I have frequently extolled the boys at LugRadio as a major inspiration behind Novell Open Audio. But Novell Open Audio was also inspired by several other podcasts. So, while I continue to give due credit to the boys at LugRadio who demonstrate that talk about Linux can be made fun and interesting, sometimes even informative, AND in celebration of a fantastic LugRadio Live, the grassroots community event spawned from the loins of the LugRadio podcast, I present my list of favorite podcasts, which mostly deal in scientific discovery and worldviews.
Skepticality deals/dealt in taking the rational view of claims of the paranormal. Sadly, Derek and Swoopy have been gone so long that we’re all wondering whether they will return. I’ll note that I was listening to them before some guy at Apple (with a name like “Steven Hobbes” or something like that) spotlighted them at MacWorld.
- Point of Inquiry
Fortunately for the world, Point of Inquiry has stepped in where Skepticality left off. Moreover, they have taken the rationalist perspective to new podcast heights. It has become my favorite podcast–even over LugRadio. However, I do wish that they would offer a separate channel donation-appeals-free for members of the Center for Inquiry. An interesting fact is that Host DJ Grothe has implied that he is a political conservative, which I point out mostly because many people believe that being a secular humanist equates to being a liberal.
- Discovery News
I have an ongoing gripe with how the Discovery Channel (and its various other syndicates) uses cheap gimicks to boost ratings. They frequently pander to paranormalism. But the Discovery News podcast is par excellence. It offers short, timely and well edited segments on the various goings on in science.
- Science Friday
Ira Flatow’s weekly Talk of the Nation show on National Public Radio is generally top notch. For the podcast release, they wisely chose to break up the show into discrete segments so that you can better manage the listening. I donate through my local NPR station KUER.
- Science News
Scientific American, the magazine to which I subscribe and read as much as my other fancies allow me, also puts out a terrific podcast. It needs little added description.
That’s it for now.
On second thought, no it’s not…
Begin Tangental Rant
I still encounter a lot of people who don’t quite get the podcast idea. They seem to be the same sorts who haven’t quite gotten what the big deal is about TiVo (or for purist, MythTV). “Audio on demand” is a spectacular innovation, but not for the reasons that we too often hear from people who are trying to convince others to pay for their assistance at using this “rapidly growing new medium.” (I mean, barf! Overblowing statistics about the vast number of potential listeners is so stupid that it’s not worth explaining to the leeches who approach me with their “innovative new services.”) Like almost everyone who understands the medium, the thing I love about podcasts is that there is finally content out there that interests me. So if you don’t like these podcasts, or you vehemently disagree with them, please understand that it’s okay for us to disagree on some of what we choose to listen to. At least on my side. Yours? 🙂
/End Tangental Rant