Podcasts, videos, and links to make you think
View this email in your browser
Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain newsletter. Every two weeks I send out a playlist of podcasts and other links that will make you think. 

First up, a new story for Podcast Review that I'm excited to share: The 15 Best Episodes of Reply All.

Also, I've gotten back into the groove of fitting in many hours of podcast listening throughout the week thanks to speed listening and listening during long bike rides. I was able to catch up on my favorite shows which is certainly reflected below (but I only recommend popular shows when they are really special).

Ok, let's get to it. 
Seriously America: Capital Punishment, Flawed and Discriminatory [website, Apple, Spotify]
  • "Seriously America is a podcast about the people, politics, and profits that form a system of oppression in America."
  • A new well-researched show with episodes that clock in under 15 minutes. This episode examines the role of race and bias within who gets put on death row and why.
  • "What we found is that the majority of people who are on the federal death row are black or Latinx and most of the death row, more than half of it comes from just three states- Texas, Missouri, and Virginia, which tells us that the system is arbitrary. We already knew the system was discriminatory and how you get to death row depends more on who the attorney general in the United States is at the time and who the local U S attorney prosecutor in the local federal district is than it has to do with what you actually did."
Red = origin of half of all people on federal death row.

Short Wave: Save the Parasites [website, Apple, Spotify]
  • An ode to those much maligned but vastly under-appreciated critters that are literally everywhere and represent 40% of animal species.
  • "Without parasites, our ecosystem would fall apart." 

SmartLess: Neil DeGrasse Tyson [website, Apple, Spotify]
  • An interview show with three celebrity hosts. Not usually my cup of tea, but those hosts are Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett.
  • Arrested Development was one of my favorite shows when it was on and anything that contains two cast members together pretty much guarantees I'll check it out.
  • There is an interesting premise where two of the hosts don't know who the guest is until they are recording. 
  • Hayes brings on Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who I love on podcasts, books, and TV, but not Twitter (just a general obnoxious vibe). 
  • Fantastic chemistry between the hosts and Tyson, and the show is tightly edited.
  • "Everyone, I think, should have their mind blown at least once a week." I might steal this line from Tyson for the tag line of this newsletter.

Nice White Parents [website, Apple, Spotify
  • A five-part series (four released as of this writing) from Chana Joffe-Walt and Serial Productions (now owned by The New York Times). 
  • There is a powerful force surrounding city public schools that are failing that is rarely discussed: white parents. 
  • Very well-done and thought-provoking. You still have time to catch up before the last episode comes out. 

The Anthropocene Reviewed: Monopoly and Academic Decathlon [website, Apple, Spotify
  • An astonishing history of the game Monopoly. Spoiler: the man who Hasbro says invented the game merely stole the idea from a woman. 
  • Do yourself a favor and also listen to the recent episode on Mortification and Civilization [website, Apple, Spotify]. The humiliating stories John Green shares are REALLY hard to beat.  

Planet Money: Big Rigged [website, Apple, Spotify
  • An excellent but horrifying look into what is happening in the world of long-haul trucking. 
  • It reminds me a bit of multi-level marketing, where the business model of some of these massive companies is to treat employees (or rather "contract workers") as the main source of revenue.

Radiolab: The Wubi Effect [website, Apple
  • Written Chinese characters have went through many existential crises over the decades because of how difficult it is to make them work on a keyboard.
  • The story of how China has dealt with this and is continuing to deal with this is absolutely fascinating (and more recently, troubling). 


Short video of the giraffe weevil [Twitter]. This gives a plump bumblebee a run for its money as an insect that almost falls into the adorable category (almost). 

The 15 Best Episodes of Reply All [Podcast Review]. 

Was there ever a comment/quote/observation someone said in a podcast that stuck with you that you remember years later? what was it and why? [Reddit thread]. 

What are your favorite podcasts or podcast episodes from the last 6 months? [Reddit thread].

CGP Grey was WRONG [YouTube]. A masterclass on how to take responsibility on getting something wrong. 

For fun: That was a dumb move wasn't it?

And for a Listory list with all the above links, click here.

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!

Hurt Your Brain Website
Copyright © 2020 Hurt Your Brain, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp