I think I’ll take my time today to talk about another really cool podcast. I’ve got only a handful of podcasts I follow; the last thing I need is one more thing clamoring for my attention and free time. But podcasts are nice because they’re quite easy to put on in the background, to occupy the parts of your mind that get easily bored while other, more productive parts are, well, productive.

I’ve talked before about 99% Invisible and Welcome to Night Vale, the other two podcasts I follow, but I’ve caught up with both of those, and they only update a handful of times a month. This one I just started, Radiolab, will hopefully keep me going for quite a while.

I just started listening to this podcast, so Wikipedia would probably be a better source of information about it. But that’s (presumably) not why you’re here. So I will endeavor to do my best. Radiolab is a very interesting podcast. That is to say, it’s about interesting topics (like 99PI) rather than being bizarre and surreal (like Night Vale). The first few episodes I’ve listened to so far have been about topics as wide-ranging as memory and the sense of self to mortality (physical) and morality (philosophical).

The general setup seems to be an hour-long podcast, with several stories and interviews supporting the episodes. The production is very engaging, with sound effects and everything. The two hosts are clearly practiced and knowledgeable, and play well off each other.

Why did I start listening to this podcast? Well, normally when I’ve been drafting I put on headphones and listen to music. But then I have to decide what kind of music I want to listen to (I know, I know, First World Problems). So I was losing interest in that. And I’ve also been enjoying listening to an episode of the other podcasts I follow (when available) while commuting in the morning. Well, seeing as I’ve caught up with both of those, I decided to check out Radiolab; I had bookmarked one of their episodes that had sounded interesting, to the point of subscribing to the RSS feed so as to not forget about it, and decided this was as good a time as any to stop ignoring it.

What I didn’t realize, however, was that Radiolab’s episodes were about twice the length of the others I was used to, so it was still playing when I got to work. Oh well, I thought, I’ll just finish up this episode while I start my day. But the more I got into it, the more I realized just how pleasurable it was to have something intellectually stimulating on in the background while drafting (which let’s admit, can be quite dry and mind-numbing). So that was a pleasant surprise.

So yeah, I can heartily recommend the Radiolab podcast. It’s interesting, educational, and so much more than just two people talking back and forth for an hour.