Two of my very favourite podcasts this time around. Paradoxically, the two specific episodes I’m going to point at are not exactly typical of the podcasts concerned (if anything, they’ve kind of swapped their normal areas of interest with one another in these particular cases), but they’re both good and they’re right in the bullseye of some of my own interests. Zombies! Biology! Cryptozoology! This is exciting stuff to me, hence the exclamation marks.
Monster Talk is pretty much always a fun show, especially if you’re interested in … well, not strictly monsters, but cryptozoological and superntural oddities in general. All of it seen from a skeptical, scientifically informed point of view.
This time around, though, with the March 20th episode, entitled The Zombie Apocalypse, they’re talking real science and real creatures, and real crazy stuff at that. Fungi that turn ants into zombies. Parasites that (this sounds crazy, but it’s actual science) … parasites that live in 12% of Americans’ brains, 60% of French brains (!), and can affect human behaviour. Rabies as a behaviour-modifying parasite. All sorts of fascinating stuff.
TetZoo is a new kid on the podcast block, and a rather different kettle of fish. It’s a pretty full-on zoology ‘cast, going into fascinating detail on all manner of things relating to animals, extant or extinct. Those with four limbs, anyway, which is why its full title is Tetrapod Zoology. Lots of serious and (if you’re like me) fascinating science, strange facts about the living world, stuff about dinosaurs and their kin. Plus occasional discussions of sf and horror movies. Just because.
But the hosts, Darren Naish and John Conway, are also interested in cryptozoology (approaching it from a scientific, skeptical but not entirely dismissive point of view) so this week for their third episode they produced a looong episode all about bigfoot and the sadly ever less convincing evidence for the big hairy ape-man’s actual existence (not that I ever thought it was remotely convincing, mind you). All the background you could ever wish for, if you’re curious about what sensible, informed folks think about the sasquatch these days.
And as a side-note, John Conway makes nice pictures. I think he’d be an interesting choice for anyone looking for an out-of-the-ordinary book cover …
Previous instalments of Perusing the Podverse, wherein I reveal just how odd my listening habits are (and believe me, we’ve only scratched the surface of my podcast addiction so far), can be found here.