welcome to night vale

pop culture happy hour

Last, but certainly not least, we’ve got some pretty nerdy (and amazing) podcasts for you.  In this post, we look at economics – but in an interesting way.  We also look at some topics to make you smarter. To round out the article we are going to explore some more fictional type podcasts to help you with getting your entertainment fill in.

freakonomics radio

Freakonomics Radio

This is literally my favorite podcast of all time.  Well, behind Saintel Daily’s – Daily Dish, of course.  This podcast is based on the best-selling book Freakonomics and it digs (deep) into the world from an economists point of view.  What exactly does that mean?  Well, it examines and analyzes some incredibly interesting subjects by applying economic theory to them.  The reason I love this podcast, and the books so much, is that it takes some pretty interesting economic topics, and they describe them in ways that make sense to us non-economics majors.  For example – religion, child-rearing, diet, tipping, human behavior – all of these topics get put through the hosts’ viewpoint and make these topics extremely interesting.  Not only that, but they do it in a way that’s entertaining as well.

stuff you should know

Stuff You Should Know

Did you know that the Male Pillow Octopus will sometimes break off one of his arms and use it as a sword to defend himself against bigger fishes? Have you ever wondered about the chemical properties in Play-Doh?  If you didn’t, you’re not alone.  But these are the kinds of topics that are explored in the podcast Stuff You Should Know.  It’s a twice-weekly podcast by bloggers Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant.  Affiliated with the website Howstuffworks.com, this podcast is wonderfully easy to listen to and jammed packed with information that you’d never know otherwise.  There are over 600 episodes to get into, so you will get to learn a ton!

Pop Culture Happy Hour
Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Do you like pop-culture?  Of course, you do.  Everyone does!  Which is why you should be listening to this podcast.  And it’s one of the great ones from NPR.  I listen to so many NPR podcasts, and this is one of them. Yes – I’m a huge nerd, but I can’t help it.  This podcast looks at mainstream films, television shows, books, and music.  It dives deep into these topics with a great deal of intelligence.  This is a great way to keep up with whatever the kids are into these days.  Because we all know that we sound old when we can’t connect with the younger generation.

the moth podcast

The Moth

Quite simply, this podcast consists of stories. True stories to be exact, told to a roomful of strangers by a single person standing under a single light (hence the podcast’s name) and recorded for everyone else in the world to listen to. Sometimes short, sometimes long, sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-wrenching (and sometimes both) – but almost always totally gripping. The storytellers are a diverse bunch: some are famous, some are ordinary people, but all have extraordinary tales to tell.

welcome to night vale

Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale is a fictional podcast that tells a tale which each episode, through the medium of a community radio broadcast.  It is dry, dark and humorous.  Its bi-weekly installments of news, weather, and other bizarre advertisements create an extremely vivid picture of a small desert town where everyone is weird.  If you loved Twin Peaks, then you’ll definitely appreciate the offbeat tone of Welcome to Night Vale.  You can keep up to date with what’s going on in the town between episodes through the podcasts Twitter feed.

alice isn't dead

Alice Isn’t Dead

If you’re looking for weird, then Alice Isn’t Dead is the podcast for you.  This is the story of one woman driving a truck across the United States in search of a wife that she thought was dead.  On the way, she encounters some kind of dead creature, who is also a man.  This creature seems intent on stopping her and apparently, he has the police on his side.  The whole story is narrated by the woman via the truck’s CB radio, which enhances the already eerie, out-of-this-world vibe of the events being described.  This is one to listen to when you’re commuting, and not when you’re lying in bed as it will definitely give you the chills