Sounds in Podcasts

This podcast started off with the sounds of a person flipping open a page and clearing their throats. This gives listeners the signal that they are about to be told a story and that they should start to listen. An important trick for narrating that Abel discussed was lowering the pitch of your voice. Clearing one’s throat helps people do this and tells people that they are about to say something important. The man who is telling the story has a very deep and low-pitched voice. The producers of this podcast worked to incorporate different sounds that would be appropriate for the story, like when he talked about locusts, you could hear bugs swarming. This helps listeners visualize the story for themselves. When they talked about locusts as a threat, they played tense music, to show that it is a real problem.

Sound effects play an important role in podcasts. Abel wrote about Steven Strogatz’ interview about fireflies. It was successful because the podcast had visual details, pauses at appropriate times, and music to help visualize the scene being described so the listener can hear what was happening. This podcast incorporates the same elements, which makes it easy to imagine the scene for the story being told. When the person talked about Australia being taken over, there was a soundtrack of people in Australia in the background. A man who lived there said how they have taken everything. As he was saying this, the sound of locusts taking over played loudly. This sound makes the story feel real, because you can hear exactly what the locusts sound like and how scary it is. The sound effects make it feel like you’re really there because it gives you the tools to put the scene together.

Kern’s tricks and lessons for narrating well in “Reading on the air” can be applied to inquiry-driven, story-telling podcasts, because they help people tell a story that people listening to can easily visualize. He says that the person talking should not speak as if they are giving a lecture. He says that they should speak with expression and picture what they are talking about. The person telling the story in this podcast speaks very thoughtfully. They are picturing the story in their head as they are speaking, which makes it easy for listeners to understand and picture it for themselves.

Podcast Ideas

Children have a lot of emotional and psychological needs. Many people with mental disorders can trace it back to not getting what they needed as children. A lot of children do not get to spend time with their parents, and instead have nannies or get sent to day camps. Does this have an affect on children psychologically, and could this influence who they become as adults? A lot of children go to day care and day camps. Does this meet their needs? Does a day camp that is outdoors benefit children, and could it help people with mental disorders? In the beginning of the semester, my classmate Alex was telling me about her brother who has some mental issues and was having trouble in school. He transferred to a school that revolved around being outdoors. She said that being educated outdoors benefited him so much, that he started to succeed in school. This gave him the opportunity to attend college, which was out of the question before.

I think this is a very interesting thought, and that many questions could stem off of this. Was it strictly being outdoors that helped him, or a changed mindset, and if it was being outside that helped him, could that extend to everyone. Could working outside be beneficial cognitively to people with mental disorders, children, and adults? A tension is that this is not the traditional path for education. Many people believe in the education systems, and think that it should not be changed. It would be a drastic change for schools to switch from classrooms to being completely outdoors. This is very different from the way things are done now, and teachers might worry about controlling the students and keeping their attention.

However, being outdoors could calm down children, and lead to children needing less medication, such as Adderall. I talked to Alex and she said we would be able to interview her brother. This would give our podcast a character-driven story, and showed that it worked for him. We could ask him broader questions and investigate outdoor education. Her brother can reflect on his experiences and what it all means. This could be interesting, because it is not how most people are educated, but if we can show that it is beneficial to people with psychological disorders, and then to all people, it might make people reconsider the way people get educated.

“It’ll Make Sense to You When You’re Older”

In Abel’s, “Amuse Yourself: Ideas,” he says, “The best stories come out of this kind of self-awareness and avid pursuit of the surprising.” “It’ll Make Sense to You When You’re Older” from This American Life is a story about people understanding things they could not have understood before. There are certain things that people do not understand when they are young. The podcast opened with kids saying that they are sick of hearing that phrase, and they believe that they do know what most adults know. The phrase can come off as dismissive, and can make kids feel frustrated because they want answers. This podcast showcased people arriving at these answers themselves. They look to themselves and others, and to the future and past to help them understand. The first story was about the future not making sense, and trying to deal with it.

One story showed a kid named Ben who had his party crashed by upperclassmen as a freshman, and now as a senior crashes parties himself. Ben said once your older, your mentality changes, and you feel like you have power over the younger kids. He felt like he changed very quickly. In another story, Sasheer used her mom’s experiences to help her understand her feelings about being called the n word. All of these stories showed people’s way of thinking about something transitioning as they grew older, either with the help of others or on their own.

Abel describes the focus sentence for podcasts with the formula “somebody does something because___, but ___” (Abel 52). For this podcast, the focus sentence is “There are also variations to the focus sentence formula. Alex Blumberg’s formula is “I’m doing a story about X. And what’s interesting about it is Y”(Abel 56). This story is about people understanding things differently as they grow older, and it is interesting because people think their way of thinking will never change. Soren Wheelers formula is “This happened_____, then this ______, then this ______, and then you wouldn’t believe it but _____. And the reason that is interesting to every single person walking on the face of the earth is _____”(Abel 60). People believed certain things, and then events changed them. It is interesting to people, because even if they think their views will never change, everyone grows and can change their way of thinking. Abel says the best stories are ones that have stakes. It shows who someone is at the beginning and the end, the moment of change, and why that is important for the person (Abel74-5). A focus sentence to sum up this podcast would be “People want to believe that their way of thinking will never change, but as people grow up and go through different experiences, they might understand things differently.” This podcast shows how peoples’ ways of thinking transitioned and changed them. It showed their point of view when they were younger, and exactly what happened to change their way of thinking about it. It was important to these people, because it changed their lives and helped them grow.

Inquiry-Based Podcasts

This American Life Has a podcast that hooked me in called In Dog We Trust. The title intrigued me and made me wonder what it could be about. It was inquiry-based because it asked a question about how much of a role animals have in family dynamics. It used this as a theme for the podcast, and answered the question by finding three stories that show that animals play a very significant role in families. All of the stories talked about people who have deep connections to their pets, and how this deeply affects the rest of the members of their family. It kept me listening because it was interesting to see how people can feel jealous and like animals are replacing them. Sometimes the story would feel really long, and I would start to drift away. It made it more interesting when the interviewer would ask questions that related it to the rest of the series.

I also listened to a podcast by This American Life called Wait- Do You Have the Map. It was inquiry-based because people posed questions, scenarios, and problems to relate it to questions about relationships between all human beings. This podcast hooked me in because it was about normal people who were in unusual circumstances. It showed how these people were unprepared for the situations they were in by their previous life experiences, but they still responded with normal human reactions. The one story was about a brother going along with his older brother on a long road trip. A lot of the story was about how bad of a person the older brother was, and it would have been better to focus more on the dynamics between the brothers. What held me was when the podcast stories took a surprising turn. One example was the story about an old lady who had fallen in love with a man who was in prison for murder and was expected to never be freed. He surprisingly was freed, and their relationship dynamics completely changed, because they never expected they would have a chance to make it work in the real world.

Radiolab has a podcast called Smarty Plants. The question was about if plants are smarter than we think they are. The interviewer asked if the people think plants know where pipes are, because any trees roots go to where pipes are. It hooked me in when they said that plants can do things that people might not be able to believe. They think the plant can sense moisture from the pipes or that it sends vibrations. They ask different questions about what the reason for roots going to pipes could be, and follow up with the scientist’s research about the questions. They wondered if they could hear the sound of water, and then followed up with research that roots go to pipes with the sound of water. Plants have little hairs in their roots like we do in our ears, and they asked if each root is like a little ear for plants. They then compared this to animals with brains, and asked how plants could hear if they didn’t have a brain to signal that they need to hear. I drifted away a little when they continued talking about how people think things can’t do much without a brain, because it went on for awhile and was off topic. It was interesting when they took a twist and looked at a specific plant called mimosa that closes up and hides from predators. When they talked about dropping the plant, they used background music to help portray how it was closing. They asked if plants could learn, and described the experiments they went through to find out. They asked what the scientist thought when the plants could retain information. The scientists dog started barking, which helped them transition into an experiment with dogs about ringing a bell. They asked if a plant could associate a bell with food like dogs can in Pavlov’s experiment. The scientist said that there are more questions than answers, but that’s part of the fun. Many scientists were interested in her research, and they showed people opposing her and saying her language didn’t make sense because she used metaphors. The podcast showed people being curious and trying to find out more about plants.

Political Remix Idea

One idea I am considering for my political remix video is about immigrant workers coming to the United States of America. There are many videos of Trump saying how much he wants to build a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants. A strategy I could use is repetition. I could use multiple videos of Donald Trump saying, “build a wall.” He also has plans to keep out other immigrants, and kick out illegal ones that are currently in our country. It is actually beneficial to have immigrants in our country. They support our farms and do a lot of work that many people would not want to do. In the remix, I could show videos of immigrants doing hard work. America does not belong to one race of people. People traveled here to make better lives for themselves, and we should support others who are trying to do the same. The audience would be Americans who are familiar with Trump’s ideas.

Political Remix Analysis


This political remix video argued that domestic violence is an important issue, and that men feel they need to protect their masculinity. It does this by using videos of men trying to hurt women, news clips, and a motivational speaker talking about masculinity. He said that women are used as props, background characters, and comic relief, and that no one ever says to “women up”. He thinks that people feel that they need to man up and be masculine by being tough and mean, but people should look at it differently. As he was saying this, there were images of what men think it looks like to be masculine. It showed pictures of superheroes and wrestlers, but then it showed pictures of women who were abused by men and had bruises on their faces. The person is arguing that it is not manly at all to be mean and rough with people. This was effective, because it showed that that’s not what it should mean to be masculine. At some points, as the person was talking, there was a lot of text flashing on the screen. This made it difficult to understand what the person was saying and read all of the information. At times, the main argument of the video was unclear that it was about domestic violence, because it was just talking about the nature of masculinity.

Making Information Compelling

An important aspect of magazine articles is that they make information intriguing to readers. Simply stating statistics and facts would bore people. Writers use techniques to compel readers while informing them. This allows people to take in information while reading something that is interesting.

Douglas Emlin’s article, “The Astonishing Weaponry of the Dung Beetle” uses techniques to make information about dung beetles, which would typically be thought of as boring or gross, into something interesting. He uses science to describe different species of beetles, but personifies them. He shows them as warriors with their own traits. This is much more interesting than reading about what dung beetles are. He compares these beetles to soldiers that are in battle. This allows people to picture dung beetles in a more vivid way, than just saying they are aggressive. He also uses art when he shows a beetle with weapons. This creates an image of what beetles would look like if they were warriors. Emlin created a fascinating story, rather than just describing what dung beetles do.

Robert Kunzig’s, “The Carnivore’s Dilemma” consults different sources to create a very compelling article. One method he used was observation. In one paragraph, he says, “Meat is murder.” He later says, “Meat is delicious.” He is writing to people who either enjoy meat, are against eating it, or are unsure. He understands through experience that many people enjoy it, but shows that it is causing harm. His use of words makes readers think. He starts off referring to cows as meat, and also humanizes them by saying they get murdered. He shows statistics and studies through graphs, instead of just spewing out boring facts. A lot of his information comes from interviews. He paraphrases what people said and makes his story more vivid and dynamic.

Kunzig describes the scene around him and breaks up the information with action to make it exciting. He shows that eating meat can be harmful through a rich description from Michael Pollin. Pollin wrote the book “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and says, “Only massive use of antibiotics kept the plagues at bay.” Kunzig utilizes only interesting quotes from other people. He also made anatomy of the cow exciting, by comparing a rumen of a cow to a high-performance race-car because it requires a lot of maintenance and expertise. He also demonstrates the size by saying it can fill up a wheelbarrow. Kunzig creates concrete images through surprising metaphors.

These articles both utilize important facts to create intriguing and informative stories.


Https://, R. -. (n.d.). Branding & Digital marketing agency in Dubai | RUYA. Retrieved January 25, 2018, from

Ruya is a branding and digital agency from the United Arab Emirates. It is very effective in marketing itself, which is important for a branding and digital marketing agency. It shows that they are capable of producing creative work that will draw in viewers. It has a white background, and graphics in the center. It is very use friendly and easy to navigate.

Scrolling over the main image shows that it is split into categories. Clicking on a section leads to that page, making it very interactive. There is a drawing of people painting, taking pictures, and giving presentations. Clicking on this image leads to the Services page. Another image shows people having a discussion around a table. This leads to the Connect page. Another image shows people analyzing data and performing tests, this is the Agency page. An image of a man putting together a graphic design is the Work page. The careers section shows people performing tasks to help customers. This was a very creative way of showing off digital skills the company has. It also makes it enjoyable for users to find the page they are looking for.

People are able to interact with the site easily. Scrolling down effortlessly leads to a pretty blue screen. Then, the words, “We are an award-winning full-service branding, digital and visualization agency” appear. This makes it very clear what their company does, and has aesthetically pleasing fonts and colors of light blue and white. Scrolling down from their features some of their best work. The tab displays the words “You’re awesome” when you go to another site. This is another example that shows their attention to every detail. Their website is very interactive, and clearly displays what it is they do.