Fave 5: Podcasts

As much as we love riding our bikes to work, we’re also secretly a bit (a very LITTLE bit) excited that the snow means we have to walk or take transit. Why? Because it means that we can spend our commutes listening to our favourite podcasts. There are so many to choose from – just spend some time browsing the options on iTunes, for starters. They literally cover any topic you can imagine, and are a great way to pick up interesting conversation tidbits for cocktail parties (and, uh, to learn about the world of course). 

If you’re new to the podcast world, here are our favourite five to listen to. What are your favourites?

A recent recommendation from a friend, this podcast hilariously critiques (mostly) terrible movies that are so bad, they’re amazing (in the literal sense of the term). Friends Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas host the show with very funny guests, like comedian Doug Benson. The first episode we listened to was Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, and we were hooked. It’s created in conjunction with Earwolf, a digital content producer helmed by Scott Aukerman (who created “Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis”), so you know it’s basically a guaranteed laugh.

Listen or download here. Start with: really, any movie they discuss that you’ve seen and thought was horrible. You will relate and laugh. Trust.

This is perhaps our favourite – we love, love, love Ira Glass and his weekly show highlighting a small slice of life in America. The show picks a theme like “Self-Improvement” or “Babysitting” and explores different aspects of the topic through stories from regular people. The results are thought-provoking, compelling and interesting shows that will have you wishing your commute to work was just a little bit longer. You’ll never think about the mundane in the same way again after listening to this show.

Listen and download here. Start with: the Favourites list. Staff have chosen their top picks from their 400+ shows and it’s a great way to become introduced to Ira and his team. One of our personal faves is “What Doesn’t Kill You“, which outlines a true and shocking story of a shark attack on a 13-year old girl, in a series of stories about near-death experiences.

For the occasional science and technology fix, we turn to cult favourite Radiolab. This show is less frequent than most other podcasts, but with good reason – each episode is over an hour long and is extensively researched. Similarly to This American Life, host Jad Abumrad and his team choose one topic to explore in depth. Things like Guts, Loops, Escapes and Colours; topics that seem really straightforward and simple, but they delve into each topic and dig up some astounding facts and revelations. Example: the mantis shrimp can see colours that we cannot even conceive of, because they have more cones in their eyes than we do. In fact, this shrimp can see more colours than any other living species on the planet. Cool, right?

Listen and download here. Start with: the Colours episode we just mentioned. It’s pretty rad.

You Look Nice Today
This show is a bit of brain candy, self-described as “a journal of emotional hygiene” that discusses emotional “adult” issues, and is really just some pretty funny banter between three friends (Adam Lisagor, Scott Simpson and Merlin Mann) who met on Twitter. It’s a good mental break when you’ve had a rough day and need to forget about your life for awhile and focus on someone else’s neuroses. 

Listen and download here. Start with: honestly, anywhere. Just delve right in and get to know these dudes. This one is pretty funny.

Good Job, Brain!
This is a new discovery for us (and a relatively new podcast) and we are thrilled for the nerdy goodness it provides. We love trivia and this radio show that’s part quiz show, part under-the-radar news stories satisfies our thirst for facts. Hosts Karen Chu, Colin Felton, Chris Kohler and Dana Nelson are self-confessed trivia junkies and bring you random facts about just about any topic you can think of. If this doesn’t prepare you for weekly trivia night at The Drake Hotel, nothing will. 

Listen and download here. Start with: episode one! Might as well start at the beginning, for maximum knowledge acquirement. Plus, it’s about alcohol and candy. Delish.