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  1. Happy Halloween! That's the one with the fireworks and red, white, and blue Jello desserts, right?

    No, wait. Wrong holiday.

    It's the one with...candy, yes? Yes. There's chocolate? Chocolate bunnies! bunnies? Huh. Okay, give me a hint.

    Pumpkins? Never heard of them. Let me search Wikipedia.

    OH, GOT IT. Halloween. Okay, yeah, I remember this one. This is the one where kids knock on the front door and then it's really awkward when I they can see me checking who they are in the window. I've never actually opened my front door for anybody other than the UPS guy, and these kids always seem to show up at dinner time. I don't know them, and I'm pretty sure the "No Solicitation" sticker is still on the front door, so I just let their inherent short attention spans take care of the matter.

    Anyways, who cares about Halloween when you can celebrate NaNoWriMo Eve! Tons of people all over the world giving over a whole month to crank out 50,000 words! Some of those words will turn into published stories! The rest of them will... well, they won't do much, but hey, still an accomplishment, right? I'd rather shuffle around a .doc file than scoop the remains of a rotten Jack-o-Lantern off my porch.

    There are plenty of people who pilot NaNoWriMo by the seat of their pants, but perhaps you want a little leg up on your word count. Might I suggest Inside Creative Writing.

    The kids wanted me to give them candy? Now you're just making stuff up.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Subscribe via RSS feed!
    Subscibe via iTunes!

    Host Brad Reed is a writer who writes and then talks to other writers who write and together they talk about writing. Inside Creative Writing has had topics like the Snowflake Method, "defamiliarization", when to use adverbs, and speaking with authors on how they captures moments that spark stories. Reed leads each episode well and engages the guests so that they willingly share their secrets to success and provide insight to the listening audience.

    Inside Creative Writing is less straight up instructive than Writing Excuses, but there is still plenty to enjoy. The tone is friendly and conversational and it gives writers a chance to find a new POV on their craft (see what I did there? EH?). 

    Content RatingClean and grammatically sound. These folks really know where to put a preposition at.

    Average Episode Length:  A sample of five episodes gives an average time of about 37 minutes. The episodes don't feel too short or too long, each topic gets a proper amount of time.

    Drinking Game: Oh...well, gosh! I just can't think of any way to tie the craft of writing, and writers themselves, to drinking. Do writers even drink? Surely they perform their art stone-sober, to reflect the gravity of creating the written word. No, no, I don't think I can come up with any classical authors to which you might mimic their drinking patterns and/or choices in alcohol. Gosh.

    Go get some tea, I suppose?

    Release Schedule:  Weekly!  Yay!

    Unintentionally Good Part:  All the picture of the host that I've seen have him wearing one of those newsboy caps, which I find to be a good fashion choice.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  If you are a writer, you will feel guilty that you're listening to this instead of writing.

    Unrelated rating:  Five people pretending to write at Starbucks out of five.

    BONUS CONTENT:  Seriously, there is a thing called NaNoWriMo and it starts tomorrow. Join up and prove you can write a novel! It's a good bit of fun and at the very least you can be a snot like me and read Tumblrs that mock people on the forums.
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  2. Lou Reads the Internet for YOU!

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Lou Fernandez is a man with ambition. His goal is to be a professional voice actor, which is a rad goal. As he attempts to make it to the big time he has decided to practice his reading so as to refine his skills. However, rather than reading...anything else, he has made great efforts to read from the depths of the Internet.

    And my friends, we all benefit from his efforts. Welcome to Lou Reads the Internet for YOU!

    I don't understand things and I don't think I want to.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site! Features lots of different ways to find the podcast.
    Listen on Stitcher!
    Lou on Facebook!

    Lou Reads the Internet for YOU! is a podcast of contradictions. On one hand you have Lou Fernandez, a dude of what I'm going to assume is a mild-mannered nature with a very nice voice. Deep without going into Barry White territory, soothing enough to sell me something without bothering me. I can imagine him narrating a yoga DVD or something like that.

    Then you have the stuff he reads to you. Is horrifibad a strong enough imaginary word to describe to you the content of this podcast?  I have reviewed other podcasts that focus around the "Atrocity Tourism" shtick of finding gross things and reading them but yeesh. Here there be dragons.

    If you are familiar with the podcast The F Plus then I can tell you with sincerity that it is more tame than Lou Reads the Internet for YOU! Seriously, this is a view into the unvarnished interior of some messed up people.

    So do I like this podcast? Is the smooth voice enough to pave over the horror-show content? Well, yes. For one, you feel WAY BETTER about yourself as a human being after listening to the weird stuff people get up to in their day-to-day lives. I'd recommend this podcast as an occasional listen, because you really do need to maintain at least a shred of faith in humanity somewhere in your head.

    To be clear, Lou doesn't truck with any of the stuff he reads and there is no sympathy for the psychopathic minds that decide one day to open a forum thread and chat about what drugs they put where on their body that week. He's just a man with a good voice and a Something Awful account.

    Content Rating: Explicit! The titles of the episodes will let you know exactly what you're in for.

    Average Episode Length: Ooh, it's all over the place. Earlier episodes are quite short, just a few minutes each. Current episodes run around a half-hour long.

    Drinking Game:  Practice your own melodious reading-aloud skills with the Fox on Socks drinking game.

    Release Schedule:  Looks like there is a release about twice a month.

    Music: A little zippy piece of music that I assume comes with a copy of Garage Band. I love it! It's got a beat you can dance to and remains charming after several listens.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  I'm assuming my expression of dawning horror as I listen to the various stories and admissions people put on the Internet. Holy crap, y'all. I think I strained my eyebrows after I lifted them so many times in disbelief. There was one episode where I had this open-mouthed scowl going on because I couldn't deal with what I was hearing.  WHO DOES THIS STUFF?

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  The only thing that trips me up is that there's no change in tone when Lou goes from reading an excerpt to his own thoughts or comments. Makes me do a double take from time to time.

    Unrelated rating: Two stairs from your house out of three.
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  3. Beta Sandwich Science Podcast

    Friday, September 27, 2013

    First off, allow me to play you the jam of my people:

    Spoiler: Bill Nye is not featured as a guest or host on this podcast. There is, however, plenty of science and it is discussed by guys so I guess that's close enough. Right? Right.

    This is Beta Sandwich Science Podcast.

    Welcome to the Beta Sandwich Podcast, your source for news and trends in the Molecular Biosciences.  Join us as we wax poetic about all things sciencey (yes, that's a word).  We go in depth about diseases, viruses, medicine, pharmacology, biochemistry and pretty much anything else that moves, crawls, flies or has otherwise transformed this giant rock into a living ecosystem.  If you are a crazy scientist, or you just like crazy science, you've come to the right place :)

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Episode Archive!
    Download via iTunes!

    Hosts Scott Barnett,Christian Copley-Salem, Dr. Del Jackson, and Karolina Balkenbush are all smarter than you when it comes to science. You might be able to win a debate over who the best Golden Girl is, but they have you beat on pretty much anything that's worth publication in some manner of scientific journal. It's cool though! They are smart in a non-threatening way, a way that reaches out to you and your tiny, tiny dinosaur mind with kindness and compassion. They know about lots of cool thing, mainly to do with molecular bioscience and they want to share that knowledge with you.

    I make no promises if you'll be able to comprehend any of what they say; God knows I had my head tilted to the side like a pug being asked about walkies for half of the podcasts. But what little I did understand was quite interesting! There are all sorts of comings and goings about molecules and what they may or may not do! This is important because I am told that all of us, myself included, are in fact made of molecules.

    Which is gross, but in a fascinating way.

    Content Rating: Clean as the inside of a autoclave.

    Average Episode Length: Around an hour.

    Drinking Game: Any time the hosts say a word you don't understand, drink. Any time the hosts say a word that you smugly recognize, drink twice. Any time a university is mentioned by name, drink.

    Release Schedule: Looks like it has a weekly release.

    The hosts are friendly and easy to listen to despite their discussion matter which can sometimes get a little complicated. Scientific discoveries are explained to the listener in as-close-to-layman terms as one can expect from a crew of scientists and what they talk about really is cool to hear. There are all sorts of fascinating studies and experiments and findings going on in their respective fields and the Beta Sandwich Science Podcast is a wonderful way to hear about what's going on.

    And in case you were wondering, a "beta sandwich" is a thing:


    Okay, I just tried to find an explanation of what a beta sandwich is and I seriously couldn't find anything that I understood. Just trust me, it's a real term. The podcast explains it during an episode so you should go listen instead of me trying to stare down a picture of DNA on Wikipedia that I'll never comprehend.

    Unintentionally Good Part: The section where they discuss how to handle grad school. It's funny and informative.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: This podcast does not work for a "background" podcast where you can do chores or something as you listen. If you lose the thread of whatever they're discussing you often miss an important explanation and then can't follow the rest of the story. Not a bad thing, just one of my preferences.

    Unrelated rating: Sixteen broken microscope slides out of seventeen.
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  4. Welcome to Night Vale

    Friday, September 13, 2013

    It's your local NPR station broadcasting from the Bermuda Triangle.
    It's the improv comedy group in a town only found in a Stephen King novel.
    It's the sound of someone grating sentient nutmeg over your mug of hot cocoa.
    Welcome to Night Vale.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Tune in here!
    Or tune in here!

    Now that I think about it, I have also never bothered to actually check whether this mic is attached to any recording or broadcasting device and it is possible that I am alone, in an empty universe, speaking to no one, unaware that the world is held aloft merely by my delusions and my smooth, sonorous voice. More on this story as it develops, I say, possibly only to myself.
    Host Cecil Baldwin is here to educate, illuminate, and heavily irradiate the listening audience to the comings and goings of Night Vale. School announcements, community improvements, warnings about the forbidden dog park, and updates on Carlos the Scientists' glorious, perfect hair are all within his purview. As a reporter Cecil seems content to simply observe and hold interviews with beings that either refuse to speak or are unable to communicate within the limits of humanity's comprehension, although he will occasionally be pulled into the strange tides that shape and swell around the desert town of Night Vale. It is my dear hope that Night Vale operates on Loony Tunes logic, wherein reoccurring characters may incur damage, but never truly die. I have a feeling though that even if Cecil were to die it would be something of a variable state and surely there would be some recording instruments within his incorporeal reach.

    Topics vary from the mundane to the "mundane" to the absurd to the outright dangerous coverage of breaking news. Topics include the local sports teams (go Night Vale Scorpions!), what the City Council has been doing and why you must never think about it, to local gossip, and somewhere in between all of that you'll find a town (which probably shouldn't exist) filled with people (that wouldn't live anywhere else) and a dog park (which is forbidden).

    What was I saying? My nose just started bleeding and all I really want to do is throw Night Vale quotes at you. 

    Content Rating: Bizarre. And clean, if that matters at all.

    Can you believe this guy said he used Indian magics? What an asshole.

    Average Episode Length: You will be forced to endure each episode for about 25 minutes.

    Wednesday has been cancelled due to a scheduling error.


    Dear listeners, here is a list of things: emotions you don't understand upon viewing a sunset, lost pets found, lost pets unfound, a secret lost pet city on the moon, trees that see, restaurants that hear, a void that thinks, a face half-seen just before falling asleep, trembling hands reaching for desperately needed items, sandwiches...

    Release Schedule:  Twice monthly.

    We sent our intern, Chad, to try buying a tennis racket and have not hear back from him for several weeks.

    Music:  The weather report for each episode is a song by an independent artist. The songs fit the mood of Night Vale and each particular episode. You are free to fast-forward through the weather report, unless you are not.

    Also, I'm battling Lyme disease.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The interns and their fates.

    Let's have a look at traffic. Oh! Wow! Well, that looks pretty good. Yup, yes...okay, not too bad there either I see. Oh, that gentleman needs to slow it down! It's not a race my friend, not a literal one anyways. That has been traffic.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: Telly the barber.

    Capricorn: those were not contact lenses you put in this morning. Best not think about this again.

    Unrelated rating: The sound of a mail box being run over, followed by the memory of watching your mother fold towels and set them on top of the dryer.

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  5. The Alton Browncast

    Monday, August 19, 2013

    If you're anything like me, then the next best thing to actually eating food is watching someone else deal with food and food-related objects. Food Network is one of the last channels I watch on an actual TV over actual cable television, and my favorite show has always been Good Eats. The show has a devoted Tivo folder, I loved his Feasting on Asphalt and Feasting on Waves and all that good stuff he's been on.


    Wonders of wonders, miracles of miracles~

    Sorry, I just really like Alton Brown. He taught me a lot about cooking, not that I actually apply any of it to my boxed lasagna, but I still felt good learning about it.

    Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350F, then turn that thing off because you're going to listen to The Alton Browncast.   

    TV Host and Foodist Alton Brown reviews recent food news, chats with celebrities about their culinary passions, takes calls from listeners, and basically does whatever he flippin’ wants for 45 minutes.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Podcast Site, via Nerdist! This site also serves as an archive.
    RSS Feed!
    Get the podcast via iTunes!
    Alton's Twitter!   He replies to tweets by writing out a response on a Post-It and taking a picture of it! Hee!

    The Alton Browncast provides host Alton Brown (GO FIGURE, RIGHT?) a lovely little venue to talk about what really interests him in the food world. He will discuss recent food-related news, interview fellow creative chefs and food crafters, and answer cooking questions from his listening audience. It's a nicely balanced little podcast, shifting easily between topics as Alton delves into his knowledge and passion for all things food. If you like his personality on any of the plethora of shows he's been on you will find more of the same in this podcast.

    I gotta tell you right now, buttermilk and Cap'n Crunch cereal? Those things don't go together.

    Content Rating: Clean, and I really can't imagine this podcast ever being explicit.

    Average Episode Length: Set your timer for just a smidgin over an hour. You'll want the toothpick to be clean, with only a few moist crumbs sticking to it when you test for doneness.

    Release Schedule:  Once a week, with the release date most likely to be a Friday.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Listening to Bobby Flay's story about making "queso" at his wife's behest. Cute story.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: Bad part, bad part, is there a bad part? Sorry, I'm an Alton Brown fan, so he gets a clean pass.  #@#$%!$ SLURPING DURING AN ICE CREAM TASTING SERIOUSLY THAT IS THE WORST NOISE IN MY EARS.   Aaaaaaargh okay, okay, I found a bad part! I give!

    Auwgh! Hate that noise.

    Unrelated rating: Two of those little yeast puppets from Good Eats out of three.

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  6. The Crate & Crowbar Podcast

    Friday, August 9, 2013

    Games, game, video games. Who likes to talk about video games?


    Which is not a bad thing! I've reviewed and listened to (and still listen to) loads of podcasts that do nothing more than discuss video games, and you know what? Each one is a unique little beam of sunshine. Differing viewpoints, gotta love 'em.

    I like to listen to a set of friends sitting around and recalling the arcades they haunted in their youth, I like it when people flip their lids over the next generation of consoles, I like hearing the funny bugs and the stories of how people have accidentally written-over hundreds of hours of game play.

    So let us go once more into the breach, together, to discover and admire The Crate & Crowbar podcast.

    That's a great question that you just didn't ask but I'm thinking in my head.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    RSS Feed!
    Get the podcast via iTunes!

    First off, to make sure this is your bag, The Crate & Crowbar is a PC gaming podcast. Let it be known that they will not be touching on subjects that involve your precious console-related hijinks. Your hosts include Tom Francis (@pentadact), Graham Smith (@gonnas), Marsh Davies (@marshdavies), Tom Senior (@PCGLudo), Chris Thursten (@cthursten) and the cool part, the part that made me nod at my monitor in appreciation, is that they all have experience within the PC gaming realm. That's neat, right? That's what drew me to the podcast in the first place, and I was not disappointed with what I had downloaded.

    Content Rating: Explicit because of swear words.

    Average Episode Length: Each episode is dang near TWO HOURS. That's a tremendous podcast length!

    Drinking Game: Pick a drink that catches your eye from Drunken Moogle, and then Google a stupid drinking game that relates to the game your drink is themed on.

    The Crate & Crowbar podcast is your weekly, ramble into the wide world of PC gaming. And I don't mean ramble in the way of an unfocused monologue, but more like walking out of your front door and heading out in whatever direction pleases you that day. After about two hours, you'll return to your front porch, open the door, and feel satisfied with how you spent your time.

    If Valve continues to be right about this and they keep working at this there will be some future where everything is free, but everyone is also rich, and no one understands why!

    The focus of the hosts' discussion is both wide-and-industry-savvy as well as the narrow-what-I-played-last-night zoom. For instance, in one episode they go from discussing Steam and Valve, to the overall play style of DOTA 2, to one hosts experience and recollection of how and why he plays. It's fun to listen to and the hosts are engaging and charming.

    Release Schedule: Weekly release on Friday.

    Music: None that I've noticed.

    Unintentionally Good Part: I'm a sucker for foreign accents.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: With the pace of a longer podcast such as this, you might find that when a topic you're uninterested in crops up it will last a lot longer than you'd please.

    Unrelated rating: Five out of five levels of Dagon.
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  7. The Food Craftsmen

    Friday, August 2, 2013

    All right, readers, I'm going to say a phrase, and it is going to let you know whether or not this podcast is for you. It's going to challenge some world-views, shake up some dialogues, that sort of thing, so be ready.

    Are you appropriately clenched? Okay, here it is:

    "Handcrafted food meta-discussion"

    Were you struck blind? Wait, stupid question. But did that turn your lip up in a sneer or strike your fancy? I'm sure some of you have already moved on to watching cat videos, so I'll address those that remain. If you want to know more, then you'll want to check out The Food Craftsmen podcast.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Get the podcast here!

    Remember: food is life, and life is great.

    Discussions about the fat content of heritage pig breeds!

    Learning the difference between Latin American and European styles of gourmet chocolates!

    Did you know there is a big, annual competition in Ohio for sustainable food producers? I didn't have the slightest idea until I started listening to The Food Craftsman podcast.

    At first, I was disappointed. I like to cook, and I was expecting a podcast that might offer me some cooking tips on how to improve my prosciutto-wrapped Hot Pockets. Instead I found a show featuring interviews with food producers that produce good foods in new and ethical ways. So I kept listening, and discovered that it is pretty cool to hear not only how people cook, but why they do it the way they do, and how they go about building and maintaining a successful business.

    Host Ryan K. Parker guides the interviews expertly, and his earnest interest in each topic shows through in the discussion. Anything from store design to favorite recipes is up for discussion, and the conversations are natural and flowing.

    Content Rating: Clean, although it would be really funny to hear an explicit version of this. #$!@$ SMALL BATCH CHEESE!

    Ooh, wait! There is a single explicit episode! Dreams are coming true!

    Average Episode Length: Approximately 25 minutes.

    Drinking Game: Find yourself a locally brewed beer or two, then share it with friends. Make pretentious statements about the hops after each sip while listening to this podcast.

    Release Schedule: Weekly, with no apparent set day of release.

    Music: A very nice, smooth song for opening/ending. I like it a lot.

    Unintentionally Good Part: The Food Craftsmen podcast is a great venue to hear about foods you didn't know about! With this whole Internet thing, you can find their site and order delicious foods to expaaaaaaaand your pallet.

    What kind of wine pairs well with Lean Pockets?

    Unintentionally Bad Part: It makes me really hungry to listen to this podcast.

    Unrelated rating: Three Instagram photos of food out of three.
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  8. Hey, so, this podcast review is-



    (suck it SDCC, you had your turn)

    I love Dragon Con. I would love it to pieces, but it is so structurally sound that my love would only further reinforce its foundations. Tens of thousands of nerds, crammed together in a few city blocks. I love the stars, the panels, the sight of tenacious nerds wearing full-body, rubber costumes in 95F+ weather. I'd rub my face in it if I weren't afraid of the contagious diseases I might pick up.

    But Viddyviddy, you say, why should I care? I came here for a podcast review! Well buckle up, toots, because I just found a peanut butter and chocolate collision with a podcast about Dragon Con.

    The Unique Geek – it's a discussion group, photo gallery, podcast, and dessert topping all in one.

    Woo! This is The Unique Geek podcast, featuring their "50 Days of Dragon Con Primer".

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site! You can send them a voice mail!
    RSS Feed!

    Content Rating: Explicit, and tagged as such in iTunes.

    Average Episode Length:  A quick glance tells me that the average length is about 50 minutes.

    It is, as the kids say, 'off the chain'.
    Dragon Con is the greatest 4 days of geekery you will be able to find east of the Mississippi, and The Unique Geek (UG) is here to give you the low-down on the hoedown. Any convention can be an overwhelming mass of people, events, and places and the UG is here to provide you with a helping guide to making the best of the 24 hour insanity that can be Dragon Con. They cover important topics ranging from the light hearted discussion of panels, to the super-super-incredibly-useful information about things like the disabilities services available at the convention.

    Bonus Content: You can watch a Dragon Con staff member navigate a hotel bathroom in his wheelchair to show examples of accessibility. Interesting stuff, and an eye opener if you don't have to deal with it.

    The hosts vary per their expertise on certain subjects, and features interviews with the President of Dragon Con, track directors, and people who get their hands dirty to make one of the nation's largest fan-run conventions function. Even if you're not going, it is a neat insight into how a horde of volunteers can entertain thousands of people for an annual weekend of nerdom.

    Drinking Game:  Take a drink every time:
    • The hosts mention a show you are a fan of
    • You recognize a celebrity name
    • The 501st are mentioned
    • One of the hotel names is said

    Release Schedule: Damn near every day. They take this '50 Days' thing seriously, folks.

    Unintentionally Good Part: This podcast makes me think of Dragon Con, and I look forward to Dragon Con the same way little kids look forward to Christmas. I think I have it better, because although Santa is pretty rad, my holiday involves copious amount of alcohol and the guys from Myth Busters.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: Some episodes have less-than-average mic quality. Not too bad, but I had to fuss with my volume a few times.

    Unrelated rating: Four disturbing Leeloo costumes out of five.
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  9. Whether you have fitness goals, business goals, or personal dreams, this is your source for success!

    I am eternally wary of people who wish to motivate me. My cynical nature forbids me to look at anyone who wants to tell me, however earnestly, to 'be the best me I can be' without my eyebrow raising up in reflexive skepticism. Maybe I don't want to achieve! Maybe it was my goal today to dip Fritos into a jar of cold queso! YOU DON'T KNOW ME!!!

    But then again, it is nice to have someone tell you that you're free to be you (and me). Once in a while, I need to be reminded that, much like the kitten hanging from the branch, that I need to just hang in there, baby. There's a difference between trying to gird your loins against the iniquities of the world and hearing a voice that exists outside of your head agreeing with you. Sometimes, even when you know that all the weird body/wealth/swag related insecurities the world tries to press on you is bullshit, it is nice to hear someone else agree with you and let you know you're all right so long as you do your best.

    That's nice. I like that kind of motivation. More talking about shaking off unreal expectations and maintaining good habits, less of the "bald eagle soaring majestically poster with a world like AMBITION" posters that are all over my workplace.

    Trish Blackwell's Confidence on the Go wants a little bit of your time to help you realize the awesome within. 

    Relevant Links:
    Trish Blackwell's Main Site!
    Podcast Archives!
    Trish's Twitter!

    Content Rating: Clean, and marked as such in iTunes.

    Average Episode Length:  A sample of five episodes show an average time of 34 minutes.

    Drinking Game: There is something that feels sketchy about a drinking game tied to a motivational podcast. How about we say you set a goal for today, and tie the goal to a favorite snack. Once you complete the goal, you get the snack! Mmm, goal oriented cupcake...

    The difference between you who is going to change and someone who is not is that you are going to make a decision to be open to change.

    Host Trish Blackwell manages to walk the fine line of motivational catch phrases and earnest real-talk. I initially flinched each time that she used a phrase such as "accelerating my personal motivation" because saying things like "believe to achieve!" and "reach for the stars" is great and empowering, but that don't put money in the bank account or get a person off the couch and into the gym.

    However! Blackwell is out to pin down the issues people are dealing with in their lives, and show how to move past them. Body image issues, tearing down the "facade of perfectionism" that hides real issues, all the stuff that you might acknowledge on the edge of your thoughts as negative influences, but can never really shake off. It's encouraging without being pandering, and I appreciate that.

    Release Schedule:  Once a week, with no set day.

    Unintentionally Good Part: Trish Blackwell believes in the power of reading, and that's awesome because books are awesome.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Trish Blackwell is a personal trainer and does want you to pay her for her training services. The podcast is wholly free, but expect a little sales pitch at the end of each episode. There's nothing wrong with her trying to sell her services, I just want you to be aware so you don't get all jaded about it.

    Unrelated rating: Those last 2 minutes out of a 6 minute mile you're working towards (you can do it!).
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  10. Shut Up & Sit Down Podcast

    Monday, June 24, 2013

     Is it safe to say that board games are in a sort of revival period? I mean, I know it's been going on since before I realized there were games beyond Sorry! and Scrabble, but there are still loads of rad games coming out each year. There are Kickstarters to fund and help make new board games, forums devoted to the discussion of board games, and even digital version of board games for people who only interact with others via a keyboard or game controller. I'm sure someone wiser than I knows the span of board game history but I'm too lazy to Google for their wisdom.

    Anyways, I think it is safe to say that board games are rad and becoming more rad every day. There are a lot of different places to find information on board games you might want to play and one of those sources is the Shut Up & Sit Down podcast.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    The Twitters!
    Download from iTunes!

    We do this show as a service, this is a bit of fun, but there's also there is a point here that we are telling people which games we think are good and bad and it's not very helpful to go "This game's great but you can't buy it!"
    In the realm on in-depth reviews, Shut Up & Sit Down provides its audience with appetizers of the board games they're describing. Each game gets a fair share of time, but they don't drill down into the minutiae of each rule set. Enjoyable games are discussed, as are the games that are disliked in a sort of equal manner.  There's no bashing or super-hyped-up praising, just some gents who enjoy board games talking about their experiences. It's interesting and a fun way to find new board games to play.

    What else do you NEED? The hosts are pleasant to listen to, they let you know where you can get games, they make jokes for your amusement! Go listen!

    Content Rating: I am almost 85% certain this podcast is clean. At the very least I have no evidence of them being saucy with the language.

    Average Episode Length: About fifty minutes to an hour. The shortest episode is forty-two minutes and the longest episode runs an hour even.

    I get distracted like a cat in a place where cats are excited.

    Drinking Game: I highly recommend Red Dragon Inn.

    You've got some weakness for hexes and other small pieces.

    Release Schedule: I'm going to guess it's a once a month podcast.

    Unintentionally Good Part: Shut Up & Sit Down features delightful accents, which makes any podcast 30% more enjoyable. They add that imaginary 'r' to the end of 'idea' that I love.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: You will start spending money on board games that you want to play then have to convince the rest of your family, who have only ever played Monopoly, that these games will be fun. They will be frightened by the rules and you will know true sorrow.

    Unrelated rating: Five out of Six of the game pieces your dog ate and you had to replace with bottle caps and coins.

    (Did you know that if you do your normal shopping through my Amazon link, I get a little profit at no cost to you? It's true! Help me out and click through my Amazon Store!)
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  11. Get Fit Guy

    Friday, May 24, 2013

    One of the unfortunate laws of life is that man cannot exist on Totino's Party Pizzas alone.  I tried diet supplements, but a trip to the emergency room and a blood panel taught me that just because Mt. Dew is green doesn't mean it contains any vegetables.  
    Turns out if you want to pour food-like items into your gaping maw as often as I do you need to sprinkle in a little exercise here and there.  You can get as ripped as you like, or you can be like me and just try to keep your heart from getting too enlarged.  
    But where to start?  Most people would tell you to just go get a pair of sneakers and start running, but have you been in a shoe store lately?  It's a labyrinth of choices!  I walked into a sporting goods store and had to sit down with my head between my knees.  That was mostly due to my uncontrolled blood pressure, but also because I didn't know which way to go.

    Now there's help.  Now there's the Get Fit Guy podcast.
    Relevant Links:
    Host Ben Greenfield is here to provide you with a quick hit of information while you're... I dunno, doing warmups?  Deciding what belt matches your leotard?  Trying to remember which locker is yours?  Whatever you're up to, Get Fit Guy podcast will provide you with a hearty factoid that relates to exercise.  Topics may include:
    • Is exercising in pollution bad for you?
    • Caveman Fitness Lessons
    • How to Run Barefoot
    • Fitness Tips for Seniors
    Information about new studies in the field of Running a Mile Without Puking is presented in a thorough manner without being boring.  Greenfield often adds on videos and links when he describes exercise moves/techniques, so he really puts in the effort to make sure his audience can develop new and improved workout routines.  It's nice when a podcast really cares, you know?
    Content RatingClean (and jerk).  This is a podcast that watches its posture carefully. 

    Average Episode Length:  On average, the episodes are about six to ten minutes long, providing the perfect amount of content for you to take in while you slowly flex at your bathroom mirror. 

    Drinking Game:  Get a bottle of Wheatgrass.  Every day that you don't do something to improve your health, take a swig of that stuff as punishment.  Glargh

    Release Schedule:  Once a week on Saturday.

    MusicGet Fit Guy has this nice beat at the front and back.  It's good!  Reminds of when I walk by the Zumba classes.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  This podcast inspired me to do a push-up.  I know!  I was surprised as you are!

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  You will feel guilty about your neglected gym membership while listening to this podcast.

    Unrelated rating:  Two ice cream sandwiches that you hid in the back of the freezer and forgot about until you really deserved them out of three.
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  12. Kickstarter Funded Podcasts

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    As you know from reading all of my reviews, I celebrate a few, crucial things about podcasts:

    • You can listen to them as you please, at your own pace and often while doing other, menial tasks (thereby making the task enjoyable).
    • You can super-easily skip content you dislike, and replay content you do like.
    • Podcasts are easy to get on lots of different mediums.
    • Podcasts are free.
    That last one?  Free is a big thing.  You can, and should, go on to support your favorite podcasts monetarily, but free is amazing when you want to sample 20 different podcasts to find the 4 that you will enjoy for years.

    But right now, I'mma tell you something.  Something that no one on the Internet wants to hear.

    Sometimes?  Sometimes you have to buy some stuff.  Which leads me to Kickstarted funded podcasts.

    Kickstarter funded podcasts were just brought to my attention by Penny Arcade.  They're bringing their excellent podcast back at a pay-as-you-choose price, and you can get in on it early with their Kickstarter for Downloadable Content.  I've already reviewed the existing episodes, and they're bringing it back!  Hooray!  I love this podcast and will gladly donate to get it back and get PA content back in my ears.

    But did you know that there are lots of podcasts that you can support on Kickstarter?  I didn't, and I review the damn things! 

    Here are some options.

    There are lots of people out there who are asking for your help to create podcasts.  I highly recommend that you go shop around and see if anything catches your fancy.  Your donation could help fuel the next #1 iTunes podcast!  Or you could just help a few people make something that you will enjoy.  Check it out! 
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  13. Reader, I have a confession to make before we get into this review.  I'm not particularly proud about this, but here at ViddyViddy I try to maintain the sense of dignity and transparent business practices that brought you to these podcast reviews in the first place, so here it is:

    I gave up on listening to a good podcast.

    Gave up!  I found a good, strong podcast and I tried to listen to it and then it made my brain cramp up and I felt like something in the internal workings of my brain snapped and now I can't write in cursive anymore.  Read the mission statement from their website while I go lie down in a dimly lit room.

    The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy podcast by some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living but then thought better of it. Each episode, we pick a text and chat about it with some balance between insight and flippancy. You don't have to know any philosophy, or even to have read the text we're talking about to (mostly) follow and (hopefully) enjoy the discussion.
    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Get the podcast and check out archives here!  You can subscribe via the handy-dandy buttons on the top-right side of the page.

    Content RatingExplicit.  Ye be warned.

    Average Episode Length:  About an hour or two.  Looks like most episodes will give you about an hour and forty-five minutes of content. 

    Drinking Game Song:


    Hosts Mark Linsenmayer, Seth Paskin, Wes Alwan, Dylan Casey, and Daniel Horne welcome you into the world of philosophical discussion with open arms and willing hearts and minds.  They have created a podcast wherein anyone can listen to the concepts proposed by the greatest philosophers mankind has to offer in an accessible, understandable manner.  There is humor!  Intelligent discussion!  A chance to open your mind to a wider realm of thought!

    And it breaks my little brain to try and listen.

    I tried, I mean I really tried but honest to anything my brain started catching fire around the 15 minute mark of each episode.  I would be following well enough and they the host throw a sentence like this in:

    The sign is divided between the signifier and the signified, and the signified is actually a concept or an idea.  So the signifier signifies the signified but it's not signifying or referring to a real object in the world it's actually referring to an idea or a concept.  
    That would be the point where I started smelling burnt toast.   

    But I still want to share this podcast with you, because holy-moly a group of people are making an effort to make philosophy accessible!  That's amazing!  I love this podcast, and when I have the proper time I plan to actually sit and listen to it, pausing at times to let my brain cool down. 

    Release Schedule:  Looks like there is a new episode twice a month. 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Dude, a group of people have put forth the effort to make philosophy accessible.  And they make intermittent jokes about what they're talking about!

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Takes my full attention to listen to this podcast.  I prefer to be able to listen to a podcast during my daily tasks, and ya just can't, ya just can't I tells ya!

    Unrelated rating:
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  14. Nerdist Writer's Panel

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  writers love doing anything except writing.  Perhaps they'll organize the office and research new, carbon-neutral brands of coffee in preparation for writing!  As they sit down to open their word processing program they'll stumble upon Reddit for just a few minutes that stretch into hours.  Maybe they'll even pick up a book that is about writing, and read that instead of making their word count grow.

    And I'm here to help those writers push away their unfinished novel for a few more days.  Allow me to present for your reading (non-writing) pleasure, the Nerdist Writer's Panel podcast.

    Relevant Links:
    Main site!
    Nerdist page to listen to the podcast!

    "We have to go back to high school."
    "I'd rather not."

    Ben Blacker, your host and guide to the world of professional writing, invites you to listen in to his chats with creators as they discuss the greater world of writing.  There is a wide bevvy of writers to choose from with Writers Panel:  novelists, comic writers, television and movie script writers, and all manner of those who earn cash by putting words to page.  The variety brings a unique level of awesome to this podcast because just as a writer needs to read outside the genre they write in, listening to the methods of different kinds of writers can also be very helpful.   

    Content RatingExplicit, and tagged as such in iTunes.

    Average Episode Length:  A glance askance shows about one hour and fifteen minutes.  Not bad at all!  It feels like the right length for the interviews.

    Drinking Game:  Pick a book you had to read in high school and either base a drink off of that, or make one mentioned in the book.  Easy mode:  grab The Great Gatsby or The Sun Also Rises

    Release Schedule:  An episode is released once a week, typically early in the week. 

    Music: There is an opening song.  We'll get to it in a minute.   

    Robert Kirkman!  John Scalzi!  Marlon Wayans!  There are dozens of people you will most likely recognize that have been interviewed on Nerdist Writer's Panel.  It is a practical cornucopia of interviews.  Blacker's interviewing method lets the writers wander in and around topics, so while you do get sage advice about writing you're also sure to hear some funny personal stories.  Nerdist Writer's Panel provides great bang for your podcasting buck, if you're willing to spend said buck listening to writers. 

    And let's just assume that you are.  

    Unintentionally Good Part:  I like when it is in front on an audience.  There is something charming about hearing the soft laughter of the crowd in the background.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  I dislike the opening song.  I appreciate the effort that goes into creating a song just for a podcast, but it's a race to fast forward past it each time the podcast starts up.  Sorry!  I hate poo-pooing creative efforts!  If it was meant to be an ironic presentation, then I missed the point.

    Unrelated rating:  Two grammer errors and mispellings out of 3 to be at.
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  15. The Sporkful

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    This is The Sporkful.  It's not for foodies, it's for eaters!

    Do you know the correct position for cheese on a cheeseburger?  The details of buffet etiquette?  The hazards and benefits of being a vegetarian at a traditional Thanksgiving?  Have you ever heard the phrase "event eating" before? 

    First of all, you put the cheese on the bottom bun, and condiments on top of the burger.  Let's not get silly about things around here.

    Relevant Links:
    The Sporkful main site!
    Get the podcast for any device!  You can also watch videos here.

    Content RatingClean, so long as the idea of detailed food discussions doesn't overheat you.

    I need time to drink before the turkey is ready!

    Average Episode Length:  Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

    See this is just complete anathema to what I believe in about stuffing.

    Drinking Game:  Go to the liquor store and find a "genre" of alcohol you enjoy (beer, wine, whatever).  Close your eyes and pick one at random.  Take it home and plan a meal around aforementioned purchase and enjoy!

    Host Dan Pashman is passionate about food.  Like, stand-too-close-to-you-at-a-party-and-corner-you-in-a-45-minute-discussion-of-chickpeas passionate.  The man loves food, is knowledgeable about food, and likes to talk to other people about all kinds of food.  Each episode offers interviews on the subjects that surround, involve, and partake of food.  Cooking tips, cultural discussions, arguments on how to "properly" make dishes, it's all there!  The conversations are light and friendly, there to open your mind to new food horizons and make you really hungry at the same time.

    Release Schedule:  Every other week. 

    We're about to challenge your assumptions about consumption and drop a sporkful of knowledge on you because we're obsessively-compulsive about eating more awesomely and if history has taught us anything its that the hosts of food shows need a lot of catchphrases.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  They take phone calls!  The number is 908-9SPORK9.  Usually audience-contributions are iffy on quality at best, but this is a cool way to bring up interesting and unique food-related topics.  Lots of shop-talk on how to get good browning of grilled cheeses and things like that.   

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  You cannot listen to too many episodes in a row, because you are forced to realize how incredible inane it is to discuss the minutiae of food.  I was almost driven insane listening to two grown-ass adults discussion "muffin ledges".  DID I JUST HEAR SOMEONE TALK ABOUT THE "TACTILE PLEASURE OF THE MUFFIN CUP"?  Yeesh.  

    Unrelated rating: It will take you at least two packets of ketchup to dip this podcast into for total enjoyment.

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  16. Boner City USA

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    “No good at life, but very funny sometimes with the commentary.”
    ― Kurt Vonnegut

    Oh, Reader.  The things I do for you.

    I've provided you with plenty of reviews in the past, haven't I?  But it's never been enough.  Every(ish) week I'm forced to head out into the depths of the Internet, armed with my machete and one of those neat pith hats, to retrieve a new podcast that I can in turn share with you.  This process has led me to many different destinations and while most of them have been good, fun places with clean bathrooms, some of them are beyond the realm of safe listening.

    There are podcasts out there that are deeper, darker depths than my headphones were meant to travel through.  We're talking "Heart of Darkness" deep, here.

    Do you remember reading that story in high school?  No?  Well trust me, it fits.

    Let me apologize for reviewing Boner City USA.  

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Get the podcast through iTunes!
    Get the podcast for other ways to listen that aren't iTunes!
    Store, complete with rad t-shirts!

    Content Rating:  EXPLICIT.  Explicit, explicit, expliciiiiiiiit!  I know I've tagged many, many other podcasts as explicit before but this time I MEAN IT.  For the sake of not violating Blogger's "no porn" rule, I am not even going to pull quotes from the podcast.

    [I like to sing the word 'explicit' to the tune of that "Tradition" song from Fiddler on the Roof.  EXPLICIIIIIT!  EXPLICIT!]

    Average Episode Length:  About an hour?  Long enough, trust me.

    Drinking Game:  Pick 3-5 bottles out of your liquor cabinet at random.  Mix them all together, and then drink until you are able to speak freely about all the unspeakable things you've done in the past.  

    Release Schedule:  At least twice a week.

    Boner City USA is a comedy podcast hosted by comedians Andrew DewittDan BialekJeff Danis and Ryan O’Neill in which they discuss the day’s pressing issues in the smartest dumbest way possible.
    Maybe I'm being a bit dainty about Boner City USA.  I mean, this is the Internet, right?  If you want G Rated material, there are plenty of places to seek it out, and if you want the NC-17 rated stuff then it is certainly out there in equal (if not greater) measure.  So let me try and talk about this podcast while avoiding the fact that it is so vulgar I can't listen to it at work and I use headphones.

    Boner City USA is schadenfreude in audio format. The four hosts are shameless in their discussions of their lives and will share every embarrassing facet of human existence that they have run across.  Stories involve childhood near death experiences with grain silos, interactions at the YMCA, and every aspect of dating and interpersonal relationships that you can imagine.  They'll probably even talk about a few that you haven't thought up.

    The podcast is brutally honest and brutally hilarious.  Four comedians spilling their guts out and arguing with one other turns out some pretty funny conversations, and you may not want to be driving or using a knife to chop veggies when you listen.

    Music:  I think they pick whatever songs they like for the intro/outro.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  I like that they assign themselves jobs/titles within the realm of Boner City.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  It is super-awkward to try and share this podcast with someone else.  No one seems to be prepared for what comes out of the speakers when I play episodes for them.

    Unrelated rating:  Two free t-shirts out of three.  By the way, when I reviewed another Dorksplosion network podcast, Gamedians, they sent me 3 free t-shirts from their store!  That is offically the most I have ever been "paid" for running this blog.  I can say that the shirts are comfy and high-quality.  Haven't found the right venue to wear the Boner City USA shirt to, but who knows what will happen in the future.
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  17. Lemme tangent on this blog for a second.

    As you know, I like to use this blog as a way to express my enjoyment of things, mainly podcasts, as a way of hopefully getting other people to enjoy those podcasts. 

    This is not a post about a podcast.  In fact, it is a post about a thing that is still being made!  Like a tectonic plate beneath your feet it is shifting, moving, becoming something awesome like a mountain or the Mariana Trench.  This is a post about a documentary called STRIPPED.  It is about comics, it looks like it is going to be awesome, and it needs your help.

    What is STRIPPED?  From their Kickstarter page:

    STRIPPED is a love-letter to comic strips.  It brings together the world’s best cartoonists to talk about the art form they love, and what happens to it as newsprint fades away. Over 90 interviews were conducted, including the first-ever audio interview with Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes), as well as Jim Davis (Garfield), Cathy Guisewite (Cathy), Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey), Mike & Jerry (Penny Arcade), Matt Inman (The Oatmeal), Jeff Keane (The Family Circus), Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics), Lynn Johnston (FBOFW), Zach Weiner (SMBC), Scott Kurtz (PvP), Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics), Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac), Jeph Jacques (Questionable Content), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Bill Amend (Foxtrot), Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) and more. STRIPPED sits down with these creators to talk about how cartooning works, why it's so loved, and how they're navigating this dicey period between print and digital options...when neither path works perfectly.

    Does that whet your interest?  How about a trailer:

    I've been reading comics since I achieved literacy.  I would read my Mom's Bloom County collections before I understood the jokes and the funny pages were the only part of the Sunday comic I cared about.  Now I have over a dozen webcomics that I currently read.  When I'm not reading webcomics, I hang out at a comic book store (which is a different thing than strip-format comics, yes, but let me have the connection). 

    Comics are rad, and learning about the history of comics via a documentary made by people intensely passionate about comics is going to be beyond-rad.  Meet the dudes at the helm of this creation:

    - Fred Schroeder is a twice-Sundance-nominated film-maker. His IMDB credits can be seen here:
    - Dave Kellett is a twice-Eisner-nominated cartoonist. His strips can be seen here: and here:
    - Sequential Films is their LA-based film company, which sounds hoity-toity but really it’s just two dudes in a garage.
    The STRIPPED documentary is nearing completion, but Schroeder and Kellet are reaching for the stars with licensed media that pushes past their current funding.  If this catches your interest, you still have time to get in on the STRIPPED Kickstarter and make this thing even better! 


    Check out the Kickstarter and throw in ya cash if it moves you.  As always, thanks for reading.
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  18. Become a Beast

    Friday, March 1, 2013

    Your body is a chunk of marble.
    What do you want to chisel it into?

    Relevant Links:
    Become a Beast Site!

    A Beast is an individual who achieves their physical apex through a balanced diet, focused exercise, and the desire to fulfill the opportunity they were given with their physical body.
    Host David Damron wants you to reach the apex of your own physical form.  The kind of physical form where you think about walking in front of your open living room windows in your swim shorts, just to give your neighbors the opportunity to gaze at your perfect body.  Damron wants you to succeed in all your "I wish I could look like that dreams" without going to unhealthy extremes, or developing a negative view of your "current" body.  I'll be the first to admit that I resemble more of a Krispy Kreme doughnut than one of those dudes who perform terrifying pommel horse routines, but if I were to ever attempt to emerge, like a butterfly, from my deep-fried cocoon, I'd be okay with this guy as the motivational voice in my head.

    The podcast's tone is encouraging, calm, and casual.  Become a Beast is there for beginners and those who are already on their journey to swole.  This podcast manages to find the right way to offer advice without becoming overwhelming or obnoxious.  Become a Beast isn't here to make fun of how few pushups you can do, it is there to clap you on the back for trying and offer a few tips on how to improve for the next attempt. 

    Content RatingClean, mean and 97% lean. 

    Average Episode Length

    Drinking Game:  Hm, should I really suggest a drinking game for a healthy lifestyles podcast?  Okay, um, let's see.  Oh!  Here we go, I have an idea:
    1. Decide to have a smoothie.  Smoothies are delicious.
    2. Pick one fruit you really like and one fruit you really dislike.
    3. Make a list of the exercises you need to complete.  For every minute/rep/whatever of exercise you complete, you get x% of your favorite fruit in the smoothie.  For every minute/rep/whatever you skip, you have to put in an equal amount of the nasty tasting, but healthy, fruit you dislike.
    4. Make and consume smoothie, literally tasting either your own victory or defeat.

    Release Schedule: Looks like you get at least one new episode every week.

    Unintentionally Good Part: When Damron is sweetly demure in an attempt to describe Body Glide, which a balm he suggests for marathon runners.  Cause, y'know, bits chafe.
    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Much of the advice given is wholly anecdotal.  This is not a true negative per se, as none of the guests or the host pretend that they are doctors or act like their word is truth but I feel like I had to mention that in this podcast so nobody throws themselves into some exercise routine that hurts them. 

    And I mean, he does an episode on how lifting free weights will help you in a zombie apocalypse. 

    On the whole, Become a Beast has guests, stories, and lots of advice to be offered.  The episodes are relevant to what I'd say most people's interests are, including things like how to get back into a healthy routine after you've been sick.  Give it a listen and see if you get inspired to dust off that old gym membership that you've been paying for all these months and never using. 

    Unrelated rating:  Two of those YouTube clips of people breaking their limbs lifting weights out of four. 
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  19. Gamedians

    Friday, February 22, 2013

    Portmanteaus, a combination of at least two words, are fun!  Here are some examples:
    • Breakfast + Lunch = Brunch
    • Smoke + Fog = Smog
    • Short + Pants = Skort
    • Pregnant + Angry = The dumbest word, it made me mad to read it
    • Obnoxious + Replacement for a Sense of Humor = Snark
    • Gamers + Comedians = The Gamedians Podcast
     I like that last one!  It's got a ring to it.  Let's look into these Gamedians, shall we?

    Relevant Links:
    Gamedians Main Site!
    iTunes Download!
    Libsyn Download Site (for Android and Non-iTunes users)!
    Gamedians YouTube Channel!

    The long and short of the Gamedians podcast is that you download it and subsequently listen to comedians talk about video games for a while.  Hosts Andrew Dewitt, Dan Bialek and Asterios Kokkinos are here to delight and entertain you with their crippling video game addiction that they've turned into fodder for a podcast.  You like the Xbox?  Some Skyrim?  Maybe you want to throwback to Grim Fandago?  These are your guys.

    I remember the first time it hit home that the things I thought were awesome were actually the lamest, loser-y things.

    Unsurprisingly, many of their attempts to talk about video games end up in wild tangents.  The conversations on the whole are hilarious and often include the hosts getting riled up about whatever topic they land on. 

    Content Rating:  Tagged as Explicit.  There is swearing and content that is not work safe, so headphones on!  They aren't so much offensive as they are just vulgar, if that makes sense.  For example, they'll use swear words but there's no inherent vitriol towards whatever party their swearing about. 

    Average Episode Length:  You'll get about an hour of fresh-squeezed entertainment per episode.  The shortest episode runs at 34 minutes, while the longest episode tops out at an hour and forty!

    When I go to my Ewok market I look for free-range, no antibiotic Stormtroopers that have been treated humanely. 

    Drinking Game:  I am going to point you good people over to the Drunken Moogle, where they offer only the finest game themed adult beverages and accessories. 

    Release Schedule:  Oh!  We have a bi-weekly release on Gamedians!  Doesn't look like they hold to any specific days to release, so subscribe or check back often to see when a new episode drops. 

    Music: Eight bit music!  It's adorable and makes me smile when I recognize the song being covered.

    I have eaten mayonnaise because I didn't want to go get food.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  These guys have nerd history and their reminiscing is really fun to listen to on the podcast.  There are a lot of sweet memories of their nerdy parents tucked into the episodes that I enjoyed.

    Bonus Unintentionally Good PartAsterios Kokkinos' name.  It's just rad.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Makes me want to spend money on video games, when I need to save it for important things

    Unrelated rating:

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  20. Enhanced Naked Neuroscience

    Friday, February 15, 2013

    The human brain is a disgusting, glorious piece of machinery that mostly tells me to procure more Cheetos, Doritos, or other processed foods that end with the "ee-toes" sounds.  Once I have a few dozen bags (Funyuns are also allowed) stashed in the false bottom of my desk, my brain then tells me to write podcast reviews.

    Brains are weird!  They wrinkle up when you learn a thing!  Your prefrontal cortex rewrites itself during puberty!  If something is wrong with your brain, like seizures, a doctor will crack your skull open and cleave your brain in twain to help you out!  AND WHAT I DESCRIBED IN THE LAST SENTENCE ACTUALLY WORKS.

    Also, Phineas Gage

    In summary:  brains are neat, brains are important to your day-to-day life, and we should strive to learn more about how they do the things they do.  With that in mind (pun!), we turn to the Enhanced Naked Neuroscience (ENN) podcast.

    Relevant Links:
    ENN RSS Feed!
    Get it through Google!
    Check out ALL of the Naked Scientist podcasts HERE.  There's so many and they're all FREE!
    Naked Scientists Twitter!

    Content RatingClean.  Trigger-warning for zombies.

    Average Episode Length:  A dubious average of the episodes I have downloaded in iTunes shows about 18 minutes on average.

    Drinking Game:  Take a drink every time a specific part of the brain is named (dendrite, neural circuit, hypothalamus).  Alternate each drink with a glass of water because otherwise you will have an odd sense of guilt about what damage you're doing to the body part you're learning about.

    Release Schedule:  Couldn't find any concrete release schedule, so let's go with "erratic".

    Music:  A little intro, not bad, doesn't get it the way of anything. 

    The ENN podcast is a series of interviews and articles relating to neuroscience.  Doctors and scientists in fields related to and surrounding neurology let you know about recent studies and what cool new things humans are discovering by prodding into lumps of grey matter.  If topics such as how scientists backwards-engineer neurons for testing, or studies on little amoebas and how they relate to human behavior, this podcast is your bag, baby.

    Topics are discussed in such a way that they are accessible to the typical listener without being overly simplified.  This keeps the podcast interesting, and the topics themselves are flat out fascinating.  The interviews range greatly in topic, so if one interview doesn't interest you, another will be along shortly.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The delightful accents.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  When you start looking up neurological disorders on Wikipedia and the subsequent self-diagnosis that you have at least 3 of them. 

    Unrelated rating:  Two out of eight mice that escaped along with the Rats of NIMH. 
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  21. Irregular Podcast

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

    This is Irregular.  Irregular is an irregularly produced podcast focusing on irregular conversations with irregular people.

    I think we can all agree that mocking things is the best, right?  Nothing makes you feel better than cutting someone else down and the anonymity of the Internet makes is incredibly easy for people to post things that you can subsequently laugh at.  

    Hm.  I probably should have watched more Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood when I was little.  Too late!

    But what if, on the rare occasion that you have to catch your breath because you're laughing so hard at someone, you decided to let them have their say on the matter?  And what if you actually found them interesting and with their own, mostly valid opinion?  Then you'd have the Irregular Podcast.

    Relevant Links:
    The Irregular Podcast Website!
    iTunes! Which only has the first episode available, so check out...
    Download through Feedburner!  ..which also only has the first episode.

    Just listen to it through the site, okay?

    Content Rating:  Explicit.  SERIOUSLY.  The first episode is called "Kindleporn Authors" so you can take that a guidelines as to whether or not you'd be comfortable listening to this podcast.

    "It's a Strategically Placed Hole."

    Average Episode Length:  Arrrrrrround an hourrrrrrr long.

    Drinking Game:  Go on to  Buy one of the good books that I've listed for you on the side of this review, then go click around the Kindle selections.  First time you find a book title that makes you recoil from your computer monitor, go get a drink.


    Release Schedule:  Please see the podcast title.

    Music:  L'Aguardiente by Camper Van Beethoven.

    The previously reviewed, and much-beloved-by-me podcast The F Plus has stepped out beyond their towering empire of delightfully bizarre and hilarious forums readings to hear what the people they've made fun of have to say.  Hosts Lemon and Boots Raingear step into new territory as they invite members of subcultures to step up to the mic and explain what they're all about.

    [Spoiler:  the wackadoos in every subculture are in the extreme minority, which means that the large majority are just peeps that happen to like things like Underwater Boggle or Sheep Organization.]

    The Irregular Podcast provides you with interviews from a handful of people that participate in weird things.  The tone of the interviews are... semi-earnest explorations of other people's interests.  The hosts are more than happy to joke around with their guests, and the guests are congenial and do their best to answer the questions put forth.  The dialogue is interesting and while you may not come out of each episode with a greater appreciation for your fellow man, you'll have gotten an episode's worth of entertainment.  

    Unintentionally Good Part:  When the guests catch the hosts off guard.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  The little player that pops up from the site is frustrating to move back and forth along the timeline, which makes it hard to replay funny quotes for a podcast review.

    Unrelated rating:  Four reposts out of five.

    That's not a book cover, that's a t-shirt!
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  22. Minute Physics

    Friday, February 1, 2013

    Simply put: cool physics and other sweet science.

    Science!  Say it aloud, and with some gusto:  SCIENCE!  Science is real, and it's spectacular.  

    It is also confusing when you try and learn about how scientific processes process.  Sure, I've made a Punnett square or two, put some Mentos in some Diet Coke to learn about nucleation, and when I'm bored I spend my time in Wikipedia looking up civilian radiation accidents because they're fascinating in a horrific way.  

    So what do you do when you want to understand a scientific theory that is pretty deep?  The kind of thing that takes a Masters degree and a graphic calculator to get a grip on?  You could give up and go bake cookies, or you could watch the Minute Physics podcast.

    Relevant Links:
    iTunes download link!
    Minute Physics YouTube Channel
    Wikipedia Page
    Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, which sponsors Minute Physics

    Full disclosure:  this is a video podcast!  Quelle suprise, I know!  In fact, this is the first video podcast that I've ever reviewed!  I really like audio podcasts for the sheer fact that they don't need to be watched to get the full content.  That being said, I really enjoy watching episodes of Minute Physics and wanted to share it with you.

    So I am.

    So there.  Geez, mom.  

    "Host" Henry Reich has a lot of markers, an understanding of quantum physics, and a desire to share his knowledge with the world.

    Content RatingClean for everyone who exists in the third dimension (that's you).

    Average Episode Length:  The show is called Minute Physics, isn't it?  One or two minutes tops for most episodes.

    Drinking Game:  And excerpt from
    Quantum Physics Drinking Game
    Whenever the mere fact that you are observing a phenomenon causes a series of potentialities to resolve into one actuality, chug a beer.
    That'll work just fine.

    Release Schedule:  Looks like there is a new episode each week, although no new episodes in the iTunes list since December of 2012. 

    Music:  Not in particular.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The little cat that shows up in the illustrations.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  This podcast is just a port of the YouTube episodes, so there's no real advantage to subscribing to it via a podcast subscription over a YouTube subscription.

    Oh, also I have to watch the episodes a lot of times because of my tiny brain. 

    Unrelated rating:  Five Higgs bosons out of five.

    Go forth, watch and listen!  Let me know what you think of it in the comments!
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  23. NASA - This Week @NASA

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    Space:  the final frontier.  Uh, something about the Enterprise... prime directive... that one episode with tribbles...

    Huh, I thought I knew more of the Star Trek intro.  Oh well!  Can I repair my geek cred if I admit I still know the DuckTales theme (a-whoo-ooh)?

    Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that the whole "boldly going where no man has gone before thing" is a fascinating aspect of science.  NASA is often at the fore of such exploratory projects, and over the years has, to put it mildly, done some rad stuff.

    Send a satellite hurling through the void of space with a golden record affixed to it so that we might make contact with our future Alien Overlords?  DONE.

    Strap humans on top of enormous fuel tanks with wings so that they might shake off the bonds of earth and go hop around on the moon?  DONE.

    Pester Mars incessantly with rovers?  YOU BETCHA.

    Turns out when they're not busy mocking gravity, NASA finds the time for podcasting.   They have several podcasts to offer, but I'll be focusing on the "omnibus" podcast, NASA - This Week @NASA.

    Here's where I need that sound effect from old news reels that goes 'deet-deet-de-deet-de-dee-deet"

    This week at NASA [swooshing space noise]...

    Relevant Links:
    Main podcast website
    Download via iTunes
    @NASA on Twitter
    NASA facts!

    Ooh, there's a podcast about the Hubble telescope?  Neat!

    Content Rating:  So clean you could build scientific instruments in it.

    Average Episode Length:  About nine and half minutes by the looks of the episodes I have downloaded.  It's like getting a postcard from spaaaaaaaace!

    Drinking Game:  Get drunk quick version:  drink every time they mention something that is currently not on Earth.  For the slower version, only drink when said non-Earthbound object is controlled by a foreign country. 

    Release Schedule:  Weekly, with a new episode every Friday.

    You get to hear about what the Curiosity rover is up to, what's going on in NASA overall, what will be going on in NASA eventually, and you get to hear phrases like-

    Using Dexter, a two armed Canadian robot on the station...

    There's going to be a little nugget of information that you'll find interesting in every episode.

    Music:  A little intro beep-boop, a little outro beep-boop music.  Not much to speak of here.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The short length is just right.  If a particular topic catches your interest, you can find another podcast that goes into more depth, but this overall summary of what's going on with NASA fits your ears just right.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  I am not an astronaut, and this saddens me.

    Unrelated rating: Three Space Food Sticks out of three.

    [HA!  Did you know that the crew of Gemini III snuck a corned beef sandwich on board?  They got reprimanded for it.]

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  24. WDW Radio Show

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Your Walt Disney World Information Station!

    Let me make sure we get one thing straight from the start of this review, dear reader:  people lose their damn minds over anything Disney.  Now, I thoroughly celebrate the majority of the Disney catalog what with the movies (Sleeping Beauty is a favorite), the charming commercials, and that one run of shows on TGIF where everyone went to Walt Disney World and Uncle Joey got to be in the Indian Jones Experience and the guys from Family Matters blew all their money on some ladies. 

    ...I actually remember plot lines from TGIF?  Ugh.

    ANYWAYS, I enjoy Disney and all of their delightful licensed products in my life.  When I was little I dressed up as Peter Pan for Halloween and had a great time when I went to Walt Disney World a few years ago.  As far as I knew you showed up at whatever theme park you wanted, bought some tickets, went on some rides, and went home.  That was the Disney experience, right?

    Reader, I had no idea how deep the rabbit hole went.  Did you know Disney hosts marathons?  Food and Wine festivals?  Can you recall the etiquette for trading pins with cast members?  What do you know about the origins of The Carousel of Progress?  Did you ride the Fort Wilderness Railroad?

    Apparently, the answer to all of that is yes!  Little did I know how many people held a deep knowledge of all this Disney close to their hearts!  What I always thought of as a distant temptation of my vacation time is a year-round passion for lots of people, and there is a huge information network to support all of the news that surrounds the theme parks.  One does not simply ride into Tomorrowland.

    Which is why you need a guide, which is why I wouldn't be surprised if you already listen to WDW Radio Show.

    Relevant Links:
    WDW Radio Show main site
    Lou's Twitter
    Subscribe via iTunes
    WDW Disney Radio Forums
    WDW Shop, which features Disney walking tours of various areas in the parks.

    Louis A. Mongello, or just call him Lou, has got Disney in his heart and he will share it with you for as long as you are willing to listen.  Behind the scene facts!  Trivia!  Fascinating details of the park!  He'll answer your questions and ask you why you aren't currently listening to WDW Radio from a Disney theme park this very minute!

    WDW Radio covers pretty much any information you'd ever want about the Disney empire.  The most useful portion of it might be his vacation planning information on how to make the best of both time and money at the parks.  Considering the fact that this podcast is sponsored by it isn't too far of a stretch to say that this is a great tool if you're planning a trip.  Lou covers attractions for kids, families, honeymooners, couples, and the lone ranger of the Orlando frontier.  

    Content RatingClean, although I am kind of delighted by the idea of an explicit Disney-based podcast.  I got your Mickey Mouse right here, pal!

    Average Episode Length:  These episode lengths are just all over the place!  Anywhere from over an hour to a touch over nine minutes is what I see at a glance. 

    Drinking Game:  I found one for EPCOT and it has a scorecard and everything!

    And since I just spent 15 minutes reading through it, enjoy Drinking Disney as well.  

    Release Schedule:  Weekly. 

    Music:  Clips and sounds from various Disney movies and attractions are used, and Lou invites listeners to guess their source.  There is also a nice little a capella intro, which I like. 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  If you have fond Disney memories, this podcast is sure to stir them up. 

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  I find it odd that Disney fanatics can both see the man behind the curtain, and still be awe of the great and powerful Wizard.  I guess it is a testament to the power of Disney magic that fans can both be aware of the gears and bolts that make up the machine, and still enjoy it for the sense of wonder and imagination it was intended to portray.   

    Unrelated rating:  I would totally listen to this podcast while riding the PeopleMover ( or Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover if you so please) for at least 2 hours.  I love that ride.
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