Programs are listened to on a computer, tablet or phone. Many podcasts are serial episodes, some of which the listener subscribes to on their device. Podcasts, similar to radio broadcast programs, may be for amusement, information, instruction or simply a good story. Many choices are available, making a decision on listening an interesting challenge. Try starting with a variety of subjects capturing your personality. The following are eight popular podcasts to pique your curiosity.
- This American Life – Produced by NPR, nearly 2.5 million people have downloaded This American Life. The journalistic style of Ira Glass’s human interest program has made This American Life one of the most popular radio programs in modern times. The podcast is full of surprises with its constantly changing topics. Each broadcast has something new and interesting to learn.
- Lux Radio Theater – Take a step back into time to the mid-1930s through mid-1950s. The most listened to radio program was Lux Radio Theater. Beautiful music and talented actors collaborated to produce memorable productions. The podcast features a variety of genres, as did the Hollywood films of the era. Cecil B. DeMille, host of the Lux Radio Theater for over ten years was famous for some of Hollywood’s epic Biblical films such as The Ten Commandments. Podcasts follow his style.
- Freakonomics Radio – Over four million copies of the book Freakonomics have sold since it was first published in 2005. Freakonomics Radio continues quirky coverage combining economics with politics, pop culture and headline news. This podcast is so innovative it has become one of the most widely listened-to programs for people ages 18 to 108. Freakonomics will give you something to talk and think about every day wherever and whenever current events are discussed.
- 99% Invisible – If you have an interest in architecture and design this podcast should be high on your list. Every week narrator Roman Mars takes listeners on a new journey to find world designs. 99% Invisible lasts less than five minutes and demonstrates in a short time how the designs of history long ago still impact today’s world.
- The Alton Browncast – Bon Appétit Magazine’s Cooking Teacher of the Year Alto Brown is the perfect person to follow if food is your guilty pleasure. Learn new cooking tips and stay current in the world of restaurants and food creations by listening to this expert. You will learn a host of new tricks while collecting new recipes to try. The Alton Browncast is perfect for those just discovering cooking as a hobby.
- Stuff You Missed in History Class – Do you consider yourself a life-long learner? If so, this biweekly podcast should be on your listening list. Hosted by Holly Frey and Tracy V. Wilson, Stuff You Missed in History Class covers a variety of subjects you may not have previously learned. Great for trivia buffs, Stuff You Missed in History Class has an archive of several years of past programs. Imagine how well-versed you could be with useless but interesting information.
- Good Job Brain – Even the title makes the listener feel smart! Information hounds will enjoy facts used as trivia. Stretch skills with quizzes for the memory and learn mnemonics for hard to remember bits of information. Good Job Brain covers a variety of topics with every fifth episode an all-quiz session testing the listener’s knowledge.
- Planet Money – Planet Money is dedicated to economy. This podcast covers the economics of life by using easily understood financial language. You’ll enjoy the easy conversation while learning about the economics of the world we live in and how different parts of the economy interact.
Whatever your passion or curiosity there is a podcast for you. There are programs for do-it-yourself projects, home repairs, meditation, gardening, tall tales and comedy. If looking for vintage radio shows to recapture fond childhood or “olden days” memories search for vintage radio podcasts; if an animal lover examine podcasts about the animal kingdom. There is a podcast for everyone.
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