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.
This is About, Episode 009: Ned Kelly’s Bones (3/15/17): What it’s about: “Melita Rowston remembers her grandfather as a hard-working, angry man. He’d been to war and lived through the depression. He was of the generation that never spoke very much. That is, except over the Sunday dinners they shared every week, where he would come to life and re-enact this one story, over and over again, about the time he stole the bones of the infamous Australian bushranger Ned Kelly. But was it true? As an adult, Melita set off to get to the heart of the truth of her favourite family story.” Why it’s great: This is About is a rich storytelling show from Australia’s RadioNational that I found when (beloved-to-me) RadioTonic went off air in 2016 – This is About seems to have taken its spot in the genre. The show description says it’s about why we do the things we do – vague but possibly intriguing. I have enjoyed several of the first 9 episodes and am always thrilled to hear an international show. This episode is funny and kept me guessing through its entirety about whether the story that was handed down was actually true or not. (20 minutes) Twitter: @RadioNational
Inflection Point with Lauren Schiller: Developing More Women in Tech – Deborah Liu (2/21/17): What it’s about: “Deb Liu is the VP of Platform and Marketplace at Facebook. She’s working to address the challenges that women in tech are facing both on day to day basis, and through a non-profit she co-founded called Women in Product, which brings together women who build.” Why it’s great: The show description doesn’t do this episode justice – there was so much content in this episode that spoke to me and can speak to any woman in a male-dominated workplace. I have seen how companies requiring certain degrees or “backgrounds” to fill positions (of course the higher up you go, the more requirements apply) can be gender-biased – i.e. if the requirement for a product manager is a computer science degree, and only 18% of women are getting CS degrees, you’re not likely to have much more than 18% women even applying for a position, and you end up with a lack of diversity. I also enjoyed the discussion of self-imposed barriers to success that women experience more than men (I’d actually like to hear an entire podcast on this topic!), and the need to be open to feedback. (26 minutes) Twitter: @laschiller
Making Gay History: Shirley Willer (2/23/17): What it’s about: “What do you do when you’ve been slapped around by a policeman simply because the way you look and the way you’re dressed leads him to believe you’re a lesbian? Or when your friend—your gay brother—is left to die in a hospital because he’s a “flaming queen”? Shirley Willer got angry. And, to put it the way Frank Kameny might (and did in Episode 05), Shirley was also radicalized and decided that she had to “do something” because, as she says in the 1990 interview featured in this episode, “it had to stop.” For someone who wanted to do something to make the world a better place for gay people in the 1940s (which is when Shirley got hit by a policeman and her friend was left to die) there were virtually no options. But by 1962, when Shirley moved to New York City, the nascent LGBTQ civil rights movement (then called the homophile movement) gave her the outlet she’d been searching for—first as president of the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis and then as national president.” Why it’s great: The beginning of this interview is so wrenching – can you imagine hearing about yourself in school as someone who was a deviant, had an illness? When the person you are is just who you are? Willer also tells how she was berated and physically assaulted by the police for the clothes she was wearing (a women’s suit). But she found her community, other “deviants” and “perverts” like her, and turned her anger into activism. (18 minutes) Twitter: @MakingGayHistry
StoryCorps, Episode 496: Witness to an Execution (3/8/17): What it’s about: “Before founding StoryCorps, Dave Isay made documentaries that shined a light on the darkest corners of the country. Perhaps one of the darkest places in the U.S. is inside the death chamber. No one is allowed to film or photograph executions — but there are witnesses, and they carry what happens there with them for the rest of their lives. In 2000, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay and producer Stacy Abramson spoke with the men and women who witness multiple executions as part of their jobs at the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas, and created a radio documentary from those interviews, called Witness to an Execution. Narrated by Warden Jim Willett, who oversees all Texas executions, Witness to an Execution documents, in minute-by-minute detail, the process of carrying out an execution by lethal injection.” Why it’s great: This story won a Peabody award in 2000, and it’s a timeless classic. The stars of this episode are the men who share their raw emotion about witnessing executions. (25 minutes) Twitter: @StoryCorps
Embedded: Flagstaff (3/16/17): What it’s about: “In December 2014, police officer Tyler Stewart responded to a routine call in Flagstaff, Ariz. College student Anna Caldron had called the police, saying her boyfriend, Robert Smith, had damaged her apartment after an argument. Officer Stewart goes to investigate, and a routine call turns deadly. Smith shoots Stewart and himself. It is the first time a police officer’s death was captured on his own body cam.” Why it’s great: This is a complicated story of the existence of a police video where an officer and a perpetrator are shot and killed. Host and reporter Kelly McEvers thoughtfully looks at this particular video from more than one angle, and asks the question of many people related to the incident: did you watch the video? How many times? And why or why not? It’s compelling and I am looking forward to this entire season of Embedded (which will focus solely on police videos). (48 minutes) Twitter: @NPREmbedded
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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