What I’m listening to (#1)


To say that I love podcasts is a monumental understatement. I not only love them, but I revel in them, eagerly looking forward to time driving in my car and even staying on the treadmill longer than my prescribed workout time to finish out a particularly mesmerizing episode. I know! It’s like magic, right?

And since I’m completely infatuated, I thought I’d share a few of the podcasts that I’m lovin’ on right now:

Pop Culture Happy Hour This is a fairly new find for me and I’ve totally fallen in love with it. It’s snarky, witty and insightful conversations on all things pop culture, from movies to music to TV shows. And not recaps, but opinions, discussion of themes and explanations of subtleties that, frankly, I’d never even recognize if it weren’t for them. This podcast makes me feel hip and with it, which is no easy feat when you’re talking about a 44 year old who mostly watches sports on TV and listens to news on the radio. They always end the podcast with a segment called “What’s making us happy” and my own resounding answer to that is the whole PCHH team. THEY make me happy.

Planet Money This podcast is all about making boring economic and financial stuff incredibly fascinating. The team does a great job at taking current and historical events and weaving a story around them so the events and forces behind them are not only understandable, but relatable. They manage to take these complex, overarching economic theories and find people who are actually living them and tell their stories. Just recently I learned all about the Gold Standard and I really enjoyed it — seems impossible, yet, it’s totally true.

Intelligence Squared An Oxford-style debate, this podcast makes me feel all smart and brainy just by listening to it. Hell, I feel smart just having it in my playlist. Two teams, one for the motion and one against with three segments: opening statements, questions, and then closing statements. It’s recorded in front of a live audience and before the debate, the audience votes pro/con/undecided. After the debate the audience is polled again, and the side that has the biggest percentage gain wins. The panels they have are smart, informed experts, passionate about the side they are trying to prove. One of the last topics I listened to was “Amazon: the readers friend” and they went back and forth as to whether Amazon was a evil behemoth or not — really, very informative. 

Dear Sugar Anyone who used to read Cheryl Strayed as Dear Sugar on TheRumpus.net will be thrilled to know that she’s back, but in a podcast rather than written form. If you have never read Strayed as Dear Sugar, do yourself a favor and bury yourself in her archives online — you won’t be disappointed. Strayed brings such warmth, vulnerability and empathy to her advice that it seems to touch your very soul. She makes me feel all the feelings, if you know what I mean. The podcast — she’s also joined by Steve Almond, the Dear Sugar who preceded her — has a different sort of feel to it than her writing, but she still has the ability to cut through all the crap to get to the heart of the issue.

So, what’s everyone else listening to these days


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