Monday, February 20, 2012

Being a janitor in the information age

Being a custodian has some advantages in the age of information overload. There's more time to absorb that information when one is doing simple tasks such as mopping a floor. Radio can bring lots of learning to the ear while the hands and the eyes are employed in what some call mindless tasks. In this digital age, internet radio and the MP3 player brings vast choices to the discerning ear.

Here are some of my favorite sources of good discussion on the radio that I download for listening to later during my custodial shifts at night.

I download the shows to my computer and then transfer them over to my MP3 player. People with smart phones can probably just click on listen, if their smart phone is in range of a wireless, or cellphone source.

KQED in San Francisco has a show called Forum. Wide range of topics. Interviews many authors and others. Archived with good description and a photo for each episode. Archive goes back years. Show aired most weekdays.

KBAI in Bellingham. Progressive talk. I haven't listened to most of the network shows, but there is a local show on weekdays called The Joe Show. Hosted by Joe Teehan. Lots of guests from Bellingham and other areas. Archived for several months at least. Web page is a big long list of the show topics. It's a bit tricky in my browser. Click on the show you want and then a player pops up for listening. Rather than listen then, I click on "subscribe" and some code comes up (an RSS feed I guess). I find a file that ends in the extension .mp3 which is associated with the show title I want. Then I copy and paste that url into my browser's url bar. It then downloads. This is a bit tricky, but I've figured out how to navigate it.

The Diane Rhems Show on WAMU, Washington, DC and NPR. Round table discussion. This one's hard to explain how to get to the podcast, but I find my way there for it to download. Seems like the only show available is the second hour of the most recent show. I click on podcast at the bottom of the show page. All the shows are archived for streaming, but seems like only the most recent 2nd hour is available for podcast.

I also like NPR Science Friday for good science news. Easy to find the download.

Many other shows are available. Just takes some time and thinking to find them. Learning to be organized.

Having the time, without a lot of distractions helps. Like the advantage of being a custodian in the information age.

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