Listening Chronicles #3
Welcome to another edition of the Listening Chronicles ! I am documenting all the podcasts I listen to, and the ones I recommend on a weekly basis. This week, I was listening to some of these episodes while exploring the world of Skyrim.
Let's dive into this week's podcasts.
Podcasts This Week
An Oral History of the Office | Episodes 2-6
A lot of my days during the pandemic has been spent re watching clips of The Office. Best scenes, bloopers, pranks etc. It's a brilliant comedy show and I have always been curious about the story behind the show. I heard episode one - The Pitch. I was immediately intrigued.
This week, I listened till Episode 6 and it's a fascinating story. These episodes cover many aspects of the show - of how the writers thought about the romance between Jim and Pam, of the comedic genius of Steve Carell, of how the show almost didn't see Season 2 till a billion things came together at the same time.
Brian Baumgartner is a great host for this podcast, and the narrative is stitched together really well. You always want more by the end of each episode.
Mission ISRO with Harsha Bhogle | Saare Jahan Se Acha
"For centuries humans have been endlessly fascinated with what lies beyond the earth's thin atmosphere. What is exceptional about India's space aspirations is the fact that they were deemed impossible right from the start. "
This is how the first episode of Mission ISRO starts. The first episode sets up the journey quite well.
The narrative in this episode is amazingly written. We are provided the details of the intensity around Space Research in the 1940s. We get an insight into the stories of Homi Bhabha and Vikrama Sarabai, two of the pioneers of our space mission and Harsha Bhogle takes us on a wonderful journey through time and does an amazing job of narrating the serendipity around building India's first blocks towards the Space Program. Honestly that should be enough reason for you to listen to this episode.
The producers of the show - All Things Small also do a great job of giving you historical clips and some great background music.
I know some of you already know the story of ISRO. But, I would urge you to give this series a shot. It's an interesting seriesin the Indian podcasting scene, and I think it's worth your time.
Hidden Brain | Your 2.0 - Pursuit of Happiness
So, Hidden Brain is an NPR series about science, psychology and many aspects of human behavior. This particular episode is part of their annual series about how we to think about reframing circumstances.
The episode deals with the concept of the hedonistic treadmill. It goes into the aspect of how we sometimes are content with our circumstances, and other times (such as now), we tend to miss many of the things we were used to before. It provides a really nice insight of how in the present moment we can try to think about happiness.
"Whatever we have, we tend to get used to it. So no matter how awesome our lives might be, or what wonderful things come into our lives, we tend to get used to them over time, and the pleasure that they provide gradually diminishes."
Articles of Interest | Diamond and Wedding Dress
So, this is a mini series housed under the podcast 99% Invisible. Producer and host Avery Trufleman takes you on a journey across the fascinating stories behind fashion. The show encourages you to rethink what we wear.
These two episodes are about the luxury behind purchasing diamonds and wedding dresses for marriage. She delves into the rich history of advertising diamonds, of how it's become a symbol of everlasting love and why we cling to to despite knowing that it's only a piece of fashion. The Wedding Dress episode is similar in tone. A wedding has come to represent a crowning achievement — a symbol that your whole life is together and this episodes goes into the fascinating story of how exactly the white wedding dress has become the most important dress of that day.
The series (and the 2 episodes) have changed the way I think about clothes. I pay a bit more attention, now that I know some of the stories behind many of the fashion choices in the modern world.
Cast from the Past
The Memory Palace | Let It Snow
Almost anyone who asks me for a recommendation, I suggest this. It's only about 6 minutes. The concept of the Memory Palace is essentially story telling, about something that happened in the past. Some event, about some person etc. It's always around 10 minutes max. The soulful voice of the host, the rhythmic narration will draw you in instantly.
If there's a podcast on this list you absolutely must listen to, it's this episode. I think the tone of this episode captures the situation we've been in this year, almost perfectly.
Adding one more section to these chronicles, where I put forward some of the suggestions I received over the last week (don't forget to comment or send me your suggestions). Again, the name is really basic, I would appreciate it if you could help me out with coming up with a better name for this section.
Econ Central | Do we need billionaires?
Econ Central is a series where Vivek Kaul and Amit Verma, both of whom consistently write about the economy, policy and state of our country, discuss one important aspect of economics in India. You might also recognize them in their conversations in The Seen and The Unseen.
In this episode, they discuss why we need billionaires and obviously the caveats that comes with making such a claim.
(Suggestion Credits: Sandesh Atyam)
I hope there are some takeaways while reading this. Do let me know what you think about the Listening Chronicles. What podcasts have you been listening to, and what do you think about those podcasts?