Worth A Listen: Top Audio Tracks for July 20, 2013

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Photo courtesy SXC.

Weathering the Storm: A History of Extreme Weather
Maybe you have to come from “tornado alley,” where I grew up, to appreciate the stories behind extreme weather and how Americans have coped with it over the years. This edition of the Backstory radio show/podcast stitches together several tales about storms and their aftermath, including the downside to being a successful rainmaker, how people in snowy climates dug out before the advent of snowplows, and where Americans went to see disaster “movies” before motion pictures were invented. What I really love about this show is that it demonstrates Backstory’s greatest strength – the ability take a historical topic that could be (pardon the pun) dry as dust and infuse it with a rich factual narrative.

Voicemail Memories | Everything Sounds

Everything Sounds probes the way in which sound impacts our lives. In this episode, they report on a project that collects memories about objects and places by having callers leave anonymous messages about them. The richness of the associations between the callers and their objects, as well as the incredible range of emotion expressed in the voices of the callers, is the real attraction here.

A short segment from KCRW that does a good job of exploring the quirky side of a counterculture creative. Conal, known for frowning portraits of powerful politician, began adding images of owls to his wife’s stunning iPhone photos of sunrise and sunset. A good example of looking beyond what is expected to find a more complete picture of their life.

Guinea Pigs | The Memory Palace

Nate DiMeo crafts a sonically well-designed meditation on the creatures who have been sacrificed to advance scientific knowledge, especially in the early years of the Space Age. From fruit flies to dogs to monkeys, you will come to care about these critters, long since passed into animal testing heaven, more than you ever thought possible.

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