You can find all of these on iTunes!
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
This was the year I discovered Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast. These podcasts always take a while to get through because he’s so thorough. (Each episode runs about 3-4 hours.) I also have to wait until the kids are out of my hair like in the early mornings or at night to listen to these podcasts because Dan Carlin doesn’t try to whitewash or side step anything about the subjects he’s addressing. One of the amazing things about his podcasts is that he really tries to understand all sides in these conflicts. He’s very real about the fact that human history is full of violence and brutality, and yet at the same time he has a magnificent gift for helping you to understand both sides of these conflicts and the people behind them. That’s what really hooked me.
The episodes that I listened to this year that opened my mind were Shows 50-55 "Blueprint for Armageddon" about World War I and Show 59 "The Destroyer of Worlds" about the arms race during the Cold War. Also good is Show 49 "The American Peril" about the Spanish-American War and the American conquest of the Philippines. I had so much more understanding and compassion for these periods of history and the people involved in them after listening to these podcasts. You’ll weep over World War I, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief over the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis. And you’ll roll your eyes over the role of sensationalistic media and its role in the Spanish-American War. (The more things change, the more things stay the same.)
Wow, wow, WOW!!! This is one of my new favorite shows! If you are LDS or have been or are somewhere in the middle, I can not recommend these strongly enough. They really have a gift for exploring a lot of hard questions from a faith-based perspective. Many of their guests are BYU professors and others who have intimate knowledge of Church History or ancient scripture. It’s past Christmas, but I still recommend Episode 13 “When Was Jesus Born?” A must-listen for anyone is Episode 27 “What Is LDS Doctrine?” with Michael Goodman, a BYU professor of religion. Episode 30 “Jewish Holy Days” with Gale T. Boyd is eye-opening for understanding Judaism and the Old Testament. Gale was born into a Jewish family but joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints later in life. She and her family spent several years living in Israel as well. Also amazing is Episode 31 “Tithing and the Law of Consecration” by Steven T. Harper. Suffice it to say, most of us have gravely misunderstood the Law of Consecration. I wish EVERY Christian would listen to Episode 45 “Misunderstanding the Bible” with Bible scholar Ben Spackman because it would help us all get out of the rut we’re in with our understanding of the Bible. (Didn’t feel warm fuzzies while you were reading Leviticus? That’s FINE. That book wasn’t meant to open the heavens and provide answers to life’s big questions.) If anyone has ever told you that dinosaurs can’t exist within the Creation story, listen to Episode 50 “A Religion of Both Prayers and Pterodactyls” with BYU science professor Steven Peck. And if you have ever felt like you just can’t have the “patience of Job” during adversity, listen to Episode 52 “The (Im)patient Job” with literature professor Michael Austin.
The Tim Ferriss Show
If you are trying to get in shape and are busy, these two podcasts could change EVERYTHING for you. Check out Episode #237 "Exploring Smart Drugs, Fasting and Fat Loss" with Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Ph D. She's a biochemist who has done research on aging and cell health. She has some simple actionable strategies on how to start developing resistance to the biological stresses that cause aging. Some of the stuff like saunas might be harder for the average person to do frequently, but her advice on the benefits of fasting, adding more vegetables into your diet and which superfoods are the most important are applicable to anyone. Everything she recommends is based on the research she has done herself or found through other scholarly publications. Also check out Episode #217 "The One-Minute Workout Designed by Scientists." with Dr. Martin Gibala professor of kinesiology at Hamilton University in Ontario. The idea that I could use intervals to up my game was an epiphany for me. Holy cow, I don't need to devote an hour or two straight to exercising!!! I can use interval training to take the moments I have and add them up into something bigger! If you're a busy person with an unpredictable schedule this podcast could change everything about your relationship with exercise.