Welcome to the 14th podcast episode of this side series, the Podcast Spotlight. In this episode, we talk with Chris McMorran, associate professor at NUS, and producer/host of the local podcast Home on the Dot

Home on the Dot

This was probably one of the interviews that I really looked forward to. Not only is Chris an amazing guest who is incredibly insightful about his work, his podcast, Home on the Dot, is easily one of my local favorites. Being a cultural geographer by trade, Chris is always curious about the quirks and habits that permeate places. And in Singapore, he found himself a goldmine, so much so that it led to the creation of his podcast, which explores the many facets of what makes Singapore home. These include episodes about our institutions like the army or HDB, as well as cultural behaviors such as burning paper houses for the dead or telling ghost stories. The episodes are well produced and told in a narrative storytelling style, and features plenty of interesting conversations and meaningful insights. If you are ever curious about the country you live in and the quirks that make it home, then this is the show for you.

The episode we discussed in detail during the interview was a highlight of the season for me. Titled HomeWork Machine, it tells the story of a girl’s association with her grandmother’s sewing machine and how it defined home for her. The episode itself delves into the backstory of the sewing machine and how it helped raise a family through the years. You can listen through the link below:

Revisionist History

In this podcast spotlight, Chris introduces us to Revisionist History, a podcast hosted by renown author Malcolm Gladwell and Pushkin Industries. In each episode, Gladwell takes a look back at some point in history to tell a different side to the story that is commonly told. These include deep dives into the US collegiate system, Jeff Buckley’s hit song Hallelujah, and even Mcdonald’s french fries. Each episode is masterfully produced with amazing music, guests, and audio quality, which allows the full range of Gladwell’s passion and excitement to shine through. Gladwell is a fantastic author in his own right, but with a microphone, you get to hear an entirely different side of storytelling. This is about as close as you can get to a gold standard in the podcasting industry, so you should definitely check it out.

The episode we discussed was the first in the Revisionist History series, titled The Lady Vanishes. It tells the story of a famous painting (Roll Call), the lady who painted it, and the peculiar phenomenon of moral licensing. Check it out through the link here.

The Roll Call by Elizabeth Thompson, 1874

Music by Pandrezz: Takin’ you for a ride

Special thanks to Chris McMorran for taking the time to do this interview. It was a pleasure learning more about how his show works and his passion for education, teaching, and learning. Shows like Home on the Dot and Revisionist History are some of the driving reasons behind starting the Economical Rice podcast. They take a facet of the world around you and present it through an entirely new lens. It is fuel for the curious and an absolute joy to listen to. Here’s hoping for more stories to come in the future.

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