Support This American Life/Chicago Public Radio

Long rant coming up, feel free to skip.

I enjoy taking public transport to work. I enjoy standing outside for 15-20 minutes waiting for a tram that isn't completely packed full of people and has room for me to actually get on. I even enjoy standing pressed up against said overcrowded people. And now that the weather is nice, I've been skipping the tram completely and walking home. Fresh air, time to clear my head. And i get a chance to listen to some music. Or a podcast.

I am enjoying podcast in a big big way nowadays. I don't really like listening to the radio. I don't like most of the music. Not so much the music itself, rather the repetition of the same songs over and over. And I get the tram to work, so no radio. And i don't drive so much nowadays, so no radio there either. But podcasts are great. Insightful/funny/interesting commentary by people I want to hear from with all the crap trimmed out, and able to be listened to at my convenience. (I realise that this isn't news to anyone and I'm a good 5 years behind everyone else. Be sure to check back in 4 more years for my insightful post about Twitter.)

In particular there are three podcasts I always look forward to hearing (all following links open in the iTunes Store). Sunday Night Safran (religious commentary by John Safran and Father Bob), Radio Lab (science and sociology, a new theme each week, beautifully scripted and presented. An examination of the beauty and wonder of the universe in which we live, done in a way that dumb people like me can understand.), and This American Life.

This American Life is a brilliant public radio show run out of Chicago on Chicago Public Radio hosted by Ira Glass. Each weekly show has a theme, and there's usually three or four segments from a huge variety of contributors where they examine this theme. That's the blueprint, and it sounds boring and cold, but it's one of the most consistently warm/fascinating/sad/hilarious/etc pieces of entertainment out there.

And it's all free. Actually, you have to pay to download shows from the (enormous) archive, but if you subscribe each week's new show is free. You should subscribe.(link open in iTunes Store)

It was explained this week that due to the economy going through the crapper, 12 staff were laid off from This American Life's home of WBEZ. So why not donate some money? I did. And now i feel superior to everyone that hasn't. So it's a deal: support challenging and engaging broadcasting, AND gain a tentative feeling of superiority. It's win-win. Why not donate to WNYC, who fund Radio Lab, too? I haven't done that yet, but I probably should. Don't donate to Safran though. He can wait a while longer.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • Google Buzz