Sunday, February 27, 2011

What I'm Podcasting

My podcast tastes have been evolving and these are my top three at the moment:
  1. On the Media -- Consistently excellent look at current events and how they're portrayed in the media (both new school and old school media). Highly recommended for those looking for greater insight into the changing landscape of media.
  2. Planet Money -- They bring light to complicated financial current events by bathing them in context, history, and speaking in layman terms.
  3. Freakonomics
This next list is ones I enjoy, but they fall into my second tier priority (where second tier = not getting listened to on the bus Monday or Tuesday, but Wednesday at the earliest as I tend to update podcasts over the weekend).
  1. Radiolab -- This show is tough to beat when they spend an hour going in depth on topics like silence, deception or unintended consequences.
  2. Sound Opinions -- This has been a fave of mine for years, but I'm beginning to tire of it a bit. Still, they regularly have sweet interviews like this week with Gang of Four.
  3. The Dinner Party Download -- Clever, funny, witty, and boozy.
  4. Studio 360
  5. Dirtbag Diaries -- Personal stories from adventurous outdoorsy people who climb, bike, paddle, etc.
  6. This American Life -- Format may be growing slightly tired, but I love it when they focus on current events like when they partnered with the Planet Money folks to delve deep, deep into the origins of the recession or when they explained the myriad inefficiencies that have evolved in our health care system, each over multiple hour-long episodes.
  7. The Moth -- Best of live, spoken word, all true storytelling from NYC.
  8. The Writer's Almanac -- At 5 minutes each, great for listening to 10 episodes in a row including positively plenty pretty good poetry.
My routine is normally to listen to these on my 40-minute walk and bus ride to and from work each day, during the non-bicycle commuting season, of course. And that may be the only downside to my bike commuting -- it makes it harder to keep up on the podcasts.

Just like the books I read, this list definitely skews strongly to non-fiction. I guess something I've learned about myself is that I yearn to learn, even if most of the time I forget what I learned after a few days. Oh, to have a better memory. But here's to life's little pleasures.

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