I won’t be posting anything for the next couple of days, and probably won’t be writing anything new the next couple of weeks.  January 8th will mark this blog’s first anniversary.  While my traffic is modest, it has roughly quadrupled what I had in the beginning, so I thought I would share what I consider some of my best writing that you may have missed from the archives, daily until then to celebrate and to give myself a vacation.

     In the meantime, I just thought I would share some of the more interesting podcasts listen to habitually, as my Christmas gift to you.  If you are like me and love to know stuff, they should be great for occupying your time and feeding your brain over the holidays.

      1. This American Life

                      Produced by a Chicago affiliate of NPR, This is a fantastic, quirky podcast that is simply about life.  They choose a theme and share people’s experiences and stories around the theme.  In the process, they make interesting observations about life in general.  Every episode of this one is good, very entertaining.

      2. RadioLab

  This is a science podcast dedicated to communicating the big ideas and the wow factor you might remember in grade school science displays, by removing the technical jargon that makes higher level science less accessible.  This is a very entertaining and often fascinating look at the world around us getting at the heart of the curiosity and wonder that drives all scientists 

     3. Speaking of Faith

This is simply the greatest, most thoughtful, most intelligent examination of faith and spirituality you will ever find anywhere.  The show explores faith from all possible angles and lets people of all traditions share their perspectives.  Anytime she has a Doctor on, we are talking serious source material for me. 

     4. In Our Time, with Melvin Bragg

This is the best History podcast I have ever found.  Produced by the BBC,  Melvin assembles a panel of experts weekly on the history of politics, science, arts, and culture.  it focuses on the history of ideas, and the foundation of thought that have led to the culture we live in today.  I become very engrossed in these fascinating discussions regularly and find they ground me firmly in my culture, and teach me all about the intellectual giants upon whose shoulders we stand today.  This is not merely history or study, its entertainment at its most enriching.

     5. All in the Mind

Produced by Australian Public Radio, this podcast delves into all things psychology and neurology in a very accessible and interesting manner.  You would think by now I would be sick of the brain and hate talking shop, but podcasts like this broaden my focus an little and keep me going.

     6. NeuroPod

Produced by the Dana Foundation and the scientific journal, Nature, this podcast focuses on the latest in neuroscience and technology, interviewing scientists directly, in a very engaging and engrossing manner.

     7. Tales from Lake Woebegone

With an wonderful dry wit and a deep, rich bass voice made for the radio, Garrison Keillor is one of the finest story tellers you will ever hear about.  He muses about life in his fictional hometown in Minnesota, with a flair for both the poetic and the absurd.

    8. Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell me

This is NPRs current events quiz show, composed of media people and an intelligent group of comedians.  It keeps me up to date on the news and laughing and giggling at the same time.  An exceedingly entertaining way to keep up with what’s going on in the world.

    9. They Might Be Giants-

This is a wonderful podcast by the quirky singing duo that hit the bigtime during my childhood.  They have remained young at heart and are also a favorite of my kids.  They have a flair for setting the educational into one rocking tune.  They have both a video podcast for kids and an audio podcast with rare material from their archives.

     10.  Mormon Potluck

Advertised as Tuna Casserole for the ears, these self described “potluck dudes” speak on a variety of Mormon topics.  They have not put anything out for many, many months and it may be dead, but check out the archives anyway.  It’s worth it.   I cannot find another Mormon Podcast that even approaches the entertainment value of this one. 

   Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, winter solstice, Ramadan, etc. al etc.  Have a wonderful New Year!

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