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Handpicking the best audio storytelling from around the world.

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Quick hits

The Small Print

12:15pm Understanding grief: 'Death' Sooner or later we're all going to experience bereavement, grief and loss in our lives. So can we ever be ready for this experience when it comes? 'Death: a podcast about love, grief and hope' is a locally produced show out this week, that tries to find some answers about how we can cope with grief, and how we can help others do the same. And the story's told by a man who's experienced incomprehensible loss himself. In 2011, Mark Longley's daughter Emily was murdered in England when she was 17 years old. This bewildering event, Mark's attempts to come to terms with it, and audio grabbed from home videos of the young Emily, give the show a lot of its emotional resonance, and its driving force. But it's not just his story: he speaks to others who have lost loved ones to suicide, illness, in accidents, and to old age. And- spoiler alert!- despite all the cliches about time healing wounds and closure you're not going to find any nice, neat, simple answers here: the experience of grief's complex and confusing, messy and highly personal. We share a clip from an episode of 'Death: a podcast about love, grief and hope' presented by Mark Longley and produced by Maggie Wicks for Newshub. 

12:25pm 'Long Distance': tiki (bar) tour With a blend of tacky decor, exotic cocktails, hula skirts and loud shirts, nothing said fun quite like the tiki bars and Polynesian-themed lounges that sprang up in the US back in the Fifties and the Sixties. Paola Mardo's an audio producer based in California whose show 'Long Distance' tells stories about the Filipino diaspora. She first got interested in tiki bars when she found out about all the Filipino bartenders who got jobs at these drinking spots. She even did her university thesis about them! And with these bars now experiencing a bit of a revival, she reviews their somewhat problematic cultural heritage. We play some of Episode 6 of Long Distance written, hosted and produced by Paola Mardo.

12:35pm Parole insights: 'Supervision' Parole- that intermediate step between prison and freedom- doesn't get much interest or positive coverage in the mainstream press. Some of this could be down to the fact that most people who have been to prison tend to end up back inside. Here in New Zealand, more than half of all released prisoners are back in jail inside 5 years. And things aren't too different in the northeastern US state of New Hampshire. There half of all people on parole end up back in prison within three years. So reporter Emily Corwin started wondering why parole goes wrong for so many people. And to tell the story properly she had to find someone going through the process themselves. In a new show called 'Supervision' she follows a paroled prisoner called Josh Lavenets to see how he gets on once he gets out. We play some of episode 1 'The Privilege of Parole' from 'Supervision' (New Hampshire Public Radio) presented by Emily Corwin. 

12:45pm Escalating obsession: 'People Movers' In Australia you should stand to the left of them, but in the UK you have to stand to the right. We're talking (of course!) about escalators. 'People Movers' is all about them: it's a one woman passion project, an independent podcast mining a very particular niche. Lindsey Green was commuting through Melbourne station when she started noticing that some escalators seemed to be moving faster than others, depending on the time of day and how busy it was. So in her spare time outside her job in community radio she started researching this often overlooked form of public transport. Her love of escalators has taken her to Ukraine and Hong Kong (home to the world's longest outdoor escalator system, just in case you didn't know that already!) and over the 9 episodes she's made so far, she looks at subjects including escalator history, some of the fears and phobias about them, and some gory escalator-related injuries. We share some of Episode 8 of 'People Movers' called 'Escalator Enthusiasts' where Lindsey Green meets Bodhi and his family- Bodhi's a 23 year old with an intellectual disability who loves escalators and riding on them.

12:55pm Army rations: The Intersection's 'War and Peas' Feeding an army during wartime's always been a huge logistical challenge. And those challenges were magnified for the Indian army in the Second World War. With the army having to rapidly grow its numbers, it lowered height and weight requirements for new recruits. So lots of malnourished, food-deprived people started joining up. And army ration packs also had to cater for the food habits and dietary restrictions observed by India's different religious and ethnic groups. From an Indian podcast called 'The Intersection', which explores stories 'at the meeting point of culture, science and history, we share some of an episode called 'War And Peas'. And 'The Intersection' is presented by Padmaparna Ghosh and Samanth Subramanian.
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