Remember the good old days, when the family used to gather around the stereo for the latest episode of their favorite radio show?
The good old days like … last Tuesday.
Podcasts. They’re the new radio drama.
You’ve probably heard of at least a few podcasts out there: Welcome to Nightvale, TedTalks, The Nerdist, The Moth, Snap Judgement, This American Life. If not, you’ve missed an entire renaissance in entertainment as people serial-listened to Serial or worked out to Freakeconomics instead of Superfreak.
Podcasts are great and my family has a few favorites. I was a big Nightvale fan (so bizarre … yet so addictive) and from there I tried The Black Tapes (note: these are Blair Witch style “journalistic” tales about scary urban legends including topics like demons, The Slender Man, and cults. My weird-o kids loved it, but you may want to proceed with caution if you have sensitive ears in listening range).
It’s not all entertainment – podcasts are a phenomenal source of infotainment. You can learn from podcasts in a fun way because, unlike an audio book, the nonfiction editions are rarely just one guy doing one long, boring lecture.
- The Torch (from The Great Courses) is full of interviews with experts on everything from the search for exoplanets, how to get published, The Black Death, to photography, cooking, and more.
- Anansi Storytime, a brand new podcast, has voice actors preforming historic fables, folktales, and myths from around the world.
- StarTalk is a podcast that does often involve one guy doing one lecture, but the one guy is Neil DeGrasse Tyson, so boring is the last word to describe it.
Or don’t focus on one topic. Learn how they make silly putty, how not to sound stupid when ordering wine, and other tidbits that are both useful in the real world and in case you ever end up on Jeopardy. Good Job Brain, Stuff You Should Know, and How to Do Anything provide curiosity-busting tidbits and answers by playing fun trivia and quiz games, throwing out random factoids, and answering your questions.
If you’ve got younger kids, there are a number of story-based or early-learning podcasts out there. Brains On, TedTalks Kids and Family, Tumble, The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, StoryNory, and Stories Podcast will all provide hours of fun listening that won’t make you want to rip your ears out the way hearing The Wheels on the Bus 400 times does.
Of course, nothing is quite as good as hearing a story directly from a parent or grandparent though, so don’t forget to download the free Story Bug app which lets you read to your kids and share books through video chat and interactive technology no matter where you are.
Cricket Mama Media would like to apologize for yelling about how everyone needed to shut up last week. In her defense, a BIG REVEAL was happening on The Black Tapes. But that poor drive-thru employee couldn’t have known that when he asked to take our order. CMM would also like you to know that she is associated with The Great Courses and therefore knows a thing or two about how great The Torch really is.