Podcasts (2014 Edition)

Updating my post from over two years ago, I now present my regularly listened to podcasts in order of how quickly I listen to new episodes, from “as soon as they are released even if I’m in the middle of another podcast’s episode” to “when there’s nothing else to listen to”.

  • 99% Invisible (web site, iTunes) — This weekly podcast about design is amazing because of how interesting it presents its subjects. If I told you that a story about the design of fire escapes could be amazing, you’d laugh at me, right? Well, you’d be wrong.

  • Slate’s Hang Up and Listen (web site, iTunes) — This weekly sports podcast is able to take its time and delve into the more interesting sports stories from the past week, usually with interviews from reporters that cover that sport. It’s my Monday evening commute standard.

  • NPR: Planet Money (web site, iTunes) — A semiweekly, 15-30 minutes about money and economics presented to a layman. Its short length and timely subjects make it a must listen.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Memory Palace (web site, iTunes) — While this podcast does not have a regular publication schedule, when it pops up in my podcasting app, I usually listen to it almost immediately. It presents short stories from the past, and like 99% Invisible, they are always interesting.

  • Slate’s Lexicon Valley (web site, iTunes) — This podcast usually takes a word that is somewhat relevant to current events and explores its origins and how its usage has evolved over time. It’s like the 99% Invisible of english.

  • Kumail Nanjiani’s The X-Files Files (web site, iTunes) — Kumail Nanjiani and a guest talk about the more interesting episodes from The X-Files. It really helps to watch the episodes of the TV show before listening to this one. I used to love The X-Files, and now I’m watching them again because of this podcast.

  • Fat Man on Batman (web site, iTunes) — Kevin Smith interviews guests related to all things Batman. It’s Kevin Smith and Batman…how could I not like this?

  • On the Media (web site, iTunes) — A weekly hour long look at how the media covers our world. From someone who does not watch news on TV because of how it has evolved into ridiculous entertainment, I find it quite interesting.

  • 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 semi-scripted 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.