Friday, August 15, 2014


Right now, I am learning to paint with oils. My goal is at least 50 studies completed this summer, before the fall semester starts in a couple of weeks. I still have 15 to go.  This means I spend a lot of time with oil paints in my little basement studio. While there, I enjoy listening to podcasts. They keep me entertained and I learn a lot, so I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.

Answer Me This Based in London, Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann answer listener questions about McDonald's marriages, toaster trouble, raccoon poop, and many other totally random subjects in a really funny way.

APM: A Prairie Home Companion's News from Lake Wobegon and APM: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac Because I love Garrison Keillor's voice and storytelling. And Norwegians even though I am Swedish.

The Broad Experience Refreshing series on women in the workplace by reporter Ashley Milne-Tyte. I really didn't think I would like this podcast, since I admit to cringing when I think something is going to be "feminist." I am all for the concept, but in my (admittedly prejudiced) perception, feminism excludes pretty much everyone who is not a white western woman wanting to get ahead in a male dominated career while despising, and feeling the need to rescue, every woman who does not share the same ambitions and advantages. But I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging and informed Ashley is in her interviews with diverse women, and her open minded and respectful approach.

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History Dan Carlin loves history and thinking about ideas. He brings his interests together in somewhat long-winded, but fascinating stories about historical events and figures. He basically produces an audio book, in a podcast format, every few months. My all time favorite is Thor's Angels.

The Moth True short stories told live onstage by people of a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. Touching, funny, sad, always engaging. I never forget the tough guy who took his dying young wife out on a motorcycle ride.

NPR: Planet Money Economic stories from around the world by reporters who seem to have a lot of freedom in what to report. Haitian schools, Detroit's water problem, refugees for profit in Somalia, why we still use pennies, and many other surprisingly interesting money topics.

Radiolab from WNYC I can't describe this one, so here it is from their website: Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. ...NYC's Peabody Award-winning program that examines big questions in science, philosophy and the human experience through compelling storytelling.

Savage Lovecast Dan Savage got Ira Glass to join him in giving sex advice to listeners. That is how compelling he is. An always entertaining combination of more or less outlandish questions and straightforward answers. Dan also founded the It Gets Better Project with his husband. Click on the link if you are not familiar with it.

TED Talks Most of the TED talks are fine as podcasts, some are better viewed. TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).

The Story Collider A lot like The Moth, but with personal stories about science. Diverse mix of story tellers.

Welcome to Night Vale  ...a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events. Turn on your radio and hide. Totally surreal. You have to listen to it at night.
All of these podcasts can be found for free on iTunes.

Please let me know if you listen to any of them and feel free to share your favorites!