Sunday, December 27, 2009

On my year in podcasts

Some year in recommendations are surely in order. So in my first installment: podcasts. It has been ages since I actually listened to the radio, that is, until I started my current job which affords me loads of listening time. And while I don't think I'm presenting anything ground breaking here, I really hope that if you have never listened to any podcasts or talk radio, perhaps I can convince a few of you to give one or two of these a try.

This American Life - The classic radio program that virtually defines the medium. I'd be greatly amiss to not mention this. Yet, I hope that most of you know it.

Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! - Another NPR staple, it's the weekly news quiz that's both hilarious and informative, albeit in a highly esoteric manner. Is it an acquired taste? I hope so.

Slate's Political Gabfest, Slate's Culture Gabfest, and Hang Up and Listen (Slate's Sports Gabfest) - Finally a break from NPR, I find these gabfests with the editors of my favorite news site (Slate) to be so informative. While the political gabfest is what I personally look forward to every week, I must say that I'm extraordinarily thankful to the culture and sports gabfests for keeping me up to date on the latest stories from those realms which would otherwise fly under my radar. While I do feel a bit elitist getting my sports knowledge from Slate employees, I get over it pretty quick.

RadioLab - Just an absolutely fantastic radio program on par with This American Life. I urge you to download the old episodes as well (which are all free) and enjoy some educational *gasp* radio bliss.

Planet Money - A great economics podcast that also has an extensive blog. Or is it the other way around? Either way, they do some great work and continue to find their niche in the world of economics. They cover the entire spectrum from international finance down to quizzical economic conundrums which feels way too broad in scope sometimes, but just right at others.

While that's probably my core weekly listening, some honorable mentions are:
Talk of the Nation
To the Best of Our Knowledge
The Naked Scientists

Please let me know if you have any recommendations. I'm really struggling to find a remotely intelligent 'conservative' news program. The Wall Street Journal has been consistently disappointing over the last year so I'm trying to fill that gap.

**posted on Fingerprints.and.Snowflakes**


  1. You should check out the Moth podcast for some seriously amazing non fiction - TAL has used a few of these in past episodes - I think Mike Birbiglia's hilarious sleep disorder story was originally from the Moth

  2. This is awesome. I haven't really listened to podcasts and I've been meaning to start. Thanks for the list!