I'm a total podcast junkie, and thought I'd share my current favourite listening matter with you. I love anything in the humorous yet informative category. Just in time for the long weekend if you travelling somewhere and looking for something to keep you company! Mostly I listen to podcasts on long journeys, before I go to sleep at night and when I am ill or tired and just want something on in the background but doesn't require me to focus. I tend to fall asleep during the middle of them though, so I think there are a lot of episodes of all of these I have only heard the first ten minutes of. Often several times as I replay it the next night hoping I will get further!
This was one of the first podcasts I listened to, and the one that really got me hooked. I loved the first Freakonomics book when it came out - I am an accountant by day and economics fascinates me. I suspect I wouldn't like to study it, but these bite size episodes looking at everything from feminism to online dating from an economic point of view. I saved up the episodes and listened to a lot of them in India last year - sitting in the bath hideously jetlagged at 2am - unable to keep my eyes open but unable to sleep either! It seemed like the thing to do at the time!
This is one I have only got interested in recently, but it's been around a long time and I don't know how I haven't come across it sooner. It's about design and architecture, and so far I have learnt about the history of barbed wire, the design of US bank notes and the palm trees of LA. Each episode is pretty short - no more than 25 minutes long, but they are fascinating little nuggets of information.
This is the podcast from the QI elves, so as you would expect it is equal parts comedy and factual. Each of the four QI researchers who feature bring along their favourite fact of the week. They have started doing a live version, and I definitely need to make it down to see it soon, as I love them. It's really funny and entertaining as well as giving me the most random facts to help me sound smart the next day!
Another long standing favourite of mine - answer me this is definitely more entertainment than factual, but it always has me awkwardly in stitches on the train when I listen to it in public! Helen and Ollie (along with Martin the Sound Man) are absolutely hilarious - answering listeners questions from random things they have always wanted to know to questions straight out of an agony aunt column. If you listen to any of these podcasts make it this one!
Finally the most irreverent and funny of all my faves - Plumbing the Death Star answers all of your most asked pop culture questions, such as 'if you were to start a business with any Disney Princess who would it be?' (answer - obviously an ice cream shop with Elsa from Frozen) and How did New York cope before the Ghostbusters?