Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up Your Phone

A tech show called Note to Self is running a short series on getting a handle on technology, called Infomagical Challenge.  Some good stuff here, including FOMO vs JOMO and ways to stop being overwhelmed by technology.

I like the episode based on Marie Kondo’s life-changing magic of tidying up as applied to your phone. Simply active the apps on your phone, touch each one and decide if it brings your joy. No? Delete it!  Hilariously, the reporter who does this gets his apps down to an impressive…81. 81!!!

Bonus points for this series for being short, 7 -15 minutes a piece. You can get through these quickly.



The Mystery of Serial Season 2

There are those that like it. My friend Joel finds it more interesting than the first, and Joel’s got good taste.  A lot of people on this Reddit thread like it.

But where’s the talk about it?  The articles, the tweets, the buzz? This season is clearly not as buzzy as Season 1, which was a real live, honest-to-goodness phenomenon.  When Season 2 started, there was a lot of articles. Since then…not much…

Me, I tried. I find the political situation in Afghanistan interesting. I find the military aspects interesting. I do not find Bowe Bergdahl very interesting.  Episode 4 was the most interesting for me, probably because it had less Bowe in it.  Episode 4 got into how the military handles personnel recovery, the bureaucracy behind it, and so on. Interesting. Then, Bo’s friend Kathy tries to file a missing person’s report on him in Portland. And…I’m out.

I get that Serial is not going to be a whodunit every season, though starting your podcast with a whodunit will set up that expectation.  It is very well-produced, even using someone else’s interview.  I don’t care that the show is coming out every other week, although that’s only adding up to one more episode.

I’ll check back in, I guess. Or just wait for Season 3.

Presidents & Politics

Just in time for the Iowa Caucus, I’m checking in on some podcasts about US presidents and US presidential elections.

Presidential Podcast by the Washington Post takes a long look at each of the 44 presidents, using a wealth of WashPost resources–Bob Woodward!–to do so.

I wish this was better. But it meanders and wanders, on a timeline, away from a timeline.  There is some real meaty content: WashPost reporters who have covered presidents and contrasting their opinions of more recent presidents with the earlier ones. The academics brought in to discuss early presidents are interesting, and there is twinkly fiddle music to indicate history.

Election College looks at the elections. It’s a bit cheeky, and a bit low-key, but it’s fun to dip in and out of episodes according to what interests you.   There is twinkly fiddle (mandolin?) music, because history.

10 American Presidents is a podcast about just that, 10 American presidents. Each podcast features is done by a different reporter, historian or podcaster.  Since each presenter focuses on the president that interests them the most, the podcasts feel more weighted, in-depth.  The presidents do not go in chronological order, which makes it feel scattered, but historical clips from tv and radio give a good you-are-there feeling to it. This could be good for a long drive when you need something to wake you up.

Want more? Search “president” on iTunes or your favorite podcast place.






Listening on the Run

There I was in my driveway this morning, in the dark, furiously scrolling through my library trying to find something to listen to…

I used to run with music, but a good podcast can keep you going too. An engaging, well-told story will make the miles fly by…

So: scroll, scroll, scroll..

I try the History of Rome Podcast, from the same guy who does the Revolutions Podcast. This is one of my all-time favorite podcast and podcasters. The content is clear, straight-forward and fascinating. But, alas, I can’t get to the beginning of the History of Rome.

I try the Washington Post Presidential Podcast but it is very slow to get to moving. Come on, I want to hear the content, not all your good intentions! I’ll have to try that again later.

Finally, something on the iTunes Podcast Store, I see Antiques Roadshow Podcast. What?

I give it a try, picking an interview with Roadshow Appraiser and antiques expert Lark Mason.

And it’s great. Moves fast and is interesting. He’s had quite a life, starting his first store at 20 and living in China studying antiques.

So what other podcast should I listen to while running?

Of Trumpets & Scotch

Browsing the podcast section of iTunes this morning, I saw a podcast about trumpets, Trumpet Dynamics, and a podcast about scotch. In fact, there are several podcasts about scotch, including Scotch, Xtreme Tasting League and Scotchey Scotch Scotch Cast. (Sorry–I did not see a trumpet/scotch blend but that would be fun.)

Clearly, we are at the moment when there is a podcast for every topic under the sun.

What’s your interest? Go to iTunes and in the search bar, type that word and the word podcast beside it.  Is there a podcast for your interest? No? Start one. If you don’t, don’t worry. Give it a second and someone else will.

Happy listening!


Call Your Girlfriend…right now!

Some podcasts are like listening in to a really good conversation. Sometimes, instead of learning something or experiencing something via a podcast, I just want to listen and laugh.

The podcast Call Your Girlfriend ( is perfect for that. It’s a podcast for “long distance besties everywhere” and features, you got it, two best friends who just hang out and discuss all manor of things, but mostly pop culture.

The two best friends, Ann and Aminatou, are hilarious. Their guests are also good. From one episode, I learned all about K-Drama, Korean dramas on tv. Now I want to watch them. And call one of the girlfriends to discuss.