Get Your Podcast On

Just when I got a handle on my out-of-control television addiction along comes another entertainment option to divert my attention away from work, chores, exercise and my wife and children: podcasts.

The podcast-verse is exploding with incredible content and your only limitation is your own imagination in terms of what to listen to and when. If you haven’t been introduced to the world of the podcast yet, let me give you a brief introduction. A podcast is like a radio show that you listen to on your phone or tablet. It’s a mix between a book on tape and a listening to AM radio. And it’s awesome.

My taste in podcasts skews toward the humorous and the educational. Here are some of my current faves, in no particular order.

“Radiolab.” For me, “Radiolab” can do no wrong. Insightful, compelling and always timely, “Radiolab” explores the relationship between science and culture to help reveal truths that we all witness in our lives every day but rarely think about. Where else can you about CRISPR, what’s left behind after a handshake and what happens when an attorney knows where the bodies are buried but refuses to tell. Listening to “Radiolab” will enthrall you, teach you and leave you digging into its archives for more.

“The Dollop.” Imagine two comedians sitting around talking about some of the most messed-up, little-known stories from American history with laughter, wit and a little bit of raunch, and you’ve got “The Dollop.” Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds rarely disappoint on this podcast that will leave you laughing out loud and shaking your head in amazement at the craziness that is America.

“Reply All.” This podcast may not be for everyone. It can sometimes feel a little uneven or appear to have a little too much “inside baseball” between its hosts, but when it’s focused on exploring the internet and how we relate to it and deal with it in our the course of daily lives, “Reply All” is on the money.  Exploring what happens when a picture app loses all of your pictures or eavesdropping on ISIS are two recent episodes that made me promise to keep tuning in.

“Dumb People Town.” Since there’s no end to the amount of stupid things humans will do and also no end to the amount of gifted comedians who can mine such actions for comedic gold, there’s a dedicated place for “Dumb People Town.” Hosted by the Sklar brothers, “DPT” takes the craziest story on your browser homepage, digs into it, imagines the backstory and makes it laugh-out-loud funny. It’s how we wish we could discuss those stories with our friends. If I have one complaint about “DPT”, it’s the amount of commercials and commercial breaks. But, hey, they’ve got to make money.

“Science Vs.” I recently discovered “Science Vs.”, which takes a deep dive into a specific scientific topic and tries to understand and unravel the complexities of the topic so neophytes like me can comprehend them. Well-reported, quickly yet thoroughly told and with an humorist’s ear for the comedy involved in a given topic, “Science Vs.” is climbing my list of “Must-Listen-to Podcasts.”

Other people that I know love Keeping it 1600, a political podcast, and My Favorite Murder, a podcast about, yes, crazy murder stories hosted by two fine comedians.

To those who lament a lack f time to indulge podcasts, I say, “Me, too!” However, on a drive home from work or while doing yard work, I throw on the earbuds and get listening. Maybe you can, too. If you want to explore some of these podcasts or, perhaps, create one of your own, check out the podcast app on your smartphone and begin downloading. But be warned — while this journey will educate and entertain you, it will also become your latest time suck.

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About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.


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