Subtitles and transcripts of podcasts

Subtitles and transcripts are available for some podcasts linked to this blog, for example for all videos on ted.com. Under the video, select Subtitles available in, and to the right of the video, select Open interactive transcript.
For Russian readers / Для русскоязычных читателей: Для некоторых подкастов, описанных в блоге, например, для подкастов на сайте ted.com, есть субтитры и записи текстов. Под видео выберите Subtitles available in Russian, а справа от видео выберите Open interactive transcript.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Do you know why I stopped you? I am meeting my ticket quota!

The podcast Right to Remain Silent on This American Life (audio, story starts at 17 min of the 45 min podcast, see the transcript here), tells a story one would not normally expect happening in the United States. In NYPD precinct 81, in Brooklyn (Bedford-Stuyvesant), police officers were getting orders from their superiors to issue a certain number of tickets per day, and to essentially kidnap people off the streets.  Police officer Adrian Schoolcraft disobeyed these illegal orders, secretly recorded them on a tape recorder, and was gradually forced out of the department on false pretenses that he was psychologically unfit. One day a SWAT team from his police department broke into his home, after which Schoolcraft promptly disappeared. With some difficulty, after a few days his family located Schoolcraft in the psychiatric ward of one of the hospitals.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The myths and realities of racial profiling

Over the years, I heard many claims about racial profiling in traffic stops by police. But how much of racial profiling actually exists now? As it turns out, racial profiling in traffic stops is either small or nonexistent at the level of police departments, although a very small proportion of individual officers do engage in profiling. It is also interesting how different statistical techniques can be used to come to very different conclusions in a highly charged political debate.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stephen Petranek counts down to Armageddon

Stephen Petranek counts down to Armageddon (video, 30 min). In this both serious and entertaining TED talk, the former editor-in-chief of Discover magazine discusses the 10 ways the world could end. I have been blissfully unaware of some of these scary scenarios before his talk. So if you have small children in front of your screens, better turn off the internet now, and keep it that way.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Michael Lewis on the financial crisis: Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

To paraphrase Leo Tolstoy, financially stable countries are all alike, every bankrupt country is bankrupt in its own way. Listen to this interesting podcast on NPR's Fresh Air How The Financial Crisis Created A 'New Third World' (audio, 39 min) by Michael Lewis, the author of Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World, and learn how Greece, Ireland and Iceland recently got bankrupt (or nearly so), with a bonus chapter on fiscal mismanagement of his home state of California.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dan Buettner: How to live to be 100+

Would you like to live a long and happy life? If yes, you may like this engaging TED talk by Dan Buettner How to live to be 100+  (video, 20 min). In the Blue Zones study, National Geographic writer and explorer Dan Buettner and colleagues looked at several groups of people around the world that have unusually long life spans.