Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Podcasts: Part 1 ~ 5 Podcasts Reviewed a year ago I started listening to podcasts (you may remember this from our About Us post – if not – You can find it here). Anyways, I had a friend who kept insisting that I should listen to podcasts.  I kept telling her I just didn’t get the point; it’s just people talking… who cares? Well I finally gave in. And as dramatic as it sounds it has changed my life.  Not in some profound way really just more that I basically no longer listen to the radio at all. Thankfully I have unlimited data or I’d really be in trouble!  Now to the point of this post.   I thought I’d list out the podcasts I listen to and give my two cents on them.  Now, I commute a couple hours every weekday and as I said I no longer listen to radio at all so that means I need a lot of podcasts to fill that time.  I started out with just the one podcast that was suggested to me. And as I made my way through those I started venturing out.  First by going to the Top Rated list and picking through those. And also scanning the New & Noteworthy section on ITunes.  Trying to find a ‘good’ podcast is hit or miss.  Everyone is looking for something different.  So over the next few weeks I will dive into the ‘hits’ and I also plan to write a post that will touch on some of the misses.

Now, in no particular order … because I really do love’m all! Ex-Pastors.  This was a very lucky find. I actually found this in the New & Noteworthy section when looking for an example of the type of podcast I wanted to make.  It’s a couple of best friends who, as the title suggests, were pastors in some capacity previously.  Christian was raised in a religious household and his faith was fear-driven. He was a missionary but as he got older he became disillusioned and has become agnostic.  Jason was also a missionary and eventually became a Presbyterian minister.  He was then ostracized when he became a catholic.  They both say what they think .. Most times it is fairly well thought out but sometimes it is totally off the cuff which keeps things extra interesting. They do talk about Christianity but they touch on other topics as well.  Including but not limited to; rape culture, the south, hot topics, headlines, and the list goes on.  Most episodes are between 1.25 and 1.75 hours. This is my first listen of the week. Every week.  This is a weekly (mostly) podcast and at this time there are 92 episodes – All are on ITunes or available online. Invisible.  This podcast is actually about design & architecture. Or so it says in the description. And I suppose that a lot of the topics are based on buildings, parks, etc. But it is so much more than that. I have always been into history. It is a subject where I have a lot of interest and therefore excel in.  The host Roman Mars is really passionate in what he does.  Each week he dives into a topic. Maybe it’s The Purple Hotel in Lincolnwood, IL.  Or a more recent episode was based on a phone booth in the Mojave Desert.  In 20-30 minutes you get an in-depth story on a topic you may not have known was interesting.  This is one I found in the Top Ranked on ITunes. This is a weekly podcast and at this time there are 207 episodes – All are on ITunes or available online. As I’m sure you can imagine this podcast touches on criminal mysteries.  However each episode is completely different.  The host Pheobe Judge and her team dive into a variety of topics all relating to crime or criminal activities. The stories wind and weave around a person or crime and most times actually end in a resolution which is satisfying. It’s nice to hear the backstory on a things that usually barely make the headlines.  Each episode is about 20-30 minutes. This is now a bi-weekly podcast and at this time there 40 episodes – All are on ITunes or available online.

Episode Recommendation: Episode 23 Triassic Park or Episode 40 Pappy memory palace. Nate DiMeo can bring whatever story he chooses to tell to life in this podcast.  This is another one that is based somewhat on history or historical events.  He takes one piece of an event and tells the backstory of the one single item. Items such as; the Ferris wheel at the world’s fair in Chicago or the Brooklyn Bridge and the people underwater that were needed to build it.  I like this podcast because I like the angle the stories are told from.  They are a fresh in-depth look at a story that seems to be told at the surface. And to top it off they are usually around 10 minutes! This podcast is released weekly on a seasonal basis and at this time there are 86 episodes – All are on ITunes or available online.

Episode Recommendation: Episode 81 Below, from Above or Episode 52 Six Stories  As the name implies this podcast dives into scary stories that have possible ties to true history.  This one has a creep factor that standard history based podcasts do not have. Whether you believe in ghosts or not I think that you can find entertainment at the very least in this podcast.  And Aaron Mahnke can really raise the spook factor with his voice.  I personally am pretty interested in this topic so I am familiar with a lot of these stories.  But for the ones I am not I find them fascinating. These usually run around 30 minutes. This is a bi-weekly podcast and at this time there are 31 episodes – All are on ITunes or available online. *Update 9/12/16: I no longer LOVE this podcast :( - Sadly his stories aren't all that interesting and his cadence is really off-putting. And they are mostly his opinions or speculation. I've unsubscribed completely.  However, I stand by the episode suggestions below.*

Episode Recommendation: Episode 2 The Bloody Pit or Episode 10 Steam & Gas 

That sums up the first round of reviews.  I plan to publish more posts on the podcasts I love in the coming weeks.
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