Sunday, January 1, 2012

Best 11 Podcasts of 2011

Happy New Year!  Time for me to share what I've been listening to.  As I said last year, in one of my most popular posts Best Podcasts of 2010 (PLUS Tutorial for Newbies),
Why am I sharing my favorite podcasts on my food blog? Because while I am patiently choosing produce, chopping veggies, babysitting beans, or washing dishes, I am usually listening to my MP3 player. Podcasts make boring chores fun. They inspire, inform, make me laugh, or just keep me company. I wanted to inspire you to check out a few podcasts.

If you need a tutorial on downloading, subscribing, and listening, or still don't know what a "podcast" is, read last year's post.  If you have a smart phone, you can probably listen to MP3s on it.  If you find that you are always connected to the Internet, you might like Stitcher Smart Radio (downloadable app); I haven't tried it, but my husband is hooked.
Here are my current favorites:
  1. KCRW's Good Food - This podcast packs in more food for thought than any hour long program I can think of.  It's local to Santa Monica, California, but host Evan Kleiman also discusses international food and environmental issues.  Every episode is juicy and delicious and gives me ideas I can't wait to share.
  2. Planet Money - I love hearing about how the world works from an economist's perspective.  Twice a week. Always interesting and presented for the masses.
  3. Nutrition Diva - From the Quick and Dirty Tips series - Monica Reinagal, M.S., L.D./N. presents well researched solid information about food and nutrition.  I always learn something interesting.  "Nutrition Diva" inspires many of my posts, like my recent "Celebration of Coffee", and my herb posts.
  4. This American Life - Ira Glass hosts a well produced hour of stories related to a weekly topic, every Sunday.
  5. Science Friday - From the daily NPR show Talk of the NationScience Friday delivers two hours of what's new in science, for the non-scientist.
  6. The Moth - "True stories told live." Great storytellers without scripts.  More often than not I laugh out loud.
  7. The Splendid Table - American Public Media weekly hour on cooking and food stories, hosted by  food writer and cooking teacher Lynne Rossetto Kasper, who has all the answers.  Featuring call-in questions and "stump the cook."
  8. WAMU - The Diane Rehm Show - Diane Rehm's call-in show is interesting and thought provoking with round-table discussions on political and environmental issues, news, and interviews with authors.  The first half is of the show is pure interview with Diane asking hard hitting questions in her unique voice.  (Diane suffers from spasmodic dysphonia, for which she receives botox treatments.)  In the second half of the show, the public calls in.  Poor caller screening leads to potentially hilarious, and rambling callers.
  9. APM: The Story - A daily hour, with two interviews each hour and usually a brief story in the middle.  One-on-one with host Dick Gordon on North Carolina Public Radio. Dick brings out the most interesting stories from regular people.
  10. 99% Invisible - This post was originally a "top 10" list, but I just learned about this podcast from WNYC's Radiolab.  Roman Mars investigates the hidden side of design (architecture, engineering, etc.) - the things you don't usually notice or think about.  I especially enjoyed the episode about the Billy Possom - the Taft administration's answer to the Teddy Bear.  It's short, but it comes out more often/reliably than Radiolab or Freakonomics (one reason they didn't make my list this year).
  11. KCRW Guest DJ Project - Cultural icons talk about the songs that form the soundtrack of their lives.  A great chance to be reminded of music you might not have thought about in years.
What will you be listening to in 2012?

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