17 episodes

I make audio for Fun Kids, the UK's children's radio station, including multi-award winning podcasts Mysteries of Science, The Week Junior Show, and Activity Quest.


In February 2022, I sent the first ever radio programme to deep space setting a Guinness World Record in the process and was featured in the 2023 Guinness World Records book.


Boom Radio, RadioDNS and others hire me as their designer. I've also written for Science+Nature magazine.


Millions have heard, seen, or read something I've created. Hire me to work on your project and check out some of my latest work below.


My monthly dispatches recap what I've been up to. Tap follow to get updates in your podcast app.

Adam Stoner Adam Stoner

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

I make audio for Fun Kids, the UK's children's radio station, including multi-award winning podcasts Mysteries of Science, The Week Junior Show, and Activity Quest.


In February 2022, I sent the first ever radio programme to deep space setting a Guinness World Record in the process and was featured in the 2023 Guinness World Records book.


Boom Radio, RadioDNS and others hire me as their designer. I've also written for Science+Nature magazine.


Millions have heard, seen, or read something I've created. Hire me to work on your project and check out some of my latest work below.


My monthly dispatches recap what I've been up to. Tap follow to get updates in your podcast app.

    from hibernation

    from hibernation

    I've been taking it easy in November (and will be doing the same in December) but that doesn't mean I've not been up to a lot.


    I've mainly been working on Send a Message to Space which uses the same technology we used to send Fun Kids' Mission Transmission programme into space in February.


    Get 50% off a message into space or a gift pack at sendamessagetospace.com until December 31st by using the code PODACST.

    • 1 min
    I got to feed giraffes

    I got to feed giraffes

    I read the opening few words of A Billion Years: My Escape from a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology by Mike Rinder.


    I've been reading it this month.


    Mike's story is fascinating, charting his devotion to and escape from what has been variously described as a cult, a business, and a religious movement. A Billion Years also highlights the stories we tell ourselves about the way the world works.


    I could have made this month's recap about all manner of things – Westminster politics in particular. But I've kind of adopted a new modus operandi, if you like – I'm focusing on what I can control. I'm not wasting my time and energy getting angry, outraged, or even amused by what's happening in with political leaders...


    If it's up to me, it gets 100%; if it's not up to me, it gets 0%. 


    So, with that said, I've been out and about for the Activity Quest podcast, visiting a brand new hieroglyphics exhibition the British Museum, checking out an [adventure playground at Stonor Park, and I even went out on a safari too and got to feed some giraffes... 


    Take a listen:


    British MuseumStonor ParkWoburn Safari Park

    On Apple Podcasts, we've just turned on Plus, so you can subscribe for ad-free listening and bonus episodes. That's what I've been busy building out at work. Next month, I'm off to some Christmas lights displays for the show. 


    And that's when you'll next hear from me – November 30th 2022. 

    • 15 min
    Queen Elizabeth II

    Queen Elizabeth II

    She reigned for over 70 years and earlier this month was reduced to a box on a plinth. 


    How humbling those images were. A figure larger than life and so ingrained into the public psyche, suddenly startlingly small; a Standard covered coffin adorned by her subjects. Adorned by the living.


    Make no mistake: This is the fate that befalls us all. 


    It doesn't matter whether you're a Queen or a King, a saint or a sinner, a celebrity or a civilian – we all die.


    To carry a sense of the inevitable with us in the hope that it makes us remember and cherish and encourages us to make the most of every minute bestowed upon us can surely only be healthy. Meditating on mortality is only depressing if you entirely miss the point. 


    You'd be forgiven for thinking – given the way the Queen worked throughout her reign, right until her final day – that death is something that suddenly happens. You're alive one day and gone the next. But that's untrue. You've been dying since birth. You die every day. You're killing time by reading to this right now.


    In Four Thousand Weeks, Oliver Burkeman writes that our being is totally, utterly bound up with our finite amount of time. To be a human is to exist temporally, in the stretch between birth and death, certain that the end will come but unable to know when. We speak about having (or not having) time but in reality, we _are_ time.


    You happen to be alive. There's no cosmic law that says you are owed that. You happen to be here and you can happen not to be here at any moment, be it through accident or a betrayal of your own body. 


    Your time is a non-renewable resource but it's our lack of it that is precisely what makes us human. The finite nature of our lives create meaning, purpose, priority, and urgency.


    I'm not religious or a monarchist but Queen Elizabeth II was, as so many commentators said the night she died, a constant – her role imposed upon her by quirk of ancient constitution – and a reminder that even the mightiest and most God-ordained, die. 


    Elizabeth was born April 21st 1926 and died September 8th 2022. She was 96 years old. She got 35,205 days. 


    Today, September 30th 2022, I am 9,995 days... 

    • 5 min
    Stoicism

    Stoicism

    Marcus Aurelius was an Emperor – he was Emperor of Rome. His son was an a*****e, destroyed most of Aurelius' work but his diary remained. 


    Here's one of the greatest leaders of one of the greatest Empires writing not for longevity or legacy but therapy. 


    Marcus Aurelius is one of the most famous stoics. He was also a lot of other things. But his Meditations – his diary – is a beautiful bit of literature that, even 2,000 years down the line, is still wonderfully modern.


    Nowadays, stoicism or 'to be stoic' means somebody who remains calm under pressure, or someone who doesn't swing between emotional extremes but that's really an English bastardisation. 


    It's a lot more than that. It's philosophy of thought that I've found hard to put into words. 


    Ryan Holiday seems to be the modern day thought leader in stoicism. He's not an academic – I don't think he'd describe himself that way – but he does write about stoicism and about the stoics. He runs The Daily Stoic, and there's a book by the same name. I've been reading that recently. 


    Stoicism isn't abstract, it isn't theoretical. It's something you actually do. It's something you apply. 


    Embodied within stoicism are a whole load of other really important ideas too.


    Those of you that know me will know I'm a fan of silly, interesting or intricate time pieces. Mr Jones Watches in London makes The Accurate; its face is mirrored metal, the second hand a bright red arrow and it's a memento mori – the hour hand says 'Remember', the minute hand says 'you will die'. 


    Memento mori is one of those stoic ideas. Dwell on your mortality so you can live the short existence we all have to its fullest.


    Amor fati – a resignation to, or love of one's fate – is another.


    Activity Quest, the podcast I make at the UK's children's radio station, Fun Kids, won bronze in the very adult sounding 'Arts and Culture' category at the British Podcast Awards at the end of July. 


    Activity Quest has also been nominated for a Heart of the City award at the Lord Mayor's Dragon Awards. The ceremony is at Mansion House on the 27th – it's a black tie affair – I'll let you know if anything comes of it.


    Either way – amor fati. 


    Earlier this month, I went to see Coldplay on their opening night at Wembley Stadium. There's a sense of unity and sanguineness to a Coldplay gig; say what you like about their music – they know how to put on a good show. 80,000 people, every song is a hit, everyone knows all the words, awesome lighting and pyrotechnics too – they've still got those wristbands. I loved it. I'd go again in a heartbeat. 


    Chris Martin is almost definitely a stoic.


    Staying on the theme of music, Panic at The Disco's new album – Viva Las Vengeance – is good but I've really been playing a lot of modernlove. this month. Their debut EP, Oh My Mind, came out at the end of July. It's sort of 80s synth pop/indie/garage, with a tinge of cheesy coming of age film. 


    Always surprising – The 1975. I look forward to their new album, out in October. Their single, Happiness, has been on repeat. 


    The stoics believed you should be involved in politics and you should give yourself to public life but they also believed that you really shouldn't spend too much time stressing over that which you cannot control. 


    In a few days time, we'll find ourselves with a new Prime Minister at the helm of an energy, environmental, and cost of living crisis and facing heightening domestic and international tensions.


    I make a poor stoic in this sense; over the past few years I've become positively anti-political but given that stoicism worked so well for one of Rome's best leaders, maybe its key rules of wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance could serve Rishi or Truss well...

    • 9 min
    Climate emergency

    Climate emergency

    Here's the Met Office's Chef of Science, Professor Steven Belcher:


    "I wasn't expecting to see this in my career, but the UK has just exceeded 40 degrees Celsius for the first time. In some ways, of course, 40 degrees is an arbitrary figure because we see the impact of heat waves at lower temperatures. But for me, it's a real reminder that the climate has changed and it will continue to change. Research conducted here at the Met Office has demonstrated that it's virtually impossible for the UK to experience 40ºC in an undisrupted climate. But climate change driven by greenhouse gases have made these extreme temperatures possible and we're actually seeing that possibility now."


    The role of humankind in climate change is clear.


    The consensus is settled.


    Greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil are making extreme weather events like heat waves hotter, longer and more frequent.


    This is not about one or two uncomfortable 'suck it up and get on with it' British stiff upper lip summer days. 


    This is not 'just summer'.


    This is the start of fundamental ecological breakdown.


    The Earth's climate is changing faster than scientists predicted and our inaction will only worsen the consequences.


    A 40 degree UK summer is indicative of a planet globally warmed by 1.5º.


    Impossible, if not for human caused climate change.


    One expert commission predicted that if we don't change course, there would be up to 1 billion climate refugees in the balance of this century. – Al Gore 


    We have now gained enough information and knowledge to be able to begin safeguarding our living conditions and our wellbeing. – Greta Thunberg 


    This is the very last moment we have in which we can actually hope to stem some of these disasters. – David Attenborough 


    We're facing the greatest existential crisis that humanity has ever faced. We're facing the potential collapse of our life support systems, a domino effect as one Earth system pulls down the others until basically, the habitable space and the planet collapses into a completely different equilibrium state for which we did not evolve. – George Monbiot 


    So here's a message to the future, a form of accountability that the people leading us seem to severely lack: 


    We know what is happening.


    We know what needs to be done.


    Our survival as a species depends on us acting on the knowledge we have with the tools we have.


    We still have everything in our own hands and we can still fix this. 


    But only you, whoever you are, wherever you are, and whenever you are, will know if we have done so.

    • 7 min
    Home

    Home

    Home isn't just a place. 


    Home is more than the city you were born in, or the town you grew up in, or the street where your school was. It's more than the place where your bed is, or your stuff is, or your clothes are.


    Home is subjective. 


    Home is a bright spring morning in 2014, walking past the daffodils on Grafton Road in Cheltenham. 


    Home is the taste of the local Indian takeaway or the smell of childhood holidays.


    Home's the second after laughter in pub conversations with friends. 


    Home's the way mid-winter sunset pierces through train windows as it dances between hills and middle-of-nowhere countryside villages.


    Home is a feeling.


    I'm now living in a new place. It's a new layout of walls and doors and appliances and it's very nice but it's not home. I didn't 'move home'; home moved with me. 


    There's a moment in every house move where all of your belongings are in the back of a lorry – everything you own; a lifetime of things stuffed neatly into boxes – and you haven't yet gained access to the property on the other side. 


    It would be easy to say that 'your life is in that van' but that's not true either... 


    Your life is not the cast iron pot you were given for Christmas or the penknife you got for your birthday. 


    Your life is not the collection of magazines or books or records or shoes or bags or tea towels you have.


    Home, for me, is the pauses between moments – that intense sense of quiet contentment – and life, for me, is most lived in those moments. 


    Moving was the biggest thing I did this month but I also had time for a few extras too...


    I saw Queen of The Night, a Whitney Houston tribute act in Aylesbury last week. There was a full live band and backing singers with Elesha Moses singing as Whitney. It was great! 


    The village where I lived prior to my move also hosted the International Pig Racing Festival at the start of the month. It's something they do every year but it happened to clash with the jubilee which meant more merriment than normal. Kevin Bacon won which is a crying shame because the name seems somewhat obvious. In previous years, Rasher Sunak has been a participant as has Albert Einswine. 


    That event was hosted by Helen Browning, resident and organic farmer. They're hosting lots of other events too including wildlife photowalks, foraging expeditions, and gin safaris – they've just launched their own organic gin and it tastes great.


    In other news, Activity Quest, the podcast I make at Fun Kids was nominated at the British Podcast Awards in a very grown-up category: Best Arts and Culture. Also, The Santa Daily, King Frank and the Knights of the Eco Quest, The Week Junior Show, and a commercial campaign we put together for Ed Sheeran's Mathematics Tour were nominated too. Results come on the 23rd.


    You'll next hear from me on July 31st 2022.

    • 5 min

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