Time Fillers for the Curious Mind

Time Fillers for the Curious Mind

Even with your (now virtual) classes and workload of assignments—and the time spent hanging out with your friends online—you're probably finding you have a lot of time on your hands. Here are a few recommendations to fill your time and let your mind wander along paths you might not have gone down before. 

Museum of Modern Art & BBC

The way I see it 

In each episode of this podcast series, host and art critic Alastair Sooke invites a leading creative of our time to choose a work from the Museum of Modern Art's collection and share with us "the way they see it".

The speakers span the gamut of creative production—from novelists, filmmakers and composers to actors and stand-up comedians—as diverse as the works they select. One episode features American composer Steve Reich speaking on Richard Serra's massive sculpture "Equal" and another with novelist Orhan Pamuk on Joseph Cornell's jewelry box. There's one with filmmaker John Waters (of Pink Flamingos fame) and another Emmy award-winning Irish actor Fiona Shaw on Georgia O'Keeffe's "Lake George, Coat and Red". Together, these talks offer us fascinating perspectives on how we see and experience art.

The New York Review of Books

The Pandemic Journal

You may think the last thing you want to do in your free time is to read even more about the coronavirus pandemic. But this ongoing series of brief dispatches from writers for the New York Review of Books make for fascinating reading. Penned by novelists, essayists and journalists from around the world, they are less reporting than eloquently sketched observations of everyday life in their city, often entwined with philosophical musings.

Often, they leave us with questions to consider or lessons to be learned. As novelist Hari Kunzru, reporting from Brooklyn, notes: "in ways small and large, we are being made to look at our networked world again, to ask about what we want to share, [and] what we have forgotten how to share…"

The TED Radio Hour

Ideas spring to life in this engrossing mélange of TED talks and live interviews with some of the leading thinkers of our day.

Named "Best New Audio Podcast" when it first appeared in 2012, this podcast series is produced by NPR, a US-based non-profit media organization, and (now) hosted by Manoush Zomorodi. Each 50-minute weekly episode is devoted to one of what it calls "the big questions of our times" and interweaves carefully curated extracts from several related TED talks with follow-up interviews with the speaker.

You're probably familiar with TED Talks, where some of the world's more important and visionary thinkers, artists, scientists and entrepreneurs—including writers and thinkers whose work you've probably studied in some of your courses—are invited to deliver an 18-minute talk on an idea "worth spreading" through storytelling.

The most recent episode, for example, explores the question of what laws or rules should govern our lives online. The impressive cast of guests include Edward Snowden, misinformation expert Claire Wardle, sociologist Zeynep Tufekci, EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, and social psychologist Adam Alter. 

Post Author: Stephen Bacigal

Stephen Bacigal teaches Copywriting in the BAELL program as an adjunct instructor.

Written by: Bacigal Stephen / Μπάσιγκαλ Στέφανος
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