Tag: podcast

Adnan Syed’s Attorneys Request His Release on Bail Ahead of New Trial

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Adnan Syed

With a new trial for “Serial” subject Adnan Syed pending, the attorneys representing the man with the longstanding questionable murder conviction have asked the state to release him on bail.

Mondawmin: Not a Predictable Mall

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Mondawmin

The unrest that seized Baltimore a year ago this week began when police in riot gear shut down bus transit from Mondawmin Mall. But there’s much more to Mondawmin than that.

Rumors Indicate That New Season of “Serial” Doesn’t Involve Baltimore

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Last year, the true crime podcast Serial was an unexpected smash hit. The show centered on the 1999 murder of a Baltimore high school student, and her classmate and ex-boyfriend who was convicted of the crime. The program’s popularity brought a surprising amount of attention to Baltimore, with eager fans mapping the distance between Woodlawn High School and Best Buy, or debating the dangerousness of Leakin Park.

Now the popular podcast seems to be inching closer to its long-awaited second season–and if the rumors are true, it doesn’t involve Baltimore this time.

Court Agrees to Re-Consider “Serial” Case

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The wheels of justice turn slowly. Very, very slowly.

Feel Guilty About Your Love for Serial? Here’s What to Do About It

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As we’ve chronicled a number of times before, we’re huge fans of This American Life alumna Sarah Koenig’s new podcast Serial, which centers on the murder of a Baltimore high school student in 1999. But as it becomes increasingly impossible to ignore that the case involves real people with real feelings, it’s getting harder to enjoy Koenig’s storytelling without guilt pangs.

Serial Backstory: Adnan’s Family, Hae’s Brother, and the Afterlife of Murder

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Photo of Adnan Syed via Jonathan Hanson/The Guardian
Photo of Adnan Syed via Jonathan Hanson/The Guardian

Serial is now officially the most popular podcast of all time. For most people, it’s an intriguing or entertaining story; for a few people–most of whom live in Baltimore, where the murder at the center of the series took place, it’s hitting all too close to home.

Serial Case Comes Up for Appeal

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serial podcast

As we’ve detailed before, we’re big fans of Sarah Koenig’s podcast Serial, which explores a 15-year-old murder of a Baltimore high school student, possibly at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed.

Are You As Obsessed With Serial As I Am?

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I blogged about Serial, the new podcast from This American Life producer Sarah Koenig, a few weeks ago, right after I listened to the first two episodes. I had an inkling it would get big, but I had no idea it would get this big.

Baltimore Comic Podcaster Brings Kevin Pollak Home

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Actor Kevin Pollak (you know, A Few Good Men; Grumpy Old Men) knows standup — he started practicing at age 10. Famous for his spot-on impressions of intense talkers Christopher Walken, Jack Nicholson and William Shatner, Pollak knows “the funny.” And our own funny local friend Geoffrey Welchman of the hilarious Inverse Delirium podcast, well, he happens to know Kevin Pollak. And now you can, too. 

Pollak performs at Magooby’s Joke House in Timonium March 8-10. He recently performed on a new Inverse Delirium podcast, too — you can play the episode right now.

Though he’d never met Pollak, Welchman wrote a sketch with the actor in mind, knowing he was due in town for the standup gig, then emailed Pollak an invitation to participate in the podcast. We asked Welchman for behind-the-sound-scene details.

How’d you entice Pollak to join the cool show you craft in your basement?

He emailed back, which was a thrill, and asked to see the script, which was an even bigger thrill. Luckily I tacked on a second idea at the bottom — about an audition for voice actors, really just a premise. It turned out he liked that better than my script, so I quickly fleshed that second idea out and sent it, and he liked it and agreed to record it. All this took place in few days, and by the end of the week I had his recording in my email.

How long have you followed Pollak’s work?

Like many people, I knew of him first from his movie roles, particularly in two of my favorites, The Usual Suspects and Grumpy Old Men. I didn’t realize he’d started as a standup comic — I only became aware of his incredible impressions from his Christopher Walken bit in the comedian documentary The Aristocrats in 2005, and I began to follow him more closely.

Then a couple years ago, I heard he had started a podcast and I was hooked within the first few shows. He does rapturously long interviews with great comedians and actors (Judd Apatow, Rob Reiner, Laraine Newman, Adam Carolla, etc.). The great thing about his show is he talks to his guests as a peer rather than an interviewer, which seems to enable a relaxed flow, full of great stories.

What has he meant to you as a comic?

I really respect his abiding love for the craft of standup, and his smart-alecky tone. And of course, his impressions… But I have to say he made an even bigger impact as a podcaster. Listening obsessively to his podcast (along with Marc Maron’s and Doug Benson’s) for three months in 2010 inspired me to start my own podcast! So even though I went in a sketch-comedy direction, Kevin is one of my podcast heroes.

Baldamor or Bawlmor: Say What?

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UMBC recently posted a short series of podcasts exploring Baltimorese — or, in other words, a free linguistics lesson that explores the relationship between language, identity, and culture by parsing the oddness that is the Baltimore accent.

I found the mini-class through a quick search on iTunes U, a compendium of the increasing bulk of educational content available online, mostly for free. You can find classes on the Civil War, death, cocktail mixology, and, well, the Baltimore accent. These free online classes are becoming hugely popular worldwide, so much so that a fall 2011 class on artificial intelligence hosted by Stanford has more than 62,000 online students enrolled. That’s crazy, especially when you consider that Stanford’s non-virtual student body is only about 15,000.

While most free online classes consist of not much more than audiotaped or filmed lectures, Stanford (and others) are starting to take things to the next level. The AI class, for example, will feature interactive quizzes and virtual office hours; students will be able to see their class rank, and will receive a “statement of accomplishment” upon completing the course. The UMBC podcast was constructed specifically with an online audience in mind — they make complex ideas accessible to an online audience.

Check out podcasts by the UMBC grad students here. You just might learn something!
“‘Welcome to Baltimore, Hon!’ Exploring Hon as a Linguistic and Identity Marker in Baltimore,” which examines the changing nature of the word “hon” in Baltimore culture.

“‘Baldamor, Curry, and Dug’: Language Variation, Culture, and Identity among African American Baltimoreans,” which unpacks some of the unique pronunciations heard in African American communities.

“Multilingualism and Ethnicity in Baltimore, Maryland,” which takes listeners into Baltimore’s multilingual communities to learn about language contact and language choice.

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