Media Mining Digest 189 – June 26, 2015: Addiction, Alzheimers and Food, Aung San Suu Kyi, Battle of Britain Vet, Biohacking, Books History, Carbon Giants Battle, Cardiologist, Career Selection, Cars and Chicken Tax, Clean Water Act, Coaching Ourselves, Comanches and Texas, Complex Television, Creativity, Damian Lewis, DARPA Program Manager, Dave Brubeck, David Attenborough, David Suchet, Dawn French, Dizzy Gillespie, Drug Research, Dustin Hoffman, Energy Futures, Ethics, Facial Recognition, Govt Job Applications, Grace Hopper, Grand Canyon Development, Hiring Interns, Hiring Overqualfieds, Hugh Laurie, Independent Power Producers, Interview Questions, Japanese Internment and Press, Lauren Bacall, Louis Armstrong, Magna Carta Impact, Malcom Gladwell, Multitasking Caution, Muscular Dystrophy Scientist, Native Americans in 1700s, Panama Canal Expansion, Patent Trolls, Pittsburgh Tech Council, Price Tags History, Prison State, Putin Background, Relativity, Shami Chakrabarti, Solitary Confinement, Standards, Stem Cells Background, Stephen Fry, Terry Gilliam, Timing Is Key, Tom Jones, Transplant Scarcity, Twitter History, Urinary Tract Dysfunction, Waters Fourth Phase, Whoopi Goldberg, Woman Aviator

The following audio files come from a larger group of 221 for the week. Double or ctrl-click individual highlighted links, below, to get single podcasts.  A zip file of all 67 podcasts converted to 1.5x speed will download here for four months. Older groups of podcasts are discussed at the end of this episode.

Addiction 34 mins – “This week, Jesse talks about addiction with Dr. Jeremy MartinezCould a smart drug “habit” be a gateway to addiction?  What’s the difference between addiction and physical dependence?  What’s going on with the brain’s dopaminergic systems during addictive behavior?  Tune in to find out.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Alice in Wonderland 47 mins – “For “Alice in Wonderland” and the rabbit-hole and his world of make-believe, author Lewis Carroll has been called the godfather of virtual reality. One-hundred and fifty years ago, he unleashed the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat – and, above all, Alice. The young girl whose imagination was set free, and took the world’s with it. And then came Peter Pan, Middle Earth, Hogwarts, League of Legends. The back story? An uptight Oxford mathematician. A real girl – Alice.  And a different age. This hour On Point: the Victorian Age. Inside “Alice in Wonderland.‘” At the link right-click “Download this story” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Alzheimers and Food 87 mins – “…Dr. Dale Bredesen was the Buck Institute’s founding President and CEO and is an internationally recognized expert on Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Bredesen’s ground-breaking discoveries have led to a recent clinical trial as well as evidence for memory loss reversal associated with Alzheimer’s disease using lifestyle modifications… Dr. Bredesen says Dr. Perlmutter’s new book, Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain—for Life, explains how nurturing gut health can enhance brain function. “Thanks in large part to a dramatic new understanding of the brain-gut-microbiome connection, there’s new hope for the treatment of autism to Alzheimer’s to multiple sclerosis. David Perlmutter is a leader in this burgeoning field. His book is a landmark contribution.”At the link you can listen/watch, but not download; however, a copy of the audio file is in the blog archive.

Aung San Suu Kyi 45 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is Aung San Suu Kyi. The programme was recorded on location in Naypyitaw, Burma in December 2012. Now Leader of Burma’s opposition party, she has dedicated her life to fighting for human rights and democracy in her homeland. A figure of world renown, she is known in Burma as simply “The Lady” and her integrity, determination and grace have provided a beacon of hope to a nation oppressed and exploited by decades of brutal military dictatorship. President Obama says she is an “icon of democracy” and Desmond Tutu calls her “a remarkable woman … ready to work for the healing of her motherland”. Her renown has come at significant personal sacrifice: she endured nearly 20 years of house arrest and persecution, exiled from her children and apart from her British husband who died from cancer in 1999. She says “It takes courage to feel the truth, to feel one’s conscience because once you do, you must engage your fundamental purpose for being alive. You can’t just expect to sit idly by and have freedom handed to you.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Battle of Britain Vet 39 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway is the veteran RAF pilot Tony Iveson. Aged 21, he survived being shot down in his Spitfire over the North Sea during his first taste of combat in the Battle of Britain. Unusually for a fighter pilot, he then went on to join Bomber Command and the famous Dambusters squadron, sinking the German battleship The Tirpitz and winning a Distinguished Flying Cross. Aged 89 he returned to the skies, becoming the oldest man to fly a Lancaster bomber: “Well, I got out of that aeroplane and looked at it and it and thought how did we do it?” he says. “I know it was a long time ago and I was young and fit and a professional flier. But I thought about some of my friends who had been lost and it was an emotional experience.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Biohacking 60 mins – “This week we’re talking about do-it-yourself biology, and the community labs that are changing the biotech landscape from the grassroots up. We’ll discuss open-source genetics and biohacking spaces with Will Canine of Brooklyn lab Genspace, and Tito Jankowski, co-founder of Silicon Valley’s BioCurious. And we’ll talk to transdisciplinary artist and educator Heather Dewey-Hagborg about her art projects exploring our relationship with genetics and privacy.” At the link find the title, “#322 Biohacking,” right-click “Media files Science for the People, 322 Biohacking.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Books History 19 mins – “…Democratization came to books and journals decisively in the 1980s, when desktop publishing began to replace physical plants and industrial machinery. Digital media master Richard Nash says the digital revolution took many by surprise in the book world because it was a change in disguise. At first blush, nothing seemed to have changed at all.Today, though, we see change in every direction. An open network has replaced a closed supply chain of warehouses and bookstores; the bond that writers share with their readers is now the paramount relationship; and everyone is a creator. As Nash tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, printed books may have given birth to industrialism, yet digital publishing is returning society to a pre-modern phase. Today, though, we see change in every direction. An open network has replaced a closed supply chain of warehouses and bookstores; the bond that writers share with their readers is now the paramount relationship; and everyone is a creator….” At the link right-click “Download,” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Carbon Giants Battle 60 mins – “…Welcome to Radio Ecoshock. This week we investigate attempts by the fossil fuel industry to capture otherwise green-thinking ports in the Pacific Northwest, of the United States and Canada, to export carbon to Asia. It’s a battle you hardly hear about. Citizens are lining up against huge corporations with huge money, to fight off giant coal ports, liquified natural gas ports, even propane ports. If we commit to that infrastructure, we commit to devastating climate change – not to mention the explosive, toxic and polluting impacts of these big projects on the Pacific coast….” At the link right-click the first reference to “Lo_Fi” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Cardiologist 60 mins – “Q&A with Dr. Patrick O’Gara – Dr. Patrick O’Gara talked about advances in heart surgery, progress in understanding heart health and heart diseases, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on doctors and patients. He also spoke about his family and career.” At the link you can listen, but a download costs $.99; however, a copy of the file is included in the blog archive.

Career Selection P1 20 mins – “The most quoted speech in the realm of ‘follow your passion’ is Steve Job’s Stanford graduation commencement speech. He said: I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. And don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle. What isn’t often quoted is another part of the same speech: It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the $0.05 deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.” Part 2 is here. (One of 900 related podcasts on career and management from At the link right-click “Download this cast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Cars and Chicken Tax 16 mins “How the American auto industry is built on a trade dispute over frozen chicken parts.” At the link find the title, “#632: The Chicken Tax,” right-click “Media files 20150612_blog_pmoney.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Clean Water Act 51 mins – “Major rivers — like the Mississippi — are protected under the clean water act of 1972. But it’s been unclear if smaller wetlands and streams that feed into major rivers and lakes are also safeguarded. The Obama administration is seeking to clear up that confusion. Last month, it announced a rule that would clarify the number of smaller waterways protected by federal law. The Environmental Protection Agency says this will ensure safe drinking water for a third of Americans. But farmers and developers say it violates their property rights. A look at the debate over how to best protect the nation’s lakes and rivers. [3 guests]” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in the blog archive.

Coaching Ourselves 38 mins – “Our guidance on how to coach yourself – Many people tell us that their boss doesn’t coach, or their company doesn’t provide training or a mentoring program and they don’t know how they can improve their skills. So in this guidance, we’re going to tell you can use our coaching model to help yourself.” (One of 900 related podcasts on career and management from At the link right-click “Download this cast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Comanches and Texas 53 mins – “Sixty years ago John Ford travelled to Monument Valley to make his greatest Western, The Searchers. Based on Alan LeMay’s novel, it is still a powerful tale of race, violence and redemption as Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) searches for his niece Debbie, abducted by a Comanche raiding party on the Texas frontier. But, as Mark Burman discovers, The Searchers is a gateway to the real and powerful story of the forging of Texas statehood and the rise and fall of the Comanche empire.” At the link find the title, “In Search of The Real Searchers,” right-click “Media files p02tl312.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up media.

Complex Television 15 mins – “We’ve all heard the age old complaint: hundreds of shows, but nothing to watch. Author and Professor of Media Jason Mittell explains why that disgruntled channel-flipping is becoming a thing of the past — and how today’s television just keeps getting better.” At the link find the tite, “How IMBD and Amazon Are Making TV Better,” right-click “Media files 0620-Mittell-Webmix-Fix.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Creativity 49 mins – “Whether it’s work, school, the kids, or having a David Bowie/Queen collaboration stuck in our heads, we’re all under pressure. This week, we’ll examine how we get under pressure, and how we get out of it. Harvard’s Teresa Amabile will tell us about workplace creativity, and what types of tension can heighten it. Reporter Daniel Gross looks at the engineering and psychology behind one of the most aggravating experiences in human existence… traffic. James Bessen, an economist at BU, gives some insight and historical context into the fear of knowing that a robot might soon have your job. Finally, John Ioannidis talks about the stress scientists are under to come up with interesting research, and how that’s created a crisis in scientific literature. So give love one more chance, and listen to our show about pressure.” At the link find the title, “6.13.15 Pressure Pushing Down on Us,” right-click “Media files 0613-FullShow-WebMix.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Damian Lewis 35 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the actor, Damian Lewis. As part of the wave of British talent that’s crashed onto America’s shores in recent years his impact has made a deep impression on the creative landscape. His role as Sergeant Brodie in Homeland saw him win both an Emmy and Golden Globe and along with Band of Brothers, The Forsyte Saga and a long list of other credits, he now ranks as one of our most well recognised and highly regarded performers. Things didn’t always look so peachy: aged 11, and in the school production of Princess Ida, he forgot the entire third act and stood mute in front of a packed auditorium. Tellingly, rather than scuttling into the wings with shame he soldiered on and by 16 he knew performing was, more than anything, what he wanted to do. He says, “I am a person who is ambitious. I’m ambitious to get the very best from every moment and even if that’s just taking my children to the zoo … I want it to be the best it can be.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

DARPA Program Manager 67 mins – “Dr. Justin Sanchez and DARPA – Hosted by Leo Laporte. DARPA program manager exploring neurotechnology, brain science and systems neurobiology. Hosts: Leo Laporte and Marc Pelletier. Dr. Justin Sanchez joined DARPA as a program manager in 2013 to explore neurotechnology, brain science and systems neurobiology.” At the link right-click “Download options,” then right-click “Audio” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Dave Brubeck 17 mins – “Roy Plomley’s castaway is jazz musician Dave Brubeck.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

David Attenburough 40 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway for the 70th anniversary edition of Desert Island Discs is Sir David Attenborough. He has seen more of the world than anyone else who has ever lived – he’s visited the north and south poles and witnessed most of the life in-between – from the birds in the canopies of tropical rainforests to giant earthworms in Australia. But despite his extraordinary travels, there is one part of the globe that’s eluded him. As a young man and a keen rock-climber, he yearned to conquer the highest peak in the world. “I won’t make it now – I won’t make it to base camp now – but as a teenager, I thought that the only thing a red-blooded Englishman really should do was to climb Everest.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

David Suchet 37 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the actor David Suchet. He has won armfuls of awards for his work – most recently an Emmy for his portrayal of Robert Maxwell – but he is best known for the character he has been associated with for 20 years, Hercule Poirot. His approach to his work is meticulous and he says he has to inhabit each role he takes on. In this illuminating interview he recalls how, early in his career, a psychologist showed him how to shed his character at the end of each performance otherwise, he found, the edges between his own life and those of the person he was playing became blurred.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Dawn French 35 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is Dawn French. Her career started back when dungarees were considered a legitimate fashion choice and she’s built her reputation on borderline surreal skits and glowingly warm characterisations. Brought up in a forces family she had to move schools a lot and found making people laugh helped to make them her friends. Since then it’s made her a household name and she may be moments away from becoming a ‘national treasure’. Double act partner, sit-com star, sketch show performer, writer, actor, Dawn has made us laugh for years. So does she ever feel overwhelmed by people’s expectations? She says “I tell myself that I’m the sort of person who can open a one-woman play in the West End, so I do …. I am the sort of person who writes a book – so I do”. At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Dizzy Gillespie 30 mins – “Roy Plomley’s castaway is jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Drug Research 26 mins – “Extracts of the Mexican poppy found in Mali can treat malaria. Dr Merlin Willcox, a clinical researcher from Oxford University, visited communities in Mali to see how healers are using local plants to treat disease. He found that the Mexican poppy has some active ingredients that can treat malaria in some ways as effectively as current medicines. He told Claudia Hammond about how he went about this process of reverse pharmacology. Iron Fish Fights Anaemia In Cambodia iron deficiency affects as many as half of all women and children, but supplements can be hard to get hold of and can have unpleasant side effects. Nick Wood reports on how some families are using a piece of iron, 8cm long and shaped like a fish, to improve their nutrition and prevent anaemia. They just drop it into their cooking pots. Professor Imelda Bates of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine explains why anaemia is detrimental to health and how the iron fish idea could be adapted for other cultures. How Many Drugs are Fake? Research just published in PloS One and conducted by Dr Harparkash Kaur, a pharmacologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has shown that in parts of Nigeria there are fewer fake drugs than was feared, but more sub standard ones, which bring their own risks. Dr Kaur tells Claudia how they carried out their research.” At the link find the title, “Plants to Treat Malaria,” right-click “Media files p02tyntf.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Dustin Hoffman 36 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is Dustin Hoffman. In spite of his Aunt Pearl telling him he wasn’t good looking enough to be an actor for the past forty-five years he’s been crafting landmark movie performances. He is that rare and apparently contradictory thing – a character actor and a superstar. The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, Lenny, All The President’s Men, Marathon Man, Kramer v Kramer, Tootsie, Rain Man, Wag The Dog, and Last Chance Harvey are just a handful of the movies that contribute to an unparalleled body of work: he is the only actor in history to have top billing in three films that won Best Picture Oscars. Now in his mid-70s he is making his directorial debut. He says “I’m always fighting to break through… I’m trying to show you the part of me that wants to love, wants to kill, that wants to find my way out, that feels there is no way out.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Energy Futures P1 54mins – “This week we begin the first of a four-part series in which Carl Smith looks at Australia’s energy options beyond fossil fuels. Today, he investigates geothermal and nuclear power. The energy stored below Australia is immense. But it’s not just coal and gas. There’s also a huge amount of geothermal heat. Can this energy be harnessed to fuel the nation? And Australia has one-third of the world’s uranium. Carl Smith discovers the immense heat beneath our feet, and visits Australia’s only nuclear reactor to discover the potential of geothermal energy and nuclear power as replacements for coal as Australia’s major source of electricity. (A four minute brief about coughing starts the program.)” At the link right-click “Download audio” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Ethics 42 mins – “Our guidance on ethical behavior. Although this show was originally recorded as a Career Tools cast, we’ve included it for free for our Manager Tools listeners and Licensees given the underlying assumption of ethical behavior in all our recommendations. We started this cast with the intention of putting it in our new series for newcomers to the workforce: First Job Fundamentals. But it’s too important not to give everyone access to it. Ethical behavior underpins the Manager Tools and Career Tools philosophy. We’ve always taken it for granted that our listeners understand that. This cast makes clear our stance on ethics.” (One of 900 related podcasts on career and management from At the link right-click “Download this cast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Facial Recognition 47 mins – “Facial recognition technology takes privacy and personal identification issues to a whole new level. With enough cameras around and enough data, you can identify almost anyone – everyone – anywhere, anytime. It’s as good as fingerprints but requires no contact. Just a watchful, electronic eye. ID-ing you, wherever you go. Facebook and Google and US law enforcement have lots at work already. The Obama administration has been trying to hammer out privacy restraints. Last week, the privacy advocates walked out. This hour On Point: facial recognition and the future of privacy in America.” At the link right-click “Download this story” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Government Job Applications 21 mins – “Our guidance on the application process in government – We’ve been asked about how to get through the application process for government jobs – both local, state and federal. There are a lot of similarities, whether you look at any of the levels within the US, and in other countries in the world. This cast won’t be specific to any one system, but we will go over the basics.” (One of 900 related podcasts on career and management from At the link right-click “Download this cast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Grace Hopper 4 mins – “…Rear Admiral Hopper finally retired from the Navy at the age of 80 as the oldest active duty officer in the US military. Hopper continued to consult and speak in the computing industry and on college campuses until her death in 1992. Grace Hopper was a pioneer of computer programming, sometimes remembered as the ‘Queen of Code.’….” (Photo of the first computer bug is also here.) At the link right-click “Click here for audio…” and select “Save link As” from the pop-up menu.

Grand Canyon Development 52mins – “The Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring gorge of the Colorado River in Arizona. About 5 million sightseers, hikers and paddlers visit Grand Canyon National Park every year. As federal land it’s protected, but much of the land nearby is not. There’s a fierce battle going on in the region and nationally over two proposed development plans: One is a 1.4 mile tramway that would take visitors to new restaurants and an amphitheater at the bottom of the canyon. The other is a commercial development with more than 2,000 new homes, less than two miles from the park entrance. We look at the battle to balance private property rights and public land preservation. [5 guests]” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in the blog archive.

Hiring Interns 22 mins – “Our guidance on hiring internsHiring interns is often a task delegated to team members by managers to give them hiring experience.  There’s a thought there that because interns aren’t around long, getting a bad hire doesn’t mean much and there’s less risk if you get it wrong.
Of course, it’s not true.  A great intern can have a really positive effect in as little as a month. A bad intern just gives everyone more work to do.  So, how do you choose an intern?”
(One of 900 related podcasts on career and management from At the link right-click “Download this cast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Hiring Overqualifieds 27 mins – “This guidance describes how – and why – to hire “overqualified” candidates. In 2013, there are overqualified candidates in the job market. And Manager Tools recommends you HIRE them. Stop complaining about how you have to help and train and push your directs all the time, and hire someone who can MORE than do the job. The benefits – to an effective, smart manager – FAR outweigh the risks. Maybe it’s not for the faint of heart, but come on boys, do you want to live forever? Hiring overqualified candidates is a clever competitive advantage for an effective Manager Tools manager.” (One of 900 related podcasts on career and management from At the link right-click “Download this cast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Hugh Lourie 33 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway is the actor, Hugh Laurie. If life were straightforward he’d be marooned on the island because of his achievements as an Olympic rower. But his early promise on the water was scuppered by a bout of glandular fever – so he’s had to make do instead with life as a worldwide entertainment superstar. Very British comedy, very big budget movies, very successful syndicated TV drama – his 30 year career has taken him from A Little Bit of Fry & Laurie to a big bit of broadcasting history: his role in the U.S. show House ran for 8 series and had a global audience of 81 million. So why now does he feel the need to risk his stellar reputation by making music too? He says, “as soon as I acknowledge to myself that something is frightening and carries the risk of public humiliation I feel like I have to do it.”At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Independent Power Production 29 mins – “Todd Thorner, an entrepreneur who has started wind, solar and hydro-electric companies. discusses the role of independent power producers in the U.S. The post Todd Thorner on Independent Power Producers appeared first on Sea Change Radio.” At the link find the title, “Todd Thorner on Independent Power Producers,” right-click “Media files SC-2015-06-16.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Interview Questions 22 mins – “Our guidance on answering the question ‘why do you want to work here?’This guidance is part of a series helping you answer common interview questions. ‘Why do you want to work here?’ is a dispositive question for many interviewers. An enthusiastic, well thought through answer will make up for poor answers elsewhere, and a stuttered half answer will detract from your whole interview. So what is the right way to answer?” (One of 900 related podcasts on career and management from At the link right-click “Download this cast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Japanese Internment and Press 64 mins – “University of Southern California lecturer Richard Reeves talks about the internment experiences of the Japanese on the U.S. West coast and how the press fueled hysteria over sabotage.” At the link find the title, “Discussion on the Press and Japanese Internment in World War II,” right-click “Media files program.377774.MP3-STD.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Lauren Bacall 28 mins – “Roy Plomley’s castaway is actress Lauren Bacall.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Louis Armstrong 25 mins – “Roy Plomley’s castaway is jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Magna Carta Impact 110 mins (2 parts) – “It’s been hailed as the cornerstone of our justice system. From property rights to women’s rights, the rule of law, equality before the law and defined roles for judges: all roads seem to lead us back to Magna Carta Libertatum. But is this entirely true?” At the link find the title, “ Much Ado About Magna Carta, Part 1,” right-click “Media files ideas 20150615_66349.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu. Do the same for Part 2.

Malcolm Gladwell 37 mins – “The writer Malcolm Gladwell is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs. Always concise, frequently counterintuitive and unexpectedly beguiling, his work orders the world in a way that gives fresh insights into human behaviour. He believes that a knowledge of people’s backgrounds is necessary to understanding their success; his own achievements may presumably then be attributed, not just to his keen mind and polished prose, but also to his parents – an English mathematician and a Jamaican psychotherapist. He says, “I am the bird attached to the top of a very large beast, pecking away and eating the gnats…. I am someone who draws inspiration from the brilliance of others and repackages it … I am a populariser, a simplifier and a synthesizer.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Multitasking 28 mins – “We’ve said often on air that multi-tasking is a lie. We don’t mince our words, and we totally mean it. Multi-tasking is impossible for humans. It’s not even possible for computers. In the early days they just switched between tasks so quickly that it seemed as if they were multi-tasking. Nowadays they have multiple chips, so it can be argued they are multi-tasking, but you still only have one brain, so the argument doesn’t help you. Yes, you can rub your belly and pat your head at the same time. How much concentration does that take though? If we do it, we can’t do anything else, because doing those two things simultaneously takes up our WHOLE brain. We sometimes show this video at our conferences: Test Your Awareness: Do The Test. In it, you’re asked to look out for the number of passes the basketball players make. Something else happens in the video, which if you haven’t seen it before, you won’t see. Why? BECAUSE YOU CAN’T MULTITASK! If you are counting basketball passes (a relatively simple task) you cannot see the other things that happen. And, it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, old or young, computer savvy or technically barely literate. No-one can multi-task. It’s just not in our physiology. (Humans differ by .1% from each other, so we’re all a lot more the same that we are different). Those of you who are thinking, but this isn’t me… *I* can multi-task, you’re wrong, but apparently not being convinced. Please try and experiment with us. Try these techniques for just a week and see if your output improves. If it doesn’t, you can go back to multi-tasking with our blessing.” (One of 900 related podcasts on career and management from At the link right-click “Download this cast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Muscular Dystrophy Scientist 45 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the scientist Professor Kay Davies. She has dedicated much of her life to finding a cure for the severest form of muscular dystrophy. Before she was 40, she had helped to develop the antenatal test which is now used around the world, then she isolated the gene sequence which could be instrumental in treating the condition. After years spent working on that, human trials for a possible treatment are about to begin. It’s quite something for a woman who doesn’t have an O-level in biology. Although, even as a child she did possess that critical quality crucial to scientific pioneers: “I loved solving problems,” she says, “I was very tenacious and would sit in my room until I had finished the problem. I am a sticker.” [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Native Americans in 1700s 70 mins – “Professor Paul Mapp talks about the interactions between the European colonial powers and Native American tribes on the Great Plains during the 1700s.” At the link find the title, “Discussion on the Colonial West,” right-click “Media files program.376832.MP3-STD.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Panama Canal Expansion P1 13 mins – “The expanded Panama Canal is scheduled to open in the winter of 2016, featuring a new, parallel set of locks and deeper channels, allowing the passage of Neo-Panamax container ships carrying as many as 13,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), in contrast to 5000 TEU capacity of today’s Panamax ships, as well as larger bulk carriers and now LNG ships. Larger ships mean lower transportation costs, and the possibility of reducing consumer prices and making some US businesses more competitive in the global markets. But a key question for the U.S. is “Are our ports, harbor, and landside transportation systems ready for these larger ships?” Are channels deep enough, cranes sufficiently large and plentiful, and do rail, road, and storage facilities have the throughput capacity to move the bulk and containerized goods? Host Joseph Schofer discusses the national perspective on port readiness with Roger Bohnert, Deputy Associate Administrator-Office of Intermodal System Development, and Yvette Fields, Director, Office of Deepwater Ports and Offshore Activities, at the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). The Phase I report of MARAD’s Panama Canal impact study is hereAt the link right-click “Listen to this episode now,” right-click “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Patent Trolls 25 mins – “Communicators on Patent Reform – Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA), Austin Meyer, and Daniel Zadoff talked about patent legislation before Congress and other issues. They were each interviewed in the Rayburn House Office Building on unknown dates.” Done during a CES Technology Fair held in Washington, DC. At the link you can listen, but a download costs $.99; however, a copy of the file is included in the blog archive.

Pittsburgh Tech Council 54 mins – “Joyce welcomes Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Discussed on the show will be the mission of this organization.” At the link find the title, “Mission of the Pittsburgh Technology Council,” right-click “Media files bender061615.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Price Tags History 17 mins – “The price tag is a fairly recent invention. And it’s already on its way out.” At the link find the title, “#633: The Birth And Death Of The Price Tag,” right-click “Media files 20150617_blog_pmoney.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Prison State 86 mins – “An intimate look at the cycle of mass incarceration in America.” At the link right-click “Download File” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Putin Background 27 mins – “Vladimir Putin, then a KGB agent, was caught up in dramatic events as East Germany collapsed. He saw crowds take control as communist power collapsed, and had to defend his KGB office in Dresden as demonstrators tried to break in. Chris Bowlby explores how this experience shaped Putin’s career and behaviour today – his determination to restore Russian power, his fear of demonstrations, his sense of the power of nationalism.” At the link find the title, “The Moment that Made Putin,” right-click “Media files p02tssz5.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Relativity 52 mins – “A century ago, Albert Einstein rewrote our understanding of physics with his Theory of General Relativity. Our intuitive ideas about space, time, mass, and gravity turned out to be wrong. Find out how this masterwork changed our understanding of how the universe works and why you can thank Einstein whenever you turn on your GPS. Also, high-profile experiments looking for gravitational waves and for black holes will put the theories of the German genius to the test – will they pass? And why the story of a box, a Geiger counter, and a zombie cat made Einstein and his friend Erwin Schrödinger uneasy about the quantum physics revolution.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Shami Chakrabarti 37 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti. A pithy and incisive speaker, she is rarely out of the media spotlight and has been voted ‘one of our most inspiring political figures’. She joined Liberty the day before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and, as the events unfolded on the television screens, it was, she says, impossible to predict just how much they would shape the civil rights debate in the years that followed. For her, it was not just a matter of philosophical or political principle – her son was born soon after the attacks and his birth, she says, influenced her own feelings: “I understood more what it is to be afraid, what it is to really worry about whether your family are going to be blown up on the underground.” [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Solitary Confinement 34 mins – “Special Podcast: FRONTLINE asks how corrections officials are changing the use of solitary confinement in the U.S.” At the link find the title, “Frontline Roundtable: Solitary Confinement,” right-click “Download File” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Standards 4 mins – “We spend a good part of our lives measuring things — length, weight, time. But how do we know that a pound of coffee weighs the same in Miami as it does in Seattle? Or that a gallon of gas is the same in Houston as it is in New York? The need for uniform measures in the United States was recognized in the Constitution. It grants Congress the power to establish standards. George Washington understood the need for standards. In his 1790 State of the Union address, he proclaimed that “Uniformity in the currency, weights, and measures of the United States is an object of great importance, and will, I am persuaded, be duly attended to.” However, it wasn’t until 1901 that Congress established the organization we know today as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST for short….” At the link right-click “Click here for audio….” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Stems Cells Background 126 mins – “Stem cells are an important part of today’s medical practice, and their importance will grow in the future based on research conducted today. One of the researchers in Derrick Rossi of Harvard and the Boston Children’s Hospital. In the episode we introduce the different kinds of stem cells and their role in the body and in medical treatments. We then discuss some clinical use cases as well as current research (in general and in Derrick’s group).” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Stephen Fry 39 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is Stephen Fry. Comedian, actor, writer, director, presenter & award-ceremony host – his list of accomplishments is long, varied and impressive. His younger years were troubled and with a propensity for stealing and lying, he was expelled from two schools and imprisoned for credit card fraud. The turning point came when he knuckled down and won a scholarship to Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he read English and joined the Cambridge Footlights, becoming lifelong friends with Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie. His career highlights include the fruits of his collaborative work with Laurie – from A Bit of Fry and Laurie to Jeeves and Wooster, he played Lord Melchett in Blackadder and Oscar Wilde on the big screen. He is a best-selling author of fiction and three volumes of autobiography, is the voice of the Harry Potter audio books and presents BBC Two’s QI. He has also spoken of his experience of mental health issues and in 2006 he made a documentary exploring the effects of living with Bipolar – it won an Emmy Award.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Terry gilliam 36 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway is the animator and director Terry Gilliam. He first planted his foot-print on our cultural landscape more than thirty years ago – back then, it was a huge, animated foot which squashed everything beneath it and became one of the defining images of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In the years since, his film credits have included Brazil, Twelve Monkeys and The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. Now aged 70, he’s directing his first opera. He says: “I’ve always liked the extremes, the edges. I like to know where the cliff is, but you only find out by stepping off.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Timing Is Key 7 mins – “Bill Gross has founded a lot of startups, and incubated many others — and he got curious about why some succeeded and others failed. So he gathered data from hundreds of companies, his own and other people’s, and ranked each company on five key factors. He found one factor that stands out from the others — and surprised even him.” At the link click “Download,” then right-click “Download audio” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Tom Jones 36 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway is the singer Sir Tom Jones. In a career spanning fifty years he’s sold 150 million albums and his hits have included It’s Not Unusual, What’s New Pussycat? and Delilah. As a child it was assumed he’d follow in his father’s footsteps and become a miner. But he developed TB when he was twelve and doctors warned his parents against sending their only son to the pit; they said his lungs were too weak. Now aged seventy, he has no plans to retire. “Singing’s like breathing to me”, he says, “my voice drives me, it tells me that I have to do it”. At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Transplant Scarcity 17 mins – “Do we know our bodies’ true value? Northeastern’s Kara Swanson says the massive gap between organ supply and demand makes it much higher than we might think.” At the link find the title, “Organ Marketplaces” of the Future, right-click “Media files Swanson-Webmix-0620.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Twitter History 29 mins – “…New York Times columnist & technology reporter Nick Bilton discusses his book, “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal,” in which he traces the origins of Twitter from the perspectives of its four co-founders.” At the link find the title, “The Communicators with Nick Bilton,” right-click “Media files comm012514 podcast.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Urinary Tract Dysfunction 24 mins – “Jalesh Panicker discusses lower urinary tract dysfunction, a common problem in people with neurological disorders.” At the link find the title, “Lower urinary tract dysfunction: The Lancet Neurology: June 16, 2015,” right-click “download audio” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Water’s Fourth Phase 24 mins – “How On Earth reporter Kendra Krueger caught up with Gerald Pollack, Bioengineering professor from the University of Washington to talk about the physical chemistry of water.  The science of water has a sordid past of controversy and dispute which continues today in our current scientific and layman communities.  Why is that? What is so strange about the properties of water?” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save link As” from the pop-up menu.

Whoopi Goldberg 35 mins – “Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the comic and actress Whoopi Goldberg. As a child she used to practise the acceptance speeches she was sure she would one day make – little surprise then that she’s one of a handful of people to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony and Emmy awards.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Woman Aviator 4 mins – “Today, Hilda Hewlett — not a young daredevil. The University of Houston’s College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them. The stories of first-women-fliers reveal one adventure-seeking young lady after another. But, when we come to Hilda Hewlett — first British woman pilot — the script changes dramatically. Hilda Hewlett was born in 1864 while we were still fighting our Civil War. She was almost 40 when the Wright Brothers flew….” At the link right-click “Click here for audio….” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.



An alphabetic library of 6500 of these hyperlinked descriptions is here and updated quarterly. A file of the podcasts is here , updated weekly, and can be downloaded as a 40+ GB zipped file, or individually.  Over 240 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.

Thanks for stopping by.


About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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