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Adolescence is a marketing tool

This is a newsletter for podcast lovers. Every week, you will get five (or more) recommendations for great audio shows. Expect a mix of old and new, of tech and media, of culture and music and of course, of random silliness.


Decrypted tries to find out what Trump’s tweets mean for Twitter and for democracy, diving deep with two former Twitter employees who should have at least some of the answers.
01/25/2017 Who knew counting a crowd would be so… political? If the election felt contentious, the inauguration seemed to make the country even more divided, between "us" and "them." After crowds gathered on the Washington Mall for President Trump's inauguration and the Women’s March the following day, Only Human looks at what happens to us as individuals when we become part of a crowd. We look at the crowd psychology behind Donald Trump’s rallies, the crowd dynamics in anti-Trump protests, and ways to stay safe in a crowd. Here's a video of tips from a crowd management expert we spoke to, Paul Wertheimer.    Animation by Nate Milton
How political can crowds be? An investigation by Only Human.
01/18/2017 Sarah Short remembers being 19 years old, staring at the bill from the hospital where she gave birth to her daughter. It added up to about $10,000. "There's the anesthesia, the hospital stay, and the doctor—and I just laughed," she tells me. "I was like, 'I can't pay this.'" Sarah had health insurance, but it didn't cover obstetrics. And she'd waited too long into her pregnancy to apply for Medicaid. She felt guilty about bringing so much debt into her new marriage—she married her boyfriend right before her baby was born—and when the bill went to collections, the dollar amount climbed even higher.  "I would just get so overwhelmed and I would be like we're never going to be able to get out from under this," Sarah told me. "And it felt like it was all my fault." So, she started researching ways that she could make money to pay off her bill. She tried to sell her eggs, but says she wasn't what the clinic wanted in an egg donor. "But you're a great candidate for surrogacy," she remembers being told. Soon after Sarah filled out an application at a surrogacy agency, she met the parents she'd be working with—a lesbian couple who turned to surrogacy after years of trying to adopt. Sarah ended up having twins for the couple, although this pregnancy and childbirth were very different from what Sarah went through giving birth to her own children. "When my son was born I looked at him…and it was a huge profound moment in my life that I remember," Sarah says. "When the twins were born they didn't look like me, and they weren't mine. I wanted them to get to their parents." Even after giving birth, Sarah's work wasn't over. For several months, she pumped breast milk for the twins, which she also got paid for. Still, she's careful when she explains how much money she made from surrogacy: around $40,000. "I'm always reticent just to tell people just a flat number because it sounds so high and it sounds like I sold these babies for this amount of money," she says. "When in actuality I had a part-time job for two years." That part-time job helped Sarah pay off her medical bills and make a down payment on a new house. She describes her life today as "a life that I could have never pictured for myself a few years ago." But when Sarah recently tried to become a surrogate again, she realized that the process might not go as smoothly the second time. "Why is this not working? This doesn't make sense," Sarah told me. "It felt like I'd been fired, because I'd had this thought of, I have this job, I'm gonna have this income, and then I didn't." 
Sarah was 19 years old when she had her daughter. The bills from her hospital stay added up to about $10,000. She didn’t know how to start paying off her debt. So she became a surrogate. Sarah’s story, on Death, Sex & Money.
01/23/2017Some people are super-stoked for the political changes that are coming. We hear from them. And others.
I rarely recommend This American Life episodes because we all know how great the show is and I would end up putting an episode or two in here every single time. But today I had to, once again: This episode about the aftermath of the election is just too good. Who are the people who are super stoked? Who is living in fear now? Listen, really!
01/20/2017Charlie Brotman announced every inaugural parade since 1957, and was fired by Donald Trump's team in 2017. Brotman told Jacob Brogan about how his work at the parades have changed over the decades, and about some of the tricks he used to keep the crowd's attention. In a Slate Plus Extra, Charlie Brotman reads an announcement about the history of different kinds of inaugural parades. Start your two-week free trial at slate.com/workingplus. Email: working@slate.com Twitter: @Jacob_Brogan
Charlie Brotman announced his first inaugural parade in 1957. He then announced every single one after that. Until 2017, when Trump’s team fired him. A look back at the inaugural parades of the past 50 years and the things Charlie has learned from them, on Slate Working.
01/17/2017 Today, more than 45 million Americans live in poverty. The problem has been addressed countless times since the nation’s founding, but it persists, and for the poorest among us, it gets worse. America has not been able to find its way to a sustainable solution, because most of its citizens see the problem of poverty from a distance, through a distorted lens. So we present "Busted: America's Poverty Myths," a series exploring how our understanding of poverty is shaped not by facts, but by private presumptions, media narratives, and the tales of the American Dream.  Brooke traveled to Ohio, a state that reflects the varied nature of poverty, to talk directly with people who are poor and understand how they got that way, and why, under current policies, they are likely to stay that way. You'll hear from them over the next several weeks. But first, we examine how the story of poverty gets told -- and whether media attention makes any difference -- with the help of Jack Frech, a longtime Athens County welfare director who has been leading reporters on "poverty tours" of Appalachia for decades.  “Busted: America’s Poverty Myths” is produced by Meara Sharma and Eve Claxton, with special thanks to Nina Chaudry. This series is produced in collaboration with WNET in New York as part of “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.” Major funding for “Chasing the Dream” is provided by the JPB Foundation, with additional funding from the Ford Foundation. Songs:  "Ec-Stacy" by Jess Stacy "Gavotte in A Minor" by Matthew Camidge, arr. by Andy Boden "Youkali Tango-Habanera" by Kurt Weill; performed by the Armadillo String Quartet      
Busted is a five-part series by On the Media about America’s poverty myth. Brooke Gladstone travels the country, looks at history and talks to experts about welfare, poverty and money in the United States.
01/27/2017We take a close look at Trump's tweets now that he's president. Can he make official policy statements on Twitter? And does that dictate government action? We explore the pros and cons when a president has a direct line to the people. This episode is co-hosted by Post reporter Abby Phillip and features interviews with Rutgers professor David Greenberg, former Obama digital strategist Laura Olin, data scientist David Robinson and former Rand Paul digital strategist Vincent Harris.
Can He Do That? is probably the most adequately named politics podcast, by the Washington Post. The first episode is called Can He Tweet That? and yes, it’s about Trump’s tweets. I really like this format and am excited to see where it goes.
01/27/2017 For nearly three years, we’ve been following Patrick and Steve and their attempt to adopt their foster daughter, and no other story we’ve done has generated as many emails from you, wondering how it all worked out. Today you will finally know. You can find out more about Patrick Hinds and his podcasts at www.theaterppl.com.
Strangers has reported on Patrick and Steve and their foster daughter for nearly three years. I’ pretty sure that I have mentioned the Two Men and a Baby episodes here before. And a couple of days ago, a new episode dropped, where we finally find out what happened to them – and what the name of their daughter is.
01/26/2017 Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) has been called "Silicon Valley's most feared and well-liked journalist" by New York Magazine. Here's just one example: you can graph the impact on Yahoo's stock price by various posts by Kara. That's just the tip of the iceberg. She attended Georgetown's School of Foreign Service prior to changing course to journalism. It turns out many of the skills that would make a good spy are those that make a good journalist: developing sources, asking good questions, scenario planning, and much more. She forged her reputation at the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and now she spends the majority of her time as Executive Editor of Recode and the host of the Recode Decode podcast. Over the last 11 years and alongside Walt Mossberg, she has also co-produced D: All Things Digital, a major high-tech conference with interviewees such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and many other leading players in the tech and media industries. In this podcast episode, she and I cover a lot of subjects, enjoy quite a few laughs, and dig into details you can readily apply and test yourself. Topics include: The art and craft of good questions Lessons learned and favorite moments from interviewing Steve Jobs What separates good from great journalists War stories, missed opportunities, and "optimistic pessimism" I hope that you enjoy this episode with Kara Swisher! Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast. This podcast is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, "If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?" My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. Listeners of The Tim Ferriss Show get $100 worth of travel packs for free when placing an order -- that's twenty free additional travel pouches -- at AthleticGreens.com/Tim. This podcast is also brought to you by MeUndiesDoes this year’s Valentine’s Day have you stumped? Skip the cliches and give a gift that looks great, feels amazing, and makes everybody happy: MeUndies. MeUndies knows that your special someone deserves a special fabric, which is why their underwear is made exclusively out of MicroModal, a fabric three times softer than cotton.  I’ve spent the last six months wearing underwear from these guys 24/7, and they are the most comfortable and colorful underwear I’ve ever owned. If you don’t love your first pair of MeUndies, they’ll hook you up with a new pair or a refund. They offer free shipping and, for a limited time, listeners get 20% off their first order. Just go to MeUndies.com/tim. That’s MeUndies.com/tim.  
After being able to interview the great Kara Swisher myself (still in awe of her), I’m devouring every interview she gives anywhere else. Like on the Tim Ferriss Show. Even if you are not interested in tech and reporting, this is a great interview to listen to.
01/16/2017 We follow one woman’s quest to get better coffee in her office, a process that culminates in a companywide taste test. Plus we ask experts whether caffeine actually makes us more productive. Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.
Complaining about office coffee, the one thing that we all have in common (or do we? Actually, our office coffee is really good. But I remember the days of bad office coffee and I feel for you). One woman tried to get better coffee in her office, by having an ultimate companywide taste test. Which coffee won? Find out on The Sporkful.
01/17/2017Prolific writer Roxane Gay joins Angie to discuss her collection of short stories, Difficult Women; Madonna; and her forthcoming book, Hunger.
Roxane Gay is a (inter)national treasure, as you can hear on this episode of Lit Up.
01/16/2017 Solange Knowles released her first album in 2002, at the age of 16. Her third album, A Seat at the Table, came out in September 2016, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. It’s gotten widespread critical acclaim, including being named album of the year by Pitchfork and by Vibe. In this episode, Solange takes apart the song "Cranes in the Sky," which began back in 2008. songexploder.net/solange
SOLANGE! Cranes in the Sky, explained in detail, on Song Exploder. Loving it!
01/14/2017Low cost, functional and brilliantly efficient, an Ikea Billy bookcase rolls off the production line every three seconds. There are thought to be over 60 million of them already in service. Few could find the Billy bookcase beautiful. They are successful because they work and they are cheap. And – as Tim Harford explains in this fascinating story – brilliantly boring efficiency is essential to the modern economy. The humble Billy bookcase epitomises the relentless pursuit of lower costs and acceptable functionality. Producer: Ben Crighton Editors: Richard Knight and Richard Vadon
50 Things that Made the Modern Economy is a podcast with really short episodes, just 8 minutes or so. And as I’m about to move, how could I not listen to the one about the Billy Bookcase? Disclaimer: I own two of them.
01/03/2017American democracy may be far from perfect, but is there another system that's better? We want to know how you would makeover the U.S. government, and we'll enlist experts to tell us if your changes would make the country a grand utopia, or bring about a revolution.
1A is a new politics podcast by NPR and WAMU (the title is inspired by the First Amendment). This episode is about the political system of the US: Is there a better one? What could a makeover look like? Host Joshua Johnson talks to experts as they try to figure this whole thing out.
12/20/2016Ashley Ford has no strategy for authenticity. She just is who she is. In this episode of Oh Boy, the writer, editor and speaker tells host Jay Buim of her childhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As a child, she felt as though her thoughts didn't matter. But later, a teacher who saw Ford hanging around the hallways, doing the usual teen nothingness, changed her life. She said, "While I'm here working, you need to read an article in the newspaper and write something inspired by it." That lit a match under Ashley Ford which propelled her to where she is in this very moment. Want to know just what that means? Great. Headphones, press play and enjoy. Want more Ashley? @iSmashFizzle Want more Jay? @beardwizard Edited by Jay Buim Produced by Kate Barnett
Ashley was also on Oh Boy by Man Repeller (already in December but I only listened to it now) where she talks to Jay Buim about the importance of great teachers and Oprah as an inspiration.