Psychiatry and Second Life
This podcast is a tour of the Virtual Hallucinations building on Davis Island in Second Life. The building simulates what it is like to suffer from the auditry and visual hallucinations associated with schizophrenia. I walked round the building in the company of the researcher behind the project Professor Peter Yellowlees. It's a very disturbing place to visit, but an effective illustration of the potential of virtual words. While it's impossible to know what it is like to suffer from schizophrenia unless one has the condition, this building is a good approximation, based upon actual patient testimony. It must be a tremendous help to psychiatrists hoping to better understand the affect of the illness on the way their patients view the world. Even hallucinations rendered in the crude visuals and audio of Second Life were very disorientating and not a little distressing.
The audio was recorded via Skype through a mixer with the audio output from second life routed through the PC's soundcard while skype was routed through a separate soundcard plugged into a the PCMA slot..enabling me to control the level of the audio halucinations while talking to Peter. Both outputs were put through a physical mixer enabling me to send a mix-minus back to Peter.
Kevin and Suw Year in Review
A podcast that features two good friends shooting the breeze about what happened in the "blogosphere" in 2006 and what's likely to happen in 2007.Kevin Anderson is the Guardian's Blog Editor and Suw Charman is a top social media consultant and blogger. Among the topics discussed: The future of User Generated Content, Time's Person of the Year and are we facing Irrational Exuberance2.0
A guide to recording audio
When I started in radio most of the kit was prohibitively expensive for the home enthusiast, now free digital editing software, and an abundance of cheap and very good mic's bring the whole audio production game within the reach of just about anyone with a home PC. To highlight some of the different ways you can record broadcast quality audio without spending a lot of cash I joined up with Paul Parkinson of Podcast User Magazine. More details on what we used to record here. There's a version without idents on the internet archive here incase you want to spread the good word yourself. Otherwise you get exactly the same thing plus bonus bad music and husky voiced ident via the link below
Podcast: Philosopher John Stewart Mill's 200th
In this podcast I become for 30 minutes a genuine pub philosopher, as philosopher and blogger Jonathan Derbyshire and myself discuss the life and times of the British philosophers John Stewart Mill who celebrates his 200th anniversary this year. Our venue appropriately enough was the Jeremy Bentham pub in London just across the road from UCL. I believe it's the only pub in the city named after a philosopher and it's an appropriate venue as Bentham was in many ways the godfather to Mill's own theories. Although he lived 200 years ago, Mill's theories still have great currency in modern political debates. In our conversation we covered everything from The World Cup, to the Danish Cartoon Controversy and, of course, nude rambling.
Podcast: At The Media Forum
I'm at the Podcast Day of The Media Forum conference Cologne and pleased to be meeting with podcasters Nicole Simon, Thomas Wanhoff, CC Chapman and Ewan Spence. I'm wearing my "radio" hat and it will be interesting to see how German broadcasters view the revolution that is sweeping over us. But I'm even more keen to find out about the German podcasting scene.
UPDATE: I've cut together some interviews with podcasters recorded at the forum. Shorter versions will run on "pods and blogs" The music was written in Cologne airport, where the fire in Turkey necessitated a long delay..
Podcast: Britain's First Degree in Comedy
Britain's first comedy degree has arrived. It's the brain-child of Dr Chris Ritchie of Solent University and while some wags in the press have sneeringly refered to it as a "joke degree" from my interview with him, he seems committed to exercising the minds as well as the comedic talents of his students. As I say in the podcast, if Aristotle regarded comedy as a fit subject for inquiry who are we to argue.
Simon Toon of the excellent Slam Idol podcast came to visit me at work, and recorded a soundseeing tour. He even persuaded me to read a poem..and now I feel rather like the victims of the producers of a "girls gone wild" video...surely this will come back to haunt me when I'm president.
It was a very useful chat I had with Simon. His cast is a collaborative production with so many different poets recording pieces for him, you might almost call it "distributed podcasting" A very powerful idea.
Going Underground Podcast
Back in California I was propelled from LA to B (via OC) by the miracle of engineering that is a 10-year old beige Honda Accord and everywhere was either 20 minutes or 2 hours away from everywhere else depending on the traffic.
Now I'm back in a city with a functioning, and an historic public transportation system, The London Underground. As well as taking me to and from work, the Underground has, briefly, been the focus of my work the past couple of weeks. First there was an interview with Geoff Marshall about variant Tube Maps (listen here), recorded for the Big Belly Crew (see below). Now exclusively, and only on Pocket Planet Radio..Annie Mole,the blogger behind one of the world's best City Blogs, Going Underground, talks about The Tube, the Wapping shaft, and Bumper Harris. (and yes it was IKB's dad Marc who designed the Rotherhithe tunnel.. I know..I know..)
An interview with Freesound's Bram de Jong
Freesound is just a wonderful website. It's part of a project by Bram de Jong which aims to teach computers to recognize sounds. As an off-shoot of the research Bram has created a website in which he uses googlemaps to geo-tag some of the sounds in the large freesound database. Clicking on the tagged sounds is like sending your ears on world cruise. Knife sharpeners in China and Spain, musical cactii in Australia, lawn-mowers in the Netherlands the whole world is there for you to listen too.
This interview with Bram ran in a truncated form on the pods and blogs segment on BBC Radio Five Live. But this podcast has added "bonus features" including the sound of dolphins and the sound of my apartment...how exciting! It was recorded using Googletalk - all the pops, wheezes, distortions and other odd noises are the product of my ineptitude as a sound engineer and no reflection on the freesound archive.
2005 in Podcasts and Blogs - plus a lobster
This was my New Year's Day. 0001PT 1/1/06 began unpromisingly with a long wait at the taxi rank in LAX, inhaling petrol fumes, trying unsuccessfully to find a comfortable way to sit on a soft suitcase. It was a depressing crawl towards midnight as the waiting line shrank slower than the waning year. But having arrived home, downed a welcome glass of whiskey and so to bed, new year's day itself went rather better - a risotto with a fine lobster, a lobster perfectly in the pink one might say, a splendid thing, glowing in its complicated armour. Before this one went under the hammer "her-in-doors" immortalized him in pencil (see pic). It's not every lobster that is sketched lying in state by a genuine Hollywood animator.
Much of New Year's night was spent, however, preparing for Monday's radio segment, chiefly cutting together a montage of the year in podcasts. To avoid all this effort effervescing into the ether as is the way of all radio I've included it in a podcast of the year along with a re-run of the interview with Tim Worstall about his book 2005 Blogged. There's more from Tim in the pods and blogs segment here (link valid until 9/1/06).
The intro music for the podcast is a new piece I've called "Reversal" (non-commercial use with attribution OK download here). A guitar track failed to go with the drums again (must buy a better sound-card so the sequencer runs without latency) but it survives in this piece as the carrier wave that shapes the vocoded "weird birds" and lead synth sounds.