When I was little riding in the car with mom, sometimes one of the worst things ever would happen.
She would put on what my brother and I always called, “Talk Radio”. It was brutal. BRUTAL. It was usually NPR, and it was usually booooooring. Of course, now, one of the most precious apps I have on my phone is NPR, and my car radio has a pre-set for the local broadcast station. The ONLY show my brother and I could possible handle when we were kids in the car was Car Talk. I’m pretty sure we didn’t get most of the jokes, and I remember sort of being aware that I didn’t know why it was funny, but boy would we laugh! Mostly because it’s practically impossible not to laugh when Click and Clack are laughing. Their laughs are just so silly and infectious.
I’ve developed a true love for “Talk Radio” and probably what should be categorized as an addiction to podcasts. Also, to this day, I find it impossible to be in a bad mood if I’m listening to Car Talk! One thing I really, really enjoy is to clean my place (I know, mental) while binging on podcasts (and coffee). So, maybe the weather is crappy, or you just don’t want to leave the house and there’s nothing good on TV, or (horrors of horrors) you’ve finished your book and don’t have another on deck – what do you do?! You pick one of these podcasts, that’s what you do. They are in no particular order, and I’ve excluded Car Talk because I’ve already mentioned it like 8 times.
This show is not only interesting for its content, but for the way it is directed and produced. The hosts, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, take a topic and delve into it so deeply, unraveling mysteries you never knew existed. While the production is smooth and seamless, it’s also comprised of startling audio interruptions and a sort of deconstructed method that keeps your mind from wandering.
There have been many times I’ve read the description of the newly released episode and thought “eeeh, that is not interesting to me at all”. In most cases I’d start it anyway to get my fix, and in all cases, about 10 minutes in I was thinking “This must be the most interesting thing I’ve ever heard in my life”. They have a way of building up these questions about a topic you barely even knew you had, but then are suddenly DYING to know the answer to.
Check it out Here (and never be sorry): Radio Lab
If you want to know what this podcast is about and search it, the answer will be it is a “show about the internet”. I actually didn’t listen to it for awhile after knowing it existed. I have a smart phone, I use the internet, but I’m not all that interested in hacking and coding (though I have great respect for it). I really didn’t think it was up my alley. Wrong.
PJ Vojt and Alex Goldman via Gimlet Media (which produces some great podcasts, deliver a show not so much just about the internet, but our connection to the internet and the role it plays in our lives. They’ve done intriguing stories about love via dating sites, drugs, politics, regrets, and viral phenomenons that have some pretty mysterious things involved! Also, be sure to check out the info on their theme song – way cool.
Listen here (on the internet): Reply All
Glynn Washington, the host of this show, always does an introductory story and then sets the stage for the additional stories (usually about three per episode) but the majority is told by the people that the events happened to, with interjections for clarification and questions by various producers. The stories come from all over the country, and cover a wide variety of topics.
Released weekly, every episode has a theme. One of the things I love about this podcast is that sometimes it takes a few minutes of listening to a segment to figure out how it fits into the theme. So, while you’re getting stories that are incredibly compelling, you’re having to do a little detective work too (although some are much more obvious than others). There are so many times I’ve thought to myself “wow! I can’t believe this happened – and I never heard of it!”.
Seriously, get your Snap on: Snap Judgement
So put on a podcast and put your feet up, close your eyes, or drink copious amounts of espresso and clean your house. It won’t be wasted time – you’ll be entertained and intellectually stimulated!
*Special Thanks to both Lorrie Runnels (for getting me hooked on NPR) and Sarah D. (for introducing to me new podcasts).
** Also check out Selected Shorts, TED Radio Hour, Wait, Wait,Don’t Tell Me…, Serial or Sampler to get a smattering of a bunch of different podcats you may want to check out.