Recommend Your Favorite Podcasts

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Ranbot
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Recommend Your Favorite Podcasts

Postby Ranbot » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:36 pm UTC

I thought it would be interesting to see what podcasts folks here enjoy and would recommend to others. I've become a podcast junky over the past year or so. I'm on the look-out for more to add to my queue. I personally favor podcasts that jump right into a subject with less time-filler banter, but don't let that stop you if like a more conversational style of show, since the suggestions and discussion is for everyone. Please post the podcast and name and brief description. Suggesting one or two of the better episodes to start with might help people too.

I'll start... All of the links below are to the shows' websites, but you can find them on any major podcast app (e.g. iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Spotify, etc.).

NPR Planet Money - breaks down complicated economic subjects in understandable parts and makes it fun. They do a great job of showing how markets and economics impact our lives, past, and futures. Their topics are very eclectic cover big world-wide issues to local small towns. Two years ago I would never have imagined I would enjoy a show about economics so much, but it's fantastic. There's not really a bad episode; just scan through the titles/descriptions for a subject you are mildly interested in and listen... you will come back for more. If you want a small taste of Planet Money they have an off-shoot show called "The Indicator" which is just a quick 10 minutes on smaller subjects don't make it into the 45 minute main show.

From Planet Money I got hooked on Freakonomics, another economics-based show, but focuses on where psychology/sociology of people meets economics. That's where the classic rational economic concepts break down and things get interesting, because people are not as rational as we like to believe (i.e. behavioral economics). A great episode to start with is #311, which will relate to anyone who has ever bought a live concert ticket (probably most people).
Spoiler:
If Freakonomics sounds familiar there were some popular books by the same people and this podcast grew from those books.

Science Vs. - they explore the science behind many questions and controversies society faces... some serious (like vaccines, fracking, nuclear power, gun control, etc.) and some less serious (like Bigfoot, ghosts, and cures for baldness). The host is pretty funny too... well if you like puns she is funny, if not, you've been warned! The fracking episode (July 27, 2016) is very good and I personally have enough professional experience in that field to know they mostly nailed the science, which gives me confidence in the show's other topics.

The Memory Palace- The host finds interesting little pieces of history and presents them in 10-15 minute storylike explanations. The subjects are things that are generally too small to get into history books, but interesting nonetheless or related to bigger events. It's like diving into a historical footnote for a few minutes and some of topics are very moving. The host is an excellent storyteller and adds a lot of emotion to history that could be very very dry. Try episode #110 (Lost Camels) or #92 (Oil, Water) to start. The episodes are short, no big commitment. (edited for better link to the show)

Reply All - A podcast about the internet, which may sound kind of dumb, but it's actually amazing. I'm a pretty internet savvy person, but they take incredibly deep dives into online social groups, history, and technologies that I thought I understood, but often I was only scratching the surface of. The hosts can be pretty funny too. The current episode, #126, and episode #109 are great examples of the show.

(edited for typos)
Last edited by Ranbot on Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:13 am UTC, edited 5 times in total.

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sardia
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Re: Recommend Your Favorite Podcasts

Postby sardia » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:01 pm UTC

538 podcast is pretty good for statistical take on the news. My favorite segment is "good use of polling?"and model talk. It's good for crystalizing political news into useful knowledge. Ex candidate A has a fighting chance to win becomes candidate A is going to lose 80% of the time given polling and fundamentals.

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Zohar
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Re: Recommend Your Favorite Podcasts

Postby Zohar » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:29 pm UTC

I listen to quite a few podcasts... Here's my list:

Comedy:
2 Dope Queens - no other podcast makes me laugh as much as this one. They bring in comedians that are usually OK, not necessarily great, but they are hilarious.
Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me! The NPR News Quiz - the other podcast that makes me laugh a lot.
My Dad Wrote a Porno - British guy's dad writes terrible erotic fiction, guy and his friends read it, hilarity ensues.

News and journalism:
This American Life - kind of hit-or-miss. Sometimes they do amazing stories, sometimes they're just boring. More good than bad.
Nancy - generally interesting LGBTQ reporting. Not as in-depth or high-quality as I would have liked, but usually very good.
Up First - pretty much the only news I listen to, every day while walking my dog.
Code Switch - fascinating coverage of racial and ethnic issues in the US (mostly).

Other!
Dear Hank & John - advice podcast from John and Hank Green. If you like their videos you might like this.
Stuff You Missed in History Class - great content on pretty diverse historical topics
Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel - Fascinating recorded sessions of a couples therapist helping people out. It's tough to listen to sometimes, but makes me think about myself and my relationships a lot.
The Anthropocene Reviewed - John Green looks at culture things waay too closely and poignantly
Every Little Thing - I'm still on the fence on this one. People call in, ask questions, they try to find answers.
Buffering The Vampire Slayer - Two married women discuss episodes of Buffy in chronological order. I'm not up to date yet, but working on it!

Here are some things I enjoyed but I'm not sure if they'll do more seasons of
A Piece of Work - Reviews art in a funny and accessible manner.
Explore a Story - Emily Graslie from the Field Museum and The Brainscoop YouTube channel talks with scientists at the museum about their work.
The Habitat - Six people go into a dome for a year as part of a NASA experiment.
Drawn, The Story of Animation - This was so-so, a recounting of how cartoons are made and their history. A bit more oriented towards kids.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

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Ranbot
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Re: Recommend Your Favorite Podcasts

Postby Ranbot » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:10 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Comedy:
2 Dope Queens - no other podcast makes me laugh as much as this one. They bring in comedians that are usually OK, not necessarily great, but they are hilarious.
Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me! The NPR News Quiz - the other podcast that makes me laugh a lot.
My Dad Wrote a Porno - British guy's dad writes terrible erotic fiction, guy and his friends read it, hilarity ensues.

I need more comedy... definitely going to check these out.
I like "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell me!" when I catch it in the same week it was aired. They riff on current news events, but I'm not disciplined enough to tune in every week and the jokes lose their punch when it's for old news...that's my problem not theirs, but most other podcasts I can miss for weeks or even months and then catch up/binge later.

Zohar wrote:This American Life - kind of hit-or-miss. Sometimes they do amazing stories, sometimes they're just boring. More good than bad.

Agreed... hit and miss.
FYI, Planet Money was born out of This American Life. Specifically, there was a series of amazing and critically acclaimed episodes (here, here, and here) about the 2007 financial crisis done by Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson. The success of those shows inspired them to found Planet Money and Gimlet Media.

Zohar wrote:Every Little Thing - I'm still on the fence on this one. People call in, ask questions, they try to find answers.

I listen to this occasionally... and it's just OK. I've never been wowed, but I've never disliked it. It's kind of a lighter version of Science Vs.

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Ranbot
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Re: Recommend Your Favorite Podcasts

Postby Ranbot » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:31 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:My Dad Wrote a Porno -

Absolutely hillarious. Thanks.

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Quercus
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Re: Recommend Your Favorite Podcasts

Postby Quercus » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:22 am UTC

Thanks for the suggestions everyone - I'll have to check those out!

For me some of the ones I listen to:

  • 99 percent invisible - fantastic design-themed podcast. So interesting, and Roman Mars' voice is just delicious.
  • No such thing as a fish - the QI researcher team made a podcast based on the best facts they've found each week
  • what Trump can teach us about con law - basically using Trump's presidency as a vehicle to teach constitutional law, often by asking the question "can Trump really do that?". Another Roman Mars podcast
  • This is a bit of a cheat, as it's not really a podcast, but I've started downloading the audio from the Aircrew Interview YouTube channel and listening to that as a podcast - basically this guy does really in-depth interviews with former aircrew on all sorts of interesting aircraft, from the SR-71, to the F-111 to Concorde. I do make sure I let an as or two play on the channel before downloading the audio, so the guy still gets some revenue out of me.

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Ranbot
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Re: Recommend Your Favorite Podcasts

Postby Ranbot » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:08 am UTC

Quercus wrote:99 percent invisible - fantastic design-themed podcast. So interesting, and Roman Mars' voice is just delicious.

3 episodes later and I'm still liking it. Thanks for the recommendation

If you like Roman Mars' voice, he sounds like an understudy to Nate DiMeo, the host of The Memory Palace, which is another RadioTopia show that I mentioned above. ( https://www.radiotopia.fm/podcasts/the-memory-palace )


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