Spirited Away to Audio Land
An excellent journey to Ghibli Park, a Ted Lasso audio adventure, the meaning of 'life,' and other podcasts and links to make you think.
Welcome to Hurt Your Brain #178, the place to get podcasts and links that will make you think.
Kicking things off with a recommendation I happened to listen to just today. I don’t typically listen to The Sunday Read in the feed of The Daily, but the title today caught my eye and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Let’s jump in.
The Daily: The Sunday Read —‘Spirited Away to Miyazaki Land’
The Big Idea: “What happens when the surreal imagination of the world’s greatest living animator, Hayao Miyazaki, is turned into a theme park?”
This episode is an article read aloud by the author. This whole story is a real treat for anyone who loves Studio Ghibli movies.
It’s a completely different take on the idea of a theme park vs what we are used to in the U.S.
“After a while I told my guides, only half joking, that Ghibli Park seemed like an extremely elaborate way to lure people out into the middle of an obscure Japanese forest.”
Death, Sex & Money: A Trans Parent’s Adoption Journey
The Big Idea: One of the best stories I’ve heard all year. I missed the original piece when it ran in 2014, but this is a pretty amazing update. Host Anna Sale still knows how to bring out the emotions.
“Liam Lowery and Marisa Carroll met in college, just as Liam began transitioning. Liam had been crushing on Marisa for a while, and one day, he spotted her on the subway” [….] ”Liam and Marisa got married in 2014, and right after that, we released an episode about their love story. Late last year, Anna got an email from Liam with an elated update that they are now parents.”
Transcript available on their website.
Unexplainable: The Meaning of “Life”
The Big Idea: I’m contractually obligated to recommend this because the host says that thinking about the definition of life was “hurting his brain.” Any show that says that gets an automatic recommendation. Plus, it’s a great episode.
This is part of an excellent series about the beginning of life on Earth, and this episode deals specifically about the exact definition of “life.” This seems like a ridiculous question, but in reality it’s a comically difficult thing to nail down.
Twenty Thousand Hertz: Ted Lasso’s Dark Forest
The Big Idea: There is an exceptional amount of work that goes into the sound design of a modern TV show, and this is a truly fascinating look into how they do it on Ted Lasso (and it's no wonder they win awards for it).
This episode is from last summer, but I’ve been saving it for the new season of Ted Lasso that just started. Side note: Loved the season opener.
Transcript and great episode art on the Twenty Thousand Hertz website.
Beef with Bridget Todd: Dear Abby vs Ask Ann Landers
The Big Idea: It’s anyone’s guess how I’ve made it this far in life having no idea that the authors of the Dear Abby and Ask Ann Landers advice columns were twin sisters involved in a decades long rivalry. This first episode of the new podcast Beef gets into the details and it’s all so interesting.
Not to be confused with the upcoming movie Beef from Netflix, which has me intrigued with the great cast.
Dynamite Doug: Greatest Art Heist
The Big Idea: Douglas Latchford is a name you probably don’t know. But he is responsible for the “looting of Cambodia’s entire cultural heritage – with the aid of Western academics, dealers and curators.”
This is the first episode in a new series about how this was all accomplished in plain sight.
This show pairs well with ABC’s Stuff the British Stole.
I’m excited about a new podcast newsletter called Shreya’s Audio Affairs. It kicked off with a niche podcast recommendation playlist that I was honored to make the visual for. Subscribe right here to check it out and get all the good upcoming stuff.
OTHER LINKS THAT WILL MAKE YOU THINK
Artificial Intelligence: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Just an all-around excellent take and update on this incredibly fast moving story of AI.
If you find this very funny (namely the first, but really all of them), then we can be good friends.
The Last of Us "Alternate" Ending. For anyone who has played the game or has finished the first season (otherwise major spoilers). This is a pretty fun look into a “prank” they pulled on the actors for the game that basically turns the dramatic ending into a musical, and I’m here for it.
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Bridget Todd is the besttttt! Go BEEF!