288 episodes

A podcast exploring questions in science, culture, music, philosophy and more. Life as we know it, or would like to. The content varies from episode to episode and includes interviews, music and the occasional sound-rich story in the tradition of This American Life or Radio Lab. Produced and hosted by Robert Pollie in California.

The 7th Avenue Project Robert Pollie

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.7 • 3 Ratings

A podcast exploring questions in science, culture, music, philosophy and more. Life as we know it, or would like to. The content varies from episode to episode and includes interviews, music and the occasional sound-rich story in the tradition of This American Life or Radio Lab. Produced and hosted by Robert Pollie in California.

    Remembering Comedian Garry Shandling with Paul Provenza

    Remembering Comedian Garry Shandling with Paul Provenza

    There are a lot of comedians whose work I'm partial to, but I have a special place in my pantheon for Garry Shandling. He was funny, unsparing, compassionate, psychologically acute and epistemologically astute all at once, an uneasy combination of entertainer and truth-seeker. When I learned of his untimely death on March 24, like many fans I felt bereaved, and I sought out someone to talk to who loved his work as much as I do: Paul Provenza. Paul is a comedian and a sort of comedy curator, chronicler and catalyst, and he was responsible for one of Garry's more memorable public appearances, which I was fortunate enough to attend thanks to Paul. We talked about Garry the person and the performer – and the complicated relationship thereof.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Gravity Waves Explained by Physicist Anthony Aguirre

    Gravity Waves Explained by Physicist Anthony Aguirre

    If the news coverage of recently discovered gravitational waves left you with lingering questions, you've come to the right place. Theoretical physicist Anthony Aguirre, our go-to guy on all things general relativistic, provides some great insight into the details and subtleties that popular accounts ignored or glossed over.

    • 53 min
    Gwendolyn Mok: Pianist and Musical Medium

    Gwendolyn Mok: Pianist and Musical Medium

    Gwendolyn Mok may have flunked her first Juilliard audition at the age of 5, but that was just a speed bump en route to a distinguished recording and concert career. Gwen sees herself as a kind of medium, doing her best to channel the spirit and intentions of composers such as Brahms, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, and particularly Ravel. Her brand of originalism extends to playing historic pianos like those the composers themselves knew and wrote for, and Gwen demonstrated with some exquisite renditions on an 1868 Erard and 1871 Streicher as we talked about her life as a student, performer and teacher. Also discussed: her school days with Yo Yo Ma, apprenticing with Ravel's last living student, performing with Astor Piazzolla, driving the Silk Road in a 1940 Chevy, making mistakes in concert, and the best place to listen to a piano.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    George Yancy: Philosophizing While Black

    George Yancy: Philosophizing While Black

    “As a black male in the United States,” says George Yancy, “to do philosophy in the abstract would be to deny the reality of my own existence.” Yancy grew up in a tough North Philadelphia housing project, where young men were far more likely to end up in early graves or jail than in academia. He beat the odds and now enjoys the status of a tenured professor at a major university, but he hasn't forgotten where he came from, or the racial realities that made his story so unlikely. George and I talked about his beginnings, becoming a philosopher and using his brand of "down to earth" philosophizing to explore the structure of blackness, whiteness and lived experience in a racialized society.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Molecular Biologist Kevin Esvelt: Gene Drives, CRISPR Critters and Evolutionary Sculpting

    Molecular Biologist Kevin Esvelt: Gene Drives, CRISPR Critters and Evolutionary Sculpting

    It's one thing to genetically modify an organism in the lab. It's another thing entirely to spread those modifications in the wild, altering whole populations or even species. A new technology, the “CRISPR gene drive,” promises to do just that, giving human beings an unprecedented ability to fine-tune the natural world and nudge evolution in new directions. Malaria-resistant mosquitoes? Lyme-blocking ticks? Those are just a few of the applications floated so far, but the possibilities are endless. I talked to molecular biologist and “evolutionary sculptor” Kevin Esvelt, who first proposed the CRISPR gene drive, about its potential, perils and steps to ensure that we use our new powers wisely.

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Comic Book Artist Dean Haspiel: Superheroes, Antiheroes, Fantasy and Autobiography

    Comic Book Artist Dean Haspiel: Superheroes, Antiheroes, Fantasy and Autobiography

    If you're going to tell cool stories in comic books, it helps to have had a colorful life and interesting friends. Dean Haspiel has had both. His dad was a writer, occasional street vigilante and confidante of Marilyn Monroe. Mom's pals included Shelly Winters and the young Bobby De Niro, who was one of Dean's babysitters. Dean worked with Harvey Pekar and Jonathan Ames on their respective graphic novels, and won an Emmy for his title work on Jonathan's HBO sitcom "Bored to Death." He was also the inspiration for Ray the cartoonist, played on BTD by Zack Galifianakis. We talked about all of the above, plus Dean's beginnings as a comic artist, his love of superheroes and his own hero complex, his residencies at the Yaddo artist colony, and his latest comic memoir, "Beef with Tomato."

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

nadeshda ,

Gypsy Voices with Donald Cohen

A great podcast on Roma music! Fantastic choice of songs and very informative. I can't wait to get that book.

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