Podcast Friday!

Welcome to Podcast Friday!, a weekly compilation of some of the more interesting podcasts from around the web, listed right here for your listening pleasure!

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All Songs Considered from NPR

New Music From Andrew Bird, Julianna Barwick, And More (January 31, 2012) — The latest mix from All Songs Considered includes a sneak preview of Andrew Bird’s highly anticipated new album Break It Yourself, the hypnotic harmonies of Julianna Barwick, sweet pop from Hospitality and a couple of CDs picked solely for their cover art, from the bands Thee American Revolution and Artificial Lover. Also on the show: the surprising and elusive music of Spoek Mathambo, and NPR Music’s Frannie Kelley joins hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton to share one of her favorite new hip-hop songs of the year from the artist known as INDEED.

Book Reviews from The New York Times

Book Review Podcast (January 27, 2012) — This week, Jeanette Winterson discusses the legacy of Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer”; Charles McGrath on the deeply personal poetry of publisher Jonathan Galassi; and Gregory Cowles has best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.

Books Podcast from NPR

Dr. Seuss, Reads For Your Inner Geek, ‘Predatory’ Amazon and more (January 30, 2012) — Stories in this episode: 1) A ‘Guitar Zero’ Finds It’s Not Too Late To Learn Music; 2) Lesson Learned: Don’t Fly To North Pole In A Balloon; 3) Talk Nerdy To Me: Three Reads For Your Inner Geek; 4) Publishers And Booksellers See A ‘Predatory’ Amazon; 5) Taft 2012′: A Presidential Time Warp; 6) How Dr. Seuss Got His Start ‘On Mulberry Street’; 7) A Ball (And A Caldecott) For ‘Daisy’ The Dog

Brain Stuff from HowStuffWorks.com

How do polymer crystals work, and why do they absorb so much water? (February 01, 2012) — Polymer crystals are extremely absorbent, and that’s why you’ll often find them in disposable diapers. Marshall explains how polymer crystals are able to absorb large quantities of liquids — and keep you cool and dry — in this episode.

To maximize happiness, what should you spend money on? (January 30, 2012) — They say that money can’t buy happiness, but it can definitely contribute to your well-being. So what exactly should you spend your money on to maximize your happiness? Stuff? Experiences? Marshall Brain investigates in this episode.

How does WikiLeaks work? (January 27, 2012) — WikiLeaks is a controversial “not-for-profit media organization” that disseminates secret, leaked information to the public. But how exactly does this group work? And why does it exist? Marshall Brain takes a look at WikiLeaks in this episode.

Culturetopia from NPR

Culturetopia: Fresh Snow Edition (February 01, 2012) — This Week On Culturetopia: author Penelope Lively; the new NBC theater-nerd show “Smash”; Key and Peele on Comedy Central; filesharing in Megaupload’s wake; the classic children’s book “The Snowy Day.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Oscar Nominations And Liking What’s Popular (January 27, 2012) — This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR Monkey See’s Linda Holmes joins Stephen Thompson, Glen Weldon and Trey Graham to discuss the Oscar nominees, from satisfying to baffling. We also come out firmly in support of a few things that you might think don’t need the support. Plus, What’s Making Us Happy this week.


Finding a Fake Van Gogh (January 25, 2012) — NOVA scienceNOW’s Dean Irwin discusses what he learned about this new computer technology while producing his story on digital art authentication.

PopStuff from HowStuffWorks.com

Defending Disney Princesses? (February 01, 2012) — Many critics feel that the Disney princesses are setting poor examples for young girls and are setting the women’s movement back by decades. Tracy and (admittedly biased) Holly point out what’s good about these animated silver-screened heroines.

An Introduction to Studio Ghibli (January 30, 2012) — It’s the Japanese film studio where magic seems to come from. From “Totoro” to “Ponyo” and all points in between, why are Studio Ghibli’s films so mesmerizing to Western audiences, and what’s a radish spirit?

Science Talk from Scientific American

Fecal Transplants: The Straight Poop (January 31, 2012) — Journalist and author Maryn McKenna talks about fecal transplants, which have proved to be exceptionally effective at restoring a healthy intestinal microbiome and curing C. diff infections, yet remain in regulatory limbo

Stuff To Blow Your Mind from HowStuffWorks.com

Virgin Galactic: $200,000 Ticket to Ride (February 02, 2012) — Want to blast into space with celebrities? Virgin Galactic might just be your ticket to ride. Join Julie and Robert as they discuss the landmark space tourism venture and the future of space travel. Plus what might happen if Kanye ventured into space?

The Existential Horror of the Humanzee (January 31, 2012) — A Russian program to breed human/chimpanzee hybrids? Prisoners injected with animal testes? These grotesque tales shed light on the line between humans and chimpanzees. In this episode, Robert and Julie discuss humanity’s attempts to create a humanzee.

Stuff You Missed in History Class from HowStuffWorks.com

Sir Stamford Raffles and the Conquest of Java (Wednesday, February 01, 2012) — By the early 19th century, the Dutch controlled of most of the East Indies. Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles fought to oust the Dutch from the area. He also tried to enact radical reforms in Java, but he was fired by British East India Company. Why?

There’s Always a Seat for Queen Nzinga (January 30, 2012) — The warrior queen Nzinga used wily tactics to maintain her kingdom’s independence during colonization. Born in the Ndongo Kingdom, Nzinga staged a coup, harbored runaway slaves, and kept a harem of men. Tune in to learn more about queen Nzinga.

Stuff You Should Know from HowStuffWorks.com

What’s the 10,000 Year Clock? (February 02, 2012) — In a desert in Texas a 200-feet-tall clock is being constructed deep inside a mountain. Once completed, it will keep time for the next 10,000 years, even if there are no humans around to use it. Tune in as Chuck and Josh get to the bottom of the Long Now.

How Magic Mushrooms Work (January 31, 2012) — For thousands of years, humans have used hallucinogenic mushrooms for spiritual reasons. Today, however, having them can get you thrown in prison. How do magic mushrooms do what they do? Can they help the mentally ill? Find out in this far out episode.

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