a book called the Use of Sarum.  The Use was compiled at Salisbury Cathedral, and it quickly became the predominant ceremonial book in England and Scotland and remained a bestseller until about the 16th century and the rise of protestantism in England.  So, while there are always variations from town to town, and by now you probably instinctively know that there isn’t a monolithic English or Scottish culture, but rather just a patchwork of smaller cultures… the Use of Sarum does provide at least some degree of uniformity on how Christmas was celebrated during the Middle Ages in England and Scotland.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Mythbusters Host 34 mins – “On the show this week we talk to Mythbusters host and friend of the show Adam Savage. We caught up with Savage shortly after our live show with him (episode 58) at his workshop in San Francisco. Indre talks to Savage about the future of Mythbusters, Hollywood, exploding turkeys, the joy of being a maker, #Gamergate, and what it’s like to be a rock-star science communicator.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Neil Gaiman 46 mins -“Norman Mailer called it “a comic strip for intellectuals.” Best-selling author Neil Gaiman joins us with his dark, new series on the origins of “The Sandman.” “The only people who inveigh against escape are jailers,” J.R.R. Tolkien famously said. The world’s premier artist of escapism today may be Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman wrote “The Sandman,” the dark, epic fantasy praised by connoisseurs as the greatest comic book – 75 issues long – ever written. He’s heaped with sci-fi and horror prizes – the Hugo, the Nebula, the Bram Stoker – but also with children’s prizes, the Newbery and more. He’s a literary rock star who also takes the stage – and mines our deep, dark veins.” At the link right-click ‘Download this story” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Nepal Pollution 24 mins – “Himalayan Glacial Lakes (starts at 5:20): Some scientists conduct their experiments in a laboratory — think clean white walls, artificial lighting, A.C. and a convenient coffee pot not far away. Not so for Ulyana Horodyskyj, a graduate student at the University of Colorado. For the last few years she’s been looking at glaciers and the lakes on top of them in Nepal. Last year she spent a year looking at how pollution affects glaciers high in the Himalayan Mountains. She hoped to set up the ultimate high-altitude laboratory on the oxygen-thin slopes of Mount Everest, but a fatal accident intervened. On this edition of How on Earth, she talks about her latest research, Himalayan glaciers and what it is like to do science at the top of the world.” At the link right-click the “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Pepper Spray  5 mins – “Watch out! When you are on the go in these busy lives, it’s easy to take your personal protection for granted. J.D. Dhein shows us how to use some personal protection equipment the right way.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Prescription Drug Abuse 5 mins – “We speak this time to Jason Weber regarding a filmGood Drugs Gone Bad recently made regarding abuse of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are supposed to make you feel better, but when they are used improperly, the results can be dire.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Repetitive Strain Injury 115 mins – “John Siracusa joins me to discuss RSI in depth, drawing on both of our experiences we look at what works, what doesn’t and why you should care. Keyboards, trackpads, trackballs, mice, chairs, we cover it all.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Russian Economy 46 mins – “A weak ruble and a turbulent economy. We look at Putin’s Russia and what its economic free fall means. Not exactly the Christmas spirit in Russia, as the ruble plummets, then kind of rebounds, and President Vladimir Putin talks about his year of living dangerously. Indeed, it’s the rockiest year Putin’s had in 15 years in power. And indications are that Mother Russia’s in for more of the same: low oil prices. Western sanctions. And, continued tensions with Ukraine and the European Union.  Not to mention a frosty relationship with the U.S.  Russia may have overreached, but what does it mean? For the Russian people? For Europe? For the United States? “ At the link right-click “Download this story” and select “Save link As” from the pop-up menu.”

Science Commons  15 mins – “The Executive Director of Science Commons, John Wilbanks, discusses how and why Science Commons is working to improve the flow of scientific knowledge so that complex scientific, technical, and medical problems can be solved more quickly. MIT Libraries podcasts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution, Share-Alike license. See:” At the link find the title, “John Wilbanks on Barriers to the flow of scientific knowledge,” right-click “Media files wilbanks.mp3 and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Secretary of Energy 58 mins – “Nobel Laureate and Former US Secretary of Energy, Dr Steven Chu addresses the National Press Club in Canberra on energy policy.” At the link find the title, “National Press Club: Dr Steven Chu,” right-click “NPC_StevenChu_1012_512k.mp4” and select “Save Target As” from the pop-up menu.

Slot Machine Design 14 mins – “Think you know how slot machines work? There’s a lot more to it than just pushing a button and hearing the clink of coins. Thanks to some complicated algorithms and talented behavioral scientists, slot machines are now big business, bringing in 75 to 85 percent of casino revenues. “Inside, they’re absolutely different creatures [than they were], and they can give you an absolutely different experience playing,” says Natasha Dow Schull, a cultural anthropologist at MIT and author of “Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas.’” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Solar Power Trend 10 mins – “Jemma Green describes a coalescence of factors. New batteries such as lithium ion batteries are becoming cheaper and more widespread. Sunshine is abundant. Electricity prices are high and rising. It all adds up to the possibility of 24-hr solar power in Australia. Already, 1.3 million Aussie homes have rooftop solar. Jemma Green predicts more users generating their own power and moving off the grid. It is fast becoming the cheapest option. She says there is a global trend to divestment of fossil fuel assets by investment funds. Lower demand will see the prices of these assets fall.” At the link right-click “Download audio” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Somali Ticket Winner 27 mins – “Assignment follows Abdi Nor, a winner of the annual US green card lottery, as he attempts to escape from a life of poverty in Kenya and realise the American dream.” At the link find the title, “DocArchive: Abdi and the Golden Ticket – 25 Dec 2014,” right-click “Media files docarchive_20141225-0232a.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Tupac Shakur 27 mins – “Tupac Shakur trained as an actor, posed as a street thug and became a best selling rapper, but he died in 1996. Mythologised and revered, is Tupac a modern Black American folk hero?” At the link find the title, “DocArchive: Tupac Shakur: Hip Hop Immortal 31 Dec 2014,” right-click “Media files docarchive_20141223-0905a.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Ukraine Investments 18 mins – “­Last month, a bunch of Ukrainian business owners flew to New York to try to convince a bunch of New York portfolio managers and private equity funds to invest in Ukraine. There are lots of reasons that it is crazy to hold an “Invest in Ukraine” conference right now, while a war is going on. But “Invest in Ukraine” isn’t just the title of the conference, in many ways it is what the whole year of crisis has been about. Today on the show, the revolution in Ukraine was supposed to make the country a better place for Western investment, but it ended up sparking a war that is scaring that investment away.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

US Renewable Energy 11 mins – “All the US states with strong demands for renewable power make in total 78% of the US economy covered by mandatory renewable standards. So says Steven Chu, President Obama’s Secretary of Energy between 2009 and 2013. He was the first scientist to serve in the position and the first scientist to be part of the US cabinet. In this conversation with Stephanie Pradier he reflects on the success of US federal loans he oversaw for large-scale wind and solar projects which ended up making money for the US government, and the recent announcement for strongly reduced emissions from US and China. Steven Chu says California is edging towards generating 32% of its energy from renewable sources. California is in the top 10 of world economies and has the most ambitious goals with regards emissions. Other than a few states in the south-east, most US states have strong goals for renewable energy.” At the link find the title, “78% US economy operates with mandatory renewable standards – Chu,” right-click “ssw_20141213_1205.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Vermont Growth 6 mins – “When everyone seems to want to join the Google team and enjoy their free lunches and ping pong tables, how do you keep the talent at home? We look at what rural states like Vermont are doing to avoid a brain drain.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Wallet Rubber Band 4 mins – “Want a great trick? How about this? To protect your wallet from pickpockets, all you need is a RUBBER BAND. J.D. Dhein explains.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

World War One 50 mins – “How ordinary people – soldiers, mothers, nurses, even children – experienced World War One and the little-known human side of the world’s first truly global conflict. With stories of love, loss, hope and fervour.” At the link find the title, “DocArchive: The Great War Diaries 25 Dec 2014,” right-click “Media files docarchive_20141225-1205a.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.



An alphabetic encyclopedia of 5000 of these hyperlinked descriptions is here and updated quarterly. A file of the podcasts is here , updated weekly, and can be downloaded as a 30+ GB zipped file, or individually. A separate folder of C-Span, Diane Rehm, et. al. files that aren’t available at their sites is here, too, and can also be downloaded as a zip file or individually. Over 210 feeds used to prepare this blog are harvested with a podcast aggregator. The feeds are available in this opml file which most aggregators can import. A list of the feeds is here MP3 Speed Changer is used on batches of new files to boost playback speed 150%. A speed listening background article is here.  Please comment on any problems with the links and downloads.


About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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