Podcast Recommendation

There are a number of podcasts on Vox that I have listened to, and The Land of the Giants is one of the better ones that I really enjoyed. The second season of 7 podcasts investigates the rise of Netflix and its influence on the movie and TV business. The first episode in the season is about the basics of how Netflix is run, and the next 6 are about the beginning of Netflix, its competition with Blockbuster (and how many people remember all the descriptions about getting videos at Blockbuster!) and then its rise as an independent studio, creating its own media offerings. Each episode is about half an hour, so its less than some other podcasts. I really like how they present the information. I was aware of the basics of the rise of Netflix, but this podcast gave a really good in-depth discussion about what Netflix did and didn’t do to affect that rise. The last episode is about the streaming wars, so it brings it up to the present day. This is the second season in the series, the first was about Amazon. I haven’t listened to that set of episodes, but I will catch up at some point. Overall, a really good podcast to learn about the rise of some of the big companies today. (The embed below is the introduction to the second season about Netflix. The link to Vox is here to listen to the full podcast, it is the second listed. You can listen to them on the Vox website, but realize that at the end of each episode the next one up goes backward, not forward. Not sure why they do that. If you want to listen on Spotify, here is the link.)

I Love Astronomy

When I was in college (the first time) I seriously thought about going into astronomy as a career. My main problem is that math is just not a great subject for me. It is possible that I could have really worked on that weakness, but I decided to go in a different direction. So all my interest in astronomy and space (honestly, I’ll keep up with most of the physical sciences, and half of the social sciences!) goes into reading about the latest discoveries, and occasionally pulling out my 6 inch Dobson telescope. I watch for the newest headlines in Science News magazine, which gives me a good overview of all the main disciplines. The latest updates on the Webb telescope, the planetary discoveries about Jupiter, Saturn, and exoplanets, and the information coming from the New Horizons spacecraft are all fascinating to read about. So I was excited to listen to a new podcast from the Vox website called Unexplainable. This was the intro podcast for a hopefully new series about different science questions. This one is quite good, so I hope they keep doing them. It is on the discovery and on-going questions about dark matter. If you haven’t heard about dark matter, it is one of the really frustrating questions that science is trying to figure out, but just hasn’t had any success answering yet. Apparently, the observations of the visible matter in the universe seems to indicate that we are missing more than we are seeing. This podcast does a good job of getting across the questions that make science both so very interesting, and also something that some people really don’t like or understand about scientific discovery. Most people really want a final answer, they don’t like the idea that there will always be more to learn, and sometimes that knowledge will completely change everything you thought you knew. But that is exactly what science does, it constantly asks questions. This podcast about dark matter really gets at that fundamental property of scientific inquiry, and as a bonus, talks about the woman astronomer who pushed the idea of dark matter to the forefront of astronomy, Vera Rubin. If you are at all interested, have a listen! (And look, I figured out how to embed a podcast, yay me!) If you prefer to read your podcast, here is the link for the Vox website. The text version does have some pretty nifty graphics and pictures.

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