People in Houston and some other cities are familiar with John Leinhard’s daily radio broadcast, Engines of Our Ingenuity, a meditation on technology and culture. Leinhard is an engineering professor, historian and philosopher with a background in music and mechanical engineering. He has been putting out 5 minute broadcast every weekday for the last 17 years. I can’t tell you the number of times while listening to these things that I’ve marveled at the allusions and the relationships he traces between innovation and art.
Once, I heard him deliver an exegesis on the relationships between Mummies at the North Pole, tracing the legend from Zoroastrianism to Dante, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and supermarket tabloids. (Here’s a complete list of his online episodes).
Now here’s the amazing thing. The Engines people, in collaboration with NPR, have started putting Engines up as a podcast . Everything free of charge.
(Here are some other podcasts by NPR. Notice the podcasts about books and art).
In this new podcasting world, the major content providers worried about independents overrunning everybody with their great content. That is certainly happening. But podcasting is also increasing audiences for existing programs which (because of licensing agreements or the broadcasting limitations) were easy to overlook. Engines of Our Ingenuity is a gem of a program. Now it is the time for the world to find this out.