The Memory Palace

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Episode 77:
Butterflies

Published
Oct 27,2015

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Music, Footnotes & Ephemera

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Music
* Under the credits is Harlaamstrat 74 off of John Dankworth’s Modesty Blaise score.
* First up is “Adultere bourgeoise,” a piece from Paul Misraki’s score to A Double tour.
* Then we’ve got a piece called “Night Time Talk” by Stephen J. Anderson.
* We hit For the Trees by Matmos a couple of times (the bit after: “the facts were these,” or whatever I say)
* Frank Durr’s theme is P from that first LaBradford album, all those years ago.
* The score for the House of Butterflies is called Fragment II by Library Tapes. It comes back again toward the end.
* We also hear Invidia, by Deadmaus. That’s the one we finish on.

Notes
* Several essays were very helpful in researching this. Among those were:
http://pittmed.health.pitt.edu/jan_2001/butterflies.pdf
http://www.thenation.com/article/secret-history-lead/
http://www.wired.com/2013/01/looney-gas-and-lead-poisoning-a-short-sad-history/
* I found William J. Kovarik’s Dissertation, The Ethyl Controversy: How the News Media Set the Agenda for a Public Health Controversy over the use of Leaded Gasoline, 1924-1926, completely fascinating.
* I relied on a number of papers from the W.H.O. when researching the health effects of lead and ozone depletion.
* Here’s the New York Times original expose about the House of Butterflies.
* Finally, Thomas Midgely, IV’s biography of his grandfather, From the Periodic Table to Production: The Life of Thomas Midgely, Jr., inventor of Leaded Gasoline and Freon Refrigerants, is, while unsurprisingly hagiographic, both well-researched and highly readable.

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12 Comments | Leave a Comment

12 Comments on Butterflies

  1. john says:

    That was, amazing, and why I donate to you guys…great story.

  2. Cressida says:

    Dear Nate,
    LONG time fan of TMP from a land far-far-wawy
    Would love to donate given how many hours of pleasure your work has given me but… wary of credit cards online.
    Any chance Radiotopia might get a Paypal account someday soon?
    (I asked last year too… starting to feel guilty about hogging your bandwidth but not contributing)
    Cheers

  3. Chris Haerter says:

    Episode 77 might be the best podcast ever. Nicely done. Probably listened to it 5 times. Simply magical story telling. I hope you get the podcast equivalent of an Emmy for this… I’ve recommended/shared it with many.

  4. Tresa says:

    I just recently discovered The Memory Palace through the NPR One app. The stories themselves are incredible but the writing style and the way the stories are presented is phenomenal. Well done! Will be donating for sure.

  5. admin says:

    Cressida (and others!)
    Email donations @ prx.org and they will sort you out!

  6. Steven Greene says:

    I’ve listened to all 77 episodes and this was the best one yet. The whole series is brilliant. Thank you.

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  8. TheDudeWithEarbuds says:

    I listen to a LOT of podcasts because my job involves a ton of driving. This episode may be the single best example of the art form that I’ve yet heard. If someone wants to know “What is a podcast?” then give them this one to listen to. Like previous commenters I’ve played this multiple times and it’s still really, really good each listen. Well done all.

  9. Matt says:

    I played this episode as a part of a lesson with my high school students on Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect, they loved it! Donating now.

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