Saturday, February 23, 2008

Podcast Addict

Turns out that being a mom you spend a lot of time doing pointless tasks, like picking up big lego blocks and putting them back in the wagon for the seventh time that day, washing yet another load of dirty diapers, or scrubbing the cuisinart bowl for the third time in an hour. My mother in law was the one who clued me in that the salvation for at-home-mom-brain-dead-itist is PODCASTS.

I love them. I devour them. I listen to them for probably at least three hours every day. It's just so easy to plug it in, push play, and be entertained and edified for hours. Here are my favorites (in no particular order):

1) Book of Mormon Roundtable Discussions. I know, I know. Boring old guys sitting around talking about scriptures. But I've always loved wise old grey haired BYU curmudgeons and this is my only way to hang out with them anymore. I download the episode that corresponds with our upcoming family scripture study, and then I sound really smart and thoughtful when I bring up their discussion points. :c)

2) Intelligence Squared. Our friend Reece introduced me to this fantastically thought-provoking debate podcast. Some highly charged topic, like "Has the time come to end Affirmative Action?" or "Is Russia becoming our Enemy?" is brought up, six experts in the topic, three from each side, are brought together, and they go at it in a (generally) moderated debate. The program's stated purpose is "to raise the level of public discourse on our most challenging issues," and boy, does it work. Brings about great conversation killers at parties, too, I've found.

3) Speaking of Faith
This is my newest and most adored addition to the lineup. Each week the host has a guest who discusses some aspect of faith and/or religion. My favorites so far: a discussion with a former British Muslim Extremist who escaped his terrorist organization by studying the peaceful principles of his own religion, and also a discussion with Jean Vanier, a French philosopher and spiritual giant. He understands Zion. You REALLY need to check this one out.

4) This American Life
Stories from the lives of every kind of American. Funny, sad, gross, touching, tragic, and sometimes just plain weird. Love it. A Stanfill family favorite.

I also subscribe to BYU speeches, Classic BYU Speeches, MommyCast, SpanishPod, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and LDS General Conference.

So, what about you? Have you caught the fever, yet? Any podcasts to recommend?

Note: Special thanks and acknowledgement to Anneke for the term "curmudgeon."


trent_gilliss said...

Vanessa, being the father of a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old, I know exactly what you mean about keeping your mind active. And taking solace in Jean Vanier's approach to embrace and tenderness can apply to parenting during some of the more frustrating moments too!

Trent Gilliss
Online Editor, SOF

a Tom said...

You're just asking for everyone to plug their own podcast, here, aren't ya? Well fine if you really want me to. Okay it isn't even mine, it's from my two brothers' morning radio show in Utah. But I've been helping them a bit with it. I think it's pretty funny, but I would be curious to hear what you think of it. It's at

a Tom said...

And thanks for your picks. I'll have to check those out. . .

Annie Japannie said...

Feel free to use my word whenever you like. :)

I'm a long-time fan of This American Life, though I'm not technologically advanced for podcasts and still listen to it on good ol' NPR. I made a tape for my friend Abby when I was on the mish called "This American's Life," which I recall being far funnier than it probably is. I should find it and send it to you. You don't happen to have a miniature tape player, do you? I am so arcane.

Also, if you like Jean Vanier, I bet you'd love Abbe Pierre. I'll see if any of his stuff is available in English.