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  1. NASA - This Week @NASA

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    Space:  the final frontier.  Uh, something about the Enterprise... prime directive... that one episode with tribbles...

    Huh, I thought I knew more of the Star Trek intro.  Oh well!  Can I repair my geek cred if I admit I still know the DuckTales theme (a-whoo-ooh)?

    Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that the whole "boldly going where no man has gone before thing" is a fascinating aspect of science.  NASA is often at the fore of such exploratory projects, and over the years has, to put it mildly, done some rad stuff.

    Send a satellite hurling through the void of space with a golden record affixed to it so that we might make contact with our future Alien Overlords?  DONE.

    Strap humans on top of enormous fuel tanks with wings so that they might shake off the bonds of earth and go hop around on the moon?  DONE.

    Pester Mars incessantly with rovers?  YOU BETCHA.

    Turns out when they're not busy mocking gravity, NASA finds the time for podcasting.   They have several podcasts to offer, but I'll be focusing on the "omnibus" podcast, NASA - This Week @NASA.

    Here's where I need that sound effect from old news reels that goes 'deet-deet-de-deet-de-dee-deet"

    This week at NASA [swooshing space noise]...

    Relevant Links:
    Main podcast website
    Download via iTunes
    @NASA on Twitter
    NASA facts!

    Ooh, there's a podcast about the Hubble telescope?  Neat!

    Content Rating:  So clean you could build scientific instruments in it.

    Average Episode Length:  About nine and half minutes by the looks of the episodes I have downloaded.  It's like getting a postcard from spaaaaaaaace!

    Drinking Game:  Get drunk quick version:  drink every time they mention something that is currently not on Earth.  For the slower version, only drink when said non-Earthbound object is controlled by a foreign country. 

    Release Schedule:  Weekly, with a new episode every Friday.

    You get to hear about what the Curiosity rover is up to, what's going on in NASA overall, what will be going on in NASA eventually, and you get to hear phrases like-

    Using Dexter, a two armed Canadian robot on the station...

    There's going to be a little nugget of information that you'll find interesting in every episode.

    Music:  A little intro beep-boop, a little outro beep-boop music.  Not much to speak of here.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The short length is just right.  If a particular topic catches your interest, you can find another podcast that goes into more depth, but this overall summary of what's going on with NASA fits your ears just right.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  I am not an astronaut, and this saddens me.

    Unrelated rating: Three Space Food Sticks out of three.

    [HA!  Did you know that the crew of Gemini III snuck a corned beef sandwich on board?  They got reprimanded for it.]

  2. WDW Radio Show

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Your Walt Disney World Information Station!

    Let me make sure we get one thing straight from the start of this review, dear reader:  people lose their damn minds over anything Disney.  Now, I thoroughly celebrate the majority of the Disney catalog what with the movies (Sleeping Beauty is a favorite), the charming commercials, and that one run of shows on TGIF where everyone went to Walt Disney World and Uncle Joey got to be in the Indian Jones Experience and the guys from Family Matters blew all their money on some ladies. 

    ...I actually remember plot lines from TGIF?  Ugh.

    ANYWAYS, I enjoy Disney and all of their delightful licensed products in my life.  When I was little I dressed up as Peter Pan for Halloween and had a great time when I went to Walt Disney World a few years ago.  As far as I knew you showed up at whatever theme park you wanted, bought some tickets, went on some rides, and went home.  That was the Disney experience, right?

    Reader, I had no idea how deep the rabbit hole went.  Did you know Disney hosts marathons?  Food and Wine festivals?  Can you recall the etiquette for trading pins with cast members?  What do you know about the origins of The Carousel of Progress?  Did you ride the Fort Wilderness Railroad?

    Apparently, the answer to all of that is yes!  Little did I know how many people held a deep knowledge of all this Disney close to their hearts!  What I always thought of as a distant temptation of my vacation time is a year-round passion for lots of people, and there is a huge information network to support all of the news that surrounds the theme parks.  One does not simply ride into Tomorrowland.

    Which is why you need a guide, which is why I wouldn't be surprised if you already listen to WDW Radio Show.

    Relevant Links:
    WDW Radio Show main site
    Lou's Twitter
    Subscribe via iTunes
    WDW Disney Radio Forums
    WDW Shop, which features Disney walking tours of various areas in the parks.

    Louis A. Mongello, or just call him Lou, has got Disney in his heart and he will share it with you for as long as you are willing to listen.  Behind the scene facts!  Trivia!  Fascinating details of the park!  He'll answer your questions and ask you why you aren't currently listening to WDW Radio from a Disney theme park this very minute!

    WDW Radio covers pretty much any information you'd ever want about the Disney empire.  The most useful portion of it might be his vacation planning information on how to make the best of both time and money at the parks.  Considering the fact that this podcast is sponsored by it isn't too far of a stretch to say that this is a great tool if you're planning a trip.  Lou covers attractions for kids, families, honeymooners, couples, and the lone ranger of the Orlando frontier.  

    Content RatingClean, although I am kind of delighted by the idea of an explicit Disney-based podcast.  I got your Mickey Mouse right here, pal!

    Average Episode Length:  These episode lengths are just all over the place!  Anywhere from over an hour to a touch over nine minutes is what I see at a glance. 

    Drinking Game:  I found one for EPCOT and it has a scorecard and everything!

    And since I just spent 15 minutes reading through it, enjoy Drinking Disney as well.  

    Release Schedule:  Weekly. 

    Music:  Clips and sounds from various Disney movies and attractions are used, and Lou invites listeners to guess their source.  There is also a nice little a capella intro, which I like. 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  If you have fond Disney memories, this podcast is sure to stir them up. 

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  I find it odd that Disney fanatics can both see the man behind the curtain, and still be awe of the great and powerful Wizard.  I guess it is a testament to the power of Disney magic that fans can both be aware of the gears and bolts that make up the machine, and still enjoy it for the sense of wonder and imagination it was intended to portray.   

    Unrelated rating:  I would totally listen to this podcast while riding the PeopleMover ( or Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover if you so please) for at least 2 hours.  I love that ride.