I’m not doing much these days, but one thing I am still doing is listening to podcasts. Two years ago I listed all my favorite podcasts [link]. Here’s an updated list. These are all podcasts I like and listen to.

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe
When this comes up on my mp3 player, I know I'm going to enjoy the next hour. Dr. Steven Novella and his "Rogues" discuss the latest science and the state of rational thinking. More than a little irreverent, but they take reality seriously. My favorite podcast.

This American Life
I’ve been listening to This American Life on public radio since it started back in 1995. It is a mix of fiction and non-fiction told as a story. “I laughed. I cried.“ I had a cliché moment. I don’t think there’s anything out there like it or better than it.

Radio Lab
A highly produced science program asking irreverent but relevant questions about science and our relationship to science.

Astronomy Cast
Dr. Pamela Gay and Fraser Cain review a topic in astronomy every week. Having listened to the podcast and their voluminous archive I feel like I’ve gained a pretty solid amateur background in astronomy and astrophysics.

The History of Rome
A straightforward telling of what happened and when in the Roman Empire. Made interesting by describing competing interpretations of personalities and motivations and by placing events within the sweep of history. I visualize the podcaster, Mike Duncan, with a bit of a smirk on his face as he tells his stories.

Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena
I enjoy hearing from Brian Dunning as he blows another bit of pseudoscience out of the water. Unfortunately, in trying to make his points, he sometimes uses logical fallacies himself. Especially creating a straw-man arguments implying that a few points represent an entire concept.

The Material World
A science program from BBC Radio 4. Host Quentin Cooper does an excellent job of making the science straight forward and interesting.

The Classic Tales Podcast
Classic short stories read by B.J. Harrison. Many stories and authors I’ve wanted to read, but never got around to.

Selected Shorts
Short stories presented live at “Symphony Space” in NYC. Mostly modern fiction. Some stories can be challenging and sometimes I’m not in the mood for the story presented, but there are plenty of good ones to make it worth listening to.

Point of Inquiry
Calm and incisive interview show put on by the Center for Inquiry “focusing on CFI’s issues: religion, human values and the borderlands of science“.

All in the Mind
A fascinating and far ranging program from Australia’s ABC Radio National hosted by Natasha Mitchell. All programs have interested me and some programs have moved me.

Science Talk by Scientific American
Calm and incisive interview show put on by Scientific American. Science and technology are always interesting.

A Way with Words
Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett are two people with a love and knowledge of language. They share their passion with callers and guests and with us through a weekly podcast.

Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Grammar should be fun. Short interesting discussions about grammar and usage.

Legal Lad’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Lawful Life
Understanding the law should be fun too. Short interesting discussions about the law.

To the Best of our Knowledge
A calm-and-rational detailed look at a topic twice per week. I've been listening to it on public radio for years.

New Yorker: Fiction
Deborah Treisman, fiction editor for the New Yorker sits down once a month with a current fiction author for the New Yorker and the current author reads an older piece of fiction from the New Yorker. The quality of the stories is remarkable and the insights available from an editor and an author are fascinating.

Escape Pod
Science fiction short stories roughly weekly. Edited and hosted by Mur Lafferty.

Clarkesworld Magazine
Science fiction short stories twice monthly. Podcast director Kate Baker.

X Minus One Podcast
Classic radio science fiction from the 1950s. Some of it is excellent and some is dreck; all of it is an insight to the thinking of the time.

The Onion Radio News
Short satire in a news radio format. A hilarious new item every day.

The Moth Podcast
True stories told live weekly.

Science Times
A podcast based on the New York Times science section.

Tech Talk
The New York Times Bettina Edelstein, J.D. Biersdorfer and Pedro Rafael Rosado weekly review of what’s happening in technology. This helps me keep in the loop about what toys are coming out and what people are saying about them.

The Tolkien Professor
Corey Olsen is a tenured English professor breaking down the separation between an academic perspective and that of a general reader. He makes it easy to take Tolkien seriously, but doesn’t take the fun out of the fantasy.

In our Time with Melvyn Bragg

Every week Melvyn Bragg interviews experts in some area of history. Wide ranging. The last three weeks covered the ideas of Thomas Malthus, the Origins of Infectious Disease, and the Battle of Stamford Bridge

The Straight Dope
Cecil Adams answers questions with wit and thorough research.

Merriam Webster’s Word of the Day
Short and sweet. A word, its definition, origin, and usage. Sometimes it’s a word that’s completely new to me, other times it’s one I use regularly.


People of Equal Talent

"I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops."

Stephen Jay Gould

Perhaps that quote will help me sleep.