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  • Fry's English Delight A welcome return for this series, with an examination of the qwerty keyboard as a tool for getting our thoughts onto paper.
  • Great Lives - John Lennon It's a slightly sobering thought to realise that John Lennon would have been seventy this year. This is a fascinating retrospective look at his career, in which he was responsible for some of the most innovative music ever produced.
  • Utter Shambles Robin Ince and Josie Long are back with an interview with comics genius Alan Moore - hurrah!
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  • Western Swing 78s Mix - A wonderful collection of classic 78s, unavailable anywhere else. Pure and simple enjoyment, played by true virtuoso performers of their genre
  • Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds; a dubstep refit Pump up the bass for this dubstep reworking of the War of the Worlds, using the Richard Burton narration of Jeff Wayne's concept album over a infectiously heavy dub bass line.
  • Coverville 688 From the sublime, to the sublimer, to the truly ridiculous. Listen out for a country version of 'Purple Rain' and a faux B52s take on 'Stairway to Heaven'
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  • AIOTM (aiotm) I know I keep plugging this, but as Andrew Collings says, it is turning into the disgusting Goons. In this episode, Richard Herring manages to deconstruct his own jokes (in this case the rubbish 'Motorcycle Clothing Shop' sketch from last week) to add a whole new level of surreal humour to them. Relax in your high backed armchair and enjoy this - it's great (aside - it's not, it's shit).
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage Another fascinating live panel discussion, this time featuring string theorist Brian Greene, comics demi-god Alan Moore, and, er, Jonathan Ross. It's rather sweet that Alan Moore is genuinely pleased that some of his fanciful SF stories, such as a planet where the immense gravity warps time, actually turn out to be based in science fact. Top marks also to Robin Ince for his use of the word 'Orthogonal' in a joke - only on Radio 4 ... :-)
  • Xlr8r - A proper old skool rave mix by Moby on a new podcast to me. Gosh, this takes me back to 1988 ...
  • Marsha Meets ... Alexei Sayle One of the pioneers of alternative comedy, now a respected writer and grumpy old man.
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  • Thoroughly Modern Mary - As repellent as I find the behaviour of their priests, the iconography of the Catholic church is a bizarre, mawkish, contradictory and fascinating thing, particularly in the subject of Mary. There are only a handful of sentences in the bible concerning Mary, and yet a whole complex mythology has been spun out of them including the doctrine of the immaculate conception, Mary's role as intercessor and the conflicting images of the sinless young virgin with blonde hair and blue eyes (rather unlikely in first century Palestine!) and the mother, goddess figure as well. This is the first episode of a short series examining these beliefs and well worth a listen, if only for the notable achievement of featuring interviews from Anne Widdicombe and Richard Dawkins in the same 15 minute programme.
  • As It Occurs to ... Tiny Andrew Collings ??!??! Anyone would think that Richard Herring was making this up as he goes along, or something ...
  • Guardian Tech Weekly - Fascinating interview with Conrad Wolfram this week, with Tom Watson MP championing the cause of making government databases available for public use and scrutiny.
  • So Wrong It's Right - One of the better Radio 4 panel shows at the moment, always enjoyable when Charlie Brooker gets to argue with the guests about something that gets his goat.
  • Coverville : Who did it better? - Two takes on 'Love Vigilantes' by New Order, and I have to confess that this is the first time that I have actually listened to the words of this rather excellent song.
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  • The Appalling Mr Dali A highly entertaining look at the life of Salvador Dali by the late Malcolm McClaren - there are plenty of interesting other programmes at the link too.
  • The Vote Now Show The Now Show team are doing special election shows every night. Perfect listening if you are already fed up with the political spin flooding the airwaves 24/7
  • Adam Buxton's Big Mixtape Adam out of Adam and Joe is doing a show on his own, with each programme being a themed mix tape of music picked out by him and a weekly guest. The podcast manages to sneak in thirty second snippets of the songs played to get around the usual rules on not including music in BBC podcasts
  • Guardian Tech Weekly This week's podcast features a debate on the Digital Economy Act and I also got a tweet read out - hurrah!
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  • The Matilda Myth Australia in the 1890s was in the grip of a bitter labour dispute, threatening to spill over into civil insurrection with arson attacks and running gun battles. In the midst of this turmoil, a swagman was found dead in mysterious circumstances. Was this the incident that inspired the adventurer, poet and pamphleteer Banjo Patterson to write his most famous song, 'Waltzing Matilda'? This hugely evocative programme tells the story of the dark roots behind Australia's unofficial national anthem.
  • Robowars Will the battlefields of the future be ruled by unmanned vehicles guided by pilots sitting safely behind a desk on the other side of the world? What are the implications of this technology for the way that we fight wars? Fascinating and worrisome stuff
  • The Moth Jamie Johnson tells the story of how a support group for rich people (yes, really) led to an unexpected discovery about his father's reluctance to talk about his wealth.
  • Who did it better? The same song covered by Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, but which one is better? There's only one way to find out ... FIGHT!
  • Tech Weekly Aleks Krotoski unpicks the Digital Economy Bill, amongst other issues.
  • 7 Day Sunday Topical comedy, not quite the same without Sarah Millican this week.
  • Marsha Meets ... Bootheby Graffoe Interesting interview with one of stand up comedy's best musical surrealists

Podcasts

Feb. 9th, 2010 06:15 pm
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Punk badmouths a cop
Grandma clips him round the ear
Street story. Respect.

Prison guard learns
That despite the lies, sometimes
They are innocent

Collins and Herring
No swearing allowed on this
Six music podcast
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Another 15 minute gem from the Speechification blog, this time telling the tragic story of how a contentious World Cup qualifying match between Honduras and El Salvador spark off a brief but bloody war in 1969.

Podcasts

Jan. 19th, 2010 06:48 pm
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Collings and Herrin
Approaching a century
Of podcast chatter

Seven Day Sunday
New kids on the podcast block
Topical banter

Friday News Quiz

Turns a gimlet eye on the
Corrupt and inane
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Blackfriar's Bridge is an excellent short story about the perfect crime and what could possibly go wrong with it. Well worth 10 minutes or so of your time.
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In what is now an annual tradition Phill and Phil return for another festive podclash with Collings and Herrin. Available from iTunes or here.
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  • As It Occurs To Me - This is a special post watershed edition, guaranteed to be extra offensive - so good, I listened to it twice!
  • Guardian Tech Weekly - The usual round up of tech news, with an interesting piece about Murdoch's feud with Google and their response to it
  • Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers - An excellent reading of the Red Dwarf novel by Chris Barrie - a must listen for Dwarf fans.
  • Adam and Joe - Good stuff as usual - it always makes me smile when Adam and Joe make each other laugh so much that they can't speak
  • The Moth - Teri Garr's tale of richly deserved revenge against a cheating ex
  • Coverville - Tom Waits Cover Story - A mix of unlikely and interesting cover versions of Tom Waits songs
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I listened to Mitch Benn's reading of 'A Christmas Carol' last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are no unnecessary 3-D chase scenes or anthropomorphic puppets - just the words as written with quill pen and ink by Mr Dickens and read with genuine affection by somebody who loves the story. I think that listening to this may become an annual tradition.

Download it on itunes or via this handy page
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This week's Frontiers is a report on the search for dark matter and manages to be fascinating and evocative. The parts recorded in a mine 1000m below the Earth feel very claustrophobic!
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In a nice bit of synchronicity I watched a wildlife documentary about snakes on the telly last night and then this gem from Speechification turned up in my podcast playlist today. It's a short and sweet 15 minute audio documentary about American snakes and remarkably evocative it is too.

Epoch

Nov. 17th, 2009 08:43 pm
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Epoch is a short story from Cory Doctorow dealing with the decommissioning of the world's first AI and what might happen if that AI decided that it didn't want to be switched off. It was podcast in eight sections on the Craphound podcast recently, but you can get all eight chunks from this handy page. It's a little rough around the edges, but it's a cracking tale with a particular resonance for anybody that has ever worked as a sysadmin at some point in their life.
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Podcast of the day is an interview with Charlie Brooker on the Guardian book blog. Excellent, insightful and very funny too. Worth listening too, if only for the revelation that Charlie wrote the last two episodes of 'Dead Set' in his pants. On his birthday. Crying.
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Every so often a podcast pops up in the queue that you start listening to with no idea of what is coming up. This fifteen minute gem from speechification is well worth a download - it gripped me from start to end with a true story of a runaway train incident in Canada in 1987.
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Just in case you haven't got around to subscribing to this excellent podcast yet, here's a mini documentary about the show
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