Sunday, August 12, 2012

You Are What You Listen To?

Every now and then conversation comes to, “What podcasts do you listen to? Why?” Here are the podcasts I listen to regularly via iTunes. Once a week I plug my iPhone into my computer, click on iTunes and update. I listen to these podcasts at different times throughout the week.

On Being - Krista Tippett

Key descriptors: soul food, spirit, faith, love, hope, inclusive

Overview: From the website...“Krista envisioned a program that would draw out the intellectual and spiritual content of religion that should nourish our common life, but that is often obscured precisely when religion enters the news.”

Why I listen? As a Christian, I believe God calls us to unity, not uniformity. Krista Tippet draws from all things spiritual. She creates space for unity for the listener. The Psalmist wrote, “Be still and know that I am God.” One of my favorite things to do with On Being is to listen to the podcast early in the morning and then be still. What did I hear? Where was the voice of God?

Favorites I’ve not erased:
The Far Shore of Aging (July 26, 2012)
The "Happiest" Man in the World (October 27, 2011) [encore]
The Inward Work of Democracy (June 28, 2012) [encore]
The Body's Grace (May 3, 2012) [encore]
What We Nurture (March 29, 2012) [encore]
Desmond Tutu's God of Surprises (Feb 23, 2012)
Pursuing Happiness with the Dalai Lama (December 29, 2011) [encore]
The Prophetic Imagination of Walter Brueggemann (December 22, 2011)

Ted Radio Hour

Key descriptors: perspectives, fascinating, thoughtful, AHA!

Overview: Host Allison Stewart takes a theme and draws upon several TED presenters and their TED talk to weave an hour of insight.

Why I listen? I love! Presenters have 18 minutes or less to tell their story of passion whether it be the arts, science, education, research or philosophy. TED routinely demonstrates less is more! Stewart connects the dots of several presenters on a particular theme. The listener gets several perspectives to noodle!

Favorites I’ve not erased:
Building A Better Classroom
The Future of Cities
Where Ideas Come From
Fixing Our Broken Systems
The Power of Crowds
Food Matters
The Pursuit of Happiness
Our Buggy Brain


Key descriptors: enlightening, informative, educational, no-limits, challenging

Overview: Economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner partnered to write the best selling Freakonomics. That partnership has lead to SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film and a radio show! The radio show/podcast continues where the books left off!

Why I listen?
I read Freakonomics and realized that there is a hidden side to everything! Istvan Banyai captures this theme in his children’s picture book, The Other Side. One of my favorite bumper stickers is, Critical Thinking - The Other National Deficit. Freakonomics engages critical thinking!

Favorites I’ve not erased:

How American Food Got So Bad
The Truth is Out There...Isn’t It?
The Upside of Quitting
You Say Repugnant, I Say...Let’s Do It!
Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?
What Would the World Look Like If Economists Were in Charge?
The Dangers of Safety

The Moth Podcast

Key descriptors: magnetic, arty, human experiences, unexpected, gripping, inspirational

Overview: Just when you think you’ve heard everything, you realize you haven’t. Started in 1997, The Moth begins with a theme and then storytellers from all walks of life tell their story free style, sans notes, to a hungry standing room only crowd. “Moth stories dissolve socio-economic barriers, expose vulnerabilities, and quietly suggest ways to overcome challenges and see with new eyes.”

Why I listen? Storytelling is at the heart of connecting with and to others. Forget PowerPoint, forget charts and graphs. Tell a story. This is the place to learn why storytelling is so powerful. The Moth is also a great place to learn how to tell stories and reflect on your own stories.

Favorites I’ve not erased:
Adam Gopnik: Rare Romance, Well-Done Marriage
Annie Duke: A House Divided
Terence Mickey: One Family’s Garbage
Elif Shafak: Writing Amidst the Ruins
Tom Bodett: Inside Passage
Martha Manning: What Can’t Be Fixed
June Cross: Secret Daughter

This American Life

Key descriptors: Diverse, the untold/unknown story, quirky, surprise, random, imaginative, stimulating

Overview: Each week host Ira Glass and his team take a theme and then find or create three stories that relate to that theme. The outcome draws from current events, culture and narrative threads yielding a tasty stew! On one of the webpages for This American Life its stated, “We think of the show as journalism.” If this is the case, this show would be found in the Lifestyle section of the paper. Begun in 1995, This American Life has won numerous awards. Nearly 2 million people tune in This American Life each week.

Why I listen? It is good ear candy! Sometimes it nourishes. Sometimes I find it hard to listen to. No matter, it is one of those pieces that reminds the listener there is more to life than the daily news.

Favorites I’ve not erased:
#109 - Notes on Camp - If you ever went to summer camp growing up, this will stir memories
#204 - 81 Words - How the American Psychiatric Association came to the conclusion that homosexuality was not a mental illness
#290 - Godless America - Perspectives on church and state
#462 Own Worst Enemy - Stories of people who are their own worst enemy

What are you listening to? How does what you are listening to transform, enlighten or help you grow?