Favorite Five: Podcasts: Part Two

I thought I was going to make it this winter without getting sick but last Friday I could feel it attacking. Five days later; having gone through multiple boxes of tissues and having sinus pressure so bad I was in tears, I am almost feeling normal. I think by this weekend I will have kicked this thing to the curb for good.

Better late than never, here is part two of my favorite five podcast list. I hope this has encouraged non-podcast listeners to check them out or, if you already listen to podcasts, I hope you found some new ones to try.

 

 

 

 

Serial

Many of you have probably hear of this podcast. It became a runaway success when it started back in Fall 2014. The combination of suspense, murder and a sympathetic convict made for a record-breaking debut.

Serial tells one story over the course of a season with each episode building on the previous one. This season’s topic was the murder of an 18 year old high school student, Hae Min Lee, and her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who was convicted of her murder. Obviously this was not an open and shut case or else it would not be a very interesting podcast. Instead there are many unanswered questions about Adnan’s conviction and host Sarah Koenig takes us along for the ride as she tries to answer them.

If I had to pick a favorite episode it would probably be the first one; The Alibi, because that is the one that got me hooked. Who among us could remember what they did after school 15 years ago? What is this “alibi” and why wasn’t it used in the case? These questions were intriguing but sometimes the answers led to more questions. If you enjoy mysteries of any kind you will enjoy this podcast.

 

 

 

Gilmore Guys

Before you brush off this as “for Gilmore Girls fans only” let me assure you this podcast stands on its own. It’s hosts, Kevin T. Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe, are funny, smart and engaging whether you are a “Gilly” or not.

Each podcast covers an episode of the Gilmore Girls and they break it down with segments such as “Pop Goes the Culture” and “The Ffffashion Report”. They often have guests, sometimes even people who do no like the show. I love that kind of “outside of the box” thinking. These guys aren’t afraid of defending their show or of having lively discussions. The guests have all been great, even the “anti-Gillys”; in fact those have been some of the funniest episodes.

I think this podcast is successful because of it’s uniqueness. Here are two hetero guys discussing a show that is labeled “for women.” Not only does this prove that Gilmore Girls isn’t just for women but it is also great to hear a different perspective. Another unique aspect is that these are not two die-hard fans; Kevin has seen the whole series and is a self-professed “Gilly” and Demi is watching it for the first time. Many podcasts about TV series are fans simply gushing about their show; there isn’t much actual discussion.  Demi is there as a set of fresh eyes, noticing issues someone who loves the show may miss. To be fair even Kevin doesn’t shy away from laughing at bad set design or ridiculous situations. They have figured out how to toe the line of being funny without being insulting which is good since most of their original listeners were Gilmore Girls fans.

Gilmore Girls reminds me of my mom; I remember coming home during college and my mom would be watching it or she would tell me about it. I regret never sitting down and watching it with her. It is great to watch a show with someone because then you have someone to discuss it with. Now, as I work my way through all seven seasons and my mom is no longer with us, I feel like these guys are giving me an outlet for that analysis I crave, with a much needed dose of humor.

 

 

 

 

 

Stuff You Should Know

Do you want to know what the placebo effect is? Are you confused by 3D printing? (I was.) Have you found yourself wondering how underwater tunnels work? Did you forget what amnesia is? (See what I did there.) Then this podcast is for you.

The hosts, Josh and Chuck, lead us on an endless quest for knowledge. No topic is off limits. (It seems.) They have covered everything from the Muppets to lethal injection and have done so with intelligence, respect and humor.

These guys make it work with their relaxed demeanor and chemistry.  They are obviously good friends. They pick the topic together and then they each do their own research. When they come together on the podcast the information is delivered in a conversational format so you never feel like its a classroom-like lecture. The podcasts are often sprinkled with mini segues and personal antidotes which add to the relaxed feel.

These guys have created a cable show, have weekly videos and even do live events. I think it would be a blast to seem them in person. I haven’t listened to every show; there are over 600 total, but I have listened to most of them. Find a podcast that covers something you are interested in and before you know it you will be listening to all of them.

There you have it; my five favorite podcasts! What are some of your favorite podcasts?

Have a great weekend!

-Christy

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Five: Podcasts: Part 1

I am always behind when it comes to new technology. (I’ve only been on twitter for about a year.)  When my husband started using the word “podcast” in our everyday conversations I had no idea what he was talking about. And because apparently I tune out what I don’t know, for a long time I didn’t even ask.

However, when we started traveling and were facing eight to nine hours of driving a day he brought them up as a way to pass time.  I enjoy talk radio such as This American Life so I took him up on his suggestion.  After four or five hours of driving, multiple stops, missed exits, and miss-read maps, our conversations tended to become contentious. That is when we would turn on a podcast and calm and order would be restored.

My husband helped me find a few to start listening to and pretty soon I was hooked. Nowadays I listen to podcasts almost everyday. I can listen to something humorous if I need a laugh or distraction while I am working out, I can catch up on current events when I don’t have time to sit in front of the TV or I can listen to food podcasts while I am making dinner; they are so easy incorporate into your day.

Here are my favorite podcasts and some of my favorite episodes. Since it is hard to do all of that and keep it short I’ve decided to make this a two-part Favorite Five post.

Here they are; as always, these are in no particular order.

 

 

 

 

Stuff You Missed in History Class

This was the first podcast I listened to. My husband was wise to suggest it as I love history. Its been around since 2008 and I enjoyed it so much I went back to the beginning and have listened to all of the episodes.

History was my favorite subject in school but textbooks can only cover so much and I was left wanting more. This was back before the internet and sometimes it could be hard to find additional information on a particular subject. This podcast is just what I needed back then. Sometimes it covers something you have never heard of; other times it discusses events you have heard of but didn’t really know the particulars on. I especially enjoy the podcasts about historical figures because the hosts give you information on who the person was, not just the important thing they did.

Here are some of my favorite episodes.

Polio: The Dread Disease. My grandmother, who is 95 and still kicking, had polio has a young child. She told me she can still remember waking up one morning and not being able to walk.  As the illness continued her father began massaging her legs every day. She said she doesn’t know if it really did anything but she felt like it helped. Her family was very poor and couldn’t afford professional medical care so I imagine her father felt like he had to do something and massaging her limbs was the one thing that he thought of that kind of made sense. She ended up fully recovering but has had a few health issues later in life that link back to her struggle with polio.

Because of her experience I’m always interested in learning more about polio. This podcast did a great job of explaining how it started and spread and what it was like to live through this outbreak.

The Christmas Truce. This podcast is one of my favorites because it covers one of my favorite stories from history. I love the idea that in the thick of war people could still find some Christmas spirit. If you don’t know what I am talking about listen to the podcast! Maybe while sitting in front of your Christmas tree, sipping hot cocoa.

The House of Worth and the Birth of Haute Couture. I love Victorian clothing and it doesn’t get much more Victorian than the House of Worth. Do yourself a favor and Google “Charles Worth” and look at some of the images. I seen some of his gowns in museums but didn’t know much about him or how he got started. This man was a much bigger part of fashion history than I realized.

 

 

 

 

Death, Sex and Money

I enjoy the frankness of this podcast. The host, Anna Sale, interviews all kind of people about all kinds of things but mostly, as the title suggests, she covers death, sex, and money. Here are some of my favorites:

Living Alone and Liking It. Sometimes.

Sometimes she asks us, the audience, to email or call in with a personal story for an upcoming podcast. This time it was about people living alone; some are loving it, others not so much. It brought me back to my 20s when I almost always was living alone, and pretty much loving it.  Even after moving in with my husband I was still on my own a lot, even at night because he was working as a paramedic. I enjoyed the memories this podcast brought back and it made me appreciate my current situation even more.

I Love You but There’s This Money Thing

Money can be a very contentious topic to bring up in a relationship. My husband and I don’t argue much but when we do it is usually about finances. If you and your partner aren’t on the same page regarding money, spending, and saving you are doomed. That may seem overly dramatic but you will have issues if you don’t figure that out. I enjoyed this podcast because she was able to find some humor and levity in a serious subject. She emphasizes that while not the most romantic topic, its a topic that needs to be discussed.

This Senator Saved My Love Life

A young couple, separated by distance, is brought back together with the help of a Senator. Sounds strange but it is a lovely, heart warming story and I hope you listen to it. The older couple speaks about love and life with a frankness and wisdom that only comes with age. I think that our society does itself a disservice when we collectively ignore older people. If you are willing to listen you almost always will learn something from them. They aren’t perfect, and do not pretend to be but they are not afraid to say what they think, and why they think that way. I love hearing another generation’s opinion on life.

Next week I will have the other three, along with my favorite foodie podcasts. I hope you take a minute and listen to a few of these. Let me know what you think!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Stay warm!

-Christy