The Pod Couple: 99PI and WitW

Those who know me even moderately well know that I love podcasts (a student once said about me that 90% of what I say starts with the phrase, “I was listening to a podcast the other day”).  In fact, one of the challenges of working remotely for me is that I no longer have a commute and therefore less time to listen to some of my favorite shows.  To remedy that, I’m starting this regular series for CAHSS and Effect where I share two of my favorites- one for adults and one for kids- thus forcing me to find time to listen to some of my favorites… and find some new ones.

With the goal of finding news shows in mind, please share some of your favorites in the comments.

The Show: 99% Invisible

This show is pretty much perfect.  Roman Mars, the creator and host, takes material you might think is uninteresting but brings it to life through great storytelling.  A problem I have with it, honestly, is that it’s hard to describe why it’s good or what it’s about.  I end up saying things like, “listen to the episode about sidewalks” or “the episode on the Sears Catalog is fascinating” and people look at me like I’m the least interesting person in the world.  “I don’t always recommend podcasts, but when I do they are on the economic challenges associated with growing chili peppers.”

Episode to Start With: Curb Cuts and Policing the Open Road (I’m cheating right out of the gate by giving you two). Curb Cuts is my favorite but Policing the Open Road is particularly important right now.

The Show (for kids): Wow in the World

God I love this show.  I would listen to it without my kids. And by that, I mean I routinely listen to it without my kids (don’t tell them). It’s a fun, smart, funny show that introduces kids to recent science from a variety of disciplines.  It’s not easy, dumbed down science either.  It’s legit, cutting edge stuff that they explain in exceedingly creative and clever ways.  The hosts, Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz, are great voice actors who have great chemistry and bring science to life in a way that is funny and informative.  Side note and embarrassing fact, I like the theme song enough that I would listen to it on its own….

Episode to Start With: Scaredy Sharks & The Science of Fear. Obviously an episode that includes both sharks and emotion is going to be my favorite.  If you got the greatest scientific minds in the world together and asked them to build something I would be interested in, the thing they built would look a lot like this episode. 

Dr. Ryan C. Martin

Ryan Martin is the Associate Dean for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and a member of the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  He researches anger, manages the website All the Rage, and teaches courses on mental illness and emotion.  Follow him on twitter at @rycmart or All the Rage on Facebook.

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