I love podcasts. For me, they're the perfect thing to listen to while working, because they keep my brain occupied while my hands work. It helps the time goes faster, keeps me focused, and I can learn things along the way. It also helps to not go crazy if you work by yourself. I'm basically like the stereotypical lonely old lady who listens to talkback radio all day.
Here are some of my favourites.
Dr Karl on triple j
You can listen to this live on Thursday mornings, or on the podcast whenever you like. If you're Australian you'll already be familiar with this one, but for those who aren't, listeners call in with science questions and Dr Karl does his best to answer them. Entertaining AND educational!
Answer Me This
Kind of similar concept to Dr Karl, but the questions can be about anything in the world and the hosts aren't doctors. They're just Helen and Olly (and Martin the soundman), and they do their best to answer whatever questions people throw at them. Hilarity ensues.
"It's not for foodies, it's for eaters". Dan Pashman explores a different type of food each episode and discusses it in great detail. He is obsessive about figuring out the best ways to eat different foods, which I totally get. So if you also care about subjects like optimum felafel shape, sauce to meat ratio and bite consistency vs bite variety, check it out. I like him so much I even kept listening after he said he doesn't like vinegar on chips.
For hardcore Harry Potter fans. It's a group re-read of the entire series, like a book club - only they spend an hour and a half (sometimes more) discussing each chapter. In depth. My husband shakes his head in disbelief, but obviously I freaking LOVE IT. They just finished Goblet of Fire, so join in for Order of the Phoenix!
Also - if you're a Harry Potter fan, listen to this BBC Radio 4 Bookclub podcast episode with JK Rowling. It was recorded in 1999, with an audience of children discussing The Philosopher's Stone. This was before the movies came out and before many adults started to really notice the series. Jo is so open and thoughtful, and slightly less guarded than she usually is in interviews. The children ask really intelligent questions (and sometimes funny questions) and show a level of insight that reminded me why these books are so important for people of all ages to read.
I love Graham Norton's tv show. But did you know he has a radio show too? His guests are often authors or theatre people, which I love, and he also does a 'Grill Graham' segment where he and his co-host Maria try to solve people's problems for them. It's a great lighthearted show and full of Graham giggling which always makes me giggle too.
Disney Story Origins
This is a fairly new podcast but I like what he's doing so far. The host takes one Disney movie per episode and researches where the original story came from, then compares other versions of the story to Disney's version. He's a Disney fan, but not so much that he's at a 'Disney can do no wrong' type level, so you'll enjoy it no matter how you feel about Disney.
How Stuff Works
There are LOTS of podcasts by Howstuffworks.com, and they're all done very well. My favourites are the history podcast (Stuff You Missed in History Class) and Stuff Mom Never Told You, which is kind of loosely based around feminism and women's studies, but they cover a pretty wide range of entertaining topics (as women tend to do). I also used to love PopStuff - they don't record new episodes anymore, but it's worth going through the archives.
ABC Radio National is the main public broadcast station in Australia, and their podcasts are awesome. There are a huge amount to choose from but my favourites are By Design and Hindsight. Or just listen live online and see what you end up with!
These are just a few of the podcasts I listen to (I also enjoy ABC Perth's gardening show, Melbourne in Fashion, the Culture Squad, and many more - I like variety). I am always on the lookout for more, so let me know if you have any favourites!