Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A sampling of things I listen to on my morning commute

As a telecommuter, I have a loop-shaped morning commute.  I take a walk to wake me up, keep me from becoming even tubbier, see the world and listen to podcasts.  What podcasts?  They vary across a range of topics that my brain sees as connected to the social and natural world and how people learn about that stuff.  That's nice and narrow, isn't it?

Sometimes I end up listening to just one particular episode from a series as I'm looking for a particular author talking about her or his book, but most of the time I listen to regularly podcasted programs.  In this post, I'll give attention to both categories -- the ones I listen to regularly and one "special" episode.  And I'll give you a sentence or two about why I like them. 

I'd thought about listing a bunch, but today I'll just do a few with the intention of coming back to the topic with additions when the mood strikes.  

None of these are focused exclusively on climate change, though many have the occasional (or, in the case of the first and third, frequent) program dedicated to it.  The links typically will take you to the show's homepage.  You can generally find a link to subscribe there, or type or paste the name into iTunes search box.
The Long Now Foundation's monthly Seminars were started in 02003 to build a compelling body of ideas about long-term thinking; to help nudge civilization toward our goal of making long-term thinking automatic and common instead of difficult and rare.

  • Ideas: How to Think About Science (from CBC Radio) This series gives a good overview of thinkers in the nature of science.  It's a few years old now, and it's been a while since I listened to it, but it's a good course to stick in your pocket.  How to Think About Science is really a subset of their Ideas program, which is also quite good.
The Canadian Broadcasting Company has perhaps as rich an array of good podcasts as NPR, and I live within broadcast range to catch some of it over the air.  In fact, as I looked at CBC's podcast page (the previous link), I saw a new one which I'll just go ahead and add a new bullet for:

  • The Bottom Line, with David Suzuki (from CBC Radio)  As noted above, I just stumbled across this (it's new!), but I've never been disappointed with David Suzuki's work.  He's the pre-eminent Canadian environmental journalist.  Wouldn't it be nice if the US had one of those?  Or a few that you had to choose amongst?  Ah well, at least we can listen to Suzuki's fine work more easily in this digital age.  
Here's an episode description to whet your appetite: "David Suzuki goes camping in Haida Gwaai with former Minister Jim Prentice. They discuss the root of the word economics and climate change. David also interviews the former chief economist of the World Bank about the cost of climate change."  There's my morning commute for tomorrow.

  • Radiolab (from WNYC) Radiolab is just a delight.  The way the hosts play with ideas and bring life to science is hard to top.  Here's a blurb from a show a couple of years ago, Stochasticity, that I really liked:
"Stochasticity (a wonderfully slippery and smarty-pants word for randomness), may be at the very foundation of our lives. To understand how big a role it plays, we look at chance and patterns in sports, lottery tickets, and even the cells in our own body. Along the way, we talk to a woman suddenly consumed by a frenzied gambling addiction, meet two friends whose meeting seems to defy pure chance, and take a close look at some very noisy bacteria."

And, of course:

  • TED  My guess is you already know about this, but if not, follow the link and be prepared to surrender some time to some great talks.   I'll also note that I'm pleased that TEDx Buffalo is coming April 7, 2011.  TEDx are locally organized TED Conferences.  I'm kind of excited about it...

Click on the episode name to get to the identified special episode.  Clicking on the podcast name will take you to the series site.
  • This American Life: Kid Politics (from Chicago Public Media)  This episode of one of the most popular podcasts that there is includes a segment on climate change understanding and the resistance to changing one's mind.  It's fascinating.  And it's got a dash of extra coolness because I know Roberta Johnson a little.

1 comment:

Manhattan Air Conditioning Service said...

I think we think very less of the environment.We must think of it more and with love to save it from the pollution that we have incurred.There is a major problem in the weather and various other ways.the mass media should cover this topic with some more thought.