Media Mining Digest 474: Amazon Empire, American Empire, Caffeine Use, Climate Change and Biden, Covid – US Response, Disease Smells, Germ Warfare, Grief Impact, Hate Machine, Loneliness, Medical Literature, Mindy Kaling, Newspapers Disappear, Pandemic Preparation, Recycling Plastics, San Francisco DA, Shaping the Future, Steven King, Tight and Loose Cultures, Vaccine History, Whale Songs

Exercise your ears: the 23 podcasts shown below present the best ideas, information and stories from a larger group of 444 for the week, to hear while your hands and eyes are busy. Get all the files as a group here, or double (ctrl-click) individual  titles to get single podcasts and explore the source. A collection of 30,000 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 170GB 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.

Amazon Empire IV 117 mins – “To produce Amazon Empire, filmmakers James Jacoby and Anya Bourg conducted fifty-seven on-the-record interviews. The yearlong investigation revealed how Jeff Bezos transformed a small online bookstore into a trillion dollar global empire, profoundly changed consumer habits and retail commerce, and in the process, became the richest person in the world. In this collection of excerpts from interviews with eleven current and former Amazon executives, part of FRONTLINE’s ongoing Transparency Project, you can explore first-hand insights into Amazon’s rise as a global power, ethical questions surrounding data collection and worker safety, and recent calls to break up Amazon.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copies of the podcast are available in this blog archive.

American Empire 1 20 mins – “When many Americans think of American empire, they think of dispossession of Native Americans; they think of US economic and military power abroad, of CIA coups in Central America. They don’t necessarily think of territory: broad swaths of physical land acquired through warfare and kept as colonies. It was never quite British-style imperialism, with colonies around the world proudly touted as part of a dominating empire. But it was — and in some ways continues to be — a lot closer than most people realize. In the first part of Brooke’s conversation with historian Daniel Immerwahr, on the hidden history of US empire, Immerwahr explains the role of guano — bird poop — in launching America’s overseas empire, and the legal, political and social clashes that ensued. Immerwahr’s book is How To Hide An Empire: A History of the Greater United States.” At the link right-click and select “Save File” and “OK” from the pop-up menu.  

American Empire 2 21 mins – “At the dawn of the last century, the arguments over imperialism didn’t end with poets like Rudyard Kipling and writers like Mark Twain. In a world of shifting borders, how should and would the adolescent United States, big-headed about its democratic values, grapple with the tensions inherent in capturing territory? Historian Daniel Immerwahr explains to Brooke how this vital debate blazed across America’s consciousness like a comet, then vanished just as quickly, out of sight and mind. His new book is How To Hide An Empire: A History of the Greater United States.” At the link right-click and select “Save File” and “OK” from the pop-up menu.  

American Empire 3 21 mins – “After World War II, global anti-colonial sentiment (combined with less dependence on natural resources) led to a shrinking of America’s physical empire. But as historian Daniel Immerwahr explains, American empire didn’t disappear — it merely changed form. We conclude our hour with Immerwahr by looking at the hidden ways empire has changed our history, and more importantly for our purposes, our view of our history. His book is How To Hide An Empire: A History of the Greater United States.” At the link right-click and select “Save File” and “OK” from the pop-up menu.

Caffeine Use. 33 mins – “’Omnivore’s Dilemma’ author Michael Pollan talks about his audiobook, ‘Caffeine: How Coffee and Tea Created the Modern World.’ He describes caffeine as the world’s most widely-used psychoactive drug. (Originally broadcast Feb. 2020)” At the link you can listen, but not record; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Climate Change and Biden 16 mins – “Can Joe Biden live up to his climate plan? We mark the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States with a panel of three US policy insiders, who forecast how the “most ambitious climate agenda ever” will make ground in the first year.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid – US Response 13 mins – “Inside the Trump administration’s coronavirus response — and missed opportunities to contain COVID-19 before it was too late. Correspondent Martin Smith speaks with global health experts about warnings to the White House that went unheeded, including a health policy expert who said his 2019 study pointing to the threat of a pandemic was met with silence. As he investigates how the crisis unfolded in the U.S., Smith finds: “There’s a lot of unknowns as to who dropped the ball and when. It’s clear that at the top, and I mean by that the president, the wrong messages were being given.”  At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to get the podcast.

Disease Smells 42 mins – “What if you had a superpower that allowed you to see part of the world that was to come? At the age of 60, a Scottish woman named Joy Milne discovers she has a biological gift that allows her to see things that will happen in the future that no one else can see. Invisibilia looks at how we think about the future, and the important ways the future shapes the present.”  At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to get the podcast.

Germ Warfare 32 mins – “Apocalyptic novelist Max Brooks is something of an expert on planning for pandemics and other disasters. The author, whose books include World War Z, Germ Warfare and the forthcoming Devolution, has toured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has reviewed government response plans related to various emergency situations — all in the course of research. “We have a network in place that we as taxpayers have been funding to get us ready for something just like this,” Brooks says of the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, he adds, “we have been disastrously slow and disorganized from Day 1.” Brooks says the notion that the U.S. government was blindsided by the pandemic is “an onion of layered lies.” “What could have happened when this virus exploded — even when Wuhan was locked down — is we could have put the word out,” he says. “The government could have put the word out to ramp up emergency supplies to get them ready and then have an information strategy in place.” Instead, Brooks says, President Trump was slow to acknowledge the virus as a real threat. And thus far, the president has resisted using the Defense Production Act to force private companies to manufacture masks, gloves and other essential supplies in the fight against the coronavirus. Many government task forces that plan for disasters have yet to be activated in this crisis.-pointing” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, select “Save File,” and “OK” to download the podcast.

Grief Impact 27 mins – “Dorothy Holinger, Ph.D., was an academic psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for over 23 years. She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and has her own psychotherapy practice. Her book is, The Anatomy of Grief.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow to get the podcast.

Hate Machine 11 mins – “When a white nationalist massacred 22 people in an El Paso Walmart last week, who besides the shooter was to blame? Most of the media commentary on that question this week focused on Trump, but Bob starts this hour by taking on another culprit — Fox News. But it’s not just Fox that’s spreading dangerous rhetoric. Racism and xenophobia seep into other mainstream outlets under the guise of electoral pragmatism. Bob speaks with Tom Scocca, politics editor at Slate, about how tolerance for intolerable ideology is too often framed as a virtue — even in “ostensibly liberal” outlets.”  At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to get the podcast.  

Loneliness 35 mins – “Vivek Murthy was a newly-minted doctor when he realized that his thorough medical school education had fallen short. His training hadn’t prepared him for one of the most frequent health issues he saw in the examination room: loneliness. Vivek remembers feeling helpless when a patient recounted his sense of social isolation and the physical health problems linked to it. “I felt utterly ill-equipped to address what was clearly the issue that was on his mind,” Vivek says. Years later, when Vivek became the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, he witnessed a “dark thread of loneliness” in his conversations with Americans across the country. Loneliness, he realized, was more pervasive than he’d thought, and was bound up in other health issues in complicated ways. He calls loneliness “the great masquerader”; it often manifests as other emotions, such as anger, or through behaviors, such as drug or alcohol abuse.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save File” and “OK” to download the podcast.

Medical Literature 17 mins – “On average, 5,000 new medical articles are published every day. In this segment, Dr. Alan Ehrlich, Executive Editor of DynaMed, and Paul Simmons discuss some practical tips in staying current with the literature and applying it to our everyday practice. Pearls: Have some sort of system for learning that may include multiple different resources. Think critically about the data and focus on the clinical outcomes that matter to your patients. Keeping up with the latest medical literature is hard! A new article is published every 26 seconds = 5,000 articles a day” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Mindy Kaling 33 mins – “When nerds are depicted on screen, they are often bookworms and wallflowers who struggle to stand up for themselves. That’s not the type of nerd Mindy Kaling wanted to focus on in Never Have I Ever, the Netflix series she co-created with Lang Fisher. “There’s also the belligerent, confident nerd, and they want big things for themselves,” Kaling says. “We wanted to show an ambitious nerd … [who] wanted to lose her virginity, wanted to be cool, go to concerts.” Kaling first became known for her role as Kelly Kapoor on The Office. She was also a writer and producer of the series, and she was the showrunner and star of the series The Mindy Project. Never Have I Ever draws on Kaling’s experiences when she was in high school. The main character, Devi, is the 15-year-old daughter of immigrants from India and one the school’s top students. She’s nerdy and unpopular — but she’s also outgoing, opinionated and on the hunt for a boyfriend.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, select “Save File,” and “OK” to download the podcast.

Newspapers Disappear 21 mins – “The value of local newspapers can hardly be overstated right now. We read our local papers to track the spread of COVID-19 in our states, and the availability of ICU beds at nearby hospitals. We read to get a sense of how nearby businesses are faring, and what nursing homes are doing to keep residents safe. More of us are reading more news all the time. But at the same time that readership is soaring, advertising revenue—which keeps newspapers financially afloat—is plummeting. As a result, a number of newspapers across the country are laying off workers, even shuttering. For many newspapers, the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic is merely the final nail in the coffin. For decades, the financial health of many newspapers has been fragile, in good economic times and bad….” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save File” and “OK” to download the podcast.

Pandemic Preparation 18 mins – ”Inside the Trump administration’s coronavirus response — and missed opportunities to contain COVID-19 before it was too late. Correspondent Martin Smith speaks with global health experts about warnings to the White House that went unheeded, including a health policy expert who said his 2019 study pointing to the threat of a pandemic was met with silence. As he investigates how the crisis unfolded in the U.S., Smith finds: “There’s a lot of unknowns as to who dropped the ball and when. It’s clear that at the top, and I mean by that the president, the wrong messages were being given.” At the link find “Warnings to the White House,” left-click “Play Now” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Recycling Plastic 38 mins – “With the plastic industry expanding like never before and the crisis of ocean pollution growing, FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the fight over the future of plastics.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow to get the podcast.

San Francisco DA 33 mins – “This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. It’s difficult or impossible to practice social distancing in an overcrowded prison, which is dangerous not only for the people who are incarcerated but also for the guards and other prison staff and for the families and communities they return home to. This is an issue of special concern for my guest, San Francisco’s new DA Chesa Boudin. He’s concerned about the health of prisoners in San Francisco jails and about the health of his 75-year-old father David Gilbert, who’s in prison in New York. In 1981, Gilbert and Chesa’s mother, Kathy Boudin, who were radical leftists, were arrested for driving the getaway car in a botched armed robbery of a Brink’s truck. Two police officers and a guard were shot to death. Chesa Boudin was 14 months old when his parents started serving time. He was raised by his parents’ friends Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who were part of the radical group the Weather Underground, lived underground for years and later became educators active in education reform. Kathy Boudin was released on parole the same year that Chesa Boudin was leaving Yale for Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. That was in 2003. Chesa Boudin is now one of a growing number of DA’s advocating reforms in the criminal justice system to reduce mass incarceration and address the racial and economic inequities in the system.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Shaping the Future 33 mins – “When we think of “the future,” it sounds like something abstract and faraway — we imagine new inventions, cutting-edge innovations, life on other planets. But the future can also be frightening. This past year has been a stark reminder of how quickly life can change, and how little we control. So which is it — a world that we shape, or one we’re propelled towards? On today’s episode, we explore the future — our worries and anxieties about it, our relationship with our future selves, and our ability to shape the future we want. We hear stories about the predictions of futurists, the efforts of science to save a near-extinct animal, and how we make decisions for our future selves.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Steven King 33 mins – “This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. Life during the pandemic has been feeling like living in a Stephen King novel, so let’s see what Stephen King has to say about it. He’s my guest. About 40 years ago, in his novel “The Stand,” he wrote about a virus far worse than COVID-19. It was 99% lethal and wiped out most of the population. That virus was accidentally released by a lab developing biological weapons. Stephen King has a new collection of novellas called “If It Bleeds” that will be published April 21. The main character of the title story is private eye Holly Gibney, who was also a character in several other King books, including “The Outsider,” which was adapted into an HBO series starring Cynthia Erivo as Holly. The series just ended a few weeks ago and is available for streaming and on demand if you have HBO. Like in “The Outsider,” in “If It Bleeds,” Holly is confronted by a force of evil.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Tight and Loose Cultures 33 mins – “At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Japanese soccer fans did something striking: they started going through the stadium, cleaning up the trash that was left behind. A lot of people were baffled by this behavior, but Michele Gelfand, a psychologist at the University of Maryland, sees their actions in the frame of what she refers to as “tight” and “loose” cultures. Tight cultures, she says, are more rules-oriented. Loose cultures are more permissive. “Countries like Japan, Singapore, Germany, and Austria tend to veer tight,” she says. “And countries like New Zealand, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Greece tended to veer loose. And of course, all countries have tight and loose elements.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save File” and “OK” to download the podcast.

Vaccine History 10 mins – “Vaccination is a powerful method of disease prevention that is relevant to people of all ages and in all countries, as the Covid-19 pandemic illustrates. Vaccination can improve people’s chances of survival, protect communities from new and reemerging health threats, and enhance societal productivity. But achieving the promise of vaccination requires much more than the vaccines themselves. It requires appropriate incentives to encourage the timely discovery and development of innovative, effective, safe, and affordable products; effective financing and delivery programs; and credible scientific leaders who can provide evidence-based policy recommendations and reassure the public about the value of the vaccines. Since its inception 50 years ago, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), previously known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM), has been an authoritative resource on medical issues, including vaccination, and a global leader in vaccine-policy development….”  At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to get the podcast.

Whale Song 46 mins – “Grappling with the realities of the climate crisis can be incredibly discouraging—especially when we feel powerless, paralyzed, or don’t know where to start. In light of the potentially dark future on our horizon, here’s a list of resources we’ve compiled for existing—and resisting—in the face of impending climate disruption.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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