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Recommendation Engine

Recommendation Engine: A Gold Fraud

Plus multiple mysteries

10:00 AM GMT+1 on May 29, 2024

    Welcome to this week's Recommendation Engine from Podcast Rex, rounding up the week in podcast reviews. Get this in an email each week by signing up to be a supporter of Podcast Rex from £3.99.

    Apple Podcasts New & Noteworthy:

    Spotify New & 🔥

    James Marriott in the Times

    • Past Present Future - “The premise (and it is a good one) is to take bad ideas seriously. Each episode takes on one with the help of a guest: the historian Christopher Clark on antisemitism, the geneticist Adam Rutherford on eugenics, the economist Helen Thompson on the gold standard. It’s gripping. A shadow history of the modern mind.”

    Fiona Sturges in the FT 

    • Death of an Artist - “If the first series of Death of an Artist, about the Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta and the shocking fall from a 34th-floor apartment that killed her, was essentially a whodunnit, this one tells a more reflective and evocative tale of 20th-century American art and how one woman quietly shaped it.”

    Jude Rogers in the Observer 

    • Over the Top Under the Radar - “Not every new podcast sets out to remind you of the weirdest public art idea of all time: a giant Queen Mother on the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.”
    • Home Sleuth - “Makes for an unsettling listen, and without a questioning voice in the mix feels exploitative at times.”
    • The Six Billion Dollar Gold Scam - “Some good old-fashioned fraud in a balmy Indonesian jungle with a cast of proper rogues.”

    Patricia Nicol & Clair Woodward in the Sunday Times

    • The Six Billion Dollar Gold Scam - “The excellent Canadian presenter Suzanne Wilton first reported on the rise and fall of the mining firm Bre-X for the Calgary Herald. The Alberta firm’s claim to have discovered the world’s biggest gold deposit caused its shares to soar from cents to over $200. Ordinary Canadians invested. When Bre-X’s story unravelled, so did people’s futures. To this day, no one has been held responsible.”
    • How I’d Fix - “Ed Vaizey, the Times Radio presenter and former arts minister, and the journalist Becca Hutson set out to solve the issues plaguing Britain with the help of a guest who outlines their three-point plan for how they’d fix Britain if they had all the power.”
    • The Friendship File - “This is a brilliantly simple idea. Two friends answer 17 questions about each other, recorded on their own and without knowing what the other one has said — and each episode is a mixture of these sessions.”

    The Guardian’s Hear Here column recommends

    • Glad We Had This Chat - “You can get celebrities to spill serious tea by digging into their beauty bags.’”
    • The Case of the Tiny Suit/Case - “After their smash-hit podcast Who Shat on the Floor at My Wedding?, Helen McLaughlin, Karen Whitehouse and Lauren Kilby return with another important mystery.”
    • The Queen’s Reading Room - “Kate Mosse, Curtis Sittenfeld and Ben Okri are all guests on the second series of Queen Camilla’s literary podcast, hosted by Vicki Perrin.”
    • Lemme Say This - “Peyton Dix and Hunter Harris promise to only cover the things that matter on their new pop culture podcast.”
    • The Paul Weller Fan Podcast - “After becoming a cult hit, season two sees Jennings get full access to Weller for a track-by-track deep dive into his new album, 66.”

    And in the Guardian’s Guide newsletter

    • Slow Burn: Gays Against Briggs - “Telling the story of how California’s LGBTQ+ community fought a ballot proposal that would have banned gay people and lesbians from teaching in the state’s schools.”

    Highlights from the Radio Times

    • Blame it on the Fame: Milli Vanilli - “They weren’t the first pop act that didn’t sing on their records. They won’t be the last.”
    • The Gas Man - “Certainly takes its sweet time in getting from Baltimore in the late 1980s to Germany in the present time.”
    • Sixteenth Minute (of Fame) - “What do these moments of intense public scrutiny do to a person’s psyche?”

    Heat’s Top of the Pods

    Scott Bryan in Great British Podcasts

    • Uncanny USA - “He starts in New Orleans, investigating whether someone called Marcus is being communicated to via an ouija board from his late Aunt Jean.”
    • Unearthed - “Kew Gardens’ podcast has returned for a new series looking at the latest scientific innovations helping to protect the natural world.”
    • This is History: The Iron King - “Despite his name, Philip the Fair was anything but. He tortured his own people, he rinsed the country out of a lot of its own wealth and stopped at nothing to gain more land and power. Historian and author Danièle Cybulskie unpacks his life over six punchy immersive episodes.”
    • The Tooney and Russo Show - “With broadcaster Vick Hope asking about their careers, their friendship and their lives competing and performing alongside each other professionally.”
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