Open Thread: LED hearts, podcasts

2010 April 19
by Leigh Honeywell

This week’s Open Thread is hosted by an adorable LED heart:

LED Heart Kit Assembled

There’s a video as well, and you get one for yourself or someone you love in a kit!

I’m getting into podcasts now that I have a phone with Google Listen on it.  I’d love to hear about geeky podcasts other folks are listening to.  They don’t have to be explicitly feminist, but I’m having a hard time with finding ones which don’t sound like a particularly vile IRC channel read out loud, rape jokes and drunken hosts and all that.  They don’t necessarily need to be explicitly feminist, but yeah… women friendly is a good minimum bar.  I’ll start off in the comments.

This being an open thread you’re welcome to talk about blinky lights or whatever else suits your fancy today, as well.

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This post was written by leigh honeywell.

Leigh is a student, hacker, and organizer of communities both online and offline. She blogs, dents and tweets.

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17 Responses
  1. Leigh Honeywell permalink*
    April 19, 2010

    I like the Network Security Podcast… though in the interest of full disclosure, you’ll likely hear me on there in the near future :)

    • amberella permalink
      April 20, 2010

      It figures that I click through to add NSP to the list and it’s already your example. ;) +1

  2. John C Barstow permalink
    April 19, 2010

    There’s GeekBrief (, run by Cali Lewis. I find her podcast to be a great way to keep up with developments, particularly in the gadget world.

    • Leigh Honeywell permalink*
      April 19, 2010

      Ooh, looks fun – I’m more into audio-only podcasts, but I’m adding her to my RSS reader anyway.

  3. zvi permalink
    April 19, 2010

    The Ubuntu UK LoCo Podcast is, shockingly, all about Ubuntu. One of the presenters is a woman. Although all of the presenters are computer people, they are not all programmers or developers. The podcast explicitly muses on the question of the Ubuntu community, particularly that section which only use Ubuntu without contributing. They also muse how to make Ubuntu more widely accessible.

    • April 19, 2010

      Oh good, last I heard ubuntu-uk had chased off their only female member, but that was 2007.

  4. pfctdayelise permalink
    April 19, 2010

    My housemate does a couple of shows on our local community radio station and she loves it. She has been poking me to consider doing a show and I eventually came up with a topic I would be happy with: “Hacktivism”. I would make it a bit broader than the name suggests, to include things like digital rights, use of technology in the non-profit/community sector, as well as geek feminism, generally making the world A Better Place TM through technology (especially open source, accessibility).

    It is a bit of work to get a new radio show accepted, so I was thinking even if it doesn’t it might be a good project to do as a podcast.

    Anyway I guess my point is, if there are any GF readers in Melbourne that might be interested in taking part in such an endeavour, please contact me. :) I would try to make a team of 4-6 people to work on it and it’s not going anywhere for at least three months I would guess… you have time to work up to it :)

    • Leigh Honeywell permalink*
      April 19, 2010

      Hacktivism is a pretty loaded word… I’d come up with another term to describe what you’re trying to do :)

      • pfctdayelise permalink
        April 19, 2010

        Yeah I know… although, maybe it is only so loaded for geeks. Maybe for non-geek activists it would be OK? It’s such a nice portmanteau…

  5. pfctdayelise permalink
    April 19, 2010

    Also, in the category of pretty blinky lights, I would like to point out the Rainbowduino!

  6. Kat permalink
    April 20, 2010

    Fiction? I love the Escape Artists podcasts, Escape Pod (sci-fi) and PodCastle (fantasy). (There is one for horror, too, Pseudopod, but I’ve never listened to it.) They do audio “reprints” of short fiction published elsewhere, and tend to have many stories by women and the narrators are great.

    • Daniel Martin permalink
      April 27, 2010

      Too bad Escape Pod has been silent for weeks. That situation should be fixing itself soon, but it’s been sad watching it dwindle out.

  7. Terri permalink*
    April 20, 2010

    I’m sure Leigh knows about most of these, but for others who might be less familiar with the CBC radio offerings I’ll link them:

    Spark is a show about technology and culture, done with all the niceties of experienced radio folk and without stinting on the collaborative awesomeness of the Internet. They’re always talking digital rights and neat ideas and gadgets and fun stories. [Spark Podcast]

    Quirks and Quarks is a straight up science programme, showcasing new and interesting research. They always seem to find neat and articulate researchers to interview, and there’s a lot less repetition than I’ve seen on similar science TV offerings (although I do like those too). [Quirks & Quarks podcast]

    One that’s maybe not quite as geeky, but I still find very interesting on a geeky level:

    White Coat, Black Art is an inside look at medicine. There’s a distinct Canadian bent, but a lot of stuff about patient care and doctor’s attitudes may generalize. All in all, a lot of fascinating science goes into medicine and care, so it feels geeky even if many of the problems are more social. It’s done for the season, but you can still grab last season. [White Coat, Black Art podcast]

    And one that’s maybe not really geeky, but I really like:

    Definitely Not the Opera is all about collecting fun and interesting stories. Lots of neat insights into how we think, what we do, what we like, etc. I guess it’s geeky if you broaden your definition beyond technology and into science and maybe even art: I feel like it appeals to the same parts of my mind that just want to know “why?” [DNTO podcast]

    And one bonus geeky one that got cancelled but you can still download is Search Engine. Where Spark is more tech and culture, Search Engine was more heavily into tech and the law. Because there was a distinct current events flavour to it all, you may find the older podcasts a bit dated, but probably still interesting!

    Yes, I do listen to the radio a lot… why do you ask? ;) (That’s not even all I listen to, just the ones that seem most likely to appeal to geeks.)

    • amk permalink
      April 20, 2010

      Terri: Search Engine was picked up by TVO and carries on at .

      • Terri permalink*
        April 20, 2010

        ooh! Thanks!

  8. lsblakk permalink
    April 20, 2010

    I listen regularly to the Rachel Maddow audio podcast (she has video too) and NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me for my political and pop culture info. This American Life (though the entertainment value on this one is kind of waning) and WNYC Radio Lab are more focused and often geeky and WNYC Radio Lab are just starting a new season.

  9. Daniel Martin permalink
    April 27, 2010

    I’ve found that both the Stack Overflow podcast and the Java Posse podcast, while neither is explicitly feminist at all, and the only voices you’ll ever hear on either podcast are male, do manage to avoid the whole “vile IRC channel” flavor.

    For non-tech-based geekery, I’ve really been enjoying the twice-weekly Planet Money podcast. Yes, it’s economics and business, but they bust the fallacy that “economics and business” is all about pronouncements by old white guys in suits. They interview entrepreneurs in Haiti, Indian cab drivers, people who were originating all those sub-prime mortgages, etc. (They even pooled their money and bought their own toxic asset)

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