Podcasts worth looking at:

One of my new year’s resolutions (besides updating my blog weekly) has been to learn more ‘stuff.’ My wife would probably laugh at that statement since 90% of our conversations revolve around some new, really cool, thing I want to tell her about.

In the interest of sharing, I figured I’d make a list (looking at you, Buzzfeed) of the podcasts I’ve been listening to for the past month and my thoughts. Podcasts are presented from least likely to skip an episode to most likely.

  1. Planet Money – an excellent ‘economics’ podcast, interesting topics and great voices/sound quality. I always find myself engrossed in Planet Money.
  2. The Pollsters – a recent addition, I still get urges to look at polling thanks to my time as  Political Science/Pre-law major at YSU. This is really PC and they talk about methodology which is fantastic.
  3. Tested (Adam Savage) – excellent conversation about a wide variety of things, great background listening while toiling at my desk at home.
  4. Freakonomics – these used to be better, and to be honest I sometimes consider skipping them now, the insight of Freakonomics brought to other interesting topics. Its hit or miss whether its interesting or whether the insight is “worth it.”
  5. Serial – the internet sensation makes the list. Season One was excellent, season two is good so far, and with a relaxed release schedule it’ll be even harder to justify a skip.
  6. Hidden Brain – another podcast talking about behavioral and psychological trends I never knew about. The key here is that I find the host’s dictation and voice to be non-grating unlike the next several podcasts.
  7. Stuff You Should Know – interesting podcast about things I generally want to know more about, if I don’t I skip it. The hosts voices sometimes wear on me though.
  8. Where There’s Smoke – a self-development podcast, I usually skip around their archives until I see something I want to know more about. Mostly hit or miss, but still worth a look.
  9. Completely (Optional) Knowledge – run by Green Peace, surprisingly, its “the show that answers the questions you never knew you had.” Last episode I listened to was about the longest someone lived underwater by way of anecdote about underwater tea-parties into a story about living in a ‘long tube’ under the ocean. Interesting and well produced.
  10. What’s the Point – 538’s ‘latest’ podcast, this is like listening in to a discussion about how data is influencing just about everything. Host is great, I believe he’s worked on a few other economics related podcasts, but I skip around depending on the topic.
  11. This American Life – I, like many people, went through a love affair with TAL. However, after sticking with it for several years I just find myself less infatuated with the show now. I skip anything that doesn’t strike me as immediately interesting.
  12. Song Exploder – have not spent a lot of time with this one yet. Concept is interesting, have an artist discuss the creation of one of their songs–the meaning, etc. This week I saw that they’ve got MGMT with Time to Pretend. So that should be worth a look.
  13. Half Hour Intern – I want to like this podcast, but the episodes are hit and miss. The latest episode with the woman who does tattoos of nipples for breast cancer survivors was really interesting though.
  14. Useful Science – in a nutshell, they discuss scientific papers and their quality/implications. Often times I can take it or leave it depending on the field of knowledge being discussed.

Podcasts I might revisit soon:

  1. Intelligence Squared Debates – like many of the above, you sometimes have to skip around–but often these are very interesting. One very memorable debate had the topic, “The world would be better off without religion.” This was before all the current ISIS and domestic terrorism and I think if that debate were held again today it might sound very different.
  2. Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me – I started listening to this at the behest of my sister. I like it, but often come away feeling like I could’ve been doing something else.

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