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Our favorite podcasts

Our favorite podcasts

Podcasts have been around for over 10 years, but they've recently had a surge of new found popularity (a combination of some really great content and the fact that they became profitable as of last year). A podcast is a program (music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet. The term "podcasting" was first mentioned by Ben Hammersley in The Guardian newspaper in a February 2004 article, along with other proposed names for the new medium. It is a portmanteau of the words "pod" -from iPod- and "broadcast". If you have an iPhone, you actually have a podcast app (similar to the app store app setup) which makes it really easy to browse, search and download podcasts. Listening to podcasts are a great way to spend commuting/travel time, swap out for reading before bed or listen to while working out or doing chores. According to a USA Today article, Apple has surpassed 1 billion subscriptions for podcasts via iTunes. Since podcasts are here to stay, we put together a list of our favorites!

Serial

Serial

This very popular podcast came out in October 2014 and has 12 free episodes. Serial tells the story of a real-life murder from 1999 when a high school senior in Maryland was killed. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan, was arrested for the crime and was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness who testified that he helped bury the body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with her death. Some people believe he's telling the truth but many others don't. The host of Serial digs into all of the facts of the case and tries to highlight the questions and inconsistencies in some of the testimonies. I found this story highly addictive and entertaining and look forward to the next installment of Serial, said to come out later this year.

Freakonomics

Freakonomics

This podcast talks about the "the hidden side of everything" and teaches you to think a bit more creatively, rationally and productively. There are a range of episodes topics, including household energy efficiency, better ways to eat, whether or not you should bribe your kids, marriage and dating topics and much more. The host, Stephen Dubner, looks at all sides of an issue and reports comparatively to really give you something to think about.

99% Invisible

podcast

So, with this selection, I'm likely going to make it clear just exactly how geeky I can be. 99% Invisible is a mellow podcast that takes an interesting approach to delving into the core of its subject matter: design. That interesting approach? Well, design typically involves some level of visibility, but alas...that's not really something the audio podcast medium really is equipped for. What it deliciously accomplishes is drawing you into interesting and often quirky design issues about the products, places and things that we interact with on a daily basis. Whether the individual episode is dealing with a poor design issue that plagues freeway signs or explains exactly how those colorful, inflatable air tube people that are seemingly in front of every used car lot came into being, the show is deceptively interesting. Don't just take it from a design geek like me though, give it a listen yourself. You might just be surprised how quickly you tick through episodes!

Reply All

podcast

This is a podcast developed by Gimlet Media, a podcast network created and produced by Alex Blumberg, a former NPR producer credited with work on This American Life and Planet Money. Reply All, a podcast about how the internet affects deeper aspects of our lives and society, is the second production developed by the fledgling corporation. As enjoyable as Reply All is, the podcast that gave birth to Gimlet Media to begin with is...

StartUp

podcast

StartUp was Blumberg's narrated journey through developing, funding and launching his podcast network and it provides a delightfully addictive meta-perspective about how businesses are begun and all the gritty, funny, frustrating details that no one hears about but probably would love to prior to starting a business. Blumberg's one-of-a-kind narrative crafting is ever-present in StartUp and well worth a listen. (Credit to our very own Analytics and Social Media Manager, Jared, for tipping me off to StartUp!)

Invisibilia

invisibiliablog

Invisibilia is a free, fairly new series that focuses on the invisible forces that shape human behavior. It features personal stories enhanced with scientific research, including a woman who physically has no fear and the experiences she has, to a deeper look at the invisible force of computers and how they're already beginning to change us into modern day cyborgs, with the rolling out of Google Glass and mixed feelings about where technology is taking us as a race. These stories may encourage you to see your own life from a new perspective.

This American Life

thisamericanlife

This American Life is a free, weekly hour-long radio program also available with a podcast, with episodes available for one week after each broadcast. It's also the sister podcast to Serial. The stories hit on current events and other thought-provoking or humorous topics - from a set of babies switched at birth, to the anonymity of the internet.

TED Radio Hour

tedradiohour

TED Radio Hour is a free, weekly podcast hosted by Guy Raz. It's based on the captivating TEDTalks given from extremely noteworthy people, from the nonprofit TED organization, which is devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading". The episodes feature interesting topics such as new inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, and ways to think outside the box.

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