Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Podcast Rec: You're the Expert

If you're anything like me, you're constantly on the lookout for new podcast recommendations. I have perennial favorites, but recently I've been expanding my horizons because, honestly, I'll do longer workouts if I have something interesting to listen to.  So for the last couple of months I've been combing through archives of podcast recommendation lists, message board threads,and recommendations from Glen Weldon on Pop Culture Happy Hour (one of the aforementioned perennial favorites) and trying new (to me) podcasts. For the rest of the week I'm going to tell you about some of my favorites and point you to episodes that I think are good starting places.

There's something amazing about finding out about a fabulous podcast that's been available for YEARS and you had no idea it existed. There are YEARS of back episodes to listen to!! You're the Expert is such a show. It's a comedy show about science. I KNOW. I KNOW. You didn't think it was possible, did you?  But Chris Duffy, the former science teacher turned podcast host, somehow pulls it off.

This show features a panel of three comedians and an expert of some kind in some science.  The panelists, who are introduced to the expert for the first time at the beginning of the show, first try to figure out what the expert does for a living and then they do funny quizzes and games with the expert.  When I first heard about the premise for the show, I assumed that the quality of the show would depend on the quality of the guest, and to some extent that is true, but to a much lesser extent than you would think. Duffy and his panelists do such a good job of keeping things light that even the most humorless of the experts just adds to the hilariousness. As if the humor isn't enough to keep things going, I also do learn a lot during these episodes.

If this podcast is new to you, too, here are some individual episodes I recommend:

1. Exploding Whales - The expert here, Dr. Joy Reidenberg, has this great, infectious laugh. I want to take one of her classes.

2. Climate Change - The expert in this episode, Dr. Richard Primack, was simply delightful. I love it when people who study "controversial" (because climate change isn't really controversial, is it?) topics are so level-headed. He wrote a book called Walden Warming and I was inspired to actually request it from my local library after this episode.

3. Bees -  I don't know why, but ever since I've listened to this episode, I just keep picturing some guy driving his car while thousands of bees are attacking him.

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