Once again, in 2007 I spent many more hours listening to talks and lectures than I did hours listening to music. There are a great many technologies that have yet to prove their net usefulness to our little blue planet, but, the ability to carry high-powered educational content in the palm of your hand is not one of them.
There are some other podcasts that I keep up with, but these are the "Do Not Miss An Episode" bunch. I highly recommend each of these programs. (Here is my list from 2006.)
KERA : Think
Day after day, this show addresses relevant topics and Krys is such a wonderful interviewer that she gets the most out of her guests. It’s an added bonus that she is on our Dallas public radio station, so every now and then the show covers something going on in DFW (the Trinity River Corridor, D Magazine features, etc).
LSAT Logic in Everyday Life
These are short (~7min), weekly episodes which break down events in the news from a logical point of view. It’s fun because one week it will be something completely serious, like SCHIP, and the next it’ll be goofy, like the South Carolina beauty queen or "Don’t Taze Me Bro!"
In January of this year, we knew exactly nothing about babies. With a little help from this informative podcast, we had at least some idea of what to expect throughout our pregnancy and during Clara’s first couple of months. Definitely "mom" centered, but I was able to learn plenty from it as well.
Great Speeches in History
The Sermon on the Mount, I Have a Dream, JFK’s inaugural, Socrates in his own defense, Eisenhower’s farewell address…inspired and inspiring orations.
NPR : Intelligence Squared
IQ2 is Oxford-style debate featuring one motion, one moderator, and three panelists for and against the motion. Previous debates have been, "Is It Time to End Affirmative Action?", "Better More Surveillance Than Another 9/11", "Is America Too Damn Religious?"
Every debate is incredibly engaging and thoughtful. They’re only once a month so as soon as I see the latest has been released, it’s always the first thing I listen to. Their tagline is, "on most contentious issues, both sides have intellectually respectable views."
I’m not sure how to begin summarizing how wonderful these talks are. Basically, the people at TED (tech, entertainment, design) invite innovators to the conference and say, "Give the talk of your life in 15 minutes."
The results are brilliant.
Chicago Public Radio : This American Life
Each week, TAL chooses a theme and then brings us a variety of stories on that theme. This is a fantastic radio program.
Returning Champs from Last Year
WNYC : Radio Lab
NPR : Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
And while I don’t consider myself anywhere near the programs described above, I’ll include my own podcast here…because, well, technically I’ve never missed an episode. A disclaimer: the first several episodes are not very good, I’ve only been happy with them from about #5 on.
So there they are, my favorite podcasts of 2007. I hope you take a few minutes to give them a listen.