My Favorite Podcasts

I was turned on to podcasts on a cold 2.5 hour drive to Hershey, PA this past December.  Mmm it feels good to say that given it was 100 degrees outside this week!  Anyways, in freezing-cold-icy-ahhh December, I found out about Serial – the podcast of podcasts that changed everyone’s view on podcasts.  And, I was instantly hooked.

Perhaps it was the mystery of it all, or Sarah Koenig’s voice, or the fact that I was truly convinced that I was going to solve the case.  Either way, Serial lent me privy to the magical world of podcasts, and my perception was forever changed.  What I once thought of as dry, NPR-style, dreary talk shows was transformed into enticing audio clips of story-telling, mystery, and just good ole fashioned candid discussions.

I might have fallen in love with Serial at first byte, but it was certainly not my last audio meal.  Here are my top five favorite podcasts from 2015.  And, of course, I’d love to hear about your favorites in the comments section!

1. Serial – Come hear about how Sarah Koenig cracks open a 16-year-old murder investigation, which originally resulted in the sentencing of a Baltimore high school student.  Listeners ride the wave of Sarah’s mind and actions as she objectively seeks to prove his innocence.

2. True Murder – My weird interest in murder investigations didn’t stop with Serial.  I’m also a big fan of The First 48 on A&E so there’s a high potential that something is wrong with me.  This podcast is about homicide, but in an interesting twist it includes interviews with the author of a crime book about a specific homicide.  Even if crime investigations are not your thing, you need to listen to the Man Overboard episode about Phil Champagne because it might be the oddest story that I’ve ever heard, and surprisingly has nothing to do with an actual death.

3. New Yorker Fiction – My FAVORITE podcast.  I am not afraid to admit that I listened to all 90+ episodes.  The format of this ‘cast includes an interview with a famous writer who reads a short story piece by another famous writer that once appeared in the New Yorker magazine.  Each piece is analyzed with the renowned New Yorker Fiction Editor, Deborah Treisman.  I love learning in nearly each episode about how most fiction is not really fiction at all.

4. Bald Move TV – Whether you’re watching Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Better Call Saul or another relevant TV show, this podcast has you covered.  Two guys who have now made it their full time job to watch TV and discuss it in detail via an audio recording break down popular television shows each week through scene by scene analysis, character studies and good ole spoilers.  Yes – they really are living the dream.  Cue jealous thoughts.

5. Flawed Logic – If you’re into video games or other aspects of the entertainment industry, this podcast is funny and compelling!

Is 2015 the Year of the Future?

Back when I admitted my failure at blogging wrote my first post of 2015, I claimed that 2015 is a year of minimalism for me.  Boy – is that the truth.  Since January, I quit crossfit (more to follow), only wrote four times on this blog, unsubscribed from 30+ daily email subscriptions and, in general, slimmed down my calendar invites.  This was all for the sake of reducing my stress levels.  Sounds like a novel concept – doesn’t it?

Part of my need for cutting back originated from an overwhelming surplus of data on a daily basis.  Buy this.  Take a photo of that.  Email her.  Respond to that text.  Call him back.  Follow so-and-so on twitter.  Did you like my post?  I started to feel caught in the crosswebs of driving my own life forward, and being overly involved in everyone elses.  How did we get to this point?

It’s hard to imagine that just thirty-three years ago, the CD-ROM was invented – and just three years after that – Microsoft released Windows 1.0.  In 1991, the world wide web opened to the general public, which now hosts 1 billion + websites.  In 2000, 100 million people owned a cell phone – only twenty-seven years after the first mobile-to-mobile phone call was made.

Needless to say, we’ve come a long way since the late 20th century… because now?

-4 billion, out of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, use a mobile phone.  Weird side fact: only 3.5 billion of them use a toothbrush.

-220 million tons of old computers and other technology devices are trashed in the U.S. each year.

-90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being delivered.

-The average 21-year-old has spent 5,000 hours playing video games, sent 250,000 emails, instant messages and text messages, and has spent 10,000 hours on a mobile phone alone.

and my personal favorite:

-Of the 60 billion emails that are sent on a daily basis, 97% are considered spam.

source: Website Magazine

 A couple of months ago, I read an article about whether 2015 is the year of the future.  I can’t, for the life of me, find it, but it talked about how far society has come in the past twenty years regarding the amount of data that can be processed on a tiny processing chip, and other recent technical advancements.

Remember this?  Btw. The hoverboard has already been created.

In an age when “yottabyte” is a word that doesn’t refer to a cartoon character, the average 21-year-old has spent enough hours on a cell phone to achieve mastery in a field.  By the time Bill Gates was 21, he had mastered programming.

I get that technolgy is important – particularly in the realm of safety and healthcare.  But, I’m starting to wonder if, in 2015, we’ve tipped the scales too far off balance.  When 220 million tons of technology are thrown away each year, is it time to reevaluate?  Have we made enough technical advancements at this point that we can consider ourselves ‘there,’ and can shift the scales to idolize the simpler facets of life?  I’m panicking that the next generation of kids will never know the feeling of creating donuts in the parking lot, or how to say Hi to someone without a cell phone, or a watch, or a tablet, or a computer.  Get what I’m saying?

This whole process of thinking led me to a minimalism challenge.  I think it’s the perfect way to shed the constant feeling of needing to be ‘online.’  I love technology and its ability to easily connect me to society and my loved ones, but I don’t want to be the master of it – nor let it be the master of me.  So, for the month of June, I’ll be completing the following minimalism acts for each day of the month.  Will you join me?  If you’re reading this on day 4 or day 10, it’s never too late to join in!

source: pinterest

Follow me @crossroadsheart on instagram to see what i do each day.  I know, I know… it’s technology!

I guess we can’t escape it all.