Podcast Friday!

Today we start a new feature on the CA Library blog — Podcast Friday! Each week we’ll compile some of the more interesting podcasts from around the web and list them right here for your listening pleasure!

This page features the Yahoo! WebPlayer, an easy way to bring audio and video into a website. All the podcasts listed below will open and play in the WebPlayer automatically. Cool!

Bits: Tech Talk from The New York Times

Great Big Privacy Buttons and Platform Power (November 23, 2011) Tanzina Vega explains how BrightTag’s One Click Privacy solution works for Web surfers and Phil Simon discusses his new book, “The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Have Redefined Business.”

Book Review from The New York Times

A biography of Vincent Van Gogh and the Big City Book Club (November 23, 2011) — This week, Deborah Soloman on a new biography of Vincent Van Gogh; Ginia Bellafante on the latest selection of the Big City Book Club; the Times’s national legal correspondent, John Schwartz explains his preference for audiobooks; and Gregory Cowles has best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.

Brain Stuff

Why is cotton more absorbent than nylon? (November 25, 2011) — When water comes in contact with the complex molecules that make up cotton and nylon, it causes a different action in each material — but why? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the science behind water absorption in this podcast.

Where does cork come from? (November 23, 2011) — Most cork comes from special trees that grow in places near the Mediterranean Sea. Learn more about cork oak trees, cork properties, cork products and cork processing in this episode.

What is the difference between hardwood and softwood? (November 21, 2011) — When it comes to differentiating between hardwoods and softwoods, it’s not a matter of hardness or density — it’s all about plant reproduction. Marshall explains what angiosperms and gymnosperms are in this episode.

What does Pez mean? (November 18, 2011) — Today, Pez candy dispensers are a sweet treat for children and a novelty for adults. Originally, however, they were created to help adults quit smoking. Learn more about the fascinating history of Pez in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Is chocolate poisonous to dogs? (November 16, 2011) — Under the right conditions, chocolate can indeed be deadly for dogs. Tune in to learn more about the compound in chocolate that makes it dangerous for dogs (and how much is too much) in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Culturetopia from NPR

Culturetopia: In Plain Sight Edition (November 23, 2011) — This Week in Culturetopia: Comedian Donald Glover; new twists on TV; how networks are filling time without the NBA; the new crime drama “Person of Interest”; jass pianist Keith Jarrett’s entirely improvised new album.

Music Popcast from The New York Times

Box Set Deluge (November 23, 2011) Box set deluge: Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica listen to and discuss some of the season’s most notable reissues.


Touching the Past (November 23, 2011) For Chief Anne “Little Fawn” Richardson, Pocahontas is more than a legendary historical figure. Richardson can trace her own ancestry back to the 17th century, when her tribe, the Rappahannocks, were part of a vast domain ruled by Pocahontas’s father. In this podcast, Richardson reflects on the clash of cultures between Pocahontas’s people and the English settlers of Jamestown.


Why are there no Thanksgiving movies? (November 23, 2011) — Tracy and Holly originally thought there weren’t many Thanksgiving movies, but it turned out, they just didn’t remember there were. Listen in as the ladies ponder why most films about this holiday are all about family awkwardness.

Muppets: Yay! (November 21, 2011) — Everyone loves the Muppets! (Seriously, it’s suspicious if you don’t.) In this episode, Tracy and Holly discuss the new movie, as well as what makes Jim Henson’s creations so very special.

Should it be hard to be a geek? (November 16, 2011) — With media outlets hosting their own geek blogs, the idea that geek culture is mainstream is making news (and dredging up its own backlash). Has geek culture become exclusionary? Has it been co-opted by hipsters? Tracy and Holly wax pensive about geekdom.

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

The Future of Stink (November 24, 2011) — Will smell-o-vision make a comeback? Will our zombie movies smell like rotten flesh and our video games reek of voided bowels and fear? In this episode, Robert and Julie discuss the history of scented media and the emerging technology of printable smells.

Living with Robots: Can we build a better bot? (November 22, 2011) — Our cohabitation with robotic servants is pretty much guaranteed. So what are we doing today to make sure these are the sort of robot we can tolerate? In this episode, Julie and Robert discuss how our robotic caretakers are shaping up.

Smells to Blow Your Mind (November 17, 2011) — Did you know that smell is the only one of your senses with a direct connection to your brain? Or that fancy cheese and David Beckham’s foot odor share the same molecular smells? In this episode, Robert and Julie break down the amazing science of smell.

Stuff You Missed in History Class

The Death of Stone Wall Jackson (November 23, 2011) — As a Confederate surgeon, Dr. MacGuire’s first assignment was under the command of Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, who became his most famous patient. Tune in to learn what McGuire’s writings reveal about Stonewall’s last days.

Polio: The Dread Disease (November 21, 2011) — Polio was a terrifying threat in the early 20th century: It often left victims paralyzed or dead. Yet two vaccines caused an immediate drop in polio cases and today they’ve nearly eradicated the disease. But what exactly happened? Tune in to find out.

How Vincent van Gogh Worked (November 16, 2011) — Today, Vincent van Gogh has come to fit our idea of the tortured artist. Aside from his art, he’s best known for cutting off his ear and committing suicide. Yet new research debates both of these van Gogh moments. Listen in to learn more about van Gogh.

Stuff You Should Know

How Thoroughbred Horses Work (November 24, 2011)

Crossbows: They Look Cool (November 22, 2011)

How Air Force One Works (November 17, 2011)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *