Top 5 podcasts

top 5 fav podcasts

I’m not sure when I began really enjoying podcasts but it must have been some time ago because I don’t remember seeing as many as there are today. The list of podcasts are endless and I’ve only delved into a small handful. Podcasts have essentially replaced listening to the AM radio for me and as much as I like radio talk shows, the commercials just ruin it. Good podcasts not only offer interesting material, but great hosts make the podcasts entertaining. Do you listen to podcasts? If so, any recommendations? Here are 5 of my favourite podcasts:

1. This American Life: Each week This American Life hosts a show based on a selected theme. The show contains several individual stories based on the theme so you get to hear a variety of voices and narratives. Hosted by Ira Glass, the stories are usually based on the true stories of everyday people. Choose from hundreds of archives here.

2. Philosophy Bites: Philosophy… it can either be very dry when pretentious philosophers try too hard, or it can be engaging and intellectually stimulating when its hosted by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. Philosophy Bites is a weekly program that explores tough philosophical questions like “what is criminal responsibility?” to lighter questions like “what is humor?”  in bite-sized answers. Each podcast runs between 10-20 minutes and you end each show thinking about the question for the rest of the day. Find archives on their site here.

3. Quirks and Quacks:  Ever wondered why yawning has a “domino” effect? Or how psychologists can tell if you’re lying by studying your face? Quirks and Quarks is a show about questions and answers about all things science. Whether it’s physical, natural, social, technological, environmental or ethical implications of science, host Bob McDonald will guide you through interesting and fun shows. Archives found here.

4. NPR:Ted (talks)Radio Hour and TED Talks(Audio): I’ve combined both programs because they’re pretty much the same except Ted Radio Hour is produced specially like a radio show where you have a host–Alison Stewart–conversing with the speaker while TED talks (Audio) is purely the recording of talks. Both of course promote and share innovative ideas from speakers around the world. Brought to you by the good folks of NPR, TED Radio Hour is a co-production of NPR and TED.  I have to say I prefer listening to the audio podcast than watching the presentations themselves, although they are both great.  Listen to past episodes (Radio Hour) and TED Talks (Audio) here.

5.Slate’s Cultural Gabfest: This is the newest podcast for me and so far, I’m loving it. Slate Magazine is also a very good publication with very well-written pieces on everything from news and politics to popular culture and even advice columns. This podcast focuses on pop culture and there are 3 hosts who are engaging, smart and don’t talk over one another( unlike the ladies on The View). Find archives here.

( All can be found on iTunes as well)

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