Yes, ballast from the UK built Manhattan. Or some of it. This was one of the enticing tidbits that got us very interested in ballast here at Hakai Magazine and we decided to delve in. A podcast on ballast? Sure, why not! Join host Elin Kelsey as she finds ballast in the roads we travel on, the plants we eat, and the pests we fight. Ballast: it’s not what you think.
Episode 5: The Ballast in the Sky
17:08Ballast: not just for ships and giggles. Ballast might be old technology, but in this final episode of the Ballast podcast we explore how this basic feat of engineering is now being used in planes and state-of-the-art building designs, and discuss how the future of shipping may never be the same. Will it include ballast? Find show notes and a transcript at www.hakaimagazine.com/ballast-podcast.
Episode 4: The Ballast in Your Life
20:55A little emotional ballast can help keep us afloat when life gets heavy. In this episode of Ballast, we sit in on Elin’s impromptu therapy session to explore ballast as a psychological metaphor and look at how ballast can lend emotional stability. We also look at how the concept of ballast has been twisted in dark ways throughout history to justify atrocities such as the Holocaust. Find show notes and a transcript at www.hakaimagazine.com/ballast-podcast.
Episode 3: The Ballast of Living Things
19:36It’s a sink or swim world. Ballast doesn’t just help to stabilize objects on the surface of water; it comes in awfully handy underwater as well. In this episode we listen in on the vertical migrations of plainfin midshipmen, follow local adventure seeking freedivers to talk buoyancy and where to stash your ballast, learn how buoyancy control strategies of fish and cuttlefish inspired a water-free ballast system for ships, and find out which creatures have developed a penchant for swallowing stones. Find show notes and a transcript at www.hakaimagazine.com/ballast-podcast.
Episode 2: The Ballast of Colonization
18:37From introduced species to the slave trade, ballast has had a huge impact on our world. In this episode, host Elin Kelsey serves up a ballast-infused meal inspired by a ballast flora artist. Then she gets into the dark story of the slave trade, which was partly responsible for the ingredients, and steers us to former colonial outposts profoundly shaped by ballast—both the solid stuff and water. Ballast, it turns out, was a colonizer in its own right. Find show notes and a transcript at www.hakaimagazine.com/ballast-podcast.