Sound Desk

Blogmas 20: Podcasts – an update

You may recall that just over a week ago I posted about my commute and how I was planning to listen to a few podcasts over the four days I was heading to and from London. In fact, I chose ten to download and my thoughts on them are listed below! I had mixed success in listening – I listened to ten on my first day but when in a rush on my second day I bypassed podcasts in favour of the intensity of the Torchwood soundtrack to get me down the hill quicker. I also faced issues with being able to listen while walking down the busy A30 and in the bustling streets between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn, but on the trains they were perfect.

  1. Kicking the Kyriarchy – I actually didn’t listen to any new episode of Kicking the Kyriarchy over the week but it is still a podcast I thoroughly recommend. I really enjoyed the non-binary episode because it showed an issue in society I had never really considered before.
  2. No Such Thing As A Fish – The last podcast suggestion from my friend was truly terrible but No Such Thing As A Fish was incredibly good. There’s proper facts plus thoughtful discussion around the facts bringing up more facts and some sillyness. Also the music is amazing and I would listen to it on its own.
  3. GLAMOUR Presents: Hey, It’s OK… – I only listened to the episode about the top list of men, which was very good, however this podcast suffers from poor sound quality and was hard to listen to outside of quiet areas. Not greatly memorable but entertaining enough.
  4. The Heptagon Club with Paul Kerensa – Revisiting this podcast didn’t actually happen but I’m looking forward to hearing the Christmas special and the episode with Sally Phillips. The Miranda episode I also highly recommend.
  5. Terrible, Thanks For Asking – This was a really beautiful podcast. The author charts her own experience in the first episode and it shows a lot about grief and what comes after death. Strong subject matter but I highly recommend.
  6. Recycled Radio – Radio 4 does not disappoint and this podcast’s random nature makes it a good listen when you can’t necessarily hear it all because of background noise. The episode on Love and Marriage raises some interesting ideas about the relationship between David Cameron and Nick Clegg too.
  7. All in the Mind – I listened to the recent episodes on ADHD and Pathological Demand Avoidance (also including a segment on anxiety free comedy). Both were really insightful and captured my interest.
  8. The Listening Project – I only listened to one episode of this but it did what it said on the tin and was basically licensed eavesdropping. I can’t remember what was discussed but there were some interesting points.
  9. What’s The Craic on Radio Reverb – Brighton’s Irish radio show – If you are Irish, you will enjoy this podcast. I listened to the episode on Brexit and enjoyed it from a factual point of view, but wasn’t entirely convinced about listening to the rest of the episodes. However, I was intrigued to listen to the radio show and hear the musical choices alongside Irish chat.
  10. Scott Mills Daily – Scott and Chris were on top form as ever and it was good, easy to listen to, familiar chat.
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Blogmas 16: BBC News – “Forged rail tickets being sold on dark web”

A couple of months ago I came across an article from BBC News about the sale of forged rail tickets on the dark web, and in the midst of Southern Rail travel chaos now seems like a good time to look back at it.

It is undeniable that rail tickets are incredibly expensive for what they provide. Four days of commuting into the capital from just outside Zone 6 has cost me £17.20 a day, which is a 16-25 railcard price. That’s a total cost of £68.80 for a train that is perpetually late (the 8:23 arrived no earlier than 8:27 every single day). I was lucky to get a seat each day, but the majority of people after my station had to stand for the 30-40 minute journey.

Because of my railcard (supposedly) I also had issues getting through the barriers at the train and underground stations. Most of the time staff are around, but on my final day I struggled to find someone to let me through and almost missed my train. They also never asked for proof of my railcard, although probably because I look about 12.

It’s no wonder though that there’s a degree of money to be made in selling fakes. Not working in the barriers is no problem as they are indistinguishable at a glance from the real thing, and with prices over half of what you’d pay from a reputable retailer, there is a clear market of commuters and leisure travellers hoping to get a good deal.

You can read the full article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37800623. This is also a fantastic example of responsible investigative journalism – they didn’t name the company, so they don’t generate business for them, and they carried genuine tickets alongside the fakes. Well done to the BBC!

Sound Desk

Blogmas 11: Podcasts

Do not fear! This is not a shameless self promotion post! It is about podcasts but not about any of my own work – I’m talking professional, popular podcasts from iTunes. This week I am back at Create Productions for just under a week of work experience, which means a commute. A commute that nears two hours so a four hour round trip. Safe to say I’ve been looking for entertainment options for the journey, and it may be that this comes in the form of podcasts.

Podcasts are nowhere near a new thing – the first podcast I ever listened to was the Scott Mills Daily back in 2009. However, there has been an explosion of podcasts over the last few years and now there are podcasts on many a subject (including my very basic efforts based around my dissertation!) Far from just being the best bits of a radio show, there are now specially recorded podcasts from a variety of genres. Considering I have around 16 hours to kill on the train, I thought I’d try out a few this week:

  1. Kicking the Kyriarchy – This isn’t a new one for me but Insanity Radio Alumni Elena and Sidonie have a great Intersectional Feminism podcast and I haven’t managed to listen to all the episodes yet!
  2. No Such Thing As A Fish – From the makers of QI, this is the first suggestion I got from my friend when I asked for podcast suggestions so I’m going to try it out.
  3. GLAMOUR Presents: Hey, It’s OK… – I don’t tend to read Glamour but they looked like they had good guests and topics and my friend is interning there so I felt like it could be a good talking point.
  4. The Heptagon Club with Paul Kerensa – Another podcast I was already aware of but haven’t got round to listening to, by the amazing comedian Paul Kerensa and his friends – as soon as he got Miranda involved, I was sold!
  5. Terrible, Thanks For Asking – I mainly chose this because I liked the title. Plus how many times do we say we’re fine when we’re actually not.
  6. Recycled Radio – This looks like a cool use of archive material and comes from the pros of Radio 4.
  7. All in the Mind – Although I study history, the brain really intrigues me and I’m interested to see how much I can learn about mental health.
  8. The Listening Project – I’m a big fan of conversations so having a podcast full of the nations conversations seems like a wonderful idea!
  9. What’s The Craic on Radio Reverb – Brighton’s Irish radio show – This is a podcast from a friend from Coastway and I know very little about Irish culture so it should hopefully be enlightening as well as supportive!
  10. Scott Mills Daily – How could I forget my favourite and oldest podcast?! I’m going to mix a few old classics with Beccy involved with the newer episodes so I can both reminisce and keep up to date.

So there we are: ten podcasts, with links, that I am going to try out this week – I’ll fill you in next weekend on my opinions!