Archive for March, 2015

March 26, 2015

Allusionist: Mountweazel

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a listener, Eley Williams, asking whether I know that dictionaries contain false words, to act as copyright traps.

I DID NOT KNOW.

So I got Eley on the phone for the latest Allusionist, which left me very disAllusioned about dictionaries, let me tell you. Episode is at theallusionist.org/mountweazel.

Also, if you have a moment, could you do Radiotopia a favour and fill in their survey? You listeners know quite a bit about podcasters, but we know very little about you; hopefully if we can find out, we can make our shows better for your ears. And, you stand to win a delightful pair of wooden Tivoli headphones, worth over £100; so either way, your ears will win. Trot along to surveynerds.com/allusionist, please and thank you.

March 15, 2015

cricket dolls

My brother Andy is over in Australia and New Zealand at the moment, covering the Cricket World Cup for CricInfo.

You may notice that in some of his videos he is playing with dolls. Not Barbies – dolls of historic cricketers W.G. Grace and Fred Spofforth. Where does one obtain dolls of historic cricketers W.G. Grace and Fred Spofforth?

The same place one obtains dolls of Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Plant and Tony Benn.

As soon as I’d finished making them, they were stuffed in a suitcase and flown to Australia, so I don’t have very good photos showing the details, but the materials were felt, white bedsheet, and yarn – WG’s beard is knitted in garter stitch. Here’s one man and his dolls:

cricket dolls Andy

And here are the LADS enjoying themselves at a match:

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March 11, 2015

Allusionist 6: The Writing On The Wall

New Allusionist is out! In this episode, exhibition-maker Rachel Souhami reveals the work that goes into the text panels accompanying exhibits at museums – and that only 30% of visitors read them. I read them, Rachel! (Though admittedly when I’m abroad and the text panels are written in a language I don’t know, I feel slightly relieved not to feel the obligation.)

Perhaps my favourite thing about making The Allusionist is finding out about something I had no idea about. Rachel is fascinating, and I’ll never approach an exhibition in quite the same way again.

Full details and listening links are at theallusionist.org/museums, or have at it right here:

March 2, 2015

despatches from the podcasting frontline

A bunch of things about podcasting:

1. I’ve just booked in the next podcasters’ meetup – Monday 9th March from 6pm at the Carpenter’s Arms. Come along if you’re a podcaster or fancy becoming one. All are welcome. And don’t forget to join the Podcasters’ Support Group on Facebook for virtual support and encouragement for your audio endeavours.

2. I’ve done several interviews about podcasting this year, and they all came out in the past few days:
2.i. The women of Radiotopia and Invisibilia talked to Ravishly about equality in podcasting and radio – there are some great mic drops in the piece, which is HERE.
2.ii. I talked at very great length to The Timbre, which is a great site if you’re interested in podcasts at all. If you’re interested in my own thoughts about them, the piece is HERE.
2.iii. I had lunch with the brilliant Caroline Crampton of the New Statesman. She is a lot more interesting than me; sign up for her newsletter. The interview with me is HERE.

3. I’m really happy and excited to see the emergence of several interesting sites devoted to podcasting in the same way that people have been critiquing music and film etc for years. As well as the aforementioned Timbre, Nick Quah’s Hot Pod newsletter, and the charming Podcast Pillowfort podcast. If you’re podcast-interested, get stuck in.