Our ears are just another mechanism through which our brains take in information, whether it’s listening to the radio, a mind-numbingly boring lecture or an inspirational speech. Here are my aural suggestions:
Podcasts are a great medium for content consumption. Simply pop in your earphones, hit the play button and you can be learning about the formation of the universe or the intricacies of fly-fishing, all while commuting to work or lying next to the pool.
I’ve recently begun listening to Revisionist History, the no-longer-so-new podcast from hugely successful author Malcolm Gladwell. In each episode Gladwell dives headlong into seemingly obscure topics. Examples include his hatred of golf, the consequences of public hysteria and underhand free throws. The stories are fascinating, the insights unexpected and it’s just a great way to fill your 30 minutes commute to work.
No Such Thing As a Fish
This is certainly one of my favourite podcasts. Hosted by the QI Elves (the researchers for UK comedy panel show QI), No Such Thing As a Fish is a hilarious investigation into some of the more dubious facts that seem to circulate though the internet. Broadcast once a week, this is a great way to get a few laughs while (possibly) learning some facts to impress your friends.
Desert Island Discs
Created in 1942, Desert Island Discs follows a simple format: each week a guest is invited to select eight records that they would take with them if they knew they were to be abandoned on a desert island. Going through the reasoning for each selection reveals fascinating insights into the character and history of the guest.
This podcast is a little different to the two above. It is neither about learning new things nor is it funny. Instead, serial is a gripping, non-fiction story told over the course of a multi-episode season. And it is fantastic. The first season follows an investigation into the conviction of 17-year-old Adnan Syed for the murder of his girlfriend. Throughout the story we are left second-guessing whether he deserves to be in prison or has been wrongfully convicted. I highly recommend this!
Let me know what you think I should be listening to by leaving your recommendations in the comments below.