A thing to listen to

For the first week of this idea I think I am going to recommend something that I have recently started listening to. Its the podcast version of WNYC’s Radiolab, a show from NPR. I am not sure how many NPR channels actually carry it so some people may have never heard of it and others may not have listened to an episode. The thing is that I have and I really like this show, or podcast.

There are really two episodes that really got me to think that I had made a good decision when I decided to subscribe to the podcast. The first was an episode about color. The thing that got me intrigued was how they answered a question that I had when I heard the subject. I wanted to know how the hell they were going to cover the topic of colors without being able to show things visually. Well they answered that question in two ways. The second half of the episode was used to cover subjects about color where the verbal description of the object gave you enough to go on.

Now the first half of the episode was where they did the most interesting thing. It actually came in on the second story where they covered how we see a rainbow. Well actually it was how many different creatures saw a rainbow. They were looking at how our eyes compare to other eyes. Which when they were talking about any of it you couldn’t see how they could explain it without video. Though there was a point where they get into the area of vision that we can’t perceive, so they were discussing a part of vision that would be difficult to cover even on video.

But their fix was to substitute one sense for the other. Because both sound and light are both waves it was an interesting idea to take a choir and have them sing the differences in vision. Each color that can be seen was assigned a different area of the musical spectrum. For example when they discussed a dogs vision you had only two major voices that could be heard since dogs can only really see blue and green (another thing I learned during the show). So, as the amount of colors that could be seen by a creature the more voices you heard. I will say that the sound that accompanied the creature with the widest range of color vision is just amazing to hear. Sends me into kind of a nice bliss point.

Oddly enough bliss was the topic of the other episode that really enraptured me. (cheesy transition I know but it worked, I hope.) Now this one is different from the other one in that it is more of the usual kind of reporting that you can find on the show usually. I fear that a remark like that sounds more boring than I would like. There is a style to there story telling that can enrapture you and let time slip by as you listen to their stories. This one stood out to me strictly for the subject matter again. The idea of making an hour long program about something as hard to define as bliss is in itself intriguing to me. And the wide range of topics that you can cover under that original heading is amazing once you listen to it. The fact that they could find things like that make me want to see what else they explore.

So I enjoy this podcast and if this sounds interesting I hope that you will check them out. If you aren’t doing anything major this weekend maybe check out one of these episodes. Or just check out their website and find something that suites your taste in topics. And always thank you for reading.

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