May 7, 2012

Podcasts (2012 Edition)

My morning and evening commutes are about 20 minutes each, and to help pass the time I used to listen to music on my iPhone, but recently, I’ve increasingly been listening to podcasts. I’ve been enjoying them so much that I now listen to them during some of my other free time. Here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):

  • Freakonomics (web site, iTunes) – From the authors of the books of the same name, this podcast uses general economic theories to take a fresh look at everyday life. I find it fascinating, and listen to new episodes as soon as they are available.

  • Stuff You Should Know (web site, iTunes) – If you loved David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work, you’ll enjoy this podcast. Basically, two guys, Josh and Chuck, have an unscripted conversation about how different topics work. There’s one topic per show and each show is usually between 20 and about 40 minutes long. They aren’t experts, and they don’t pretend to be, but they do a good job of taking a topic and presenting it. It’s The Discovery Channel for your ears.

  • WNYC’s Radiolab (web site, iTunes) – Somewhat similar to Stuff You Should Know in that it takes a topic and explains it; includes interviews and other narrators as well as music, TV, & movie sounds bites that are part of the story. It’s very well put together.

  • NPR: Planet Money (web site, iTunes) – A 15-30 minute show about money and economics presented to a layman.

  • ProPublica: Podcast (web site, iTunes) – Interviews with the reporters about the stories they publish on their web site.

  • The Truth (web site, iTunes) – This is a dramatic fiction show that I just recently started listening to, but it’s quite well done and entertaining.