What’s your favorite NPR show (current or classic)?
Trump made it really hard to listen to the news, so most of our listening stopped. I replaced my commute radio listening first with music and then with podcasts about things I don’t care in the least about.
That said, I used to really like Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and The Splendid Table. Occasionally This American Life, though usually that’s too deep for me. And even though Garrison Keeler is a problematic jerk and I never liked Prairie Home Companion, I did like his little poetry minute thing.
Grumpy Nation, what are your favorite NPR shows, current or classic?
January 6, 2023 at 5:32 am
NPR is almost always on at our place. _Wait, Wait_ is a family favorite, mostly because it always seems to show up around the time Saturday breakfast starts at our place. _This American Life_ really reeled me in with a great episode and then the kids got into that too. Turns out that it’s the quintessential “white” podcast? I do miss that creep Garrison Keeler’s daily poetry spot–_Writers’ Almanac_, was it? A new favorite is Shankar Vedantam’s _Hidden Brain._ (At least in part because his South Indian name and accent is familiar and soothing for me.)
January 6, 2023 at 6:12 am
I wasn’t that impressed with Hidden Brain because he got some things wrong one of the first times I listened to it. IIRC it was some kind of really basic statistics stuff about the normal distribution and selection.
January 7, 2023 at 7:25 am
Whenever I see reporting in my field, I’m always deeply unimpressed with the quality. Especially now that I’ve directly reviewed and signed off on the information that is actually shared with journalists. I’m always left scratching my head about the resulting story.
January 7, 2023 at 8:01 am
This was a really basic thing where he assumed that if you cut off the top tail of a normal distribution and just look at that top 10% that should be distributed normally,
January 7, 2023 at 8:50 am
This would have likely gone over my head…
January 7, 2023 at 9:30 am
So if you look at this picture https://www.scribbr.com/statistics/standard-normal-distribution/ and cut off just a little bit of the top tail that bit is going to look more like a right triangle than it will a normal distribution. Just mechanically.
January 6, 2023 at 7:20 am
This American Life-I went to see what this was about, clicked on an episode and selected transcript. I’m a visual learner & I don’t like podcasts (unless they have transcripts.).
I read episode 402-Dec. 9, 2022-Save the Day-Stories about one person single-handedly taking charge of a situation gone wrong.
Strangely, the second story was about San Diego which is where I live. The first story was about an 11-year-old boy who took charge when everyone else was frozen.
Really good stories.
January 6, 2023 at 7:29 am
I think my favorite episode was a comedian who slept walk. (Probably over a decade ago!)
January 6, 2023 at 9:46 am
I used to really like the story corps – always a nice little story about an everyday person. Always made me want to interview a grandparent or something.
January 6, 2023 at 10:01 am
Oh I love story corps! I would cry on the way to daycare so many times.
January 7, 2023 at 8:48 am
Yes! Crying on the way to work on Fridays became a thing for me too!
January 7, 2023 at 5:18 pm
story corps is so good! I don’t spend much time in the car these days, but I used to love listening to it on the way to work after daycare drop off.
January 6, 2023 at 4:42 pm
I’ve been listening to This American Life for decades, but do find it less compelling these days (but still listen most every week). Fiasco is my favorite episode, and remember being really struck by Running After Antelope.
I don’t make it a point to listen to any others, but will listen to Wait Wait if it is on (and went to a recording of it in Madison many many years ago!), and like some of the story corps. Even today with Trump more out of the news cycle I sometimes have to turn off NPR due to the reporting.
Non-NPR podcast favs are: Ezra Klein. I used to like Reply All, but that blew up. I used to love Radio Lab, but rarely listen any more. Same with hidden brain. Sometimes I listen to Freakonomics, but only if the topic is especially interesting. Planet Money is ok.
But my most listened to ones are the totally non-serious / mindless podcasts – Office Ladies and Normal Gossip. Perfect pandemic listening, and I still enjoy them.
January 7, 2023 at 5:20 pm
yes, I used to like Radio Lab, but it hasn’t been the same in recent years. We switched to Every Little Thing for quite awhile (listened as a podcast), which was an NPR spin off from Science Fridays. That got switched to a spotify podcast that required subscription.
January 6, 2023 at 5:19 pm
I like listening to Marketplace, but will freely admit that it is 90% because I love Kai Ryssdal’s voice – I like the way he always sounds as if he is smiling.
January 6, 2023 at 6:00 pm
I got interviewed by Kai Ryssdal once!
Our local radio station stopped carrying it a long time ago, but I would totally go back to listening to it on my commute if they still had it.
(Are they still PRI not NPR? I think that distinction was why the radio station stopped carrying them.)
January 7, 2023 at 5:21 pm
I grew up on Prairie Home Companion. I really used to love it but recognize there were some problematic elements.
This American Life was a favorite for a long time, as was Splendid Table.
I still pay for NPR but rarely listen these days due to political stress. I do enjoy Wait, Wait, Don’t tell Me.
Oh, and Car Talk was the best show ever. I felt like I was always entertained and learning stuff from them.
January 7, 2023 at 9:15 pm
Ah yes car talk was the best show ever! Right before wait wait… They should have lived forever.