I’ve decided to start an infrequent series titled “Podcasts Worth Your Time.” It’s been exactly a year since I wrote the first blog post in this “new” series. Maybe this will be an annual thing.
Instead of focusing on podcasts in general, I want to focus on the specific episodes that I can’t get out of my head. I listen to at least one podcast a day, sometimes more depending on what I’ve got going on.
The episodes I’m sharing with you are the episodes that have been living rent-free in my noggin taking up all my ruminating space. These are the episodes that I discuss in excruciating detail with Handy Husband and anyone else who will listen. Mainly Handy Husband though. Ha!
And now I’m directing that energy toward you, you lucky duck!
Without further ado, here is my current list of podcasts worth your time.
Mayhem is a multi-episode podcast series about the 1970s by Sharon McMahon of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting. If you don’t follow Sharon on Instagram or listen to her podcast, she is affectionately referred to as “America’s Government Teacher.”
My parents told me some stories about being 20-somethings in the 1970s and it’s recent enough history that I thought I had a good grasp of what happened in that decade, but there were holes in my understanding.
I binged this podcast series until I was caught up and then was sad when I had to wait a week for a new episode to drop. Start at episode one and you’ll be hooked!
Ologies is a comedic science podcast that covers a new science topic or “ology” every week.
The pomology episode – the study of apples – blew my mind. I had no idea apples were so interesting.
Here’s the episode teaser, which will give you a flavor for the humor in this podcast
“Green, yellow, striped, red, shiny, russet. Tart, sweet, sour, crunchy. Big, small, wild, heirloom, cultivated. How will you like them apples? Very much, once you hear all about the fascinating backstory of how an apple got into your lunch with one of the world’s finest pomologists and geneticists, the incredibly knowledgeable and charming Dr. Susan K. Brown, a professor at Cornell University’s AgriTech division. Fill your baskets with apple picking tips, genetic mash ups, taste test requirements, DNA trivia, compost treasures, maggot babies, the animal dung that changed history, how to have your own orchard, the sweet taste of science redemption, the loudest apple crunch on record, and what you’re actually tasting when you enjoy this feat of breeding. You’ll forever appreciate this everyday fruit.”
P.S. There is usually adult language in these podcasts, but there are also “Smologies” podcasts for listeners of all ages that are shorter in length and don’t have any adult language.
Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell is always a thought-provoking podcast and the six episode series about guns is no exception.
I’m not going to say I changed my overall opinion about what we should do about gun violence in America, but these episodes did prompt me to re-evaluate why I hold the opinions I do. I don’t want to get so entrenched in a mindset that I don’t allow room for new information to possibly change or better inform that mindset.
The episodes toward the end of the series that involve doctors opened my eyes wide to a consequence I had never considered as it relates to the inequities of our health system.
As always with a series, start with the first episode because the topic builds from there.
This podcast episode had Handy Husband and I absolutely on the edges of our seats waiting to hear the outcome.
The episode starts out talking about why the butt muscles are really important to humans and ends up with a race in Arizona where runners compete against people riding horses. Are the runners or the horses faster? We were riveted!
If he didn’t have to travel to the middle of nowhere in Arizona, this is a race Handy Husband would love to participate in. Below is a picture of Handy Husband taken after completing a 69-mile ultramarathon. The white marks on his black shirt are from the salt that evaporated from his sweat.
Pretty sure I had to burn that shirt after that race.
This two-episode series on cognitive dissonance with social psychologist, Elliot Aronson was absolutely fascinating. Is it possible for rationalization to be used for good and not just evil? There were insights in this podcast series about how we as individuals justify our actions and how education can be improved by using cognitive dissonance.
Aronson was a protege of Abraham Maslow. Yes, THE Maslow. You’ve probably heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The only reason Aronson even ended up connecting with Maslow is because he followed a girl into her introductory psychology class and then forgot about the girl when he realized psychology and the way Maslow was teaching it was very interesting. It’s such a good story of how happenstance can change the trajectory of your life.
I’ve never had good experiences with gynecologists, so I was skeptical about this podcast episode.
In this episode, Steve Levitt interviews Cat Bohannon about her book Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution. Bohannon argues that compared to other mammals, human are really bad at reproduction. Childbirth is not something we can routinely do by ourselves. There are a lot of pregnancy and birthing complications. Our babies don’t come out self-sufficient. Humans compensated for this by becoming good at helping women have babies and that is different from how other animals reproduce.
This podcast did not change my mind about gynecologists and the bad experiences I have had interacting with them, but it did prompt me to wonder if gynecology really was the best invention ever? You’ll have to listen to it and let me know what you think.
I’ve also placed Bohannon’s book on hold at the library.
That’s it for this round. If you have listened to or end up listening to any of these episodes, let me know what you think.
If you have podcasts you enjoy listening to, let me know what they are! I always love discovering new podcasts. You can always comment on this blog post, email us here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.
Thanks for being here today. Here are some other blog posts you might enjoy!
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