Podcasts are a huge part of my life. I wake up — I usually listen to a podcast. I'm working on something — I'm often listening to a podcast. I take a break — what a great time for a podcast! Long drives? PLEASE. I have podcasts on podcasts on podcasts on deck! So now, delve into a typical day of podcast life with me. Learn, laugh, listen.
aka the time my room gets too bright to continue sleeping, so I've got to get up
The Daily is my favorite way to wake up these days. Just twenty minutes covering whatever story is going to drive that day of news at the New York Times. Almost aways topics I know near to nothing about. The last episode I listened to covered the new appointee to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Extra: Apparently, the show is made in what used to be a large storage closet. How fun is that!
aka working time
Radiolab is probably my favorite podcast of all time. They'll take a simple topic and unwind it into an hour of deep, story-driven learning. I love listening to this while doing design work.
The latest episode I listened to focused on 16 words in the Constitution: "Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes." And how these impacted the country, from one wheat farmer, to racial segregation, to way more.
aka food break time, which usually involves Netflix if I'm being honest but... if I did a podcast instead it'd be this one
This American Life was where it all began for me, hence my school-girl-like voice-crush on Ira Glass. It's all about story, all about taking big topics and hearing real people.
The best episode I've listened to lately was a two-part series called Our Town, about what actually happened when a large group of undocumented immigrants moved into Albertville, Alabama. Here's a quote that stuck with me:
"After all these years, it's hard not to notice that there's a symmetry in the lives of the old-time workers like Pat and the immigrants who arrived to work alongside them. Both groups never finished high school. Both groups used the chicken plants as a way to pull their families out of working in the fields. Both are incredibly proud that this is what let them buy a house, cars, send their kids to school, make sure they finished and didn't end up at the plants like them. And they've both seen their real wages drop over the last 20 years...
The thing is, even if Sessions had managed to block immigrants from ever coming to Albertville in the first place, or if the administration he serves figures out how to do that now, the main things in America driving down wages weren't immigrants at all."
aka back to working time
Science Vs is a very approaching facts and numbers type of show. Usually about half an hour in length, their episodes have covered a ton of topics. Organic food, attachment parenting, gun control, hypnosis, birth control, and yeah — a ton more. The last one I listened to was Vitamins & Supplements - Are They Worth It?
I tend to take this show with a grain of salt. They list great resources on their website, as well as a full transcript with footnotes, so there's always more digging that can be done.
And, as the show makes clear, our scientific understanding of many things changes over time. There's a big difference between science showing something doesn't work and there not being enough science yet to show us how or why something does or doesn't work. That said, I'm not running to buy a box of multivitamins anytime soon. Cause capitalism is real. Not everything in the health industry is made with best intentions.
aka could be working, could be eating, could be chilling time
Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me is just the best. Give me laughter and something new I didn't know. I'm happy. One day I'm going to call in like, "I'm Cheyenne from Richmond, VA!" and Paula Poundstone or Alonzo Bodden will say hi to me and I'll be SO HAPPY.
Did you know Britain has a Minister of Loneliness? Or that when archeologists recently reconstructed the face of a 9000 year old teenager, they concluded she looked pissed, proving teenagers never change? Now you do, thanks to Wait, Wait. Your'e welcome!