Monday, December 21, 2009

Podcasts to keep you informed

I began listening to radio shows that were available locally (eg. Sunday Night Safran and Get This) in 2006. After Get This wrapped up in 2007 I visited podcast directories like and discovered Penn Radio (Penn and Teller made an impression on me when one of their specials aired on TV in the early 90's) and The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe. SGU was interesting enough to have me listen to their entire backlog dating from 2005 and I thought these guys cut to the core truth of all issues they covered, which they pretty much did because they only covered subjects like Homeopathy and Creationism in detail (all good). Through that I discovered an Australian skeptical podcast called the Tank Podcast, and its successor The Skeptic Zone. I was later to discover that the skepticism (loosely defined as the discipline of basing conclusions on the best evidence available at the time) is not applied to all fields and subjects. The skeptical community focuses on silly things like water divining, new age beliefs, perpetual motion etc. The skeptical lens is not turned on larger issues like the JFK assassination, the September 11 attacks, global warming, the case for mandatory internet filtering etc. The moon landing hoax theory for example is a safe sandbox for the skeptical community to occasionally play in, and also follows the pattern of shooting fish in a barrel.

Alternative Radio which airs locally at 1 am on a Sunday is locked away in a pay-only format but I record it on my PC with a component tuner and listen to it on my mp3 player. As mentioned in a previous post it led me to investigate the 9/11 conspiracy theory media (a reminder that behind the loaded term it just means a theory about people conspiring) which led me to a set of media I was not aware of before and wasn't topping the Digg podcast charts. Ever heard of Alex Jones, who has one of the most downloaded podcasts on the internet? Neither had I.
Alternative Radio is good but the real incisive lectures come along maybe once every month or two. NPR and Democracy Now is frankly too boring and esoteric even to an Americanophile like me. If you can get used to Alex Jones' style his show is a wealth of information, it's possible for me to listen to three hours a day and not get bored as he covers such a wide array of topics that three hours isn't enough to cover it all. Webster Tarpley of YouTube and Alex Jones Show fame has his own radio show.

Another podcast I happened to come across is the Global Research News Hour, I am becoming an increasingly frequent listener as the discussion goes quite in-depth which is uncommon on podcasts and radio shows.
Coast to Coast AM is usually fluff but perhaps has the most in-depth discussion of all as it is a four-hour program like Alex Jones' (three without commercials) so guests usually stay on for 2-3 hours. Through the Prison Planet forum I discovered The Corbett Report which is a one-man operation that gives ABC Radio National a run for their money.

Finally there is an Australian truly skeptical podcast that focuses on larger issues rather than staying in the shallow end and completely trusting the government and mainstream media like The Skeptic Zone. Truth News Radio Australia is hosted by a guy with a high-pitched voice (I was slightly perturbed when I first listened to it as I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman and the name Hereward Fenton didn't help). Once I established Fenton's identity I found it to be a good source of information and discussion from an Australian perspective.

I am a person who due to laziness tends to construct my views from second-hand information rather research it all personally and read large tomes. Why not rely on people who are a lot more informed than say a newspaper columnist, TV personality or a member of Parliament?
These latter hosts tend to research voluminously compared the the ones I discovered early on in my podcast listenership. I hope the reader happens to discover "the unreported world" (to borrow a doco series title) and learn the extent to which the world is run by crooks.

Podcast directory

The Alex Jones Show:
Podcast uploaded daily at The Pirate Bay
Podcast uploaded daily at Conspiracy Central (registration required)
Archive of sig_garrett's upload from July 2008 to July 2009
Podcast archive

World Crisis Radio
Official GCN podcast (make it commercial-free with mp3DirectCut)
Podcast uploaded weekly at The Pirate Bay
GCN Archive (includes commercials)

Lendman News Hour (formerly the Global Research News Hour)
Lendman News Hour archive
Republic Broadcasting Network archive (includes commercials)

Global Research News Hour
Global Research News Hour archive

Republic Broadcasting Network archive 2009 (includes commercials)
Republic Broadcasting Network archive 2008 (includes commercials)

Truth News Radio Australia

The Corbett Report

Coast to Coast AM
The Pirate Bay daily upload
Unofficial archive

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant/Karl Pilkington Show

Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant, creators of The Office and Extras started their creative partnership in the late 90's on a small London Radio network called XFM and after the sucess of The Office returned to do some more shows in the early 00's. They had a producer called Karl Pilkington who they quickly used as a substitute for coming up with material of their own, and became the focus of the show.

They did shows on XFM in dribs and drabs, switching to podcasts when those caught on around 2005 and continue to make them to the present day despite their turbulent relationship with Pilkington. It's some fodder for your mp3 player anyway if you watched The (original) Office and want more Merchant/Gervais material peppered with verbal abuse.

Download the XFM shows here.

Podcast Season 1 Part 1, Part 2
Podcast Season 2
Podcast Season 3
Podcast Season 4
Podcast Season 5

(In chronological order)

The Ricky Gervais Guide To... Medicine
The Ricky Gervais Guide To... Natural History
The Ricky Gervais Guide To... The Arts
The Ricky Gervais Guide To... Philosophy
The Ricky Gervais Guide To... The English
The Ricky Gervais Guide To... Society

The Ricky Gervais Guide To... Law and Order

If you've gotten through all those check out Pilkington's book Happyslapped by a Jellyfish. If you want to print it out on A4 paper try these settings on Foxit (which has better printing facilities than Acrobat).

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