JeremyCherfas / Eat This Podcast

There are fifteen people in JeremyCherfas’s collective.

Huffduffed (529)

  1. History of Inventions: PowerPoint

    We take PowerPoint for granted. It's as much a fact of life as concrete. Or rainy afternoons. But it hasn’t always been here. It has a story. And once you’ve heard it, you’ll never look at PowerPoint the same way again.

    Those old enough can remember the world before PowerPoint. A world where presentations were done on overhead projectors or 35mm slideshow carousels. In 1985, in the US alone, people made over 600 million 35mm slides and more than 500 million overhead transparencies. Large companies had departments dedicated to producing them.Robert Gaskins, the inventor of PowerPoint, had a vision of how computers could produce these slides and transparencies more efficiently, and eventually consign them to the dustbin of history.

    Russell Davies is our guest today and author of Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint. He’s here to tell us that the inventor of PowerPoint, Robert Gaskins, is the tech hero we should all have.

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  2. Van Morrison’s Cosmic Accident | Open Source with Christopher Lydon

    Van Morrison’s Cosmic Accident

    In the annals of rock music albums, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks is one of a kind. In an earthy medium, it’s a masterpiece of abstraction.  Indecipherable. Irresistible. Influential. Accidental, it seemed, from the first licks in a Boston studio, in the crisis year of 1968.  It comes back 50 years later from an imagination beyond time or place: murky fables of love confronting death, lyrics unlinked from the riotous news of its day. Built on misty memories of Belfast, Van Morrison’s home town in Northern Ireland, Astral Weeks was one 23-year-old castaway’s field day with jazz men, a brave stab at a soulful pop hit. It rings today with the authority of high art and the passions that make music.

    The making of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks album is the story of a mystical document from the realm of the miraculous. Van Morrison was a young Irishman on the loose and impatient in Boston and Cambridge 50 years ago. He had the full catalog of Irish tenors and black American blues singers in his head, John McCormack to Lead Belly. Then suddenly in March, 1968, he was live in a studio, not with a band really but with jazz players who barely knew one another, or their leader. Morrison had no tunes or harmonies written down, no instructions for his players. But then “a cloud came along,” said the recording engineer, “and we all hopped on… and we landed when it was done.” This is a cult classic of art being born, or made, when nobody knew quite what was happening. The story is wonderfully retold in book form, with a Boston accent, by the writer Ryan Walsh

    Ryan Walsh—author of the new book, Astral  Weeks: A Secret History of 1968—got hooked on Van Morrison’s poetry, then his chords, then the puzzle of why he couldn’t stop listening. This winter, he took us on a tour of Morrison’s Boston. We began at Ace Recording Studios, just off Boston Common on Boylston Place, were the birthpangs of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks were first heard in demo form. 

    John Payne was one of the sidemen on Astral Weeks—the flute player who’d just dropped out of Harvard in 1968. He brought his flute and soprano sax over and shared his memories of playing with Van. In the decades since, he’s been a band leader and sideman for many headlining acts, including Bonnie Raitt and Phoebe Snow. Today, he’s a music teacher in Boston—you can find his own John Payne Music Center in Brookline Village, where he teaches the rising generation of horn players.

    The late Lester Bangs was a champion of underdogs in the music market. He established himself as the soul of rock criticism with a essay on Van Morrison that sounds a bit like Harold Bloom on Shakespeare. The actor Erik Jensen, who plays Lester Bangs in a one-man show off Broadway, gave us the force of Bangs’s appreciation:

    The Irish poet Paul Muldoon is also a lifelong fan of Astral Weeks. He grew up in the decade after Van Morrison, on the streets of Belfast that turn up in the lyrics of Morrison’s “Madame George”.

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  3. Palm Oil Dependency

    Bee Wilson talks to Tom about palm oil, which can be found in everything from pot noodles to shaving foam. In its purest state, squeezed from the fruit and kernels of the oil palm, it has a deep red colour and rich fragrance. By the time it reaches our supermarkets, in ultra-processed foods and cosmetics, it’s been refined, bleached, deodorised and relabelled, appearing in multiple different forms. Bee and Tom look at the reasons for its ubiquity, the consequences for those involved in its production and whether a sustainable palm oil industry is possible.

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  4. Sunday, June 26, 2022

    May I suggest listening to yesterday's podcast. It's full of timely stories, and reason to hope that now we will do what we've been putting off since the end of the Civil War. In the podcast I reference Bruce Sterling's talk in Copenhagen in 2009 and Elie Mystal's book about the Constitution which I strongly urge you to get and read or (preferred) listen to.

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  5. Women and Folk Music

    Emma interviews Peggy Seeger and learns about female collectors and folk performers today.

    This May bank holiday Emma looks at women and the tradition of folk music. You may have a stereotypical image of a woman in a floaty dress walking through a flower meadow - but we want to challenge that. From protest songs and feminist anthems - it's not all whimsy in the world of folk.

    Emma talks to Peggy Seeger who has enjoyed six decades of success with her music. Peggy was married to the singer Ewen McColl. He wrote the song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" for her. Together they revitalised the British Folk Scene during the 50s and 60s, working on the BBC Radio Ballads; ground-breaking documentaries - which wove a story from the words of real people working in the mining and fishing industry or building the M1 motorway with sound effects, and songs. Now 86 years old, Peggy's own songs have become anthems for feminists, anti-nuclear campaigners and those fighting for social justice.

    Emma examines the uncomfortable elements of folk music, and how artists are finding ways of reinterpreting old songs, or writing new ones to represent missing narratives and stories. Who were the female tradition-bearers, writers and performers and the often forgotten collectors - those who would record and notate traditional songs handed down orally from generation to generation? And what is being done to improve the gender equality and diversity in folk music?

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  6. Episode 102: Baking Greek Bread, with Josh Nudell

    We’re talking about bread again! This time, about ancient Greek bread — its vocabulary, the many types of bread and how they were made, and the economic aspects of bread production. Josh shares his practical experiences of baking along with his research into the classical Greek world.

    Josh Nudell’

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  7. Pivot Bio’s Karsten Temme: “Microbial factories” | Danny In The Valley on Acast

    The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Karsten Temme, co-founder of Pivot Bio, to talk about engineering microbes (4:30), the problem with fertilizer (7:50), why agriculture needs to be remade (12:00), starting a company (15:15), finding farmers (20:00), tuning their microbes (23:35), the century of biology (30:10), overcoming skeptics (31:40), raising $430 million (36:50), and when birds ruined his day (37:50). See for privacy and opt-out information.

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  8. New Books Network | Corinne Fowler, “Green Unpleasant Land: Creative…

    Corinne Fowler, "Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Rural England's Colonial Connections" (Peepal Tree Press, 2021)

    In Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Rural England's Colonial Connections (PeePal Tree Press, 2021), Dr. Corinne Fowler explores the repressed history of rural England's links to transatlantic enslavement and the East India Company.

    “Historical and literary ideas about the countryside have shifted significantly in the last three decades. For a long time now, historians, social geographers and archaeologists have recognised that English rural landscapes are readable, showing up such things as Bronze Age forts and Roman roads. The countryside was not, until recently, considered to reveal much about the British empire. Nor was the empire seen as having much to do with enclosure, rural poverty or rural industry. All that has changed.”

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

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