Podcasts I'd Recommend  

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The weather sucks this morning. Last night we had freezing rain and it's supposed to continue all day today, turning into snow tomorrow. My commute usually isn't bad, but I can imagine today might be lengthy.

I stopped listening to local radio years ago, preferring music or for a bit XM radio (which was OK for a while, but didn't really pan out for me). But a few months ago I started trying out listening to podcasts on my daily drive into work and now I'm hooked. Here are some that I'd recommend.

Blueshift is produced by the Astrophysics Science Division at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. There are only five episodes so far and they're spotty about releasing new ones, roughly once a month. The topics are very interesting though if you enjoy astronomy.

Game Theory
I haven't listened to this one for very long. I came across it while searching for a podcast on gaming news. Why doesn't anyone produce a 30-45 minute podcast on the gaming news of the week without all the extra "morning show" fluff? Well, this one comes pretty close, though it's more Euro-centric. Several of the hosts also appear on the PCG Podcast.

GameSpot Presents the HotSpot
A weekly podcast produced by CNet's Hotspot, now infamous for the firing of Jeff Gerstmann. This podcast is much more centered on console games than PC games, but other than the "morning show"-like atmosphere, it's a pretty decent podcast about gaming.

NPR: Movies
I'm close to unsubscribing to this podcast. It's a conglomeration of broadcasts about select movies, including the most annoying movie reviewer on the planet. They have interviews with directors and actors that are pretty interesting sometimes, but that's about all it has going for it.

PC Gamer Podcast
The official podcast of PC Gamer magazine, the podcast focuses more on PC games than console game, although they do talk about consoles a bit. It's a decent podcast. Occasionally they also have guests from Maximum PC magazine as well. They're pretty good at providing news, reviews, and general gossip in the games industry weekly.

Point of Inquiry
I have just started listening to this podcast, so I have no real comment as of yet. The guest lists include Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson (seriously, I could squeal every time I hear him speak), Steven Pinker, and Christopher Hitchens. The official description looks good though.

Point of Inquiry is hosted by DJ Grothe and produced at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY.CFI, a think-tank collaborating with the State University of New York on the new Science and the Public Masters Program, is devoted to promoting science, reason, and freedom of inquiry in every field of human interest.

RPG Land
This podcast only has five episodes so far and is badly in need of better sound equipment. Even so, they talk about the games I love the most (RPGs) and their reviews are really comprehensive. I hope going forward they concentrate more on the reviews than other parts of the show they've experimented with.

Science Talk: The Podcast of Scientific American
The podcast is hosted by Steve Mirsky, an articles editor and columnist at Scientific American. It's a pretty decent general science podcast with some emphasis on skepticism.

Skepticality: The Official Podcast of Skeptic's Magazine
Although I wrote an "angry" letter to Randy Olson over an episode of this podcast, it's still a great podcast. Even his interview was very good other than that one issue. Derek and Swoopy, the hosts, talk with scientists, skeptics, authors, and others within the rationalist movement.

The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe
This is my favorite podcast by far. This podcast is sponsored by the New England Skeptical Society, the James Randi Foundation, and Skepchick.org. They've been podcasting for a while and it shows. The episodes are always put together well and the hosts have a great rapport that comes across as fun and casual without being overdone. Other than talking about current news, they interview scientists, skeptics, musicians, and even a former President.

Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena
This podcast is a one-man show hosted by Brian DenningDunning. He takes on pseudoscience, the paranormal, and religion with critical thinking and rationalism. The podcasts are generally short (10-15 minutes), but packed with good arguments.

Twango: Big Heathen Mike's public channel
Big Heathen Mike's blog, Mike's Weekly Skeptic Rant is great. I haven't listened to these podcasts yet, but I'm looking forward to them.

I try to watch these on my computer in the evening. It's a daily video podcast hosted by G4TechTv's Morgan Webb about the latest news in technology. They're about 6-7 minutes long. Just long enough to get my dose of tech without zoning out.

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6 comments: to “ Podcasts I'd Recommend

  • EnoNomi
    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 12:47:00 PM CST  

    I wonder if there's a girly fan group for Neil deGrasse Tyson (like the Bamber Bunnies) we can join. If only that man had been my teacher when I was young and impressionable, my life would have been so different. Either I would have become an astronomer or a stalker, I can't be sure which.

    I'll have to check out the Blueshift. I listen to Point of Inquiry, Skepticality, and the NESS as well. Check out RadioLab - I can't say enough good things about that show.

  • Unknown
    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 1:20:00 PM CST  

    Eno Nomi:

    Thanks, I definitely will add RadioLab to my list.

    Either I would have become an astronomer or a stalker, I can't be sure which.

    That made me smile because I know exactly what you mean.

    Now excuse me while I go daydream...

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 4:40:00 PM CST  

    I just recently ventured into the realm of podcasts, and I had already found Point of Inquiry, Science Talk and The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe. I'll have to check out some of these as well. Thanks.

    And Neil deGrasse Tyson is officially one of my heroes. If you can't get excited about science while listening to him, you have some serious issues.

  • Anonymous
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 4:31:00 AM CST  

    Have you checked out 'The Tank'? It's a newcomer and produced as both a podcast and as a vodcast. The show has many older eps on www.mysteryinvestigators.com as well as their latest 'video' versions.
    They're on YouTube as 'Tank vodcast' via Richard Saunders' account (he has dozens of vids he's hosted too). He's interviewed many of the people on all of the podcasts you've previously mentioned and appeared as a guest on nearly all of their shows too!

  • Unknown
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 6:23:00 AM CST  

    sallycandace, it looks interesting. Do you know if there's a way to subscribe via iTunes?

  • Skepticality
    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 7:09:00 AM CST  

    Thanks for the mention! :)


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