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Stephen is a contributing writer to The Hudsucker. Loving husband, coffee/energy drink aficionado, TV/movie buff and average-joe.

Knowledge is Power

Ever since I was young, I felt the need to try and gain an understanding of as many topics as I can. Now, I am not trying to imply that I would absorb all the info; I just liked to know enough to be able to hold a conversation. In days gone by, the only way to achieve this was by reading a lot of books. Then along came the internet, and with it a breadth of info at my finger tips. Fast forward another 13 years after I first began browsing and learning, I found my first podcast.

For those of you that don’t know about podcasts, they are pretty much the radio of the future. If you can’t find the time to read, then they are an absolute must. Whether you want to laugh or learn, cringe or cry, there are podcasts that will meet all of your needs. So, you might be starting to wonder where I am going with all of this. Well, since it is Christmas, I would like to give all of you who will take the time to read this a little gift. What I have for you this festive season is a list of my favourite podcasts! There is a little bit of a mix in the list, and I would like to point out that some of them contain bad language; however, I still think they are all worth talking about.


Stuff You Should Know

Ever wanted to know what happened during the stock exchange crash? Maybe even how a combustion engine works? Or what about learning about cave diving? Okay, so some of these things aren’t actually topics I would normally jump out of my seat for, but this show gives you everything in manageable sized shows. I have learned so much about so many different things thanks to the shows to hosts; Chuck and Josh. They are funny, endearing, informative and downright clued up on just about everything.


Astronomy Cast

Space is something that fascinates me to no end, and thinking about the vast unknown never fails to make me feel so tiny, when compared to a cosmic scale. Thanks to the hard working efforts of the hosts, Dr Pamela Gay and Professor Fraser Crane, I am beginning to piece together how the universe really works. Black holes, to super novae, space probes to maths, it has it all, and they make it so interesting by catering to those without a PhD!


RadiolabSnap JudgmentThe Moth

I am a person that tries to remain in touch with my feelings as best as I can and nothing keeps me in check with my emotions like hearing about the peaks and valleys of others. This selection of shows, all feature different ways of telling stories about practically anything you can imagine. Both Snap Judgement and RadioLab enhance their story telling abilities by using music to evoke emotions, whereas The Moth has a more raw approach with just a person telling their tale to a crowd. All of these shows have given me so much; I have laughed with them, and I am unashamed to say I have cried with them.


No More Whoppers

This is probably one of the more niche shows that I listen to, but I like to think that it will appeal to more people than just me. No More Whoppers is a podcast about two best friends – Alex and Ray – living at opposite ends of the world and is, to be honest, mostly a conversational podcast. They often talk about the trials and tribulations of where the live, telling funny anecdotes about there week. I think there is a real honesty to this show that you will struggle to find elsewhere; they have a very close relationship, no topic is off limits, so you will find that the conversation can get pretty heavy. Don’t worry too much though as the laughs are not usual far behind; with a mixture of Japanese culture jokes, a hatred of Riff Tracks or using their radio style drops to interrupt each other.


How Did This Get Made?

Comedy is something I find difficult to get into. It has to be just right, or I am going to be out of there pretty quick. How Did This Get Made actually took a couple of attempts for me to get into it; I added and removed it from my podcast feed, each time feeling like I had given it a fair try. However, some times you run out of shows to listen to, and then you find yourself going over old ground. I am pretty pleased to say that it is now in my regular feed. The show has the hosts watch a movie (mostly terrible ones) and then take it apart piece by piece in some of the funniest comedy you will ever hear. I especially enjoyed the episode they did on the Sylvester Stallone film, Cobra. As much as I love that film, it really is ripe for parody.


My Brother, My Brother and Me

I would just like to put a warning up front on this one…this particular show has some pretty gross subject matter at the best of time, and I would hate for anyone to listen to it unprepared. The McElroy brothers are a comedy trio of epic proportions! I don’t like to use the word epic often as it’s meaning has become somewhat diluted in recent times, but this show just makes me laugh in the most amazing ways. I have been that crazy person on the bus that sits and laughs to themselves, wiping the tears of joy from my eyes. The show itself has the brothers answering really dumb Yahoo Answers questions; the describe the podcast as ‘an advice show for the modern era’. If you can get passed the crass humour, then I am pretty sure you will find this as a must listen to.


Giant Bomb

Finally, no podcast list of mine would be complete without something to do with games. Now, I listen to around 8 game related podcasts, and they all have their own charm and are informative. That being said, the Giant Bombcast is not only charming and informative; it’s absolutely hilarious. If you like to keep up with the weeks gaming news and have a laugh while you are doing it, why not join Jeff, Ryan, Vinny, brad and Patrick for a weekly dose of gaming hilarity. This was one of the first shows I ever listened to, and it has since then become one of the corner stones of my weekly listening.

Podcasts have opened doors to worlds I never dreamed I could be a part of, and I hope that they can do the same for you. With that, I wish you all a very, merry Christmas; oh and I guess the majority of these shows have swearing in them…so watch out for that.

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