Friday, September 25, 2015

Special Focus - Serial Podcast

   Don't even pretend to read this. Nobody who listens to podcasts can possibly not know about Serial. Seriously. Stop. Are you reading this ironically? Does irony describe this situation? Probably not. The point is, Serial is an amazing way to spend your podcast listening time.
   How amazing? Imagine a crazy crime drama meets murder mystery in audio form. The show is about a young man, Adnan Syed, who has been in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, while in high school over a decade ago. The show follows the as the host/narrator delves into different people's lives trying to figure out how much actual evidence there is against Adnan. It jumps from his friends, to Hae's friends, to other possible suspects all the way to people who's testimony could have changed Adnan's fate. Not to mention the legal organizations and professionals who weigh in on how well the case was constructed. There are even recordings of the interrogations to really immerse you in the case.
   Looking at this case from all the different angles gets you to think about these cases very differently. I've flipped how I feel not just about the person they have in jail but another person of interest three or four times. Between the unanswered questions, inconsistencies in evidence and prosecutors timeline and the fact that people with key information were not even contacted based on the fact that it "didn't help the prosecutors case" this ongoing story is as frustrating as it is enthralling. It's a must for everyone. Not just people who listen podcasts. Everyone. It's exactly what audio art is. 
   Moral of the story? Listen to the podcast. Head of to the SERIAL website and listen to the first 3 episodes then come back here and let me know what you thought. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Best of September 2015 Part 1 - Radiolab & Harmontown

   Wow, first official post and it's a tie. It's not something I was hoping to do this early but I didn't have much of a choice. One of these podcasts hit a very on point topic that shows how backwards our culture is the other is and the other, while entertaining (if not rambly), is about autism awareness. Both of these topics are a huge part of the world we live in today awareness is key so take a listen and educate yourself!

   In the wake of the Cecil the lion controversy Radiolab has released a very on topic episode (podisode?). The information isn't really new to me, as Cameron Hanes has been on the Joe Rogan Experience to explain this exact situation, but it still lays out the misunderstood nature of hunters that don't just hunt for trophies. His story, especially now, is definitely one people need to hear.
   The idea that hunting can help animals seems extremely paradoxical. People hate hunters because they kill animals, end of story. We've become a bandwagon culture who makes decisions based on the most recent BuzzFeed article or most controversial headline. Actually understanding a topic beyond the surface headlines, even just an hour's worth of research, seems to be enough to be more well read than 95% of the population. "Knowledge is power" has never been more true in this day and age.
   Cameron Hanes' life has become infinitely more difficult since bidding for a tag to hunt a black rhino. A black rhino that was going to have to be killed/removed from the group anyway. A black rhino that could make hundreds of thousands of dollars for the conservation of black rhinos. A black rhino that was going to kill the younger males around him because of his advancing cage. Of course I'm a born and raised Alaskan so fishing/hunting is something I grew up with so most of this is pretty obvious to me but for those of you still confused about the subject must listen to this episode. It's much shorter then the Joe Rogan Experience going over it with all the most information boiled down. Not to mention the glimpse into Cameron's life since placing his his bid which has been... Well, just take a listen.

   Do vaccines cause autism? Does the rise in adult autism diagnosis have anything to do with our diet? Are kids being inappropriately diagnosed by parents who don't have time to pay attention to their kids and just went them to be on meds all the time?
   The answer to these questions are no, probably not and sometimes. Actually, I'm no professional so don't take my word for it, go out and buy Steven Silberman's new book NeuroTribes. As someone who has an autistic brother all I can say is this guy has the right idea. Autism is such a casually tossed around term (like GMO) that hasn't really been  defined clearly for the culture. A lot of people still think if your child is autistic that they are considered abnormal and something to grieve over which is utter nonsense. Steven goes over some common misconceptions about the history of autism and how the mind of these individuals work. The book is in my queue. A must hear for all. 

   For my posts I believe I mentioned (too lazy to look at my last post) that I would put "runner up" podisodes so here we go! If you have extra time after checking out these awesome podcasts then take a gander below. 

   Another podisode focusing on concussions or injuries of the brain and how to combat them. This should all be common knowledge for humans as a whole. We, as a nation, average 12 deaths in high school and college football a year and I'm betting that repetitive brain trauma might have something to do with it. She even gives you a technique to help reduce psychological trauma which could prevent PTSD or flashbacks in general. If you have any extra time this week, please stop by the JRE Youtube or download it from the podcast player of your choice. 

   Ever get a call from you cable company wanting to have you take a survey? How about ask you how your customer service experience was? Well, did they ever ask you to take down a tweet from your personal Twitter account? Well, this is the story of a man who got just such a call from someone over at ComCast! Reply All doesn't have very long episodes so you should definitely take some time to check out this episode. It's quite a rabbit hole to trip down...

   Have a splendid couple weeks! I might release a post next week with a focus on a particular podcast that deserves a full listen through. That's right, from beginning to end. Should I give a hint? Would you even try and guess? Hm... I guess I could start a bi-weekly post to take a special focus on previous podisodes or podcasts that I feel deserve a listen through and have hints for people to guess? How about the winner gets to write a guest post on here putting your own top podcasts for the bi-week? There we go. So here's your hint: From the creators of the one of the most famous podcasts on the planet. Comment your answer here or tweet me at @ChrisGibson_17