Exercise your ears: the 23 podcasts shown below present the best ideas, information and stories from a larger group of 401 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.
Covid Economic Costs 30 mins – “While health workers fight to restrain the spread of the COVID-19 virus itself, economic policymakers are examining the monetary and fiscal options for reducing the length and depth of the economic downturn that will follow in the wake of the virus. The Federal Reserve has already engaged many of its tools to ease the strain on the financial system, including some of the emergency mechanisms last used during the Great Recession, while Congress has passed a massive aid package for businesses and workers. On Tuesday, April 7, Brookings will host an online discussion with former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, now at the Hutchins Center at Brookings, on the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, how governments have responded so far, and what further options are available to soften the blow and help speed an economic recovery.” At the link right-click “Download the Audio” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Diamonds Cost 22 mins – “Diamonds represent value, in all its multiple meanings: values, as in ethics, and value as in actual price. But what are these rocks actually worth? The ethics and costs of diamond rings have shifted with society, from their artificial scarcity perpetuated by DeBeers to their artificial creation in labs.” At the link you can listen,but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.
Dr Anthony Fauci 27 mins – “President Trump’s daily briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic have introduced millions of Americans to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. At times, the specialist in infectious diseases has differed with the president during the briefings, correcting him on the seriousness of the virus or on the timeline for developing a vaccine. That’s fueled speculation that Fauci’s tenure might be cut short. But New Yorker writer Michael Specter doesn’t think Fauci needs to worry about job security. “Trump can’t fire him,” Specter says. “He can kick him off the coronavirus task force … but he can’t fire him from his job.” Specter has known Fauci for decades — covering his work and the way he’s handled the role of presidential adviser through six different U.S. presidents and the AIDS epidemic. Specter chronicles those ups and downs in the New Yorker article, ‘How Anthony Fauci Became America’s Doctor.’” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Electoral College Abolishment 33 mins – “Electoral College ‘Not Carved In Stone:’ Author Advocates Rethinking How We Vote” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.
Hank Azaria 33 mins – “Azaria plays a colorful baseball announcer in the IFC comedy series ‘Brockmire,’ which is now in its 4th and final season. Azaria spoke with ‘Fresh Air’ about sobriety, his flamboyant character in ‘The Birdcage,’ and why he doesn’t voice the Indian American convenience store owner Apu on ‘The Simpsons’ anymore. Also, John Powers reviews the Hulu series ‘Little Fires Everywhere,’ starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Homelessness 31 mins – “If homelessness is the problem, housing is the solution. But it’s not always that simple. Kate Cody has been living in her encampment community for a long time. And there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to make the transition inside, even with the golden ticket. The way homelessness has exploded in California over the last decade, you’d think there was no system in place to address it. But there is one – it just wasn’t designed to help everyone. Katie Mingle’s According to Need is a documentary podcast in 5 chapters from 99% Invisible that asks: what are we doing to get people into housing? If you’ve enjoyed this series and were moved by the stories you heard, we’ve compiled a list of Bay Area organizations that you can support.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.
Inequality 33 mins – “Nelson Schwartz, author of ‘The Velvet Rope Economy,’ says special privileges for the super-rich are dividing America: “The result is less sympathy, less empathy and a sort of a harder-edge society.” Schwartz talks about private helicopter rides to the airport, concierge doctors, and elite college counseling — and their impact on our society. Schwartz writes about economics for the ‘New York Times.’ Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan recommends a few titles for troubled times: ‘The Women in Black,’ ‘The Colossus of New York,’ ‘Last Night at the Lobster,’ ‘Are You An Echo?’ and ‘Everything Is Under Control.’” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
James McBride 33 mins – “James McBride’s new novel, ‘Deacon King Kong,’ takes place in 1969, in a Brooklyn housing project similar to the one he grew up in. “In this book and in this community, people generally love each other,” he says. McBride is best known for his ’95 memoir ‘The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother.’” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
John Prine 34 mins – “Legendary songwriter, singer and guitarist John Prine died Tuesday from complications of the coronavirus. He was 73. Prine’s best-known songs include “Angel from Montgomery,” “Paradise,” “Sam Stone,” and “Hello in There.” Among the many people who recorded his songs are Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, and Bette Midler. Last year he was inducted into the Songwriting Hall of Fame. Terry Gross spoke to him in 2018 after the release of his album ‘The Tree of Forgiveness,’ his first album of new songs in 13 years. He was touring at the time, and had made a remarkable comeback from two bouts with cancer. We begin with rock critic Ken Tucker’s salute to Prine.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Mitch McConnell 33 mins – “New Yorker writer Jane Mayer says the Senate majority leader has thrown his support behind the president — despite the fact that “behind Trump’s back, he says he detests him, can’t stand him.” This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. President Trump’s enabler in chief is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to a new article by my guest, Jane Mayer, in The New Yorker. She writes that McConnell’s refusal to rein in Trump is looking riskier than ever for McConnell and has cost him the respect of some powerful people who have known him the longest.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Mohammed bin Salman 33 mins – “’New York Times’ Beirut Bureau Chief Ben Hubbard says Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is full of contradictions: He ended a ban on women driving, but his agents also carried out the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Hubbard’s book, ‘MBS,’ tells the story of the enigmatic leader. Hubbard says MBS could rule the country for the next 50 years.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Octavia Spencer 33 mins – “Spencer stars in the new Netflix limited series ‘Self Made’ as Madam C.J. Walker, America’s first female self-made millionaire. She sold hair and makeup products to black women in the early 1900s. Spencer talks about Walker’s legacy, playing a maid in’The Help,’ and learning to speak up for better pay in Hollywood. Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the K-pop group BTS’ new album ‘Map of the Soul.’” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Paramedic History 32 mins – “Back in the 1960s and 70s, in the city of Pittsburgh, there was a nickname for guys like John Moon – The Unemployables. This nickname meant that you simply could not get hired, no matter where you went for a job. Moon grew up in Pittsburgh’s largely Black and economically depressed Hill District. In better times, the Hill had its own Negro League baseball team and jazz clubs that regularly hosted Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. But by the time Moon was graduating high school in the late 60s, there was no escaping the neighborhood’s “unemployable” stigma. Moon was glad to land as an orderly at Pittsburgh’s Presbyterian-University Hospital, which provided steady employment, but not much else. One night halfway through a graveyard shift, Moon watched as two young men burst through the doors of the hospital. They were working desperately to save a dying patient. Maybe today he wouldn’t bat an eye at this scene, but in 1970 nothing about it made sense. The two men weren’t doctors, and they weren’t nurses. And their strange uniforms weren’t hospital issued. Moon was witnessing the birth of a new profession—one that would go on to change the face of emergency medicine. The two men were some of the world’s first paramedics, and, like Moon, they were Black.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
RuPaul 34 mins – “RuPaul describes his drag persona as “one-part Cher, two-parts David Bowie, one-part Diana Ross and two heaping spoonfuls of Dolly Parton.” The reality show he hosts and created, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ is now in its 12th season on VH1. He talks with Terry Gross about his early punk style of drag, becoming a “glamizon,” and the best advice his mother gave him. ” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Stephen Sondheim 31 mins – “Broadway is dark because of the virus, but that doesn’t need to stop us from celebrating the 90th birthday of Broadway’s best living composer and lyricist—and one of the best in the history of Broadway, Stephen Sondheim. His 90th birthday is Sunday. We’re listening back to our interview from 2010, which we recorded on the occasion of his 80th birthday. He wrote the songs for ‘Sweeney Todd,’ ‘Follies,’ ‘Into the Woods,’ ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ and ‘Merrily We Roll Along.’ Revivals of two of his shows had to go dark because of the virus: ‘West Side Story,’ for which he wrote the lyrics, and ‘Company.’” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Valley of the Fallen 26 mins – “About an hour northwest of Madrid, an enormous stone crucifix rises 500 feet out of a rocky mountaintop. It’s so big you can see it from miles away. Beneath the cross, there’s a sprawling Benedictine monastery and a basilica carved out of the mountain. This place is called the Valley of the Fallen. And it’s likely the most controversial monument in Spain. The Valley is synonymous with Francisco Franco, the general who ruled Spain from the end of its bloody civil war in 1939 until his death in 1975. When Franco died, he became the Valley’s most notorious inhabitant. His body was buried under a huge stone slab. As the decades passed after his death, anger about the monument grew. People began to push for the removal of Franco’s body. They argued there was no place in a democracy for a monument exalting a man who had tortured and killed thousands of Spaniards in the name of fascism. And then in October 2019, Franco’s body was disinterred, his coffin packed into a helicopter, and then flown to a graveyard on the outskirts of the city to be reburied. Despite the atrocities he committed, Franco still has supporters in Spain. Some even see him as the emblem of a traditional Spanish Catholic life, and some actually like his fascist ideology and would like to see it make a comeback. When his body was removed, hundreds of his supporters gathered at the new cemetery to wield swastikas and Franco-era flags, and to perform the fascist salute in his honor. But this isn’t just the story of an old mausoleum and the dictator who used to be buried there. Because the monument is also a mass grave. There are tens of thousands of other bodies still trapped in the basilica beneath where Franco used to lie. Many were victims of Franco’s security forces, murdered during the height of the civil war. For years, their families have been trying to get them out.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.