How the Podcast-Challenged are Disadvantaged in Today’s World

While maybe not as critical as having an email address, podcasts are still culturally relevant. Even presidents have used podcasts to communicate. So if the aim is equality, finding and listening to these shows has to be as easy as Googling a recipe.

Technology is leaving some people behind. That’s why for the first time a “Podcasts” class will be part of the Saint Paul Community Education offerings this fall. Those over 55 are most likely to miss out on these free “Internet radio shows”, but even the young can be left in the dark. For them it’s as if half the Internet went poof!

Learn about podcasts on October 10.

Rebekah Smith, the host of QuOTeD – The Question of the Day Podcast will be teaching the class. She likens the podcast knowledge gap to earlier technology hurdles. While maybe not as critical as having an email address, Smith says that podcasts are still culturally relevant. “Elected officials, including presidents, have used podcasting to communicate” Smith said. “So if the aim is equality, finding and listening to these shows has to be as easy as Googling a recipe.” Anyone who knows how to use a simple podcast app on their smartphone or other device has access to authors, experts, education, news and entertainment that cannot be found elsewhere. “Some of the best interviews I’ve heard have been on a podcast.” Smith said. “I think it’s because podcasts can dive deep. They don’t live under the same constraints as other media.”

The class will be held two Tuesdays, October 10 & 17 at 6:00 p.m. in Saint Paul. For more information and to enroll, visit Anyone can get started listening to podcasts by going to “It’s all there.” Smith said. “Those who like to learn with a more personal touch are encouraged to take the class. We’ll help you get started.”

Just days before the class, September 30 marks the 4th anniversary of International Podcast Day. “It’s a nice reminder that just as we did outreach to get people on board with email, we’ll need to make the effort to ensure that no one is left behind when it comes to podcasts.” Smith said.

What Can YouTube Teach?

Either YouTube is a totally useless platform that is dominated by egotists and the trolls that follow them. Or it’s a source of knowledge and inspiration with life-changing powers. In this episode we ask, “What have you learned from watching a YouTube video?”


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I do not consume podcasts

Could we just say what we mean? Do we mean ‘consume’ or ‘listen’?

by Rebekah Smith

Question of the Day When I had a college radio show the station manager would scold us for using insider lingo on the air. “Say ‘Public Service Announcement’ and not ‘cart'”, he would insist. Carts were these boxy looking tapes where the PSAs and other promos lived. You could easily jam them into a player, sort of like an 8-track tape, which made them ideal for these short bits. Today as more and more jargon infiltrates the language, I wish there were a staff meeting where someone would stand up and say, “Stop doing that! You sound like an idiot!”

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How did that painting end up in my living room?

We make up a story about how a painting of a fireplace ended up in our living room.

Searching for a mystery artist

We are looking for the real artist who made the painting that inspired our story. You can help us find this person by sharing this picture on social media.

Who painted this picture of a fireplace that inspired our story?
Who painted this picture of a fireplace that inspired our story?

Are you the artist?

Contact us! We would love to hear the real story behind this painting.

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Apologize When You’ve Done Something Wrong

On Facebook a friend shared the following post about apologies from the Instagram account of FeministVoice (December 21, 2016).

“lately i’ve been replacing my ‘i’m sorry’s with ‘thank you’s’ like instead of ‘sorry i’m late’ i’ll say ‘thanks for waiting for me’, or instead of ‘sorry for being such a mess’ i’ll say ‘thank you for loving me and caring about me unconditionally’ and it’s not only shifted the way i think and feel about myself but also improved my relationships with others who now get to receive my gratitude instead of my negativity.”

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What’s going on here in Chicago?

Can we recognize a city by its sound, sort of like recognizing the sound of a mother’s voice?

Sometimes Chicago sounded like a casino. Other times a war zone with its relentless wailing of sirens and the whirring of helicopters that hovered almost within reach of the crowds at Millennium Park. Black Lives Matter is trying to get our attention.

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T-shirts and Poetry Games

Brian and I were just in Chicago where I attended the Podcast Movement ’16 conference. I’m currently working on a QuOTeD episode that documents the extra day we spent in the Windy City after the conference. As we bummed around, with the exception of advertisements, I started to note the words people were wearing on t-shirts. I wondered if they could be strung together to either snap a sort of picture of the day or a specific time and place in the culture.

Woman in t-shirt
By Friedrich Haag (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The t-shirts we saw were:

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Purpose vs. Happiness, Another Take

Sixteen years ago, a friend and I found ourselves talking about purpose. The following is a partial transcript from that conversation. I had just made a comment about how “knowing yourself” always seemed to be the promise of the next stage of life. When you’re thirty, this. When you’re forty that. When you’re fifty…

Paint swatch on white wall. Why did you wander into the room? What's your purpose?
Paint swatch on white wall.

Incidentally, the original Question of the Day was “Tell me about a wake-up call that informs the way you live your life today.”

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Safety First, Revenge Second

“Safety First, Revenge Second”, Who wrote it? Why? Why there? What does it bring to mind?

Written on the sidewalk a few blocks from the house we read, “Safety 1st, Revenge 2nd”. A poetic threat? I imagined hooligans busting out the chalk.

Safety 1st, Revenge 2nd
Safety 1st, Revenge 2nd

Revenge: Junior high girls exact their revenge on a the meanest math teacher in the world and somehow survive adolescence despite a daily dose of humiliation.

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