It's always been a rare treat of a weekend when our outings coincided with a Radiolab or This American Life broadcast, so I am not entirely sure why it took me so long to start downloading podcasts to listen to throughout the week. I've been lovingly complaining of NPR for years that it really ought to be weekend public radio all week long.
Now I feel pretty confident admitting that I am a podcast junkie.
But, I can only really dig into certain kinds, and I realized recently that there's a common element. Though I enjoy the occasional Geek's Guide to the Galaxy if I'm really interested in the guest, my taste in podcasts don't really follow my tastes in genre fiction. I enjoy curiosities and vulnerable human things, science and strife and storytelling. I can't get behind a couple of folks behind microphones just chatting about things - unless one of those two people is Neil deGrasse Tyson, because I could listen to him all day - but I love, love, love a good podcast whose hosts act more as curators for the bold, human stories of others.
Radiolab is the first and best. I can't get enough of the quirky, adventurous stories they collect, so much so that I get irritated when one of their shorts is less than twenty minutes long. Given I have about fifty episodes on my iPod at any given time, this is an unreasonable response. I've listened to this episode about autisim several times, and this one about professional wrestling, too - I'm as shocked as you are, seriously. These really never get old.
Recently I haven't been able to get enough of Snap Judgment. I love the humor and the gravity and the variety, how the stories Glynn collects really have the power to surprise me. Storytelling with a beat - couldn't be truer. The first story in the "Caught Up" episode will blow you away.
There's only one season of Invisibilia, which means it should be no trouble at all to get caught up on every single, amazing episode. Alix and Lulu have such energy, and they're fun. "The Power of Categories" is a must listen, if you can make time for just one.
Now that's a lot of links. I'll leave you to it and be back soon with more.