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.

Happy Easter everyone! 

Just published in the Bello Collective a guide around podcasts and homeschooling, with some great places to start. Would love to hear from any other pandemic parents out there trying to mix things up with audio.

Ok, just a few podcast recommendations to start, but they are good ones.
The Constant: Suck and Blow [a history of a farcical science that never took off].
  • I'll just leave the episode description here because it's a perfect summation of this wild ride: "Everything you've ever learned about physics, chemistry, astronomy, and even biology, is wrong. That was the conclusion reached by Alfred Lawson, major league pitcher, avionics pioneer, populist political leader and the founder of the stupidest university ever: The University of Lawsonomy."
  • This needs to be made into a movie.
  • I was able to see host Mark Chrisler perform this episode live at Sound Education and it was such a treat. 
  • I haven't listened to it yet, but I've heard more positive things about The Constant's five-part Foolkiller series than I have about any other show recently.

Flash Forward: The Very Big Sick [a prescient look at our current situation].
  • Flash Forward explores possible futures. Episodes start off with a few minutes of excellent audio fiction to set the stage, followed by interviews with experts.
  • This episode focuses on our preparedness for a pandemic. It's from almost TWO YEARS ago and is SCARY in how prescient it is. Here is a quote from the voice-over setting the stage for a possible future in 2033:
  • "Quarantine facilities around the country are struggling with the infection rate of S11, which has been spreading rapidly. Just yesterday, President Mandel officially declared a national emergency, but spokespeople for these medical facilities say they’re not getting enough support. Without enough space or resources, they’re turning away infected individuals who are contributing to the spread of S11.”
  • The episode also contains Ed Yong, who wrote a piece back then called Is America Ready for a Pandemic?, and is the author of one of the most read articles in our current times, How the Pandemic Will End
  • This episode is not just a fun curiosity on how close they were, but is genuinely still informative. It covers other pandemics including the Spanish Flu better than anything recent I've listened to.
  • One nice tidbit on why it takes so long for vaccines: Think of vaccines less like a manufacturing plant pumping out millions of vials and more like growing a crop.

The Adventures of Memento Mori: New Orleans [New Orleans explored through the lens of death]. 
  • I love shows that have a 99% Invisible of X type vibe. So I'll go ahead and dub The Adventures of Memento Mori as the 99% Invisible of Death, meant as a complement.  
  • This episode feels part travel show. The thought of traveling was surprisingly uplifting instead of depressing during this lockdown. A nice escape.
  • Memento Mori is something that serves as a reminder of the inevitability of death.
  • is the show's website. I'm into the message of this show and love the show artwork.
  • I'll be checking out several more episodes because it's well done and intriguing.

 A Survival Guide For Parents: Introducing Podcasts Into Homeschooling [Bello Collective].
  • Hot off the presses! An argument for why podcasts are great for incorporating into homeschooling and some strategies for making it work.
  • When crafting this picture, our son said, "What! Why are there headphone on the books? That makes no sense!" He just doesn't understand fine art I guess.

Plague Doctor Costumes [The Public Domain Review]. 
  • "In the seventeenth century, during the epidemics of bubonic plague that swept western Europe, plague doctors (who exclusively treated the infected) took to wearing a very different kind of costume to protect them from the miasma, or “bad air”, then believed to carry disease." 

Podcast Review [podcast recommendation newsletter].
  • Podcast Review is a channel of the LA Review of Books and has great podcast recommendations and reviews. Their newsletter just kicked off and it's been great so far. Sign up for it here.

Don’t trust the psychologists on coronavirus [Unherd].
  • "Where they try to be counter-intuitive — for instance, arguing that people are wrong to find a global pandemic frightening — they simply end up embarrassing themselves, or worse, endangering people by having them make fewer pandemic preparations." 
  • A damning look at the poor messaging from famous psychologist who in the month leading up to the pandemic. The author is a psychologist himself and argues they should stay in their lane. 

I don't know, Timmy, being God is a big responsibility [sci-fi short story].
  • If you have been watching Devs (and you should if you aren't), this quick short-story is a fun one and will be a nice holdover until the finale next week.

Flow State [newsletter with daily "focus" music recommendations].
  • If you like to listen to music that helps you concentrate while writing or getting something creative done, you will love this. These recommendations have been an amazing change of pace compared to the drab "focus" type playlists within Spotify. Sign up here

158,962,555,217,826,360,000 (Enigma Machine) [YouTube].
  • A truly fascinating and satisfying explanation from Numberphile on how the Nazi Enigma machine worked.

For fun: I honestly didn't know these things existed.

As always, check out all the newsletter links in one spot in a wonderful Listory list.

Ok, time to watch Westworld. What an absolute improvement over last season IMO.

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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