Podcast Idea: The Window

A podcast about fleeting opportunities.

Description: Sometimes, there’s only a very narrow sliver of time before an opportunity ends. Avocados are only ripe for so long, athletes can only operate at their peak for a short period of time, Manhattanhenge only exists in its golden glory for a fleeting moment. On The Window, we explore these fleeting units of chance, what happens when sieze them, and what happens when you miss. From Olympic athletes, to anxious mothers, to climate scientists, host Simone Biles meets the people who are working on the slimmest margins, and trying to eke out that last possible change, those who are trying to force a window open a little wider, and those who are staring at one that’s closed on them too soon.

Host: Simone Biles*

Executive Producer: Rose Eveleth **

Comps: Honestly this is really just an episode of This American Life. Cut me some slack, there’s a literal pandemic happening.

Sample Episode 1: The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are officially postponed by a year. For some, this won’t make much of a difference. But for other athletes, a year is an impossible amount of time. Gymnasts, for example, are generally only at their peak fitness for a few short years. Simone Biles, literally the greatest gymnast to ever hit the mat, has said she might not compete in 2021. On this episode, Simone speaks with other athletes who might not see the 2021 games, and what it feels like to train you whole life for something, only to miss the main event.

Sample Episode 2: A company called Apeel Sciences really doesn’t want you to throw your avocadoes away. In fact, they’ve designed an edible coating that you can spray on avocadoes, that allegedly keeps them ripe for twice as long. On this episode, Simone meets the scientists trying to widen the window of ripeness for fruits, and why that’s such a challenging proposition.

Sample Episode 3: The golden hour is a term photographers use to describe the light right before sunset begins. But the phrase also has a more greusome use too: EMT’s refer to the hour after a traumatic injury as the golden hour, as it’s the time in which treatment is the most likely to be successful. On this episode, Simone hears the story of an EMT who raced against the clock to save someone before that golden hour was up, and another story of a person who was saved long after the hour had passed.

Audience: People who enjoy themes and are fans of Simone Biles? If done right, this is driven by the power of strong narratives and compelling characters, and would grab people who enjoy a cerebral theme linking up those stories (aka This American Life fans).

If you have a podcast idea that you’d like to see me turn into a Podcast Idea, send it my way! rose.eveleth@protonmail.com, or just reply to this email.

Bonus Podcast From Twitter

Editorial note: I have a column in TweetDeck that gathers up every Tweet with the phrase “podcast idea” in it, and there has been a noted uptick in these Tweets since the pandemic began. In 400 years someone will say “when Addatude was quarantined, she made the chip podcast” the way we talk about Shakespeare writing King Lear.

* Hosts and guests have not signed on in any way. I’m making stuff up here!

** This newsletter is for fun. Ideas belong to their initial creator, credited here as Executive Producer. Don’t be a dick and don’t steal these ideas. If you love a show, and really want to get it made, get in touch with the person who came up with it.

Long live independent podcasts. Long live bad ideas.