Sunday, May 04, 2014

Five Great Podcasts

I have a little time to write while I drink my morning tea- not, unfortunately, enough to make progress on the ebook, but enough that I don't want to waste it. So- time for a blog post!

I am going to finally make good on my promise to post about some of my favorite podcasts. Here are my top 5 favorites right now, in no particular order:

1. A History of the World in 100 Objects, from BBC 4
Each episode picks a different object from the British Museum and tells the story of what it is, how it was found, and what it means in the context of world history. I'm up to episode 40 or so, and I've learned a lot. This is clearly not a complete history of the world- each episode is only about 10 minutes, and some periods of history in some places didn't leave much archeological record. But if you think of it just as a series of interesting stories about the history of the world, it is a wonderful series.

2. The Broad Experience, from Ashley Milne-Tyte
This podcast focuses on various issues relevant to professional women. I've enjoyed all of the episodes I've listened to.  Ashley Milne-Tyte (who you might recognize from various NPR shows) finds interesting women to interview. The episodes are always enjoyable to listen to, and often I come away with a new perspective on something.

3. Launch Yourself, from Melissa Anzman
Each episode is an interview with someone who has launched something- usually a website, a book, or an app, but sometimes something more abstract, like the episode with Tamara Murray, who "launched" a leap year. I've picked up some good tips for launching things, but more than that, I find it inspiring to listen to interviews with people who are doing cool things.

4. Planet Money, from NPR
I've tried several of the NPR podcasts, and they are all good. However, Planet Money is the one I keep coming back to. They find interesting stories and tell them in just the right amount of time.

5. Shop Talk, from Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert
I had to try a bunch of different tech-focused podcasts before I finally found one I liked. Most tech podcasts seem to be pitched squarely at 20 year old dudes. They might have some interesting content for a 40-something female techie like me, but I was put off by the style of delivery and didn't enjoy listening to them. Shop Talk is different- it has interesting tech info, with humor that appeals beyond the 20 year old male demographic. Also, they interview a lot of women in tech, generally about tech topics. It is refreshing. I will call out one episode in which the interview isn't primarily about tech topics, though, as something that might be of interest to even the non-techies in my audience: they had scheduled Julie Ann Horvath on their show... and then the mess with GitHub erupted. So they talked about that, and it was a very interesting show.

Those are the podcasts I have in my regular rotation right now. If you have others to recommend, leave them in the comments.

And if you're in the mood for more of my recommendations... I didn't write a Tungsten Hippo post this week, but I did post my weekly short ebook recommendation. This week's recommendation was Day Breaks, a fun mix of police procedural and goblins. And of course, this Thursday is the first Thursday of the month, so I'll be posting another anthology recommendation this week in addition to my usual short ebook recommendation.


  1. Anonymous12:01 PM

    #2 is going to be posting about her favorite podcasts (and YA books) on Tuesday, I think.

  2. Anonymous6:43 PM

    I just tried out The Broad Experience, but the gender essentialism made me have to stop.

    1. Anonymous6:45 PM

      What is gender essentialism?

    2. Anonymous6:46 PM says that "The concept of Essentialism states that there are innate, essential differences between men and women. " which is as good an explanation as any

    3. It is hilarious when you two talk to each other in comments. :)

      I haven't really noticed a lot of gender essentialism in the podcasts. I confess, though, that I tend to automatically add "most women" to "Women do X" statements when the context is something where I'm expecting advice for how to navigate work as a woman, so perhaps I just didn't catch it. Or maybe you picked a particularly essentialist podcast to start with? I think the one about sex was a bit like that. Although in the end, I found a few really interesting things to think about from that one.

  3. Thanks for this list, and especially for the Launch Yourself podcast. Not having an iPhone, I haven't really gotten into podcasts as I haven't yet found a good way to get them on Android and I'm not a tablet-y person (so no iPad, etc). So then I've been downloading a few to our server, and using our Sonos system to listen to them while doing chores. Which makes it harder to just subscribe + listen easily. I'm putting that on my list to figure out. Not sure most of your readers would be interested, but Paperclipping Roundtable by Noell Hyman is a great one for scrapbookers ;)

  4. Planet money!!!!!

    Another one I've been digging lately is Snap Judgement


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