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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What’s a salamander got to do with gerrymandering? [Civics 101]

Wild Mushrooms at Kims Fall 2014History engages me more when there are nuggets of intrigue and interest buried in the history itself. Gerrymandering has its nugget. The name was first used in 1812 in the Boston Gazette, when the paper blended Massachusetts’ Governor Gerry’s name with salamander, the shape of one of the districts mapped out under Governor Gerry’s redistricting. Sometimes being memorialized into the future carries a certain ignominy.

What is gerrymandering and why does it matter?

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Filibuster – Update! [On the Media]

2016-12-27 19.41.29 (2)My “What’s a Filibuster?” post provided a short filibuster lesson, taken from the Civics 101 podcast. Senate Republicans have since eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, a decision referred to as the “nuclear option.”

After the “nuclear” decision, On The Media delivered helpful historic context about the filibuster, stuff I hadn’t gotten from the Civics 101 episode.  If you want a quick overview with some more “filibuster flesh,” listen to Brooke Gladstone’s interview of guest Sarah Binder. Binder, a professor of political science at George Washington University and author of Stalemate: Causes and Consequences of Legislative Gridlock, had thoughts about the “fabled filibuster.”

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The San Rafael 420 Waldos [Criminal]

420Sonoma County is bursting to become a marijuana mecca. Wine, beer, hard cider and spirits aren’t enough. Time to build out our cannabis resume. Can we claim some valuable, credible history by being close to the birthplace of the infamous “420” reference? Founded right down the highway. In Marin. By the Waldos.

Want details? Tune in to Criminal to find out about the Waldos, their early ‘70’s marijuana treasure hunt, and the evidence they have that proves they were the point of origin for the 420 term.

And by-the-way, as of March 2017, 420 is officially a word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

  • Podcast: Criminal
  • Episode #64: 420
  • Host: Phoebe Judge
  • Date: 4/7/17
  • Duration: 14:10


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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Spying On a City [RadioLab]

2015-09-03 22.26.52

As a kid, getting spied on usually meant Mrs. Harper down the street had seen me doing something I shouldn’t be doing, and reporting it to my mom.  As long as I kept clear of Mrs. Harper, I could safely mess around and not get busted.

Now, my computer may be spying on me.  “Cover up the camera on your computer,” I’m warned, “hackers may be watching you.”

Then there’s my phone. If it’s always ready to respond to my “Hey Siri,” how can I know for sure it isn’t listening to other conversations?

And with the Internet of Things, I have to start worrying about whether my refrigerator, my TV, my washing machine, or my toaster are recording my words or movements.  Because “wiretapping” now appears to include the possibility that our microwaves are listening.

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What’s a Filibuster? [Civics 101]

My head is about to explode; I’ve been following Washington’s attempts to govern this past week. The news headlines are breathily reporting the Democrats will filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for the Supreme Court. No! Not the filibuster! Continue reading “What’s a Filibuster? [Civics 101]”

Stolen Identity [Criminal]

On one level, this is a story about identity theft. About a family where the grandfather, the father and the daughter, all have their identities stolen.

But on a human dynamic level, this is a story about deception. Deception that goes on for so long, is kept so well-hidden, and is done with no apparent feelings of guilt, that it takes what one family thinks it knows about itself, guts it, and pulls the insides-out.

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9-Volt Nirvana [RadioLab]

Hot Wire the Brain

Juice the brain. No more than a 9-volt battery. And suddenly, bam! You become an invincible sharp-shooter.  Firing away at virtual killers, bringing them down with perfect accuracy. Where minutes before the juice, you’re lying in a pool of virtual blood.

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