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



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


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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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?)

Continue reading “Great List of Podcast Players ~ Podcatcher Apps”

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?”

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…

Continue reading “6 Facebook Podcast Groups to check out”

Podcasts on Pinterest?

I’m2017-04-06 17.37.43 on a hunt. A hunt for fellow podcast fans: podcasters, bloggers, friends, those who listen to and write—or broadcast—about podcasts.  I’m on a hunt for podcast programs: I have 90 logged into a spreadsheet right now. I’m constructing lists of episodes I love; of shows I hope to write about. I’m thinking about topics that have grabbed me, and am ferreting out programs that covered the same topic, but from a different angle. It’s like geocaching…except it’s not. And I realize I sound slightly crazy.

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Wait…Wait…Don’t Tell Me…

I still remember my first time; that gateway moment.

Driving in my car I flipped on the radio, landing in the middle of Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! NPR’s News Quiz.  Host Peter Sagal and Carl Kassell, official judge and scorekeeper, along with their guests, were serving up news and humor.

Wait. What? News could be funny?

Continue reading “Wait…Wait…Don’t Tell Me…”