The musings of a girl who's a bit too eager to talk about anything and everything.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Top Ten: Podcasts. (#TryPod.)

7:43 PM Posted by Allie Wood , , No comments
So, all of the podcasts I listen to have been asking people to tweet their favorite podcasts with the hashtag TryPod for the month of March. This is to get the word out that podcasts are actually still a thing and a super viable source for entertainment. I love podcasts so much, so I figured I'd do one better than just tweet the name of a podcast and make a list of my top ten podcasts because I haven't done a top ten post in WAY too long. It's a March thing, and March is about to roll over into April in literally a few hours, so I figured I should probably do this before I forget. (I tried to write it yesterday, but Blogger failed me and neither saved nor published it when I clicked on those buttons, so this is a rewrite. I'm sorry this one isn't as good as the original because I couldn't remember everything I wrote.) Here we go, then. This starts with 10 and goes down to 1. (One being my ABSOLUTE favorite.)

What more can I say? I LOVE learning new stuff and this one is perfect for that. Maybe you want to learn about the day back in 1789 when multitudes of women in France marched on Versaille to get the king to address the food shortage. Or maybe you want to learn about witch trials in Norway got WAY out of hand and ended up being much worse than Salem ever was. Or perhaps you want to learn about the good old Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790's here in the U.S. that caused violence and destruction when tax on alcohol was raised. (Man, those crazy early Americans that destroyed things over taxes on drinks. Boston Tea Party, anyone?) Anyway, I love this podcast because I love learning about new things and I also like to have an armada of random facts to use to help lulls in coversations or if I just want to make everyone look at me oddly and think, "How the heck does she even know that?" You, too, can be like me. (Just kidding. Be you. Not me. I'm me.)

Honestly, this one can be kind of trippy sometimes. They have episodes talking about secret military bases and what their purposes are, such as when the base for Project Iceworm was discovered. They talk about the "Red Market," which is the black market for human organs. You could learn about why and how the placebo affect has been getting stronger and stronger for years and still continuous to baffle scientists as to why more people full under the effect today than they did a few years ago. Or maybe you want to learn about how ISIS and other organizations recruit through social media and how it works so well. One of my favorites was the episode called "Cults (You've Never Heard Of) because I like learning about weird groups of people that do odd stuff, because why not?

Okay, this is the podcast that originally got me (and a lot of other people) into Podcasts in the first place. It's great. There are currently two seasons out. (A third in the works, so don't get upset if you end up binge-listening and get the end and scream "I NEED MORE" like I did. Just thought I'd let you know.) The first season, and still my favorite out of the current two, was so interesting. The hostess, Sarah Koenig, takes you back to the case of Adnan Syed who was convicted at the age of 17 for murdering his ex-girlfriend and was sentenced to life in prison. Serial covers the background, the case, and tests out some theories of this case. She also points out a few discrepancies in the state's case from the original trial and her podcast actually convinced a witness that didn't speak in the first trial to reappear and vouch for Adnan. This led to Adnan getting the possibilty of a retrial in case they convicted the wrong person for the murder. It's so interesting and had me hooked from episode one. You'll wonder "Is Adnan really guilty or not?" forever. Season two is about the Bergdahl case and what happened with that whole situation. Why he left his post and abandoned his troops, how he got kidnapped by Al Qaeda, theories on if that actually happened or not, and what was going to be done about it. Give it a listen, trust me. You'll like it.

Star Talk is hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Neil. DeGrasse. Tyson. Need I really say more? No. But I will. Just fot you all. This is a podcast about everything science and it is wonderful. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the world's current leading astrophysicist. He's one of the smartest people roaming the earth today and it truly shows in this podcast. He is so passionate about science. If you've ever been interested in science, but couldn't really see yourself getting into it because your science teacher was monotone, didn't truly care about the subject, and didn't instill that love for all things science into your soul like they should have, give this podcast a listen. It'll open up your eyes and mind to some amazing things and make you fall in love with science. Like you were before your boring eighth grade science teacher more or less ruined it for you. (I'm still bitter, if you can't tell.) Learn about the physics or hockey or listen to some interviews with Bill Nye. (Bill and Neil are best friends, by the way, which makes it even better.) Learn about some of the amazing women in science that society tends to brush under the carpet. Take a trip down the mulitverse theory and watch yourself constantly think about what you're doing in one of the parallel universes at any given time. Learn about how climate change REALLY needs to be focused on. (Hmm, maybe the entire GOP needs to listen to this...) Hear interviews with anyone from the late Alan Rickman (Rest in peace, you lovely, talented man) to Whoopi Goldberg. You'll have fun and find something that interests you, I guarantee it or you can get your money back after 30 days. (Just kidding. You don't have to pay for it. I just wanted to sound like a Saturday morning Ninja Blender commercial for a second.)

Crimetown is by far one of my favorites. It's about the mob's hold on the town of Providence, Rhode Island. "The mob? In Rhode Island? Nah," is probably what you're thinking right now. That's what I thought when I first heard about it, too. But, man, was I wrong. Providence has a long and complicated history with the mob. It goes from low-level burglaries all the way up to corrupt politicians in the mob's pocket. You get everything from interviews with "wise guys" (old time mobsters), to the mob leader's doctor, loving nicknamed "The Doctor Broad" by the mob members, to policemen who spent their whole careers trying to nab just one wise guy. This podcast takes you into a world that not a lot of people know about and it's awesome. Plus, those great typical mob accents are definitely a real thing and it makes the interviews a million times better. Give it a listen!

This one is definitely a fun one. Well, if you think pretending to be deep in a murder investigation while just driving is fun, like I do. Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories, covers just that: unsolved murders. Most of these aren't recent unsolved murders, due to the fact that there is a much higher chance of catching killers into today's day and age, but it's interesting all the same. There's some high-profile cases and people, such as the Black Dahlia murder, or Edgar Allen Poe's suspected murder, or Mary Pinchot Meyer's murder (that is most likely somehow connected to JFK's assassination, since the two had a long-going affair that only ended when Kennedy was killed.) There's episodes about the Zodiac Killer and theories on those. There's also lesser known cases, such as the murder of Guilelma Sands in 1799, the first transcribed murder case in America, and the court case led by none other than Alexander Hamilton. There is some great voice acting that really helps bring the story to life and helps you visualize a lot of things. Although we might never find out who actually committed the murders in these cases, it's fun to listen to all the information, the host and hostess' guesses, and make up your own mind as to what happened and why.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Criminal so much. It's not the typical true crime podcast that you'd normally think of. The topics each week range all over. It holds stories about things you wouldn't normally label as crimes and it also holds stories about some pretty obvious crimes that should have been found out earlier. There's an episode about a corporate-owned youth correctional facility whose downfalls and crimes started to be revealed when a father simply called to schedule visitation with his son. There's an episode about the street game that panders to tourists call "The Shell Game" that's used to hustle people out of their money. There's an epsiode interveiwing the woman called San Francisco's "Original Brownie Lady" who sold pot brownies for years and was massively popular among the locals. There's an episode about one of the most notorious female serial killers, "Jolly Jane," who used her qualifications as a nurse to poison many, many people to death. There's also a funny episode about how people steal petrified wood from the Petrified Forest National Park and send what they stole back because they think it's been giving them "terrible luck." This podcast is a really good listen. Never once have I been born while following along with the stories. 


This one is a doozy. If you need a laugh that might have to cause you to pull over to the side of the road if you're listening to it in the car because you have to collect yourself again, this is the podcast for you! (If you're okay with getting a terribly embarrassing ""erotic" novel read to you. The host, Jamie's, dad decided one day that he wanted to write an erotic novel series. Jamie found out and he brings his two best friends over every week and reads them a terrible chapter each epsiode. The friends critiquing and being disgusted by "Rocky Flinststone" (Jamie's dad's pen name) gets funnier and funnier each episode. I haven't laughed so hard in my life until I started listening to this. And this is the perfect time to binge watch! Season three (which is book three of the series) is going to be starting in May, so you've got a little time to catch up on all the terrible shenanigans!

This podcast is NOT for the faint of heart. Their tagline is literally "to prove that the worst monsters are real." This podcast covers murder cases, like the murder of Lauren Giddings, by her creepy neighbor. You can hear audio recordings of a man through his home security system saying evil, messed up things after he planned and shot two teenagers and then hear his slight faked sympathy for what he did while talking during a police interveiw. The most haunting one to me so far was the episode that featured an interview with Roger Kiser, the author of The White House Boys, about the absolute horrors that he and many, many other young boys went through at The Florida School for Boys. This one made me sick to my stomach that something so terrible could happen for so long or could even exist or how so many evil people could work at one place. These stories sit wrong with you and make you worry about the track humanity is headed down. But, not all of the epsiodes are so dark. Sometimes, to eleviate tensions for their listeners, they do episodes focusing on weird and funny stories in the news from the recent past for some laughs. I'm not terribly far into this podcast because I just discovered it recently, and I've only listened to 17 out of 86 episodes so far, (each being about an hour and fifteen minutes long) but it's already one of the most interesting things I have ever listened to and I recommend it 100% if you can handle brutal flesh-and-bone true crime stories. 

Okay. This one here is my favorite. It's hosted by four really awesome, nerdy people. They all work at QI in Great Britain. Every episode is just FULL of random facts you never knew you wanted to know until you here them. My personal recent favorite is learning that Winston Churchhill used to throw his dentures at walls and break them when he got angry. You learn so much interesting stuff and it's hilarious. Whether it's Anne's sarcastic comments, Dan's and Andrew's horrible puns, or James comparing his wife to a coral, there's always something to laugh at.  They each start with one main favorite fact they've found throughout the week and then branch off to many other related facts. I have never, ever been bored listening to this group and their facts! It's fun, light-hearted, and quite educational. Give it a listen because it's worth it. I've listened to every episode (of which, they currently have 158 of them.) So, if that doesn't tell you how entertaining it is, I don't know what will.

There's my top ten podcasts.

I really hope some of you decide to give podcasts a try. Even if there's nothing that really interests you on my list, because we're all different and no one always likes the exact same thing, there's definitely a bunch of podcasts out there for you. They're easy to find, too. 

For my podcast listening, I use an app called Pocket Casts. It's available on Android and Apple app stores. It's completely free and super great. It makes finding and listening to podcasts an absolutely breeze. It even has an "up next" feature so you can make your own queue and you don't have to touch the screen at all for your next episode to play, which is SUPER useful for me, since I do my podcast listening in the car. (Don't use your phone when you drive, crazies.) This eliminates the need for me to even look at my phone in the car to get my podcast fix. Safe and fun. Nothing better. Here's a screenshot of Pocket Casts so you can see what your home page will look like. (Also, it;s got a fancy little page that tells you how much time you've spent listening to podcasts, and I'm currently at 4 days and 4 hours of podcast listening, and I'm going to listen A LOT more. It also gives you a little fact with your listening time. During my four days and four hours of listening, lightning has struck the earth 2,163,378 times. Boom.)

Anyway, I hope you TryPod and happy listening!

I also hope you had a good month of March!
I'm out.