14 April 2012

Top 10 podcasts

Bloggingheads    |    Hour long one-on-one, usually about current affairs. Updates 2-4 times a week. Look out for episodes with the founder, Robert Wright, they are excellent.

Slate's Political Gabfest    |    Every Friday. Editor of Slate Magazine David Plotz, with Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson. The number one podcast on US politics.

In Our Times    |    From BBC Radio 4. Every Thursday morning Melvyn Bragg interviews three guests about anything from Edward Munch to Quantum Gravity. Undisputed master of the History of Ideas, only occasionally challenged by Entitled Opinions.

This Week in Google    |    Wednesdays. Great show. TWiT-founder Leo Laporte discuss the current state of cloud computing Gina Trippani, Jeff Jarvis and a guest. The Gillmor Gang covers the same beat with a different tone, less polished, tends to dig deeper, not always to great effect. This Week In Tech, the 2-hr flagship show of the TWiT network, available Monday mornings, is sometimes good but often has too much of the everything's-a-joke TWiT humour.

Friday Night Comedy    |    BBC Radio 4 pokes fun at the news every Friday evening. The excellent News Quiz alternates with the less funny Now Show every couple of months (we're currently in a News Quiz phase).

Global News    |    Also from the BBC. Updated twice daily except weekends, including at 2-3 in the morning,  which means that the truly podcast-addicted can always start the day here. Somewhat obsessed with interviewing random people about whatever plight they're in.

The Economist    |    More current affairs. The 'All Audio' edition updates sporadically throughout the week whereas the 'Editor's Highlights' is a one hour block of readings from the latest issue of the magazine released every Friday.

Triangulation    |    Near-weekly one hour show with Leo Laporte and Tom Merrit. Great stuff if the guest is good and fortunately they manage some seriously good guests, including Steve Martin, Kevin Kelly, Ray Kurzweil, Jeri Ellsworth, the list goes on, check the archive.

Start the Week with Andrew Marr    |    Monday morning. Hit-and-miss, too much artistic sentiment but occasionally very good (Monday morning, you take what you can get). Nearly got bumped off the list by Great Lives, also from the BBC.

FourCast    |    Futurism from the TWiT network, updated once or twice a month. Only just started listening to this. A bit too light-hearted for my taste but with Changesurfer Radio seemingly out of the loop a futurist has to get his fix somewhere. Futures in Biotech, also from the TWiT network, works too.


Anonymous said...

Based on your list above, I think you would really enjoy BBC Last Word, a weekly round up of obituaries about 4 or 5 notable people who have died in the previous week. I always learn something fascinating about some historical, cultural, or scientific event that I had previously known nothing about. --Robin

Christopher Harris said...

Ooo, I'll check it out, thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Good to get some tips from a truly podsessive person..! And not even a single one about brains or snails... But "too much artistic sentiment"... Since when did artistic sentiment become a bad thing?

/Someone you know pretty well

Christopher Harris said...

Hello Anonymous. Brain science podcasts annoy me, occupational hazard I guess. As for artistic sentiment, it's not a bad thing, I just seem to get more out of the non-artists Andrew Marr brings on... always been ambivalent about theatre, opera, painting and their ilk, but if we know each other you probably knew that already.

sports funia said...

nice to keep it

Kevx said...

Let me add my favs:
- Behavior, Evolution and Culture at UCLA - bec.ucla.edu - awesum stuff,
- anything from NIH - complete brain geek stuff,
- MIT has some decent old brain lectures and free classes,
- don't forget Neuroscientists Talk Shop on iTunes
- just published some great stuff, and some silly stuff, but it's all there at Turning Consciousness Conference. Especially check Paul Cisek and Joe LeDoux's "rethinking" of emotions in favor of "survival circuits." Brave call Joe.
- On YouTube the California universities have some decent old stuff
- Google Talks has some brain presentations but they are very pop and most are just wrong

Christopher Harris said...

sweet, didn't know about hte UCLA one, thanks. recently discovered neuroscientists talk shop myself, it would definitely be on the list if I'd known about it at the time.