Each week I will publish the most Delicious Ingredients of my Audible Feast … the scrumptious, delectable, savory, rich, sweet, spicy, and best podcasts that have fed my ears this week. They’re listed in no particular order. You can see what I’ve been listening to here to see the competition these shows beat out to make the best of the week.
Code Switch: In Search of Puerto Rican Identity in Small Town America (2/28/17): What it’s about: “Puerto Ricans are migrants not immigrants, Spanish and English, domestic yet foreign — as we like to say on Code Switch, it’s complicated. A hundred years ago this week, Puerto Ricans became U.S. citizens by law with the passing of the Jones Act. Since then, they’ve had a complicated and fraught relationship with what it means to be American. Shereen traveled to Holyoke, Massachusetts to explore what the Jones Act has meant to Puerto Rican identity on stateside in the last century. Holyoke has the highest ration of Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. – nearly 50% of residents there have Puerto Rican heritage.” Why it’s great: I have much love for Gene Demby, but I was thrilled that Shereen was back this week. I was so surprised when she became emotional midway through the episode, and it brought so much weight to the discussion. Shereen and Gene typically have a lot of witty and intellectual back-and-forth, so this was a touching twist. (23 minutes) Twitter: @NPRCodeSwitch
Scene on Radio: How Race Was Made (Seeing White, Part 2) (3/1/17): What it’s about: “For much of human history, people viewed themselves as members of tribes or nations but had no notion of “race.” Today, science deems race biologically meaningless. Who invented race as we know it, and why?” Why it’s great: There have actually been two episodes so far where producer and host John Biewen explores the concept of the “white race.” In this one he recalled his high school history book describing race as “caucasoid, mongoloid, and negroid.” But where did that even come from? What is the actual science, and then what is the cultural significance? I feel like this should be required listening for high school students, so we can send much more educated humans into the world. I’m especially interested in this because my son talks about “race” as shades of someone’s skin – so his is peach and he has tan, light brown, and dark brown friends. I hope this series has many more parts to it because I am loving it so far. (28 minutes) Twitter: @sceneonradio
Reveal: Al Letson Reveals: Vicente Fox on Trump’s Wall (3/2/17): What it’s about: “Many people have strong feelings about President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is among the most outspoken. In this podcast special, host Al Letson digs into whether Fox doesn’t like the wall – or the new U.S. president. Watch for F-bombs.“ Why it’s great: This was my favorite piece of audio all week. Al Letson is not kidding when he says watch out for F-bombs! Vicente Fox is furious with President Trump over “the wall” and other foreign policy threats and he explains why – absolutely no words minced. This is a new feature for Reveal and I hope to hear more like it. (18 minutes) Twitter: @reveal
Inflection Point with Lauren Schiller: Bringing the Birth Control Over the Counter, Samantha Miller (2/27/17): What it’s about: “Samantha Miller is leading the only pharmaceutical company whose mission is to bring the birth control pill over the counter– with their product “Kate.” This has never been attempted before.” Why it’s great: Genius idea – I hope this is truly the future of birth control. I love the discussion point that men’s birth control is certainly available over the counter, so why shouldn’t women’s be? (24 minutes) Twitter: @laschiller
Orbital Path: Space Robots to Europa! (2/23/17): What it’s about: “Galileo discovered Europa, Jupiter’s fourth-largest moon, in 1610. In 1977, the Voyager spacecraft buzzed past and we realized it was covered in ice. It took a few more years to understand that it also likely had unfrozen liquid water oceans. In this episode, Kevin Hand, Deputy Project Scientist for the Europa mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) explains how his team plans to launch a series of missions to orbit, land on, and hopefully explore the curious moon’s deep salty oceans with a self-driving space submarine.” Why it’s great: It was really cool to learn about Europa’s topography and probable makeup. Humans aren’t going to Europa, but our surrogates can, and the engineering behind what it would take for a robot to actually collect and transmit data is out of this world (ha!) but I was entranced listening to what the robot would do once it got to Europa.(18 minutes) Twitter: @MLThaller
The Doc Project from CBC Radio: When Who You Were, Can No Longer Be Who You Are (2/28/17): What it’s about: “A lot of us define ourselves by our jobs. Which is why people often struggle when the time comes to retire. They don’t know who they are any more. And we’re not just talking about people who stop working after a lifetime in a career — the girl at the heart of this documentary is 17. (We are not using her name because she’s young and she asked us not to.) She retired from a promising rhythmic gymnastics career — she was competing at a national level and was Olympics-bound — about a year ago because of an injury. And retirement? She still hasn’t accepted it.” Why it’s great: This documentary is chock full of emotion – can you imagine wanting to go back to a physically demanding career, but your body just can’t handle it, and you’re 17? I couldn’t help but feel so much empathy for the unnamed gymnast as she experiences a tremendous loss so early in her life, when she is going through so much emotionally as a teen already. (22 minutes) Twitter: @DocProjectCBC
With Friends Like These: “Hope and Trust in Trump.” The first episode! (2/24/17): What it’s about: “Ana Marie Cox talks with Pastor Christopher Jackson about why his Wisconsin community voted for Obama… before voting for Trump. She’s then joined by Jamil Smith of MTV News for a conversation about the big stories this week.” Why it’s great: I hadn’t heard any buzz about this show, so I’m not even sure how I found it, but it was great. The idea for the show is to have honest and respectful conversations between everyday citizens who are firmly on either the liberal or conservative side of the political spectrum in the U.S. It is refreshing and I hope to learn some tips on how to have these conversations, because remaining so polarized is not helpful for our communities. (52 minutes) Twitter: @crooked_friends
All episode descriptions and artwork come from the linked sites. What else was fantastic this week? Send me a note! email@example.com or @audible_feast on Twitter.
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