PHOTO COURTESY OF PODBOYS.COM
By Nathaniel Dunaway
Ideally, winter break is a time to sit back, relax, and let all the stress and worry of fall term just melt away. It’s also a great time to grab a nice cup of cocoa or eggnog, pop in some earbuds, and listen to some podcasts. If you aren’t already a fan of podcasts, you should give them a shot. They can help you learn a language, cook a meal, or study for an exam. Podcasts can make you smarter, and they can make you happier. The following is just a handful of podcasts you should give a try this winter break.
- “The Truth”
Described as “movies for your ears,” “The Truth” is a frequently improvised story podcast that serves as a form of dramatic audio storytelling. Ranging in tone from hilarious to deeply emotionally affecting, the stories that unfold on “The Truth” are always full of heart and, well, truth. The first episode, entitled “Moon Graffiti,” was inspired by the speech Nixon wrote in case the 1969 Apollo moon landing had failed.
- “Thrilling Adventure Hour”
Staged live in the style of old-time radio stories of the ‘40s and ‘50s, “TAH” is a wonderful little podcast that’s perfect for the listener who’s looking for long story arcs and plenty of recurring characters. One series, called “Beyond Belief,” chronicles the paranormal investigations of socialite couple Frank and Sadie Doyle. Another, “Sparks Nevada,” tells the ongoing tale of the heroic marshal of Mars. Nathan Fillion makes frequent appearances in the latter series, as the Mayor of Mars, Cactoid Jim.
- “Stuff You Missed in History Class”
A spinoff of the “Stuff You Should Know” and “HowStuffWorks” podcasts, “SYMiHC” covers unique or little-known historical topics such as “5 War Dogs of History,” “Is there a real Macbeth curse?” and “Mary Anning, Princess of Paleontology.” It’s an incredibly informative podcast that is always fascinating and engaging. Each episode is only about 25 minutes long, so in just one afternoon you can learn an incredible amount.
- “The Moth”
Much like the similar podcast “StoryCorps,” “The Moth” is dedicated to the art of storytelling. Unlike “StoryCorps,” however, these stories are told and recorded on stage in front of live audiences. These first-person tales are often heart-wrenching and beautiful, and they help us to understand the importance of recording stories, as well as give credence to the adage that everyone has at least one great story to tell.