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National podcast rangers
Podcasts from the National Park Service, an Asimov short story, the best science podcasts, and more podcasts and links to make you think.
Welcome to Hurt Your Brain #183, the place to get podcasts and links that will make you think.
Welcome everyone, but in particular to my son Nathan who is now a subscriber with his shiny new email address.
The pressure is on to keep him from hitting that unsubscribe button. I’m optimistic he’ll be into my typical recommendations because he is pretty much smarter than me already as a nine year old and is into some serious non-fiction content (like this and this). Welcome buddy, please don’t think less of me.
Related: anyone know of any good newsletters that kids can subscribe to directly? Every Google search I do is full of things meant for parents.
Alright, onwards to some great podcasts and other recommendations.
The Big Idea: If you are visiting a national park, see if they have a podcast!
While visiting my Dad in California last week, we went to Joshua Tree National Park. In the welcome center I saw mention of a five-part podcast about the park put out by the National Park Service, and you absolutely know I downloaded that for the remaining 25 minute drive to our first destination.
I learned the park is a little larger than Rhode Island and contains the meeting point of two distinct deserts: the Mojave desert (where the endless and striking Joshua trees are) and the Colorado desert.
My review of the park: amazing and beautiful. My daughter’s review after experiencing desert heat: “I don’t like deserts!”
My auto correct kept trying to call this episode “Where two desserts meet,” which is certainly something I can get behind.
Enjoy my attempt at stock photography below.
The Big Idea: A full reading of one of Isaac Asimov’s short stories called “Reason” that pairs well with modern AI conversations.
Seldon Crisis is an excellent podcast for anyone interested in Asimov’s Foundation series of books, but it’s also great for wider Asimov and sci-fi discussion.
The second season of Apple TV’s Foundation adaptation is coming in July, so it’s a great time to start at the beginning of this show’s feed to get an idea of what Foundation as a story is all about (highly recommended).
The Big Idea: Believe it or not, but there is a tremendous backlog of green energy projects that are funded and ready to begin in the US (like hundreds of them). The holdup? Connecting to the grid. This is a frustrating and non-trivial problem.
I had heard of this issue, but didn’t realize how it all worked and how bad it was. This episode unpacks it all really well.
The Big Idea: Yes, yes they are. Except prescription strength cream that contain high dose vitamin A (sometimes referred to as retinol). Even these are only marginally helpful.
It’s very difficult to penetrate the skin, and almost everything you put on your skin stays on the surface and easily washes away. As a slightly separate category, moisturizing lotion does work as a way to make your skin feel better, but only by literally trapping moisture, and not by doing anything magic to the layers below the outer skin (as sometimes advertised).
From the Hurt Your Brain archives (from edition #147 and speaking of deserts):
I’ve been on a real Neil Gaiman kick lately, and this is a great interview if you are a fan or just want to listen on about the power of fiction and the creative process.
I always love learning what people would choose for their song selections, which is part of the charm of this very long running interview-with-a-twist show.
“I also think sometimes you can get truer in fiction than you can in real life. Partly because fiction needs to be convincing and real life doesn’t need to be convincing. I think anyone who takes a clear eyed look at the last two years in the world…it’s incredibly unconvincing. It just happened to have happened.”
Sounds Like Impact. A new podcast newsletter that combines calls to action with related podcast recommendations and playlists. I am guest writing a playlist around LGBTQ+ allyship in the workplace that will be out in a few days. Subscribe here!
OTHER LINKS TO MAKE YOU THINK
How an Episode of Succession is Written. Fascinating. Also, send me all of your Succession content.
Day 3 of watching Succession. [so sad, what am I going to watch tonight!?]
But I guess I don’t hold a charge (swipe over for fifth panel).
Alright that’s all for today. Please like or comment (or reply) if you want to share any comments. See you next time.
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