AKA: How to have fun and learn something new on your drive home.
Maybe you're not the biggest history nerd (or maybe you are), but if you're even remotely interested in trivia or learning random facts, the Stuff You Missed in History Class is a great podcast to listen to. They run about 30 – 40 minutes long on average, and cover just about everything from the history of margarine to Lady Jane Grey, the nine day queen of England. The show has been going on for several years with the earlier episodes being only about five minutes long. If time is a constraint, look through the older episodes for juicy nuggets. The hosts have changed over the years. I have only listened to the most current episodes with Holly and Tracy. They are fun ladies who are great at touching on topics that are obscure or were only quickly skimmed through in school. They also cover socially and culturally important events and figures that may not have gotten the attention it really deserved.
If you’re into medical shows, Sawbones is a fun one. Justin and Sydnee (M.D.) are a husband and wife team exploring various medical histories. What was dental hygiene like before dentistry became common? Where did the fad of drinking Kombucha begin? What did people think Arsenic (a poison, in case you didn’t know) cured? The hosts (mainly Justin) are a bit goofy, which gives a very light-hearted feel to this 40-ish minute podcast.
Are you more in tune with current events? How about the changing culture and environment of the place you live? The podcast Adam Ruins Everything, not the show, may be up your alley. It is relatively new and unfortunately slow to produce an episode (once every two weeks), but another great educational show. The podcast isn’t quite as funny as his T.V. show of the same name, mainly because the host, Adam Conover, wanted the podcast to be more informational. He brings in experts he met during production of his T.V show and invites them to talk in more detail about their areas of expertise. You get to learn about problems and possible solutions on issues like homelessness, urban planning, funeral procedures, and more. This one runs about right under an hour.
These podcasts make commutes to and from work more enjoyable, and the length is also perfect for when you’re cooking or cleaning. There are commercial breaks in the middle though, so just a heads up! If you’re looking for an educational podcast for your personal enjoyment and growth, these are definitely recommended.