First, two great public radio shows that I discovered this year, thanks to my colleague Jon Pipitone:
- This American Life: Initially the title was a bit of a put-down, but this show is absolutely fantastic. Emotional without being cheap; intelligent but accessible. No other radio show has made me cry and laugh out loud through my daily walk to my office.
- RadioLab: Every episode is an introductory exploration of a subject –say, sleep– from different scientific (and often historic or artistic) points of view. Entertaining and instructive.
For news and news-like podcasts, these are all quite good:
- New York Times Video: An eclectic, high-quality mix of news reports, movie reviews, and even cooking recipes that I can actually follow.
- New Yorker Out Loud: There’s an episode accompanying every issue of the New Yorker magazine, with an interview exploring one of its features in more detail.
- IT Conversations: Sometimes these conversations drag a bit too long, but they should still be quite interesting for anyone in the field.
- The Onion Radio News and Video News: Alright, so these aren’t real news, but they’re really funny, and usually different from their “print” content.
And finally, two more podcasts covering some of my favourite pastimes:
- New York Times Book Review: Great interviews and insightful discussions on new book releases.
- On Board Games: Perhaps surprisingly, there are plenty of boardgaming podcasts. This is the best I’ve found –decent editing, good discussions, timely reviews.
All of the podcasts I’ve listed are free, and available through iTunes.
Now, if you have some recommendations for me, please let me know! I’m listening to these more quickly than they make them.