Rose Eveleth, Podcast Producer
Cool Tools Show 134: Rose Eveleth
Our guest this week is Rose Eveleth. Rose is a Rose Eveleth. Rose is a writer and producer based in Berkeley who explores how humans tangle with science and technology. She’s the creator and host of Flash Forward, a podcast about possible and not so possible futures, and it’s covered everything from fake tumbleweed farms to million dollar baccarat heists.
“I’m not a super tech-y kind of person. I’m not someone who’s always going out and getting the latest gadgetry. And so, every time I think about tools, it often is a little bit hard for me to come up with something that sounds fancy and exciting because a lot of the tools I rely on are not the most shiny objects. But I do think a library card is probably the thing that I use perhaps the most in terms of ‘bang for your buck’ because it’s free and I have access to all these books. And for the show that I produce I do a lot of reading. And a lot of the time I’m also trying to read books that are out of print or are hard to get, and often libraries have them or can get them for you. … Librarians are the most useful people. If you can’t find something or if you need to look for something, or often I will find that I have heard of a book or remember someone talking about a book but … even Googling, I’m not finding it. And I can describe it to a librarian, and they almost always are like, ‘Ah, yes. I know that book,’ and they can find it for me.”
“It’s pretty simple. … If you have something that you type a lot and you don’t want to have to type out every single time, you can put it into TextExpander, give it a little short code, and then whenever you want to send that chunk of text, you just type the short code and it pops it right in for you. I use it also for the shruggy emoji thing … I can’t remember how to type that. So, I have it in TextExpander as a way to have it come up easily. But yeah, for Flash Forward, I send a lot of interview requests where the format is often the same, where I’m explaining what the show is. Or when listeners email me, there are a couple of buckets that those emails fall into, and I will have sort of templates for responding that I then go back in and sort of customize for each response.”
“Trint is a system that transcribes tape, which obviously there are many of those. The difference between most places and Trint is that it is algorithmic, so it’s machine-learning. And so, you feed the tape in, it gives you a transcript back out much faster than a human would.
It is highly dependent on you having decent quality audio … and it can transcribe things really quickly, and then it has this interface that you can actually go in, and you can listen as it goes through the transcript, so you can correct things within the transcript really quickly. And the interface is pretty easy to use.”
I Love Hue
“This is my relaxation app. I know many people use things like Calm or Headspace. This app is my version of that I guess. It is an app that is all about colors and color-matching. They show you a grid of colors. The grid is made up of 20 boxes, and then the boxes scramble up and you kind of have to put the gradient back together. And it’s one of those things where either you love it or it sounds like the most awful thing to ever use. I have friends who I’ve shown it to, and they’re like, “This is a nightmare” because it’s really, as you play, there are more and more boxes. And so, it gets be harder and harder to distinguish between the very slight changes in the color between the boxes and kind of put them in the right order. But for me, it is incredibly soothing to take a disordered thing and put it into order and then have it be this beautiful gradient. And I really enjoy the color-matching aspect of it. And so, it’s just this game that I have on my phone that I play when I’m stressed out, and it works quite nicely for me. Again, I think that some people would look at this and think that it looks like the worst possible thing to do if you’re stressed out, but I love it.”
Flash Forward —
“The show’s about the future. Every episode is a different future. Every episode starts with an audio drama to kind of set the stage for what the future that we’re looking at in that episode is like, and then I interview experts about that future. So, it’s kind of a mashup of War of the Worlds and Radiolab, is kind of how I describe it.”
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