Podcast Pontifications

Susanna Liao Susanna Liao Instagram Apr 30, 2020 · 4 mins read
Podcast Pontifications
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You’re on the bus, in a car, in your room, waiting at a doctor’s office, or just sitting around doing nothing. It’s not worth the effort to pull out a book, there’s no access to your favourite TV show, and you want something a bit more rewarding than listening to music. The solutionー podcasts! Podcasts are one of the most underappreciated forms of media out there. They are audio programs that focus on the spoken word, like a radio talk show but better. Podcasts are easily accessible, widely available, and there is a podcast for everyone out there, whether you’re looking for lighthearted comedy, news and politics, or dramatic storytelling. But where to start? In a day and age where time is literally money and there are thousands of forms of entertainment all vying for your attention, it can seem overwhelming to decide what to choose. That’s why I’m here to help! I’ve chosen a couple of my all time favourite podcasts (and I listen to a lot of podcasts). So, whether you’re brand new to the world of podcasts or an experienced veteran, here are some of my suggestions that I hope each of you will at least give a try. Enjoy!

  1. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

The Anthropocene Reviewed is a monthly podcast about all things human. In this podcast, John Green (author of The Fault in Our Stars among other things) reviews anything and everything on a five star scale. The topics range from the QWERTY keyboard to velociraptors to teddy bears to Super Mario Kart. On the surface it may seem like a shallow, fun-time, but it often delves deep into what connects us all and makes us human through the lens of ridiculous and everyday objects and events. By the end of an episode about hot dog eating contests you may be having an existential crisis about the worth of your own existence and why we’re all really here. Sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes uplifting, every episode is a new and delightful discovery about what it means to be human. Episodes are about half an hour long and there’s no set order or plot, so you can pick it up anywhere, but you may find yourself binge listening like I do. It’s one of my all time favourite podcasts because I love the juxtaposition of absurd topics and thoughtful discussion. It’ll make you laugh one moment and cry the next, which is why I recommend The Anthropocene Reviewed.

  1. Myths and Legends by Jason and Carissa Weiser

Myths and Legends is a weekly podcast retelling old musty myths in a new, funky way. This podcast aims to tell stories, from (in)famous tales like Robin Hood and Hansel and Gretel to ones you may have never heard of but will love, like The Eyrie and Meng Jiangnu and the Great Wall. It also features a “Creature of the Week” segment, discussing foolish and fantastical creatures from myths all over the world. Jason Weiser recounts these tales in a way that’s entertaining, funny, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. This podcast is an old favourite of mine because it’s lighthearted and comforting, like a good chicken noodle soup. Myths and Legends is something that I go back to time and again because it’s casual enough to listen to while doing chores or other mind numbing tasks, funny and entertaining, but still carry a lesson. Episodes are usually half an hour to an hour long; some stories split into sagas several episodes long, but most are individual installments you can pick and choose from. I’d recommend Myths and Legends to anyone looking for an interesting and educational storytelling podcast.

  1. Science Vs by Gimlet Media

Science Vs is a weekly podcast that examines controversial topics in a science focused way. Narrated by Wendy Zuckerman and produced by Gimlet Media, this podcast covers many topics, from police shootings to killer asteroids to the coronavirus to vaping. It’s a great surface level introduction to these topics and many more, debating the pros and cons and often bringing in experts to talk about them. Science Vs is both educational and entertaining to listen to, and the topics are often very relevant to current events or everyday life. I like the informational yet conversational tone of the podcast and that it gives a generic idea of the topic without going too in depth, so it can be informative without feeling stuffy and formal. Episodes are about an hour long and stand alone, so you can listen to just what piques your interest without being dragged down by over a hundred episodes. I’d recommend Science Vs to anyone interested in learning something new in a fun and engaging way.

I encourage you to go explore podcasts on Spotify, Soundcloud, or any other digital platform. Happy podcasting! 

Image sources:“Anthropocene Reviewed” from johngreenbooks.com

“Science Vs” from gimletmedia.com

“Myths and Legends” from mythpodcast.com

Susanna Liao
Written by Susanna Liao Instagram
Former Head Layout Editor