I get asked quite frequently which podcasts I listen to, so I thought it would be fun to share my recommendations here. I listen to a lot of very different, probably seemingly random podcasts, so there is a little something for everyone here. It is probably more accurate to say these episodes are memorable because they affected me in some way, rather than just say I enjoyed listening to them. I hope fellow podcast listeners will understand what I mean, since the feelings I experience while listening to some episodes is not necessarily pleasant, yet for some reason I come back for more. I must like being forced to feel a range of emotions. But, I digress. Here are a few episodes I have listened to recently:
- This American Life, Episode 564: "Too Soon". I linked specifically to the Act in the episode by which I was most intrigued. This is one of those train wreck-type situations where I just couldn't stop listening even though it was incredibly bizarre and downright uncomfortable in some moments. I won't ruin it for you, but suffice it to say, it's quite cringe-worthy. Also, fair warning: there is a quick (but really gross) sound of someone vomiting in the background at one point. I survived listening to it, which given my vomit phobia means it can't have been too bad.
- Radiolab, Episode: "Gray's Donation. Quite possibly one of the most beautifully bittersweet stories I've heard in a while. I will definitely be donating every last bit of my body to science research when my time comes.
- Radiolab Bonus Episode: Blame. This is an old episode, but it is what made me fall in love with Radiolab because it posed very good, albeit difficult questions and in the end, illustrated the power and beauty of forgiveness.
- Sword and Scale, Episode 50. If you have never heard of Sword and Scale, please know it's pretty freaking dark. It is a true-crime podcast, and tells the stories of some of the most horrific crimes people have ever committed. This particular episode is a pretty detailed account of the Jonestown mass suicide (or mass murder, in some opinions), complete with the recordings of Jim Jones speaking to some 900 people on that fateful day. I still have the shivers from this one.
- Limetown, 2 episodes out so far. Cheryl recommended this one to me, and I am already obsessed. It's like X-Files and Serial made a mystery podcast lovechild... I am so excited that people are using this platform so creatively. It is a throwback to how people listened to the radio as their primary source of entertainment back in the day. In this age when every type of television show you can imagine is available on-demand, listening to podcasts like this one is a breath of fresh air.
Other podcasts of note:
- 99% Invisible: These short informative episodes (20-30 minutes) are the perfect length for my drive home from work. The general topic is design, but the subjects covered are incredibly broad and random. Each episode shares interesting facts about things all around us in our everyday lives that we generally never think about or have never even noticed before. Examples: facts about the calendar, reinforced concrete, refrigerated shipping containers, and the history of the teddy bear and its unfortunate spin-off: the billy possum.
Criminal: The description for this podcast is listed on their website as follows: "Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle." I really loved this episode about an Oakland resident who took matters into his own hands about a nagging neighborhood problem and ended up creating an entirely different one.