As much as this website encourages people to disconnect, podcasts are one of those things that are an exception to that rule. They’re incredible. And they can make the mundane (doing laundry, riding the bus, ironing or shining shoes) nothing short of extraordinary. Each month our resident podcast connoisseur, Dave I., finds three podcasts worth your time and ears.
NOTE: With summer happening in the Northern Hemisphere, and thus, vacations and road trips front of mind, the focus this month is on podcasts that can be listened to on family holidays and/or road trips. Because on hour four of “I spy” you might be looking for a change.
Perfect for the whole family, Wow in the World from NPR, addresses many of those perplexing questions that kids, and let’s be honest adults too, have always wanted answers to. Hosted by Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz, each episode is chock full of educational information delivered in a fun and easy-to-listen-to approach. Best of all, episodes are stand-alone, meaning listeners can pick and chose topics that will interest adults and children alike. Looking for suggestions? Start with the May 6, 2019 episode where Mindy and Guy find themselves at the Inter-species Face Pulling World Championships. Face pulling not your thing? How about dinosaurs with dandruff from August 26, 2018? Or learning about the science behind cracking your knuckles from June 17, 2018? Whatever your choice, make sure the children in your life don’t catch on to learning while on their summer vacation or else they may never forgive you.
Even though this podcast is aimed primarily at children, I will admit to getting pulled in to the excellent narration and storytelling of this show. Brought to you by Wondery, the same podcasting network that delivers the excellent Business Wars podcast, Stories features entertaining tales ranging from original works to the retelling of the classics. Start with the May 14, 2019 episode of Chicken Little and then hop over to the August 7, 2017 episode of Bats, Beasts and Birds for a quirky take on a classic fable. Now that you have a feeling for the show, settle in for the incredibly narrated five part The Brilliant Firefly commencing on August 23, 2018. With stories dating back to November, 2014, there are plenty of fairy tales and original works to keep a family entertained for the longest of road trips.
Kicking off its fourth season on June 12, 2019, Sidedoor is a podcast from the Smithsonian. Yes, THAT Smithsonian. Told with the help of subject matter experts such as biologists, artists, zookeepers and archeologists, to name but a few, each episode gives listeners an in-depth and personal tour of Smithsonian knowledge. Start with a bit of science and nature from season three, episode 14 The Silence of Frogs. The Sidedoor crew travel to the Panamanian jungle to learn about frogs, a disease that is decimating their population, the efforts being undertaken to stop the disease, and the impact a frog extinction could have on the global ecosystem. More of a material goods person? Ever heard of the Hope Diamond? Episode one from season three looks at the supposed curse of the Hope Diamond (who knew?!), tracing the diamond’s provenance from the National Museum of Natural History all the way southern India. Finally, if you’re an armchair sleuth, give episode 10 from season two “Murder Is Her Hobby” a listen to learn all about the science of dioramas and their use in training police detectives. Who said learning couldn’t be fun?
About the author: Dave I. has been a Dappered reader for several years. His interest in fashion started with shoes and expanded to encompass watches, suits, and general men’s style. When not thinking about his next purchase he can be found enjoying a pint of locally brewed craft beer.