Monday, October 3, 2011

Almanac: something from Boston other than Rebecca Watson

I was working on a post, but just can't seem to get it to click at all.  It's not writers block.  It's a brain block.  I've decided to set it aside either to be posted another day, or join the dead post bin never to be seen.   Instead, I have a new podcast to recommend.   

Andy Ihnatko is a Boston based technology columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, a co-host of the TWiT network's MacBreak Weekly, technology pundit, and blog master at the Celestial Waste of Bandwidth (BETA) among other notable activities.  Mr. Ihnatko is pulling a podcasting Ryan Seacrest and is now doing another podcast on the up and coming 5by5 podcast network.  5by5 was created and is run by Dan Benjamin.  The network's newest effort is entitled "The Ihnatko Almanac."

Almanac is not a skeptical, rationalist, or scientific podcast.*  However, Ihnatko is nothing if not a geek's geek, and let's be honest skeptics rate quite high on the geek quotient.  Also, if you are thinking this is some sort of pro-Apple, Mac happy love-fest you would be quite wrong.  Ihnatko leaves his Apple talk for Leo Laporte.  Dan Benjamin leaves Mac talk to Philadelphia's own John Gruber.  In this show Benjamin is the sounding board for Ihnatko to weave his wonderful verbal tapestry on a host of topics near and dear to the Ihnatko's ample Bostonian's heart.  I believe the idea is for Ihnatko to focus on pop art, and see where things led from here.

There have only been two episodes thus far.  The first focus on comic books and in particular DC's reboot of its entire line of comics, which are now also all available for digital download.  The second episode focused on enjoying the work of a professional film critic, and in particular of film critiquing legend Roger Ebert.  The episodes clock in at under an hour a piece with the plan is to make it a weekly show.  Now I am well aware that there are only so many hours in a week to listen to the huge variety of skeptical/science podcast that are currently available.  The number is growing by the week.  However, sometimes it's nice to go on a tangent and listen to something a bit different, but still highly engaging.  Ihnatko's gift of thoughtful gab that is nearly always engaging making it nearly impossible for the listener's mind to drift.  It is even family friendly.  So give it a try, and if I had a rating scale I'd give it four spicy meatballs.

*Although I do believe Ihnatko is a friend or acquaintance of Dr. Phil Plait, skeptical superstar, if you must have some tenuous connection to skepdom to listen.


Recently, Karl Mamer has posted his latest Conspiracy Skeptic podcast which has me returning as a guest. This time around we discussed the alleged murder of John Paul I 33 days into his papacy.  Karl as always was a fantastic host.  Karl decided keep more or less unedited  the last twenty minutes of the interview where we just rambled and gabbed for twenty minutes. (Believe me, I am not gab gifted like Ihnatko.  As always my hat is off to Karl with a warm thank you.

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