Some of you probably wonder what I do on those long drives to work when I do not have a book to enjoy. Since I pay for Audible, I get one book per month and sometimes I get through that book in a short period of time, which means I have a short period until I can download another book. Yes, I can listen to music, but after awhile, I want something to stimulate the mind. Talk radio is fun, but my options are pretty limited. Over a year ago, I discovered a few podcasts and figured this would be a good time to mention them.
I think this was probably the first podcast I started listening to (minus Jason & Nick’s old podcast). I burned through the four hundred episodes, which is not that crazy since each one is about ten minutes long. I still listen to it every week when the new one comes out. If you are a fan of skeptical inquiry, this is a podcast for you! The great thing is that even though it is short, it gives a ton of information, especially on topics that average people have an interest. For example, there is a great episode about locally grown produce that really tears apart the whole local is better for the environment myth. The other thing I love is that each episode is transcribed on the website, with bibliographic entries for further reading.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is probably my favorite of all the podcasts. I listened to every episode. In fact, I wanted the older episodes so I bought them (new episodes are free) and it was definitely money well spent. I was able to give them as gifts to my dad (I never found out what he thought of them) and Lindsey’s step-dad (I am pretty sure he enjoyed them).
What I love is how in-depth he goes on a subject, but also how he drifts off into side tangents. Had I ever become a professor, I imagine that is how I would have been. My favorite episode was the entire Ghosts of the Ostfront story. I was blown away by the how horrible the war was between Russia and Germany compared to the Western Front. And now Carlin is talking about one of my favorite things: World War I. Yes, this is a podcast that I absolutely drop what I am doing in order to listen to when it comes out.
I started listening to episodes of StarTalk Radio Show with Neil Degrasse Tyson a few months ago and must say that it is quite good. Tyson has that way of explaining things that is fun, but not overly simple. Unfortunately, I have only listened to a few episodes, so I do not have a favorite. I decided to listen to it though because I got tired of trying to find Coast to Coast AM on the radio. Granted, the shows are nothing alike, but Coast is entertaining because of the stupidity. I was hoping to find it in podcast form on my phone and ended up finding StarTalk instead. I would say that was a good trade.
This is the newest podcast I discovered. I have only listened to four episodes so far, but from what I have heard, it is definitely pretty cool. It is quite similar to Skeptoid, not shocking since they are both skeptical podcasts. Where it differs though is format. Instead of ten minute episodes, Monster Talk is around an hour. It is a panel discussion about a certain monster topic. For example, they did an episode on Ancient Aliens and they brought in an archaeologist to actually help explain how some of those ideas are really stupid. The show has plenty of humor, but also since it is a conversation about the topic, there is more room for the guest to stray outside the planned topic. In that episode, they ask Dr. Feder about archaeology and he gives some great answers such as this:
Finally, when they begin taking some courses, they honed in on the particular major that became their profession. That’s not the case with most of the people I know who went into archaeology. Most archaeologists, you ask ‘em, “When did you become interested in Archaeology?” They’ll tell you, “When I was four, I went outside and dug a hole and I found a piece of glass, and I thought, woah!” And then you read in a book that people will pay you to go play in the dirt and find cool shit! When students want a single sentence definition of Archaeology and they don’t want something very sophisticated, I tell them, “Archaeology is about digging up cool shit!” And they look at me and I say, “Write that down, that will definitely be on the exam!”
I highly recommend listening to the episode.
Anyways, those are the things I enjoy listening to on my way to work. Check them out. Also, I appreciate any recommendations!