Radio 4 in Four has some genius four minute podcasts called ‘Intelligent Time Wasting’; basically an auditory Buzzfeed. We have selected some top ones to listen to.
1. ‘Should you be working whilst studying at university?’
In discussing an issue that so many students face, the clip considers how working can benefit students both in combating our horrendous fees and also in fleshing out CVs. It gives some short but handy advice on how to balance work and studies and considers the impact on academic results by working, but mostly it concludes that work is a prerequisite to getting ‘top jobs’ as a graduate nowadays.
2. ‘Was ‘Hiddleswift’ a publicity stunt?’
The Beeb has always asked the most important questions. The first person to break the news (Dan Wootton of The Sun) thinks Taylor would not have bothered setting up her romance with Tom Hiddleston because, as “the most photographed woman in the world”, she does not need any extra PR. But the drama has “hallmarks of her PR all over it” – like her squad photos on 4 July – especially Hiddleston in the ‘I heart TS’ shirt. I think it is an elaborate music video/prank on the media. And I love/hate it.
3. ‘What became of the 17th century equivalent of the Calais ‘Jungle’?’
Using John Evelyn’s diary entry from 1666, the clip discusses what happened when thousands of people were left homeless after the Great Fire of London, creating huge groups of squatters, much like today in Calais. Many who were left homeless in 1666 were poor, and were seen as a threat to social order, creating a climate of fear not unlike that of today. It makes you want to hear about more than four minutes’ worth of this story.
4. ‘Why are there long queues for the ladies in theatres?’
Or long queues for womens’ toilets in any public place, for that matter? Extra funding is being used to build new facilities, and is especially directed at older theatres, which are clearly lacking in space and modernity. The Prince of Wales Theatre is cited as a lavatorial paradise, with a miraculous 13 women’s bathrooms; customers can thus come away in wonder that they have not queued.
This is peak Radio 4 listening.
Image: The Main House Theatre, Northumberland, by Maltingsberwick @ Wikipedia Commons