Podcast Recommendations- Twenty Thousand Hertz

Because you’re fascinated by sound!

 

Sound is literally everywhere! With sight, you can still block it out by merely shutting your eyes! But sound, it’s almost impossible to completely block-out. At night when you’re trying to sleep, it’s not actually quiet. Yeah? You especially notice it if you can’t sleep e.g. hearing the ticking of an analogue clock, the hum of a street lamp, the hiss of a nearby ventilation system, and when you try to cover your ears in frustration with the blanket and pillo- then you’ll  realise you can hear your pulse in your ears! Ah! And when someone says “Guess what happened in last night’s episode?” And you quickly cover your ears, stopping yourself from hearing them spoil a show that you have DVR and hadn’t had a chance to watch? Well, clamping your hands over your ears only stops you from hearing their voice, but you still hear that seashell ocean affect in your ears. So it’s almost impossible to block out sound from your life.

 

Thus, no matter what you find fascinating in life, shouldn’t we all be fascinated by sound? Because it’s literally all around us?

 

And here steps in the boys and girls at Defacto Sound who are the creators behind the podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz! They fill this sound void in the podcast-a-sphere, filling the lack of interest in producing a pod only about sound! **Note: I think they’re the only ones who produce a pod similar to what they have created.

 

Host Dallas Taylor takes you and your ears on an  audible journey through sound, not only is their mode of delivery in an audio only format, but their entire program is centred on the most interesting and recognisable sounds! Like podcasts who go into the history of food, or to the back story and making of your favourite films? But Twenty Thousand Hertz dives deep into the history and back story of iconic sounds- sounds which are totally recognisable but perhaps you hadn’t paid it much heed, but you’ll be so much more aware of after listening to an episode all about It.?

 

In the very first episode of 20KHZ Dallas interviewed an actress who has one of the most well-known voices, but we most likely don’t know her name? Yes, the voice we know as SIRI- did you know that Siri was a real person? Who had recorded thousands and thousands of words for Apple, but why the voice sounds a bit robotic is because the audio recordings had the pitch adjusted upwards ultimately making her sound more digital than analogue. But when she is asked to put on the SIRI voice, it is unmistakingly her!

 

Or one of the first episodes which I listened to when I first stumbled upon the pod was a deep dive into what we popularly refer to as ‘Muzak’, that jazzy non-offensive (while equally uninspiring) music we hear coming out of the tinny speakers of elevators.

 

And the most recent episode I listened to, it was an investigation into the Whoopee Cushion, yes that pink rubber bladder which makes fart noises when someone sits on it!

 

Twenty Thousand Hertz is both informative and whimsical, enlightening and entertaining! So if there has been a sound which you’ve always wondered, ‘how did that come about?’ Dig through their archive, as they’ve probably covered it in a past episode (they have content dating back to 2016). And if you can’t find it there, you can email them about your ear-worm, and they’ll be more than happy to investigate and produce a future show based on your audio dilemma. Or if you’re one of those people who just enjoys the ‘Secret sound’ segment on radio, test your sound memory with their per-episode mystery sound! I thought I was good at recognising sounds, but I haven’t gotten one correct yet.

 

So if you find sound as fascinating as I do, check out Twenty Thousand Hertz, click HERE to begin listening!

Podcast Recommendations- Decoder Ring

When you just need something less heavy to listen to.

It’s a very strange time in our world’s history ATM, pivotal events which are changing the fabric of our society as we speak. And only time will tell if the will of the people can force a positive change in our society. However as a result of this, everywhere you turn to, there are some heavy intense topics out there- resulting in most of my favourite news and worthwhile journalistic pods all reporting on the same weighty topics.

But if you need a break from all of this, even for a half hour or so (while not wanting to sacrifice on quality)- I have a perfect recommendation for you!

Decoder Ring by Slate podcasts.

Decoder Ring is hosted by Willa Paskin, where she ‘Cracks cultural mysteries’ wide open! In approx. 30 minutes time, she lays-down the foundation of the cultural phenomena their looking to crack; include interviews with primary sources to get deep into said topic; then the team uses their investigative journalistic skills to untangle fact from fiction; before explaining the cultural relevance of this obscure topic to our present day existence.

I’ve only listened to a handful of episodes, and in that small sample size I’ve been exposed to Unicorn poop and  rubber duckies;  influenced to listen to ‘Friday’ every Friday afternoon, and now I’m dying to watch the 90s romcom ‘You’ve got mail’.

Sure, if you don’t end up listening to Decoder Ring, your life will still go on as normal, but if you did listen to Decoder Ring- I guarantee that for a half hour at least you’ll have a smile on your face and you’ll be that little bit more clued in  to the weird world around us.

Episodes don’t drop all that often (around one per month) so it’s all about quality over quantity, however there’s a 26 episode archive you can binge-listen to! So why not give it a go, your sanity will thank you for it! *nods*.

To start listening to the Decoder Ring now! Click HERE!    

Podcast Recommendations- Coronavirus Global Update

When you care about the welfare of the world!

Granted, news on the Coronavirus pandemic should not become a form of entertainment for us- which podcasts and TV shows ought to be. However when you just want to know more about what is going on around the world, in a quick, no fuss, no effort manner- BBC World Services’ Coronavirus Global Update is maybe what you’re looking for?

The BBC’s latest podcast is a twice daily feed, lasting for no more than 6-8 minutes at-a-time. Delivered as a handful of short reports, updating you on the latest global Coronavirus breaking news in the past 12 hours.

Yes, admittedly at the moment we’re already being bombarded with news on the deadly outbreak each time we turn on our socials or TV, however in most cases the chatter that we hear are highly localised or only focused on the major countries with the highest number of infections. But what about all the other 200 odd countries around the world?

Sure, you can pick a country and Google the heck out of it, learning what is going on in that region of the world to find out how they’re handling the contagion- but isn’t it easier if it could be spoon-fed to you via a twice daily podcast which automatically drops into your podcast player?

From the Coronavirus Global Update, I’ve  learnt of the impact of the virus on India and its people when a lockdown was announced only 24 hours ahead of time – leaving thousands stranded away from home; or the impact of the virus on Kenyans, where the government and military enforce ‘social distancing’ measures – resulting in beatings, shootings and deaths; or the impact of the virus spreading on a US naval aircraft carrier – leading to the captain of the ship pleading for help as ‘it isn’t war time, there is no need for young men to be dying at this time’; or the impact of the virus on the people of Panama as ‘social distancing’ measures separate the genders by forcing men and women to leave their homes on alternative days – bringing a swift end to developing romance for unmarried couples…… All of which are interesting topics to know, which would never find its way onto our main stream news cycles- as we’re too caught up on our own domestic issues.

So if you still want to keep yourself outward focused during these unusual times, check out the Coronavirus Global Update, click HERE to start listening.

Podcast recommendations- Monocle 24: the Menu

When you’re not travelling nor eating out.

It’s pretty crazy at the present time, with Coronavirus and fear of Coronavirus shutting down schools/businesses, cities and countries. So if you’re finding yourself spending more and more time at home, why not do everything virtually?

With ‘Monocle 24: The Menu’, and its sister program ‘Food Neighbourhoods’, you can travel the world and savour its delights from the safety of your own home!

Both The Menu and Food Neighbourhoods are weekly podcast extracts from the Monocle 24 radio station. The menu is a longer program (upwards of 30 mins) where host Markus Hippi takes you on a food journey, interviewing chefs, restaurateurs, producers, and people behind the scenes of the dining industry. The program comes out of the UK, but its stories and guests are from all over the world. Literally all over the world! So even though I’m based in little old Sydney Australia, I feel as if I’m better connected with the goings on in the wider global dining scene! For example, I’ve learnt of the craze of South Koreans wanting to try North Korean food, to hearing about one UK woman’s start-up where she’s producing cannabis based soft drinks? And all of this was in one single episode!

On the other hand, Food Neighbourhoods is a quick wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am program no longer than 8 mins in length. FN takes you on an actual food journey – a different journalist each episode takes you on a virtual walking tour of a literal neighbourhood, describing the sights, sounds and smells of the place, and sharing with you their favourite dining and entertainment spots. It’s both informative, appetising and it’s super interesting when you hear them feature a neighbourhood you’re familiar with! As you can see how accurately (or not) they’ve depicted one of your favourite haunts.

So in the next couple of months, where global travel is unadvisable and eating out is a risky affair, why not just close your eyes and sit back and do your journeying virtually- thanks to Monocle 24: The Menu and Food Neighbourhoods, to start listening, click HERE!

Podcast Recommendation- ESPN Longforms

When you need to go deeper!

Here is a pair of podcasts that dive deep, deep down into the depths of a sports story, leaving no stone unturned and leaving you enlightened by the experience.

The Sterling Affair- 30 For 30

Similar to ESPN’s 30 For 30 Longform deep dive into the Bikram Yoga scandals, Season 5 of 30 For 30 was devoted entirely to the Donald Sterling V. Stiviano debacle.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Donald Sterling V. Stiviano debacle, essentially it was an old rich white man getting in some serious trouble after he went on a racist rant in the privacy of his own home with his much younger mistress, with that mistress recording the rant and then leaking it to a sports news outlet when relations with her ‘old man’ and his wife Shelly Sterling  got ugly, when Shelly was suing said Mistress for the return of gifts which were given to her by the Billionaire cheating husband (gifts including a million dollar plus home, and a fleet of exotic sports cars). And when the damning audio tapes were made public…… It all looked pretty bad for this old rich white guy- and to make things much much worse, was that said old rich white guy, was the owner of the LA Clippers, a NBA team whose players and coach were African American – the race which was the target of his racist rant. Awkward!

I remember back in 2014 when this first broke, I had heard about this as all the American Sport talk shows were chatting about it, and I remember going to Youtube to listen to the infamous recording in mention. But aside for the 2 day bleep in my consciousness, I hadn’t thought about it anymore since then, until I listened to this 5 part episode.

The ‘Sterling Affair’ is reported by Ramona Shelburne, and over 5 episodes she takes you on a journey to understand what really happened; who was this Donald Sterling guy, leading up to this scandalous affair; how if you actually knew Donald, it wouldn’t have been a surprise; and the fall-out and conclusion, right up to the present day- important for people like me who didn’t follow the Sterling debacle at the time right to its dramatic end.

The real-life story of Donald Sterling was about a quite vile character- a life of greed, the chase of fame, cheapness, racist undertones, and womanising – but it was the reporting, and Ramona’s ability to weave a compelling story, and 30 for 30’s polished productions, that grabbed my attention right from the first episode and sucked me in ’til the end! And although the affair occurred more than 5 years ago, and the world has moved on from Donald Sterling – I think I’m still better off for knowing this tale about an important piece of basketball history and a piece of modern US history. And I think it’s worth your listen.

ESPN Daily, ESPN.com

And over the past weeks I’ve developed a new habit – that being coming home from work and having my Google Home play me the latest episode of ‘ESPN Daily’ as I go about unwinding from a day of work.

ESPN Daily is a daily (Mon-Fri) podcast hosted by the one and only Mina Kimes, a highly respected sports journalist. Where in most cases sports news is reduced to a 30 second video clip highlighting the top plays from the match, ESPN Daily elects one trending Sport story and then goes deep – interviewing a journalist close to that particular sport story and chatting about it for 15-20 minutes. ESPN Daily isn’t focused on a single sport, but is sport agnostic – covering all types of sports from the big four (basketball, football, baseball, and hockey), to motor racing, soccer and more!

Even after only a week, I’d like to think that I’m better educated about sports, particularly on the ones which I don’t usually follow, i.e. baseball (now I know all there is to know about the Astros and Sign stealing). And I’m now aware of Alex Ovechkin – the first time I’ve ever heard of the man, although he’s been a living legend for the past decade. So I think I’m way more informed now, a week on, compared to who I was a few weeks back. And you too can be like me, a wealth of knowledge thanks to the hard work of others!

Long live the sport podcast longform!

Podcast Recommendations- The Mysterious Mr. Epstein

A modern day classic in the true crime podcast genre.

With my true crime fandom piqued by our experience with Michael Connelly’s ‘Murder Book’, I went on a true crime pod frenzy- searching for the next gripping pod and on the top of that list was Wondery’s ‘The Mysterious Mr. Epstein’.

Sure I have a vague idea who Jeffery Epstein was…….. although to be honest with you, half of the time I was confusing him with Harvey Weinstein…….but obviously Epstein has been more at the forefront of our minds now since Prince Andrew’s car crash of a TV interview.

But if you’re like me, vaguely aware of Jeffery Epstein and curious to know a little more about what was going on there, but not THAT interested to be trawling the web in your own time for articles about a vile character like him – then you might consider listening to the podcast instead?

The Mysterious Mr. Epstein pod is hosted by acclaimed New York Times journalist Lindsay Graham. Over 6 episodes the series walks you through Jeffery Epstein’s life – from days as a high school mathematics and physics teacher, then as a financial advisor, before sinking into depravity where his criminality takes over his life.

The podcast is well researched and produced, using primary sources (snippets from real news and interview recordings), re-enactments, and a nice weaving together of the strands of the story – which leaves you on a slight cliff’s edge at the end of every episode. The series dropped a load of bombshells, casting shade over a multitude of prominent and influential personalities through their association with Epstein alone, and with the latest twist in this true story – with revelations that Epstein was most likely murdered in his jail cell……… The conspiracies keep swirling.

If you’re interested to learn more about the mysterious Mr. Epstein and be entertained in its retelling of this true crime? Then check it out HERE