Top 5 Podcasts

Today’s Top 5 is all about podcasts! Fuse members voted on their favorite podcasts, and there was a five-way tie between RadiolabTri-Citizens PodcastThis American LifeFresh Air, and Freakonomics, with six votes each!

Here are Fuse’s most highly recommended podcasts in alphabetical order:

1. Freakonomics

Based on Levitt and Dubner’s 2009 book about “cheating teachers, bizarre baby names, self-dealing Realtors, and crack-selling mama’s boys” called Freakonomics, this podcast now has over eight million downloads per month, and can also be heard on public radio stations across the country.

The Freakonomics website describes the podcast thusly:

Host Stephen J. Dubner has surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature — from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt.

Recent episodes cover such topics as crime, traffic, real estate, think tanks, and even gluten. It seems like the podcast has expanded far beyond the book from which it originated. My interest is piqued!

2. Fresh Air

The producers describe Fresh Air:

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio’s most popular programs. Each week, nearly 5 million people listen to the show’s intimate conversations broadcast on more than 624 NPR stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network. In 2015, Fresh Air was the No. 1 most downloaded podcast on iTunes.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a “talk show,” it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with “probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights.” And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country’s leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

I’ll be checking out the Fresh Air archive this weekend so I can download all of the most interesting-looking interviews!

3. Radiolab

From the website:

“Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.”

Some recent episodes cover a wide variety of topics from bone marrow transplants, to driverless cars, to interviews with philosophers and reluctant heroes. Radiolab isn’t a podcast I was previously familiar with, but now that I’ve discovered it, I’m binging like mad! In my opinion, this one is very much worth a listen.

4. This American Life

This American Life is easily one of the most popular podcasts in the United States. They have spinoffs as well, such as Serial and S-Town, which also have a large following.

Here is a description and some helpful links from This American Life’s website:

There’s a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. Most of the stories are journalism, with an occasional comedy routine or essay. There’s lots more to the show, but it’s sort of hard to describe. Probably the best way to understand the show is to start at our favorites page, though we do have longer guides to our radio show and our TV show. If you want to dive into the hundreds of episodes we’ve done over the years, there’s an archive of all our old radio shows and listings for all our TV episodes, too.

I used to listen to This American Life on NPR, and I really miss it, so I’m definitely going to subscribe!

5. Tri-Citizens Podcast

As Kristi Shumway describes on the Tri-Citizens website:

Each month, I’ll interview another neighbor who is actively making Tri-Cities the place we are happy to call home. I ask about their background, how their current life came to be, and what they want for the area’s future. My goals are to show-off Tri-Cities, encourage participation in one of the many organizations or events talked about on the show, and connect people across the area to create an even tighter community.

Recent episodes include interviews with happening Tri-Citizens such as Ginger Caldwell, Emily Estes-Cross, and Ramiro Alvarez. Kristi also publishes the audio from Fuse’s Fireside Chats. If you read my previous blog post about the Tri-Citiezens Podcast, you already know I hold it in high esteem. A must-listen for Tri-Cities residents.

There you have it, Tri-Cities! Check out these five podcasts next time you take a trip, do some work around the house, or whenever you have time to tune in. You can also see the original poll for some additional podcast suggestions!

Podcast Poll

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