An Audio Addict’s Guide to 2017


Most of us are ready for this year to be over. It’s seemed like a rough go lately. On top of what’s arguably been the shittiest political outcome in decades, we’ve lost a number of important celebrities and icons. Though, if we take a closer look, and set Trump aside, it hasn’t been that bad.

There are some ways to stay sane when the world around you bursts into flame. One of my favorites is through my ear holes. This is quite possibly the greatest time on earth to have ear holes. I don’t have enough waking hours in the day to absorb everything I want to, and spend too much time working lately to get much solid reading accomplished, so audio is the perfect solution for me. Alas, if only I’d discovered podcasts and audiobooks sooner (it’s only been two years). Thanks, Zach. I’m definitely hooked.

So, with what I’ve learned of late, here’s a handy guide on how to stay a sane, rational individual in a bustling, fast-paced, crazy world.

PS: I do follow with the notion that Steven Pinker puts forth, in that the world in general is getting better every day. It’s hard to see sometimes. It also doesn’t mean we should ignore the fact that we have some very anti-scientific (and rather childish) people in charge of our country starting in January.

  • Carrion comfort – “[Carrion Comfort is] one of the few major reinventions of the vampire concept, on a par with Jack Finney’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, and Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.” (David Morrell)
  • Dawn of Wonder – My favorite discovery of 2016. Definitely a fantasy author to watch. I immediately purchased the book in hard copy after having listened to the audiobook.
  • Scathing Atheist – A weekly podcast with a harsh look at religion using all the expletives the subject deserves. Very explicit, very scathing, not for the faint of heart.
  • Opening Arguments – The most informative podcast I’ve found in 2016. The duo addresses countless legal topics and breaks down all the legal jargon us lay people don’t understand fully.
  • The Thinking Atheist – Aside from the science communicators I listen to, Seth is possibly the most rational person I’ve had the pleasure of meeting (twice). I find myself agreeing with pretty much everything the guy says. For weekly doses of rationality wish a dash of scathing, look no further.
  • Skeptics Guide to the Universe – Top of the list, best podcast around. With almost 600 episodes in archive, there’s plenty of science to go around. Go learn something.
  • Cognitive Dissonance– For that touch of brevity that skepticism needs, check out this comedy show that features current events and politics. Glory hole motherfuckers.
  • Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us – One of The Great Courses. I keep this audiobook downloaded on my phone, and pop it in when I haven’t anything else to listen to. An important tool for arguing with your family about gluten, GMOs, or vaccines.
  • Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals – Another of The Great Courses. A recent find, but quite fascinating so far, in a very morbid way.

Looking forward:

  • Suspect Convictions – 5 episodes of this new podcast are slated to drop on January 9th and I couldn’t be more excited. It’ll feature coverage of cases where the conviction should be called into question, and performed by an accomplished journalist.

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