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  1. 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:

  2. 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. 

  3. 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!

  4. 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!