In the last fourteen months, I have driven over 40,000 miles. At an average speed of 55 mph, that would mean I spent about a month sitting behind my steering wheel. That sounds awful. And it would have been, if I hadn't embraced the world of podcasts and audiobooks. I will talk at length about the latter in another piece, but here are some of my favorite podcasts from the last year!
This podcast probably needs no introduction. Host Jad Abumrad and his inquisitive team investigate all manner of curiousities that boggle the mind. Any topic is fair game. For one of my favorite episodes, check out Birthstory.Listen here!
I love food. I love thinking about food, cooking food, learning about food, and, of course, eating food. Though I don't eat food in my car, I am definitely allowed to listen to podcasts about food while I drive, no matter how tantalizing it sometimes gets… On Gastropod, Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley search for deeper meaning in food, delving into the science and history behind so many of the foods that we love. Check out The Scoop on Ice Cream to learn more about this delectable treat!Listen here!
You know those questions that often pop up as you are going about your everyday business, but you never actually follow up on? Like what does "average" actually mean? or why do used car lots use those crazy inflatable men to peddle cars? Basically, host Roman Mars is curious about the things that we often overlook. In short episodes, he calmly investigates the questions that form the foundation of our day-to-day lives. For a great listen, check out Public Works.Listen here!
A far cry from the calculated and measured approach that Gastropod takes to investigating food, Spilled Milk opts instead for witty banter and utter hilarity. Matt Amster-Burton and Molly Wizenburg are two chefs living in Seattle who have been working with food their entire lives (haven't we all…). In each episode, they pick a specific food, talk about their relationship with that food, then eat different versions of that food, all the while engaging in hilarious tangents and rarely actually conveying that much information about the food. If you are like me, you may not actually learn that much about food from this podcast, but you will undoubtedly get sucked into Matt and Molly's lovely relationship. Give them a try with this episode about Garlic Bread.Listen here!
Like 99% Invisible, Invisibilia showcases topics that we would often overlook. Their focus, however, is human behavior. If you are keen on learning more about why we do the things we do or want to better understand emotion and belief, co-hosts, Lulu Miller and Hanna Rosin, will take you there. For an absolutely mindblowing episode about Mirror Touch Synesthesia, check out Entanglement.Listen here!
Published in 2005, the book Freakonomics was a big hit, skyrocketing Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner into the public eye. Since then, they have collaborated on a second book and created a podcast. Stephen Dubner takes lead on the podcast, exploring the economic side of everything. For a fascinating look at the gender pay gap in America, check out (The True Story of the Gender Pay Gap).Listen here!
TED Radio Hour
Technology. Entertainment. Design. TED Radio Hour collates relevant TED Talks from around the world and channels them towards the exploration of certain topics. From Maslow's Hierarchy to Love, Guy Raz narrates the connections between different points of view and asks pointed questions about how interact with the world around us. For a stellar conversation trust, check out (Trust and Consequences)Listen here!
True stories, told without notes, in front of a live audience. This podcast is about stories and the art of storytelling. Whether the stories are about your dating history, about losing a loved one, about a day you failed, or about a time you laughed, they are real stories told by real people. They are all different. Some are told by famous actors and actresses, writers, comedians, or known personalities. Others are told by people who felt their stories were worth sharing. All are worth listening to. Check out on of my favorites as Catherine Smyka and Sasha Chanoff share their stories on The Moth.Listen here!