[binj • wur-thee]
Adjective Describing entertainment which is of a high enough quality to be consumed all the way through in succession.
Podcasts That Will Make You the Most Interesting Person at a Cocktail Party
I’m admittedly new to podcasts. My husband has been trying to get me into them for years but being the bookworm that I am, I preferred audiobooks from my library app to amateur sleuths trying to solve decades-old mysteries in small towns. But hey, did you know there are podcasts for almost every subject, not just unsolved murders?! Who knew.
I’m a fan of historical fiction, and have often found myself looking up a particular event from a story to see if it falls into the ‘historical’ or ‘fiction’ category. 90 percent of the time, the stuff that seems too crazy to be real is actually true, and I wonder why my history teachers didn’t teach that particularly salacious bit of information (cause I’d have remembered that). Hosts Holly Frey and Tracy Wilson retell some of the strangest and most obscure – read: interesting – stories from history with humor and charm. The podcast is 12 years old, so there’s plenty of content to satisfy your inner history buff.
Recommended episode: Rejected Princesses
There are a million ways to tell a story, and this deeply satisfying combination of deep dive research and sarcasm is one of my personal favorites. Journalists Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall take an unbiased look at the famous/infamous providing situational context that challenges the assumption of what happened, and often reveal that wasn’t what actually happened at all. Subjects aren’t turned into saints, and listeners aren’t asked to forgive and forget. You’re Wrong About provides a journalistic view into how events and people are presented – and just as often, misrepresented – because history is written by the victors, after all.
Recommended episode: Tonya Harding
It’s considered a podcast for children, but I can confirm that in my car, Wow in the World is equally enjoyed by a five, nine, and 38-year-old. Hosts Guy Raz (of How I Built This fame) and Mindy Thomas (with whom I desperately want to be friends) guide curious minds into the amazing world around us. Playing cartoonish versions of themselves, Raz and Thomas bring a half hour of fascinating scientific discoveries, such as how doctors are using slug slime for medical purposes, providing answers to all the questions kids and their grown-ups would pose on the subject. They mix facts with fantasy, weaving a highly entertaining story with the help of a giant pigeon named Reggie and other friends.
Recommended episode: Duck Duck Poop
Have you ever been digesting an interesting, yet completely bizarre, bit of scientific trivia (like how doctors are using slug slime for medical purposes) and wondered who in the world studies these kinds of things? Ologies with Ali Ward answers that question. Science correspondent Ward interviews
-ologists in a range of fields about their areas of expertise. Topics run the gamut from medusology (jellyfish!) to agnotology (ignorance!) and scatology (poop!) to mammalogy (the study of mammals, not boobs, though they do come up).
Recommended episode: Cryoseismology