Bees In A Pod With Rob Beckett
So How Clever Are Bees Anyway?
Bees are such lovable creatures that the first scientist to ever perform a fecal transplant on a bee chose to dedicate his professional life to the honey-making insects despite being deathly allergic to them. This is just one of many bewildering facts to be found within BBC Sounds’ Bees In A Pod, wherein comedian Rob Beckett tries to get people to care about our world’s disappearing pollinators. This week, Beckett is joined by CEO and Apidae expert Gill Perkins, who explains just how vital these insects are to food production. If they were to disappear, Perkins explains, the cost of labor to manually pollinate flowers and plants would be astronomical. Comedian Travis Jay is also on hand to act as a bee skeptic. His distrust of the insects stems from a painful childhood encounter that soured him on the creatures. His feelings change, however, when Perkins explains that a male bee’s life consists only of sex and getting drunk on nectar, which greatly impresses the now converted Jay. This is a textbook making-learning-fun podcast that delivers on its premise and might just inspire listeners to get involved in bee conservation, or at least watch some hive removal videos. [Anthony D Herrera]
Helga: The Armory Conversations
If you haven’t caught opera singer and multidisciplinary artist Helga Davis’ podcast, Helga: The Armory Conversations, produced by WNYC and Park Avenue Armory, you are in for a revelatory encounter. Davis sits down with the most famous artists of our time to talk about the why and how of their careers, what they are trying to touch, what they find to be important, and what moves them to make. This episode features performance artist and author Karen Finley, who was brought into the zeitgeist by Finley v. NEA, a legal case in which the artist challenged the decency provision in government-funded grants. Finley and Davis are arguably vanguards of the NYC art scene, and the curiosity they each hold for each other makes it clear why. It’s more of a gentle, meandering conversation than an interview; Davis discovers questions that Finley has never been asked, and it’s juicy. Listeners are treated to an unflinching look at the ’90s Village artist movement, thoughts on what it means to be censored, and the reasons that joy and play are important, even when you’re sticking it to the man. [Morgan McNaught]
Love Is A Crime
Former film critic and Hollywood historian Karina Longworth is back in the podcast game, once again retelling some oh-so-sordid stories from Tinseltown’s early years. This time around, she’s not doing it on her beloved You Must Remember This program. She’s joined forces with Vanity Fair for a 10-episode saga on the marriage of film noir beauty Joan Bennett (played here by Zooey Deschanel) and movie producer Walter Wanger (Jon Hamm), a turbulent union that reached its toxic crescendo when Wanger shot Bennett’s agent/side dude in the testicles in 1951. Of course, the first episode has Longworth (who shares narrating duties with filmmaker Vanessa Hope, Bennett and Wagner’s granddaughter) starting at the beginning. The young Bennett grew up in a family of actors, including alcoholic, gun-wielding stage-actor dad Richard Bennett and older sister/fellow screen siren Constance Bennett, with whom Joan would later compete for roles. After two failed marriages, she’d begin again with Wanger, who went after challenging films—and women—with the same vigor. While they made several pulp tales together (including the movie the episode is named after), their pulpiest moment is yet to come. [Craig D. Lindsey]
Hosted by Court Dunn, Writer Experience is one of the premier podcasts focused on writing as a career endeavor, and in this episode, some of the best pieces of advice that Dunn has managed to extract from a variety of interview subjects have been consolidated into 45 minutes of gold. From novelists to agents, to film and television professionals, and more, Writer Experience truly does manage to cover all the different facets of the experience of a career writer, no matter the medium or approach. Guests such as Paul Vidich, Carol Edgarian, Kate Hope Day, and many more all share their inimitable insight, and it’s fascinating to hear a number of familiar themes echo across the excerpts—remembering that writing is an act of generosity, the importance of reading as much as writing—all without being repetitive. Presented by the Flickering Myth Podcast Network, Writer Experience is a can’t-miss for anyone who wants to make writing a part of their lives. [Jose Nateras]