Category Archives: Podcasts

Get better acquainted

In the 2nd part of today’s 9/11 post, a few words about fiction and community.

On fiction — many have commented that there’s been no “definitive” 9/11 novel and are asking themselves why. Fiction often helps us understand and process what reportage and facts fail to deliver. In this brief 5 minute conversation several authors talk about 9/11 fiction. Listen here 

And if you’re out and about and unable to tune in, here’s an interesting article on 9/11 fiction from 

On community — late last night I received an emailed announcement that took me by surprise. It was from the co-founder of

If you haven’t participated in a meet-up, check out the site. If you’re in London you could sign up to online marketing and social media events, “healing” nights, laughing clubs and impromptu gatherings of improving Spanish speakers — all taking place in the next couple of weeks. If you’re stuck working in a foreign city, meet-up’s are a brilliant idea.

I never knew that meet-up is a “9/11 baby” — born of a desire to get people talking to their neighbours again. The idea was to use the internet to get people off their computers and back out into the real world — spending time with like-minded souls and building off-line, in-the-flesh communities. Scroll down to read the email I received.

On getting better acquainted with other people — as squirmy as it feels to promote an hour of streaming Nat, since it’s just been published it would be weirder not to. And anyway, if you’re my Facebook friend you’ve already been bombarded with it earlier this week. So to wrap up on a weekend of podcast recommendations, this one involves getting better acquainted with me.

Brought to us by Dave-of-frequent-mention here at Panic Station, GBA (Getting Better Acquainted) is a weekly show about Dave getting better acquainted with someone. In this case — that person is me.
Listen to it here.

I’d also highly recommend getting better acquainted with Dave himself — Listen here for a very amusing collection of personal stories which he’s captured in the opening GBA podcast. Or if you’re short on time, start with this GBA sampler

Till next weekend, over & out — have a great week!

* * *

Email from Meetup Co-founder

To: Nathalie Hourihan
Subject: 9/11 & us

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don’t write to our whole community often, but this week is
special because it’s the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many
people don’t know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles
from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought
local community doesn’t matter much if we’ve got the internet
and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I
hoped they wouldn’t bother me.

When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors
in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to
neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they’d normally
ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each
other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being

A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring
people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was
born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet — and
grow local communities?

We didn’t know if it would work. Most people thought it was a
crazy idea — especially because terrorism is designed to make
people distrust one another.

A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months
after 9/11.

Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it’s
working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups,
Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups… a wild variety of
100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common — except one

Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to
neighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me.
They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and
motivate each other, they babysit each other’s kids and find
other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace
together. They make friends and form powerful community. It’s
powerful stuff.

It’s a wonderful revolution in local community, and it’s thanks
to everyone who shows up.

Meetups aren’t about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it
weren’t for 9/11.

9/11 didn’t make us too scared to go outside or talk to
strangers. 9/11 didn’t rip us apart. No, we’re building new
community together!!!!

The towers fell, but we rise up. And we’re just getting started
with these Meetups.

Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)
Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup
New York City
September 2011


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Filed under Bibliotherapy, Books etc., Current affairs, Not in London, Podcasts, Relationships, Self-help

Podcast 9/11

Being a part of New York City today makes it impossible not to dedicate this post to 9/11 on the 10th anniversary of those events.

It’s a sunny Sunday morning here and the City is somber and so far quiet.

Remembrance events — private and public, small-scale and massive are scheduled for throughout the day with both Obama and Bush at Ground Zero to join the proceedings.

Opening with the spooky emergency call from flight crew to land support, this is a remarkable library of audio collected over the course of September 11, 2001 as events unfolded. Compiled by the Rutgers Law Review, the podcast captures segments of the final moments of people onboard AA Flight 11; UA Flight 175; AA Flight 77; and UA Flight 93.

It’s not for everybody and plenty of us don’t wish to engage in what happened that day by pouring over the details of it. I learnt what I needed to as I watched what happened live and have since chosen to avoid much of the media frenzy that broke out in the days and weeks and years afterwards.

But this morning I did take a few moments to tune into this archive and take myself back ten years —

From the Aviation News website — here’s a link to the podcast

More later today on fiction, community and getting better acquainted.

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Science, celebrity, self-help and above all, brilliant stories

Today I offer a shortlist of 3 podcasts I just love. And for those of you who are not on Facebook or who are but for some reason are not my friend (why not?!), I’ve cut and paste Dave’s comment from yesterday where he shares a list of podcasts he once gifted to me and has now made available to you. A treasure trove of excellent listening.

And what’s so great is that all these podcasts are absolutely free, so if you enjoy them, remember to subscribe to them.

Nat’s taster menu

  • On Being – a show hosted by Krista Tippett —  In her quiet campaign to support my attempt to embrace yoga, my mom sent me this interview with Seane Corn, Hollywood’s hottest yoga instructor. In part a discussion of the mystical and mental benefits of a yogic practice, we also learn about addiction, obsessive compulsive tendencies (i.e., Seane’s own story of escaping a damaging life) and some of the global projects Seane dreamt up to combat “psychic terrorism” and to help get kids off the street. Listen to it here
  • Fresh Air – one of radio’s best known interviewers – NPR’s Terri Gross. Search Terri’s interview library by topic — there are conversations with writers, politicians, TV show producers and chefs covering everything from book, movie and music discussions to hot political issues (like this week’s conversation about the top secret intelligence network that has exploded in response to 9/11).  One of my personal favourites is Terri’s conversation with actor Gabriel Byrne (Gabriel: if ever you stumble across this blog, please know that I sat two seats away from you in the Horseshoe Bar at the Shelbourne in Dublin last October and it was hard not to introduce myself and mention that I am available to marry you at any time). Listen to it here
  • I am sorely tempted to mention another RadioLab podcast on my top three (and ok, I will — Falling is a fantastic podcast which trips us through why life seems to go into slow motion if we fall from a great height, to why we talk about falling in love to the defenestration of cats) but on my official three-worth-tasting — I’m going to plug a lesser-known, up and coming series called …
  • I Like You — where each week a guy and a girl talk about “love, like, dating, and the opposites of those things.” Try this 7 minute sampler 

And now for Dave’s treasure trove:

These are some podcast series I’d recommend to you and people who like to read what you do:

Too Much Information

Jon Ronson On…

This American Life [also recommended by Nat’s mom]

WTF with Marc Maron

The Moth [also recommended by Nat’s mom]

Spark London

Slate Culture Gabfest

New Yorker Out Loud

I Like You [on my top 3 list above]

Common Sense with Dan Carlin

(RadioLab obviously)

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