Living in the era of the podcast makes me happy.
Yes, I love information and yes, I love technical details. But put me in front of a huge essay and I’m likely to reach tedium pretty early on unless the writing is absolutely superb. Television largely annoys me due to its capacity to dominate an entire room.
Audio-files grab me instantly however; I guess I just love to listen. Whether this is a result of nature or nurture I’m not sure – it’s probably both. Casting my mind back to childhood and teen years, I recall long drives to Coober Pedy, Andamooka and Roxby Downs (being a child of a geologist) listening to ABC radio, including Ben Johnson’s controversial 1988 Olympic win in the 100m. A long and tedious case of chickenpox was relieved with tapes of Rolf Harris telling stories through the speakers of a cranky old player in my pink bedroom.
“a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.”
Episodes frequently bring me to tears, not because the subject matter is necessarily sad but because the production method manages to tap in to the core human-ness behind every story.
Other favourites are the more traditional but still solid Radio National Science Show and new-kid-on-the-block Facts for the Post Factual, put together and presented by Upulie Divisekera and Will Grant. All are perfect accompaniments for long walks and runs, or couch meditation (note for the newbies: kids tend to leave you alone if you have headphones on, give it a try). You can drift in and out of concentration to suit the way your brain works.
Are you a listener or a reader? Or do you prefer another platform? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
[photo thanks to Daniel Booy on flickr]