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Podcasting

Started: 2012-11-04 11:19:46

Submitted: 2012-11-04 11:31:07

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator enumerates the podcasts he listens to, just in case anyone happens to be curious

I get most of my entertainment through podcasts, which I listen to while doing the dishes (and other work around the house), and while hiking and running. (This is simply a cross-post from another, restricted-visibility site, in case it all looks strangely familiar.) Here's what I listen to, in no particular order (but grouped by category):

  1. news:
    1. Marketplace (main show podcast; 1/2 hour every week day): business and economics news; this is the first thing I put on my iPod every night to listen to while doing dishes.
    2. NPR Story of the Day (5-10 minutes, once a day): Selected stories from all of NPR's programs. Sometimes this covers the top daily new story, but most of the time it's a feature story.
    3. PBS NewsHour (an hour of stories every weekday, broken up into 5-10 minute segments): I pick stories that look interesting and listen to them. Sometimes I listen to nothing in a week; other times there's interesting stuff. While I was growing up my mother watched the NewHour; its style of talking-head experts analyzing specific news stories is a bit under-stated for television but works great in an audio-only podcast.
    4. PBS News Hour Shields & Brooks commentaries: Moderate commentators from opposing ends of the political spectrum get together every Friday evening and talk about the week's news. They often disagree (sometimes with their own parties) but they're always civil.
  2. economics:
    1. NPR Planet Money (15-20 minutes twice a week): Popular economics in a bit more detail than one might cover on a normal news program; Planet Money's stories are often cut down to 5-minute NPR news stories.
    2. EconTalk (1 hour, every Monday): Hosted by a libertarian economics professor who talks to one guest each week about something related in some way to economics. I don't always agree with him but it's always interesting. His talk with Adam Davidson [of Planet Money] on Manufacturing is one of my favorites.
    3. Freakonomics (once a week; episode length varies): Not always about economics, but always about "the hidden side of everything"; recent episodes discussed locally-grown foods (unlikely to be as environmentally-friendly as one thinks) and the value of a college education.
  3. speculative fiction:
    1. EscapePod (once a week, usually 30-45 minutes): Short stories in modern science fiction. Don't let the fact that it's totally free (or the scary computer voice that reads the episode number and title) dissuade you from listening: the production values are very high. I think my favorite story ever is Mr. Penumbra's Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store, though I confess I haven't actually listened to it in the three years since I first heard it. For a more recent story, try The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees.
    2. PodCastle (once a week, usually 30-45 minutes): Fantasy, from the people who brought you EscapePod. They try to expand the bounds of fantasy, covering pretty much everything that isn't nailed down. One of my favorites in the Hugo Award-winning The Paper Menagerie.
    3. The Drabblecast (once a week, usually 30-45 minutes): "strange stories, by strange authors, for strange listeners ... like yourself." Stories of the fantastic, and the weird, with some horror thrown in for good measure. How I Crippled a World for Just 0.01 Cents is pretty clever, though not necessarily representative.
  4. other:
    1. This American Life (one hour, once a week): You've probably heard of it. If not, The Onion can fill in the details.
    2. Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me (one hour, once a week): The NPR news quiz. I try to time the podcast so I can listen to it while folding laundry on Sunday. Don't ask.
    3. NPR All Songs Considered (usually 45 minutes, once a week): new music and other stuff I haven't heard.
C will not only let you shoot yourself in the foot, it will hand you a new magazine when you run out of bullets.
- Charles Stross, Where we went wrong