March is coming to a close soon, and before the 31st, I want to get in my plugs for podcasts that I love.
I spend a lot of time in the car, driving back and forth between Rockville and Baltimore. A little less now than before I moved to Baltimore a year ago, but still several times a week, back and forth.
To stay sane on the road (and alert), I have come to rely on podcasts, which I download to my phone, and listen when I have heard all the news on NPR, or when my radio reception is poor. I do like listening to music, but sometimes, especially when my mood is more bleak, I find talk and stories to be reassuring, like having a friend talking to me.
So, here are some of my personal favorites:
- This American Life (TAL) – www.thisamericanlife.org broadcast since 1995, I’ve loved this show on the radio, but now, generally only manage to catch it as a podcast. Wonderful stories, in long and short form, on a variety of subjects and topics (hmmm, what’s the difference between a subject and a topic??)
- Snap Judgment – snapjudgment.org – kind of like TAL, but different. I love the Host & Executive Producer, Glynn Washington.
- The Moth – themoth.org – stories told live onstage, usually two stories per episode, sometimes famous people, often not. always fascinating.
- KCRW’s Left, Right & Center – http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/left-right-center – I’ve been listening to this weekly discussion for years. When I first started listening, Matt Miller was the moderator, Robert Sheer was a regular on the left,Tony Blankley was staunchly on the right, and Arianna Huffington occupied a space somewhere in between. Now the panel is totally different, but the discourse is civil, and I believe it’s a valuable model of how to bridge the political divide that has grown so wide in recent years.
- The DeadPod – http://deadshow.blogspot.com – I did go to one Grateful Dead show in my life, and I always have had a few Dead albums in my music library, but I can’t say I really became a fan until I discovered this podcast.
- Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! – http://www.npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me I love this on the radio, but often can’t catch it when it airs, and this is one of my favorites. The biggest problem I have is that the bell that they use to mark points scored can be confused with the bell that marks the mile markers with my running app when I listen to this while running!
- Planet Money – http://www.npr.org/sections/money/ – another show that I love on the air, but appreciate being able to catch “on demand”. I find money and economics to be confusing and anxiety-provoking, but Planet Money makes the issues accessible, as does…
- Freakonomics – http://freakonomics.com – this is another podcast that I find soothing to listen to while running. I don’t know why I find running and economics to be compatible…
So, that’s a few of my personal favorites. I also like listening to Savage Love, which celebrates a liberal and accepting view of sexual liberation (one of his ideas is GGG (“good, giving, and game … Think ‘good in bed,’ ‘giving equal time and equal pleasure’ and ‘game for anything – within reason’”), which I think is lovely.
Do you have a favorite podcast? I’d love to expand my listening list. Please share in the comments.