Thursday, May 29, 2008


Add podcasts to my list of time-wasters.

Even though I've had an ipod for a couple of years, I'd only started subscribing to podcasts recently. I'm not really sure why, since I'm such an early adopter--I had gonorrhea of the throat looong before it was fashionable to get it. And the podcasts I'm currently subscribing to have had offerings for quite some time.

What's even more puzzling about this is that these podcasts are free. FREE. I'm not one to refuse a freebie. I send postcards to get free movie sreenings, take home the free shampoo from a hotel, even take a free sample of tampons. I know I know, but I'll find a use for it somehow, maybe fix a leaky roof or something.

This was what ultimately made me finally get on the bandwagon: once, when I was in my car, I had to cut off This American Life on NPR because I had arrived at my destination. I would miss the last part of the radio show. So when I found out about the podcast, I downloaded it.

I only listen to the radio in the car. I find that there are certain things that I do in a car that I don't normally do outside of it. Listen to country music. Have long political discussions. Swallow.

There's something about the enclosed confines of a car that seems to cocoon you from the rest of the world, suspending reality. Calories consumed are not absorbed into the body; ova are impervious to sperm; doing the chicken dance is not embarrassing. This probably explains the abundance of fat, hick parents.

In fact, I was recently listening to a BBC podcast Thinking Allowed, a science talk show that explored how it seemed that people talk more honestly and are more receptive to communicating in a car. This is probably because of the block of uninterrupted time coupled with the seating configuration, which lessened eye contact, making people more honest and apt to listen.

They said that if you wanted to tell someone something important, something you want them to listen to, you should tell them during a trip. It will increase the chances of it sinking in. So I am going to take a trip and tell my boyfriend something important: he does not do a good Barry Manilow impression. I hope he will stop singing Barry in the shower. God, I hope it works.

Anyway, I'm not really a science geek, but listening to BBC podcasts makes me feel more sophisticated. I feel that when I listen to it, I should have some wine and cheese and a side order of mad cow disease. Plus, English accents make everything sound smarter and funnier. I mean, you could yell out 'I'm having massive diarrhea!' and everyone would nod and clap and hand you a lace doily to wipe your ass. Go on, say it out loud in an English accent. See what I mean?

And because you want to be me (c'mon admit it), I'm going to list down what podcasts I'm subscribing to. Bloggers like lists because it's an easy way for us to paint a totally false impression of our personalities. I don't know if there is a way to paint an honest picture of someone except through careful, meticulous and painstakingly applied torture. So here it is, my list, check it out. It's free.

This American Life (Chicago Public Radio)
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! (NPR)
This I Believe (NPR)
11 Central Ave. (PRI)
Story of The Day (NPR)
StoryCorps: Recording America (NPR)
Science Friday (NPR)
What Would Rob Do? (NPR)
Youthcast (NPR)
Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 (BBC)
The Music Week (BBC)
Hmmmn...Krulwich on Science (NPR)
Fresh Air (NPR)
Driveway Moments (NPR)
Design For The Real World (PRI)
Satire from The Unger Report (NPR)
Thinking Allowed (BBC)

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