Pick of the podcasts: Nov 1

Notable podcast episodes from the past week. Plus an in-person events calendar.

Top of the Week

lena dunham
Lena Dunham: Girl talk
“Girls” phenom Lena Dunham is riding a wave of publicity surrounding her new projects: a new show on HBO, paperback release of Not That Kind of Girl, a newsletter called “Lenny,” and a new podcast. Listen to her catch up with an old college pal on Longform play-video-button [25 mins – starts 4:45].

Brand New Podcasts

punk band spraynard new yorkerPop-punk Spraynard
Cryptographers decipher a secret transmission from outer space in The Message, a sci-fi serial narrated by Nicky Tomalin and sponsored by GE. play-video-button Series intro [1 min] … Actress-producer Charlize Theron joins host Sophia Amoruso for the inaugural episode of #girlboss radio play-video-button [23 mins] … “Is it evil?” asks host Ben Brock Johnson on Codebreaker, which probes a new tech subject each week play-video-button Preview [1.5 mins] The New Yorker Radio Hour mixes interviews, profiles, storytelling, and humor, hosted by the magazine’s editor David Remnick. Its debut play-video-button [55 mins] features author Ta-Nehisi Coates, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and pop-punk band Spraynard. … Women of the Hour (see above) from Lena Dunham, is produced by Buzzfeed. play-video-button Preview [1 min]

Short Takes

Song Exploder deconstructs Chet Faker’s love song, “Gold” play-video-button [17 mins] Loh Down on Science finds unexpected benefits of chewing gum play-video-button [2 mins]

Deep Dives into News

FBI chief James Comey weighs in on Hard Data Behind The ‘Ferguson Effect’ from On Point with Tom Ashbrook play-video-button [45 min]Slate’s Political Gabfest takes up the third Republican primary debate, the Obama-Boehner budget deal, and the violent arrest of a South Carolina high school student.play-video-button [55 mins]


dan rather the truth
Dan Rather: Truth?
Here’s the Thing host Alec Baldwin talks with Dan Rather about his CBS News career and the George W. Bush Texas Air Guard episode revisited in “The Truth,” a new movie with Robert Redford playing Rather play-video-button [46 mins] … On Fresh Air, feminist icon Gloria Steinem talks to Terry Gross about aging, abortion and her memoir, My Life on the Road play-video-button [48 mins] … James Taylor settles in with Marc Maron in the WTF garage play-video-button[80 mins – starts 12:30].

History, Arts and Ideas

hidden brain fearJust in time for Halloween, Hidden Brain explores The Science of Fear play-video-button [21 mins]99% Invisible discovers the origin of moist cookies that keep forever in War and Pizza play-video-button [20 mins] … Jessi Klein, head writer for Inside Amy Schumer, comments on selections from A Few Words About Breasts, a 1972 essay by Nora Ephron. From Esquire Classic Podcast play-video-button [44 mins]


tom hanks in bridge of spies
Tom Hanks, regular-guy spy
Pop Culture Happy Hour considers Bridge of Spies And The Long, Varied Career Of Tom Hanks play-video-button [50 mins]Slate’s Culture Gabfest ponders super aliens, a weird, dark TV musical, and a Melville short story. play-video-button [56 min]

In-Person Events

October 29 – New York City – Pop-Up Magazine at BAM Harvey Theater, co-hosted by Jad Abumrad of Radiolab, featuring creators of Buzzfeed’s Another Round, Gimlet’s Sample Size and a lineup of multimedia storytellers, with music by Magik*Magik Orchestra.

November 16 – New York City – Slate’s Superfest on Broadway, 7p.m. at Town Hall, 123 West 43rd St. in Manhattan, will feature personalities from Political Gabfest, Culture Gabfest and Hang Up and Listen. Doors open 6pm. Afterparty at 9pm. Details and tickets here

Daily updates for special interests …

  At the Movies
  Chefs & Foodies
  Talking Books