99% Invisible. The episode ‘Depave Paradise‘ looks at Mexico City, which is sinking as the artesian basin under the city is drained, and yet it floods as well. But there is one place that could replenish the underground lakes and control the flooding: El Pedregal, a large lava field formed by the volcanoes that surround the city. It is formed of porous rock, which made it unpopular to build on until Mexican Modernist architect Luis Barragán began designing houses on large blocks, surrounded by the lava flows and native gardens in the 1940s. But these blocks have since been subdivided, paved and filled with lawns and introduced gardens. (There’s pictures on the link, as well as the podcast).
BBC The Documentary. The Superlinguists continues. How To Learn A Language talks about second language acquisition methods and myths. Apparently, despite my grumbling that it’s too hard to learn a language as an adult, if adults spent as much time as a young baby does in learning to speak (i.e. 12 hours a day for about three years), we’d be better at it than young children are. Apparently children at school learn better with Direct Instruction, but adults are better off getting over their fear of talking and just doing it. Monolingual Societies argues that dialects and variants are a challenge to even the most monolingual communities.
Easy Spanish. I have no idea how to find this podcast on the internet, but I subscribed to it through Stitcher at https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/01-cuento-de-pinocho?refid=asa The podcasts have been appearing weekly since April and vary in length between about 10 minutes and 35 minutes. Some of them are retellings of fairy tales (I listened to Aladdin) while others are commentary. It says ‘easy’ Spanish but they’re not – you certainly need some Spanish, but as an intermediate student, I can follow them quite easily until my attention starts wandering.
Hoy Hablamos. This seems to be free too, and it has hundreds of podcasts. My Mexican Spanish teacher tells me that they are from Spain. They seem to produce one a day Monday to Friday. If you subscribe, you can get the transcript and exercises. It’s much cheaper than News in Slow Spanish (USD$95 per year). If I listen to it two or three times, I can generally follow it.
Earshot (ABC) You should feel uncomfortable: One family’s time in Outreach International. I hadn’t heard of Outreach International, a religious cult led by a man called Tony Kostas, that meets all the usual criteria for a cult: domination, financial demands, separatism, guilt etc. It’s from a podcast series called ‘Let’s Talk About Sects’.
Rear Vision (ABC) Recorded as Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, Being Boris- Boris Johnson does not reassure. What a mess.