Podcast Fan: Why are you Here?

Pixabay: BedexpStock. Free for commercial use; no attribution required.

So you landed on this blog. You were searching. For something. Something podcast-related. Was it a specific episode? A particular podcast program? Are you new to podcasts and typed “podcast” into Google and somehow Pursuing Podcasts showed up?

This is a small blog. Despite having a huge backlog of episodes I’ve curated that I think are worth listening to, I post irregularly.  People show up but don’t comment. It takes time to write each post, but if no one reads them or comments or engages, meh, I’ll keep my thoughts to myself.

Should I keep curating and posting? Are there things that would improve the posts? Make them shorter? More akin to signposts pointing to good episodes rather than trying to summarize the whole thing?

Or maybe just include a few holy sh*t! takeaways. Little morsels; temptations.

I look at my WordPress stats and more people stumble upon this blog than my other one, despite posting more regularly on the other one. I’ve concluded that searches for “podcasts” or specific episodes are more common than searches for, well, what I write about on my other blog.

If you landed here and read some posts, let me know. What did you like? Not like? Did you listen to an episode after reading about it here? Were you glad for the suggestion?

Is there a podcast show or episode you thing is hammering it that I should check out?

Make some noise in the comments; let me know you’re here. And why.

I love podcasts and love telling people about great episodes. If you appreciate my curation efforts, let me know. It could be just what I need to start posting more regularly.

Help me figure out if I’m writing in a void. Or not.


Photo Source: BedexpStock on Pixabay


Ref, You Suck! [Against the Rules]

Pixabay: 27707. Free for commercial use; No attribution requiredMichael Lewis’s new podcast explores the arbiters of fairness—the refs—who function in all corners of our world: sports, courts, newsrooms, consumer products, art, and more. Lewis’s contention is that societal refs are under attack and less believed or trusted.

Ref, You Suck! kicks off the podcast by looking at sports refs in the NBA.  Lewis’s storytelling is good.  I don’t have a lot of interest in basketball, but I was engaged and learned stuff I found interesting, not even concerned about how it was going to tie in to the theme of unfairness and not playing by the rules.

But the theme was tied together in the final 10-minutes, when Lewis talked with Berkeley professor Dacher Keltner, who’s exploring whether “a sense of being privileged makes you disobey the rules of the road or the laws of the land.”

It’s this linking of Keltner’s studies of privileged rule-breakers to NBA-stars challenging refs that got me excited about the series.  I found the stories in each episode interesting;  sometimes oddball. But they all came from the perspective that fairness—the thing referees and arbiters are supposed to ensure—is under attack, because the authority of our refs and arbiters is under attack.  When that starts happening, the world feels rigged.

It’s a timely topic, well-told.

[One basketball thing I learned was the NBA has a Replay Center where off-court refs have access to high-power technology to review on-court plays a ref wants looked at. Another surprise was to learn a ref signals the Replay Center if they want a call reviewed by twirling their fingers in the air.]

Against the Rules is where “journalist and bestselling author Michael Lewis…takes a searing look at what’s happened to fairness—in financial markets, newsrooms, basketball games, courts of law, and much more. And he asks what’s happening to a world where everyone loves to hate the referee.”

Photo source: 27707 on Pixabay


From Tree to Shining Tree [Radiolab]

2019-02-24_Blog_TreesRadiolabI love trees and forests. I’ve loved them since I was a girl, when I’d wander in the woods that backed up to our yard, build lean-tos, and feel some magical sense of wonder being around the trees. Even today, out on a walk, I’ll stop next to a tree, lean against it, touch it, and experience the bark. There’s a connection I’ve always felt, but never understood.

This Radiolab episode feeds right into those feelings and makes me suspect my feeling of connection is grounded in the trees themselves.

The episode introduces the idea that trees are not just single organisms doing their own individual thing, but part of interconnected forest networks, communicating not just with other trees—including other tree species—but also with underground fungi. It’s a network of exchanged resources, the trees depending on the fungi for minerals and the fungi depending on the trees for sugar.

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Emotions [Invisibilia]

freeGraphicToday, Pixabay, CC0Creative Commons

If you think you know how emotions work, this podcast will turn your world upside-down.  Enough so that you may find yourself arguing that what’s being presented can’t be possible.

Before hearing this, I had a hope that we have more control over how we respond to things than we sometimes think. It’s one of the reasons I started meditating: to learn to not get hooked as much by emotions.

Yet it often feels as if an emotion takes me over, as if I have no “choice” in feeling something. But what if emotion is the interpretation of a physiological feeling? What if it’s a way our body tries to “make sense” of a sensation? What if we do have control?

That’s the idea this episode presents.

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The Lonely American Man [Hidden Brain]

2018-02-03-17-38-09.jpgThis #podcast from Hidden Brain is, for me, an exploration into men and the characters they’re allowed to display. We encourage the existence of certain “male traits” within the men of our culture, and we disallow others.  The episode is an exploration of how some characters that are present in young boys—friendship, openness, sensitivity and friend-love—are often destroyed by the time boys become men. There’s a powerful “masculine” cultural tide in which children are raised, a tide that can be difficult to swim against. Parents are “worried” that their boys are “too sensitive,” a trait that flies in the face of “masculinity” in the U.S.

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Walk the Goats [Blog]

KidGoat2This is not a post about podcasts.

It’s a post about another blog. A blog I’m writing. That, so far, is completely unrelated to podcasts. Although, they may find their way into it.

It’s called Walk the Goats. 

My other blog is about mindfulness, personal exploration, the world being a stage and us being characters. But not just being one character, being a bunch of characters.

Sometimes the words we hear coming out of our mouths are words we swore we’d never say as a kid. (“My you’ve grown,” said to young children, is one of those for me.)

We sound like our (mother) (father) (teacher) (fill-in-the-blank) who we swore we’d be different from.

We get upset when we don’t want to.

We drive cars, intent on going to destination A, only to find ourselves pulling into destination D.

None of these things are things we intend to say or do. So if we aren’t planning on saying or doing them, who is doing the saying and doing?

Who are all those characters?

In my blog I explore these characters. And how viewing them as characters helps create some mindfulness space; space between the character who shows up, and the place from where I actually want to respond.

Stop by and check it out.


The Gun Show [More Perfect]

WNYCStudios_LogoSquare_MorePerfectThis #podcast episode is a fascinating look at how the Second Amendment went from being a relatively sleepy amendment to rocking our politics today. I was surprised to learn that a pivotal point in the “gun rights storyline” occurred in the 1960’s when Black Panthers took up arms as an individual right, showing up armed at the California Legislature. The response to that was both surprising and not.

Then, the NRA did a pivot in the 1970’s, changing from an organization largely focused on teaching gun skills, to one focused on lobbying efforts, with individual gun ownership rights a core tenet.

The most recent kicker is the 2008 Supreme Court Heller decision stating ownership is an individual right (versus strictly a “militia” right).  The individual ownership right was decided, but it also said the right is not unlimited and gun ownership could be regulated.

More Perfect is a great show highlighting interesting and important Supreme Court cases. Created by Radio Lab’s Jad Abumrad, it’s a unique look at an important governmental body that makes decisions affecting our lives.

More Perfect is “a series about how the Supreme Court got so supreme.”


How It Began: A History of the Modern World [Podcaster]

How It Began_Logo
Photo Credit: How it Began

What a delightful way to bring things we take for granted to life by providing fascinating historical information with details that provide helpful context.

Ever wondered how the English language ended up to be such a dominant language? In the 7/21/17 episode, Brad paints an amazing language story with historical details, colorful phrasing, a wonderful narrative voice, and inspiring music.

A refreshing way to learn “history” without fearing cobwebs of boredom. Brad has taken his love for history–a “travel through time”–and brought that passion to an amazing podcast.

  • Host: Brad Harris, PhD.
  • Frequency: around 1-2 shows/month.
  • Approximate Length: 25-60 minutes.

What’s it Like to be Rich? Ask the People Who Manage Billionaires’ Money [Hidden Brain]

MoneyIt’s an under-cover story: become a wealth manager so you can learn about the uber-wealthy world, based not just on your own experience, but by talking to others doing the same work.


Brooke Harrington, author of the book Capital without Borders, offers a compelling peak into a world most of us can’t comprehend. A world where passports and visas aren’t needed when traveling by private jet from one nation to another. Where, for the super-rich, the laws “are nothing; they might as well not exist.”  Where people test the commitment and connections of their wealth managers by sending them off in search of smoked salmon and lost jewelry.

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What Shakespeare Can Teach us About PTSD [Things That Go Boom]

Shakespeare, war, PTSD and healing. Brilliant program that completely grabbed me. Host Laicie Heeley talks with Stephan Wolfert, an army Vet, about his program, De-Cruit, which helps veterans heal through Shakespeare.

Wolfert unexpectedly attended a performance of Shakespeare’s Richard III in Montana, where the words broke through to him in a way he’d never experienced. It was so profound he had a catharsis and was sobbing in the theater. His openness  about this experience was moving.

Continue reading “What Shakespeare Can Teach us About PTSD [Things That Go Boom]”