Geek Life

My Fave Educational Podcasts

My Fave Educational Podcasts | Gamerwife.com
Regular readers of this blog are probably well aware of my podcast addiction, but I don’t often go into detail about all the different shows that I listen to. My preference is generally for anything with a sort of “edutainment” bent, things that are interesting and entertaining at the same time. I really feel like I’ve learned a lot on a variety of subjects through listening to podcasts, so I thought that since the start of a new school year is now upon us it might be fun to share some of my favourite educational podcasts with y’all.

I’ve divided my selections by subject, although the last two podcasts I mention actually discuss a whole wide range of topics, of varying levels of educational value.

History

Stuff You Missed In History Class
Stuff You Missed In History Class | My Fave Educational Podcasts | Gamerwife.com Part of the How Stuff Works podcast empire, I initially wasn’t a big fan of this show, until I discovered current hosts Holly and Tracy. Their enthusiasm and general nerdiness are super infectious and the show is very diverse in the way they handle history topics. Covering everything from fascinating figures in history to specific historic events, Stuff You Missed In History Class is anything but your typical dates and names approach.

Episodes of Note:
Building Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion
The Pig War
The Princess Who Swallowed A Glass Piano

Sawbones
Sawbones | My Fave Educational Podcasts | Gamerwife.com Focused specifically on medical history, Sawbones is a collaboration between writer/podcaster Justin McElroy and his wife, Sydney, an actual medical doctor. As the subheadine, “A Misguided Tour of Misguided Medicine,” suggests, the duo dives into all the dumb ways we tried to heal people with Justin playing banana man to his physician wife. [spacer height=”2px”]

Episodes of Note:
The Seasick-Proof Saloon
Patent Medicine
The One Problem With Benjamin Rush

The Memory Palace
The Memory Palace | My Fave Educational Podcasts | Gamerwife.comEssentially a storytelling podcast, host Nate DiMeo is able to hon in on tiny, specific moments in history and present them in such a way that you almost feel you are there experiencing the moment yourself. The attention placed on context and emotion, things often left out of traditional discussions of history make The Memory Palace compulsive listening. [spacer height=”2px”]

Episodes of Note:
The Ballad of Captain Dwight
Secret Kitty
The Moon In The Sun

Economics

Planet Money
Planet Money | My Fave Educational Podcasts | Gamerwife.com Originally a spin-off of This American life, Planet Money was created during the economic meltdown of 2008 to try to help listeners make sense of the immense and complex forces that shape the financial world. Delving into everything from the idiosyncrasies of American bureaucracy to how a t-shirt travels around the world, the podcast does a great job of boiling down how economies develop and transform over time. [spacer height=”2px”]

Episodes of Note:
Why People Do Bad Things
The Eddie Murphy Rule
Bell Wars

Freakonomics
Freakonomics | My Fave Educational Podcats | Gamerwife.com Based on the books and blog of the same name, Freakonomics is more about economic theory, than the economy in general, with a very strong emphasis on the emerging field of behavioural economics. The show actually comes somewhere in-between a self-help guide and financial education, but every episode is guaranteed to show you a new way of looking at the world. [spacer height=”2px”]

Episodes of Note:
The Troubled Cremation of Stevie The Cat
The Economics of Sleep
When Willpower Isn’t Enough

Liguistics

Lexicon Valley
Lexicon Valley | My Fave Educational Podcasts | Gamerwife.com While not exactly appropriate for children due to persistent salty language, Lexicon Valley is a lighthearted, but surprisingly in-depth look at the often quirky origins of the English language. They can also probably be blamed for starting the whole panic over “vocal fry,” but let’s try not to hold that against them. [spacer height=”2px”]
Episodes of Note:
What’s The Deal With Translating Seinfeld?
Language Has A Positivity Bias. How Did We Measure That?
The Manic Pixie and The Magical Negro

The Allusionist
The Allusionist | My Fave Educational Podcasts | Gamerwife.com Host Helen Zaltzman (sister of The Bugle’s Andy Zaltzman & co-host of Answer Me This!) also probes language in a lighthearted way, but in a more personal, intimate way than Lexicon Valley manages. [spacer height=”2px”]
Episodes of Note:
Fix (Part 1)
Mountweazel
Detonating the C-Bomb

General Knowledge

Stuff You Should Know
Stuff You Should Know | My Fave Educational Podcasts | Gamerwife.com Yes. Anyone who is into podcasts is probably already listening to this one, but just in case you’ve somehow managed to miss this one, hosts Josh and Chuck break down all kinds of topics, from Muppets to Rehabs and everything in between. I personally love the casual tone and the fact that Josh and Chuck will often just go on tangents, lending the show a feeling of being a fly on the wall in a conversation between friends. [spacer height=”2px”]
Episodes of Note:
Did Thomas Jefferson Rewrite The Bible?
How Human Experimentation Works
10 Big Cases of Revenge

Caustic Soda
Caustic Soda | My Fave Educational Podcasts | Gamerwife.com Again, probably not very child friendly, but less for language and more for just the incredibly irreverent tone all topics are treated with. This is the podcast for knowledge seekers with a very dark sense of humour and a better than average gag reflex. [spacer height=”2px”]
Episodes of Note:
Doomed Expeditions
Feral Children
Megafauna

What Are Your Favourite Podcasts?

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Fiona
    September 8, 2015 at 2:56 am

    I didn’t know but now I do know – stuff you should know 🙂 Thanks Mariko!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 9, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      I know some people hate the way they ramble, but to me it’s comforting. Josh and Chuck feel like old friends, even if we’ve never met.

  • Reply
    Kendall Ashley
    September 8, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    These all sound amazing. I’m always up for finding new podcasts.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 9, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Hit me up! I listen to dozens, although most of them are along these lines.

  • Reply
    Nagareboshi
    September 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Excellent! I do love expanding my horizon, therefore I shall be listening into those soon. ^^ Thanks!!!

  • Reply
    margotmeanie
    September 8, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Awesome, I’ve been wanting to get in on some podcasts, but have been stumped on where to go and what to look for!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      I listen to soooo many podcasts, it’s a little goofy. Let me know if you need more suggestions. I have oodles.

  • Reply
    kaycreate
    September 9, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I absolutely need to add some of these to my sub list! I’m pretty abysmal at keeping up with podcasts, but I do love to pop them on when I have a rare day to myself while the hubs is at work and the kiddo is out at my mum’s.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 10, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      I use iTunes to subscribe to my faves, but I’m starting to run out of room!

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