Star Talk with Neil deGrasse Tyson
The world’s coolest Astrophysicist, Neil de Grasse Tyson hosts an hour chat with various guests, often on the principles of science and how it correlates with pop culture. His easy to comprehend explanations of complicated science theories and principles will make you believe you’d gotten better grades in science had Tyson been your teacher.
In no time flat, he’ll have you mastering an understanding of dwarf planets and the Boson Higgs, but chances are, no one will be asking you to teach an astrophysics class anytime soon. Why, you say? Because fan enthusiasm doesn’t equate to having the goods to back up the well…the goods.
Can’t Miss Episode: Big Bang Theory – Neil sits down with the show’s co-creator Bill Prady & David Saltzberg science advisor to the show, and professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA. The boys talk about how they use science to shine a light on society and those fun Easter eggs hidden throughout the show’s set.
Cosmic Cuisine – Astronaut Food – Neil talks to Dr. Charles Bourland – Co-author of “The Astronaut’s Cookbook” – who has developed food for astronauts for 30 years, since the days of the NASA consultant and food scientist. A fun discussion ensues on why skittles aren’t allowed in space and why everyone thinks NASA invented Tang (spoiler, they didn’t).
All hail comedian and King of Nerds, Chris Hardwick, a cutie with an equally adorable appetite for all the things you were previously harassed for in high school. Hardwick and his buds (Matt Mira and Jonah Ray) interview their celeb guests with fanboy enthusiasm. The charm is in their laidback demeanor that sets the tone for a ‘we’re just friends sitting in a bar having a drink’ type of conversations that’s expertly dashed with moments of comedic wit.
Can’t Miss Episode: It’s fun to hear the celebrity interviews (Sir Paul McCartney, Robert Kirkman, Wil Wheaton are listed among my favorite sit-downs) but the ‘Hostful’ episodes are the best. It’s just the boys sitting around talking about what they’ve been up to and kicking around some outrageous stories. Oh, and don’t miss the shows live from SDCC. You can live vicariously through Hardwick as he hosts panel discussions with the cast of The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, amongst others.
Kumail Nanjiani’s The X-Files Files
The X-Files Files I recently introduced this one into my growing podcast app. Come on, most of us are still sleeping in our old “The truth is out there” tee and occasionally think of annoying things Scully said to Mulder. So why wouldn’t you want to jump into the Sci-fi time machine and rehash it all before the redo of the show happens? Nanjiani is re-watching the series and talking out all the nuances of the show from the perspective of a writer, actor and fan. If this is your second time around as well, you’ll probably get siked along with Kumail discovering redo’s are chock full of nostalgia.
Can’t Miss Episode: Kumail covers at least 2 – 3 episodes a show, so find your favorite episodes and dig right in.
Stuff You Missed in History Class
There’s rarely a topic that I don’t want to hear more about on this podcast. Your hosts Tracey Wilson & Holly Frey delve into topics that you either snoozed through in school or your lazy school district felt was an unnecessary waste of time – because teaching complicated and interesting history events can be such a drag. Trust me, you don’t have to be a history buff to get into this podcast. Surfing through the archives will peek your curiosity – you’ll be hooked in no time.
Let me put you iPhone over its memory capacity by mentioning the brother show to this one, Stuff You Should Know – Another great podcast for everyone who needs to know a little something about everything.
Can’t miss Episode: There’s so much information to wade through. My suggestion would be to start with the Unearthed episodes. The Unearthed episodes are done annually, taking you through the top historical finds of the year.
Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast
NPR has a great lineup of podcasts, but Pop Culture Happy Hour gives my geeky heart palps. Host, Linda Holmes, editor of NPR’s pop culture blog Monkey See is joined by friends and other pop culture NPR writers in a roundtable discussion of the week had to offer in pop culture news.
For an hour, you get to not be your boring friends’ version of the three-headed freak that geeks out debating over what comics to grab on Free Comic Book day or why Bo Jack Horseman isn’t binge-worthy (that’s not true).
Can’t miss Episode: The nature of pop culture is ever changing and so is the show’s format. Every week is a new venture down a rabbit hole of what will absorb your life next. Going back on these episodes might feel like rehashing old news. So step into the current episode and don’t look back.