If you’re like me you spend an inordinate amount of time picking up clothes, moping, making beds, and hanging out washing then undoubtably you’ll be craving something to fill the audio void.
Sure screaming kids is awesome and soothing for the soul, but even the soul must crave a little variety.
So during those times I often find music just doesn’t cut it, this is the same thing I found when commuting two hours a day.
The answer for me was podcasts.
It took me quite a good deal of time to find several that I liked with hosts that I could tolerate. Below you’ll find a list of casts that I listen too or have listened too and gained something from or simply been entertained by.
This is by no means a definitive list, and certainly not designed to cater to every taste, it’s more of a sampler, a tasting plate for those who haven’t yet dipped their feet in the chill water of the podcast ocean.
- Stuff You Should Know – Family friendly: 100% – Both Josh and Chuck cater for almost every market. A well-balanced and interesting twice a week discussion about topics as varied as: What makes lead so poisonous, Who gets to name continents? The Star Wars Christmas Special of 1978, and How to donate your body to science. They have extremely active social media groups and loads of videos online including: Internet Roundup, and Don’t Be Dumb. With multiple live shows (predominantly in the USA) they’re a popular favorite, and with over 800 episodes recorded to date there’s bound to be something to strike your fancy.
- Snap Judgment – Family friendly: Almost always, warnings when not – Its tagline is “Story telling with a beat.” They deliver on that promise. A myriad of tales from: the impossible to wholly entertaining. Told by an assortment of wonderfully talented story tellers there’s always something interesting to hear. Plus the host, Glynn Washington, is extremely vibrant and hilarious.
- 99% Invisible – Family Friendly: 100% – Short pieces of art about the nature of architecture and how we interact with it, throw in some history and you have a show worth tuning into. Roman Mars (the host) has a dramatic flair for language and the subtle uses of music, this makes all the difference in the almost invisible aspects of our everyday lives.
- The Art Of Manliness – Family friendly: 100% – This wonderful podcast talks “manly” with an assortment of guests about a huge array of topics. Your manly host, Brett Mckay, administers the AOM website and this is a nice supplement to what he presents there, or vice-versa.
- The Memory Palace – Family friendly: 100% – History, life, lost things, Nate DiMeo covers it all in this extremely short but amazingly well produced show.
- The Greatest Generation – Family Friendly: Not so much – As they put it on their website: “A Star Trek podcast by two guys who are a bit embarrassed to have a Star Trek podcast. We’re watching Star Trek: The Next Generation from start to end!” With two episodes a week you’ll quickly have lots to listen to. Two genuinely funny guys talking frankly about a show both wonderful and ridiculous at the same time, a must for anyone who calls themselves a Trekkie.
- Star Talk Radio show by Neil deGrass Tyson – Family Friendly: 100% – Some times referred to as this generations Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson presents science and space for everyone. With regular guests and interviews there’s always something interesting to hear.
- The Unbelievable Podcast – Family friendly: No, no and double no – A supernatural, conspiracy, alien visitation, podcast hosted by Brian Frange and Phoebe Tyres, 2 comedians just trying to make good in this world. They tackle topics as wide as: Alien abductions, the Mothman, Bigfoot, and the whole gamut of crazy. Genuinely funny but also very coarse, this ones best listened to when the little ones aren’t around. With a recorded show on Tuesdays and a live one on Friday there’s plenty to listen to.
- Mysterious Universe – Family friendly: Not so much – This incredibly well produced Australian podcast addresses all those odd news headlines you’re always seeing. The three hosts cover the topics with great comic timing but also a respect that mainstream media sometimes neglects to add to mysterious happenings.
- Serial – Family friendly: for the most part – This one takes a bit of time to get through, but the journey is well worth the effort. You will need a clear head and maybe even a notepad to keep abreast. An analysis of a murder, get ready to feel conflicted.
- Radiolab – Family friendly: 100% – Stories from all over the world on a huge array of topics, Each one is insanely researched and impeccably produced. This was one of the first podcasts that I ever listened too and really liked, it’s been the benchmark for everything else.
How to listen.
Naturally most of these are available through your iTunes account, or directly through the links provided above. I personally like to use an app called Podcast Addict, which I find is an easy way to stream or save all your episodes.
All the links in one place.
Stuff You Should Know – Snap Judgment – 99% Invisible – The Art Of Manliness – The Memory Palace – The Greatest Generation – Star Talk Radio show by Neil deGrass Tyson –The Unbelievable Podcast – Mysterious Universe – Serial – Radiolab
Feel free to leave your favorite podcast in the comments for others to follow-up on.