Recently, I've been listening...
When I got an iPad late last year, I started listening to podcasts. I'd never really listened to any before, preferring to have a radio station playing through my laptop. Then one afternoon I was doing a lot of cooking for the freezer and I couldn't hear my laptop properly when I was in the kitchen. I remembered these things called podcasts, found a few I thought I might like and started listening. Now I'm quite a fan of them (especially now I have an iPhone and a reasonably long commute to work) and have found a few firm favourites:
The first one I found was No Such Thing As A Fish, from those clever QI Elves. Each episode is around 40 minutes long and contains a handful of quite interesting facts which I enjoy telling people about but then promptly forget. I've since listened to all 59 episodes. Definitely worth a listen if you're a fan of the television show.
Wanting something a bit shorter, I found A History of the World in 100 Objects from Radio 4. Each episode is about 12 minutes long and focuses on one object from the British Museum reflecting a certain aspect of human history. I'm playing them in order, from prehistory up to the late 20th century, and learning a great deal. As they're quite short I tend not to get bored, even if I didn't start off being particularly interested in the object being discussed. When I go to museums I tend to visit the exhibits I already know about, or those I know I'm going to be interested in and walk quickly through the other areas, but this series has been really good at exploring the stories behind objects. Kind of like a longer audio guide, I suppose.
Bookclub, also from Radio 4, is a monthly podcast interviewing an author in-depth about one of their books. They contain many, many spoilers and only make sense if you've read the book. My favourite episodes have been Judith Kerr (When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit) and Emma Donoghue (Room).
Philosophy Bites sounded interesting, I've always been interested in philosophy but I've never quite fully understood it. These podcasts feature a philosopher being interviewed on a particular topic such as forgiveness, knowledge and ethics. These are heavy topics but dealt with in an approachable manner. My favourite episode has been the one on swearing (warning, it does include a lot of language some listeners may find offensive). Interesting ideas about the use of language, (not) offending others and the right to be offended.
I've realise these are all quite academic in nature - I think I might need to add a bit more variety into my feed! Any suggestions?