I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 17-24 April 2020

cowboyHeather Cox Richardson. In her Tuesday video (14th April) she talks at length about the history of the American Postal Service which I gather is a topic of some controversy at the moment. In the Thursday 16 April American History video she looks at Reconstruction and the rise of the cowboy in the west. I never did understand cowboys and now I do. This is really good. Access it through her Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/heathercoxrichardson/

In Our Time. Melvyn Bragg can  be an annoying twat, and is particularly on this program about the Scottish Covenanters in the 16th and 17th century.  As presenter, Bragg just rushes his guests through at breakneck speed, so much so that I barely understood a word. Just as well I’m doing a free online Future Learn course on the Highland Clans.  I’ll come back and listen to the In Our Time program once I’ve finished.

Saturday Extra (ABC) Some interesting segments on Geraldine Doogue’s Saturday Extra program recently. She interviews bestselling historian Tom Holland who writes big fat history books where his name is in a font the same size as the title- something that makes me wary. He has a recent book out called ‘Dominion’ which I must confess does interest me, especially after hearing her interview with him on Christianity’s Modern Legacy.  She also spoke with medical historian Howard Markel about the history of vaccines Part I and Part 2. 

Rough Translation. I’m trying not to listen to much coronavirus stuff on podcasts. There’s enough of it in the newspapers and on the television news. But I was interested in The Coronavirus Guilt Trip which looks at how shame and stigma is being used to combat coronavirus. The first story, from America, sounded too precious and first-world-problemish for me, but the second and third stories were really interesting. The second story was from South Korea, where NPR’s correspondent explains the app that is being used there: a very obtrustive app which reveals far more information than I think Australians would be comfortable with on a publicly-available page, where you can see where the infected person lives, where they worked, when they worked, where they visited etc.  The third story was about Pakistan, where retrenched craftsmen and workers have begun assembling on a street corner with their tools, in order to distinguish themselves from beggars.

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