We recommend: Podcasts for a brand new year
Auld Lang Syne by Anthropocene Reviewed: Anthropocene Reviewed started off as a podcast by John Green. The premise is that Green will review different facets of our human-centred planet, such as the video game Mario Kart, the Notes app, Haley’s Comet, Taco Bell’s menu etc. These aren’t just reviews. They are personal essays, mini-memoirs if you will.
This particular episode is the perfect way to begin a new year. He writes about Auld Lang Syne, the most popular song during NYE and the history of the song. More importantly, he also shares a heartfelt story about his friendship with the late author Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Keep some tissues with you as you listen to this.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 by The Memory Palace: We’ve recommended this podcast before, but couldn’t go without suggesting this specific episode to start your year with. This is a short 11:30 min episode, and the only thing you need to know about it is that it is a small vignette about clocks, time, street lights and how we started the countdown for new year’s eve a couple of centuries ago. You’ll be blown away.
How the Dung Beetle Finds Its Way Home by Poetry Unbound: Have you ever felt like just storming out of the house? To run away from all the struggles, problems and anger, with no plan in mind? This episode from Poetry Unbound focuses on a poem by Eugenia Leigh–about the moments where you want to leave, and the strength it takes to find yourself and come back to your own life. We’ve written about Poetry Unbound before, but this episode is worth a special mention.
The Mystery of Beauty by Hidden Brain: This is one of the best podcasts out there to help you explore the known and unknown patterns of our minds. The host Shankar Vedantam, takes you on a journey into your unconscious brain and fills you with curiosity about why you do the things you do. Every episode features interviews with social scientists, academics and other experts who leave you with a better appreciation of everyday life.
This episode is about why we are often stopped in our tracks when we experience something beautiful—a painting, a beautiful song, a piece of poem or a magnificent sight of nature. What the psychology of beauty? You’ll be delightfully surprised many times during this episode.
Friend of the Court - Season 2: In 1973, 13 judges of the Supreme Court pronounced the most important constitutional judgement in our country’s history. The case was called Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, which among other things had to deal with many important questions. To what extent can the parliament amend and change the constitution? Can it delete and overhaul everything? Can it remove fundamental rights? What is the nature of our constitution and how much of it can an elected government change? This case continues to guide the constitutional values of India but more importantly, it created unseen ripple effects which we experience in our political, social and economical lives even now.
The latest season of Friend of the Court is essentially an audio documentary that takes you back in time and right inside the courtroom. The detailed research, carefully crafted storytelling and Raghu Karnad’s voice will ensure you don’t lose interest. By the end of the eight episodes, you’ll have a profound respect for all that goes into making a constitution and protecting it. It’s the right way to start an election year.
Why Even Doctors Don’t Understand Menopause by Slate: Moving on to a slightly heavier and little-known subject—the much-dreaded menopause. Host and journalist Courtney Martin speaks with call-in interviewee Katie who describes what menopause looks like for her and her friends. New York Times’ journalist Susan Dominus—who wrote the viral article “Women Have Been Misled About Menopause”—explains why women’s pain has been ignored for so long. There’s plenty of good advice on where to look for information and resources—and how to connect with friends, family and other women when going through hormonal changes. The tone is conversational, making it engaging and easy to listen to.