Podcast recommendation- Global News Podcast

Keeping you, in the know!

My grandfather used to say, although I couldn’t see, but I was still more informed about the world around me than most people. And he wasn’t wrong, as although I couldn’t physically see what was going on around me, but I used to keep myself informed by listening to everything I could get my hands on. And these were the dark ages of AM/FM radio, and before I had my own computer with adaptive technology. So, I had to rely purely on free to air radio stations for news of the outside world, outside of my own four walls.

So, you can say, this is why I particularly enjoy podcasts, as it’s just like old school radio, but you get to pick and choose what you want to listen to, when you want to hear it! And for the past 18 months I’d been following the BBC’s coverage of the Corona Virus, by the way of their daily Coronavirus Global Update podcast- a daily 5 minute whip around the globe, covering the main Covid-19 related stories of the day. Until one day, when the new episodes just stopped. And days went by without a new upload. This was in late February and soon I realised why. The war in Ukraine had started, and the BBC were diverting their resources to cover the conflict over there. And in my podcast player, under ‘You might like’, was the BBC’s ‘Global News Podcast’. So, I naturally gave it a listen.

And to my surprise and pleasure, I found all the same newsreaders who I’d grown familiar with, but now instead of covering the Coronavirus, they were covering the war. And for the first few weeks it was just wall to wall coverage of Ukraine, 2 episodes a day, 30 minutes each. So, from being across everything related to Covid-19, all of a sudden I was all across the goings on in Ukraine.

But now that the world has turn its attention to other matters, the Global News Podcast has a more balanced reporting, they cover everything and anything. From conflicts to science, entertainment to politics, the obscure to the mega-mainstream i.e. Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. They cover it all! so if you want to see beyond your own local happenings and prefer to turn your attention more further afield, then check out the Global News Podcast! Why I’d recommend it, is that in a daily 30 minute hit, I’m given all the news which matters around the world. Gone is the need to actively look for trending news items on the web or sit through hour long TV news broadcasts with all that advertising in-between. But now I wake up each morning, listen to my 30 minutes while I go about my morning routine  and I’m up to speed in what’s important around the world!

And because it’s the BBC, I find their reporting to be fair and impartial, detailed and to the point, and most importantly it’s trustworthy!

So, if you want to develop some new habits in how you receive your information, free from fake-news, and spared any sensationalism or purely eyeball grabbing headlines- check-out the BBC’s Global News Podcast, just click HERE! And you can be as informed as mee……. “So, they say it’ll be any day now when we’ll land our first man on the moon! How awesome is that?”

Podcast recommendations- The Mismatch

Coming to you twice a week is Chris Vernon, joined by Kevin O’Connor, a.k.a Kevin O’Bama, Kevin O’Candyland, Kevin O’Camerman,  Kevin O’Concert, KEVIN! What’s up Verno!

Now I’ve been hearing that same podcast intro twice a week since the 2021/22 NBA season first started all those months ago back in October! And since then, I haven’t missed an episode yet!

As the new NBA season was nearing, I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be nice to get back into the NBA?” Because as a kid of the 90s, I and all of my contemporaries were all into basketball. Be that watching NBA Action on Saturday morning TV, playing school-boy basketball (very poorly), or collecting and swapping basketball trading cards. We were all obsessed with Jordan, Shaq, and Kobe.

But fast-forward to the end of high school, for me when school ended  somehow so did my passion for hoops. And for years on end, I hardly thought about the sweet game of basketball and soon all the NBA superstars of the era became  foreign to me. Literally and metaphorically- like who is Embiid? Jokic? And Antetokounmpo?

And in my attempts to get back into it,  I literally stumbled upon these guys. You know, in your ‘Listen now’ tab of your Apple Podcast player, it suggests other shows which you might like?

I’m mainly subscribed to sports podcasts (NFL and F1), and news content, so all of my recommendations were on those lines. But the first NBA podcast it recommended, was The Mismatch from the Ringer Network of podcasts, and naturally I clicked on that first. And from the get-go I was welcomed by Chris Vernon’s predictable intro, to welcome his co-host onto the show, Kevin O’Connor!

And to this day, I still don’t know why the show is called ‘The Mismatch’- sure it’s a sporting term to refer to a far superior player matched up against an individual who has absolutely no chance of stopping said superior player. However, what’s the mismatch they’re referring to here?

Is the mismatch in their ages? As Chris is “an older” gentleman (probably in his 50s), compared to his younger co-host Kevin who is in his late 20s early 30s. Or is the mismatch referring to their accents? As Chris is from the South and has a distinct Southern accent  while Kevin is originally from Boston and now resides in LA and has more neutral tones. Or is the mismatch referring to their differing views? As they argue passionately their opposing opinion on the game, standing steadfast to their individual hot-takes. I think this is what they’re trying to lead us to believe if the podcast blurb is an indicator. But to tell you the truth- these days they seem to be more agreeable than argumentative. And that’s a good thing methinks, as who wants to listen to two men arguing at each other for 60 minutes?

But either way, as compatible or conflicting Chris and Kevin are, they have absolutely captured my attention for an entire NBA season, all 9 months of it. So as the 2021/22 season draws to an end, have I caught-up on the game of basketball? Sure have! Do I have a newfound enjoyment of the game? Yes sir! And have I found a new man-crush? Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but I do respect the duel of Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor! So, if I was going to recommend an NBA pod to anyone, it would probably be The Mismatch. Coming to you twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays),and for good measure, mid-way through the season they introduced a third episode called ‘The Void’, where Kevin chats with a different guest each week to dive deeper into a single NBA storyline.

So, if you want to keep up-to-date with the NBA, but you don’t have the time to watch countless hours of NBA highlights or scroll through web-sites looking up box scores. The Mismatch is the perfect pod to keep you across the games, through the key storylines of the day, discussions on the biggest games of the week, and a deep dive into a specific topic which is sure to intrigue!

So, here’s something to look forward to as one season draws to an end, and the new season isn’t far behind it. To check out ‘The Mismatch’, just click HERE! We’re playing basketball, we’re playing basketball!

Podcast Recommendations- Car Expert

Australia’s favourite motoring editorial podcast is back!

Um, well…… they’ve been back for over a year now, but I’ve only recently found them………

So do you remember Car Advice? The web-site and podcast who test drove and reviewed everyday cars heading our way to Australia? Designed to enlighten the average guy & Gal, in the pros and cons of new vehicles thus we the consumer could make an informed choice before throwing down our hard earned!

Well, if you’ve been following the highs and lows of the Car Advice brand, you’re probably aware that in 2016 Car Advice was taken over by Channel 9, and after that slowly but surely all of our favourite contributors of Car Advice slowly left. First it was Paul, then James W, then Mandy. And once Mandy left, so did the Car Advice podcast. As in they released one more episode with James Ward as host. *Shudders*. And then that was that, no more Car Advice podcast- a pod which I had been following for years and years! Not to mention, contributed a little feedback to as well. Haaha.

For 18 long months, I was in motoring podcast purgatory, trying this and that in a vain attempt to fill the car shaped void in my life. All of which were substandard motoring offerings, until several weeks ago when I stumbled upon ‘Car Expert’.

And OMG! It’s all the familiar voices again! I almost lost my SH*T when I heard the intro and the familiar voice of Mandy coming through my speakers! Mandy, Scott, James W, Mike, Al, Tony, Paul! They’re all back, sounding as good as ever! And it truly feels like coming home!

The segments are the same, the sound effects are the same as well (or lack thereof….What happened to the closing sound effect!?). And aside from all your old favourite contributors, they have some new faces or should I say new voices as well!

However in the prevailing 18 months, the motoring landscape has changed though. Electric car and hybrid car talk takes up much of the content. *Sad look*. And sadly ICE vehicles with stonking V8 engines (or even sweet V6 turbos) are becoming rarer and rarer. So the good old days of Car Advice are long gone, but long live Car E! That is Car Expert for the Electrified era!

To here about all the news and what’s new in the Australian motoring landscape, and for those old fans of Car Advice, you can hear the gang again on Car Expert! Just click HERE to begin listening! Now Channel 9, how come you didn’t work in a non-compete Clause into the Contract of sale? Pretty silly that the old Car Advice team can set-up shop as Car Expert just down the metaphorical road, and do the exact same thing again? Silly from a business point of view, but fantastic for us!

Podcast recommendations- Apple Events (Video

D’oh!

Are you an Apple or Android user? If android, you can skip this blog post. However, however if you’re an Apple user, please continue reading……

I’m first to admit that I’m a faithful Apple user, my very first Apple product was the 2006 iPod Nano 4GB. It was a gift from my uncle from the States, but I ended up re-gifting it to my girlfriend at the time, as the Nano unfortunately did not speak back to me (unlike the girlfriend). So I was unable to use it due to being unable to see. P.S. I hope my ex still enjoys listening to those 300 songs she was able to store on the 4 GB SSD. Haaha.

 My next Apple product (the first in which I could actually use) was the 2008 Apple iPod Touch, the first Apple product with Apple Voiceover. I was given it to perform user testing of the speech functionality, and after I was done with testing, I was allowed to keep it! Score!

My next Apple purchase was in 2010, iPhone 3Gs, I got it free when I signed-up for a $99 phone plan. Then I gifted the phone to my dad- as I thought using a touch phone was going to be so much slower than using my old press, press phone. But 6 years later when my press, press phone finally died, my dad gifted me back the iPhone- and thinking about it now, I can’t believe how thick and bulky it used to be!

Then it was the 2011 second generation iPad, a Christmas gift to my then fiancée (now wife). Followed much later by another iPod Touch (2014) in product red- as a Christmas gift.

And then there were 4 other iPhones (6, SE 1st Gen, 10, SE 2nd Gen), a 2020 Apple MacBook Pro, a 2020 Apple Mac, and the latest was a 2021 iPad for my mum’s birthday. So yeah, you can say that we have a preference for Apple products. Therefore naturally when I first noticed a podcast called ‘Apple Events (Video)’ where Apple uploads the latest Keynote Address (which started during Covid), I naturally subscribed to it-being the Apple fanboy. And here are my thoughts……  

Well, in times of disruption, some organisations fail, while others thrive. And Apple embraced the fact that in 2020 they were unable to hold their regular live in-person Keynote events from Apple Park. And instead of postponing or cancelling, they pivoted to a heavily produce multi-media presentation live streamed to all its fans (and media). And what stands out the most about the production is how slick it is, the use of music to great effect, and the fact that they involve so many different Apple employees, subject matter experts in their field to talk about their pet projects and it’s so great to see diversity in Apple! And now that I’m subscribed to Apple Events (Video), I’m one of the first to learn of their latest products, exhibiting in exhaustive detail all the new functions and features the latest product can now perform.

And I think this method of virtual Keynote Events has helped Apple to reach an even wider audience and customer base. Sure, previously you can still watch the recording of the live event afterwards on Youtube, but now that it’s a totally pre-recorded event, you too can feel as if the event is produced just for you!

Listening to the podcast (which is an audio recording of the live event, it’s not actually a video), you’ll be the first to know what are Apple’s latest products. Don’t worry about sites trying to predict what the next product is, just wait to be spoon fed the next Apple event to see for yourself what is upcoming!

The latest Fall Keynote, Apple announced an update to Apple Music, MacBook Pro, Airpods, and Homepod mini.

But I’m not here to mindlessly repeat the virtues of these products (as you can hear it for yourself), but I do have a bit of a gripe with Apple. Although I’m a huge fan, and I’ll continue buying and using Apple products, but this is what annoys me about Apple!

How quickly the latest and best Apple product is superseded by the next best and greatest Apple product! Grrrr.

Here is an example, I purchased last year around June-July, the second generation iPhone SE, because I like the small form factor of the SE phone. But in less than 3 months later, Apple announce Apple iPhone 12 mini, another small form factor phone- but now with all the hi-tech features of iPhone 12! Sure, there is a price difference between the two, however  for those who were drawn to the compact size, wouldn’t you be kicking yourself that you got yourself the SE just a few months too early!?

And then it happened to me again, a few months afterwards. I purchased the latest MacBook Pro (with the Intel processor). And 3 months later Apple announces that Apple has developed its own processer (the M1 chip), making all future Macs faster and improved battery life. Now how did I feel after this? The second occurrence in 4 months?  A bit silly right!? I’d spent over $3K, and now I felt that I had an inferior/superseded product. And that has been realised now, with the release of the new MacBook Pro using an Apple chip, but not any Apple chip, but now it’s the M1 Pro! A chip which is now 40% faster than the M1 chip which was only revealed 10 months ago? Again, making those early adopters feel a bit stupid, as now they too have an inferior product just like me! And it’s only been 10 months!

And this same occurrence repeats itself over and over again, we bought a Mac in November last year, and 6 months afterwards the re-designed Mac is out, super thin and with the M1 chip.

In July I bought my mum the latest iPad for her birthday, and 2 months later they announce a brand new iPad which is again faster and improved battery life……

Therefore my only reaction to Apple Keynote Events these days, are D’oh! D’oh! D’oh!, as again and again, I’m made to feel silly, as I had bought at the wrong time, always just a handful of months too soon! And I think this feeling isn’t unique to me. I’m sure all Apple users have felt this before. That feeling of being a chump, for paying full price for a product from the Apple store, the latest and the greatest! But to then find out 2-3 months later, that there is something else much, much better than what you’ve spent your hard earned cash on. And what also uber annoys me, is their readiness to outline how the new product is so much better than the previous year’s version, the one which you have!

And the super crap thing is this, Apple products last and last, so if you’re not prepared to trade in your used devices when you upgrade yearly, you can easily be stuck with a dated phone or watch, or computer for years and years!

What I’ve learnt from these D’oh experiences? Has been, to hold out! Just when you feel you want the latest Apple phone or watch etc. Just hold back your urge for instant gratification, and instead just wait for a few months. And low and behold Apple will announce the next version of the same product. And then, you can line up and be the very first to get your hands on that new shiny product. Then, at least you won’t feel like your product has been superseded, for at least 9 months or so. 9 months isn’t bad?

So to learn of the latest Apple product news, so you can go Doh! Or help you to time your next purchase, check out Apple Events (Video) HERE! Be the first to know what Apple is doing next!   

Podcast recommendation- The Sure Thing

The story behind Australia’s largest white-collar crime!

It’s not often that I stumble on new trends right from the get-go, but this time as the Australian Financial Review (AFR) released its True Crime podcast series ‘The Sure Thing’- I was there from the very beginning.

You may or may not remember the news reporting of this when it happened, when 2 uni mates hatched an insider trading scam which made them $7.8 Million in only 9 months? One Australian Bureau of Statistics Analyst (Christopher Hill) would pass on employment figures (ahead of their official release) which he crunched monthly, and in the hands of his National Australia Bank broker friend, would then purchase Australian dollars short, and then sell the currency for a profit after the employment figures were officially released- pushing the Australian dollar up or down. While the plan was simple in its application, but Lukas Kamay (the Broker) had other ideas in mind, undermining their original safe bet and would invest huge amounts which then drew attention to themselves- bringing the full force of the law on them.

The AFR reporting and production, led by Angus Grigg, was surprisingly top-notch (for an Australian production), with sound effects, clever weaving of the story to maximise intrigue and engagement, while the use of interviews with primary sources and specialists were used to great effect! And to top off the 6-episode series, there was a twist waiting for us part way through, resulting in an altogether surprising ending to the real-life story!

Look, it was great that I caught onto this podcast right from the start- so that I could recommend it to friends which allowed me to wait for them to loop back to me, super appreciative of my recommendation. But the downsides were the seemingly interminable waits in-between episodes (weekly drops), which felt brutal now that we’re so use to ‘on demand’. So, as I type up this recommendation, my memories of the first few episodes are hazy, as it was over 2 months ago! Perhaps I need to re-listen to them?

If you want to binge on ‘The Sure Thing’, a top shelf Australian True Crime story, click HERE to start listening now!

Podcast recommendation- The Sporkful

Your mission if you so choose to accept it……

Don’t you love cross promotions between Podcasters? Here I was, minding my own business- listening to pods which I was already subscribed to and then ‘Decoder Ring’ spoon feeds me an episode from another podcaster. And it left me riveted, so much so, that when the last tone was still ringing in my ear, I went and subscribed to this podcast.

The Sporkful was the podcast which so riveted me- a show for eaters, not foodies. And their tag line says it all, you don’t have to have a penchant for fine dining or across all the latest food fads to enjoy this pod, but you only need to enjoy eating- and isn’t that all of us?

Hosted by Dan Pashman, a New Yorker, and the very first episode which I listened to, was where he was telling the world his plan to create a new pasta shape. A 5-episode series called Mission ImPastabal! And over the episodes Dan first drums up excitement about his mission/new venture; then goes away to understand everything about pasta from ingredients, mass production methods, and learns of all the various shapes of pasta already out there; before placing pencil to drafting paper to design his ideal and never seen before pasta shape; then going away to find a designer to cast and a factory to produce his pasta; all the way till distribution of his new pasta shape to his faithful listeners.

And let me tell you, Dan has opened my eyes to a whole new world which I had previously never thought too deeply about- like there is a name for every variant of pasta, and here I thought the Rigatoni was just an oversized Penne pasta! And I thought the ruffles on the edges of pasta was just for aesthetic purposes, but they have a purpose of catching more sauce.

And throughout the series, and the criteria which Dan was creating his pasta shape to, was to fulfill the 3 requirements of Forkability! Sausability! And Tooth Sinkability! I.e., how easy is it to get the pasta onto your fork, how well does the pasta hold sauce on its slippery surface, and how much enjoyment do you gain from chewing that pasta? And again, with gusto! Forkability! Sausability! And Tooth Sinkability!

Now I’m wondering, how much postage and handling is going to cost, to ship a 5-pound bag of Dan Pashman’s pasta to Sydney Australia!?

To geek out on pasta, check out ‘The Sporkful’, click HERE to amerce yourself in the mission!