It’s raining today.
Kelly has taken her mum shopping and its way too wet to take Juno for a walk. I make a coffee and sit in my favourite spot. Juno nags me for a walk by presenting me with various forbidden items he has strategically flogged from around the house. Eventually, he gives up and snugs into my lap.
I read a while and listen to the rain until my eyes get heavy. Then, grabbing my headphones, I switch out to a podcast.
I love listening to podcasts almost as much as I enjoy reading a good book. In the past, I have tried combining these two pleasures by listening to audiobooks. Alas, it just doesn’t work for me. Listening to someone read text from a book always seems a little stale. The voice never matches the textures or the ambience of the conversations going on in my head when I’m reading myself.
Podcasts, on the other hand, can be totally engaging. Some (such as RadioLab) are meticulously produced soundscapes, others are just the bare bones of ordinary conversations between people who have something interesting to say.
For example, one of my current favourite listens is ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’.
Joe is (of all things) a commentator for mixed martial arts fights and a stand-up comedian. He talks, unscripted and unfiltered, with each of his guests for 2-3 hours (known as long-form podcasts). Each conversation meanders where it may. And more often than not, this leads to some pretty interesting, off-piste places. And this all becomes most interesting, when you think the person being interviewed is really not your cup of tea.
It’s just like listening in on two people talking at a bar, and lthough I may not always agree with the opinions, the conversations are usually interesting, entertaining and authentic.
Besides, I think it is always good to listen to views and people that are outside your own bubble of opinion.
Here are my current favourite podcasts.
Oh, just before I list them….the app I have used for ages to listen to my podcasts is Downcast. It does everything I need and it does it well (and its free).
So here is my current list of faves in no particular order:
- The Joe Rogan Experience. (very strong language advisory).
- TED radio hour.
- 99% invisible.
- Open Source with Christopher Lydon.
- Hidden Brain.
- All in the mind.
I am always on the look out for new podcasts to listen to, so if you have any recommendations, drop them in the comments!