podcasts Archive

The bear who fought in World War II

During World War II a Polish transport company picked up an unusual mascot: a Syrian brown bear that grew to 500 pounds and traveled with his human friends through the Middle East and Europe. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll meet Wojtek, the “happy warrior,” and follow his adventures during and after the war. We’ll also catch up with a Russian …

Listen: Hacker Anthropologist Biella Coleman on the free software movement and big business

Gabriella Coleman, the anthropologist whose first book, Coding Freedom, explained hacking culture better than any book before or since; and whose second book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, told the inside story of Anonymous with technical and social brilliance, appeared on the Theory of Everything podcast (MP3) to discuss the ways that free software hackers and the more business-friendly open source world have fought, reconciled …

Welcome to Night Vale: scripts and notes from podcasting's eeriest drama

First, the amazing, creepy, weird and lovable podcast Welcome to Night Vale spawned a wonderful, improbable novel, and now, for book lovers who love Night Vale, there’s two books of scripts and notes from the production team: Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 1 and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 2 (I wrote …

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast's A Song of Ice and Fire book club forges onwards

The Boars, Gore, and Swords book club continues with the Boiled Leather chapter order combining George R.R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. On this week’s “30 Stone All Day,” Ivan and Red cover Brienne I (AFFC), Jon I (ADWD), Bran I (ADWD), and Tyrion II (ADWD). The boys went into Brienne I and Bran I on previous book club episodes, so follow the links for those eps.  To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song …

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast's ASOIAF book club – FeastDance #6: "Cersei Responds Appropriately"

The Boars, Gore, and Swords book club reading of the Boiled Leather chapter order combining George R.R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons continues with this week’s “Cersei Responds Appropriately.” Ivan and Red cover Cersei II (AFFC), Jaime I (AFFC), and as covered in a previous episode, Brienne II (AFFC). They discuss Rhaegar Targaryen’s late stage decision making, Highgarden and the …

Walter Duncan of Quick Key has some fascinating fixes for our edtech problems

Guys like Walter Duncan know what they’re talking about when it comes to edtech. Before becoming co-founder of Quick Key, Duncan spent years teaching in schools public and private and knows what teachers deal with on a daily basis. His product, which reduces the amount of time it takes for teachers to grade tests, is ingenious and is taking off. I spoke to him this …

What we think about when we try not to think about global warming

In this episode, psychologist Per Espen Stoknes discusses his book: What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming. Stoknes has developed a strategy for science communicators who find themselves confronted with climate change deniers who aren’t swayed by facts and charts. His book presents a series of psychology-based steps designed to painlessly change people’s minds and avoid the common mistakes …

The most logical logical fallacy of them all, the existential fallacy

Hypothetical situations involving dragons, robots, spaceships, and vampires have all been used to prove and disprove arguments. Statements about things that do not exist can still be true, and can be useful thinking tools for exploring philosophical, logical, sociological, and scientific concepts. The problem is that sometimes those same arguments accidentally require those fictional concepts to be real in order to support their conclusions, and …

How the "separate spheres" ideology is still affecting us today

Common sense used to dictate that men and women should only come together for breakfast and dinner. According to Victorian historian Kaythrn Hughes, people in the early 19th Century thought the outside world was dangerous and unclean and morally dubious and thus no place for a virtuous, fragile woman. The home was a paradise, a place for civility, where perfect angelic ladies could, in her …

How to change people’s minds on social issues with "deep canvassing"

Oddly enough, we don’t know very much about how to change people’s minds on social issues, not scientifically. That’s why the work of the a group of LGBT activists in Los Angeles is offering something valuable to psychology and political science – a detailed map of uncharted scientific territory. Over the last eight years, and through more than 12,000 conversations, The Leadership LAB has developed …