Friday, March 23, 2018

Podcast Roundup Week #12

This week came in at a total of 48 episodes. It was actually kind of spring-like last weekend with nice temperatures and I went for some long walks that padded this number a bit. Here's some of the most interesting.
 
The Pope's Long Con "The Pope's Wife" - I wrote about this podcast in Week 3, but the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting just released its epilogue episode about what happened once corrupt State Representative Danny Ray Johnson committed suicide. His wife tried to replace him in the state House, but she lost the election. It was a nice wrap-up episode if you are looking for some closure.
 
You're the Expert "Raccoons at Just for Laughs Toronto" - This podcast mixes science and comedy in a way that I really love (enough that I've written about this podcast repeatedly). Sometimes the guest scientists are in on the joke and sometimes they're not.  Suzanne MacDonald, the guest in this episode, is totally in on the joke and I laughed and laughed and learned a bunch about raccoons in the process. 
Planet Money "The Experiment Experiment" - If, like me, you're a social scientist, you're watching the fields of psychology and economics try to replicate experiments and you're watching as this attempt fails repeatedly and you're shaking your head, both knowingly and in dismay. Of course. Publication bias means that many journals only publish positive results and many of those positive results are fringe results. Of course we're having trouble replicating those fringe results. It's too bad people don't really understand statistics.  But don't worry, the good people at Planet Money are here to explain all of it to us.  I'm probably going to use this when I teach stats next semester.

Reveal "Warning System Down: California's Deadliest Fires" -  One of my student wrote in a class evaluation once something along the lines of it should have been a drinking game in class for every time I talked about the evils of the automobile and the interstate system and the crumbling infrastructure in the United States. I'm pretty sure that the water or electrical systems will be the first things compromised as the United States fall into anarchy. This episode of the brilliant Reveal podcast does nothing to reassure me that the infrastructure, including first responders, is not prepared for an actual crisis.  So if you want a super somber podcast to listen to that will freak you out and make you cry when you think about a dog fighting for his life in a swimming pool, then this is the one for you.

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