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Age of Humans

Alex Chambers

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Age of Humans

Age of Humans

Alex Chambers

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Plays
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About Us

A show about life in the Anthropocene.

Latest Episodes

The Third Time Rita Left Ch2: Finding Rita

In which Rita comes to live with Kayte. More than once. And in which Kayte encounters strangers in pre-dawn parking lots, and a haunting.Original music by Ramón Monrás-Sender, with additional music from Blue Dot Sessions, Backward Collective, and Last Ledges.https://www.instagram.com/backwardscollective/https://www.instagram.com/lastledges/

20 min1 w ago
Comments
The Third Time Rita Left Ch2: Finding Rita

The Third Time Rita Left Ch1: Losing Rita

This is Chapter 1 of The Third Time Rita Left, a project from Age of Humans. It’s about Rita and Kayte. It’s about a network of friends and strangers who might come to your aid in a time of loss and struggle. It’s about cats and their relationships with humans, and how that changed in the middle of the twentieth century. It’s about the election of Donald Trump. (I really hope I can leave that in the singular.) It’s about the liminal spaces between the domestic and the wild. It’s about getting by in the Anthropocene. Chapter 2, Finding Rita, will be out in November. If all goes according to plan.

14 minOCT 25
Comments
The Third Time Rita Left Ch1: Losing Rita

Rita: The Trailer

Episodes will be released starting in October 2020. We hope they culminate in the celebration of a new presidential administration, as this story begins just before the election of 2016. Music, as always, by Ramón Monrás-Sender.

1 minSEP 12
Comments
Rita: The Trailer

Benjamin, Alone

Walter Benjamin, the great German Jewish cultural critic, loved Paul Klee’s painting “Angelus Novus.” Whenever he moved to a new apartment, he hung it on the wall, to watch over him as he wrote. But it haunted him too. Or maybe it was the future that was haunting him. The world kept forcing him onward, and he couldn’t see where it was all going. He figured it would all look like what had come before.

13 minAPR 25
Comments
Benjamin, Alone

Tree Frogs

Sometimes, you see something unexpected, and it seems like a sign that the world’s about to end. TRANSCRIPTThis is Age of Humans. I’m Alex Chambers.One night last spring my partner and I were getting ready for bed. I was telling her about my day and suddenly she pointed at me and said “There’s a frog in here.” I was confused. Usually her jokes are funny. This was just weird. But I realized she wasn’t pointing at me. I followed her gaze, and sure enough, there was a frog on our closet door. It was really unexpected.The frog was just chilling there on the door, but I…panicked a little.I was imagining rolling onto it at 2 am. Squish. So I said to Molly, “Keep an eye on it, I’m gonna get a jar.” I ran to the kitchen. I ran back with the jar. But the frog had jumped. Right below the closet door was her laundry basket. We both said “In there!” She started to dump it out, and I said “Not in here!” So she took it to the back porch and one by one took her clothes out and shook them, at arm’s length, because she was, understandably, worried the frog might jump on her. I wasn’t as worried about myself because I was pretty sure a frog couldn’t jump around a corner ten feet away.I watched Molly empty the basket. No frog. We ran back to the bedroom. Bin of shoes! Don’t dump it in here! Molly looked at me, and dumped it. No frog. Then I noticed the meditation cushion next to the closet – which I clearly don’t use very often – and it occurred to me to pick that up, and there was the frog, serene as a lotus flower.I put the jar over it. Once it was confined, it was a lot easier to feel friendly with it. It hopped onto the side of the jar, and we spent a while looking at its white belly, and its gray, mottled back. We took pictures and looked it up online. Cope’s gray tree frog. It was pretty cool, although I thought tree frogs lived in the tropics, not southern Indiana. That was the first bad sign. Eventually we took it outside to go free, and there was another tree frog on our siding. We closed the window and went to bed, listening to them sing.It was raining that night, and it kept raining. A couple nights later, Molly pointed out two frogs on the outside of our sunroom window. Pretty soon there were three, four, five, all chirping. We watched them for a while, then I went out into the misty night and saw probably ten more, all over our house. The neighborhood trees were full of them. It was otherworldly. Cool air, wet frogs. It felt like a rainforest. I thought to myself, “We’re doomed.”See, I worry about climate change, pretty constantly. Any time the weather seems out of whack – warm stretch in January, a day of heavy rain – it’s another sign of catastrophe staring me down. So when these frogs that seemed like they should live in the Amazon took up residence on my street, climbing up the trees to sing to each other, getting ready to mate and make new life, all I could think was, “We’re all gonna die.”For better or worse, I’m not the only person who thinks this way.Turner DeBlieux: That’s all I think about as well. I mean I don’t work on climate change, but it affects everything I do. So. I do think about it the same way.AC: I’d been curious whether the tree frogs really were some sort of climate-induced plague upon us, so I went and talked with ecologist Turner DeBlieux. That’s his last name, DeBlieux.TD: DeBlieux.AC: Double-U.TD: Like the letter.AC: But not the letter. The name. D E B L I E U X. Anyway, Turner’s a PhD student in ecology at Indiana University. So I found him – eventually – in the science building, and he told me that they weren’t a plague at all. They’re actually quite common in southern Indiana. They were just – you know – doing their springtime thing.TD: They’ll get on your house, right, a single tree frog might get on your house, the temperature’s right, the humidity’s right and so it’ll start to call, hoping to gather other males that will also call. And so, generally if one male’s calling another will hear

7 minMAR 27
Comments
Tree Frogs

Pandemic Preparedness

We discuss the impossibility of surviving the future, the problems with private health care, and how to talk with your family about dying.

20 minMAR 21
Comments
Pandemic Preparedness
the END

Latest Episodes

The Third Time Rita Left Ch2: Finding Rita

In which Rita comes to live with Kayte. More than once. And in which Kayte encounters strangers in pre-dawn parking lots, and a haunting.Original music by Ramón Monrás-Sender, with additional music from Blue Dot Sessions, Backward Collective, and Last Ledges.https://www.instagram.com/backwardscollective/https://www.instagram.com/lastledges/

20 min1 w ago
Comments
The Third Time Rita Left Ch2: Finding Rita

The Third Time Rita Left Ch1: Losing Rita

This is Chapter 1 of The Third Time Rita Left, a project from Age of Humans. It’s about Rita and Kayte. It’s about a network of friends and strangers who might come to your aid in a time of loss and struggle. It’s about cats and their relationships with humans, and how that changed in the middle of the twentieth century. It’s about the election of Donald Trump. (I really hope I can leave that in the singular.) It’s about the liminal spaces between the domestic and the wild. It’s about getting by in the Anthropocene. Chapter 2, Finding Rita, will be out in November. If all goes according to plan.

14 minOCT 25
Comments
The Third Time Rita Left Ch1: Losing Rita

Rita: The Trailer

Episodes will be released starting in October 2020. We hope they culminate in the celebration of a new presidential administration, as this story begins just before the election of 2016. Music, as always, by Ramón Monrás-Sender.

1 minSEP 12
Comments
Rita: The Trailer

Benjamin, Alone

Walter Benjamin, the great German Jewish cultural critic, loved Paul Klee’s painting “Angelus Novus.” Whenever he moved to a new apartment, he hung it on the wall, to watch over him as he wrote. But it haunted him too. Or maybe it was the future that was haunting him. The world kept forcing him onward, and he couldn’t see where it was all going. He figured it would all look like what had come before.

13 minAPR 25
Comments
Benjamin, Alone

Tree Frogs

Sometimes, you see something unexpected, and it seems like a sign that the world’s about to end. TRANSCRIPTThis is Age of Humans. I’m Alex Chambers.One night last spring my partner and I were getting ready for bed. I was telling her about my day and suddenly she pointed at me and said “There’s a frog in here.” I was confused. Usually her jokes are funny. This was just weird. But I realized she wasn’t pointing at me. I followed her gaze, and sure enough, there was a frog on our closet door. It was really unexpected.The frog was just chilling there on the door, but I…panicked a little.I was imagining rolling onto it at 2 am. Squish. So I said to Molly, “Keep an eye on it, I’m gonna get a jar.” I ran to the kitchen. I ran back with the jar. But the frog had jumped. Right below the closet door was her laundry basket. We both said “In there!” She started to dump it out, and I said “Not in here!” So she took it to the back porch and one by one took her clothes out and shook them, at arm’s length, because she was, understandably, worried the frog might jump on her. I wasn’t as worried about myself because I was pretty sure a frog couldn’t jump around a corner ten feet away.I watched Molly empty the basket. No frog. We ran back to the bedroom. Bin of shoes! Don’t dump it in here! Molly looked at me, and dumped it. No frog. Then I noticed the meditation cushion next to the closet – which I clearly don’t use very often – and it occurred to me to pick that up, and there was the frog, serene as a lotus flower.I put the jar over it. Once it was confined, it was a lot easier to feel friendly with it. It hopped onto the side of the jar, and we spent a while looking at its white belly, and its gray, mottled back. We took pictures and looked it up online. Cope’s gray tree frog. It was pretty cool, although I thought tree frogs lived in the tropics, not southern Indiana. That was the first bad sign. Eventually we took it outside to go free, and there was another tree frog on our siding. We closed the window and went to bed, listening to them sing.It was raining that night, and it kept raining. A couple nights later, Molly pointed out two frogs on the outside of our sunroom window. Pretty soon there were three, four, five, all chirping. We watched them for a while, then I went out into the misty night and saw probably ten more, all over our house. The neighborhood trees were full of them. It was otherworldly. Cool air, wet frogs. It felt like a rainforest. I thought to myself, “We’re doomed.”See, I worry about climate change, pretty constantly. Any time the weather seems out of whack – warm stretch in January, a day of heavy rain – it’s another sign of catastrophe staring me down. So when these frogs that seemed like they should live in the Amazon took up residence on my street, climbing up the trees to sing to each other, getting ready to mate and make new life, all I could think was, “We’re all gonna die.”For better or worse, I’m not the only person who thinks this way.Turner DeBlieux: That’s all I think about as well. I mean I don’t work on climate change, but it affects everything I do. So. I do think about it the same way.AC: I’d been curious whether the tree frogs really were some sort of climate-induced plague upon us, so I went and talked with ecologist Turner DeBlieux. That’s his last name, DeBlieux.TD: DeBlieux.AC: Double-U.TD: Like the letter.AC: But not the letter. The name. D E B L I E U X. Anyway, Turner’s a PhD student in ecology at Indiana University. So I found him – eventually – in the science building, and he told me that they weren’t a plague at all. They’re actually quite common in southern Indiana. They were just – you know – doing their springtime thing.TD: They’ll get on your house, right, a single tree frog might get on your house, the temperature’s right, the humidity’s right and so it’ll start to call, hoping to gather other males that will also call. And so, generally if one male’s calling another will hear

7 minMAR 27
Comments
Tree Frogs

Pandemic Preparedness

We discuss the impossibility of surviving the future, the problems with private health care, and how to talk with your family about dying.

20 minMAR 21
Comments
Pandemic Preparedness
the END
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