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Talk Description to Me

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Where the visuals of current events and the world around us get hashed out in description-rich conversations. J.J. Hunt is an innovative Audio Describer and a natural-born storyteller. Christine Malec is a perpetually inquisitive member of the blind and partially sighted community who’s always wondering about something. In Talk Description to Me, their discussions plunge into current events and topical issues to explore the content of important images, and help place vivid descriptions in their cultural context. Lively, hard-hitting, witty, vibrant, and fun, this is conversation with a view!




Where the visuals of current events and the world around us get hashed out in description-rich conversations. J.J. Hunt is an innovative Audio Describer and a natural-born storyteller. Christine Malec is a perpetually inquisitive member of the blind and partially sighted community who’s always wondering about something. In Talk Description to Me, their discussions plunge into current events and topical issues to explore the content of important images, and help place vivid descriptions in their cultural context. Lively, hard-hitting, witty, vibrant, and fun, this is conversation with a view!






Episode 120 - The Grinch!

Christmas is a wonderful time to get in touch with old friends, to catch up over a warm mug of hot chocolate, to say "How have you been? I've really missed you!" Well, we've really missed you! This year, to celebrate the season, we'd like to make this small Christmas offering: a reading of How The Grinch Stole Christmas by the one-and-only Dr. Seuss. But Christine is Christine, JJ is JJ, and this is Talk Description to Me, so in our reading of the classic Christmas tale, a few descriptions of the picture book illustrations have been woven into the text in playful Seussian rhyme! Now let's pour that hot chocolate and catch up, shall we?! Support the show


Episode 119 - Toronto and the Toronto Islands

Talk Description to Me is hitting pause -- for the time being! To mark their final episode in this two-year run, Christine and JJ packed a picnic, hopped on a ferry, and headed to the Toronto Islands. Sitting on a park bench, facing the Toronto skyline, the two friends shared one last description-rich conversation before unplugging their mics for a spell. To all of our listeners, thank you for taking this journey with us! Please stay subscribed so that you don't miss a moment when we plug back in! Support the show


Episode 118 - River Systems

Fuelled once again by Christine's insatiable curiosity, today Talk Description to Me explores the visuals of river systems. How do rivers form? Are the headwaters obvious? Are stream networks visible in satellite images? Does a river in the Amazon look the same as a river in Egypt? With the help of diagrams, descriptions of maps, and tactile primers on continental geography, JJ and Christine dive headfirst into the cool, rushing waters of the world's great rivers. Support the show


Episode 117 - Virtual Reality Part 3

Back in May, Christine and JJ began examining and describing the world of virtual reality. Today the intrepid pair wraps up the three-part series, exploring surreal spaces and fantastical experiences, including a trippy meditation realm, and a journey to Jurassic World. Then JJ's in-house tech expert Owen joins the conversation to provide a teenage take on VR. Support the show


Episode 116 - Spy Movie Tropes

Spy movies are perfect for Audio Description. There are subtle clues to describe, exotic and seedy locations to expound on, and often great visual storytelling for the Describer to work with. But what about those moments that whip by too fast for the AD Narrator? Today, Christine and JJ break down the visuals of spy movie tropes: gadgets, lairs, disguises, hacking, and tracking. Support the show


Episode 115 - Urban Wildlife

If you live in a city, you have lots of animals as neighbours; squirrels, raccoons, rats, skunks, maybe even foxes or coyotes. But what do they look like? How do they move, eat, and interact? This week, Christine and JJ describe the visuals of urban wildlife. That's right trash pandas -- we're talking about you! Support the show


Episode 114 - Cartoons and Animation

Slide whistle falls off of cliffs, and twinkle toes powering Stone Age cars were just a few of the sound effects that made Saturday morning cartoons popular with Blind and Low Vision kids in the days before Audio Description. Today, Christine and JJ aim to fill in some visual gaps by describing the look of classic cartoons, from prehistoric gadget gags in The Flintstones, to cutting edge camera work in Snow White, and the colour palette of The Simpsons. So pour yourself a huge bowl of junky cereal and let's dig in! Support the show


Episode 113 - Women's Suffrage

Women had been excluded from voting in ancient Greece, republican Rome, and in emerging European and North American democracies. By the mid 19th century, many had had enough and began demanding suffrage; the right to vote in political elections. While some worked within existing systems, others attacked with amazing savvy and ferocity, resulting not only in stunning, even shocking visuals, but eventually great change. This week, Christine and JJ examine the visuals of Women's suffrage, from the media-friendly uniforms and violent actions of militant British Suffragettes, to political marches in the US, and monuments to subversive Pink Tea parties in Western Canada. Support the show


Episode 112 - Graduation and Convocation

The school year is wrapping up, and students everywhere are gleefully donning their caps and gowns, eager to graduate. This week, to honour the hard work and dedication of students who are Blind and Low Vision, Christine and JJ describe the visuals of convocation ceremonies and regalia. Congratulations, Class of '22! Support the show


Episode 111 - Cooking

The visuals of food prep and cooking can be kind of a mystery, so this week Christine and JJ are donning their jaunty chef's hats and stepping into the kitchen to demystify fancy flambéing, precarious pizza tossing, and curious candy making. Bon appetite! Support the show


Episode 110 - Stonewall and LGBTQ Activism

It's time for our second annual Pride episode! Last year, in episode 57, we described the visuals of Toronto's Pride Parade. This year we take a look at the historical event that led to the first political (and celebratory!) Pride Marches in North America: the Stonewall riots. To hear firsthand accounts from those who were at Stonewall, and journalists who have studied the event and its aftermath, check out this New York Times video. It's not described, but the interview subjects are quite descriptive in their recollections. Support the show


Episode 109 - Forests and Fairs

Summer is upon us, so it's time to get outside and do summery things. Today, Christine and JJ take their cues from the weather, the season, and some listener requests, and put their summer hats on. First, they head to the cabin to explore the forest, the trees, and the dappled sun. Then, they journey to the fair to stroll the midway and hit some roller coasters. All through the power of description-rich conversation! Support the show


Episode 108 - School Shootings

On this podcast, we have tasked ourselves with "Describing the visuals of the world around us." Right now, the world around us includes mass school shootings. After consulting with Blind and Low Vision community members on various social media platforms, today we reluctantly carry on with the promise inherent in our mandate. In this episode, Christine and JJ describe and discuss the visuals surrounding school shootings, including school security, active shooter drills, AR15 assault rifles, and media coverage of the May 24th massacre in Uvalde, Texas. While no graphic or gory images will be discussed or described, listener discretion is still strongly advised. If you are struggling to cope with the mental or emotional effects of these events, help is available. In the US, please call the National Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990. In Canada, please call the Wellness Helpline at 1-866-585-0445 or the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868. Support the show


Episode 107 - Star Wars Part 2: Obi Wan Kenobi

Christine and JJ just couldn't fit all of their Star Wars talk into a single episode, so today they circle back in their X-Wing to describe ships in the Star Wars universe. Then, having started the new Obi Wan Kenobi series, Christine and JJ go deep on the visual details that inline description doesn't quite have time for: visual parallels, hidden clues, and quickie cameos. Spoiler warning! And nerd alert, too! Support the show


Episode 106 - Virtual Reality Part 2

A few weeks back, Christine and JJ began exploring and describing the world of virtual reality. Today, that exploration continues. First they discuss the connection between the visual and physical, then giggle about childhood dreams of a real-life holodeck. Finally, the intrepid pair takes a quick trip to the International Space Station! Support the show


Episode 105 - Star Wars Part 1

With the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series about to drop, Christine and JJ finally dive into the world of Star Wars! First, they go way back to the 1977 film that started it all to describe the aesthetics of the Star Wars Universe. Then they break down the franchise trilogy by trilogy, describing the evolution of the effects, and the challenges of designing visuals for science fiction prequels. Along the way the pair describes favourite characters like Yoda and Chewbacca, and epic scenes like Kylo Ren vs Luke Skywalker. Plus, some teaser descriptions of characters in the Obi-Wan trailers. Support the show


Episode 104 - The Circus

With theatres opening up again and big productions rolling into town, JJ recently got to see Cirque du Soleil live in the big tent. In hearing about it, Christine remembered a workshop the pair held a few years back, where they described circus performances with the help of tactile action figures. Today, they revisit some of that workshop material, and compare the style and aesthetic of the classic travelling circus to the aesthetic and style of Cirque du Soleil. Support the show


Episode 103 - Virtual Reality

When an Oculus Quest Virtual Reality headset arrived at JJ's house, his first call was to Christine! In this, the first of three VR episodes we will air in the coming months, the pair describes the headset, the experience of donning it for the first time, and how it tricks the brain through exquisite visual detail. They then explore 360 degree videos of the natural world, and scale the side of a digital skyscraper! Special thanks to our in-house tech consultant for their help in producing this series! Support the show


Episode 102 - Silent Jobs

Ever wonder what a conductor is doing at the front of an orchestra? Or grow curious about those hisses and sputters when you're waiting in line for your morning espresso? Today, Christine and JJ break down the routines, gestures, equipment and actions of people who work in silence. Support the show


Episode 101 - Robots

Robots have been evolving, both IRL and in popular culture. Today, Christine and JJ break down the look of science fiction robots from the 1950's and 60's, through the 70's, 80's, and 90's; from Robby the Robot to Data and C3PO. Then the pair turns their attention to modern day robots and their wild and crazy lives as groovy dancers and fight-to-the death gladiators! Support the show