Friday, December 31, 2010

Favorite Podcasts of 2010

I am a nut when it comes to podcast.  And I kind of mean that in a bad way.  I download way too many podcasts-- I know that there's no way I could possibly listen to all of them.  Seriously.  I'm really embarrassed to admit this, but right now I have 1,687 podcast episodes that I have yet to listen to.  That is crazy.

But I've just fallen in love with the format-- and there's an infinite amount of information and entertainment out there.  If I'm not reading or listening to music on my commute here and there in Moscow, I'm listening to a podcast.  And here are my 20 favorite (and I apologize for the awful descriptions):

20.  Sound Opinions

An informative and fun podcast about music.  It's probably lower on my list because it's a recent discovery.

19.  The Ethicist

NY Times Columnist spends 4 minutes or so answering reader questions dealing with ethical dilemmas.  Interesting and thoughtful.

18.  Big Ideas

Lectures dealing with all sorts of topics-- politics, religion, culture, arts.

17.  To The Best of Our Knowledge

Somewhat similar to Big Ideas, this podcast shifts away from just a single lecture to interview people on multiple sides of the issue.

16.  Relevant Podcast

I listen to this mostly for the humor.

15.  Filmspotting

If you're a movie buff, you'll love this one.

14.  Film Riot

If you're into the production aspect of film, you'll love this one.

13.  Fresh Air

I really like Terry Gross.  Great interviews dealing with the arts and current issues.

12.  All Songs Considered

One of the ways I keep up with what's going on musically.  They do a good job of picking out some of the more interesting music.

11.  Penn Point

I just really love Penn Jillette.  Don't agree with him on everything, but I just really like the guy.

10.  Tiny Desk Concert

The title says it all -- a band performs a few songs in an office space behind a tiny desk.

9.  The Nerdist

Like Kevin Pollack or Adam Carolla, this podcast has regular interviews that are more casual and less structured.  Almost like rambling, but in a good way.  I really appreciate it that way.  It feels more real.

8.  The Moth

Individuals spend 10 to 15 minutes sharing a story from their life.  I'm a sucker for this.

7.  TED

You probably already know about this one.

6.  Engagdet

Funny and informative podcast on the technology of the day.

5.  Radiolab

I'll be honest-- I don't know how this is number five.  This is one of my all-time favorite podcasts.  It's hard to explain, but it's almost a merging of science and philosophy.  It takes the facts and then asks why.

4.  Slate Culture Gabfest

Highly interesting roundtable discussions about various topics of the day.  (My descriptions are ridiculously generic)  Very intelligent and the chemistry between the hosts is fantastic.  (Yep, still generic)  I highly recommend it.

3.  This American Life

When I was younger, I wanted to buy a video camera or some kind of audio recording device, and just set it in front of everyone I know one at a time.  And I would have them just tell about their life.  Whatever they wanted to say.  Everything they wanted to say.  I know this show isn't that at all, but it kind of embodies that idea that everybody is inherently interesting.

2.  The Christian Humanist 

This show has as much wit and intelligence that can be crammed into an hour-long podcast.  They approach compelling topics thoughtfully and informedly.  The hosts fit each other perfectly.  Anyone interested in Christianity and the humanities and the intersection of both, this podcast is a no brainer.

1.  The History of the World in 100 Objects

Like walking through a museum, this podcast takes one historical object per episode and guides you through its past significance.  Brilliant, fun, and educational.

I probably shouldn't ask this.......... but what did I miss?  What are your favorites?