Show cover of Talk Description to Me

Talk Description to Me

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 124 - AI Description Part 2
Part 2 of 2. Love them or hate them, AI writing tools like Chat GPT have the potential to change the way we write, communicate, and learn. One group looking to harness the technology with, and for, the Blind community is Be My Eyes, an outfit which  connects Blind and low-vision users with sighted volunteers through live video calls. Now,  Be My Eyes has partnered with OpenAI to create Be My AI, a free app-based service that provides AI-generated descriptions of user photos. The tech is currently being tested and played with by a large group of users, Christine among them. This week, Christine shares illuminating examples of what the service can -- and can't yet -- do, and JJ breaks down the AI descriptions from a Describer's point of view. Talk Description to Me is not affiliated with, nor sponsored by, Be My Eyes or OpenAI.Support the show
37:25 10/10/23
Episode 123 - AI Description Part 1
Love them or hate them, AI writing tools like ChatGPT have the potential to change the way we write, communicate, and learn. One group looking to harness the technology with, and for, the Blind community is Be My Eyes, an outfit which  connects Blind and low-vision users with sighted volunteers through live video calls. Now,  Be My Eyes has partnered with OpenAI to create Be My AI, a free app-based service that provides AI-generated descriptions of user photos. The tech is currently being tested and played with by a large group of users, Christine among them. This week, Christine shares illuminating examples of what the service can -- and can't yet -- do, and JJ breaks down the AI descriptions from a Describer's point of view. Part 1 of 2.Talk Description to Me is not affiliated with, nor sponsored by, Be My Eyes or OpenAI.Support the show
37:54 10/7/23
Episode 122 - Warden Woods Ravine Walk
Ravines are a distinctive part of the urban landscape of Toronto. They create a network of natural green space that is one of the city’s defining features.  Edited by Christine and introduced by JJ, you’re about  to experience a described walk through part of one of them, led by Arborist Todd Irvine, funded by Park People's Ravine Champions program and organized by Katherine Sanders and guest Describer Rebecca Singh, this piece guides and informs as it walks you through the stories that exist in Toronto’s Urban Forest.Support the show
51:52 9/15/23
Episode 121 - Backyard Trek Talk
The Star Trek universe is alive, well, and moving at warp speed. To celebrate Star Trek Day JJ joins Christine in her backyard for a casual  conversation about the visuals of two Trek shows, the animated series Lower Decks, and the live action prequel Strange New Worlds. Fast-paced animation, and the complexities of prequel aesthetics, are too much for traditional inline description, so with the sound of passing shuttlecraft and starships overhead (ok, maybe they're just planes headed to the airport!) Christine and JJ indulge in a geeky, chit-chatty, description deep dive. Support the show
51:07 9/8/23
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
11:07 12/17/22
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
42:13 8/27/22
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
31:43 8/20/22
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
36:18 8/13/22
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
30:15 8/6/22
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
31:48 7/30/22
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
37:16 7/23/22
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
36:41 7/16/22
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
32:02 7/9/22
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
37:34 7/2/22
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. the show
33:20 6/25/22
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
38:03 6/18/22
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
35:48 6/11/22
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
42:40 6/4/22
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
37:29 5/28/22
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
43:21 5/21/22
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
39:16 5/14/22
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
29:36 5/7/22
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
35:27 4/30/22
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
39:04 4/23/22
Episode 100 - Our 100th Episode!
Reaching the ripe old age of 100 makes a podcast reflective (and perhaps a bit self-indulgent!). Guided by emails and tweets from listeners, Christine and JJ pull clips from key episodes, share fond memories, and discuss what's been learned through their description-rich conversations. A huge shout-out to all of our listeners! Your support of this show has been appreciated from day one. We truly value the connection we have with the community, and want you to know how much you, as a listener, are appreciated. Thank you!Support the show
36:10 4/16/22
Episode 99 - Puppets
For some of us, puppets are lifelong friends; characters from our youth that teach, comfort, and entertain. For others, puppets are mysterious and even unsettling, represented only by strange, disorienting voices. Today, Christine works through her discomfort with the art form by asking questions about the visuals of puppets and puppeteering. How does Kermit's mouth move? Can a marionette really evoke an emotional response? And what are water puppets and shadow puppets?! Visual descriptions of one of the world's earliest theatrical traditions, today on Talk Description To Me. Next week we'll be releasing our 100th episode, which is a great excuse to look back on the things we've described, the discussions we've had, and the things that we've learned. If you have any thoughts to share about our first hundred episodes, please reach out! We'd love to hear from you!TalkDescriptionToMe@gmail.comSupport the show
37:17 4/9/22
Episode 98 - Hatching Eggs, Emerging Butterflies, and Blooming Bulbs
Ready to break free of winter and endless pandemic lockdowns? Us too! Inspired by the fresh spring air, and egged on by listener requests ("egged on", get it?!), Christine and JJ indulge in descriptions of emergence in nature: hatching chicks, caterpillars transforming into butterflies, and bulbs blooming in garden beds. Happy Spring, everyone!Support the show
45:00 4/2/22
Episode 97 - Christine in Vancouver
On a recent trip to Vancouver, Christine met up with some of the great folks at VocalEye, a not-for-profit organization that does amazing and innovative work in the Description world.  After a full day of exploring, Christine got a ride home with longtime Describer, and all-around lovely Vancouverite, Ingrid Turk. Full of questions about Vancouver's much-hyped landscape, and not willing to pass up a golden opportunity, Christine switched on her mic and recorded this impromptu episode. Special thanks to Ingrid, Steph Kirkland, Eileen Barrett, and Amy Amantea, who we'll be hearing in future episodes!Support the show
25:56 3/26/22
Episode 96 - Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and Political Street Art
When Russia invaded Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy began connecting with his people, and the rest of the world, through selfie videos and video addresses. This week, Christine and JJ discuss Zelenskyy's social media savvy, and describe the visuals of his regular releases. Then the conversation turns to public art and graffiti that demonstrates international support for the Ukrainian people, and profound anger toward Vladimir Putin. Support the show
30:03 3/19/22
Episode 95 - Movie Posters
For many sighted movie fans, posters aren't just ads; they're a tease, a lure, the first glimpse of an eagerly-anticipated film.  This week, Christine and JJ discuss and describe favourite and famous movie posters. From Star Wars to The Graduate , Frankenstein to Pretty Woman, Bill and Ted to Godzilla, if you're a movie fan, Talk Description has you covered.Support the show
32:44 3/12/22

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