podcasts

8 podcasts I'm loving right now

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset Do you listen to podcasts? When I do, I like to imagine I am living in the 1940s, getting information and inspiration from the wireless while partaking of tea and crumpets. 

Sometimes I like to listen to podcasts while I'm painting, and also if I'm walking alone. If the kids are not around, I slip my phone into my pocket and put on a podcast while I'm doing the housework or cooking a meal. 

Here are some of my favourites at the moment. Maybe these will be new to you, or maybe you know them already. I'd love to know what you listen to, so I can add your ideas to my download list! 

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Hashtag Authentic - for Instagram, blogging and beyond

Host: Sara Tasker Frequency: weekly  Why I love it: fantastic, friendly advice and encouragement not only for people who use Instagram, but for anyone who is doing something creative and putting their work out there for the public eye (get it here)

The Slow Home Podcast 

Host: Brooke McAlary Frequency: every few days  Why I love it: really practical ideas and advice for "slow-living" in a busy world. By slow-living, Brooke is really talking about a more mindful and purposeful way of thinking and experiencing life (get it here)

Serial

Host: Sarah Koenig Frequency: weekly, while the season is running Why I love it: each season (we are about to start the third season) is an in-depth investigation into a modern mystery. It's really fantastic story-telling that unravels week by week (get it here)

TED Radio Hour

Host: Guy Raz Frequency: weekly  Why I love it: I feel smarter just listening to this podcast. All those fascinating topics you love about TED Talks, but adapted for radio. They pick a theme, and then play portions of various TED-talks as well as interviews with the original speakers, to tease out the theme from different angles (get it here)

Sweet Teen Club

Hosts: Stacey Roberts & Carly Jacobs Frequency: weekly Why I love it: 90s pop culture nostalgia. Allllll the nostalgia. Buffy! FRIENDS! Clueless! Reality Bites! Sweet Valley High! Tamagotchi! (get it here)

Magic Lessons

Host: Elizabeth Gilbert Frequency: weekly Why I love it: it's Elizabeth Gilbert in phone conversations with people everywhere who want to tap their creativity, but feel blocked somehow. She gives tips and encouragement to get past creative block, and then in a subsequent episode, speaks with another successful artist to gain further insights (get it here)

Unexplained

Host: Richard Maclean Smith Frequency: bi-weekly Why I love it: this podcast is cool and spooky and fascinating all at once. It explores modern mysteries, events that can't seem to be explained by our normal parameters of logic and science (get it here)

Good Life Project

Host: Jonathan Fields  Frequency: every four days or so Why I love it: actually this podcast is hard to describe. It's inspiration and information on just "living a better life," whatever that might mean for you. It bills itself as "In-depth, unscripted, deeply-inspiring conversations and insights from acclaimed artists, entrepreneurs, makers and world-shakers." Yeah, that (get it here)

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Pruning the Internet

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Ms. Shlain: ...I love what you just said about character in terms of the internet evolving, that we proactively can evolve the internet and infuse it with character strengths. That is really a framework to think about a healthy evolution of the internet, instead of throwing your hands up and saying this thing is out of our control, and it’s doing all these things. We — just as we’re raising a child, we need to shepherd this to its maturity, and infuse it with our own sense of character.

Ms. Tippett: Right. You talk about how a child’s brain and our brains are always pruning as we get older, and that what we pay attention to gets stronger, and what you pay attention to less gets pruned out.

Ms. Shlain: Yeah.

Ms. Tippett: And I think you’ve also suggested that, like the human brain, those of us who are adults now have lived through this thing, this phenomenon, landing in the middle of our lives, and in the middle of society, and really turning everything inside out in ways that are still playing out. But you’ve said there’s this possibility that once it has just proliferated, that it might begin to prune. But again, as you’re saying, it’s up to us what direction that takes.

Ms. Shlain: Absolutely. I think that’s incredibly empowering, too, if you think of it that way. And it’s exciting, if you think, wow, we’re at this point in human evolution and our civilization where you have this tool that’s creating a nervous system for the whole world, and we can shape it. And we can prune it. And we can strengthen things that are important, and weaken things that are not as important — or not good for society.

There’s so much — going back to the character, there’s so much science, neuroscience and social science, that’s backing up what we believed to be true. And what was so exciting to me about learning about Seligman and Peterson’s work, that they looked at character, virtues, and strengths all throughout cultures in history.

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This is part of a conversation between broadcaster and author Krista Tippett, and filmmaker and author Tiffany Shlain, on the On Being podcast in March this year.

I loved how their conversation completely reframed the "digital is awesome" versus "digital is ruining our lives" debate that seems to be going on everywhere right about now.  Shlain is definitely pro-digital: she founded the Webbys (the digital version of the Oscars), for goodness' sake! But she and her family also practice a "tech shabbat," turning off all their devices for one entire day every week.

In this conversation, Shlain and Tippett talk about how the Internet is in its infancy, and about how we are in a position to help it grow in the direction that will turn it into its best self. Parenting. Pruning. And about how empowering that idea can be.

It's an incredibly inspiring and thoughtful conversation. If you feel stuck, like I do, between desire for the connections the Internet brings versus the desire to be more unplugged, I highly recommend a listen!