So I listen to podcasts. A lot of podcasts. One of the podcasts I’ve been listening to for the longest, uninterrupted, amount of time is from NPR called Pop Culture Happy Hour, wherein they discuss two subjects per week relating to something (as the name might have suggested to you) pop culture related. Often it’s a movie (or a genre of movie), a TV show, sometimes books, sometimes comic books. Sometimes the topic is a bit more nebulous than those things, instead being about a season and how pop culture relates to that, or maybe a segment on voice acting, or maybe they talk broadly about TV musicals.
You get the idea.
One segment they’ve had from the beginning is at the end of each episode, the hosts list one or two (maybe three) things they’ve come across that week which has tickled their fancy. What I like quite a bit about this segment is that it often alerts me to something I hadn’t heard of before, and might not have otherwise.
I really like that idea. What I like most is that in what appears to be an age of internet outrage, it’s a nice little reprieve just to celebrate some fun, and often silly, things that are bring joy. And I like that.
So, in my completely unabashed borrowing of their idea (I don’t think they’d mind), I’m going to start doing that myself. Every week, a little blog post with one or two (maybe three) things that I’ve come across that I’ve enjoyed this week.
#1 – The Secret History of Hollywood
Speaking of podcasts, this is another one I’ve been listening to for a while. Not for the faint of heart, these are absolutely exhaustive episodes on a specific point in Hollywood history. By exhaustive I mean, 5-9 hour episodes on topics such as sex in film in the pre-code era, a history of the rise of Warner Brothers, a nine hour three-part episode on Alfred Hitchcock and his life.
Adam Roche is the host, producer, and writer, and the episodes are so stylish and wonderfully put together it’s hard for me to imagine he has no formal training in audio production.
But my absolute favourite episode is A Universe Of Horrors – a seven hour documentary on the rise of not just Universal Horror (although definitely focused on that), but also highlights the rise of the horror genre within film. I have listened to this episode four times (that’s all together more than a full day I’ve dedicated to listening to this one episode) and I will be listening to it again.
#2 – Denali Kennel Puppycam
A troupe of little puppies was born to one of the sled dogs up in Denali National Park, and they put a webcam on them. They’re still only a few weeks old, but getting more active every day. Need to watch some cute puppies wag their tails so hard they fall over? Me too.
#3 – The Milky Way Project
I love going to Zooinverse and participating in the astronomical projects they have going. The Milky Way project was one of my favourites, went down for a while so the project team could procure more photographs, and it just came back up recently. This project is so cool, no only because you get to look at stunning astronomical images (which I love so much I made a pattern inspired by one), but the images classified are actually used by the science team to learn about star formation. It’s like an interstellar scavenger hunt that you get to participate in.