My Go-To Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to shape your informational intake. I like podcasts mainly because I get to choose what I listen to as opposed to accepting what is force fed, and I can listen when I choose. I try to gather different perspectives but steer away from those that are blatantly agenda based. Entertainment is part of the mix as well, as are sports (naturally). I used to have a listening routine but these days my list is longer, and I listen when mood and opportunity collide. I don’t listen to as many as I used to when I had my long commute, but I do get my fair share in. I listen via Overcast, a great podcast player. Grab all your podcasts, organize them, etc. Easy to navigate and it makes listening easy.

Here’s my current listening list:

Workplace Innovator Podcast – Mike Petrusky interviews lots of influencers in the Facility Management profession, which “oh, by the way,” touches every one of us every day. Good stuff.

Mind & Machine: Future Tech + Futurist Ideas + Futurism – As you may have figured out, this podcast is about the future. Hear big thinkers talk about doing big things, and some really small things as well.

99% Invisible – Roman Mars works for an architecture firm in the Bay Area and hosts a podcast I’ve been enjoying for years. Each episode has a design focus, but not in the way you might think. Interesting recent nuggets include an episode on the history of cartoon sound effects and how embedded they’ve become in our lives, and an episode detailing the vandalization and even worse restoration of a classic piece of art.

Today, Explained – A news summary show that posts each evening with a focus on the big topic of the day. It can sometimes be a bit biased or light in its analysis, but it is a good place to gather a different perspective.

Political Gabfest – A Slate Magazine product produced in roundtable fashion. Hot topics with lots of behind the scenes info (from a reporter’s perspective). Informative, sometimes raucous, not afraid to challenge each other.

The Briefing – Albert Mohler is the president of a large seminary. His daily podcast addresses the biggest issues of society from a conservative Christian world view. He is an intellectual, articulate, and prolific. For Christians, listening can seem a constant drum beat of doom, but he tells it like it is and gives insight on what to consider and how to respond.

Common Sense with Dan Carlin – Dan, a well known commentator (for lack of a better description) uses this platform to discuss, muse about, and sometimes rant about current events and the political arena. These are usually short (by Dan’s standards) running just shy of an hour on average. Topical, thinking food, and practical.

Hardcore History – Another Dan Carlin project, this one devoted to deep dives on the personalities, places, and events that matter in history. The episodes can run to several hours, but the posts are months apart so there is plenty of time to take them in at your own pace. Ancient history and wars, 20th Century turning points that led us to where we are today, and usually … what might have been.

Radio Diaries – Lots of interesting personal stories here, some in the context of significant events in history, others more about the common man. How did Studs Terkel get the information for his oral history project, and how were classic cellist Pablo Casals and blues master Robert Johnson connected on one very special day in music?

PTI – Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon go rapid fire through current sports action and issues in a I’m-your—best-pal-but-you-don’t-have-a-clue-what-you’re-talking-about manner in this ESPN product. Informative and entertaining, if you’re a sports head.

Car Talk – Yes, NPR is still doing it, reprising old sessions. It is purportedly about cars, but anyone who has heard it knows it is mostly about people, relationships, and life. It is the lighter side of life and always a joy. I once listened non-stop on a flight from Doha, Qatar to Los Angeles. That’s a lot of listening (and a wee bit of sleeping). Funny, and you will learn something about cars in the bargain.

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