Top podcasts you should listen to

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Top podcasts you should listen to

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Abigail Whitcomb, Podcast & Opinions Editor, Marketing Manager

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Podcasts are the newest media platform on the rise. What used to be reserved for old people listening to NPR at 12:30 in the afternoon is now accessible to everyone via the Apple Podcasts app or any podcast app on Google Play.

But what is a podcast, anyway? It’s an audio file available for download, typically as part of a series. It’s like Netflix for your ears!

If you are new to podcasts or just need a new series to listen to, here are the best podcasts that you should be listening to.

Radiolab from WNYC Studios

Radiolab has more episodes than anyone can fathom. Radiolab mixes pop science with interesting, strange music that gets your ears engaged. They manage to tell fully visual stories with a strictly audio format. If you like science or want to learn more about the world around you, Radiolab is where it’s at. The most recent episode, hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich talk to Astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who is currently on the International Space Station.

Episodes to listen to: “23 Weeks 6 Days”, “Patient Zero”, “Words”.

More Perfect from WNYC Studios

From the same people that make Radiolab comes a podcast about landmark Supreme Court cases that have shaped laws that you might not even know about. Whether or not you are in AP Gov, it’s fascinating. It uses the same musical techniques that Radiolab does, and simplifies information into digestible bits without watering the material down too much.

Episodes to listen to: “Cruel and Unusual”, “The Imperfect Plaintiffs”, “The Gun Show”.

Invisibilia from NPR

Invisibilia is a podcast about the invisible forces that shape our world. Hosted by Alix Spiegel, Lulu Miller, and Hanna Rosin, it covers so many different topics that we never really think about ourselves. It’s like a psychology class and sociology class mixed into one show you will have no choice but to binge.

Episodes to listen to: “The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes”, “Flip the Script”, “The Problem with the Solution”.

Embedded from NPR

Embedded is a sort of investigative-journalism type podcast, delving deep into the dark topics plaguing our society. Host Kelly McEvers takes a story from the news and goes deeper than FOX and CNN ever would. The most recent season was “Trump Stories”, all about Trump and the people who surround him. A new season launched May 3 and is covering everything about the coal industry since Trump was elected.

Episodes to listen to: “The House”, “The Capital”, “The Police”.

Nancy from WNYC Studios

If you love Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race, you will love Nancy. Nancy is hosted by Tobin Lo and Kathy Tu, both gay. They cover topics like “Is Albus Dumbledore gay?” and if gay republicans are actually a thing. If you are an ally or LGBTQ+ yourself, this podcast is certainly worth a listen. The most recent episode is sexually explicit, so I don’t recommend it to the younger queer listeners.

Episodes to listen to: “The Elephant in the Room”, “Fear of Being Butch”, “Q is Growing Up”.

Caught from WNYC Studios

We’ve all made some questionable choices. But for these kids, their questionable choices may follow them for the rest of their lives. Caught is a podcast about the juvenile justice system and tells stories of those who are “caught” in the system. This podcast argues that these kids didn’t land themselves in there, it’s because of the larger problem at hand in the United States: mass incarceration. The stories are deeply personal and sometimes difficult to listen to because of the emotional depth. You can’t help but think, “What if that was me?”

Episodes to listen to: “Oh my God, What Have I Done?”, “The Teenage Mind is Like a Sports Car”, “It’s the Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done”.

The Anthropocene Reviewed

This podcast is not made by a studio. I would like to believe it is made in John Green’s basement. Yes, narrated by your favorite YA author, John Green discusses aspects of the human-centered planet (the anthropocene) on a five-star scale. There aren’t too many episodes of this podcast yet because it started just recently and comes out every three weeks, but each one takes you to places you never thought you could go with such mundane topics like grass and Diet Dr Pepper. Even if it doesn’t interest you, John Green’s voice is the new Morgan Freeman.

Episodes to listen to: “Googling Strangers and Kentucky Bluegrass”, “Super Mario Kart and the Bonneville Salt Flats”, “Halley’s Comet and Cholera”

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