Other Media


In 2020 I got very excited about Pushkin. Malcolm Gladwell and his best friend Jacob Weisberg created Pushkin to combine entertainment value that Malcolm Gladwell brings, combined with the knowledge of some of the world’s greatest experts.(1)This is a I really enjoyed the great podcast on the history of Pushkin where Michael Lewis interviews the co-founders. Here are some of my favorites:

From COVID-19 Podcasts from 2020/2021:

  • This American Life Episode 727 had an interview with 4 of the scientists that did the basic research on the COVID-19 vaccine. The crazy thing about this vaccine is that all the research on the vaccine was done years ago, on MERS. Most of the COVID vaccine work was the engineering and testing of making the vaccine. Without that huge jump start, we would still be waiting for a vaccine.
  • The Great Vaccinator is about an obscure scientist who we should all know the name of. Maurice Hilleman created the Mumps vaccine in 4 years, in addition to creating 8 of the 14 standard childhood vaccines.
  • Every Day is Ignaz Semmelweis Day is an homage to the discoverer of germs and the first proponent of hand washing. The medical community was not a fan of Semmelweis, thinking that doctors new best. It reminded me of this Atul Gawande piece on anesthesia vs. antisepsis.
  • This American Life did a podcast on recovering called The Thing I’m Getting Over which does a good deep dive into how recovering feels. spoiler alert: it’s not a fun processs.

My classic list of podcasts (from 2016) kind of clump together as This American Life-Like (no pun intended). I like a lot of podcasts but these are the ones that I tend to listen to every week and have gone deeply into the archives on:

Blogs and Newsletters

  • Kottke.org — One of the earliest and still one of the best blogs on the net. It feels like you’re walking into an artisanally curated Brooklyn art gallery/coffee shop poetry slam. I learned about Kottke.org from Rebecca Mead’s early article on blogging You’ve Got Blog (added 8/20).
  • NextDraft — This daily newsletter by Dave Pell is a thoughtful and fun summary of the day in 10 mini articles. Pell does this as an unpaid side gig but takes this job as “Managing Editor of the Internet” seriously. Pell is a venture capitalist who hit it big and this is his full-time/hobby/job/semi-retirement project.
  • Post Secret — People send in anonymous postcards with secrets they haven’t told anyone else. What you get is brutal raw honesty. Founder Frank Warren has a great video summarizing the site. I saw Frank live and he opened the presentation with the music video Dirty Little Secret which used actual Post Secret cards.
  • Wait But Why? is a great blog about life by Tim Urban. Elon Musk liked it so much that he wanted Urban to create a book  (Amazon e-bookOriginal web series) about his companies. After months of work, many interviews with Elon and staff and 90,000 words Tim put together a very complete picture of the problems that Tesla (global warming) and SpaceX (global annihilation) are looking to solve and how they are looking to solve them.


Television Shows


Videos and Other Media


1 This is a I really enjoyed the great podcast on the history of Pushkin where Michael Lewis interviews the co-founders.