Monday, December 2, 2013

Listen Up – 40 Days of Thankfulness

Josh from Stuff You Should Know 

This may seem very simple and a bit trivial, but I am so thankful for podcasts. Whether doing the long drive to work or taking a long walk or even the super long drive to visit friends and family, podcasts have kept me entertained, informed and full of useless knowledge I can share with others. Here are a few of my favorites … what are yours?

The entry-level drug for politics. This show is an equal-opportunity sarcasm fest with hilarious panelists, great writing and a witty take on the news of the day. I learn so much watching this show and love to play along with the lightning round.

Josh and Chuck make learning fun. These two gents share their wealth of knowledge and research skills on such topics as How Hip Hop Works, How Zero Works, How Crystal Meth Works and How Fair Trade Works. They have produced more than 400 episodes of topics I have always wanted to learn about and some I never considered but now have wasted brain cells storing this information.

I missed a lot in high school history classes since we seemed to skip things like the Civil War, the Depression and history before the Europeans landed in the New World. Teachers are tasked with so many things to cover in such a short amount of time so they are forgiven for these holes in my education, but thanks to my own curiosity I made sure to find other sources of information. Voila – this podcast which fills in holes and teaches me something new every week.

Full of guided meditations, this podcast is by my bedside most nights, in the car when I needed to take a break during my lunch hour and a dependable companion when I want to just relax and take some “me” time.

Another trivia quiz show, this one focused on pop culture. Based out of Brooklyn’s Bell House, this show features audience participation, special guests and music. Perfect for a walk in the park.

Like a book of short stories, Snap Judgment has produced segments featuring different kinds of stories themed together for each show. I discovered this podcast while driving to and from Florida and made it a regular on my phone. Some stories are funny, some weird and a few I’ve even found myself crying over. I feel like I know many of the authors and want to be their friend after they have shared so much with me.

One of the longest-running podcasts on my device, This American Life goes back to my days before podcasts when I would schedule going out on Saturday night to coincide with me driving to say Guy’s house (45 minutes away) at 8pm so I could catch the show. Many stay-at-home evenings I would tune in to WUSF and listen to Ira and his guests tell tales. This is where I was introduced to one of my favorite authors – David Sedaris.

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