My Top Ten Podcasts
By London Koffler
I love to learn, but as an adult, finding the opportunity is difficult. Last year, I finally opened and explored the podcast app on my phone, and I have been hooked ever since. Podcasts are perfect for me because I can multitask and take advantage of every second I have available. Whether it’s cleaning, working out, or doing my makeup, I can now learn while I complete my daily tasks. There are thousands out there, but these are my top ten favorite podcasts, all of which can be found through Spotify or the Apple podcast app. These podcasts never fail to educate me with their well-researched content and entertain me with their charismatic hosts.
1.The Psychology of Attractiveness
Dr. Robert Burriss explores different aspects of human attraction and mating. For example, he discusses different factors, such as pheromones and body odor, which may play a role in a person’s perceived attractiveness. I have found it fascinating to discover the reasons behind our interactions and relationships with others.
2.Stuff You Missed in History Class
If, like mine, your professor said “Sixteenth Chapel” instead of “Sistine Chapel,” you could use a little History lesson. From How Stuff Works, Stuff You Missed in History Class delves into both famous and lesser-known historical people and events. Recent topics of discussion include Andrew Carnegie, Leeuwenhoek’s discovery of microscopic life, and Ireland’s Easter Rising of 1916. I swear I have learned more about history through this podcast than I ever did while I was in school.
Reply All examines how humans and technology interact and affect each other. The hosts help resolve unique problems associated with the internet, such as identity theft, phishing, and scams. In my favorite segment, “Yes Yes No,” the co-hosts explain the meaning of internet memes to their computer-illiterate boss. I am not particularly interested in technology, but once I listened to the first episode, Reply All revealed itself to be more of a podcast about people, not technology.
4.Myths and Legends
Jason Weiser summarizes different tales, revealing the origin of some classic myths and legends as well as the more obscure. He takes stories that the audience is familiar with (such as the Disney version of Cinderella) and tells their real, often more gruesome, origins. He injects his own humor into the stories and puts his own spin on them to make them appealing to his modern audience.
Jason Weiser is also the host of Fictional, a podcast that centers on summarizing great literary works. It’s delivered in the same manner as Myths and Legends—as if someone with a good sense of humor is reading you a story. Included in the podcast are summaries of works such as “The Count of Monte Cristo,” “Dante’s Inferno,” and “Desiree’s Baby.”
In the same vein as Myths and Legends, Aaron Mahnke’s Lore explores mysteries of the past and the stories developed to explain them. If you find this podcast interesting, Mahnke has also released a book about the different mysterious creatures he has discussed on the podcast. In addition, he created a Lore television series, now streaming on Amazon Prime, with the help of the people behind The Walking Dead and X-Files.
As an editor and grammar stickler, I have a soft spot for this podcast. Lexicon Valley explores language and communication. Unlike prescriptive linguistics, which attempts to enforce the “right” way to use words, this podcast’s descriptive approach simply documents how and why language is being used. There are discussions on topics such as oddities of the English language, the usage of contractions, and communication through graffiti.
Imaginary Worlds explores people’s ability to suspend their disbelief and become invested in a fictional universe. Eric Molinsky follows those who have created and become lost in fantasy and attempts to discover why it is so captivating. He and his guests treat these worlds and characters as if they were real. He has discussed fan fiction, immersive theater, and the challenging process of creating fictional maps.
Hidden Brain is a production of NPR. It examines the human brain and what motivates our actions. For example, a recent episode discusses the effects of hyper-masculinity on the thought process and behavior of men. In this case as well as many others, the problem appears to originate from societal pressure.
10.Stuff You Should Know
This podcast premiered about ten years ago and boasts over a thousand episodes in its library. This How Stuff Works production delves into the widest range of topics of any on this list. If you want to be knowledgeable about a little bit of everything, this is the podcast for you. Their episodes can go from covering snake handling to gene editing to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Most recently, they have explained how Meals on Wheels works. This podcast is truly unique in that it encompasses a multitude of interests; there is something for everyone.