Blog entries tagged with "podcast"

Skepticon in Sydney

Monday, November 20th, 2017 at 3:39 pm

I have just arrived home from a weekend up in Sydney for the 33rd Australian Skeptics National Convention, branded as Skepticon Australia.

It was a great weekend, so what were my highlights?

We heard from Britt Hermes of Naturopathic Diaries about how she became a nauropathic doctor, how she came to understand why that was a mistake and finally what she is now doing about it. It was a shame she wasn’t able to be there in person due to illness, but the video conference was the next best thing.

A panel on journalism featuring Kathy Marks, Marcus Strom & Fauziah Ibrahim gave some interesting insights into how journalists are dealing with the news these days. Of particular interest to me was the information from Marcus about – in his time at the Sydney Morning Herald – the level of tracking that occurs on a news website. They monitor every click and how much you read, plus things like constantly running A/B testing on variations of headlines to determine which is more clickable.

The session about War On Waste with Craig Reucassel, Stephen Oliver & Jodi Boylan started off teasing what we could expect to see in the upcoming fourth episode, but then went deeper building on the previous day’s panel. When can you advocate for one side of an issue versus straight journalism and how to balance education with entertainment.

The most powerful talk of the weekend was from Ruth Ellison (who I knew from perious skeptic and tech conferences as a as a user experience person and maker of laser cut jewelery), speaking for the first time in public about what it was like to grow up in and then leave a religious cult. The entire room was stunned to hear about Ruth’s experience, so much support from people later in the day and via twitter.

The other big thing this year was a number of live podcasts recordings (mostly in “the other room” so I didn’t go to them as I went to talks in “the main room”), but there was only one that I was even slightly aware of, and had never listened to. This is not unusual as there a lot of podcasts out there, but the striking thing was that quite a few people I spoke to were at the convention they listened to one of the podcasts (mainly The Scathing Atheist). The two recording in the main room that I watched were Cognitive Dissonance and God Awful Movies (by the same hosts as The Scathing Atheist). They were enjoyable but not quite my taste so I don’t think I will subscribe. I have queued up a couple of their older episodes to listen to, I will see how they are…

I think my next skeptics event like this will be the Surf Coast Skepticamp in February, but much sooner than that I have a technology event, the third BuzzConf in two weeks time…

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Listening to podcasts

Monday, February 22nd, 2016 at 9:05 pm

For the past year and a bit I have been listening to podcasts, either while commuting to and from work on the train, or while out for walks. I have known about podcasts for a long time, but it was the combination of having suitable idle time and the suggestion of two comedy podcasts that finally made me give them a go.

The list of podcasts I listen to has grown (and occasionally shrunk) over time, and there are some that I prioritise over others. Right now this is the list of podcasts in the app on my phone: (in roughly priority order)

  • I Love Green Guide Letters
    One of the two comedy podcasts that were suggested to me, great to hear stories from comedians, and there is also commentary about the letters.
  • The Little Dum Dum Club
    The other of the comedy podcasts that was suggested, some of the conversations can be quite serious and thought provoking, while others are hilarious.
  • The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
    A very popular podcast that covers a wide range of science/skeptic topics, recent news through to historical events/figures.
  • Geologic Podcast
    Usually a skeptical topic or two, but what I am really enjoying is the other topics such as music as that is something I wouldn’t normally be interested in
  • The Dollop
    Despite this being two comedians (one telling the other about something from American history), I was surprised by how much I was liking the historical aspect of this. The live shows in Australia where they covered some Australian history stories really showed how you don’t learn the horrible details at school.
  • Comedy Film Nerds
    This is now my preferred source of movie information, I find myself agreeing with their reviews. Plus the spoiler episodes either make a movie I have seen better or mean I don’t have to see it at all.
  • Probably Science
    Interesting discussion between the hosts and the guest, but also coverage of recent science news that is weird or interesting.
  • Don’t You Know Who I Am?
    This one is just fun, some unexepcted stories from the guest comedians.
  • Filthy Casuals
    I haven’t played games for a long time and only started listening because of The Little Dum Dum Club, but it also can be interesting (as well as funny)
  • Oh No Ross and Carrie
    Another skeptic podcast, Ross and Carrie go do the crazy woo things and report back on what they were like.
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage
    Funny and informative at the same time about some quite serious scientific topics.
  • Penn’s Sunday School
    Started listening because I am a fan of Penn and Teller, as well as Penn’s skeptical position. Interesting stories, sometimes science sometimes (US) politics.
  • Can you take this photo, please?
    Open discussion between Justin Hamilton and (usually) a guest, interesting hearing the background and experiences of these comedians.
  • TOFOP/FOFOP/Wilosphy
    I’m lumping together three Wil Anderson podcasts here, there are a lot I haven’t listened to, I pick out the ones that look interesting.
  • Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project
    I’ve been a fan of MythBusters for a long time, but it is only recently that a few of the topics caught my eye…
  • Steele Wars
    Another one I am selective about, while I like Star Wars, I’m not obsessed, so will check the description before listening. But the live reaction podcast after the midnight screening of Force Awakens (with Comedy Film Nerds) was worth it.
  • Stuff You Should Know
    I have a number of these in the backlog, for when I want to learn something but don’t need to be amused…

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