clever title


i was going to call this piece ‘podcastaway’ but luckily i googled the brilliant idea to see if i was the originator.  sadly, i was not.  there is a podcast by that very name, which i have just now decided to check out.  i then rifled through the letter c in the dictionary to see if there was something else good with the word ‘cast’ within it and i felt weird about how the best one i could come up with was ‘podcaster sugar’.  lame, i know.  i am too embarrassed to google that one, though i guess not mortified enough to leave that silly bit of information out.  i am a snake on the pavement.

anyway, the reason i decided to put letters/words to screen today was to pay homage to the magical brain nugget treats that have entered my airspace in the recent months.  there are so many cool [my students would say ‘fresh’ but i’m from the 90s] folk out there sharing their experience, insight and questions with the world via the interwebs.  to be honest, i am amazed at what these humans have put together for my interest and that of others.

it started with serial when a pal of mine knew i loved to learn about true crime. aside: in uni a pal referred to me as a ‘crime queen’ on occasion.  after just one episode, i was hooked.  i took no convincing to get in on this podcasty world.  my dad has been into this kind of thing.  he is legally blind and has spent a large portion of his recent time enjoying listening to books on tape, or rather books on digital recordings.   he boasts of listening while he performs other tasks and the speed at which he can complete an entire novel.

i found an article on mental_floss, after finishing the adnan syed/hae min lee series, about how to fill your void once serial was over.  that led me to criminal, welcome to night vale and death, sex & money.  i have gobbled up numerous episodes from those series and will continue to check back for more delicious mind feastings, indefinitely.

criminal brought with it an excellent story or two to share with the kids i teach – others, not so appropriate.  it has been like having a guest speaker relay information for variety.  forming opinions, discussion and debate have all been natural consequences of sharing the ideas.  including the question of whether not non-human animals should be held accountable for their actions legally.  the artwork consists of really impressive inky looking pieces, a new one for each episode.  i look forward to the drawings as much as the episodes.  i think what i really enjoy about criminal is that it tackles issues relating to criminality that are not the obvious murder related cases.  try it out.

welcome to night vale has been a delightful listen.  i love to be presented with unusual scenarios to ruminate over.  i have recommended this one to pupils, though i think it might be a bit too abstract for younger teens to absorb.  have a listen.  you decide.

death, sex & money has proven worth my time and my brainwaves.  i particularly enjoyed the chat about hedwig and its author, especially after having seen the musical performed at the edinburgh festival a couple of years ago.  the alternate view of cheating in a relationship was eye opening.  oh, and the chat about siblings hit home with me in a way i thought wasn’t possible.  check it out.

searching key words on, i came across true murder, a podcast about disturbing cases that is told in a way different to the crime shows i find myself watching on television.  dan zupansky reads true crime books and interviews authors of those books.  he is meticulous in his reading of the books, something that is evident in the questions he poses to his guests.  many of the authors comment on his attention to detail.  i have learned a great deal of curious information about cases i thought i knew inside and out; i have also learned about scores of cases i had no idea about.  i wrote to dan to thank him for the work he does and it immediately became clear that he is receptive to carrying on discussions with listeners about cases they enjoyed learning about or were disturbed by.  i have not shared this one with my students, for obvious reasons.  don’t worry about listening to these episodes in order, but do listen.

most recently, i have become ensconced in devouring episodes of here be monsters.  i have no idea how i found this one, which is fitting considering the topics addressed.  this is a podcast about fear and the unknown.  it is run by creator jeff emtman and story editor bethany jo denton.  i have shared some of the ideas found in here by my students.  i played the episode about monsters drawn on early maps to a geography class and had them draw monsters as they listened, those are the images you can find attached to this post.  i wrote to jeff and he was prompt to respond.  it is great to get in touch with people you consider to be like minded; those open to new ideas and new ways of thinking.  it has transported me back to the university philosophy class days and has even contained an episode about time travel.  amazing.  a must on the podcast list for humans that want to contemplate strangeness and theorise about explanations for the unexplainable.

we truly living in an amazing age.  i love that technology has meant that we are now able to give props or ask questions or engage in discussion with people that are creating thought-provoking dialogue.  it is the same technology that has made me more interested in the talk radio approach for the first time, really.  in the past i was always stirred more by the music than the chat.  now i find myself learning all the time; filling my brain while performing necessary tasks like washing dishes and getting ready for work in the mornings.

life long learners unite.  please keep using your brains in a time when it is so easy to turn your mind off.  it is worth it, i promise.

hey. why didn’t i look up words containing pod?


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