[Simblified] Ep. 141: Ever Wonder how we predict the weather?

Ep. 141: Ever Wonder how we predict the weather?

08/07/2019 by IVM Podcasts

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=75361117
Episode: http://traffic.libsyn.com/simblified/E141Simblified.mp3?dest-id=359939

So, yeah, the weather in Mumbai isn’t all that great (or is full of romance, petrichor, and other nonsense, if you don’t need to travel by public transport). Anyway – we frequently criticize the MET for getting the weather wrong. But they get it right most of the time, and it’s pretty darn difficult to ask given that literally anything in the world could change the weather. It was a meteorologist who coined the phrase ‘butterfly effect’, after all. Chuck and Srikeit look at how the weather is predicted and look back at some ways our ancestors used to do so. Your hosts (and Twitter / Instagram handles) are Chuck (@chuck_gopal / @chuckofalltrades), Srikeit (@srikeit, @srikeit) and Naren (@shenoyn, @shenoynv). You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcasts app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app. You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

Listen Date: 2019-09-13

Notes: none. Tuned out.


[In Our Time] Lorca


04/07/2019 by BBC Radio 4

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=75096649
Episode: http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/6/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p07fyxbn.mp3

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), author of Blood Wedding, Yerma and The House of Bernarda Alba, who mixed the traditions of Andalusia with the avant-garde. He found his first major success with his Gypsy Ballads, although Dali, once his close friend, mocked him for these, accusing Lorca of being too conservative. He preferred performing his poems to publishing them, and his plays marked a revival in Spanish theatre. He was captured and killed by Nationalist forces at the start of the Civil War, his body never recovered, and it’s been suggested this was punishment for his politics and for being openly gay. He has since been seen as the most important Spanish playwright and poet of the last century.


Maria Delgado
Professor of Creative Arts at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

Federico Bonaddio
Reader in Modern Spanish at King’s College London


Sarah Wright
Professor of Hispanic Studies and Screen Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Listen Date: 2019-09-12 to 2019-09-13


  • It’s always tempting to say that any In Our Time subject that you’ve never heard of before is Melvyn Bragg diving into the abstruse, but after the closing segment on Lorca’s legacy; and after reading the Wikipedia pages and seeing how many adaptations Lorca’s work has had, I’m genuinely wondering why I had never heard of him up to now.
  • The House of Atreus, which was a happy guess at this year’s Askqance, popped up again as a comparison and possible inspiration for Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba. But reading the Wikipedia pages of both, I don’t really see the connection.
  • The segment about Lorca being in New York and Cuba during the depression era, and being disapproving about capitalism and greed driving out love, made me roll my eyes a little and think of Deirdre McCloskey snarking at the clerisy and at Bohemian operas.
  • I had a similar reaction, too, to the discussion of Lorca and his family being landowning socialists. Nice compromise if you can swing it.
  • Also learned that Dali and Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou might have been making fun of Lorca. And that in retaliation Lorca made his own A Trip to the Moon.
  • Dali comes across as a complete asshole in this episode. But I’m not sure Lorca wasn’t the same.


[EconTalk] Arthur Brooks on Love Your Enemies

Arthur Brooks on Love Your Enemies

08/07/2019 by EconTalk: Russ Roberts

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=75384594
Episode: http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2019/BrooksAenemies.mp3

Economist and author Arthur Brooks talks about his book Love Your Enemies with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Brooks argues that contempt is destroying our political conversations and it’s not good for us at the personal level either. Brooks makes the case for humility and tolerance. Along the way he discusses parenting, his past as professional musician, and the challenges of leading a think tank.

Listen Date: 2019-09-13


  • I went into this episode with some skepticism, even cynicism, born from experience that the argument that people should give space and respect to their opponents is usually made with an agenda of victim playing or ‘Other people should respect me.’
  • The episode wasn’t as bad as I feared, and tried to talk in as general terms as possible; but I feel that even that short of both-sides approach made it less credible than it would have been with an approach of ‘Yes, respecting your enemies is hard, and this is the way I try to do it anyway.’ Tea With Alice is bloody good at that sort of thing.
  • Frivolous observation: Arthur Brooks. #othersdont
  • One of my main worries about this episode is that everything Arthur Brooks cited is faff-business-school-or-leadership-research that could be overturned five years down the line.
  • Eventually I ended up being less cynical about Arthur Brooks’ argument being ‘Why don’t people respect my argument’, and more about his claim that everything he needed to learn to run a think tank, he learned from being an orchestra musician. It’s possble, of course, but what if Brooks simply stopped learning after leaving the orchestra, and doesn’t even know what else he needs to run a think tank that a music career didn’t teach him. I realise this is more of a nitpick over language and framing; and that his music insights are pretty good in their own right.
  • The neuroscience of habits comes up again, slightly after I read Atomic Habits.
  • The viola player joke, and what it says about vanity and approval seeking; could have been an episode in itself, one I would have thoroughly enjoyed.
  • After reading The Theory of Moral Sentiments, I’ve been maintaining that vanity is the real deadly sin, and that pride is okay. But this episode challenged that comfortable belief, and reminded me that both pride and vanity can be destructive in their own way. This ties up with both Deirdre McCloskey’s Bourgeois Virtues; and how sins are untempered or excessive virtues; and with the Granny Weatherwax / Oats conversation from Carpe Jugulum: ‘He said that it is through other people that we truly become people.’
  • The line about envy being the only deadly sin that isn’t even fun, was very nice.
  • I would really like to know more about Russ Roberts’s gripe with Aristotle.
  • In fact, this whole episode was full of asides that were more interesting than the main discussion:
    • habits, addiction, and reprogramming your behaviour
    • Aristotle
    • the dark side of seeking approval
    • dignity
  • On admiration being a virtue – if you propose that admiration is expressed as gratitude, then this ties up with the Thanks a Thousand episode.
  • The minimum wage segment seemed as though Russ Roberts was veering into self pity.
  • Which takes us full circle: is there a dividing line between pity and contempt?


[Our Fake History] Episode #91- Why Deny the Moon Landings? (Part I)

Episode #91- Why Deny the Moon Landings? (Part I)

03/07/2019 by ourfakehistory / Entertainment One (eOne)

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=74967994
Episode: http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/ourfakehistory/Episode_91_-_Why_Deny_the_Moon_Landings_Part_I.mp3?dest-id=367678

As we near the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission many have started to reflect on the legacy of the moon landings. However, in 2019 it’s hard to discuss this amazing human achievement without mentioning that it has also been the subject of one of the most tenacious and widely believed conspiracy theories. As the moon landings move further into our collective past do they risk becoming labelled “fake history”. Tune in and find out how Nazi scientists, farmers meeting a spaceman, and Buzz Aldrin punching a guy all play a role in the story. Part 2 of this 3 part series will launch on July 16th. Want to learn more about the moon landing? “Make it to the Moon” uncovers the unsung heroes of the moon landing and premieres on Discovery Canada on Sunday, July 14th at 9PM. https://www.discovery.ca/Shows/Make-it-to-the-Moon Follow the link to buy Our Fake History merch! T-Shirts, hoodies, phone cases, and more! http://tee.pub/lic/uMwK1v_jUC0

Listen Date: 2019-09-16


  • Fiction this episode reminded me of: Michael Chabon’s Moonglow; and Warren Ellis’s comic series Planetary. Both because of the focus the episode had on Wernher von Braun, and less so because of moon landing conspiracism.
  • This episode mentioned books that I now want to read: The Dark Side of the Moon, The Right Stuff, and I think there was another which I’ll have to listen to the episode again to check. And of course, The Right Stuff was touched upon in less than complimentary terms by Flash Forward when talking about disability in space.
  • I learned about how Eisenhower was secretly thrilled when the USSR launched Sputnik while the rest of the United States was in panic; because Eisenhower realised that nobody raising a legal issue about Russia being in space over their territory meant that a precedent was set for the United States to do the same. I wonder if the dynamic is comparable to gold rushes – or, in a more sinister analogy, the Scramble for Africa.
  • The prestige of technological progress rubbing off on impressions of the associated ideology is also touched upon, in slightly more detail, in a Tea With Alice episode I started (but didn’t finish) between listening to this OFH episode and blogging the annotations. So I guess I’ll be listening to the Tea With Alice episode with much more attention now.
  • Our Fake History takes an awful lot of time to set the background, and sometimes that’s a brilliant thing, giving you lots of happy little nuggets in the background itself. In this topic – eh, it hasn’t worked all that well.


[Simblified] Ep. 140: NBFCs and their part in everyone’s downfall

Ep. 140: NBFCs and their part in everyone’s downfall

01/07/2019 by IVM Podcasts

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=74800728
Episode: http://traffic.libsyn.com/simblified/E140Simblified.mp3?dest-id=359939

Join your Simblified hosts as they sniff around to find out what ails NBFCs and indeed, what NBFCs do exactly. Find out how bad the mess is and how it got so. And suffer some bad puns and jokes along the way

Listen Date: 2019-09-12


No notes, I barely paid attention during my commute.

[EconTalk] Adam Cifu on the Case for Being a Medical Conservative

Adam Cifu on the Case for Being a Medical Conservative

01/07/2019 by EconTalk: Russ Roberts

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=74823278
Episode: http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2019/Cifumedicalconservative.mp3

Physician and author Adam Cifu of the University of Chicago talks about being a medical conservative with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Cifu encourages doctors to appreciate the complexity of medical care and the reality that many medical techniques advocated by experts are not always beneficial or cost-effective. The conversation explores the challenges of finding reliable evidence to support medical interventions and the inherent uncertainty surrounding outcomes.

Listen Date: 2019-09-10


  • I’m getting a little tired of EconTalk healthcare episodes. They just seem to drag out the same points over and over again.
  • One thing that did stick out, however, was the triangular trade-off Cifu talked about – a new therapy’s benefits, side effects, and costs; and how a small improvement in benefit or small reduction in side effect was often accompanied by a massive increase in monetary cost.
  • This raises the possibility that pharma companies or device manufacturers being ripoff artists is the optimistic case. In the worst case, we have already hit the point of diminishing returns of medical benefits to money spent as a general rule; and the pharma companies are being sincere. Yuck.