Friday, January 8, 2016

Top Ten Podcasts (Part two)

Dear Hashtag,

Here's the remainder of my top ten podcasts. But first!

Current Stats:
Total Number of Episodes downloaded:18
Total Playtime of downloaded episodes: 9:40:20
Total Number of Podcasts Subscribed: 111
Total Number of Unlistened Episodes:11127
Estimated Time of Unlistened Episodes: 35 Weeks, 4 Days, 3 Hours, 12 Minutes, and 43 Seconds
Podcast I'm in the middle of: The Story Collider; Fugitive Waves; Hidden Brain - This took me a while to write, so you get a glimpse at my playlist...
Number 6: Gastropod

This delicious podcast is all about food - food science, food history, food facts, food stories... while I don't recommend listening while on an empty stomach, the show is full of delightful tidbits about food. I recently listened to an episode about where "Natural and Artificial Flavors" come from, and the difference between the two (hint: think legal, not scientific), and the episode about cheese was phenomenal. Heading on two years old, this show has skyrocketed to the top of my list since I started listening.

Mom, this show occasionally has fowl language, but never anything foul.

Number 5: Radiolab

This podcast is great, one of my personal favorites for years. Full of sciency stories, this should already be on your list. If you aren't listening to this podcast, get started ASAP. I have found, however, that I particularly enjoy their Shorts, which are one self enclosed story, rather than full episodes which are anywhere from four to ten stories along a theme, but... whatever. I think this is the second or third podcast I ever discovered, and I still listen to it today.

Mom, this show rarely has bad language, and if they do they give a warning. Their full episodes never do - they are prepped for public radio - but the Shorts can occasionally. 

Number 4: We're Alive

 This podcast was recommended to me by a coworker, and it is my favorite (and one of very few) fiction based podcasts. It tells the story of a group of survivors in a zombie apocalypse, and I have to say... these guys are way smarter, better developed characters and more terrifying zombies than anything you'll find in Walking Dead. The story is told Radio Show style, with various characters voice-acted by different people, and a shifting narrator from characters writing in "journals." It is deep, evocative, and occasionally sexy (but nothing too risque so far).

Mom, this show does have language. I doubt this is up your alley anyway.

Number 3: Good Job Brain

This is my favorite "Trivia/Game Show" podcast. It is just a group of friends who pick a theme, research trivia around the theme, and then quiz each other. Every fifth episode is an "All Quiz Bonanza" which means there isn't really a theme, but they don't tell stories or background for most of it, just quizzes. Both formats are tons of fun. A few of the segments are annoying - ELVIS in particular gets under my skin. Overall, though, this show has me laughing all the way to work.

Mom, this show doesn't really have bad language, but is full of puns. And poop jokes. So many poop jokes.

Number 2: Revolutions

I can't even begin to express to you how amazing this show is. Mike Duncan, the podcaster, originally worked on the History of Rome Podcast, which is amazing. When he eventually ran out of Rome to History about, he started this project. He first discusses the Glorious Revolution in 17th Century England, then the 18th Century American Revolution, followed by the the French and then Haiti. I'm currently in the middle of the French (ok, the dawn. They just stormed the Bastille) and I must say, this series is phenomenal. The episodes are short, with long arching discussions over each "season," and an impressive amount of research, source material, and simplification. His understanding of the material is magnificent, and he really brings the events to life. I can't say enough good things about it. Anyone with any interest in history, politics, economics, liberty, freedom, America, France, terrorism, humanity or modern social mores should consider listening. And then listen. At the very least to the season which pertains to their country (If/when it is covered, if it hasn't been already). I can't wait to see where else this goes.

Mom, I don't remember any language in this, although I suspect as he moves into modernity some of his sources might be brasher. He'll probably edit though.

Number 1: Hardcore History

You knew my top two would both be History, right? I'll have you know, I left at least half a dozen history podcasts off my top ten. Dan Carlin... is amazing. This podcast is why I listen to podcasts. This podcast inspires me to read, to write, to live a better life. He has a political one too, which is decent, but Hardcore History is the most amazing podcast in existence. The episodes are LONG - hours and hours, and he breaks big topics into multiple episodes - WWI is 6 episodes and clocks in at just under 24 hours. The episodes are complex, and I can't listen to them while doing brain work - coding or difficult issues - but they are perfect for long walks or quiet evenings playing Civilization.

Right now they are available back to the Khans series - he sells the older ones. If you ever want to buy me his complete collection, they aren't too expensive, a buck a show, and considering how long they are that really isn't asking much.

Mom, the language here is pretty safe, but he doesn't squirm away from graphic details, and since his topics often cover war, that can get intense.

So that's my top ten list! Sorry it took me forever!
All my love,


  1. I love your mom ratings! And of course you had to throw a few puns in there yourself. I don't find the history ones surprising at all; in fact, I was thinking about a certain book about Romans and a certain 9-year-old boy who picked it up on a whim and fell in love with history.

    I haven't gotten into podcasts; I wonder if I can fit one on my phone. When I worked at the REC, I listened to books on CD's all the time.

    1. You can also get a mp3 player quite cheaply, and podcasts are generally just mp3s, the vast majority have feeds you can download from. And at some point you asked for me to point out language/adult content, thus the Mom ratings.

      And puns? Me? I don't know what you're talking about.