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Public radio listeners know it’s that time of year again, time to interrupt your favorite public radio programs for the spring pledge drive. But today I saw a tweet from one of the folks at APM’s Marketplace with a link to a YouTube video that’s sure to bring a smile to the face of any regular public radio listener.
Greg Studley (yes, that’s his real name) has put together a take off on Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire that replaces the names of celebrities in the original song with the names of people you hear across public radio networks (definitely NPR and APM, and I think even PRI although I don’t catch any PRX names). He even drops in Donnie Baseball, although I’m not aware of anything he does with public radio. [My bad. I'm always confusing Don with Dave on NPR.] (If you go to the YouTube page for the video you can see all the names he drops.)
After hearing it many times I have to admit it’s kind of lame and the singing isn’t the best, although it still beats some of the vocals I had to record as a studio engineer back in New Orleans. What do you guys think of it? The only other problems I have with it is that after repeated plays of the video (I really want an MP3 of it one of these days) I had to go see Billy Joel’s original as well as the cover by Guns N’ Moses. Although it’s pretty ironic that I found the video yesterday, the day that WBUR, my local NPR station, officially started their spring fundraiser. Please consider supporting them as they try to completely do away with their summer pledge drive for the second year in a row. If you do you can get chances to win some pretty nice swag.
Since I stopped running Ubuntu Linux I found myself looking for some new Linux podcasts to listen to. Luckily I discovered mintCast, a great podcast for all users of Linux by folks who run Linux Mint. It comes out most every Monday, and despite being over an hour long (which my digital media player doesn’t seem to like too much) it’s always filled with news I can use. Each show starts out with news for the Linux community, which makes it even better.
Last week’s show, which I was finally able to listen to over the weekend, included an interview with Larry Bushey of the Going Linux podcast. Going Linux is built on the premise that their users are not Linux techies, in fact they give information as if their listeners have never even fired up a LiveCD which is great for folks who are just looking at Linux for the first time.
Of course it made me want to check out the latest Going Linux podcast, a listener feedback show. Going Linux is recorded far enough in advance that they don’t include a news segment, but I have to say that it’s a damned nice podcast whether you’re already a Linux user or just considering checking out our favorite penguin.
I also found a podcast called The Linux Tech Show, which I just downloaded and wanted to let everyone know about since I haven’t found many good Linux podcasts that aren’t either Ubuntu or Gnome based.
My other podcasts
Speaking of podcasts, I have a list of podcasts I regularly check, if not download, on a daily or weekly basis. A most of them are daily news show podcasts from public radio shows I enjoy on WBUR but there a few entertainment shows (most but not all are from public radio shows) that I make a point of snagging so I don’t miss them. I’m going to give links to the home pages for each of them for you to check them out for yourselves. Most of them are available on iTunes but each one has ways to download or subscribe via a basic RSS feed so anyone can enjoy them.
The Drum Literary Magazine- I heard about this “literary magazine for your ears” through Radio Boston. They don’t have a traditional podcast but every week they post a new audio file every week. As I was checking my email today I found a message telling me that this week’s post is Jonathan Levy Wainscoting IV narrating Askold Melnyczuk’s novel-in-progress Excerpts from SMEDLEY’s Secret Guide to World Literature.
The Splendid Table – A weekly show from American Public Media for “people who love to ear”, host Lynne Rosetto Kasper not only talks to people who know about creating good food but also takes questions from listeners. The questions run the gamut from how to prepare something to what goes with the food item in question. I’ve started downloading it every week since my commute has changed to while it’s on the air on WBUR every Saturday at 6pm. I always learn something new from Lynne, and this past week’s show is even better with an interview with the guys from the…
Dinner Party Download (DPD) – Every Friday Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam provide info that “helps you win the dinner party.” APM’s Marketplace often features the Small Talk segment, stories that didn’t quite make the news shows in the preceding week, and the DPD also give us an Icebreaker (a joke), a History Lesson with Booze (something that happened in the past and a drink to serve with the info), a Guest of Honor (this week was Randy Newman), a Main Course, and even a song to listen to while going to or from your dinner party. The DPD just celebrated their 100th episode, showing that they have a damned good idea that can only get better with age.
Weekends on All Things Considered – NPR’s award-winning All Things Considered has long been known for looking at a variety of things, and as I’ve heard listener feedback about topics we’re amazed they even looked at (I won’t even try to name some since you may want to hear things I’ve heard more than enough about), but they always remind us that the show isn’t Some Things Considered. The podcast is kind of a “Best Of” for the weekend shows, which is a great way to catch stories you may have missed, although the best way to catch up on things is still by checking the show rundowns on the main page. New episodes are posted Sunday nights.
The Moth – The Moth is an organization that was created to share “true stories told live”, in regular events at their stages in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit, as well as at their tour stops all over the country, such as events in New Orleans in cooperation with the USA Network’s Characters Unite program. The Moth has redesigned their website and made it harder to find their podcast unless you use iTunes, but they do make it easy to find The Moth Radio Hour, a monthly public radio series that shares some of the incredible stories that have been shared. The podcast is updated every Monday.
Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! (WWDTM) – The NPR news quiz from WBEZ in Chicago is always good for laughs, and between their celebrity panel and each week’s special guest I dare you to not enjoy their hour long show. Among the weekly segments are Who’s Carl (Kassell) This Week?, Bluff The Listener and Limericks, and the listener winners in each segment have a chance to win Carl Kassell’s voice on their answering machine. WBUR airs it multiple times, but my commute is now while they give the show a final airing on Sunday evenings so I snag the podcast so I don’t miss anything. The podcast is posted each Saturday at about 5pm (ET).
How To Do Everything – Produced by Mike Danforth and Ian Chillag of WWDTM takes your questions about how to do things and gets answers for them. Recent questions include how to get soap out of your eyes in space, how to treat jellyfish stings and how to keep bees from stinging you. The podcast doesn’t have regular release days like other podcasts, but I start checking midweek. You can also follow them on Twitter or Facebook to get notified when new episodes are available.
Studio 360 – This weekly pop culture podcast looks at music, movies, television, art, books, design, performance and even science and technology. Another production of WNYC, this show quickly became a Must Hear, and with being shuffled around the WBUR schedule I am glad to be able to just get the podcast and hear it every week.
Radiolab – Yet another WNYC production, Radiolab is an incredible way to shine a light on things you may not have thought about, but it uses sound as big tool to use rather than just having people talk. I discovered the show over a year ago when I stumbled on an episode called Animal Blessings that had an incredible piece about whales. They only produce a limited number of hour-long shows so it’s not on the air as often as Studio 360, but their hour-long podcasts are worth hearing as soon as they come out, and they also produce shorts that are welcome as you wait for full podcasts.
On The Media – More of a news show than an entertainment show, this program from WNYC in New York looks at how the media is covering stories in the news. There are no sacred cows, in fact I discovered the show when they looked at the issue of bias in NPR’s news coverage.
This American Life – Another show from WBEZ, I suspect most folk have heard of the television and radio show with Ira Glass. It’s hard to describe the show, but each week’s show has a theme that they investigate. This week the topic is First Contact, and recent shows have looked at The Old Boys Network, The Psychopath Test and Infidelity. New podcasts are posted late in the weekend, although I can’t see exactly when.
WBUR Daily News Update - While you can easily go to the website for NPR’s Morning Edition to check the stories covered on the national level this WBUR podcast compiles some of the local stories covered by Bob Oakes and the WBUR news team.
On Point – Five days a week Tom Ashcroft takes two hours to look at a wide range of topics and letting callers add their own views. The first hour usually looks at a more hard news story while the second hour tends to take a lighter side. Produced at WBUR in Boston, the live show is on from 10am to noon each weekday with a repeat starting at 7pm, but there are often days when I miss parts of shows I really want to hear despite the two airings so I am glad to be able to turn to their podcasts. Updates are available weekdays at 4pm ET.
Here & Now – Another daily from WBUR, Robin Young looks at multiple topics every hour from the things that are in the news in the middle of the day. Their partnership with the BBC has expanded their ability to look at what’s going on the world over.
Fresh Air – Terry Gross hosts this Peabody Award-wining daily radio magazine for contemporary arts and issues from WHYY in Philadelphia. New episodes are available weeknights at 10:30pm ET.
Talk of the Nation (TotN) - Monday through Thursday Neil Conan hosts the third program actually produced by NPR. (Morning Edition and All Things Considered are the other two shows produced by the network itself rather than by affiliate stations.) Neil hosts this show designed as “a part of the national conversation,” and everyone is given a chance to weigh in on topics at hand, whether they be experts that the show brig on the air or listeners who call in. Wednesday shows include the Political Junkie, which includes a chance to win TotN “No Prize” t-shirts, and Fridays the show is handed off to Ira Flatow and the Science Friday staff. Five days a week the show is two hours long, so if your local station is like WBUR and only airs an hour of the show the podcasts are great ways to get any or all of the segments from a given day.
Radio Boston – This local show hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks was created to be a local version of shows like On Point and Talk of the Nation, and since it became a daily show last May Meghna and Anthony have given us a wealth of information on things going on in the Boston area. Each show includes a Today’s Talker that let the listeners chime in to help us understand the topics even better than if it were just Meghna, Anthony and the experts alone. New episodes go up around 5pm ET.
Marketplace – You’d think since I don’t have much money to play with in the financial markets I wouldn’t be that interested in a show that is centered on financial news but Senior Editor Kai Ryssdal and the rest of the marketplace team look at not only what’s going on in the financial world but they also look at how it impacts the individuals, whether they live in America or in another country. Their weekend show, Marketplace Money, is an even better way to see how the choices in the world of finance impact us, and they also have podcasts for midday news and tech news. The fact that many Fridays they bring in the Small Talk segment from DPD just make a damned good show even better.
Sorry about the Jabba-sized post, but when I started writing it I didn’t realize it would end up being such a long post. Is there a podcast you guys love getting that I missed? Let us know in the comments.
One of the things I’ve come to love about having my digital media player is being able to snag podcasts and enjoy them when I’m away from my computer. I know this is nothing new to most people but I didn’t do much with podcasts before due to a somewhat limited amount of time I spend at my computer every day. I used to snag some tech podcasts, especially the podcasts from the Ubuntu UK podcast team and the Ubuntu Podcasts from Josh Chase and Nick Ali from the Ubuntu Georgia Local Community (LoCo) team. I ended up dropping the two Ubuntu podcasts when I stopped being a GNOME user since they had too little KDE content that I could find. I also listened to the Full Circle Magazine podcast but I found the format too painful to listen to and dropped it. (Sorry guys, but it’s the truth.) I’ll look for some KDE-related podcasts one of these days but as of this writing I have no clue what’s out there.
I haven’t stopped enjoying podcasts though.Now I snag podcasts of NPR shows every weekend, as well as for shows during the week that I was unable to hear when it was originally broadcast. I do podcasts on the weekend mostly because my commute routine has changed so they’re on when I’m on the subway, plus my local NPR station, WBUR, has juggled the schedule for some of my favorite shows and I’m unable to hear them when I used to. For those interested, the shows I enjoy via podcast are:
Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson. Their website calls the show ” public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts.” Produced by PRI and WNYC, I can’t believe I let myself forget how much I enjoy the show.
The Moth. Real stories from real people, told with no notes and always enjoyable and entertaining. The Moth runs storytelling nights in New York, LA, Chicago and Detroit, with shows in other cities when the Moth goes on tour. The Moth Radio Hour isn’t aired all year long, but it’s always good news when PRX.org has new shows. Luckily there are podcasts even when the show is on hiatus.
Radiolab. Radiolab isn’t your ordinary radio show and I found it when I stumbled across it on WBUR. I was hooked from the first show. Another production from WNYC, their website says, “Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we’ll feed it with possibility.” I’m glad they put it that way because I honestly couldn’t find the words to try and describe they show. It’s that different, and that’s a very good thing.
Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me. The NPR news quiz, it combines current events with humor and the chance to win a damned nice prize. Hosted by Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell and with three celebrity panelists each week, with most shows recorded at Chicago’s Chase Auditorium, I dare you to listen to a single show without laughing. And be careful, as Fat Albert used to say, you might learn something.
The title of this post mentions pains, and unfortunately there are two things that can be a bit of a pain to enjoying podcasts. Of course you have to download them, but there are a number of apps you can use that will grab the podcasts you want with little hassle, although I tend to simply download them and manually move them over to my media player. It’s not that big a deal for me since I have my player set to simply use a directory structure and don’t have to worry about where my app puts my podcasts. The other advantage to doing it this way is that I can archive podcasts that I really enjoy and save them for later.
But there’s one more things that’s more annoying than anything else about listening to NPR shows on podcasts. “Wait Wait…” is a great example. Earlier this year the time for it’s last weekly airing on WBUR was changed so that I tend to hear the show start before going underground on the subway between Community College and North Station, and then I can hear the end of the show once I get to Jackson Square or so on the southern end of the Orange Line. What I end up doing now is to hear the broadcast of the show’s teaser and the top of the hour news break, then go to the podcast until I get down to Forrest Hills. At that point there’s 20-30 minutes of show left and while I end up hearing part of the show twice it tends to work out pretty well. I usually go back to WBUR in time for the Listener Limerick Challenge or the final Lightning Fill In The Blank round.
The problem is the way the show ends. Peter Sagal always ends the show by saying, “This is NPR,” and the podcast ends. But as this clip recorded at the end of this morning’s first broadcast shows, I’m very used to something else following the end of the show.
As I’ve said on Facebook, it just seems weird to hear Peter close “Wait Wait…” with “This is NPR” and not hear the local station ID. What about you guys? Do you have things like this with podcasts you listen to regularly? What are the podcasts you just have to snag every week or so? Let us know in the comments, and please include links to the podcasts’ websites so we can check them out as well.
I think most people have heard of potential employers Googling applicants and finding things posted that we’d prefer not to be part of their consideration of whether we get offered the job or not, but now what we post is even making it’s way into our courtrooms.
FLATOW: So lawyers are using Facebook for – and – this stuff for just about everything.
Mr. UNDERHILL: Yeah, and that’s the thing that people should remember, is, you know, what they post there is evidence. And it’s maybe not admissible, but at least discoverable in pretty much any case.
Our online postings are also getting found when we go in for jury duty.
Mr. UNDERHILL: Well, that’s – you know, the people we’re talking about, potential jurors, here, and you – both sides are wanting to check whether somebody might have potential bias to one side or the other. And they do – you get a chance to interview them in court, and they also fill out a questionnaire. But we – you know, it’s not just us. I mean, everybody – it’s very common for both sides to be searching the Facebook profiles because, you know, people post things there that they do not reveal in a questionnaire.
Consider what a caller to the show discovered.
GRAHAM: I just had a comment about some of the privacy settings. I’ve opted out of virtually everything I can on Facebook. One of the things I found out, I was kind of upset about was my friends who use applications that I even don’t can those applications can search through my profile and even get my information, even after I’ve opted out of everything that I could to protect my privacy.
I know this may sound pretty scary, and Kevin Underhill (a partner at the law firm of Shook, Hardy and Bacon in San Francisco and author of the legal humor blog Lowering the Bar) boils it down into one sentence that you may want to put on a PostIt or something and stick it to your monitor:
Mr. UNDERHILL: Yeah. That’s actually what I had written down here as the lesson to take away, is – and like you’re – like Rich said earlier, if you don’t want – if you want to be sure that nobody sees it, including a lawyer, then you have to not post it there in the first place.
Please read the show’s transcript and you can listen to the segment through your browser on that same page. If you’re unable to do much streaming media thanks to your ‘net connection you can use the Download link to save the segment as an MP3 file and listen to it at your leisure. And please pass this along to your family and friends. It’s information that every newbie should get, and the rest of us need to get reminded about it from time to time as well.
One of the things I’ve found myself doing now that I have a good FM radio with a digital tuner on my E100 is listening to National Public Radio through station WBUR here in Boston. I’ve always been a bit of a news junky and it wasn’t unusual for me to be found listening to WBZ-AM when I could get the signal (meaning not on the subway) and wasn’t listening to music. One of the things I wanted to do when I bought my E100 is to get a little portable radio with a digital tuner so I could listen to WBZ without having to cart around my old CD player that has an AM-FM tuner but I could never find a portable AM radio with a digital tuner that didn’t cost over $20. I’ve found a number of portable radios for right around $10 but they all have analog tuners. I guess AM portable radios have gotten passé enough that if someone wants an AM radio they’ll settle for one with an analog tuner but I prefer using a digital tuner so I could lock into a specific frequency.
I’ve grown to really love hearing Morning Edition, All Things Considered, the BBC World Service and On Point, just to name a few of the great programs on WBUR, but there was a story on Studio 360 that I want to pass along. If you go to New York’s Guggenheim Museum between now and 10 March you’ll only see one artist’s work on display. And other than the work of conceptual artist Tino Sehgal’s “This Progress” you won’t see another work of art on display. But you won’t see a single work of art on the walls of the museum. You also won’t find any of the usual supporting material for the exhibit. Instead you’re greeted by a child who asks you, “What is progress?”
As you work your way through the museum you speak with three other people, you will work your way through a series of improvised conversations with the work on exhibit building on the conversations. It’s not your usual art exhibit but as I listened to the story produced by Studio 360‘s Michele Siegel I found myself wanting to get to New York City so I could hit the Gugg myself.
If you want more information on the exhibit head on over to the page for last night’s show and look for the Art of Conversation. You won’t find a transcript like you usually can find for programs on WBUR and NPR, but you can listen to the story and even download an MP3 of the story. It’s definitely worth the almost eight minutes the story runs for, and while you’re there you can also check out the other stories on last night’s show, including an interview with Quentin Tarantino as he waits to see how many of the eight nominations his movie Inglourious Basterds recieved will get a gold statue on next Sunday’s Oscar broadcast.