If you're anywhere in the northeastern United States today, you've either raced to the grocery store to stock up before tomorrow's storm, or seen news coverage of people doing so. Maybe you were one of the people in the extra long lines at the gas station, or one of the kids desperately trying to get on that website that predicts the likelihood of snow days. What I want to know is whether or not you've downloaded enough podcasts to keep you entertained in case the power goes out, or to keep you moving while doing all that shoveling.
In case you have any doubt, here's the second half of my There's a Podcast for That list.
Social Studies (for lack of a more vague title)
- How to be a Girl - Procast from NPR. A mother of a transgender child (in elementary school) talks openly about the struggles and joys of their life.
- The Longest Shortest Time - Procast. If you have children or spend time around children, you'll probably find something of interest here.
- Ear Hustle - Procast from Public Radio Exchange. You'd think a podcast made in prison by prisoners would be bleak, but Ear Hustle is anything but. You get to know some of the inmates as people, not the crimes they committed. It's fascinating and really entertaining.
- Death, Sex & Money - Procast. Thoughtful stories about taboo subjects we all have to face sometime. The host is terrific at asking the tough questions without a trace of sensationalism. Not surprisingly, this show comes from the talented people at WNYC.
- The Guilty Feminist - Take a female, feminist, stand-up comedian, put her in front of an audience with guests and see what painfully funny truths are revealed.
- Only Human - Procast. This podcast from WNYC is billed as a health podcast, but not in the way you'd expect. There are no stories about the best cardio workout or what superfood to eat this month. Instead there are stories about climate change denial, the history of Vicks, and what you pass when you shake hands. It's about being human.
- Rough Translation - Procast from NPR. The journalists look at how issues that are in the news here in the US, are also making news elsewhere in the world. For example, what does fake news mean if you live in the Ukraine?
Science and Technology
- Radiolab - Procast from WNYC. I used to time letting my students out of class to ensure I could be in my car at 9 when this radio show began. That was of course before I knew about podcasts. This is a show for people who are interested in science but aren't necessarily scientists. The co-hosts clearly enjoy each other and they ask the questions that everyday schmoes like me would want to know. One of the hosts was awarded a MacArthur Grant (aka "genius grant") for the way he innovates with sound. You've got to experience it to understand.
- Reply All - Procast from Gimlet Media. Officially the show is about all things related to the internet: memes, twitter wars, hacking etc. In short, it does not sound like something I'd have any interest in, but the guys who host it are clearly old friends. The way the pick on each other cracks me up, and when they bring on their boss to explain a tweet to him, it's so much fun.
- Note to Self: Procast from WNYC. This is a show all about what happens when humans interact with technology. Even though it's a show by radio professionals, the host is willing to share her insecurities and bad habits. There's been an emphasis on data safety recently which I haven't found as engaging, but go check out some of the older episodes.
- Invisibilia: Procast from NPR. Each episode takes a look at something unseen that affects our lives. This is science based, so there are no ghosts or paranormal stories, which is fine with me. Reality is full of strange and wonderful things.
- Black Sheep - Procast from Radio New Zealand. I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled on this show, but I love it. I probably hoped it had to do with knitting; it doesn't. The host devotes each episode to "the shady, controversial and sometimes downright villainous characters of New Zealand history." Given how little New Zealand history is taught in the USA, every person, every incident is completely new to me. It's fascinating.
- Uncivil - Procast from Gimlet Media. In response to the division and unrest in our nation today, Gimlet created a show to look at untold stories of the Civil War. It's fascinating.
- Every Little Thing - Procast from Gimlet Media. A couple years ago Gimlet introduced a show called Surprisingly Awesome. In it one host would try to convince the other that something seemingly boring ("concrete" for example) was actually incredible. I thought it was a great idea but the show went through some growing pains as they played with the format and the hosting. Eventually they found a version of that original premise that worked, complete with a new host and a new name for the show. Don't miss the episode on flamingos.
- The New Yorker Radio Hour - Procast from WNYC. The editor of The New Yorker hosts. The content is so varied that I'm having a hard time describing it. What I can say is that while I've never enjoyed reading The New Yorker, I really enjoy the podcast.
- Fresh Air with Terry Gross - Procast from WHYY. A classic interview show. Being able to listen to the podcast means never missing the beginning of an interview or sitting in the car in the parking lot to catch the end of one again.
- This American Life - Procast from WBEZ. This was the second podcast I discovered. It has been the soundtrack of countless roadtrips. It is a classic. One day I'm sure it will be an episode in Studio 360's American Icon series.