Golf: A Good Walk Spoiled [Revisionist History]

Malcolm Gladwell hates golf.

He views golf as a pastime largely engaged in by rich, white men running large companies, played on vast swaths of private land—accessible only to wealthy people—in urban areas that are park-poor. And subsidized by the very people who can’t use the golf courses.

He hates it for socio-economic reasons. In his opinion, we should all hate it.

Gladwell is a runner; one of his runs is around the Brentwood Country Club, “a luxurious private golf and tennis club” in west Los Angeles. He and fellow runners hug a narrow track outside the course, blocked by fencing; he gazes upon the lush green lawns mostly devoid of people.  He gets curious; then riled up.

According to Gladwell, golf isn’t a harmless habit impacting only the player. It has consequences: it’s a sport 1) with the potential to lower company profits, that 2) denies cities desperately needed tax dollars.

Gladwell’s podcast drills in on these issues, fleshing each one out, with political snark tossed in along the way.  It appears to be about golf; but it’s really about equity and fairness.

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Great List of Podcast Players ~ Podcatcher Apps

Podcatcher Medium (1)

I listen to podcasts on my phone, using Apple’s native Podcasts app. It works. And, like so much tech, my eyes wander, and I wonder if there’s something…sexier…with a better user interface…that allows different speeds…more playlists. First world lusts.

 

If you’re just getting started on podcasts, my recommendation is:

  1. Find the native app that goes with your phone, whether Apple or Android.
  2. Download it to your device.
  3. Find an article that helps you learn how to download podcasts to the app. This Digital Trends article may help. Or go to my Help page for other guidance links.

If you’re a podcast pro and want to explore beyond the baby-pool, check out this May 23, 2017 article from Bello Collective: One Sentence Reviews of the Entire Podcast Listening Landscape  by Erik Jones.  It gives a high-level overview of podcast players / podcatcher apps and delivery systems.*

(* BTW, can we settle on what we're calling these listening-device apps?)

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Phone. Sex [Note to Self]

Sex-Tech Assistant

Can your phone make you better in bed?  This isn’t about phone sex. It’s about using a phone to improve your sex life.  And…they’re not the same thing.

The hardest thing about sex often isn’t the sex itself. It’s talking about sex. Being OK talking about it. Talking about what you like. Or don’t. Asking your partner if they like what you’re doing. Or not. Telling them you’d like them to stop what they’re doing or do more of what they’re doing. Taking that BIG leap off the cliff and asking if they’d be willing to (fill in the blank)…do something…new…different…outrageous; something you haven’t done before. Because—freak!—that thing you’re asking for? They might just flip out.

How. Do. You. Talk. About. This. Taboo. Scary. Stuff? 

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Curated Podcast Playlists

Bodega Beach Feb 2014 (3)This blog is my space to share podcast episodes I’ve found educational, enlightening, insightful, shocking, mind-bending and more. The pace at which I write versus the pace at which new podcast episodes are released is like a snail to a Ferrari.  I’ve no reservations about writing about a podcast episode released two years ago. When something is good and it stays good, it deserves recognition.  Pursuing Podcasts is a slow-curation project.

I love slow-savoring my podcasts. I relish keeping track of episodes I’ve listened to, jotting down notes about why they resonated for me.  I love anticipating the release of a RadioLab, Hidden Brain, Reveal, This American Life or Note to Self episode. I know and adore these shows.

But…there’s a flood of new episodes from well-established podcasts overwhelming me. Plus there’s a profusion of brand new podcasts being created daily. The fear of missing out on new stuff is nipping around the edges of my consciousness.

“There are 250,000 podcasts and more than 15 million episodes. Over a billion minutes of entertainment, education and information at your fingertips.
How do you choose?” http://www.radiopublic.com

I’d love to find ways to have current episodes curated for me.  Some playlists created. If only….

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6 Facebook Podcast Groups to check out

PursuingPodcasts_AdobePodcasts are exploding. If you think you’re the only fanatical podcast listener out there…oh…how wrong you are. The medium is growing so fast, we can now swim in our own little niche genres; talk smack with fellow true crime fans; argue over which is the “best” podcast for making sense of our current political climate; find programs suitable for children…in different age groups; serve up our favorite humor programs. It is a mighty fine time to join the podcast train.

To help you find your way, I bring you…

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The Pill [50 Things That Made the Modern Economy]

Pink Plant 9-30-15 (1)
Nature, plants and sex

Humans have sex. A potential consequence of sex is pregnancy. When pregnancy is unwanted, people come up with all sorts of ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Crocodile dung in Ancient Egypt. Half a lemon as a cervical cap.

The birth control pill is one of those many pregnancy-prevention systems developed over the years. One of the things that stands out about the Pill is its effectiveness at preventing unwanted pregnancies.  The Pill has a 6% failure rate under typical use, versus an 18% failure rate for condoms.  The sponge and the diaphragm have a similar failure rate.  When the Pill is used optimally, the failure rate is even lower.

What was most interesting about this show was how they talked about the profound social and economic effects the Pill had on society, especially for women.  First, for married women; and then, for young, unmarried women.

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Nukes (and the President) [RadioLab]

(Photo Credit: Official CTBTO Photostream)

My early exposure to the concept of nuclear war was oddly calm: duck under your school desk, cover your head, and all will be right with you and the world.  It was only later, when visuals on TV showed more horrific images, that the terror of it became clear; along with the inanity of “duck and cover,” that tender ode to nuclear annihilation.

I was a child during the Cuban Missile Crisis. As a child, I didn’t truly understand the horrors the world was facing. As an adult, it’s becoming all too clear, especially with the current saber-rattling of nations around the globe. Including ours.

Which got me to wondering: what are the “rules” around launching a nuclear bomb? Who gets to authorize it (the President) and can anyone stop him from doing so (no).  This RadioLab episode provides a unique look at the process, considering it from the perspective of a military officer who would receive a call to launch. Could he refuse to act?

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A Frank Conversation with a White Nationalist [Reveal]

Al Letson, Reveal’s African American podcast host, talks with Richard Spencer, a white supremacist and President of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank. This was an uncomfortable podcast to listen to, but I’m glad I did. I valued the civility and Letson’s willingness to disagree and push back; but Richard Spencer’s ideas, as an alt-right leader, are unsettling.

Here’s a taste of what they talked about.

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The Christian Doctor Fighting for a Woman’s Right to Choose [Only Human]

Dr. Willie Parker

A woman’s “right to choose” is a divisive topic.  I first heard Dr. Willie Parker, a Christian, on the podcast, Only Human.  He chose women’s health as his specialty and became an obstetrician gynecologist.  He talks about the road he traveled with regard to his beliefs, moving from a “Fundamentalist, Protestant born-again Christian” upbringing—where he was taught abortion was wrong—to specializing in “providing safe abortions in the Deep South.”

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