Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Anyone for Podcasts?

I've had an iPod for quite a few years now but only in the last year have I finally harnessed its full potential--I've discovered podcasts.

I am completely in love with these guys, leaving me to abandon local radio stations for good, and now whenever I'm riding my bike or driving in the car alone or doing my housework I'm plugged in and listening to all sorts of crazy-yet-compelling information.

This morning after dropping the kids off at school I listened to a short biography on Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian actress from the 1940s who was considered by some to be the most beautiful woman in the world (and if this photo is accurate I'd tend to buy into that assessment) but not only was she gorgeous she was an inventor that produced a system of frequency hopping for World War II weaponry that has since lead to what we call "spread system technology" and is used in security systems in everything from wireless routers to cell phones.  Pretty and amazing.

Oh, and flaky too. But you'll have to listen for yourself--you can find her story on the "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast through the "How Stuff Works" website. They have something like 200 or so historical podcasts that are always interesting.  I listened to one on Antoine de St. Exupery yesterday and then one on Livingston and Stanley and then one on Victoria Woodhull, the clairvoyant-turned-first-American-female-presidential-candidate. And if that description right there doesn't get you I have no hope for you.

The How Stuff Works site is great (as many of you know already) and I first started listening to the "Stuff You Should Know" podcasts hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant who are not only interesting but terribly funny. We still laugh about a line they had in the "Rules of War" podcast on scalping. And if they can make me laugh about scalping you know it's good. I've got the boys hooked on their podcasts too, they love Josh and Chuck and have been learning about everything from the Black Death to nuclear reactors to art theft.  They're becoming little Cliff Clavens with all sorts of semi-useful information filing their brains.

So check out "Stuff You Missed in History Class" and "Stuff You Should Know" and then if you still have time I also enjoy NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" and "Car Talk."

Are there any others you'd recommend?

32 comments:

Kristine said...

I *love* NPR's This American Life (1hr). Look forward to it every week. Also, the guys who wrote Freakonomics have a 20-min podcast they put out each week. I listen to a great christian music podcast, called Under The Radar, filled with under-appreciated songs/artists. This past week's episode (from April 1) was a whole episode of cover songs... it was AWESOME!

Scribbit said...

Grace likes the Freakanomics one--I've read both the books and thought about subscribing though I've still got about 200 waiting for me already between the ones I'm already subscribed to. Maybe I'll get those too when my list is down a bit.

Sandra said...

Ditto to This American Life and Freakonomics. I also listen to A Prarie Home Companion from Garrison Keillor. He's hilarious. But my all time favorite is the Stuff You Missed in History Class. Glad there's a fellow listener.

Shannon said...

When out TV died the day the kids started Christmas break a few years ago we discovered that a lot of old radio shows are available as free podcasts. I like the old Lux Radio Theater which did radio productions of the movies of the day, often with the same actors as the movie, it even has the Lux soap commercials from the original broadcasts. It is scratchy and tinny, but it probably was that way when it was originally broadcast.

I also listen to Diane Rehms and a The Splendid Table. The kids are young enough that they listen to Storynory and are reading the Wizard of Oz along with an audiobook from Librivox recordings.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

We like listening to the old Dragnet's and Six Shooters together while we are working.

The church also has a ton on the Mormon Channel. Click on the programs tab - there's everything from church history (Legacy) to Conversations (interviews with General Authorities) to Youth Voices and Relief Society. It really is a great resource and they are fun to listen too! I heard one the other day on Mormon Myths (under the legacy tab) that was pretty dang funny.

Susan said...

Ha! My husband listens to most of these same podcasts during his long bike rides and and I chuckle when he walks in the door, sweaty and with some seemingly random factoid. My favorite was when he listened to a podcast on "noodling" (fascinating and strange -- check it out) and walked in talking about his. It definitely makes for some non sequiturs in our everyday life.

Homemade Alaska said...

I LOVE pod casts!!!

NGS said...

I second or third or fourth This American Life and feel I must correct everyone who calls it an NPR podcast because I am obnoxious - it's a Chicago Public Radio and PRI (Public Radio International) show that's frequently heard on NPR. I also like The Moth podcast (themoth.org)and Planet Money (also an NPR podcast).

Jen Rouse said...

I love the way you're modeling life-long learning for your kids! It inspires me to do more. This American Life is great too.

Annie said...

I haven't ventured into the deep pool of my Ipod yet, but you are inspiring me to try a podcast!

owlfan said...

I love podcasts. I listen to way, WAY more podcasts than songs on my iPod. I love the Stuff you missed in History class as well as Stuff you should know. I also like Science Friday and NPR's Story of the Day. Unfortunately, I have more hours of podcasts that I subscribe to than hours I tend to listen every week.

Oh, and I can't forget the Capitol Steps. They only have a few shows each year, but the whole family loves them. We missed the April Fools edition last week, so we tuned in to the podcast one evening and laughed together.

LeGrand, Alicia, Wesley and Fredrick said...

This American Life is great. I also listen to New BYU Speeches (the weekly devotionals and monthly firesides) as well as NPR Books podcast, which gives you cool reviews on a wide range of books, as well as interviews with authors and scholars.

Scribbit said...

What great suggestions--I didn't know you could get so many of these as podcasts.

Though Capitol STeps is a new one to me, I'll have to look that one up.

And I'll NEVER make that NPR mistake again! :) Thanks for the correction!

JanMary @ www.janmary.com said...

I listen to podcasts in bed at night when I'm trying to drift off to sleep - it's like someone is reading me a bedtime story but there is no light on to annoy my husband and I don't fall asleep with my glasses on!

Even here in Ireland I eagerly wait for Ira and This American Life. I also enjoy many if the BBC podcasts but not sure how much of them are available - they have wonderful drama and great documentaries. I especially love the banter on the BBC Mayo and Kermode Film Reviews (friday afternoon here).

Happy discovering and please share your new finds :)

Flea said...

This guy is a favorite with our boys, old and young: http://www.dancarlin.com/

Von said...

I'll second Dan Carlin's Hardcore History!!

QoE said...

I really enjoy most of the podcasts listed, but no one has mentioned the Naked Scientists. From Oxford University, it is science and medicine that I can understand (and with a sense of humor).
Cathy in MN

Annie said...

I listen to a couple of podcasts, one is MommyCast which has been around for a while. Incidentally, Michelle, on Podcast #435 they talked about homeschooling and touched on some of the same things you did in your last blogpost.

Shannon said...

I am checking back in to see what everyone else is listening to, looks like I'll be adding a few podcasts to the line up!

I second the Naked Scientists! great show and my kids really like the kitchen science segment.

Peruby said...

Well, I've never listened to a podcast, but I'll weigh in on Hedy Lamarr! Loved her in Samson & Delilah.

Randa Clay said...

LOOOOVE podcasts! No one has mentioned PRIs Selected Shorts which is totally awesome. These are short stories read by actors - usually 2-3 stories a week. It's my favorite next to This American Life and Wait, Wait (which I cannot listen to at bedtime because I wake my husband up with my howling laughter!)
Thanks for the cool history show recommendations!

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

I attribute podcasts to my discovery of blogging - since some of the first podcasters I found back in 2007 were bloggers as well, and that's what got me interested in blogging. :)

Some of my longtime favorites are Manic Mommies and Pediacast - I also like some tv-based ones, such as Gleeful and the Idle Review. I'm just starting to get into knitting video podcasts too - I like 90% Knitting a lot.

Good luck - they're addictive!

Dave Thurston said...

Only one that I can thing to add: Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase - a podcast from a flight attendent about flying and the flying public.

Sea Star said...

I only recently got my first ipod and don't know all that it can be used for. I keep hearing about all these great podcasts. I think I am going to be checking out this new and foreign land. It sounds fun!

Carina said...

This has been the year of the podcasts for me as well. I tend to lean toward the humorous, but I'm enjoying the informative as well. Planet Money, The History Chicks etc.

StaceyC4 said...

My son started a podcast with a friend where they interview and review hardcore Christian music bands/music. It's called "This Moment in Hardcore". It cracks me up because it's a little like "Wayne's World" for the iPod generation!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

What a great idea! I love podcasts, but I hadn't heard of this one.

I listen to "To The Best of Our Knowledge", "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me", "This American Life", and "Planet Money".

If you're on your bike, make sure you only listen with one ear, so you can hear if another biker is coming behind you. :)

sabrina said...

You found the only 2 podcasts I follow. I have found a few that interest me, but none that are consistently engaging. I love learning about history as if I'm discussing it with friends! Both are great when driving, or sometimes I listen on earbuds when I can't sleep at night. I hope I retaining the info subliminally.

Laurie Matherne said...

NPR Car Talk is a favorite. And being far away from the US, I like podcasts even more. They keep me in touch with things familiar at no cost. Also enjoy podcasts from the Boise Idaho Vineyard and Cinncinnati Vineyard Church.

Robin Sue said...

Thank you for introducing these pod casts. I will get my children to listen to these. They love Lake Wobegon so to find a few more will be great. With summer coming up and so many friends out of town, I need to do something! Last summer we did a little book club but my middle guy is not a huge reader, more of a doer. So I think he will like these.

Annette Lyon said...

SO many podcasts, so little time!

Two for writers:

Writing Excuses (with Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, and Howard Taylor)

The Appendix (with Robison Wells, Sarah M. Eden, and Marion Jensen)

All great writers--some NY Times bestsellers, and all LDS.

(I'm a guest on The Appendix the next three weeks, starting tomorrow. SUCH a blast.)

Anonymous said...

I listen to a lot of the ones mentioned. One I stumbled upon a month ago was "Unload with Madge & Dave". They are my age (39), married, and talk (unload - i.e. bitch) about current topics and reference things from our childhoods (old TV shows, toys, etc). They are funny, sometimes can be annoying, but a good time.

Laura