For your listening pleasure

iCat

iCat

Weekly podcasts – listen while you cook, drive, clean or run. These are stayers – regularly broadcasting and regularly worth listening to.   These are all made as podcasts and not radio programmes, with just one exception.

Funnies

The Bugle – Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver riff irreverently off the week’s news and each other. Childish, intelligent, infectious. A weekly must.
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Answer me this – My but those Zaltzmen are clever.  And funny. Andy’s sister Helen (barely employed arts graduate), Olly Mann (hopeful weblebrity) and Helen’s partner Martin (long-haired physicist) chat about listeners’ questions, Ollie’s suspect personal hygiene, films, tv shows and books.
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Narratives

The Moth – ‘true stories told live on stage without notes’. There isn’t a dud among these; these are the wierd and funny s**t that happens to people, all superbly told. Breathtaking.
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Escape Pod – a good collection of short(ish) science fiction stories – some of them classics of the genre, all of them appropriately read.
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History

Norman Centuries – neat 20 minute episodes of enjoyable narrative history from Lars Brownworth who brought us the really excellent 12 Byzantine Rulers.
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The History of Rome – an exceptional podcast covering the 800 year sweep from the wolf to the barbarians; we are currently on episode 70 or so and we’ve recently seen off Nero and are just about to have fun with the Flavians. A joy for the sarcastic asides alone. The man deserves an award.
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Critical Thinking

Skeptoid – Brian Dunning is getting sharper and more impatient as the months go by, but these 10 minute deconstructions of popular myths are each of them well worth listening to.
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Point of Inquiry – intelligent but agenda-driven conversations on religion, scepticism and society.  Not to everyone’s taste, but heady stuff if you like it.
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Conversation

Stuff you should know and The Things you Missed in History Class – endearing conversations on various subject by How Stuff Works staffers. They are sweetly enthusiastic on the topic de semain, and the girls have a breathy intelligence which is rather hot, while the boys are more laid-back and dudey.
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Forum – a world of ideas – This is definitely one that gives the synapses a stretch, but it’s hard to find on the radio, tucked away on the World Service.  If In Our Time aims at graduates, then this aims at post-grads.  Bridget Kendall plays off three or four world-class experts superbly,  usually a scientist and a social scientist and an artist or writer.
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Business – since this is supposed to be a business-related blog

Lucy Kellaway – 5 minute doses of acerbic comment on working and corporate life from a regular columnist on the FT. I also enjoy Martin Wolf‘s economics podcast from the FT: his calm authoritative tone sounds soothing, but what he says frequently scares me witless.
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Business Week – Behind this Week’s Cover Story – 15 minutes of conversation with the writer of each week’s front page story; an easy way to keep an ear out for current topics in the American Business press.
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I’ll do this again soon and blog about new additions to my iPod: I’ve just discovered iTunes-U and a whole load of new podcasts from newbie podcasters including Richard Wiseman…


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6 responses to “For your listening pleasure

  1. This is a great list. One more addition: my absolute favourite podcast, Radio Lab, clever and sometimes amazing science cast. Just google “Radio Lab”, you will love!

  2. Excellent list! My favourite podcast is the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, which does a great job of publicising news from the world of science plus the world of woo on a weekly basis. All done with a copious dollop of humour.

    I would also give a shout out to This American Life. True life stories expertly recounted.

  3. Good suggestions, I’ll add ’em to my iTunes.

    I intend to blog more podcast reviews soon. Easy subject-matter I know, but hey.

    Cheers guys. 🙂

  4. Ooh my podcasts…

    NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t tell me – great fun – and a comedy quiz. Nearly as good as The Bugle

    Then there’s QuackCast, which is also skeptical but great fun.

  5. Thanks to you, I am also hooked on the Bugle and Answer Me This. The other podcasts in my library are Stephen Fry’s Podgrams and the Mark thomas “It’s the stupid economy” Podcast, neither of which have had a new edition in some time, and an assortment of radio/TV shows podcasts, including Comedians Jon Richardson and Dave Gorman and the sports shows Around the Horn, pardon the Interruption and Fighting Talk, and Radio 4’s News Quiz. Also two video podcasts, David Mitchell’s Soapbox and Dilbert animated cartoons.

  6. Yay – I’ll do this again. Good to have other suggestions! And I am glad you like the Bugle and Answer Me This, Richard.

    Cheers all.

    Ben

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