I have finished downloading the entire original series of Connections, James Burke's wonderful series on the links among technological innovations and how technological change affects our world view, so I can finally retire my old incomplete set of tapes. Some of the material, especially about computers, is a bit dated (the series ran in the late seventies), but some of it turns out to be even more topical today (a brief discussion of sharing one's private information in order to obtain credit). Good stuff. I'm also downloading the much later second series, which I recall as not quite so good. I gave up on it after a few eps when it first aired, so a lot of it will be new.
Finished reading Whispering Nickel Idols, and enjoyed it quite a bit. Much better the the last one. Garrett investigates the disappearance of the head of Tun Faire's crime syndicate while dodging the slings and arrows of an outraged religious cult.