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.
The Moth Radio Hour: Leaving, Loving & Coming Home (2/14/17): What it’s about: “In this episode we feature four stories about our relationship to home. Yearning for a place to call home, leaving one home in search of another and coming to find beauty and a true sense of belonging. Hosted by Meg Bowles. The Moth Radio Hour is produced by The Moth and Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media. Suzi Ronson a hairdresser from Beckenham leaves it all behind to run away with a proverbial circus. Denis Repp finds unexpected love after a painful breakup. Jonah Lehrer describes life after a fall from grace. Abeny Kucha flees from violence in her village in the Sudan and finds a new home in Portland, ME.” Why it’s great: I loved this thoughtful collection of stories, and The Moth Radio Hour smartly bookended the episode with the two most beautiful stories. Ronson describes her time with David Bowie and Kucha emotionally describes how America became home to her after she traversed eastern Africa on foot from refugee camp to refugee camp. (42 minutes) Twitter: @TheMoth
Here Be Monsters, Episode 073: A Trial Ghost Hunt (2/15/17): What it’s about: “Puget Sound Ghost Hunters have seen some turnover recently, and Ken and Donna are in need of new team members. They put an ad up on their website and on their Facebook group inviting would-be ghost hunters to join their team of volunteers. After a series of interviews, they narrowed it down to two candidates: Scott Harris and Tanya Routt, two people who seem to have what it takes to investigate reported paranormal activity with rigor and compassion. But before Ken and Donna offer membership to Scott and Tanya, they arranged a trial ghost hunt to see how they behave in the field. The four of them meet at the Walker Ames House in Port Gamble, Washington.” Why it’s great: I often gravitate toward emotion-filled storytelling, but I also enjoy fun! Producer Bethany Denton got to go along on this awesome ghost hunt, and the audio is fantastic (as usual for HBM). (27 minutes) Twitter: @HBMPodcast
Criminal, Episode 61: Vanish (2/12/17): What it’s about: “People have faked death to escape criminal convictions, debts, and their spouses. In 2007, a man named Amir Vehabovic faked his death just to see who showed up at the funeral (answer: only his mom). It’s an appealing soap-opera fantasy, but actually disappearing requires an incredible amount of planning. How do you obtain a death certificate, a believable new identity, or enough money to start a new life? Today — the answers to those questions, stories of fake death gone wrong, and a man who spends his life bringing back the dead.“ Why it’s great: One of the finest things about Criminal is how the show addresses what is “criminal” from so many different angles. It’s so artistic and creative how Phoebe Judge has designed the arc of the show; in that way it reminds me much of Here Be Monsters or Nocturne. This episode was thrilling – I loved how Judge said she’s thought seriously about canoeing across the border into Canada for a long time. (24 minutes) Twitter: @CriminalShow
Missing Richard Simmons, Episode 1: Where’s Richard? (2/7/17): What it’s about: There are no show notes on the website, which is a big personal pet peeve of mine, but this show is about why Richard Simmons disappeared in 2014. The first episode came out 3 years to the day of his last public appearance which was at his regular fitness class in L.A. The host was a regular at the class and considered Simmons a friend, and seems to truly want to know why he is reclusive now, so he interviews Simmons’ friends to try to find out more. Why it’s great: I’m still not sure if this show is overly exploitative, when Simmons clearly wants to be left alone, but it is pretty interesting, as Simmons has an incredible personality. The show sits atop the iTunes charts, and this time, I agree that it’s worth a listen. (40 minutes) Twitter: @MissingRSimmons
Hidden Brain, Episode 62: On the Knife’s Edge (2/21/17): What it’s about: “We often hear stories about murders sparked by trivial disputes. And we also hear the same solutions proposed year after year: harsher punishments, more gun control. But what if science can help us find new solutions? Can understanding how we make decisions help us prevent these tragedies? In moments of anger, it can be hard to heed the advice to take a deep breath or count to ten. But public health researcher Harold Pollack says that “regret comes almost as fast as anger,” and that five minutes of reflection can make all the difference between a regular life and one behind bars. This week, Harold Pollack and Jens Ludwig tell us about the research they do at the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab. They worked with a program called BAM (Becoming a Man) to look at what happens when teenagers participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.” Why it’s great: I am a student of CBT so I was drawn in immediately. The outcome of the experiment was not what I expected, but BAM sounds like a great program for youth in need. (28 minutes) Twitter: @HiddenBrain
This is About, Episode 007: The Fixer (2/15/17): What it’s about: “This is About… the pursuit of other people’s happiness. Mel Holman is a woman who gives her eggs away for free. Dozens of women with fertility issues have been moved to tears by her generosity. But as Mel offers to help Tereasa’s dreams of motherhood come true, they find themselves caught in a battle neither bargained for.” Why it’s great: It would have been a great enough story without it, but this story has a twist. Holman has not only donated her eggs to women in need, but has also been a surrogate. It’s almost unbelievable how many lives she has impacted. I loved hearing how Mel’s and Tereasa’s sisterhood evolved and Tereasa was actually able to help Mel. (25 minutes) Twitter: @RadioNational
Campus: The 4th Year Virgin (2/9/17): What it’s about: “Getting adjusted to life on campus is no easy feat for anyone. The pressure of fitting in and finding your feet during first year is huge. One of the biggest roadblocks to acceptance is, strangely enough, sex. If you’re not getting any, you’re an outcast. On college campuses, the stigma against virgins is real. Just ask Phil Leung, a fourth-year business student who just couldn’t get laid no matter how hard he tried. “When I saw the confidence of men who have been laid and they wear like a badge of honor, to me I wanted to be part of that club so badly.” It doesn’t help that he got into the game late, either. Growing up as a Chinese-Canadian kid with strong ties to the church, sex wasn’t just off his radar, it was taboo.” Why it’s great: I am too many years removed from the campus scene to be a credible resource on this statement, but I bet a lot of students experience these feelings of inadequacy if they’re not having sex. I imagine it’s exacerbated by the hookup culture that is so omnipresent on college campuses now as well, though that wasn’t addressed in this episode. I felt so much warmth for Leung – his story isn’t pathetic, he just wanted to be a normal guy and have confidence, and through his filter he saw the way to do that was through having sex in college. I’m also thrilled that Campus profiled (as they often do) someone who is not white. This episode totally captures the essence of this great show from the CBC. (27 minutes) Twitter: @CampusCBC
All episode descriptions and artwork come from the linked sites. What else was fantastic this week? Send me a note! firstname.lastname@example.org or @audible_feast on Twitter
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