Sunday, August 28, 2016

Favorites Post

Everybody has a list of favorites:  favorite books, movies, places, restaurants, musicians.  I thought I'd share a short list of favorites today for fun.

I hate to walk around when I'm doing chores, like mowing the grass, doing laundry, and even driving back and forth to work (my car radio doesn't work and neither does the cd player) with nothing to do.  So I listen to music a lot and I also listen to podcasts.  It keeps me entertained and I learn a lot of things.  So here are a couple of my ever changing list of podcasts I listen to...with a quick word of warning.  Some of these podcasts have language and some of them deal with controversial topics.  By providing these lists I am giving you what I like and enjoy.  These do not reflect the opinion or preferences of my wife, kids, church or employer.  These only reflect me, my dog and cat, enjoy:

1)  99% Invisible

This is a podcast about the hidden world of design.  Roman Mars is the host and besides having a super cool name, he has a fantastic voice that you will be hypnotized by, seriously.  A short podcast, about 7 to 15 minutes depending on the topic, and a new episode comes out about once a week with some breaks now and then.  Favorite episode would probably be The Mojave Phone Booth or the Green Book.  Very well produced.

2.  APM:  A Prairie Home Companion's News from Lake Wobegon

The best storyteller in America is Garrison Keillor.  He recently retired after doing his beloved radio show, "A Prarie Home Companion" for over 40 years.  The whole show is worth a listen, it's old fashioned radio with a modern twist and it's really well done.  His voice, his style, everything he does is absolutely brilliant.  The best part of the show though is the segment where he talks about growing up in the small town of Lake Wobegon, a small fictional town which mirrors some of his own real life experiences.  The show is now over but if you've never listened you wouldn't know as there are years and years of stories to listen to and they're all great.  Small town life, small town problems, with a big heart.

3.  Radiolab:  from WNYC

Produced on a public radio station and put out as a podcast, this is a sciencey, philosophical podcast that tries to answer some fun questions.  Very smart and very interesting.  It covers a wide variety of topics, is very well produced and is usually about an hour or so.  It comes out once every few weeks so you will be waiting for the next episode and I don't always agree with their conclusions but it's solid to listen to and they also put out another very good podcast that I never thought would be interesting but is very good called "More Perfect", about the history of the Supreme Court.  Sounds boring right?  I thought it would be awful.  It is actually once of the best podcasts I've ever listened to and they've only done a few episodes, I'm anxious for more.

4.  Reveal

Reveal is exactly what it sounds like, it is a podcast that 'reveals' the hidden side of things.  It is investigative journalism on all sorts of things.  Student debt, the welfare system, prisons and how they are run, the Zika virus and a host of other interesting items.  Put our every couple of weeks at about 30 to 45 minutes it is a very well done program.  Very informative.

5.  Reply All

Reply All is a podcast directed at explaining how the internet works, with that said it often has language that is rough, so be warned.  But it is very well produced, very informative and with the exception of the latest episode (which I found to be a poor subject), the topics are usually very interesting and fun to learn about.  

6.  Surprisingly Awesome 

This podcast is about boring, mundane things that having very interesting backstories and uses that we are unaware of, like cardboard, and mold.  Very catchy theme music and funny hosts, it is a great podcasts that I have only recently discovered.  

7.  Capitol Hill Baptist Church 

Mark Dever is one of the Reformed pastors that I still like to listen to, he's a bit windy but he's a good communicator, good with tying in historical facts to modern day issues and good with the text.  I like Mark Dever over most reformed pastors any day.  

8.  The Riverside Church Sermons 

At the complete opposite side of the spectrum is the Riverside Church in NYC.  A liberal church with very short sermons and lots of guest speakers.  Dr. Amy Butler is the current pastor and a very good preacher.  I will say that there are quite a few sermons that I turn off because I disagree with them so strongly but there are many others that I disagree with and still listen to because it's good to hear the other side.  

9.  Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me 

I have to say, this is one of my absolute favorites.  It takes today's news and makes it into a fun game.  With listener's calling in and a panel of guests and special guests, it's really a lot of fun.  It's been around for quite some time as well.  Look it up, the history is fascinating.  

So there's the list, I have quite a few more that I could list, Snap Judgment, Invisibilia, Let My People Think, This American Life, Past Present, Fresh Air Freakonomics and KCRW's Unfictional.  What podcasts do you listen to?  

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