Audio Pod Chronicles
Interviews on the Arts, Politics, and Technology
13 Obama & JFK I didn't think much of a criticism that Gary Hart made about Obama in a recent podcast interview with Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review.  But it roused me to prepare this consideration of Obama in light of John F. Kennedy's leadership during the Cold War. And  I did agree with most of what Hart had to say in his Times review of Obama's The Audacity of Hope.

I can't say enough good things about the three-part podcast from which I excerpted audio on JFK and the Cold War.  I found it on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "The Best of Ideas Podcast" hosted by Paul Kennedy.  The web site says the links won't be up permanently, so grab them soon if you're interested.  Here they are:  Part One, Part Two and Part Three.

"Going to the Sun" by Montana musicians Christine Dickinson, Janet Haarvig and Matthew Lyon is from the Glacier Journey CD.  Used by permission.

Direct download: 13_JFK_and_Obama.m4a
Category:Politics -- posted at: 6:22pm EDT

12 Uncle Bert's Secret for Success My uncle Bert Tighe in 1963 began a new water works supply business, Ti-SALES, in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  He and Aunt Edna this morning talked about the single quality which seems to have led to that company's current success: the refusal to quit.  We also heard from Peter, my cousin who worked for the family company for 18 years, and Kevin, who is now president. 

I remember when Uncle Bert's office was in the basement of their house, and we kids had to be quiet around the stairway, because he was working hard down there to get his new venture going.  Now the company employs 29 people and has annual sales of more than $20 million.  It's a great story of the value of persistence and the wisdom of figuring out new ways to do things when the old ways won't work.

Music for this episode is "Until Dusk" from "When You're There" by Frank  LoCrasto, courtesy of the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) Promonet.
Direct download: 12_Ti-Sales.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 12:16am EDT

11 Winken Blinken and JetBlue Every time I fly the JetBlue red-eye from Denver to Boston, I hope I will sleep.  This week, I armed myself with a geeky audio eyeshade from Brookstone and a horseshoe pillow made of space-age material, and I interviewed several fellow passengers in Denver, asking for their sleep tips.  The result was maybe an hour of sleep, or was it an hour of simply tossing and turning in a row I had all to myself?  In any event, I'm still looking for ideas on how to sleep on planes.  Feel free to add your own  suggestions!

The photo is from JetBlue's Flickr photos, taken on the company's first flight to Tuscon.  The music is “Seven Days of Falling? by Esbjorn Svensson Trio, courtesy of IODA Promonet.
Direct download: 11_Travel_Tips.m4a
Category:Travel -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

10 Wally Walk On a visit to Hartford, I thought I was following in the footsteps of Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), the renowned poet, on the two-mile walk he took each day from work at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company to his home at 118 Westerly Terrace.  In the way of poetry, things didn't turn out the way I planned, and my walk ended up being as disorienting and oddly satisfying as a difficult Stevens poem.

To listen to Stevens reading "The Idea of Order at Key West," click here, courtesy of the Academy of American Poets.

"In an Instant" from the CD Make or Break by Incognito courtesy of IODA Promonet.
Direct download: 10_Wally_Walk.m4a
Category:Travel -- posted at: 9:33pm EDT

9 Book Review: The Varieties of Religious Experience Last night I finished reading The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (at right in photo, with his brother the novelist, Henry James). 

In this book review, I describe how the book inspired my own variety of religious experience, and I offer some musings about what James's approach implies for the religious landscape in America 100 years after he delivered the 20 lectures on which the book is based.
Direct download: 9_Varieties_of_Religious_Experience.m4a
Category:Books -- posted at: 12:18pm EDT

8 Alternate Routes: Living with ADD My sister's partner, Tim, talks about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and the type he has, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), in an interview this morning in a quiet corner of the Radcliffe campus in Cambridge, Mass.

Show Note Links:

The Hoffman Institute

The Hallowell Center

Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.

Delivered from Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.

Direct download: 8_Tim_on_ADD.m4a
Category:Interviews -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

7 Book Review - 'Pass it On' by AA World Services 'Pass It On' is the authorized AA biography of co-founder Bill Wilson.  It's a well-told story of the early days of AA, making it clear that this program for recovery from alcoholism did not drop from the sky. It developed in quirky ways, influenced hugely by the personalities of the co-founders. 

This podcast opens and closes with a bit of seasonal music, "We Gather Together" as sung by my family yesterday at our Thanksgiving gathering here in Cambridge, Mass., at my parents' home.

I am going to try posting new episodes to these Audio Pod Chronicles each Monday and Friday.  On Wednesday I will upload an episode of my video podcast, Mile High Pod Chronicles.  My most recent videoblog episode is "Joy of Great-Grandparenting," starring my grandson James and my parents, who happen to have the same names as AA's first couple, Bill and Lois.

Direct download: 7_Pass_It_ON.m4a
Category:Books -- posted at: 4:12pm EDT

6 The Practice of Zen This is the full audio interview I did two days ago with Danan Henry Roshi, my Zen teacher who is spiritual director of the Zen Center of Denver.  You can see the video version at Mile High Pod Chronicles.
Direct download: 6_The_Practice_of_Zen.m4a
Category:Zen -- posted at: 12:03pm EDT

5 The Alexandre O. Philippe Show Alexandre O. Philippe, a Denver film maker who is a friend of mine, has an 11-minute short in this year's Denver Film Festival. It's titled Left and it portrays, without a single word of dialogue, a deep sense of loss of a loved one.  At tonight's screening, I happened to sit down next to two stars of Alexandre's last feature-length film, Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water, and they agreed to a quick interview.  Earthlings is a documentary of an institute devoted to preserving the Klingon language created for Star Trek.  The podcast concludes with excerpts from Alexandre's introductory comments for Left.  After the movie, I recorded an interview with Marilyn Auer, who stars in Left, but my unfamiliarity with my new Edirol R-09 recorder led to the painful discovery that I hadn't actually been recording when we spoke.
Direct download: 5_The_Alexandre_O._Philippe_Show.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 12:59am EDT

4 The Lives of Others If all the rest of the movies I see at the Denver Film Festival stink, I will still count the festival a success because of "The Lives of Others," a German film released this year about a Stasi agent responsible for spying on a writer and his friends in the mid-1980s in East Germany.  The agent becomes moved by the artists and this poses complications which unfold in a terrific plot, acted to perfection.  The photo is of Gerd Wiesler, the Stasi agent played by (Ulrich Mühe).
Direct download: 4_The_Lives_of_Others.m4a
Category:Movies -- posted at: 11:51pm EDT