Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tip #68: Listen up

Today, I would like to share a great app for the iPhone that I recently discovered. It's called Swell and it is described as "the Pandora for news radio." You can tell the app what kind of programs you like or not and it will find recent tracks that match your taste. If something comes up, and you don't like it, you can swipe it and a new track will start playing. They also intersperse top of the hour news bulletins from your favorite news media. In other words, absolutely heaven to my ears.
Here are some of the programs I have discovered thanks to the app and some episodes I heard lately and liked:

  • Freakonomics Radio: I had heard of the book and some of their controversies, but this podcast is quite surprising and entertaining. I enjoyed this episode about the new Pope and his recent comments about the free market (40 minutes). 
  • NPR's Planet Money: Again, surprised that I could like economics so much. Loved the latest one I heard, perfect for February, Dear Economist: I need a date (21 minutes).
  • Five Minute Dharma: Just as the name indicates, these are short Buddhist lessons about practical issues.
  • 99% Invisible: It is described as "A tiny radio show about design." I liked this one about Bubble houses
  • NPR's TED Radio Hour: I saw this program in the NPR line up and thought to myself that I did NOT need any more TED talks in my life. Well, I was wrong. This program is wonderful, as it will select a topic, then choose two or three related TED talks, show some snippets from them but also interview the speakers, giving the listeners a more current version or commenting on the other talks. I really enjoyed this one, and probably will write a post about it soon, Predicting the Future (about an hour, but it is divided in segments).
There are other radio shows and podcasts that I already knew and this year I am making more of an effort to hear them, so I put their feeds in my Podcast app. Here they are:
  • On Being: This show is a conversation by its creator, Krista Tippett, and very interesting guests, covering all kinds of human endeavors. I have not heard one I did not enjoy or learned something new in. I'm leaving you with an older episode, because what was said about business could be so well applied to teaching and other aspects of our lives: Seth Godin on the Art of Noticing and then Creating (about 1 hour).
  • Sounds True Producer's Pick: These are short (about 10 or 12 minutes) podcasts, which represent selections from larger shows. If you need quick inspiration, these are phenomenal. Here's one I heard last week and enjoyed: "What is Interpersonal Neurobiology?" with Daniel Siegel (iTunes link). 
  • Sounds True Insights at the Edge: These are longer conversations (one hour or slightly more) and maybe they are also a bit challenging, but I feel I learn so much from any of them. 
  • Dan Pink's Office Hours: This show is described as the "Car Talk for the human engine." Many different and interesting topics, often about education, but also about business or life. I liked this interview of Tom Rath about his latest book, Eat, Move, Sleep. An eye opener.
I also have old favorites, like This American Life, On the Media or Radio Lab, which I still listen to, although not as often.

So, how do I have time to listen to all these? I don't, but, by using my phone as a radio, I am able to sneak in parts of these shows when I'm doing things like laundry, sometimes walking and definitely in the car on my commute to work. I also like to snooze for my naps to the sound of the radio, so I technically do not hear everything, but, that's one more thing I like about Swell, that I can go back and check on what I missed. I definitely am watching less TV these days as well, but the shows my family likes are a bit too violent or scary for me, so I'm glad I have a radio near by. I feel that by listening to these shows I continue my learning and am entertained at the same time and I decided to write this long list because I'm hoping someone else may like these shows and see their value as well.

What do you listen to? (¡Y perdonen por el rollo tan largo mis lectoras de España!)

Lots of love to everyone.

photo credit: bricolage.108 via photopin cc