Since I live in the rural midwest, I have become a flor de asfalto (flower of asphalt) in my car, rather than on my bike or on public transit. In spite of my moral and environmental opposition to car ownership, I think my life would be terrible without it. I can bike up to 2.5 miles/4 km for groceries, but I cannot bike up to 20 mi/too many km. Nor am I interested in buying the groceries available in Bluffton. Or doing all my shopping at the Et Cetera Shop.

Living in rural Ohio also comes with the unfortunate side effect of having only terrible talk radio (right wing and/or right wing Christian) available. If I drive in the right direction, I can get a local NPR station, but it doesn’t even broadcast all the time. So, I must podcast. Or listen to cumbias. Today I will share my list of favourite podcasts. The cumbias can be found on any CD you buy on the Mexico City subway (10 pesos de cuesta, 10 pesos te vale).

1. NPR podcasts: Wait wait don’t tell me. the most entertaining way to get news. It is also probably the only time I have voluntarily listened to Republicans lately. I am sad that Carl Kassell is retiring. Very sad.

Planet Money. A story-based way to learn about economics.

This American Life. Ira Glass. Enough said.

The Moth and Snap Judgment are great story collection podcasts.

2. CBC podcasts:

Vinyl Café is Canada’s superior answer to the Prairie Home Companion. And I’m not just saying that because I’m homesick.

Tapestry: Mary Hines always interviews fascinating people in this show about spirituality.

I could ignore the fact that Jian Gomeshi is reputed to hit on 18 year olds, I could listen to Q. But, I can’t. Q also brings me back to when I studied for comps and heard the morning and evening broadcast (of the same show).

3. Feminist podcasts and/or podcasts by women:

Stuff Mom Never Told You: I have learned about convulsing cheerleaders, racist (white) women suffragists, and Mardi Gras.

Slumber party with Alie and Georgia: pretty much exactly what it sounds like

Feminist Mormon Housewives. Another excellent discussion of religion from people who are skeptical of or angry with their own. Sometimes it gets a bit too into  Mormon specifics for outsider interests, but at other times the discussion of the cultural aspects of religion is so much like my own experience it’s eery. Guess there’s a reason people confuse Mennonites and Mormons.

4. Podcasts I am lukewarm about

Radiolab. Sometimes it’s too much work to not get hit by a truck, shake my fist at offensive billboards and learn at the same time and sometimes Radiolab hits the nail on the head.

Sawbones is about medical history. I’m a newer listener to this show, and think it will become a regular.

Canadaland. Investigative journalism that critiques my beloved CBC. It should be obvious why I’m lukewarm.


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