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An Almanac For The 21st Century

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Podcasts Killed The Radio Star

Podcasts Killed The Radio Star

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In Friday's edition of Wear, Watch, Want, I recommended you re-watch the first eight episodes of Outlander, but while listening to the accompanying podcast. Then last night I tweeted that I've been listening to Serial while on night walks with Hero (and maybe I shouldn't). A lightbulb magically appeared above my head, and it became abundantly clear that it was time for me to talk at you about podcasts again. I wrote a guide to some of my favorite podcasts waaaay back when, so it's high time for an update. A few ground rules: There will be no repeats, so assume I also recommend the podcasts in the previous post. Also, there are others podcasts that I love, but that, for the sake of brevity, I won't be mentioning here either. As with the previous post, all podcasts mentioned are free and available through iTunes. The images used in this post are the title cards for the shows mentioned.

In the aforementioned Guide to Podcasts, I mentioned The Pod F. Tompcast as one of my favorites, specifically that my favorite segment was when Paul has a chat with Our Friend Jen Kirkman. I was thrilled when Jen started a podcast of her own, I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast. It's exactly what it sounds like: An audio diary. Jen will discuss current events, or a recent experience she had, or just something she's been thinking about. Lately she's been answering listener emails for entire bonus episodes. I particularly liked when she talked about her interior design aesthetic, and when she wondered, "Does anyone care about this?" I yelled "I DO! I DO!"

Speaking of female comedians that I have liked for a long time, have you ever heard of my favorite website, Black People Love Us? You may recognize it as the website I listed on any form that asked me for a website for a good, oh, five to eight years. It was also made by comedian Chelsea Peretti and her brother Jonah. Jonah is known for being a co-founder of HuffPo and BuzzFeed. Chelsea is known for writing on Parks & Recreation, being a hilarious standup, and can currently be seen playing Gina Linetti on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. What I'm saying is, move over David and Amy Sedaris, there's a new Talent Family in town. Chelsea hosts her own call-in podcast, titled, appropriately enough, Call Chelsea Peretti. I have a friend that tried listening to it, but didn't like it, so maybe this one is an acquired taste. As in, I have acquired taste and he hasn't. Chelsea talks about a vast array of topics, interrupts her fans with an array of understated sound effects, and gives food tests. Plus, bear attacks and muuuuurder.

Speaking of murder, it happens sometimes. And sometimes the story is so compelling that Ira Glass puts his hand up and says, "NO. This is not a story for a segment, or even a whole hour. NAY, this story screams, 'Spinoff!'" Or, you know, something like that. Serial is the first spinoff of This American Life, where each episode is part of one story, in this case the story of a high schooler's murder. As of this writing there have been three episodes, but if you're not hooked by the first hour-long installment, you are a robot and there's probably some bloop-blorp podcast you can listen to instead. Each week we get a little piece of the story, as host Sarah Koenig uncovers the fascinating tale of a murder that took place in Baltimore 15 years ago. I don't even want to give you more of a synopsis than that. There are already twists and turns that have shocked me, and I've only heard about two hours worth of this story.

Speaking of shocking, have you heard what people used to do to themselves and others, all in the name of medicine? Crazy medical theories and practices are what Sawbones is all about. It's a comedic podcast about medical history, hosted by a husband (comedian) and wife (doctor) and recently, their newborn daughter (whose coos sometimes come through on mic and it's adorable). I listen to a few Maximum Fun podcasts, and when I first heard a promo for Sawbones on another MaxFun show, I immediately downloaded it. After all, medical history is right up my alley. Have I mentioned my love of medical history before? Oh, only twelve times?

Speaking of things I've mentioned that I love over and over, I love theme parks. I have a special place in my heart for Disney Parks, and in the last podcast post I mentioned the WDW Today Podcast as one of my favorites. Len Testa, one of the cohosts of WDW Today, also hosts a podcast about Disney Parks news and history called The Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish with Jim Hill Podcast. Jim Hill is a theme park expert and journalist who has so packs so much information, anecdotes, and news into each episode, it's a wonder they haven't run out of things to talk about yet. If you're interested in theme park history, design, or news, look no further.

This Double Feature Will Save Your Life

This Double Feature Will Save Your Life

Wear, Watch, Want #9: The Classic Leopard Kilt Edition

Wear, Watch, Want #9: The Classic Leopard Kilt Edition