Heard Any Good Podcasts Lately?

2014-10-18 14.55.53

The recent computer troubles meant that I lost all of the podcasts I’d saved on iTunes. And somehow, despite the year being 2014, Apple hasn’t figured out how to associate podcast subscriptions with Apple IDs. This meant that, just as I had to write down all the software on my computer before wiping the hard drive, I had to write down all of my podcast subscriptions before as well. Turns out to be a fairly long list: 55 podcasts.

The computer troubles also has finally pushed me to abandon my ipod as well… I’m hoping to keep the thing for workouts but I’ve finally bit the bullet and sat down and put all my podcasts on my Android phone (I’m using Doggcatcher to manage them.)

So what is it I listen to? here’s the list:

99% Invisible – Roman Mar’s talks about architecture and history
America’s Test Kitchen – The podcast of the TV show and magazine. I especially love when the hosts answer questions.
The Angry History Podcast – Two guys from New York talk about random bits of history
Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything – Hard to explain, I’ve found it compelling.
Bible Geek Show – Robert M. Price answers questions about the bible.
Buddhist Geeks – Interviews and discussions with Buddhist practitioners.
The China History Podcast – The history of China.
Common Sense with Dan Carlin – Political discussion from a center left libertarian. I usually don’t agree with Dan but it’s always interesting.
Decode DC – In depth reporting on Washington DC and US politics.
The Egyptian History Podcast – The history of ancient Egypt.
Fear the Boot – A podcast about roleplaying games
Freakonomics Radio – The podcast of the books.
The Game Design Roundtable – Game designers interview other designers and discuss the ins and outs of table top and digital game design.
GastroPod – A podcast about food and science
Good Job Brain – Trivia quiz show
Hardcore History with Dan Carlin – Dan Carlin’s take on crucial times in history.
The History of Byzantium – The history of the Eastern Roman Empire. Picks up where the History of Rome (below ) ends.
The History of English – History of the English language, lots of etymology here!
The History of Rome – Complete now, but this tells the history of Rome from the founding of the city to the fall of the Western Roman Empire at the end of the 5th century of the Common Era.
The Human Bible – Robert M. Price discusses the bible from a secular point of view.
I Don’t Even Own a Television – Reviews of terrible books.
Infinity Monkey Cage – Science debate podcast.
Idle Thumbs – Taking video games seriously.
In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg – BBC’s Bragg brings together experts to discuss topics ranging from history to science.
Inquiring Minds – Discussions of current events and science.
Intelligence Squared – BBC’s debate podcast
Intelligence Squared USA – NPR’s copy of the BBC’s debate podcast
Isometric – Video games from a different perspective (Women’s)
Jim Harold’s Campfire – Spooky and scary stories as told by those who they happened to (it is October!)
Life Scientific – Interview with scientists
Love + Radio – I’m still trying to figure out what this is. Compelling listening.
The Lovecraft Geek – Robert M. Price answers questions about H.P. Lovecraft’s work and mythos.
MonsterTalk – Skeptical talks about paranormal topics
Paranormal Podcast – Think newscast and Coast2Coast AM combined. This will have to do until Art Bell gets a podcast.
Planet Money – Financial news and investigation from NPR
Snap Judgement – This American Life with a beat. That means stories about and by minorities
Oh No! Ross and Carrie – Ross and Carrie explore fringe claims and report back. Funny, educational, and interesting.
On the Media – Exploring how the media represents the world
Philosophize This! – Exploring philosophy
RadioLab – Like This American Life but covering the sciences.
Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean – College course on the history and development of Christianity.
Retronauts – Talking about old video games.
Revolutions – Podcast about revolutions throughout time
Roderick on the Line – I don’t know how to describe Roderick on the Line but you should be listening to this.
The Secular Buddhist – Buddhism without the spiritual kruft.
Serial – This American Life’s new podcast that covers one single story from beginning to end.
Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe – Skeptical news every week.
Slate’s Lexicon Valley – Talking about language.
Studio 360 – Interviews with artists and technologists.
The Tetrapod Zoology Podcast – This podcast is about tetrapods of all types. It’s a fantastic and fun biology podcast.
This American Life – Do I need to explain?
Three Moves Ahead – Exploring strategy games
The Truth – Fifteen to thirty minute radio dramas.
Watch out for Fireballs – In depth talk about old video games.
You are not so Smart – Exploring all the ways human minds are broken. So, so broken.

That’s a lot of listening! Is there something you listen to that isn’t on this list? Do you love it? Tell me about it in the comments!

Computer Troubles


Dated, but nothing conveys the trouble of re-installing everything on your PC than a giant pile of floppy disks

My computer in the last few weeks has been giving me endless troubles. When bringing the computer out of ‘sleep’ mode the OS could not find the hard drive, in Windows when trying to access any of the drives I was told I didn’t have the correct “permissions” to open files or drives. It got to the point that I couldn’t actually DO anything with my computer. I tried using Windows Recovery to revert to a previous state. I scanned and scrubbed the hard drive looking for errors or viruses. I was getting nowhere.

So, this weekend I decided to restore the computer to factory its factory settings. I panicked for awhile trying to find the Windows CD and Drivers CD (which I did eventually find) until I realized that Alienware computers have a hidden read-only partition on their hard drives that you can boot from and restore the computer to its factory settings. And that is what I did.

First, I wrote down all the software I had on the PC, all the subscriptions I had that weren’t mediated through a cloud service, etc. etc. That way when the computer was reset I’d know what I need to download again. Second, I backed up all my pictures and documents to external drives. Finally, I hit the big red button and wiped the drive and reset the computer back to how it was when I first bought it over a year ago. Continue reading


2014-08-31 15.06.39So, I can cross that off the bucket list. Guess I should start drafting a bucket list…

I’d thought about skydiving a number of times and even made tentative plans a time or two before but never followed through. At the beginning of this summer though a good friend of mine decided that he wanted to skydive for his birthday and invited all his friends and a lot of his family to join him. I said yes, along with three other people and on Saturday we did it.

It was a tandem jump from 13,000 feet and I’ll I can say is that it really is nothing like I expected and nothing I’ve ever done could have prepared me for standing there at the edge of a door in the sky and leaping out of a plane. Scariest moment in my entire life. BUT, once you’re out of the plane and falling. It’s really kind of calm. There’s no noise, and if the air wasn’t pushing at arms and hand it’s almost as if you’re not moving either.

Then the guy whose stomach you’re strapped to pulls the chord and you spring up, he unbuckles you from him and it’s like your’e sitting in a chair slowly drifting towards the ground.

It was amazing.

Would I ever do it again? Sure, if I could get a bunch of friends to come out and do it with me. If I could cut the waiting around time down to something reasonable (we had to wait for 3 hours before even putting our rigs on). I’d do it again. Maybe from 18,000 feet?