Being online is second nature to every one of us, and podcasts are just another way of using the internet in a manner that is both fun and knowledgeable. Initiated by Steve Jobs in 2005, these digital audio files are available for free download all over the world. This ‘next generation of radio’ has become a form of mainstream media, with millions of people listening to their favorite podcasts whether to diffuse boredom, during travel, exercising or even cooking. Let’s put it this way, if you don’t like reading – whether paperbacks or online – you can get the knowledge by just listening!
There are podcasts available on every subject you can think of but the following five podcasts are not only fun, they also inform and make your multitasking worthwhile:
Are you one of those people who would have liked to know more about history if only it hadn’t been taught by that boring professor whose droning voice put you to sleep? Dan Carlin is the complete opposite of that professor. He delivers a refreshing narrative, braiding strands of history together in a way that inspires you to learn more. He illuminates the major moments in history by engaging you from the start to the finish and you end up feeling amazed that you spent hours listening to a talk on World War I. This podcast contains the impossible: history made interesting!
Check out Hardcore History here
Stuff You Should Know
You and I both know that our knowledge is miniscule compared to what the world has to offer. Don’t you sometimes wish that you didn’t have to Google everything? Josh and Chuck – the hosts – are on a mission to explain everything interesting about the world, one topic at a time. These topics affect our everyday lives and these two put forth the information in conversational podcasts, educating and entertaining at the same time. One thing is for sure, you will definitely increase your knowledge base!
Check out Stuff You Should Know here
How To Do Everything
There is no question big or small for this podcast. As the name suggests, they literally do tell you how to do everything, from how to salt your food without salt to how not to get startled to how to find water in a desert. This one is not only your survival guide but also a source for free advice and an unparalleled knowledge of skills which could come in handy in unexpected situations. After all, life is pretty unpredictable. The least you can do is prepare for it!
Check out How to Do Everything here
In this collision of science, philosophy and culture, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich combine hard facts of science with practical fun. They manage to make the most ordinary of scientific facts into something unbelievably interesting, making you learn without even meaning to. In the description of a podcast named ‘The Poetry of Elements’, they claim that “scientists took about 300 years to lay out the Periodic Table into neat rows and columns. In one hour, we’re going to mess it all up. You’ll never look at that chart the same way again.” Wouldn’t you want to find out how?
Check out Radio Lab here
This very interestingly named podcast is about design, architecture and the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world. The host Roman Mars explores the thought processes behind structures in life-defining topics in short podcasts. Smart, funny and original storytelling exposes the unseen in less than five minutes. One of the podcasts sheds light on which sounds make people scared and why, another explores the design of the calendar we use today. You cannot but help be hooked to the Mars’s calm voice telling you what you don’t know.
Check out 99% Invisible here
There are hundreds of podcasts out there, but these five will definitely make the next conversation with your colleagues and friends more interesting. Go ahead, lend an ear and blow your peers away with the knowledge you gain!