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  1. Clarkesworld Magazine

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    As reader(s) of this review site know, I like to give goofy introductions to podcasts.  Well, consider this a break in the trend and observe this beautifully succinct description from Clarkesworld Podcast:

    The Clarkesworld Podcast features all of our fiction in audio form. Each episode is hosted by Kate Baker and features an original story from our current issue. By visiting this page, you can sign up to have each episode sent to you via iTunes or email. Best of all, we offer this service completely free of charge.

    Clarkesworld Magazine, purveyors of excellent science fiction and fantasy stories, has produced Clarkesworld Podcast which transposes those science fiction and fantasy stories into an audio format for your enjoyment.

    Simple, elegant, and practically begging for you to give a little listen.  

    Relevant Links:
    Clarkesworld Magazine Main Site
    Clarkesworld Podcast Main Site
    Get a Clarkesworld Magazine Subscription in both digital and physical versions!
    Donate or buy an Anthology!

    Content RatingCaution suggested.  Writers are a wanton lot, and a prone to write about things that an earnest soul might not find suitable for their delicate senses.  Things like procreation.  Terrible, I know!

    Average Episode Length:  An average taken from the last ten episodes shows a running time of approximately thirty minutes.  There are some episodes that last over an hour and some that run under twenty minutes.

    Drinking Game:  Ooh, toughie.  Go figure, but there aren't a lot of book/short story related drinking games (other than my favorite, a novel little pastime called "drinking alone while reading").  However, the Internet has provided me with this delightful Dune-based drinking game.  If you're truly hardcore, you'll play through the full duration of the audiobook.

    Release Schedule:  Per the Clarkesworld website, "A new episode is added to our site on the 1st, 14th and 21st of each month."

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Sometimes when a line from a story is read aloud, and read aloud well, there is a spark in that and it can be a beautiful thing.  It will catch you off guard, as it has caught me. 

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  This is a podcast that requires my full attention.  I cannot listen to it at work!  I could probably manage to fold socks as best, because I don't want to miss any details or dialogue. 

    Unrelated rating:  Two of of three of the Laws of Robotics.

    Please, allow Kate Baker the opportunity to read you a story.  Let her read you several stories.  There's not much more I can say beyond that to entice you. 
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  2. The Smartest Man in the World (Proopcast)

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    Here's the long and short of it:  Greg Proops is funny, he has a podcast, and he is funny on the podcast.  I am on the opinion that you should download this aforementioned podcast, listen to it, and enjoy the comedic stylings of the also aforementioned comedian Greg Proops.

    ...what, you want more information?  Fine.  Have it your way, like always!

    Just kidding darling, you're fabulous!

    Relevant Links:
    Get the podcast through Libsyn!
    Or perhaps you would prefer to get an App through iTunes!

    Comedian Greg Proops is smarter than you.

    Here's why you want to listen to The Smartest Man in the World:

    1. Greg Proops addresses his audience as "kittens" and you know you want in on that.
    2. If you are unable to have access to comedy clubs this podcast will give you a chance to listen to a standup comedian perform before a live audience.
    3. The Smartest Man in the World has a hefty run time per episode.
    4. Because The Smartest Man in the World is performed before a live audience, that hefty run time is lean and mean with no boring filler.
    5. I have laughed aloud (or "laughed out loud" as the kids say it these days) and that's got to be a good sign right there I-tell-you-whut.
    6.  The podcast is free!  That is always a reason to listen to a podcast.

    Greg Proops!  He travels the world to make with the laughs!  Then he records his live performances and that, as far as I understand, is how The Smartest Man in the World came into being.  I first saw Greg Proops back in the days when I would record funny tidbits on television through the magic of my VCR.

    [Kids, this was back in the day when we didn't have your fancy torrents and your precious Napsters.  If you wanted to watch an illegally copied episode of your precious animes you had to pray you knew someone with one of those special VCRs that could run two tapes at once!  Those were dark days, my friends.  You should crawl underneath your desk and kiss your CAT5 cable in gratitude right now.]

    Content RatingExplicit and flagrant about it.  In my personal realm of what I will tolerate and what I will not in regards to vulgarity I find that the Proopcast don't bother none.  That being said, I would suggest a pair of headphones to use if you are going to be listening in mixed company or at work.

     The men in the crowd look at me and go "I wish I was a nasal, effeminate guy from San Francisco!" and the women look at me and think "I wish my boyfriend was a nasal, effeminate guy from San Francisco!"

    Average Episode Length:  Ugh, effort.  The majority of episodes are well over an hour long while remaining under two hours in length.  Somewhere in between 60 minutes and 120 minutes lies the average episode length.  Close your eyes and take a guess!  Seventy-eight minutes?  Sure, sounds great.

    Drinking Game:  Take a drink whenever:
    • Greg refers to the audience as "kittens"
    • A historical fact is mentioned
    • A former president is discussed
    • Who's Line is it Anyways is brought up

    Release Schedule:  Weekly, with the release on Monday.

    Music: There is just a pinch of music in The Smartest Man in the World aka Proopcast which is a snazzy little tune for the intro and outro.

    If I had any sense of smell, or I could hear, or I could see I wouldn't have this job.  I would be a cheese taster in Provence, I really would, my name would be Jabert and I would be insufferable.  "This morbier hasn't aged enough, I can't believe you have the inconsideration and gall to put it on a cracker and give it to me.  Look at the veins on it, they're paltry!"

    Unintentionally Good Part:  You can learn things while listening!  That whole The Smartest Man in the World title ain't just for show!  Greg often enjoys sharing historical facts with the audience.

    "But ViddyViddy," you say, "He has a personal bias in the information he presents!"

    "Yes," I will reply.  "That is a true fact."

    Still, all the stories he brings up are interesting, and perhaps they will spur you on to learn more all on your own!

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Greg Proops is unabashedly to the left of American politics, and often brings up his viewpoints during The Smartest Man in the World.  This is not an inherently bad thing, and I would say this regardless of what part of the political spectrum a person lands on.  What makes this potentially bad is if you try to listen to this in, say, a six hour car ride with someone else where the other passenger disagrees with his viewpoints. 

    Actually, that's okay too!  Nobody has to agree with everything they hear.  The potentially bad part comes along where the other person decides that you need to hear why they disagree and are inherently correct in their opinion and then you might try and drive off a cliff to get them to stop talking.  A man can only take so much.

    Unrelated rating: Two fictional ocelots out of two. 
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  3. LA Foodie

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    SCENARIO:  You find yourself in the Perfect Kitchen with every conceivable tool, recipe, and ingredient that you would ever need or want.  There is a magic pantry filled with every spice the natural world has to offer, lots of those weird molecular gastronomy devices, a collection of pans that would make Julia Child weep, and even those awesome little lychee candies from the Asian market by my house. With enough time and effort you could make ANYTHING YOU WANT with the added guarantee that it will turn out perfectly.

    What do you do?

    That's right!  You order take-out. WAY too much effort, amirite?

    I love to cook, but I'm one of the first to admit that sometimes you just want someone else to cook the damn meal. Maybe you don't even want to get your own dishes dirty!

    So you go out to eat. But then THAT takes effort!  Where do you go? How do you know it will be good?  What should you wear?  Who will shovel the food into your gaping maw?


    It may be too late for some lost souls, but the LA Foodie podcast is here to light the path to deliciousness* **.

    *Granted your path takes you through the state of California.

    ** Huh, deliciousness is a word recognized by Firefox?  I learned something new today.

    Relevant Links:
    Welcome page for those new to LA Foodie!
    LA Foodie Main Site!
    LA Foodie Podcast!
    Store with Cute T-Shirts!
    aaaaand their Pinterest board (??? that is the right term, yes?) because all the kids have them these days. 

    Hosts Drew Hubbard, Ben Waters a hella (hecka? I'm trying to adopt the lingo for this review) lot of other contributors work their artisan baked buns off to bring you the whole of the LA Foodie online content, podcast included. It is their mission to endlessly taunt you with descriptions of food-type items until you are forced to go out and try them all.

    We're looking for the best food in LA and usually finding it.

    The tone of LA Foodie is casual with lots of humor, but they do remember to offer up plenty of informative reviews about what they've been eating.  I am not familiar with food reviews, so I don't know if there is any particular expected format to compare LA Foodies' reviews to, but here's what they will deliver:

    1. They will tell you about a food.  If the food is not a national brand that can be found at any grocery store, they will give you the location where the food can be procured.  The place where the food will be procured will also be described so you can learn about their decor, seating, how they present their food experience and such.
    2. Said food will be described.  If the serving method is interesting they will describe that along with texture, flavor, and enjoyment of the food in question.
    3. Hosts will then go on to talk about the food for a while.  At the end of their discussion you will be able to tell whether or not the food is worth attempting to procure for yourself.
    Trust me on this, all right?  It is interesting and you will be drooling by the end of each episode. 

    Content RatingExplicit and tagged as so in iTunes.  Be forewarned that the humor often goes blue.  Nothing that has scorched my ears yet, just be aware that you might want to slap headphones on if you listen at work. 

    "This was in my mouth, it's going in yours."

    Average Episode Length:  The smallest "mini-episode" clock in at about 4 minutes, while their longest recording stands at one hour and ten minutes (with a few seconds tacked on).  Most of their episodes fall around 45-ish minutes.  Accurate, am I not?

    "Just want to say I referred to my forty ounce as a palate cleanser, that's probably the only time in history that's happened."

    Drinking Game:  Allow me to make my own contribution by showing you this article on the best bars in LA with drinking games!  For the "at-home" version, I suggest that you seek out some sort of local beer/wine/soda/caramel sauce to enjoy as you listen to the podcast.  Review whatever you are drinking, aloud, to your pets.

    Release Schedule:  Twice a month!

    LA Foodie even has segments!  Here are a few of my favorites:

    What Did We Put In Your Mouth? - A guest is blindfolded, fed something, and is given two minutes to discern what they have eaten.  Afterwards the item is revealed and everyone tries it out and discusses the food-thing. 
    Fresh and Spoiled - A discussion of a restaraunt/food that looks at both the positive and negative aspects of the whole. 
    Yelp, Counter Yelp - Which involves dramatic readings of Yelp reviews. 
    New and Improved - Where the hosts find something new, weird, or possibly wonderful in the food world and eat it for immediate review.  

    Music:  It's good!  I can't think of the genre of music they use to break up their segments, but it is the kind that makes you hum "buh-duh-duh-daaaaaaa-la! La! La! La-dee-duh-daaaaaaah-aah!"

    Unintentionally Good Part:  An entire podcast about food in which the hosts and guests will consume food for review during the podcast and there are NO EATING SOUNDS.  A+++++, will listen again.  I have been forced to turn off and unsubscribe from a podcast before due to the heinous act of purposefully chewing into a mic.   I find that incredibly disrespectful to the listening audience, so I am please to announce that LA Foodie hosts handle themselves well.  Manners, yo, they matter.

    [Addendum:  Yes, I am completely insane about the sound of people chewing.  CLOSE.  YOUR.  MOUTH.  YOU.  SLATTERN.  Ugh, disgusting!  Okay, I'm over it for the moment.]

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Unless you live near LA and the surrounding area where LA Foodie reviews eateries, you are going to get hungry with no outlet to feed yourself with the delicious foods they are describing.  The part of the nation I live in is desperately lacking in adorable food trucks. 

    Care to try a free sample?:  Discover LA Foodie as I did, through this delightful mini-episode.  It is a very good representative of the podcast as a whole. 

    Unrelated rating:  1200% of your daily sodium intake.
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  4. The Shakespeare Sound

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Hello readers, won't you have a seat while you take a gander at this podcast review?  Here, it's your favorite chair, just right and comfy for this chilly winter weather that's starting to settle in.  That's right, just settle in and make sure that you're comfortable enough that you won't want to jump and bolt the minute I mention that this podcast revolves around...


    REE!  REE!  REE!

    Don't run!

    DON'T RUN!

    No seriously, I locked the door from the outside so you're just going to hurt yourself.  Take a deep breath and we'll try to find some good points about this.

    Does it help if the poetry in question was written by Shakespeare?  Eh?  You like the version of Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio, right?  That's a starting point!  What if I put up a funny video from the Reduced Shakespeare Company?

     How about if I tell you that since this is a podcast you don't have to read anything?  Okay, that seems to have taken away the fear in your eyes.  Let's take a look at The Shakespeare Sound.

    Relevant Links:
    The Ministry of Shakespeare Main Site!
    RSS Feed!

    Content RatingSeriously?  CleanIt's people reciting Shakespeare, don't be such a baby.

    Average Episode Length:  Three episodes selected at random give an average time of 24 minutes.

    Drinking Game:  Ooh, for once Google returns a bevy of choices.  Here's what I got for you:

    Hosts Reggie Batusic and Dana Vagg want to make The Bard a part of your life.  These two people are earnest in their wish to bring Shakespeare to a new audience and to have it heard as the audience at the Globe Theater would have heard them.  I mean, seriously, they even wrote out their motivation for this project and I can't express how awesome that it.  I love their passion and you can hear it in The Shakespeare Sound.

    We were inspired, so why not inspire?

    THEY EVEN HAVE A MISSION.  I know I'm a font of sarcasm but I honestly love these two for what they're doing.  Vunderbar.

    Reggie and Dana present a single snippet o' Shakespeare each episode.  Their process involves 3 separate readings of the piece.  There's the blank reading where they just say the words on the page, the exaggerated reading where sounds are brought out and played around with to discover how the piece should be read, and finally an interpreted reading that is much like how the piece would be performed on stage.

    Release Schedule:  Monthly, but a warning for the possibility of spotty releases.  There's a good archive, it'll keep ya for a while. 

    Music:  A little in the front, a little in the back.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  When the post an "Old Word New" with the release of a podcast.  Nifty! 

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  NOTHING.  Let these two delightful people read Shakespeare to you, dammit. 

    Unrelated rating: Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself, And so shall starve with feeding. Volumnia in CORIOLANUS; 4: 

    Sure!  Whatever you say, Shakespeare.
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  5. Comic Dorks!

    Monday, November 5, 2012





    Comic Dorks.  Holy earbuds, Batman!  It's a podcast!

    Relevant Links:
    Main site!
    iTunes Subscription site!
    RSS Feed-y goodness!

    Scott Johnson, Scott Kurtz, Stephen Schleicher, and Marc Spagnuolo are here to deliver all your comic book and comic industry news, fresh each month!  Unfortunately they can't be a superhero team because only one of them has the alliterative name (is that still a trope?), but let's try not to hold that against them. 

    From what I understand, comic books are a thing that you can read.  Sometimes they are on paper, although they are more frequently being sent via bits and bytes via the Interweb.  Many times these comic books involve people in illogical amounts of spandex, or detectives in trench coats, or even normal people doing normal people things that happen to be very interesting.  Comic Dorks talks about both the stories and the creation and operation that surround comics and even as someone who isn't entirely sure what they're talking about, I am still entertained.

    Content RatingExplicit, and tagged so in iTunes.  I haven't really heard any naughty words, but they do discuss comics that have violent plots and they might swear on occasion. 

    You could come out with a web comic or a graphic novel online it didn't matter who saw it, or whether anyone ever saw it you could still put it out there and that is the most free-the freaking-I don't know the word, you're the libertarians of comic makers because anybody could see it and it's complete and total freedom and you could be naked in your house and who cares. 

    Average Episode Length:  Around an hour and forty-nine minutes as far as I can tell by glancing at the two episode they have released.

    Drinking Game: not only features drinking games (scroll down), but some superhero drinks as well!  Yay, Google searches.

    Release Schedule:  Monthly. 

    Music:  There are goofy little clips from corny old superhero shows that they play between topics. 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The sheer nerditry that's going on in this podcast.  It's dense, people.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Hm.  Like I said, I am not on top of comic book related information, but let's say that a bad part of this might be if the hosts opinions or facts are incorrect about something, which could make you rage as you listen.

    I like violence, and I like sex, but I don't like violent sex.

    The Comic Dork hosts are wise in the way of comics, and several of them have worked or currently work in "the industry" of comics/webcomics, so they have the insight you're looking for.  The personalities go well together and the discussions are interesting and thorough.  THEY LIKE COMICS AND LIKE TALKING ABOUT THEM EVEN MORE.  Even if you're like me and don't know much about comics, you will still be entertained by the hosts' and how they say what they have to say.  

    One of my favorite parts is their comics recommendations, and when they discuss what they are currently reading.  Great way to find fun stuff to read!

    Unrelated rating:  Fourteen "snikts!" out of seventeen "Bubs."
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  6. Lunch Box, featuring Ed and John

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    In a surprising turn of events, dear reader, I don't just spend the whole of my life listening to podcasts.  Sometimes I pretend I'm a writer!  And what's the best way to pretend to be a writer?

    Wait, what do you mean 'by writing'?  Oh reader, you so crazy.

    No!  You spend your time thinking about writing!  That's the ticket!  At least two hours each day are spent visualizing an increasing word count, which typically leaves me so exhausted that I spend the rest of the day watching Netflix.  When I can muster the energy I also do things like find podcasts that features two authors, who are friends, talking about pretty much whatever comes into their heads.  Sometimes they even mention writing.  Welcome to Lunch Box, featuring Ed and John

    LUNCH BOX is an episodic conversation about coarse dining, literature,
    cultural amusements, and escaped zoo animals.
    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    RSS Feed!
    Ed Skoog's website, featuring the best WordPress background I have ever seen.
    J. Robert Lennon's website

    Hosts Ed Skoog and John Lennon have pulled up a third chair to the two-top table they've been sharing and invite you to sit down and listen in to their chats.  These two gentlemen wish to relate to you the trials and tribulations of their day to day lives as authors, and will make sure to take plenty of tangents along the way. 

    Here are some things they've written that aren't podcasts!

    [For those of you that Adblock my site and can't see the links:  you're all bastards.]

    Content RatingCleaner than some?  From what I've listened to there isn't a massive amount of swearing, but I guess they could talk about butts and that might offend your delicate ears.

    Average Episode Length:  An hour with a few extra minutes sprinkled on top, just like grandma used to make. 

     Bonobos hate Jane Austen. 

    Drinking Game:  Find one of the food items that are invariably discussed by the hosts.  Then go get a beer and drink that while you eat the food and listen to the podcast again.

    Release Schedule:  According to the release dates on iTunes the episodes are released sporadically, usually within two-three weeks of that last.

    Ed:  I just changed the baby.
    John: Into what?

    Music:  What might be the best podcast theme song I have ever heard.  It fits the feel of the podcast perfectly, it's quick, it's adorable, and it has the podcast's title in it.  Boom, all ya need. 

    John:  What do the Scotts call mashed potatoes and mashed turnips?   Tatties and tweeps, or something like that, tatties and neeps.  Neeps and tatties!
    Ed:  Is that true?
    John:  Yeah, neeps and tatties with haggis.
    Ed:  Is that true or is that just what they told you?
    John:  No, it's actually printed on menus!
    Ed:  You didn't ask a lot of questions and they just said this to dismiss you.
    John:  They have special menus printed for the American to seem more regional.

    Unexpectedly Good Part:  You will get tons of reading recommendations just by checking out the names dropped through the course of conversation.
    Unexpectedly Bad Part:  As per usual with a podcast that features Friends Talking About Stuff, it is for a niche audience.  If you don't care about what these two fellow have on their mind, you are out o' luck for this podcast.  Which is a shame.
    Unrelated rating:  Two chipped diner coffee mugs that you stole back in college and refuse to throw them out due to nostalgia out of two. 
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  7. How To Play

    Friday, October 12, 2012

    You damn kids these days with your XBox360s and your smart phones and your technological cocoons from which you pretend to have a social life despite any actual interaction beyond a "Like!" or an amusing meme.  Back in my day, if you wanted to play a game, it had to exist in a physical manifestation!  Oh, those were dark days, back when we were forced to walk uphill, BOTH WAYS, just to have the chance to play a tattered game of Monopoly.  We lived for the days that the Game Wagon would roll into town just for the chance to find a Uno deck with most of the cards still in it.

    And we liked it!  We loved it!

    But now brighter days have returned for table top gaming.  Nerd Messiah, Wil Wheaton, has a YouTube show all about them called TableTop.  BoardGameGeek can point you in about a thousand directions that all lead to great games.  Thanks to this newfangled Internet, people with cool ideas can get their games funded through Kickstarter and send them straight to the people who want them.

    All you have to do is know how to play.  That's where, go figure, the How To Play podcast steps in.

    Relevant Links:
    How To Play Main Site
    Support the Show!
    Episode Archives

    How To Play podcast doesn't throw up any smoke and mirrors when it comes to its premise:  each podcast covers a game's rules and gives a thorough explanation on how to play.  Host Ryan Sturm takes it upon himself to explain a veritable plethora of games to his audience.  A teacher by trade, Sturm's language and method of introducing and explaining each piece of a game are clear, understandable and obviously thought out.  There is a good deal of effort put into How To Play and I think it pays off really well.

    Content RatingClean, and tagged so in iTunes.  It's a bit funny to imagine this show with explicit language though.  "JUST MOVE THE #&$*@ PIECE, IT'S NOT THAT HARD!"

    Average Episode Length:  I don't want to give you the normal median time for How To Play.  It really depends on what kind of game Sturm is describing.  Simple games require less time, while more complicated games take more time.  You can probably judge the intricacy of a game just by checking the episode's time. 

    Drinking Game:  Pick one of the following words, and drink each time it is used:
    • Dice
    • Card
    • Hand
    • Banker
    • Board
      That should get you there pretty quickly.

    How To Play is a podcast of great use to anybody who has ever tried to learn, or teach others how to play a game.  This is a great way to break down what can be daunting instructions (I'm looking at you, Fantasy Flight) and lists of errata into a functioning rule set.  If you have trouble explaining rules, How to Play can help you by either teaching you how to teach others, or you can just play the episodes for your friends while you set the game up.

    On top of that, you also get to learn about strategies for how to win each game.  Uh, you don't have to let your friends listen to that part of the episode if you don't want to. 

    Music:  A little guitar music that I believe is performed by the host.  Very nice!

    Release Schedule:  Monthly, with more episodes if there are expansions to a game that are covered.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Honestly, I really like the guitar music.  It's calming.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  If you don't have, or are not interested in a particular game that is covered by an episode, you're not going to listen to it.  Shortens the library of possible episodes considerably for me, but this really isn't a fault of the podcast in the slightest.  I just need to buy more games!

    Unrelated rating:  Three top hats out of three scottie dogs.
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  8. Constant Crisis News & Opinion

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Poking fun at a world gone mad.


    I found, and am now subsequently reviewing this podcast because one of the dudes in it followed me on Twitter.  Hi, @FunnyChuck, good on you for seeking out venues in social media!  I'm sure as hell not getting paid for any of these reviews, but here at ViddyViddy Co. we like to make sure that the twelve people who read these reviews can trust that my bias lies entirely with the font choice of the podcast's website, and nowhere else. 

    Let's meet-n-greet with Constant Crisis News & Opinion!

    Relevant Links:
    Main site!
    Download from iTunes!
    Chuck Hansen's site!

    Hosts Hamilton Holloway and Chuck Hansen invite you to join them as they marvel at the grand display of stupid in the world.  They have taken it upon themselves to scour the news sources of the world (and the Internet) so that they can bring you the freshest oddities and reported ridiculousness.  The Associated Press is their vineyard, and they have plucked only the most choice stories for you to laugh at.

    Holloway and Hansen take to the mics to give you their views on each story, and inject their own senses of humor into a lot of very silly stories.  They hosts enjoy themselves, and invite you to join them.

    Content Rating: Clean and dandruff free.

    Average Episode Length: Twenty-nine minutes, as the crow listens to his podcasts.

    Drinking Game:  I feel like this drinking game is one that lacks alcohol, but there is still an inherent game.

    1. Go to a local thrift store.
    2. Search through the coffee mugs.  The goal is to find the mug that bests expresses either:
      1. Your dislike of Monday
      2. How much you love your grandchildren
      3. How like the kitten on the branch, you hang in there
    3. Take mug home, rinse out.  
    4. Fill with instant coffee/lemonade of your choice.   Drink.

    Release Schedule:  Weekly!  Good stuff.

    Music:  That "deet-dee-deet-deet" noise that's a marker for news reports.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  It made me feel good when I saw the notification that @FunnyChuck had followed me. 

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  If you peruse sites like Yahoo!News or any other news aggregate sites, you'll have heard a lot of these stories before.

    Unrelated rating:  Now that you've read this whole review, here is a summary of the CCN&O podcast:

    Boom!  Go listen.
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  9. Seven Day Cooldown

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Reddit!  It's a thing on the Internet.  I am not a redditor, or one who uses Reddit, because there are already enough time sinks I participate in that if I pick one more up I will literally become one with my computer chair.  And since I don't feel like submitting to a life of wet-wipe baths, I probably won't sign up for an account.

    But I did click around randomly, and it's pretty cool!  People post things, other people decide if that thing is cool or not, and the best things float to the top of the screen.  At least, I think that's how it works.  Am I close?

    I'm just gonna... keep clicking on things... ha!  Oh, that's a cool thing, lemme click on that... 

    Anyways, there's this podcast called Seven Day Cooldown and it came from reddit so let's check it out, shall we?

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Seven Day Cooldown on Reddit which could also be the main site?
    The podcasts!

    Content RatingExplicit!  Naughty words ahoy, but not particularly foul content. 

    Average Episode Length:  Let's say about 56 minutes?  Yes, yes, let's say that.

    hah, okay so the /r/aww is super-adorable         
       there's one just for cats?
                           little kitty-cat, gonna pet you with my mouse icon

    What?  Right.  Podcast review.

    Seven Day Cooldown is a podcast that consists of people who play video and computer games, talking about video and computer games, with people who make video and computer games.  An interview show in format, Seven Day Cooldown provides the Qs while their guests provide you with all the As allowed by their current NDAs.  You like moving pixels around on a screen so that you can score points in an arbitrary system?  This podcast is the one for you. 

    The interviews are thoughtful, interesting, and open up a lot of industry discussion that ought catch your attention.  There is an odd sense of decorum in this podcast that I really like:  hosts are treated with respect, and in turn they provides lots of cool words about games they work on. 

    Drinking GameHEY!  They actually one!  Okay, so technically this is for Reddit, not Seven Day Cooldown.  To make it more relevant, um... take a drink every time a guest has to avoid answering a question. 

    Whoops, rage comics!  I'm back.  Let's get the rest of this review over so I can go click on more screenshots.

    Release Schedule:  The last podcast was released in May, so I'm going to say this is an occasional release.  This podcast relies on guests, and these guests are of high caliber, so it probably takes a while to schedule shows. 

    Music:  Just a tad. 

    Unintentionally Good Part: This quote:

    If wishes were horses, the Koreans would love us.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  If you are not a child of the Internet, and up to date on your gamer news, than you may not get what they're talking about at some points.  This is "a podcast made for gamers, by gamers" as stated by their Facebook account, and they don't intend to help you play catch-up.

    Unrelated rating:  I'd give it an upvote.

    They had Gabe friggen Newell as their first guest.  GO LISTEN.  Then go click on things in Reddit.
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  10. News from Lake Woebegon

    Friday, June 15, 2012

    I remember back in my college days, when I was an Resident Assistant (an unfortunate time for everyone involved), there was a group discussion about how words can hurt.  A speaker during group training brought up how the root of the word sarcasm was sarco, which meant something like "to rend flesh."  My response was to hold back a snort of disbelief at the smug morality of the speaker.

    Stop being sarcastic?  Yeah, that'll work.

    But you know what?  Maybe it's good to depart from caustic humor for a while.  There are times when you want to see people being cut down in a humorous, sporting way and there are times when you want to seek out a different sense of humor.  A sense of humor where you can get away from the harshness of life, and feel actual delight for some word play or clever set up.  Perhaps there's a place that welcomes this style of humor, where the wind blows through the orchards and the jokes are at no one's expense.

    Won't you join me for the News from Lake Woebegon?

    Whatta segue!      

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Download from iTunes Here!
    Prairie Home Companion Site!

    Content Rating:  As Clean as a mason jar ready for canning season, which had better be really, really clean so as to prevent any food-borne illnesses.

    Average Episode Length:  Ten episodes gives me an average time of 13 minutes.

    A selection from the ever-popular A Prairie Home Companion, the News from Lake Woebegon features slice-of-life tales from the fictional town of Lake Woebegon, MI where,

    All the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

    A listening experience this fine requires atmosphere.  Follow these simple steps to achieve the best possible setting to listen to the News from Lake Woebegon:

    1. Procure an L.L. Bean winter catalog.  Close your eyes, open the catalog to a random page, and point to a spot on the page.  Open your eyes and order whatever your finger has landed on (free monogram optional).  If you have managed to select some sort of fishing vest, then you're on the right track!  Wait for it to ship to your home, then don the garment.  Make conversation with your pets about the weather.  
    2. You're going to want a high level of Americana, so feel free to go to Hobby Lobby and grab a bunch of crap made in China that features the American flag.  Bake a few blueberry pies (home made crust! no cheats!) and allow them to cool on your windowsill.  Arrange the Americana accoutrements* around your chair, and gently mash the pies on either side of your head for full immersion.
    3. Procure some lutefisk.  Vomit.  Profusely
    4. Do your best impersonation of a Minnesota accent, which is frikken adorable:

    Okay, I think we're in the proper head space for this.  
    Like so many things that grown-ups try to interest you in, this was a huge disappointment.

    Release Schedule:  Weekly, with the release on Monday (barring holiday weekends, according to their site).

    Music:  Nah.

    This is a podcast of storytelling.  Where host Garrison Keillor begins in his topics are far from where he ends, and the rambling path he travels is what has drawn listeners since...

    -wait, seriously?  A Prairie Home Companion has been around since the 70s?  Well done!

    I'm not exactly sure what to say about this podcast.  It revolves around the lives of imaginary people in an imaginary town.  There are hot dishes, ice fishing, high school graduations, funerals, and lives that start and end within the confines of this make-believe world.  Most of it is humorous, some of it is poignant, and all of it is pretty darn charming. 

    Garrison Keillor is able to give you the world of Lake Woebegon in a brown paper-wrapped parcel, with a handwritten note wishing you a good day.  It feels like, hell, maybe like if Cracker Barrel restaurants weren't carefully calculated amalgams of tin advertising signs, and something real?  In some way he has managed to capture the spirit of the small town life everyone thinks of, but no one has actually lived.  

    Unintentionally Good Part: I like how the audience cheers at the beginning of the segment.  It is fun to hear their excitement at the arrival of what they've been waiting for.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  I cannot bear to listen to more than 2 episodes in a 48 hour period.  As News from Lake Woebegon is a small part of a larger show, it is packed to the brim with its own charm.  This can quickly become saccharine and grating if it is listened to for long periods of time, so sprinkle in into your week and enjoy it as it should be. 

    Unrelated rating:  One ham-salad sandwich out of a dozen deviled eggs

    *I spelled that right on the first try.  HA!  Go me.
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  11. Let's sort something out real quick at the start of this entry, shall we?

    Listen to this song:

    If you're already halfway through an angry rebuttal, please feel free to peruse some of my other podcast reviews or enjoy a wholesome romp in a grassy meadow.  I'll see you next week.

    If you've already hit replay a few times, then The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is right up your podcast alley.  Let us voyage into the world of science and awesome together in a rocket ship fueled by the scientific method!   FWOOOOOSH!

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    A blog!
    Store/Support the SGU
    Resources of SCIENCE!
    Their Top 20 Logical Fallacies - because what's better than destroying your enemies by shredding their own arguments before them?  It is a guaranteed gateway to the lamentation of the women. 

    According to the bottom of the main page, The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe describes itself as thus:

    The Skeptics Guide to the Universe is a weekly Science podcast talkshow discussing the latest news and topics from the world of the paranormal, fringe science, and controversial claims from a scientific point of view. 

    Let's get one thing straight:  people say a lot of things, and some of these things are, if not outright wrong, than just wrong enough to lead people astray and possibly even cause harm.  This happens in every part of life that someone can observe and garner an opinion about, which is to say everything in life.  From time to time you might come to question what some of these people have to say.

    You may be forced to think skeptically, shall we say?  Host Dr. Steven Novella (he's a real doctor!) is here to show you the way of the skeptic.  He's like a spirit-guide, except instead of dream journeys through the inner mind to reach enlightenment, he'll cut through the woo-woo and lay down the facts about what's going on in the greater universe.  It may involve charts.

    Content RatingClean like the inside of your momma's autoclave.

    Average Episode Length:  A sample size of five episodes that I downloaded at random give me an AEL of 79.6 minutes.  That's a great deal for your podcast dollar!

    Okay, we're gonna go from the Head Box to the Ghost Box.

    Drinking Game:  Take a sip each time:
    • Someone points out a logical fallacy
    • Quantum Physics are used incorrectly to support something
    • You're forced to think about how big the universe really is

    Release Schedule:  Weekly with a new podcast released each Saturday.

    Music:  The typical intro/outro, nothing much to speak of.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Is it lame if I appreciate how Skeptics' Guide to the Universe knows how to pace its discussions?  They make sure to explain whatever subject is at hand so that listeners can follow along, and take the time to let everyone have their say.  The pacing of this podcast is very pleasing. 

    Sorry, usually I notice something quirky!  I'll try harder next time.

    Unintentionally Bad PartMs. Frizzle is not real and this bums me out. 

    Skeptics' Guide to the Universe reminds of all the science shows I watched as a kid, except without the need for the visually-captivating experiments.  The segments are interesting, the interviews are engaging, and it is fun to listen to people who are honestly passionate about viewing the world through a skeptical lens. 

    And they had Bill Nye as a guest, so that in itself makes them rad. 

    Unrelated rating: Eight Neil deGrasse Tysons out of Ten Carl Sagans.
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  12. TableTop (a Thing on YouTube!)

    Sunday, May 27, 2012

    Dear Readers,

    Let's take a bold step away from podcasts for a moment.  I know,  I'm as scared as you are.

    Hold me, reader!

    Wash your hands first, though, hygiene is critical in inter-Internet-personal relationships.

    Sometimes even I don't listen to podcasts!  Sometimes I do other things!  Especially when I'm a dumb ass and forget both sets of headphones at work.  That's when I'm forced to turn to other forms of entertainment.  Like all them moving pictures on the YouTubes!  There sure are a lot of them.  Allow me to show you one that I like in particular, won't you?

    For your consideration, I offer the board game stylings of TableTop.

    My major goal behind this site and all of my podcast reviews is to show other people things that I enjoy, in the hopes that they will enjoy them as well.  If I were a dry cleaner or a car lot, that would be the thing engraved on the elegant "Mission Statement" plaque hung up in the front lobby.  I want to promote the works of creative people who do cool things that are also awesome and fun.  Every once and a while I might step outside of podcasts to help give a signal boost to a thing I like.

    And of course, I also make sure to promote things that everybody and their mother already know about.  Like TableTop.

    Wil Wheaton, beloved nerd who is in pretty much every damn thing relating to geek pop culture, is your Tabletop host.  He provides a setting in which he can gather friends to play board games, card games, and anything that can be played on a tabletop (get it!?) together.  While Wheaton is a well practiced gamer, most of the guests on the show are what the youngins' refer to as "newbies".  The play session is recorded, and hilarity ensues.

    Content RatingClean!  Bad words are bleeped.  Might be some innuendo if that knots your delicate panties. 

    This show provides a great way for those interested in board games beyond the worn copy of Monopoly in their closet to see how a board game is played, and whether or not they'd be interested in purchasing it for their own collection.  The rules of each game are explained so that viewers can pick up the basics and their are some nice post-production effects to help you see where and why players do what they do.

    TableTop has a great feel to it as you watch.  Wheaton is delighted to introduce people to new games and his guests are raring for some friendly competition.  Most of the guests are celebrities of varying recognition and are prepared to be aesthetically pleasing to your senses.  

    Unintentionally Good Part:  How the set pieces change in the background to thematically match whatever game is being played.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  I am not there playing games with Wil Wheaton.  Boo.

    If you play table top games, if you enjoy delightful people playing board games while you watch, or if you never realized that there were board games beyond Snakes and Ladders and that Ouija board you hid under your bed from your parents, this show is for you.  I highly recommend it and think you should go check it out!

    So get to it!
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  13. The F Plus

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    The Internet:  never have there been so many crystal clear springs set next to so many filth-ridden pools of the spit poured out of those nasty cups people who chew dip carry around with them in a pathetic attempt to disguise the fact that they're spitting in the produce section of the grocery store.  For every website that attempts to light the beacon of knowledge, humor, or beauty there are about 23 that are not only producing content that is insipid, wrong, or flat-out dangerous.

    Luckily for us, a lot of those sites are also hilarious.  But who has the time or mental fortitude to pluck out the choice, laughable nuggets from amidst the sprawling sewers of the Webatrons?

    These guys.  Get to know The F Plus.  Since 2009 (dawn of the Internet, I believe) these brave souls have willingly plunged into the dumbest, foulest Internet forums known to mankind to retrieve humorous posts and display them to you, the listener, via dramatic reading.  There will be voices, there will be laughter, and there will be things that once heard, cannot be unheard.   

    Terrible things read with enthusiasm.  

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Get the podcast on iTunes!
    Get the podcast on!
     or FeedBurner!

    Join me behind the jump, won't you?

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  14. Ask Me Another

    Friday, May 11, 2012

     Beer, pop culture trivia, and those questionable bowls of Chex mix that you want to snack from, but you're not sure if the people you're sharing with washed their hands after going to the bathroom.  From what I've heard from my more socially outgoing associates, Pub Quiz Nights are a thing!  You answer questions about episodes of Friends and receive laurels and maybe free alcohol! 

    And now you can experience all that Saturday night fun in the comfort of your headphones and without the need to call a cab.  It's Ask Me Another!

    Relevant Links:
    Ask Me Another Main Site
    Ways to download it!
    Apparently a list of Pub Quiz Team Names for your perusal!

    Behind the scenes, everyone's touching things.

    Content RatingClean, but expect innuendos and such things.

    Average Episode Length:  Since there's only one episode, exactly forty-eight minutes and forty-five seconds!

    Drinking Game:  Seeing how this is fashioned after pub quiz shows, I'd better come up with something. 
    1. Think of those asinine drinking games you used to play in college.
    2. Contemplate how you now have a mortgage and student loans.
    3. Just drink as you damn well please.
    I'm a ton of fun at parties.  

    The games in Ask Me Another are clever and quick, created by Puzzle Gurus John Chaneski, Art Chung  and actor/writer Will Hines.  Host Ophira Eisenberg sets a fast pace as the questions and answers are flung about for the audience's amusement.  There are plenty of chances for witty banter and bad puns, and the guest contestants are willing to give as good as they get.

    Contestants compete in a series of single-round elimination games, where the winner goes on to the final "championship".  The games themselves are super-neat and can include singing the answer, wordplay, haiku and whatever else you can stitch together to make a puzzle. 

    There was stuff that worked and stuff that didn’t, but hey, that’s what editing is for. And really, sometimes my favorite moments of these shows are the parts that go wrong. Mistakes are the best! That’s why I make a lot of them! It’s a live audience and actual human contestants, so there’s always plenty of room for strange things to happen.
                                                                 -Jonathan Coulton writing about the podcast here

    Release ScheduleI have no idea!  There are 13 episodes for this first season, so they should all be released eventually!  Most likely a weekly release.   A new episode each week, with the release on Friday.


    So yes, there is music involved.  Coulton sings songs between the puzzles that provide clues to who the secret guest that appears at the end of the show will be.  And sometimes he just sings songs.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  This podcast is like Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me but with a higher chance of hijinks.  The host, Puzzle Gurus and Jonathan Coulton can reliably provide the wit, while the puzzles and guest contestants keep things fresh.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Sometimes the contestants are smarter than I am and figure out the answer before I can. 

    Hey!:  Since I started writing this review, there's a new episode on the NPR site!  Let's go listen together, shall we?
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  15. Penn's Sunday School

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    I'm going to share something special with you, dear reader.  This podcast I'm about to review is from a small artist, kind of indie, that hasn't quite made his name known.  I don't know if it's humility, or a bashfulness that comes from not knowing how to market himself, but I'd love to give him whatever signal boost I can to get his work out to more people.

    Let us review Penn Jillette's Penn's Sunday School.

    Penn Jillette is, according to Wikipedia, a " Magician, illusionist, writer, actor, and inventor", not that he's going to brag about it.  He has a simple, understated approach to his public appearances and doesn't like to make a big fuss.  So far his reach has only extended to Broadway shows, Off Broadway Shows, The Simpsons, Dancing with the Stars, The Apprentice, films and all the books he's written.

    And now he has a podcast.  He already had a previous audio show called Penn Radio which ended in 2007, but we're here to talk about the shiny new audio show!


    Relevant Links:
    Main Site
    Subscribe via iTunes and there are plenty of other options on the main site for you to choose from Channel, where you can watch LIVE!!!
    Episode Archive

    Content Rating: Explicit.

    Average Episode Length:  A little glance at the episodes show me that they're about 90 minutes, give or take about 10 minutes either way. 

    Here's the pitch Penn's Sunday School has to offer:
    Join us as Penn Jillette, Michael Goudeau, and YOU discuss the news of the week.  We'll examine religious news, talk about monkeys, and anything else that seems funny or makes us mad.   We'll also take your suggestions for things you feel like talking about.

    This translates more or less into "whatever Penn feels like" and that works surprisingly well.  Maybe there will be a guest, or a listener will chime in,  and every once and while Penn's wife calls him to let him know what happened during the day.  Topics wander as much as they stay on course, but when a subject grabs Penn's attention, the discussion to follow is interesting.  

    Co-host Michael Goudeau managed to find time away from doing this:
    To jump in with Penn on the podcast and provide another voice to Penn's Sunday School.  I like him!  He is clever and is not just a sounding board for Penn to talk at.  Both Penn and Goudeau work together very well to bring funny and interesting conversations to the fore.  Celebrity guests occasionally join the in-studio crew and add to the mayhem. 

    Drinking Game:  Take a drink each time-
    • Penn talks about Debbie Gibson
    • A magic trick is referenced
    • Someone tells a story involving bodily harm
    • Monkeys are mentioned
    • Penn gives a "seamless" segue into mentioning his advertisers

    Release Schedule:  Every Sunday.  You can watch the podcast live on a video feed via their UStream channel, if that is your kind of thing.

    Music:  There is an opening and ending theme and that's all save for some silly intros for topics.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Monkey Tuesday.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  If you are of a skeptic mindset, and wish for others to consider your viewpoints, this would not be a good starting point.  Penn is a gentleman and is more than willing to allow/consider/discuss alternate viewpoints on pretty much whatever, but this podcast is not a delicate place, and if he gets abrasive, it might turn people away without hearing any of your points. 

    Unrelated rating:  Three minutes of Penn's laugh out of four.

    Humor!  Magic!  Celebrities and listener contributions!  It's a cavalcade of awesome, go listen!
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  16. Dan Carlin's Hardcore History

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    As a citizen of the Internet, time has a funny way of passing for me.  Here is how I see the past:

    Recent Past:  The creation of my favorite meme.

    Pretty Decently Past:  Creation of the Internet.

    Distant Past:  Long, dark, teatime of the soul, in which people used some kind of carrier pigeon service to get their text messages from one to another, surely.  There were bonfires and cave drawings of the mammoth hunt.  Most likely around 1987, also known as the Mustacheceous Era.

    Apparently, or at least so I have heard, there was a time before this.  Like, waaaaay before.  Back when the Internet was still an untapped natural resource.  Since I am easily frightened by new ideas, even new ideas about very old things and people, I will turn to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History for knowledge. 
    First of all, aren't the names wonderful?  You have all these wonderfully barbarian German sounding names, um, I especially like one that was just like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings
    Relevant Links:
    Main Site - Super clear site, easy to navigate, and has everything you'd want right up front.
    Download via iTunes!

    You want history?  Oh, host Dan Carlin has got your history right here, buddy.  Dan Carlin's Hardcore History knows its way around the history section of every library within of 200 mile radius and isn't afraid to cover the living room in highlighted Xeroxes.  If Dan Carlin's Hardcore History were a guest at a party who approached you for smalltalk, you might first be annoyed, but after an hour you would be totally engrossed by the stories it has to tell.

    History!  There is cool stuff in there!  And this podcast wants to share it with you.  Here are some of the topics approached:

    • Thor's Angels (this is a cool episode)
    • Ghosts of the Ostfront
    • History Under the Influence
    • Nazi Tidbits

    Content Rating: Oh, goodness.  How about I give Hardcore History a Caution Advised.  There isn't any real vulgarity, but history is plenty-full of heinous things that can be disturbing. 

    Average Episode Length:  Hoo!  Okay, let's see:  out of a sample size of... you know what?  They're BIG FREAKING EPISODES, OKAY?  There is one I can see on my list that tops out at about an hour, and then there is one that is FIVE HOURS LONG, YO.  I believe there are bathroom breaks involved? 

    Music: I don't think so, no.  There's a little blip of an intro and that's as far as I've heard.

    Release Schedule:  Occasional.  There are months between episodes and I mean, considering the length of each podcast as well as the amount of research that would have to go into each episode, this is understandable.

    Unintentionally Good Thing: Holy moly, did I mention that these episodes are stonking huge?  Quantity and quality are always appreciated!  Hardcore History is like the bulk warehouse store of podcasts, wherein you can learn about history and buy 30 cubic meters of fish sticks at the same time. 

    Unintentionally Bad Thing:  This is a podcast that requires the full attention of its listener.  I find it hard to do something as simple as wash the dishes while listening, because I'll get distracted by putting away my meat cleaver and then whammo, I've lost the thread of discussion.  This podcast is most likely wicked excellent for long car rides, but not so much if you are a cubical-dweller who likes to have something to listen to while pondering spreadsheets.

    DIS-to-the-CLAIMER:  I don't have the slightest damn clue if anything that comes out of this podcast is true.  There may be bias, mistakes, whatever, and it ain't on me.  Doesn't that make you curious and want to listen?  C'mon!

    Bonus Content:  Carlin has another podcast, called Common Sense.  From what I can tell it is political in nature.  I have not given it a listen myself, but perhaps you could be the next bold adventurer to go forth and give it a try!  Let me know if you like it, ok?
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  17. Garden How-To

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    According to a reliable source, it is Spring time! 

    According to another reliable source, this is the time of year where people go outside and do... things?  They do activities of some sort, which are apparently fun?  I'm not sure what you can do that's fun and doesn't require a power source to operate.  I mean, I guess people could have portable generators so they can set up their computers in the yard but that sounds like a hassle. 

    I don't do outside.  Mankind struggled against all kinds of dangers to invent important technology that has advanced our species, and I intend to honor those brave souls who spent their lives in toil by staying inside and enjoying what they have given us.

    For my purposes, the 5 greatest inventions are as follows:

    1. Air conditioning
    2. Internet
    3. Mountain Dew Baja Blast
    4. The Slanket
    5. Penicillin 
    However, even if I don't go outside where all the grass and the Big Sky Lamp live, I realize that other people do.  In the spirit of intrepid journalism, I would like to do a review for a podcast that involves something a person has to willingly go outside for:  gardening!

    I put on extra sunscreen just to write this review of Garden How-To.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site
    Download from iTunes
    Horticultural Magazine Twitter
    A YouTube Channel!

    Content RatingClean as a freshly washed hot house cucumber.  Not a lot of room to get frothed up when you're talking about plants, I suppose.

    Host Kathy Cropp (her last name is Cropp and she talks about gardening, how awesome is that!) welcomes you into the wide world of gardening and invites you to pull up one of those little foam pads to protect your knees, pick up a trowel, and join her in the freshly shoveled dirt.  If you've even looked out at your backyard and seen potential for something more than a thing you occasionally mow, this is your podcast.

    Don't have a yard?  EPISODE SEVEN, "LANDLESS GARDENING", GOT YOU COVERED.  The subjects move from decorative plants to vegetable garden tips and lots of other topics that can help a garden grow. 

    Release Schedule:  The last released episode was in February, 2012, so I am going to say that the release schedule is erratic/sporadic. 

    Episode Length:  About-ish 29 minutes.  Just right to water your plants and listen.

    Music:  A little toodly-oodly bit at the start. 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The.  Host's.  Name.  Is.  Kathy.  Cropp.  That's good enough for me.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  The host has a lovely, mellow voice.  Unfortunately for me, I can tell that it is the kind of Smooth Jazz Radio voice that would put me to sleep if I tried to listen to it at work. 

    This podcast features the expertise of the host as well as a wide variety of guests that can help bring their point of view and knowledge to whatever subject is at hand.  Topics are explained in simple language, so that the novice gardener can get a good start and the practiced gardener can learn new facts/techniques to add to their routine.  Plus, it is nice to picture all the descriptions of the pretty plants they talk about.  Terribly soothing, all in all. 

    Go on and give Garden How-To a listen and try some of their helpful tips out in your own plot of land?  As for me, I'mma go throw on another Slanket and maybe watch HGTV.  That suits me just fine.
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  18. Ten Minute Podcast

    Friday, March 30, 2012

    Heyheyhey.  Idea!  I'm going to review Ten Minute Podcast in


    Great right?  Lemme type out the categories (and the links, because c'mon, give me a chance) and let's see how far I can get. 

    Will Sasso (MADtv, The Three Stooges)!
    Chris D'Elia (Whitney, Glory Daze)!
     and Bryan Callen (The Hangover, The Hangover Part II)!

    Together, they made a podcast!  For some reason that I am not entirely sure of at the moment.  Freshly made this February, the fellas have been steadily building up an archive of funny blather for you to listen to.

    Bryan Callen:  One's got long hair, the other no hair, they're my friends for life-
    Chris D'Elia:  -what does the hair have to do with it-
    Bryan Callen:  Chris wears glasses even though he doesn't need them~
                    - Bryan Callen "singing" the end song.
    Relevant Links:
    Main site!
    iPod for the downloadin'!

    Average Episode Length: For once, a podcast appears to be taking the act of mentioning its length in the title seriously (looking at you Paul & Storm).  Dead on ten minutes! 

    Music:  There is an intro song, and a nonspecific end song.

    Content RatingExplicit and tagged as such in iTunes.  The topics can jump to places you don't expect, so if you're some sort of 1920s school marm, this might be 2 HAWT TO HANDLE.  The rest of us will be fine.
    Bryan Callen:  You are Samoan.
    Will Sasso:  I'm not Samoan.

    Unintentionally Good Thing: Bryan Callen singing along to the end song music.

    Unintentionally Bad Thing:  This podcast is focused like an arrow.  That has no feathers on the end to guide its flight.  And it's made of Jell-o instead of wood.  Aaaand instead of an arrowhead, there's a marshmallow Peeps somehow adhered to the Jell-o.


    Time!  Okay, well, there you go!  Ten Minute Podcast sure is a podcast, and this sure was a review. 



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  19. Down in Front

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    One of my favorite things about audio podcasts is their ability to allow me to multitask while enjoying them.  I can do chores, drive, work, shower (iPod outside the shower), and pretend that I'm actually writing and not looking at Tumblr all while listening to a podcast!  They're great that way!  It's a very peanut butter and jelly arrangement.

    So, how could I be more excited than when my friend let me know about a podcast where you:
    A) Listen to a podcast
    B) Watch a movie at the same time?

    Lads and lassies, may I bring to the fore of this discussion, Down in Front.  Intelligent movie commentary, fellas that make with the jokes, insightful discussions, how can you go wrong?

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    [This is the spot where other links would go to make your perusal of the podcast as easy as possible, but the Down in Front website is great and has everything I'd typically link to right on top of the front page.  Woo!]

    Average Episode Length:  Long.  Like, for-realz long.  All of the episodes I've downloaded so far have been 2+ hours!  How do you like THAT for quantity?

    Each episode of Down in Front concerns itself with a single movie.  The movie is discussed by a rotating cast of hosts the lend their expertise to the conversation.  As a listener, you can either listen to their discussion on its own OR sync the Down in Front  podcast with the movie, and enjoy the symbiotic relationship!

    [Okay, it would be closer to a commensal relationship.  Happy, Ms. Science?]

    This provides an amazing excuse for you to not only watch a movie you love, not only subject your friends and loved ones to watching it again for the thousandth time, but to watch a movie you love with your friends and loves ones (possibly bribed with the promise of never having to watch it again) and listening to other people who watched the movie talk about it!

    If one would like, one may even pretend the hosts are talking directly to you.  Attempts can be made to join the conversation at varying rates of success. 

    Content RatingExplicit!  Considering many of the movies they select are rated R, let that guide your expectations for profanity.  In what I've listened to the hosts are not crude, but much of what they're watching has "adult themes" so, hey, it might crop up. 

    Music:  Nah, not really.  Just the lightest touch at the intro.

    Release Schedule:  Weekly, with most episodes releasing on Monday.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  They have an episode for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" which is one of the best movies ever made and yes I will fight you on this

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Some of the reviewers either dislike or are indifferent to Avatar:  the Last Airbender, which is one of the best shows ever made and yes I will fight you on this.  Their opinion differs from mine on this single, unimportant facet of life so that makes them wrong. 

    At the very, very least, Down in Front will provide you with a bevy of opinions on movies that you have seen.  Perhaps you will agree with them.  PERHAPS YOU WON'T?!?!  Then you are free to find your favorite forum (or visit the Down in Front forum) and mash your little hands against your keyboard and share your opinion with THE WORLD.

    Bonus FeaturesDown in Front also features a "shorter" version of their podcast called The Intermission.  This podcast is more of the "potpourri" style where the hosts bring stories from their lives to the table.   Looks like the topics can vary wildly in The Intermission, so just think of it as your own, personal lottery of things you might want to listen to!
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  20. Big Pop Fun

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    You know that cool uncle you have?  The one that always remembers to bring your a souvenir when he visits, and let you "drive" his truck when you were seven?  Turns out that's Tom Wilson, and he has a podcast called Big Pop Fun

    First:  Tom Wilson is the actor that portrayed Biff in Back to the Future (among other roles).  Take a moment, soak it in, say the quotes that you've memorized.  We good?  A'ight.
    I'm Tom, your sometimes far-less-than perfect guide through the magical sleigh ride of entertainment.
    Relevant Links:
    Release Schedule:  Weekly, with a new podcast each Friday.

    Average Episode Length:  Hell, I dunno... like, 50 minutes?  How's that fit ya?

    Music:  A cute little intro with a good, uh, introduction.  Yeah, that sounds right.  Not a lot to speak of otherwise.  

    Content Rating:  Clean.  Even if Tom Wilson did choose to swear, his voice is so charming you wouldn't mind.
    [People are] always curious, especially as an actor.  "What do you do? What are you doing tomorrow?"  and you say, "Well, I'm preparing for auditions and I'm writing but I'm semi-retired so I decide what I'm going to do.  It's semi-retirement and I may just go to the basement and start carving duck decoys."
    Tom Wilson has lived the kind of life that results in a catalog of interesting stories and wouldn't you like to hear a few?  Of course you would!  That's the main point of Big Pop Fun and what makes it so enjoyable.  The whole formula of the thing is:
     Listener (you) + a Folk What Talk Good (Tom Wilson) =  Rad Podcast (Big Pop Fun)
    I won't even ask you to show your work.  On occasion Tom will invite a friend to the podcast and record their conversations, which generate more interesting stories to listen to!  There's a lot of discussion of the ins and outs of show business, recollections of the past, funny celebrity moments, and anecdotes, anecdotes, anecdotes.   
    Unintentionally Good Part:  Strictly speaking, this doesn't have much to do with the podcast itself (scandal!), but you really need to check out Tom Wilson's art.  He's a pop culture icon, painting pop culture icons, which boils down to lots of awesome drawings of retro toys.  Very cool!
    Unintentionally Bad Part:  For a show called "Big Pop Fun," things can get surprisingly heavy in the conversations that take place.  Like, so depressing that I have actually had to take off my headphone and look at my iPod in disbelief at what I was hearing.  Woof, man.  These sad topics can sneak up on you when you're not expecting them and may bum you out.
    Tom Wilson has that earnest way of speaking that always engages me in a podcast, and I think you should give Big Pop Fun a try.  Get to it! 
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  21. Control Point

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    [Play this little tune while you read the intro.  Much obliged, pardner.]

    Hey look buddy, I'm a blogger.

    That means I write posts.  

    Not posts like '10 Tips for Burning Sage & Contemporary Inter-Office Clarity,' because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of spirituality.

    I write practical posts.  

    For instance, how am I going to tell some big, mean mother-hubbard that he's missing out on some of the best noise that can be poured into a human hear-hole?

    The answer?  Write a podcast review.  

    And if that don't work, write more podcast review.  Like this review of Control Point...

    authored by me,

    tweeted by me, 
    and you'd best hope, read by you.

    Relevant Links:
    Control Point Main Site!
    Get the podcast here!
    Streaming Site?
    YouTube Channel!
    TF2 Servers!

    Long, long ago, back when the Internet was still awash in the primordial soup of MySpace and Napster downloads, a Team Fortress 2 podcast began, and it was good.  A group of young, intrepid men came together with a song in their heart, a microphone set up in someone's computer room, and the dream to share their wishes and dreams with an audience that longed to hear them.

    There were one hundred episodes that flowed like milk and honey across the land.  For years there were fan contributions, heated discussions about "honey pot" servers, and lots and lots and lots of inside-jokes.

    And then they went away.  Some say they ascended into the aether, never to be seen again.

    Five hundred and forty-one days later, they came back!  And it was around this point I realized I should probably write a review about them.

    Average Episode Length:  Mercy, there's a lot of episodes to looks at.  I say...approximately an hour and fifteen minutes, as the crow flies. 

    Brent "Chaos" Copeland, Wes "WesWilson" Wilson, and Eric "Nailhead" Fullerton. Spencer "Devilturnip" Williams (source: TF2 Wiki) are your proud-and-loud hosts for your Control Point experience.  Fans and players of  "America's #1 war-themed hat simulator" these guys know their way around TF2 like a Mola mola knows where to get its meals.  Episodes feature discussion about game play techniques, updates, recent changes to the game, community information, nitpicking over play-styles and damn near every facet of the game that can be talked about.   

    Y'all, these guys run a tight ship of a podcast.  There are topics!  There is a number you can call and leave messages for the hosts!  They have bumpers to put in between topics!  There are returning guests!  Each episode is polished and professionally delivered straight to you with clear quality and good editing.  They host a chat room as they live-stream the podcast!  I think there are even a few dramatic episodes, people.  These guys mean business. 

    Music:  A banging little intro that I enjoy, as well as a good outro.  Sometimes they play 1950s-esque music, and that makes me happy. 

    Content Rating Mildly Explicit.  I believe that these gents keep the swears to a minimum, but I am not listening through the whole backlog (again) to make sure, so I'll hedge my bets.

    Release ScheduleAccording to their site, you can listen live every Sunday at 5.  New episodes posted each Wednesday.  I believe that when their schedule is awry, they throw out supplementary podcasts, so keep in touch with their site to see what's up. 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The fan-contributed content.  Most of it is mediocre, but every once in a while there is a true gem of awesome.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  God bless this community, because they really seem to support this podcast, but sometimes what they send in?  It hurts the ears.  I have had to mute this podcast on more than one occasion.  Fortunately these bits are super-easy to skip over and then you get back to the goodness! 

    Team Fortress 2, podcasts, and hats.  Hats, hats, hats. 
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