Podcasts, videos, and links to make you think
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Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain newsletter, the place to get podcasts and links that will make you think.

Some of my favorite podcasts this year have been four or five-part mini-series. This is a sweet spot that seems to work great and a trend I can get behind.

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Ok let's jump right into this delicious gravy for your ears.
How It Happened: The Next Astronauts
  • A five-part series (plus a prologue) from Axios about the first ever all civilian crewed space flight, SpaceX’s Inspiration4. 
Episode art by Sarah Grillo for Axios.
  • Don’t come for a critical look at SpaceX (listen to the next selection for that), but instead for behind the scenes access to the crew and the mission itself.
  • Yes, the entire thing was funded by a billionaire, but the three additional crew arrived via different means, none of which had to do with money. Hearing their experience is what made this a really interesting listen.
  • Netflix made a series about this too, and the trailer gives a good preview of the personalities featured in this Axios podcast.
  • Dr Sian Proctor is the most compelling to me for many reasons, but of course I really love that she makes space art. Favorites: this, this, and this

Elon Musk: The Evening Rocket—Iron Man
  • I remember becoming fascinated by Elon Musk around 10 years ago or so. He seemed so sober and visionary. I still love his companies, but boy has he gone off the rails lately when it comes to Twitter and his public persona. But his cult of personality is now for better or worse intertwined with his companies, so he's increasingly incentivized to act certain ways. 
  • This series continues to be an excellent inspection of Musk style capitalism, and this specifically details his dramatic public facing persona shift over the past 15 years. 

The Drive: James Clear—Building & Changing Habits
  • Saying that I liked Atomic Habits feels like some kind of massive cliche, but it's true. It’s a very readable and to-the-point exploration of how to change habits.
  • This is a great interview with its author that provides an excellent overview of all the good stuff. If you just want a helpful discussion around changing things in your life, all without hype or bluster, this is it. 
  • Dr Peter Attia is a satisfying interviewer who lets his guests speak and asks great questions. Most of the topics he touches on with other episodes go pretty into the weeds of medicine and longevity research, but it's always a delight when he explores more accessible topics like this.

The Allusionist: 145–Parents
  • These conversations will open your eyes to the difficulty trans parents have navigating the language of parenthood. 
  • In addition to lacking vocabulary, there is also straight-up medical misinformation and outdated laws they have to deal with. Most trans men have been told their whole life that they wouldn’t be able to give birth, which turns out not to be true at all. 
  • Helen Zaltzman is a fantastic host and interviewer as always, helping us become better wielders of language. 

Going Wild: Near-Death Experiences in the Field
  • This new podcast continues to be one of my favorites. 
  • Dr Rae has some amazing stories in the field from being a wildlife ecologist, and this collection of stories really aren’t an exaggeration for being “near-death experiences.”

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3 Things No One Ever Told You About Making Friends in Adulthood. This is from The Art of Manliness, and for whatever reason I always feel the need to put a disclaimer in that this is a great site and not at all a “guys only” thing. The category of some people being “hosts” and some “guests” is a helpful framework.

That's all for today. See you in two weeks!

For fun: It’s me, your mental illness

For fun 2: literally any podcast host asking their guest a question
P.S. For fans of visual creators, be sure to check out my other newsletter.
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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