If you haven’t yet been convinced to give podcasts a try, here are two good ones that may push you over the edge. I would never sit in front of a computer and listen to a lecture or radio program, but I really enjoy putting podcasts on my iPod and then listening to them while I drive or while I’m folding laundry (or both, if I happen to be driving the laundrymobile). It’s a very satisfying way to learn.
These podcasts are both about matters historical, recent and ancient.
The first is just one very good episode of This American Life. It’s called Another Frightening Show About the Economy and it’s about the collapse of the Wall Street financial system. I saw it recommended lots of places (including Paul Kedrosky’s blog) before I finally listened to it, and I’m glad I did. Very informative.
The more ancient historical matter is the History of Rome podcast. I first heard about this on Alex Palazzo’s molecular biology blog, and once again, it’s a real find. It’s compact, entertaining, and enlightening. I knew the writer and narrator, Mike Duncan, was a genius when he deadpanned that the Roman tactic of bringing down Carthaginian battle elephants with chariots was similar to the one employed by the Rebel Alliance against Imperial Walkers on the ice planet Hoth. Now that’s bringing history alive.