Podcasts, videos, and links to make you think
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Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain newsletter, a collection of podcasts and links that make you think. If you like to learn on the internet, you are in the right place.

I want to start off by apologizing to all the podcast producers and sound designers out there. My listening time has been pretty reduced as of late so I've resorted to listening to shows faster then usual. I used to be the type that could only listen at normal 1x speed, and only, sometimes, maybe at 1.2x if it was a long panel show or interview. But lately, I've been basically listening at a minimum of 1.5x and sometimes 1.7x. I know, I don't even know who I am anymore either. 

I still feel like above 2x really pushes the ability to comprehend effectively, but give me two months and who knows. 

These are my current relationships with different listening speeds:
I don't know why but it just feels wrong. But also so right. Like I have been punishing myself needlessly in the past.

Anyway, happy Father's Day to everyone out there. Now on to some fantastic, thoughtful internet content.

Radiolab: Octomom
  •  Little is known about deep sea Octopuses, and even less is known about their mating and egg laying habits. This changed ever so slightly when a deep sea submersible was making regular dives where an octopus mother was protecting her eggs.
  • I really don’t want to say more as to not take away from this delightful listening experience.
  • But I will say if you like a good Radiolab science episode about the natural world, this is for you.
  • Annie McEwen reports and is joined by the recently retired (but occasionally not retired) Robert Krulwich. 

Hi-Phi Nation
  • I spent the better part of this week catching up on this season of Hi-Phi Nation. The theme is crime and punishment, and honestly it’s been fantastic.
  • It’s a well-thought out narrative around how certain policies and practices within policing, the court system, and prisons form a complicated web of unintended consequences. An extremely timely series of episodes.
  • I honestly recommend simply downloading all of season 4, instead of pointing you to a single episode.

It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders: Trump v Nixon on Race — Why 2020 Isn’t Quite 1968
  • Sam Sanders and guest Adam Serwer discuss the comparisons being made between now and 1968.
  • An interesting argument from Serwer is it might be more useful to make comparisons to 1868 rather than 1968. This is because today’s progressive party draws its power from a multiracial coalition, just like the post Civil War Republican Party attempted to do.

The Daily: The History and Meaning of Juneteenth
  • This past Friday the 19th was Juneteenth, which celebrates the day in 1865 a Union army general arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the freeing of slaves. 
  • This was well over two years after the emancipation proclamation from Lincoln.

The Tim Ferriss Show #436: Books I’ve Loved — Maria Popova and Tyler Cowen
  • This is part of a series of short episodes where one or two guests at a time simply talk about books they’ve loved.
  • It’s a simple concept and cuts right to the chase.
  • Maria Popova from recommended three books that all sounded fantastic. Her last one is now high up on my list: A Madmen Dreams of Turing Machines by Jana Levin.


How We Are Going to the Moon. A short video from NASA that is incredibly well done and will get you hyped up about our future in space. 

I'm looking for a chronological podcast about American history. A thread on Reddit that has some great book recommendations in there too.

New (for me) Podcast newsletter to check out:

wilt. Get five podcast/audio recommendations every Friday from Radiolab producer Bethel Habte. It's lovely so far and subscribe here.

The 150 Best Podcasts to Enrich Your Mind. A great list from Open Culture.

9 Terrific Podcasts by Trans and Nonbinary Creators. Another great list, this one from Podcast Review.

Hundreds of tongue twisters. One that gets me every time: Willy's real rear wheel. And here's the list of all the other included languages. 

Seeing Science: An Illustrated Guide to the Wonders of the Universe. A great illustrated science book that has been fun to go through with my kids. I was amazed to learn of the Corpse Lily and the Corpse Flower, two are the largest flowers in the world (absolutely massive) that both use the smells of dead flesh to attract insects. 

For fun: yeah fuck those stringy bits man

Also for fun: check out the animals being bros subreddit for delightful fun. 

Also, Also for fun: I blasted through Avatar: The Last Airbender now that it is on Netflix. I had never seen it but man, what an incredible show. 

That's all for this week!

Connect with me @erikthejones on twitter and if you've learned anything interesting, please forward this link to any curious natured friends or family so they can subscribe. Many thanks!

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