Exercise your ears: the 69 podcasts shown below present the best ideas, information and stories from a larger group of 752 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 (26,028) 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.
27th Amendment 62 mins – “The 27th Amendment is the most recent amendment to the Constitution, and its existence today can be traced to a college student who proposed the idea in a term paper and was given a C by his professor for the idea. Today marks the 27th anniversary of the amendment’s ratification in 1992, and it seems likely we won’t see a 28th amendment for some time. “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened,” the 27th Amendment reads, as approved in 1992. In short, the amendment states that a sitting Congress can’t give itself a raise (or cut its pay) during its current session. Any pay raise or cut can only take effect for the Congress that follows a sitting Congress. It’s not a new idea. Founding Father James Madison first proposed this amendment back in 1789 along with several other amendments that became the Bill of Rights, but it took 203 years for it to become the law of the land. In 1982, a college undergraduate student, Gregory Watson, discovered that the proposed amendment could still be ratified and started a grassroots campaign. Watson was also an aide to Texas state senator Ric Williamson. Shortly after the amendment was ratified a decade later, New York Law School professor Richard B. Bernstein traced the journey from 1789 to 1992 in a Fordham Law Review article. Bernstein called Watson the “step-father” of the 27th Amendment. Watson was a sophomore at the University of Texas-Austin in 1982 and he needed a topic for a government course. Watson researched what became the 27th Amendment and found that six states had ratified it by 1792, and then there was little activity about it. Watson concluded that the amendment could still be ratified, because Congress had never stipulated a time limit for states to consider it for ratification. Watson’s professor gave him a C for the paper, calling the whole idea a “dead letter” issue and saying it would never become part of the Constitution. “The professor gave me a C on the paper. When I protested she said I had not convinced her the amendment was still pending,” Watson told USA Today back in 1992.Undeterred, Watson started a self-financed campaign to get the amendment ratified. He wrote letters to state officials, and the amendment was ratified in Maine in 1983 and Colorado in 1984. The story appeared in a magazine called State Legislatures and an official from Wyoming, reading the magazine, confirmed that his state had ratified the amendment, too, six years earlier.
5G Hype 32 mins – “Doug Dawson, President of CCG Consulting and author of the POTS and PANS blog, was willing to sit down with Christopher for episode 353 of the podcast this week. Christopher interviewed Doug in Austin, Texas, at the 2019 Broadband Communities Summit. They discussed all sorts of happenings in the telecommunications and municipal network space. In addition to 5G and the hype that has surrounded it for the past year, Doug and Christopher make some predictions about where they think the technology will go. They also talk about the involvement of Amazon in the satellite broadband industry and what they think that means for different folks from different walks of life. Other happenings that Doug and Christopher get into include different public-private partnerships that Doug has been watching and some new models that he’s seen this past year. He’s noticed that communities are more willing to work outside the box and that an increasing number of local communities are moving beyond feasibility studies to investment. Doug and Christopher talk a little about Erie County, New York, where the community is developing a middle mile network, and Cortez, Colorado, where the town has attracted several private sector companies because they worked hard to develop the right infrastructure.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Amazon and Robots 39 mins – “In recent years Amazon has quietly become one of the leaders in automation, reshaping its workforce of nearly 600,000 workers, and the way humans work with robots. We fear robots taking over the world, but do we understand just how we as consumers are making that future happen?” At the you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Amazon and Wall Street 39 mins – “When Amazon became a publicly traded company in 1997, it was losing money. And it wouldn’t turn a profit for years. So how did it convince Wall Street to do something unprecedented: Turn a blind eye to profit? And how did that help Amazon become one of the world’s most valuable companies today — and how did it change the way tech companies grow?” At the link right-click the rectangle with three dots, then select “Save Link As” from the “Download” option.
Amazon Trust Concern 30 mins – “In the final episode of our season on Amazon, NYU professor and “Pivot” podcast co-host Scott Galloway tells Jason Del Rey that Amazon needs to be broken up – and which parts of the company should be spun off first. They discuss Amazon’s ultimate impact on us as consumers, who are the companies left that can really compete with Amazon, and question the idea that we live in an era of innovation. Recorded live on September 9, 2019 at Code Commerce in New York City.” At the you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Ash Carter 79 mins – “Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter at a Pentagon press conference on January 10, 2017. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images On the latest episode of Recode Decode with Kara Swisher, Harvard University’s Ash Carter joined Kara onstage for a live conversation about AI ethics, government surveillance, how to regulate Google and Facebook, and more. Carter, who was Secretary of Defense under President Obama from 2015 to 2017, said he’s concerned by the lack of transparency around algorithms that are being developed and marketed for the world, including the government. “If I were a customer in the Defense Department or any company that I am associated with, I’m not going to be a customer for something [for which] you can’t come in and explain to me how the hell this works, because I’m going to turn around and get sued or have to explain in my case to a mother whose child has been killed or something,” Carter said. “I can’t buy black boxes for national defense,” he added. “You can’t buy black boxes for policing. You can’t buy black boxes for picking which people have an opportunity to be employed. This isn’t games or something. These are serious human things.” He also argued that, even as AI becomes more prevalent in all our lives, the military and the defense industry should maintain their “extant guidance”: No AI should be able to take a human life on its own. “I don’t believe that human beings can cede their responsibility because I would certainly feel responsible, and I felt responsible every time we used lethal force,” Carter said. “I certainly felt responsible in the very fullest sense as a human being by it, and everybody in my chain of command did and the president did … But how do you locate human responsibility in an AI system?” At the link left-click “Share” then right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
ASMR 47 mins – “’By now, you may have heard of the phenomenon of A.S.M.R., the soothing, static-like sensation that some people feel in response to certain triggers. These “brain tingles” are often said to pulsate on the scalp or back, putting people into a state of calm and pleasure so deep that it is often described as a ‘brain orgasm.’ “You may have even experienced the feeling yourself by accident, while getting a haircut or watching old videos of the PBS star Bob Ross paint. “But whether or not you have any idea what we’re talking about, trust us when we say that these private sensations have turned into a public sensation. “The abbreviation stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, a name that was coined in 2010, as videos intended to stimulate the response started to take off.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Aviation Trends 45 mins – “Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher and Jason Del Rey at the 2019 Code Conference.In this episode: How the Boeing 737 Max crashes affect the aviation industry; innovations in airplanes in that Delta would like to see; using facial recognition to replace paper tickets; RFID bag tracking and changing the layout of airports and gates; Delta’s investments in alternative fuels and its impact on climate change; Georgia’s new abortion law and corporate activism; Delta’s controversial anti-union flyers; changing the math for frequent flyers and competing with JetBlue Mint; how the 1980s deregulation of the airline industry compares to tech; and how to create a better culture for employees.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is in this blog archive.
Book Trends 44 mins – “At last week’s BookExpo in New York City, a panel of journalists and industry analysts who cover books and the publishing markets in Europe and North America were featured in Covering Books Around the World. The group reassembled after a similar BookExpo appearance in 2018. Bestseller lists in 2019 may one week feature contemporary hacks – and another week showcase a literary giant out of the 19th century, Where the business stands depends on the latest headlines, noted CCC’s Chris Kenneally. Print is dead, then print has made a comeback. Bookstores are vanishing until they are thriving again. Business models and marketing strategies cycle and recycle; authors flirt with every new social media format; and a review in the New York Times remains the gold standard. A bestselling author in his own day as well as a great editor and the trusted friend of celebrated authors, Oliver Wendell Holmes observed that, “the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” Andrew Albanese, Porter Anderson, Javier Celaya, Fabrice Piault and Dana Beth Weinberg returned to the BookExpo stage with compass in hand and ready to sail the audience safely to the destination ahead.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Brain Tumor Treatment 25 mins – “Denis Raymond has the same aggressive and incurable brain cancer that killed Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, but so far he is defying the grim odds of survival. Doctors told him he likely wouldn’t live beyond a year with the invasive tumour. That was in 2013. Now, the Ottawa-born man recently completed his master’s degree, which he put on hold for treatment, and plans to help Indigenous youth in Northwest Territories as a social worker. “I’m taking my life back,” the 32-year-old said.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is in this blog archive.
Broadband in Africa 27 mins – “Digital Planet re-visits the technology scene in Kenya, 10 years after the submarine broadband cable was connected. Presenter Gareth Mitchell and regular studio commentator Bill Thompson are in Nairobi to find out what has changed in the last decade and what can be expected in the future. High-speed broadband 10 years on; Tonny Tugee from SEACOM discusses the impact of the submarine communications cable, which was switched on in July 2009. Investment in African tech talent; Amrote Abdella from Microsoft 4 Afrika explains why Microsoft has launched its first Africa Development Centres in Kenya and Nigeria, investing in African tech talent to ensure global relevance. Nekewa Were, Managing Director of iHub is also on the programme. The techspace has helped more than 350 startups and raised $40m in investment since it opened in 2010. Future-proofing Kenya in the technological revolution; technologist Juliana Rotich explains why Kenya must learn from past mistakes in other countries when adopting emerging technologies and is working to ensure that data can benefit all elements of society.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is in this blog archive.
Broadband in Virginia 39 mins – “The Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) announced in January 2018 that they had solidified plans to deploy fiber across 14 counties for smart grid operations and to bring Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) to the region. The project, dubbed Firefly Fiber Broadband, is underway, and we’ve got President and CEO Gary Wood along with Communications and Member Services Manager Melissa Gay on the podcast this week to discuss the multi-year project. During this interview, we learn about the CVEC service territory, which is a mix of a few denser populated areas and very rural communities where poor Internet access, when it’s available, is a real problem. CVEC members have been dealing with unreliable connections, oversubscription, and outdated technologies for years. Those problems will be eliminated, however, with FTTH from the co-op that many have come to trust. By obtaining grants, working with local communities, and approaching the process in a strategic manner, CVEC plans on bringing gigabit connections to about 37,000 potential subscribers within five years. At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Canadian Astronaut 27 mins – “ER doctor Dave Williams has seen a lot of success in his life. In 1992, he was chosen out of 5,000 applicants to be a Canadian astronaut. He has flown into orbit twice aboard the space shuttles Columbia and Endeavour. He’s performed three space walks, totalling over seventeen hours — a Canadian record. He’s been the CEO of a major health organization, overseeing five hospitals. But Williams says there have been many failures, too. He talked to White Coat, Black Art host Dr. Brian Goldman about rebounding after setbacks, and how success is impossible without failure.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a free copy of the podcast is included this blog archive.
Çatalhöyük Excavation 4 mins – “…The people of Çatalhöyük made finely polished obsidian mirrors. They had an early cottage textile industry. They created elaborate burial sites. They used portable ladders to enter their uniform mud-brick houses through openings in the roofs. They managed their trash. They had a complex urban organization long before we would’ve expected it. An article in Science Magazine makes a startling suggestion as to where this social cohesion came from. The soil just under the marshes surrounding Çatalhöyük was rich with a chalky marl. It may be mixed into a clay-like mud, which we could call plaster. Plaster made its houses. Wall frescos were painted upon plaster. The people of Çatalhöyük appear to’ve been drawn to the artistic and technical possibilities of a new building material….” At the link right-click “Click here for audio of Episode 1699.” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Chinese Famine 74 mins – “Historian Frank Dikötter of the University of Hong Kong and author of Mao’s Great Famine talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Dikötter chronicles the strategies Mao and the Chinese leadership implemented to increase grain and steel production in the late 1950s leading to a collapse in agricultural output and the deaths of millions by starvation.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Chinese Railway Workers 52 mins – “Historian Gordon Chang joins us to tell the story of Chinese workers on the transcontinental railroad. Some 20,000 of them laid hundreds of miles of track, yet they’ve been left out of the history.Stanford historian Gordon Chang says most Americans know that Chinese laborers worked on the transcontinental railroad, but that’s all they know. Historians themselves haven’t been able to tell us much about the nearly 20,000 Chinese who built the Central Pacific line. So, Chang and his team have scoured the archives to reconstruct the lives, work, and legacy of Chinese railroad workers. He’s coming to Utah, and joins us to tell the story of one of the first big migrant labor forces in America.” At the link right-click the play button and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Coal Mining in Germany 26 mins – “The beautiful Hambacher Forest is disappearing. Over the past four decades, it has been slowly devoured by a voracious coalmine in the German Rhineland. The forest has become a powerful symbol of climate change resistance. Protesters have been staging a last stand to protect the trees. But they have arrived too late to prevent the demolition of two villages that also stand in the way of the mine’s relentless progress. Manheim has become a ghost village. Most of the 1600 residents have now moved out. Many of the houses have already been pulled down. But a few people still live there against a backdrop of diggers pulling their village apart. Some are sad that the kart track where local boy Michael Schumacher learned to drive is likely to fall victim to the excavators. And many felt threatened last year by the protesters, in hoodies and face masks, when they moved into to occupy empty houses. Yet the protesters seem to have the German government on their side. It recently commissioned a report, which recommended Germany stop burning coal by 2038 in order to meet emissions targets. That’s a problem for RWE, the company that owns the mine and nearby power stations. It’s going to keep digging for as long as it can. Tim Mansel joins the protesters for their monthly gathering on the forest edge; meets the villagers who simply want a quiet life, away from the front line; and asks RWE if it will ever stop mining.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Condoleezza Rice 31 mins – “Dr. Condoleezza Rice reveals herself as the woman behind the Washington power player in an intimate and surprising interview. Dr. Rice shares the lessons of her childhood in racially charged Birmingham, Alabama, and how her parents instilled in her a sense of strength and conviction to succeed. She also reveals her candid thoughts on her years in the Bush administration, and what the events of 9/11 and the war on terror have taught her. Dr. Rice reveals how her background, ideals and vision helped shape her and ultimately gave her a front row seat to witnessing history.” At the link right-click “MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Depression Drug 47 mins – “Postpartum depression can be life-threatening. We look at a new drug just approved by the FDA and other efforts to help new mothers in distress.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Diahann Carroll 33 mins – “Golden Globe-winning, and Oscar-, Grammy-, and Emmy-nominated actress Diahann Carroll has many firsts to her name, including the first African-American woman to win a Tony Award for a leading role and the first African American woman to star in her own primetime television sitcom, “Julia.” Diahann opens up about the prejudices she faced, how she helped create the role of Dominique Deveraux in the television soap opera “Dynasty,” and her battle with breast cancer. Diahann also explains how she learned to ignore the people who discouraged her passion for singing and instead began following her own internal compass.” At the link right-click “MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Digital Detoxing 29 mins – “One estimate claims the number of lawyers with digital addiction could be as high as 40%, and lawyers’ need to constantly engage with technology makes it difficult to set boundaries. What can they do to unplug? In this edition of The Digital Edge, hosts Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway talk to Roberta Tepper about digital addiction in the legal profession and her tips for spending less time on mobile devices. Together, they discuss the signs and symptoms of addiction, caution against “text neck”, and talk about ways lawyers can mindfully put their phones down and reduce dependence, step-by-step.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a free copy of the podcast is included this blog archive. .
Disinformation Menace 45 mins – “With the midterm elections around the corner, should internet users be on alert for fake news? As research director at New Knowledge, Renee DiResta investigates the spread of disinformation across social networks. Since the 2016 presidential election, tech companies like hers have taken “meaningful steps,” she says. In her conversation with Kashmir Hill, investigative reporter for Gizmodo Media, DiResta explains how she’s working to stop disinformation from going viral. The “Off Stage Series” goes into the issues that impact all of us. These conversations feature presenters at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Off Stage is part of the Aspen Ideas to Go podcast.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.
DNA Origami Kills Cancer 29 mins – “Kids without religion are more altruistic, Election poll mathematics by Ian Woolf, Jasleen Singh designs nanotech devices to kill cancer. The Negative Association between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism across the World; Religious upbringing associated with less altruism, study finds; Study finds that children raised without religion show more empathy and kindness; The mathematics does not lie: why polling got the Australian election wrong” At the link right-click “MP3 download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Doctor’s Face Time with Patients 68 mins – “Cardiologist and author Eric Topol talks about his book Deep Medicine with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Topol argues that doctors spend too little face-to-face time with patients, and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is a chance to emphasize the human side of medicine and to expand the power of human connection in healing. Topol surveys the current landscape of the application of technology to health care showing where its promise has been overstated and where it is having the most impact. The conversation includes a discussion of the placebo effect and the importance of the human touch in medicine.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Down Syndrome in Africa 27 mins – “The Tanzanian mothers forced to hide their children with Down syndrome due to stigma” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Einstein’s Brain 69 mins – “Albert Einstein asked that when he died, his body be cremated and his ashes be scattered in a secret location. He didn’t want his grave, or his body, becoming a shrine to his genius. When he passed away in the early morning hours of April, 18, 1955, his family knew his wishes. There was only one problem: the pathologist who did the autopsy had different plans. In the third episode of “G”, Radiolab’s miniseries on intelligence, we go on one of the strangest scavenger hunts for genius the world has ever seen. We follow Einstein’s stolen brain from that Princeton autopsy table, to a cider box in Wichita, Kansas, to labs all across the country. And eventually, beyond the brain itself entirely. All the while wondering, where exactly is the genius of a man who changed the way we view the world?” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
ELIZA Program 4 mins – “The program ELIZA was patterned after Rogerian psychotherapy, a form of treatment where the therapist seeks a personal connection with the patient. In part, this is achieved by drawing the patient out and listening. And that proves ideal for a computer. ELIZA makes no effort to actually “understand” the conversation. She doesn’t attempt to gather, categorize, and analyze information. Instead, the program merely captures the patient’s individual words or phrases and responds with relatively generic questions. When the patient says, “We’re always doing things [my boyfriend] wants to do,” ELIZA merely picks up on the word “always” and responds “Really, always?” When ELIZA is stumped, she asks the patient to keep talking: “Tell me more…” Weizenbaum’s program was amazing for a couple of reasons. For one, it actually worked. People who conversed with ELIZA were often convinced they were interacting with a human — even after being told ELIZA was a computer program. Anecdotes abound of human test subjects spending hours with ELIZA and asking to be left alone with her in private. Segments of the medical community hailed the coming of a new era in psychotherapy. Futurist Carl Sagan imagined a world of computerized booths in which “for a few dollars a session, we would be able to talk with an attentive, tested … psychotherapist.” To creator Weizenbaum, the response was stunning. He eventually went on to become a leading critic of artificial intelligence, worried that the purpose of his simple computational exercise was being misinterpreted. His aim wasn’t to show how intelligent computers could be, but to see if a simple program could feign human communication….” At the link right-click “Click here for audio of Episode 2902,” and select “Save Link As” from the op-up menu.
Encyclopedias 4 mins – “…Encyclopaedias are audacious books. They’re cyclic, in the sense that they try to close the circle of human knowledge. That can’t be done, of course. But it’s in the nature of our species to try to do it anyway. The earliest encyclopaedia we can trace was written by Plato’s nephew Speusippus in the fourth century BC. For two millennia encyclopaedia writers have tried every scheme for ordering knowledge. The familiar alphabetic form, with a cross-referenced index, is fairly recent. Encyclopaedias vary in size. Some are only one volume long. One fifteenth-century Chinese encyclopaedia ran to thirty thousand chapters. The parent of our modern encyclopaedias was Chambers’ Cyclopaedia, published in England in 1728. Chambers introduced the first proper system of cross-referencing. But, even more important, he picked up and developed the new idea that encyclopaedias should go beyond conventional scholastic learning. Chambers was an early soldier in the Industrial Revolution. He boldly emphasized current technology as well as well as the classics….” At the link right-click “Click here for audio of Episode 1710.” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Ethics and Genetics 37 mins – “In 2001, the journal Nature published the first sequenced human genome. Hailed by many as the greatest achievement of humankind, the Human Genome Project also caused its fair share of outrage – with many of the objections still being argued over today. But are these fears warranted? And with genetic technologies such as synthetic biology advancing rapidly, are we right to tinker with the book of life? To discuss this and more, Ian Sample is joined by a trio of bioethicists: Princeton University’s Professor Peter Singer, the University of Newcastle’s Professor Jackie Leach Scully, and the University of Oxford’s Professor Julian Savulescu.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Eugenics 54 mins – “When a law student named Mark Bold came across a Supreme Court decision from the 1920s that allowed for the forced sterilization of people deemed “unfit,” he was shocked to discover that it had never been overturned. His law professors told him the case, Buck v Bell, was nothing to worry about, that the ruling was in a kind of legal limbo and could never be used against people. But he didn’t buy it. In this episode we follow Mark on a journey to one of the darkest consequences of humanity’s attempts to measure the human mind and put people in boxes, following him through history, science fiction and a version of eugenics that’s still very much alive today, and watch as he crusades to restore a dash of moral order to the universe.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
False Memories 30 mins – “For decades now, we’ve known that our memories are not as infallible as we like to think. And with research now showing that researchers are able to plant entirely novel memories that never actually happened – the need for psychological research in the courtroom has never been more pressing. But as we find out, the world of false memory is a murky and uncertain one. Helping Ian Sample clear the way this week is London South Bank University Criminologist and Expert Witness Dr Julia Shaw, and – one of the field’s most prominent pioneers – Professor Elizabeth Loftus, who bravely used much of her expertise during the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
FCC Trends 29 mins – “FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr talks about 5G, internet security, the possible T-Mobile/Sprint merger, robocalls and more.” At the link find the title, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr,” right-click it and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Frederick Forsyth 88 mins – “At a Guardian Live event in London, the author reveals how privileged access to the world of international spying and espionage provided rich inspiration for his 13 novels including The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Afghan and The Kill List. In conversation with Mark Lawson, Forsyth talks about his early days in the RAF, his battles with the BBC, dodging bullets in Biafra and Guinea-Bissau and being arrested by the Stasi.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Frozen Frontiers 21 mins – “Scientists are looking to Earth’s most extreme environments for clues about what alien lifeforms might look like. The data they gather could help future space explorers to understand the origins of life in the universe.” At the you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Future Consequences 49 mins – “From data collection to gene editing to AI, what we once considered science fiction is now becoming reality. This hour, TED speakers explore the future consequences of our present actions.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
George Will 59 mins – “Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will offered his thoughts on American conservatism. He was interviewed by Jonah Goldberg, National Review senior editor.” At the you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
German Political Culture 56 mins – “Our lecture this week is titled “German Political Culture: Changes and New Challenges.” Our speaker is Karsten Voigt, Senior Associate Fellow and member of the Presidium of the German Council on Foreign Policy. This lecture was presented by the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies, and the Center for the Study of Europe.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Hayek and Neurology 4 mins – “…Typically when scholars veer this far afield their reputation suffers. Hayek’s case was a bit different in that the work was largely ignored. But not forever. As time cemented Hayek’s economic legacy, scholars found themselves looking more seriously at his entire body of work. And what they found was surprisingly clairvoyant. Hayek put forth theories about the functioning of the brain and the philosophy of mind that hadn’t been explored until recently. History’s now giving him some credit, attaching his name to ongoing work in neuroscience and philosophy. Not bad for an economist….” At the link right-click “Click here for audio of Episode 2900” and select “Save Link as” from the pop-up menu.
Health Care 55 mins – “Christy Ford Chapin analyzes if we are rationing or over-providing health care by discussing the history of the American Medical Association.” At the link right-click “Download MP3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Health Insurance Discussion 64 mins – “Economist Ed Dolan of the Niskanen Center talks about employer-based health insurance with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Dolan discusses how unusual it is relative to other countries that so many Americans get their health insurance through their employer and the implications of that phenomenon for the structure of the health insurance market. Dolan explores the drawbacks of this structure and makes the case for what he calls Universal Catastrophic Coverage.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Holocaust Survivor 38 mins – “Holocaust survivor, psychologist and author Dr. Edith Eva Eger discusses her international bestselling book, “The Choice: Embrace the Possible.” In a gripping discussion, Dr. Eger shares how her traumatic experiences at the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp shaped her life, and talks about her philosophies and her work as a clinical psychologist. At 91, she reminds us what courage looks like in the worst of times. Dr. Eger helps us to understand that our circumstances don’t define what makes us free and that being free is a choice we must make every day. Dr. Eger shares her healing process and explains how serving others in her work as a psychologist helped her to formulate a healthy relationship with her own trauma. She openly shares her grief and resilience in hopes that others begin to embrace what is possible for their own lives.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Hubert Reeves 54 mins – “Hubert Reeves is one of the world’s foremost experts on the Big Bang and the origins of time. He lives in France, where the acclaimed astrophysicist has the status of a rock star. In Quebec, where he was born, he is called their Einstein. And yet he’s largely unknown in the English-speaking world. Not only is he a brilliant cosmologist; he’s also a riveting storyteller and popularizer of science. Not to explain the complex, he says, is undemocratic. Hubert Reeves is now 86, and speaks with producer Mary Lynk at his country home in Burgundy, outdoors and under the stars….In 2001, Reeves won the prestigious Albert Einstein Prize for his earlier work which gave “the first indication of how much ordinary matter exists in the universe”. The discovery came to him, not in a lab, but on a train in the Alps. You search something for some time, and all of a sudden an idea comes. And you say: How did I not think of it before! – Hubert Reeves Not only is he a brilliant cosmologist; he’s also a riveting storyteller and popularizer of science. Not to explain the complex, he says, is undemocratic.” At the link you can listen, but not download’ however, a copy is included in this blog archive for Part 1. Part 2 is here.
IBM 360 Computer 4 mins – “1961: I’d just begun teaching at Washington State University. I’d done three engineering degrees and never even seen a computer. Only one student around me had, and he had to master machine language to use it. Washington State was ahead of the game. They already had a computing center. When I arrived, the main frame was an old IBM 709. It still used vacuum tubes, and integrated motherboards were no more than a gleam in a few visionary eyes. But transistors were now reaching the American scene like a tidal wave. Many versions of Sony’s new transistor radio were now on the market, and a few months after I arrived, the University replaced their 709 with IBM’s new transistor version, the 7090. I was slow to learn Fortran programming, but that computing center was a huge agent of change. Its card-fed machine was far slower than even a modest PC. Keyboard communication with computers was hardly known. Dealing with any computer meant subjecting yourself to pain; yet it still drew us like a distant magnet. Meanwhile, IBM engineers were locked in a death struggle over the next generation of computers. The rate of computer evolution was roughly the same then as it is now. But we’re accustomed to that evolution. We expect it. In the 1960s, we all thought we’d fallen into the maelstrom. IBM’s obvious course was to finish its next model, the 8000. But then, a frightening gamble surfaced in the company. Writer James Strothman tells about it. A battle raged between incremental improvement and putting all the eggs in one basket. In the end, the all-eggs strategy won out. IBM set out to create a wholly new machine with qualities unlike any previous one — a strategy that would make every other IBM computer obsolete. They even gave it a discontinuous number. They called it the 360. It was the first business computer with the huge advantage of being compatible with both smaller and larger computers. The IBM 360 finally reached the Palouse wheat fields of Eastern Washington. It cost the university two million dollars in 1966. I began using it and the world opened up. Right away, I solved a differential equation numerically and found myself staring at a Butterfly Effect. It’d be decades before that term entered our vocabulary. These new machines led us into a brave new world.” At the link right-click “Click here for audio of Episode 1703.” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Infant Vision 31 mins – “…To celebrate the launch of the Guardian’s First Impressions: a virtual experience of the first year of life this week, Nicola Davis delves into infant vision and asks: what happens to our vision in the first six months of life? What capabilities are we born with? And what can insights into infant colour vision tell us about human cognition? To help explore all this and more, Nicola speaks to leader of the Sussex Baby Lab and professor of visual perception and cognition, Anna Franklin to find out exactly what it is an infant can see. We also hear from the University of York psychologist Professor Alex Wade about the development of acuity and stereoscopic vision. And finally, we hear from the Surrey Baby Lab’s Dr Ally Grandison and Professor Asifa Majid from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, about the categorisation of colour by infants, and what this might tell us about the development of human cognition….” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
IQ Tests 45 mins – “In the first episode of G, Radiolab’s miniseries on intelligence, we went back to the 1970s to meet a group of Black parents who put the IQ test on trial. The lawsuit, Larry P v Riles, ended with a ban on IQ tests for all Black students in the state of California, a ban that’s still in place today. This week, we meet the families in California dealing with that ban forty years later. Families the ban was designed to protect, but who now say it discriminates against their children. How much have IQ tests changed since the 70s? And can they be used for good? We talk to the people responsible for designing the most widely used modern IQ test, and along the way, we find out that at the very same moment the IQ test was being put on trial in California, on the other side of the country, it was being used to solve one of the biggest public health problems of the 20th century.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
K-T Extinction Event 46 mins – “Using high-powered ballistics experiments, fancy computer algorithms, and good old-fashioned ancient geology, scientists have woven together a theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs that is so precise, so hot, so instantaneous, as to seem unimaginable. Today, we bring you this story, first published on Radiolab in 2013, plus an update: a spot on planet Earth, newly discovered, that – if it holds true – has the potential to tell us about the first three hours after the dinos died. This update was reported by Molly Webster and was produced with help from Audrey Quinn.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Licensing Bottlenecks 75 mins – “Dick Carpenter of the Institute for Justice and author of Bottleneckers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book–a look at how occupational licensing and other regulations protect existing job holders from competition.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Lo Carb Hi Fat Diets 26 mins – “Latest version of Canada Food Guide doubles down on whole grains, advises limiting saturated fat. When Dr. Carol Loffelmann wanted to lose her post-baby weight, she did what most of her colleagues suggest: she cut calories, ate a low-fat diet, and ramped up her exercise. Instead of dropping pounds, she gained them. “I was getting pretty frustrated,” Loffelmann, a Toronto anesthesiologist, told White Coat, Black Art host Dr. Brian Goldman. A colleague then suggested going ‘paleo’, a diet based on food supposedly eaten by early humans — meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, and excluding dairy, grains and processed food. Lofelmann was skeptical. “I thought, ‘All that saturated fat is going to kill you,'” she said — and, given her Dutch roots, she was not about to give up cheese. But she was curious about the science behind paleo and other similar diets. After reviewing studies, she tried cutting carbohydrates while at a five-day medical conference. So she ate only the ‘middles’ from her sandwiches and switched to salad instead of fries. “My trainer was at my home the next day, and I opened up the door to her and she looked at me and said, ‘What did you do?’ And the only thing I did was drop those carbs.” It was enough to convince her to stay with a low-carb high fat (LCHF) diet, of which one version is the popular keto diet, championed by celebrities such as Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Lo Carb Hi Fat Diets P2 26 mins – “Two doctors in rural Newfoundland are teaching locals what they need to know about switching to a plant based diet. It’s a win-win for their patients who ditch cod and salt beef in favour of tofu and broccoli. Not only are they losing excess pounds, they are also regaining their health.” At the you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Measles in Ukraine 27 mins – “Until recently, health authorities in developed countries appeared to be well on the way to wiping out measles – a highly contagious disease that’s one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths, particularly in children. But now measles is on the rise again, and Ukraine is worst-hit. More than 100,000 people have caught the disease since 2017, and 15 have died already this year. Parents who could have protected their children often failed to do so – mainly because of a mass mistrust of vaccine, spread partly by doctors, including leading medical specialists. Tim Whewell travels to Ukraine to meet bereaved parents and worried health chiefs – and find out why vaccination rates fell so abruptly in just a few years. It’s a story of lack of confidence in the state, inadequate medical training, government complacency and political manipulation that’s had deadly consequences.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.
Mexico Boarder 59 mins – “Authors Francisco Cantu, The Line Becomes a River; Greg Grandin, The End of Myth; and Scott Whiteford, The Shadow of the Wall spoke with former Representative Ron Barber (D-AZ) their books on the U.S.-Mexico border.” At the you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Money Defined 51 mins – “Ten autumns ago came two watershed moments in the history of money. In September 2008, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers triggered a financial meltdown from which the world has yet to fully recover. The following month, someone using the name Satoshi Nakamoto introduced BitCoin, the first cryptocurrency. Before our eyes, the very architecture of money was evolving — potentially changing the world in the process. In this hour, On the Media looks at the story of money, from its uncertain origins to its digital reinvention in the form of cryptocurrency.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Mueller Report Divisions 30 mins – “The latest chapter in the battle over the Mueller report unfolded this week. Attorney General William Barr refused to testify before a Congressional House committee after a contentious hearing in the Senate. A letter from special counsel Robert Mueller indicated his displeasure with Barr’s handling of his team’s conclusions. And House Democrats threaten to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over the unredacted report. What does the escalating show down between the executive and legislatives branches of government mean? A former U.S. Attorney gives his perspective.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Oil Discovery in Africa 27 mins – “Guyana, a country of just 750,000 people wedged between Venezuela and Suriname on the north-east coast of South America, has never had an oil industry. But a series of recent discoveries in its waters has revealed billions of barrels of oil beneath the ocean, potentially one of the world’s biggest reserves. Next year, the oil is due to start flowing and the impact on business is already being felt. A shoreside oil service industry has popped up; workers who previously struggled to get by are finding stable employment; and cafes and hotels are overflowing with foreign customers. But encounters with the Venezuelan Navy, huge environmental risks, and legal challenges mean this is a business that is far from straightforward.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Online Privacy 58 mins – “People don’t realize just how much they’re being tracked online, says DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg — but he’s confident that once they learn how much tech companies like Google and Facebook are quietly slurping up their private data, they will demand a change. “They’re getting purchase history, location history, browsing history, search history,” Weinberg said on the latest episode of Recode Decode with Kara Swisher. “And then when you go to, now, a website that has advertising from one of these networks, there’s a real-time bidding against you, as a person. There’s an auction to sell you an ad based on all this creepy information you didn’t even realize people captured.” DuckDuckGo offers a privacy-minded search engine that has about 1 percent of the search market share in the US (Google’s share is more than 88 percent), as well as a free browser extension for Firefox and Google Chrome that blocks ad networks from tracking you. But rather than waiting for a comprehensive privacy bill to lurch through Congress over many years, he’s proposed a small, simple tweak to US regulations that might help: Make not being tracked by those networks the default, rather than something you have to opt into. “The fact that consumers have already adopted it and it’s in the browser is just an amazing legislative opportunity, just give it teeth,” he said. “It’s actually a better mechanism for privacy laws because once you have this setting and it works, you don’t have to deal with all the popups anymore. You just set it once, and then sites can’t track you.” At the link left-click “Share,” right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Pain Research 27 mins – “Pain, as we know, is highly personal. Some can cope with huge amounts, while others reel in agony over a seemingly minor injury. Though you might feel the stab of pain in your stubbed toe or sprained ankle, it is actually processed in the brain. That is where Irene Tracey, Nuffield Professor of Anaesthetic Science at Oxford University, has been focussing her attention. Known as the Queen of Pain, she has spent the past two decades unravelling the complexities of this puzzling sensation. She goes behind the scenes, as it were, of what happens when we feel pain – scanning the brains of her research subjects while subjecting them to a fair amount of burning, prodding and poking. Her work is transforming our understanding, revealing how our emotions influence our experience of pain, how chronic pain develops and even when consciousness is present in the brain.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Pesticide Ban 47 mins – “The EPA is pulling a dozen products containing chemicals harmful to honeybees. It’s the end of a long legal battle, but not the end of the threat to bees.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
President Andrew Johnson 59 mins – “University of California, Irvine English Professor Brook Thomas delivered a talk titled, “The Politics of Popular Portrayals of Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment.” Professor Thomas discussed three examples: Thomas Dixon, Jr.’s 1905 novel The Clansman; the 1942 Hollywood film Tennessee Johnson; and the impeachment story as told by Senator John F. Kennedy in his 1957 Pulitzer Prize winning book Profiles in Courage.” At the link you can listen or purchase download, but a free copy of the podcast is included this blog archive.
Reading Importance 63 mins – “Doug Lemov of Uncommon School and co-author of Reading Reconsidered talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about reading. Lemov makes the case for the educational importance of critical reading of challenging books and texts. Along the way, he gives listeners some ideas of how to read themselves and gives parents some ideas for how to educate their children.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Reservation Life 27 mins – “Jacob Rosales, a 20-year-old student at Yale, takes a closer look at some of the varied challenges facing Native American young people today. With alarmingly high rates of alcohol abuse, suicide and unemployment, Jacob delves behind the stats to reveal human stories of both suffering and hope. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota is a tough place to grow up, being one of the poorest and most underdeveloped places in the US. It is often likened to the developing world. Graduating from university remains nothing more than a dream for the thousands of young people like Rosales, who call it home. Indeed, only one in every 10 Native Americans in the country attain a bachelors degree. Yet Jacob was offered a place at seven of the eight Ivy league universities in the country when he finished high school. Returning home for break, Jacob meets Yvonne ‘Tiny’ DeCory, who comes face to face with the obstacles facing Native youth every day. A suicide epidemic has grabbed the headlines in recent years and Yvonne and her team at the Bear Project have helped many young people turn their lives around. Eighteen year old Sky opens up to Jacob on why he almost took his own life, before seeking Tiny’s help. As the Cheyenne River Youth Project are holding a celebration to honour their young people, Rosales reflects on the importance of his own Lakota culture, and Jeremy Fields from Oklahoma explains why he travels around the continent teaching Native students about historical trauma.” At the you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Robots 60 mins – “Are we on the verge of driverless cars and other forms of autonomous robots and artificial intelligence? David Mindell of MIT and the author of Our Robots, Ourselves talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the robotic revolution. Mindell argues that much of the optimism for autonomous robots ignores decades of experience with semi-autonomous robots in deep-sea operation, space, air, and the military. In all of these areas, the role of human supervision remains at a high level with little full autonomy. Mindell traces some of the history of the human interaction with robots and artificial intelligence and speculates on what the future might hold.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Roomba Robot 4 mins – “…Roomba’s shaped like a large Frisbee, standing about three-and-a-half inches tall. Push a button and away it goes. Over lamp cords. Under beds. Roomba’s technology is much better than when first released in 2002. Now it’s able to navigate even the most challenging rooms. Roomba may not reach every nook and cranny, but it rarely gets stuck and it does a surprisingly good job. And, be honest, when was the last time you vacuumed in those hard to reach places? Roomba’s also, well, charming — a tiny David off to tangle with Goliath, armed only with sensors and algorithms. It was developed by iRobot, a company founded by three researchers out of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Roomba’s own intelligence is pretty simple. It doesn’t try to understand the layout of a room, but simply responds in predefined ways when it bumps into something. Sometimes it follows a wall or circles around the leg of a table. Other times it scurries off across the room for no apparent reason. But there’s mathematical method behind the madness. Trying to guess Roomba’s next move can be mesmerizing, and you can’t help but root for it to reach that annoyingly large fuzz ball hiding in the corner. And here’s an accessory you won’t find with most household appliances: an interface that allows you to input your own algorithms. If you don’t like Roomba’s, try your own. It takes a bit of work — you need a computer and the ability to program. But owners who purchase a Roomba are greeted with friendly wrapping encouraging them to give it a try….” At the link right-click “Click here for audio of Episode 2919” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Saudi Women Phone Tracking 27 mins – “Cell phones used to track runaway Saudi women – Saudi Arabia is hunting down women who flee the country by tracking the IMEI number on their cellphones, according to an article on the website Business Insider. Reporter Bill Bostock is in the studio to explain how he was told by runaway women that the authorities IMEI numbers on mobile phones to try and find the. Sir Dermot Turing – who really did invent the first computer? Alan Turing is often credited as being the father of modern computing after designing the Bombe, an electromechanical machine used to speed up the decoding effort at Bletchley Park in WW2. His nephew, Dermot, in his book “x, y, z; The Real Story of How Enigma Was Broken” tells Digital Planet that his uncle’s efforts were significantly helped by the Polish mathematicians who broke the Enigma code and a little known Englishman, whose work paved the way for the technology of today. Poland’s IT development forging – So is Poland still pushing the boundaries in maths and engineering? Polish Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology Jadwiga Emilewicz says the country has always shown strength in these areas. With a booming gaming industry – last week saw Keanu Reeves launch a new Polish game in LA – the country has now set its sights on AI. But with a missed target of delivering faster broadband, the road to top tech is not always easy. Can the promises of AI be delivered safely? – Another week and another shiny promotional event to stage the latest technology on the market. Last week it was the turn of the London Tech Summit and reporter Tom Stephens went to see how businesses are developing AI – the main theme of the event – but can the fears about AI be allayed by companies?” At the you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Sewing Machines 4 mins – “…The invention of the sewing machine had to occur after the Industrial Revolution. The production of fabric had suddenly been radically increased. We had more than we ever could’ve sewn. So in 1790 an Englishman named Thomas Saint patented the crude forebear of today’s machines. For the next fifty years, patent after patent chipped away at the problem of making a machine do the complicated things a human hand does when it sews. The strongest all-around patent was one filed by Elias Howe in 1846. It led to a spate of thinly-veiled copies and to a patent war. The major inventors finally had to form a sewing-machine trust that paid Howe a handsome royalty. The industrial giant that emerged from this trust was the Singer Company….” At the link right-click “Click here for audio of Episode 1701.” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Ta-Nehisi Coates 62 mins – “Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between the World and Me. His new novel is The Water Dancer. Chris Jackson is Coates’s editor, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of One World.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Tobacco Control 35 mins – “WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros recently said “Since it came into force 13 years ago, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control remains one of the world’s most powerful tools for promoting public health,”. But is it? That’s what a to studies just published on bmj.com try and investigate – one of which pulls together all the data we have on smoking rates, from 1970 to 2015, and then a quasi-experimental study which tries to model what the effect of the FCTC has had. Steven Hoffman, and Matthieu Poirier from the Global Strategy Lab at York University join us to explain what their research means, and why it’s time to double down on our attempts to reduce smoking.
Trump Employee 62 mins – “George Sorial talked about the book he co-authored, The Read Deal: My Decade Fighting Battles and Winning Wars with Trump, in which he discussed his time as an executive in the Trump organization. He was interviewed by John Avlon, CNN anchor and senior political analyst.” At the you can listen, but not download; however, a copy is included in this blog archive.
Trump Second Term Campaign 47 mins – “President Trump launches his reelection bid at a rally in Orlando. We look at his campaign strategy to get four more years in the White House.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
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