“As a lithe and nubile 28-year-old, I have to admit that I probably have nothing to do with writing about the gray, parched Middle Ages and its myriad torments,” said James Marriott in The Times. Menopause, in particular, is an aspect of midlife that I will never experience personally. But neither my age nor my gender prevented me from enjoying The Shift, a great podcast on Women, Menopause and the After 40s by journalist and author Sam Baker. One of the most recent standout episodes featured Channel 4’s foreign correspondent Lindsey Hilsum, who “sounds like a total explosion.” Hilsum recalls living in Mexico City and carrying a rolled up newspaper with him to abuse anyone who sexually molested her. “I only hit people on the left, right and in the middle,” she says. And she talks interestingly about her experiences during menopause while working as a war correspondent. Once, while filming in Gaza, she was suddenly overwhelmed by a wave of intense despair. But she “stepped around the back of the building for a few moments, gathered, and then became a soldier”.
True crime fiction yarns are a staple for podcasts, Hannah Verdier told The Guardian. But what is really fascinating is figuring out what’s going on inside the minds of serious criminals. For their new podcast, Letters From A Killer, Zoe Hines and Ned Parker built relationships of trust with lifers and death row inmates through written correspondence. The series draws on the killers’ own words to investigate their crimes and motives. The first episode features bank robber Jose Sandoval, who “claims he wanted to kill as few people as possible but still get the job done.” Given that he and his accomplices murdered five people in their botched attack in 2002, it is “difficult to listen to his inventive confessions (” I knew God had my back “) while posing as a man Mercy paints – but it is definitely gripping ”.
Football fans are well served by podcasts, The Daily Telegraph said. This Peter Crouch Podcast and Quickly Kevin; will he score? (with comedian Josh Widdicombe and friends) offer jokes and anecdotes from ex-professionals and other guests. For cricket lovers, Tailenders is an equal treat, in which the “oddball trio” of almost bowling titan Jimmy Anderson, DJ Greg James and indie guitarist Felix White of The Maccabees “indulge their love of cricket and all its quirks”. It’s “joyful, silly, and welcoming even to newbies to cricket”. Or try The Grade Cricketer, a “fun and very Australian version” of the game presented by “the average three cricketers who never quite made it.” There are many well-known guests, but the “soul of the podcast is at the base”. This could be done by Aussies, but it’s “one for village cricketers everywhere”.
The Week Without Packaging: Psychedelics, Peacekeeping, and Office Productivity
Could Hallucinogens Replace Antidepressants? How can peacekeepers be more effective? And what can Google say about the post-pandemic workplace? Olly Mann and The Week go behind the headlines and discuss what really matters over the past seven days.