Tag Archive for history

Podcast Playlist

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It’s been about 9 months since I wrote about radio shows. And things have changed a little since then, so I figured I’d do a round-up and review of the podcasts I’m currently listening to. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  • Atlanta Radio Theater Company – They do all sorts of stuff, from sci-fi to horror to comedy to … well, pretty much anything. If you pull up their feed, you can listen back to several years worth of recordings, which I have. The current format for the free podcast is monthly, so once you catch up it’s easy to stay current. And if you don’t mind paying for things, you can get a bunch of their full shows at audible. Overall it’s good, though sometimes I feel the live audience detracts from my enjoyment. But for free, I can’t complain.
  • Common Sense – Dan Carlin talks about politics and current events. It’s interesting to see the way he ties topics together, all without sounding like some sort of conspiracy loon. It helps, I suppose, that I tend to agree with his views. A little confirmation bias, but at least I’m aware of it.
  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Long, sometimes multipart, podcasts about historical topics. Some are better than others, but all of them are interesting in their own way. I wish my history teachers in school had spoken with this much passion for the subject.
  • Decoder Ring Theater – Back in my original post when I was looking for old-time radio style shows, this is what I was looking for. They have two main shows, The Red Panda Adventures and Black Jack Justice, which are a Shadow-style superhero and a pulp noir detective, respectively. They also do other items in their Showcase, and like ARTC they’ve got years of shows in their feed, and I’m still catching up – I’m in June of 2007 with over 100 episodes to go, and loving every one so far.
  • How Did This Get Made? – Listen as a few comedians talk about movies that are so bad that they are awesome, and occasionally movies that are awesome but in ways that defy the Hollywood system yet still got made. I highly recommend the episode on Punisher War Zone as an example of the latter, and they even got the director on as a guest.
  • Making It – Riki Lindhome (of Garfunkel and Oates) talks to people involved with acting and movies about how they got started, the breaks they’ve had, the troubles they’ve run into and more. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in acting as a profession.
  • Penn’s Sunday School – I just started this one, so I don’t have a real opinion on it yet, but since I pretty much love everything that Penn Jillette does I’m sure this won’t be the exception.
  • Radio Free Burrito – Wil Wheaton keeps to no particular schedule and just random puts out collections of stories and bits of music. It isn’t deep, but I enjoy it.
  • The Moth – Podcast version of their True Stories Told Live, it ranges from serious and thought-provoking to silly and thought-provoking. And they are short, so I can listen to one when I run quick errands in the car.
  • The Nerdist – Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira talk to people, usually about comedy but really about anything that comes to mind. Personally, I delete all the episodes without a guest because I just don’t find their “hostfull” episodes to be worth the hour.
  • This American Life – A podcast version of the radio show, they pick a topic, interview people and tell stories. It’s more like a news program than anything else I listen to, very highly produced rather than just talking. I think I mostly listen to this because “everybody” listens to it. Half the time I’m barely paying attention. Maybe I should drop it.
  • Thrilling Adventure Hour – Much like the Decoder Ring Theater, this is new stories in the style of old-time radio, though here they do much more comedy. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard anything that wasn’t comedic. Beyond Belief and Tales from the Black Lagoon are my favorites.
  • We’re Alive – A serial drama set in the zombie apocalypse. This show is right up my ally, and I cannot begin to convey the amount of pure awesome that this show is. Everyone should listen to it. If you are just starting, there are two complete seasons with the third under way.

I’m always open to more, so if you have good ones to suggest, please do so. I might just add it to my trusty Zune.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire HunterSeth Grahame-Smith exploded onto the scene last year (after having several other books published) with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a book I still haven’t read.  It was so successful that the “classic text mash-up” genre now practically has its own aisle at the bookstore.  Taking a slightly different approach in his next endeavor, Grahame-Smith wrote Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.  Rather than taking an old text and playing with it, instead he’s taking history and filling in the gaps with his own crafted tale.

The story follows old Honest Abe from his childhood through his Presidency and weaves around it a tale of revenge and vampires and a country nearly brought to its knees.  I was skeptical as hell going in.  That same skepticism is what has kept me from reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  A tale like this is either going to be a monumental waste of time, or a masterpiece.  Based on my reading of this book, I’m now more interested to go read P&P&Z.

I’m not a history buff, and I’m not familiar with the true story of Abraham Lincoln other than what they taught me in school.  But the tale told here steps in and out and around his life in such a fashion that it is so easy to believe that it just might be true.  It isn’t true, right?  Vampires don’t really exist… right?

Anyway, I would gladly recommend this book to just about anyone with the only caveat being that some of the early book can be slow, but sticking with it is totally and completely worth it.  I haven’t read a book that ended this well in a very long time.

This Date in History

On this day, back in the days of wide collars, bell-bottoms, and leisure suits (all of which are back in style by the way), Jodi was born.

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Jodi!
Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuu!