In Nerdy Podcasts This Week…

I bet it’s no surprise to any of you that we listen to nerdy podcasts produced by NPR and American Public Media. We’re nerds, we like the nerdy. So, this week in nerdy podcasts:

This American Life

I love this show. I really do. But lately, the topics have been quite depressing. This week: Life After Death. No, not about the afterlife. Instead, about how one goes on with one’s life after killing someone. Yeah, definitely a lighthearted show this week. Act I was presented by a man who had been in a freak car accident that he could in no way have prevented as an 18 year old. And Act II was about an Iraq War Vet with PTSD. Not an episode to listen to if you’re feeling a bit melancholy already. Doesn’t stop me from wanting to be best friends with Ira Glass, though.

The News from Lake Wobegon

A repeat this week, but repeats don’t take away from Garrison Keillor’s voice. He started off this week talking about summer storms and how there’s something in humans that enjoys life without electricity for a bit. So true. For a few hours, it’s nice to be disconnected from my internet and know there’s nothing I can do about it. But, Garrison continued on this week to talk about the Memorial Day service in Lake Wobegan and how the greatest speech ever given was a complete accident, but the most amazing concept: silence and remembrance.

Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me

Adam Felber’s standing in for Peter Sagal this week, which always makes me sad. It’s not that Adam Felber’s not good. He is, he’s funny, and likable and all that, but I feel about him much the way I did about Luke when he took over last summer. It’s not that the jokes aren’t good, it’s just not Peter Sagal. I suppose it is a little unreasonable to expect a public radio personality never to vacation. But then, I suppose there’s nothing all that reasonable about sitting around late on a Thursday night, when your friends are out doing kareoke, with a beer and an NPR podcast, anyway.

Other than Peter’s noticeable absence, it’s a fine showing on the Wait Wait team. I lost the Bluff the Listener (as always) and John Waters, a personal favorite of mine, was on Not My Job. It is an entire panel of which I only know one name, which makes me feel desperately out of touch, but they did reference It’s a Wonderful Life within three minutes, so I’m hardly complaining. And stay for the lightning round this week. It’s worth the wait.

Plus, they pointed out one of those unspeakably poetic screw ups that only come once in any scandal: turns out that when the US Government was practicing it’s own particularly weird cruel and unusual punishment by playing Celine Dion to Guantanimo prisoners, they failed to pay royalties. Yup, they screwed up even that.

The Writer’s Almanac

More Garrison Keillor, this time with literary history and poems. For instance, Monday was the birthday of the founder of Reuter’s News Service, Paul Reuter born in 1816. He used carrier pigeons to cover the gap between Aachen and Brussels in the telegraph lines between Berlin and Paris. Monday was also the birthday of Hemingway in 1899. Thursday was the birthday of Amelia Earhart, Robert Graves, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Richard Morris. Good times.

“Be well. Do good work. And keep in touch.”


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