Exercise your ears: the 48 podcasts shown below present the best ideas, information and stories from a larger group of 661 for the week, to hear while your hands and eyes are busy. Get all the files as a group for the next four months here, or double (ctrl-click) individual titles to get single podcasts and explore the source. A collection of (25,869) podcasts, listed alphabetically and grouped by topic, can be downloaded piecemeal, with files A-E at this link, and the remainder here. You’ll be limited to a 4GB maximum per download at the last place, so multiple group downloads will be needed to get all files, totaling over 160GB and may take a few hours. The first entry in the collection is a text file with just titles for quicker reference. A collection of abstracts for all the podcasts is available at this link and updated quarterly. Get the discarded material, too, using a podcast aggregator loaded with this opml file of the 503 sources. And try PodcastRE from the University of Wisconsin with over 150,000 titles. Exercise your ears and relax the rest.
5G Communications 24 mins – “‘5G’ is a new buzzword floating around every corner of the internet. But what exactly is this hyped-up cellular network, often referred to as the next technological evolution in mobile internet communications? Will it really be 100 times faster than what we have now? What will it make possible that has never been possible before? Who will reap the benefits? And, who will get left behind? Mike Thelander at Signals Research Group imagines the wild ways 5G might change our lives in the near future. Rhiannon Williams hits the street to test drive a new 5G network. Amy France lives in a very rural part of Kansas — she dreams of the day that true, fast internet could come to her farm (but isn’t holding her breath). Larry Irving explains why technology has never been provided equally to everyone, and why he fears 5G will leave too many people out. Shireen Santosham, though, is doing what she can to leverage 5G deployment in order to bridge the digital divide in her city of San Jose.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Abortion History 64 mins – “In 1973, the landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade decriminalized abortion. But since then, the court’s findings have been simultaneously celebrated and contested. Now, Roe is in the news again. States including Alabama and Missouri have passed laws that challenge the Roe decision, leading some to ask: Are we close to seeing the Roe v. Wade ruling overturned? On this episode, we dig into the history of Roe and explore the life and legacy of a case whose details are often forgotten or misunderstood.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop- up menu.
Air Conditioning History 32 mins – “In the summer of 1902, the Sackett and Wilhelms Lithography & Printing Company in Brooklyn, New York had a problem. They were trying to print an issue of the popular humor magazine Judge, but the humidity was preventing the inks from setting properly on the pages. The moisture in the air was warping the paper and messing up the alignment. So the company hired a young engineer named Willis Carrier to solve the problem. Carrier developed a system that pumps air over metal coils cooled with ammonia to pull moisture from the air, but it had a side effect — it also made the air cooler. The room with the machine became the popular lunch spot for employees. Carrier had invented air conditioning, and began to think about how it could be used for human comfort. Before air conditioning took off, a hot and crowded theater was the last place anyone wanted to be during the summer. So Carrier approached a bunch of theater owners and pitched them on his technology — it wouldn’t be cheap, he explained, but higher ticket sales could pay for it. Soon, theaters were advertising chilled air and drawing huge crowds, eventually helping to spawn the “summer blockbuster” phenomenon.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “OK” to download the podcast.
Algorithm Faults 24 mins – “…Computer algorithms now shape our world in profound and mostly invisible ways. They predict if we’ll be valuable customers and whether we’re likely to repay a loan. They filter what we see on social media, sort through resumes, and evaluate job performance. They inform prison sentences and monitor our health. Most of these algorithms have been created with good intentions. The goal is to replace subjective judgments with objective measurements. But it doesn’t always work out like that….” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “OK” to download the podcast.
Apartheid 32 mins – ““If you lived in a high rise building with five or six hundred flats in it,” explains Smuts, “they weren’t going to go through each and every flat to come look for any illegal persons.” And over the years, many interracial families like the Smuts disappeared into one high rise apartment building in particular—a tower called Ponte City. “I don’t think there’s anybody in Johannesburg that doesn’t know Ponte,” Smuts says. “They might not have been there. But everybody knows Ponte.” Looking at Johannesburg’s skyline, the 54-story tower is hard to miss—it is the tallest apartment building on the African continent. It is also distinctively shaped, a massive cylinder with an empty central core. The billboard wrapping its top like a crown also helps it stand out. For many, the building symbolizes Johannesburg—because over the past four decades, its fortunes have reflected the changing city around it.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Audry Munson 24 mins – “All over New York City, there is a woman in various states of undress, so baked into architecture that we barely even notice her. In the public library, she leans against a white horse; at the intersection of 59th and 5th, she perches atop a fountain; on 107th and Broadway, she reclines on a bed; and on top of the Manhattan Municipal Building she stands tall, this time cast in gold. She has gone by many names: Star Maiden, Priestess of Culture, Mourning Victory, and, simply: Niche Figure. But the truth is, all these likenesses were based on a single person: a model by the name of Audrey Munson….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
Border Wall 32 mins – “When current President Donald Trump took office, he promised to build an “an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall.” The first part of this episode by Radio Diaries tells two stories of what happens when, instead of people crossing the border, the border crosses the people. Then, in part two of the show, Avery Trufelman takes a closer look at eight current designs that have been turned into prototypes near the border in California.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “OK” to download the podcast.
Car Safety 34 mins – “In the past fifty years, the car crash death rate has dropped by nearly 80 percent in the United States. And one of the reasons for that drop has to do with the “accident report forms” that police officers fill out when they respond to a wreck. Officers use these forms to document the weather conditions, to draw a diagram of the accident, and to identify the collision’s “primary cause.” For the more than 30,000 fatal car crashes that happen each year, information gathered on the side of the road goes from the accident report form into a federal database: the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Chilean Cybersyn 24 mins – “…Cybernetics began to become popular around WWII. As humans developed new kinds of machines, they became interested in developing systems for controlling those machines. Cybernetics looks at how to design intelligent, self-correcting systems. In England, in the 1960s, a business consultant named Stafford Beer was applying concepts of cybernetics to business management. He believed a business could be thought of as an intelligent system. If the goal of a business is to sell more product, or work more efficiently, one could (using the principles of cybernetics) design the system to work toward that goal. Flores thought that Stafford Beer could use Cybernetics to help model and manage Chile’s economy, and Beer was thrilled at the chance to apply his ideas on such a grand scale. Beer arrived in Chile in 1971 to begin on this project, which they called “Cybersyn.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
City Planning Architects P2 36 mins – “The Bijlmermeer (or Bijlmer, for short) was built just outside of Amsterdam in the 1960s. It was designed by modernist architects to be a “city of the future” with its functions separated into distinct zones. To Modernists, it represented a vision of the city as a well-oiled machine. Upon completion, it was a massive expanse of 31 concrete towers. There were 13,000 apartments, many of them unoccupied. Just sitting there, totally empty.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “OK” to download the podcast.
Civil War Museum 56 mins – “On May 4, 2019, the American Civil War Museum opens in Richmond, Virginia. It’s a historic endeavor, building upon a merger of several museums and historical sites in the region, including the former Museum of the Confederacy. The museum’s goal is to tell an inclusive and balanced version of the Civil War. But for an event that’s arguably the most contentious conflict in American history, that’s a tall order. So on this episode, BackStory gets an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the museum to explore what it means to tell new narratives of the Civil War in public spaces.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop- up menu.
Coal Decals 22 mins – “…As a new miner in a dangerous industry, Ronnie had to go through an intensive orientation process before this first trip underground. He sat through 40 hours of training and safety classes before going down into the mines. He was also issued a yellow hardhat that identified him as a rookie, and given his first reflective coal mining stickers. He put one on his new hardhat and saved one in a box, later putting it into an album. Today, after 34 years as a miner in Alabama, Ronnie has filled several photo albums with thousands of stickers. Some are inside jokes. Others commemorate big events or accomplishments at work. Some come from unions or manufacturers connected to the industry. Lots of other coal miners across the country have collections like Ronnie’s. Miners use these stickers for safety and for communication, and as a kind of currency down in the mines. And for many miners, collecting them was a natural extension of their utility. “It was just what coal miners did,” says Ronnie, like how “kids collect baseball cards….” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “OK” to download the podcast.
Cognitive Neuroscience 34 mins – This week we are speaking with Jared Cooney Horvath, a cognitive neuroscientist from the University of Melbourne. Jared specializes in human thought, learning, and brain stimulation, and holds the position of Director at both LME Global and The Science of Learning Group. He also has a new book titled, Stop Talking, Start Influencing: 12 Insights from Brain Science to Make Your Message Stick, that was just recently published in March of this year! It’s not only great for a general audience, but for educators as well — providing tons of key insights on the best ways to teach so that the learning will stick. In the discussion, Jared takes Tom through the 12 insights in his book. He speaks about why multitasking is not beneficial, whether it’s better to read or to listen when learning, how accompanying images can help impact memory and learning, whether or not cramming works, the impact spacial layouts have on a learner, and why we should embrace errors. Beyond that, he shares many more of his findings through neuroscience around learning and education.At the link double click the down-poiting arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Container Shipping History 34 mins – “Huge container-moving cranes dot the waterfronts of San Francisco and Oakland while hulking container ships dominate the waterways of the Bay Area. But this was not always the case. In the eight-part audio documentary series Containers, Alexis Madrigal explores how the rise of container shipping and the evolution of global trade have transformed economies and shaped cities around the world.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Contraception 21 mins – “In 1960, a new wonder drug hit the U.S. market. And while lots of new drugs promise dramatic results, this one would actually transform millions of lives and radically shift American culture. It was called Enovid. It was the first oral contraceptive, and it ushered in extraordinary changes and opportunities for women.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “OK” to download the podcast.
Depressed Researchers 71 mins – “From ASM Microbe 2019, the Microbials meet up with Susanna and Alex to talk about mental health in graduate school and NIH peer review.” At the link find the title, “Right click to download TwiM#199,” and right-click it to download the podcast.
Electricity Cost 29 mins – “For most people, electricity only flows one way (into the home), but there are exceptions — people who use solar panels, for instance. In those cases, excess electricity created by the solar cells travels back out into the grid to be distributed elsewhere. And in some states, people can can be paid for this excess electricity. The practice is called “net metering” (referring to the total or “net” amount of energy used) and while it started off as a relatively non-controversial practice, there are now big political battles being fought over it.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Elio Schaechter Story 61 mins – “Vincent, Michele, and Michael travel to San Diego to reminisce with Elio about his career, his work in microbiology, and his love for microbes and mushrooms.” At the link find the title, “Right click to download TWiM #200,” and right-click it to download the podcast.
Elizabeth Warren Interview 35 mins – “Rebecca Traister and Elizabeth Warren discuss Warren’s history as a teacher, and how it influences her presidential campaign, on this week’s episode of The Cut on Tuesdays.” At the link left-click “Share,” then right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Gerrymandering 48 mins – “The way we draw our political districts has a huge effect on U.S. politics, but the process is also greatly misunderstood. Gerrymandering has become a scapegoat for what’s wrong with the polarized American political system, blamed for marginalizing groups and rigging elections, but there’s no simple, one-size-fits-all design solution for drawing fair districts….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
Hearing Loss in Combat 19 mins – “Most earplugs reduce noise by 30-some decibels, which can be significant. Every three-decibel increase in a loud noise cuts in half the amount of time you can be exposed without risking hearing damage. To put that another way: an unprotected human ear can spend 8 hours a day exposed to 85 decibels (freeway noise, crowded restaurant) without incurring damage. But if you go up to 115 decibels (chainsaw, loud rock concert) your safe exposure time is only half a minute before your hearing could be affected. In a military situation, a reduction of 30 decibels is especially helpful with a steady grinding background din such as the thrum of a Blackhawk helicopter. But there’s a problem with earplugs on the battlefield. Soldiers won’t wear them. If they do wear them, they may miss other important (softer) noises happening around them. The result is lots of service members coming home from battle with tinnitus or hearing loss. In fact, for as long as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has reported such statistics, tinnitus and hearing loss have remained the number one and two most common injuries of service members. Doctor Eric Fallon, former chief audiologist at Walter Reed Medical Center and now on the staff at 3M, is looking for solutions….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
High School Learning 10 mins – “Dr. Sarah Fine, co-author of In Search of Deeper Learning, The Quest to Remake the American High School talks about her research into remarkable high school experiences. Scroll down to download the transcript for this episode.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “OK” from the pop-up menu.
Homeless Containment in Los Angeles 27 mins – “It’s hard to overstate the vastness of the Skid Row neighborhood in Los Angeles. It spans roughly 50 blocks, occupying a significant portion of the downtown Los Angeles area. In some ways, it looks a lot like other neighborhoods with its corner stores and street vendors, old brick townhouses and people gathered in its public spaces. But it’s also very clear when you’ve entered Skid Row….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Human and AI Differences 7 mins – “Artificial Intelligence, it seems, is now everywhere. Text translation, speech recognition, book recommendations, even your spam filter is now “artificially intelligent.” But just what do scientists mean with “artificial intelligence,” and what is artificial about it? Artificial intelligence is a term that was coined in the 1980s, and today’s research on the topic has many facets. But most of the applications we now see are calculations done with neural networks. These neural networks are designed to loosely mimic the function of the human brain, but they structurally differ from real brains in ten relevant aspects: form and function, size, connectivity, power consumption, architecture, activation potential, speed, learning technique, structure, and precision. In my video, I briefly explain how neural networks work, and then go through these structural differences.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.
Infectious Disease Diagnosis 46 mins – “Most diagnostic tests look for a single microorganism, or at most a limited panel of microorganisms. Charles Chiu discusses his research on metagenomic sequencing as a diagnostic tool that can identify all potential pathogens in a given patient sample.” At the link right-click “MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Investment Distributions 44 mins – “For more than 15 years Paul has updated his discussion of fixed and variable distribution strategies. In this podcast he discusses the pros and cons of fixed distributions so investors understand: The importance of the data used to represent returns; The huge differences between 3, 4, 5 and 6 percent distributions; The importance of inflation; Why 3% is the most trustworthy strategy… but be overly conservative; How an extra .5 to 1 percent return can translate into millions of extra dollars to you and/or your heirs; How 10 years of performance may encourage investors to make the wrong decision; How one seemingly harmless decision could lead to going broke; How these tables should be used by members of the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) Movement” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Japanese Internment 27 mins – “When Warren Furutani was growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s, he sometimes heard his parents refer to a place where they once spent time — a place they called “camp.” To him “camp” meant summer camp or a YMCA camp, but this was something different. During World War II the US government incarcerated Warren Furutani’s parents, along with over 110,000 other Japanese Americans, in ten different detention centers throughout the United States. When they talked about “camp” that’s what they meant.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Land Fill Operations 22 mins – “…San Francisco isn’t the only city that has created new land. Large portions of New York City, Boston, Seattle, Hong Kong and Marseilles were built on top of fill. What is now Mumbai, India, was transformed by the British from a seven-island archipelago to one contiguous strip of land. The most extraordinary example of land reclamation and manufacture may be the Netherlands. As early as the 9th century A.D., the Dutch began building dykes and pumping systems to create new land in places that were actually below sea level….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
Melting Pot America 60 mins – “Neighborhoods are constantly changing, but it tends to be the people with money and power who get to decide the shape of things to come. New York City has an especially long history with change driven by landlords and real estate investors. Today, change is taking the form of gentrification, but in the 1960s, the neighborhood of East New York became a nexus of what has since become known as white flight….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
Mini Stories 3 40 mins – “At the end of last year, we started a tradition of collecting new short pieces by 99% Invisible producers into “mini-story” episodes. By popular demand, we are back at it again with tales of iceberg ships, famous ruins, sackcloth dresses, innovative instruments and more.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “OK” to download the podcast.
Mini Stories 4 43 mins -.”Last holiday season, we started a tradition of collecting new short pieces by 99% Invisible producers into “mini-story” episodes. Listeners asked for more, so we’re back at it again with tales of a backward index, alarm design, actual alchemy and Seattle’s historic underground. Also: Roman gives his take on the new presidential challenge coin redesign.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “OK” to download the podcast.
Moon Landing Anniversary 65 mins- “In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, BackStory launches into the history of America’s race to the moon. We’ll hear from flight director Gene Kranz about what it was like in Mission Control during the moon landing. And we’ll explore a kind of Apollo nostalgia that has crept into movies and other forms of pop culture. Plus, stay tuned throughout the episode to hear from our listeners about their memories of the moon landing. This episode and related resources are funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this show, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Oyster Breakwaters in NYC 31 mins – “Architects and engineers are considering all kinds of different ways that cities can redesign their infrastructure to prepare for climate change. There’s talk of floodgates, and massive seawalls that would stretch across the entire harbor. But Paul Greenberg says that one of the solutions for New York’s future might lie in its past. New York was built at the mouth of the Hudson River, and that fertile estuary environment was filled with all kinds of marine life. But one creature in particular shaped the landscape: the oyster. It is estimated that trillions of oysters once surrounded New York City, filtering bacteria and acting as a natural buffer against storm surges.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Post Offices in the U.S. 21 mins – “…Winifred Gallagher, author of How the Post Office Created America: A History, argues that the post office is not simply an inexpensive way to send a letter. The service was designed to unite a bunch of disparate towns and people under one flag, and in doing so, she believes the post office actually created the United States of America….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
Puerto Rico Trends 23 mins – “Puerto Rico is in the midst of a historic societal shift, with massive protests having successfully driven out former Governor Ricardo Rosselló. There have been two more governors in the week since he officially stepped down and more calls from the public to root out corruption. Now, what are the next steps? In the United States, there have been calls for more federal oversight. In San Juan’s political circles, machinations center around who should be the next governor. But elsewhere, the conversation among those who want more from their government is focused around bigger questions about representation and reform. Producer Alana Casanova-Burgess attended two “Asambleas de Pueblo” (people’s assemblies) centered on keeping the momentum for change going. For some, the bigger question is: how much democracy can there be in a colony?…” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Reparations 77 mins – “Reparations for African-Americans has been a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail, with Democratic candidates including Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren coming out in favor of compensation for unpaid African-American labor. But the debate around reparations is nothing new. In fact, it goes back centuries. On this episode, Nathan, Ed and Brian explore the complicated – and often contentious – history of reparations, from the first mass reparations movement led by Callie House, an ex-slave, to a unique moment when African-Americans in Florida received compensation for the destruction of their community. This episode and related resources are funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this show, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop- up menu.
Reverberation Control 22 mins – “There are two primary ways to control the sound of a space: active acoustics and passive acoustics. Passive acoustics are the materials in a space, like the padding in our studio or wooden floors or plaster walls. Materials like carpeting and drapery soak up sound, while materials like glass and porcelain make a room more echoey. Active acoustics are sound systems that use technology like speakers and microphones to boost or minimize certain sounds in a space…and the sonic control they offer can be dynamic and variable and quite dramatic….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
Salton Sea 21 mins – “The largest body of water in California was formed by a mistake. In 1905, the California Development Company accidentally flooded a huge depression in the Sonora Desert, creating an enormous salty lake called the Salton Sea. The water is about twice as salty as the Pacific Ocean. The ground beneath the southern end of the sea is volcanic and water bubbles to the surface in muddy pools. The only fish that can live in Salton Sea are tilapia, but even they struggle to survive. This sea—this gurgling, sometimes stinky, accident of a sea—is actually in danger of drying up and disappearing. And you may be thinking: “good riddance!” It doesn’t sound all that nice. But the Salton Sea needs us. And we need it.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
Scott Pelley 47 mins – “Scott Pelley is with us to talk about his time at CBS Evening News, his memoir “Truth Worth Telling” and more.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Silicon Valley History 32 mins – “Whether its smartphones, laptops, or the Internet, there’s no doubt the products of Silicon Valley are a part of our daily lives. According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own a smartphone, and nearly three-quarters of adults have a desktop or laptop computer. But how did a slice of northern California turn into one of the most influential industries in history? Brian talks with historian Margaret O’Mara about the Valley’s rise to global tech capital. O’Mara’s new book is called “The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Small Cap Value Funds 45 mins – “Small cap value continues to be an asset class that Paul recommends for all investors. Of course, for retired investors it may be a very small part as their position in equities is low. For first-time investors following Paul and Chris’ target date fund recommendations, the super-charged asset class may take up the entire portfolio. Most investors will be surprised to learn that small cap value is low risk compared to the conservative S&P 500. In this discussion Paul references this study by Chris Pedersen, Resilency: How Fast Do Different Asset Classes Recover?” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Stonewall Incident 47 mins – “It’s been fifty years since patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought back against a police raid and called for gay rights. We’ll consider the meaning of Stonewall and the state of the LGBTQ movement now. How much has changed?” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Stonewall Uprising 48 mins – “In the early hours of June 28, 1969, a riot broke out at a rundown gay bar in New York City. Today the Stonewall uprising is famous around the world as a clash that helped spark a gay political revolution. Brian and Nathan talk to scholars and participants and discover how Stonewall led to a wave of activism, protest and political agitation. This episode and related resources are funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this show, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities….” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Tasers 22 mins – “By the early 1900s, lots of police departments across the country had started equipping their officers with guns, but nightsticks remained the alternative weapon of choice. In the 1960s, that began to change, as police departments looked for new weapons to control large crowds. Many of these, like tear gas, came straight from the military. But some departments started using a new electrical weapon: the cattle prod. Often used in the South during the Civil Rights movement, the prods became especially offensive and contentious to many in the public. But there were also proponents of electrical weapons. In 1968, Richard Dougherty, a former Deputy Police Commissioner of New York City, said, “better a few jolts of electricity than a knockout blow on the head….What is a nightstick after all? It’s a club… Why in this age of science…do our police have to use a weapon right out of the stone-age?” As it turns out, a scientist and inventor named Jack Cover was thinking about similar questions. Cover worked as an aerospace scientist and had been involved with NASA’s Apollo program. In the late 1960s, as images of protests and police violence saturated the nightly news, he thought a weapon that temporarily immobilized a person, at a distance, using electricity, might be the solution. Cover’s idea for the weapon came after reading about a hiker who became stuck to an electric fence — unable to move, but otherwise relatively unharmed. After several years of development, he invented a weapon that he named after a science fiction novel from his childhood called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle.” To name the weapon, Cover took the initials from the book title (T.S.E.R), then he added an A to make the word easier to say: Taser. The Taser used a small gunpowder charge to fire two metal darts attached to a fine wire, carrying 50,000 volts of current from a rechargeable battery. When both darts hit a person, electricity would flow along the metal wires, causing their muscles to tense up involuntarily….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow, then select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.
Walt Whitman 64 mins – “May 31st marks Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday. In honor of the man known as America’s “bard of democracy,” we explore diverse aspects of Whitman’s life and legacy – from sexuality to spirituality, poetics to place.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop- up menu.
Wellness Industry 56 mins – “Recent estimates have put the value of the “Wellness Industry” at $4.2 billion, with celebrities like Jay-Z and Gwyneth Paltrow offering advice on how to get, and stay, well. But being holistically healthy hasn’t always involved a daily dose of meditation. Ed and Brian explore the history of wellness, a story which takes in breakfast cereal, leotards and Sigmund Freud.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop- up menu.
Women in Congress 55 mins – “Today, 131 women serve in the House and Senate, making Congress the most female and most diverse it’s ever been. But women in politics continue to face an uphill battle. Even after their election, Congresswomen such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib have faced criticism for their choice of clothing and language. One radio commentator in Atlanta even suggested Lucy McBath should “go back to the kitchen.” We look at the history of “women in Congress,” how much progress we’ve made and how much work lies ahead.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop- up menu.
WW II Museum Talk 48 mins – “It was codenamed Operation Neptune, part of Operation Overlord. And it was plotted for nearly a year, relying on the insights and arguments of admirals, politicians, engineers and weather forecasters. And on such a plan did World War II and the very trajectory of the 20th century pivot. We know this massive military invasion, of course, as D-Day. Next week marks 75 years since Allied troops stormed into the breach and onto the beaches of Normandy to combat fascism and tyranny, at a terrible price. Yet that history is receding. That’s why we traveled to The National WWII Museum, in a reminder of how that history still breathes — why it matters.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Thanks for stopping by.