I’m a podcast junkie, and LISTEN TO THIS is a recap of my favorite tidbits, soundbites and short bursts of brilliance from this week. After digesting hours and hours of podcasts, here’s the top 3 must-listen-to moments.
THE GENGHIS KHAN OF ANTS
I’m a avid student of variation, I believe many things can be better understood with bell curves and two-by-two grids, and I spend most of my day job working to reduce variation and figure out how to ensure we deliver a consistent experience across multiple retail locations. Given that bias, I was riveted listening to this fascinating story of how Argentine ants have spread across the planet and managed to maintain genetic purity and consistency. You’ll miss some of the perspective of the complete story, but for a quick recap and the discussion of possible analogies to humans behavior, start at 14:10. If you get engrossed in the full history like I did, check out this stylish graphic detailing the ants path to global domination.
FINGERS ON KEYS
Mitch Joel reads a lot and writes a lot. I want to read more and write more, so I sometimes I ask those who read a lot and write a lot how they do it. When I asked Joel, it let to this somewhat awkward exchange, but this episode helped me better understand why that Q&A played out like it did. Quit worrying about how to do something, and just start doing it. The entire episode is motivating, but for those short on time advance to 8:04 to hear the “Shut up and write” message. And for a little bonus, skip to 24:50 and hear how Mother Theresa answered, “How do you pray?”
THAT WORD REAL
The first half of this episode is an interview with retired FBI agent Allen Ezell who created and oversaw operation DipScam (Diploma Scam) for 12 years. Ezell believes that 1% of all college credentials are fake including all kinds of medical degrees. It was fascinating to hear how he investigated diploma mills and various forms of forgery. But the memorable soundbite comes later in the show when host Stephen Dubner interviews Karl Rove about not finishing college. At 19:35, Rove explains the best course he took in college - Shakespearian Literature.
“It made me aware of the power of language and how telling a story - a political campaign is about big issues, but you have to describe a narrative. You have to create a story line. You know, what is this all about.” ~ Karl Rove
Podcast Test Drives:
Grammar Girl - I have not been a fan of the Quick and Dirty Tips network. The podcasts tend to be filled with motherhood and apple pie style, superficial advice - floss once a day, always use sunscreen, seek to understand first. I felt that way about the first episode of Grammar Girl that I listened to, but the second one on a great grammar hoax hooked me. STATUS: keep listening a little longer.
Here’s what really impressed me. Mignon Fogarty is masterful at integrating sponsorships into the podcast. If you’re a podcaster looking to increase sponsorships, listen to the way she weaves in the message about Audible.com at 9:22 on the grammar hoax episode. Seamless.
NPR Columns: Sunday Puzzler - fun and fast, it’s just not getting played on regular basis and there are lots of NPR podcasts in my subscriptions.
OTHER PODCAST POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
What about you? What podcasts did you enjoy this week and what do you recommend? Leave your favorites in the comments below.