Monday, December 31, 2007

Podcasts of '08

Everyone's making lists and I really want to be popular, so here it goes:

What took off around five years ago has only grown gradually. An art form that combines the sophistication of public radio with the pay of a Daily Iowan reporter, podcasts range from UC Berkley recorded class lectures to mini-videocast sitcoms.

Here are my top 7 (its a lucky number)

1. Mr. Deity*

1. Taking the movie "Dogma" towards a sitcom-ish direction. The meaning of life, Jesus' ulterior motives, and Satin's interior decorating all grace the show's storyline. Using the "nothing" theme, ala "Seinfeld", the show twists religious humor into a weekly videocast. After a slow start, the show has taken off and the 5 minute skits are getting funnier well into the second season.

* not recommended Televangelists and Jesus-Campers

2. Howstuffworks
Directly quoted from the podcast episode entitled "How does Uranium work?-
"A pound of Uranium is roughly the size of a tennis ball, yet produces the energy equal to about a million gallons of gasoline."

Discovery Channel guru jackpot.

3. Distorted View Daily
Nasty, dirty things you discussed vividly on the monkey bars in 5th grade. Featuring fetishes, sex terms, fart-jokes, and an after period of distinct self-loathing, this podcast would be a doozy were it not for hilarious commentator Tim Henson. While he presents the myriad of twisted stories, he is right along with you going "Eww...nasty". My description is horrible, but think of the Howard Stern show without the creepiness and obvious pleasure enjoyed by Howard Stern.

4. That's What She Said
Forgive my tears. This show is on hiatus due to the writer's strike. A highly literary analysis of each "Office" episode answers a lot of nagging questions on the show. This, which any good book should do, in turn opens up even more questions. We can only hope than once the show gets going, so will the podcast.

5. The Economist

Whenever I need a touch of high-society to get me through the day, this does the trick. A front-page update of the the day's events, it is a more digestible news source than CNN or NBC alternatives. Plus, who doesn't worry about the economic downfall of the Eastern Pacific?

6. This American Life
Ira Glass' melodramatic syndication is now online, meaning that you can enjoy the cacophony of sound that used exclusively be on NPR. Stories or attempts, like interviewing everyone in a coffee shop during 24 hours, take slices from hundreds of people's lives and show them to the public. His voice alone is worth checking out.

7. Car Talk

The Tappet brothers are cheesy, but in a good way. Like a funny grandparent. Treating socio-psychological-automotive woes, the brothers wit and expertise is unmatched. This a second sample from the NPR jar gets better with age as the brothers become more senile and amnesic.

That is the list, out like '07 and in with '08.

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