It’s podcast time…

6 fascinating lockdown listens

With a little more time on our hands at home you now have the perfect opportunity to enjoy one of the many incredible podcasts out there. 

Autumn afternoons are perfect for curling up in a sunny spot with a cup of tea and sinking into an absorbing narrative or stimulating discussion – as you look out over the bird feeder. These shows also make a superb companion for your daily walk around the block too.

You can find them on a number of apps, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. It’s also worth checking out all the quality content on Radio New Zealand. From Our Changing World to Nanogirl’s Great Science Adventures, there’s something for everyone here.

The Habitat

If you think social distancing is hard work imagine being cooped up with five people in a dome on the side of a remote mountain in Hawaii for a year. It was here that six people volunteered to act as imitation astronauts on an imitation Mars  so NASA could understand what life might be like on the red planet. The audio diaries of the volunteers have been turned into this addictive serialised documentary, providing us with fascinating insight into what would make a mission to Mars succeed or fail.

Out There With the Birds

The folks from Bird Watcher’s Digest are behind this light-hearted exploration of the weird and wonderful world of bird watching. It’s a travel podcast as much as anything, and contains anecdotes and the latest news about wild birds and the bird watchers who enjoy them.

The Aotearoa History Show

For some history closer to home, check out this offering from RNZ/NZ On Air which tells stories of New Zealand and its people from geological origins to modern day. It’s available as an audio-only podcast or an animated video series on the RNZ website and YouTube. Of most relevance right now, is Episode 10: Boom & Bust which details the prosperity enjoyed by New Zealand after World War I and the flu epidemic had rolled past.

Unlocking Us – Brené Brown

Brené Brown, a researcher and best-selling author whose work on courage, empathy and shame has influenced leadership around the world, is back with a perfectly-timed podcast. In Unlocking Us, she unpacks ideas, stories, experiences, books, films and music that reflect the universal experience of being human. One possibly useful episode is Brené on Anxiety, Calm and Over/Under-Functioning, where she explores how we act when things are going wrong, and gives some excellent tips for staying calm. 

Stuff You Should Know

If you want to finish the day slightly smarter than when it started this is your series. From how dog training works to how morphic fields or AI facial recognition work, the hosts step through a clear, logical explanation of how the world works. Are jellyfish cooler than octopi? Where do rogue waves come from? How does soda water connect to the Romans? All your deepest questions are answered! 

Story Pirates 

While this one is for the kids we think parents will love it too. The hosts start by reading a story written by a young listener, who can be as young as two or up to a tween. Talented improvisers, comedians and musicians then take the original story and turn it into sketch comedy. To end with the original author is interviewed and we hear a little more about their inspiration for the story and what life is like where they are.

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