Podcast Friday!

Welcome to a special holiday edition of Podcast Friday!, a weekly compilation of some of the more interesting podcasts from around the web, listed right here for your listening pleasure! Don’t miss our featured podcast, “A Holiday Party For The Ages”, the first program in our playlist from NPR’s All Songs Considered.

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All Songs Considered from NPR

A Holiday Party For The Ages, From All Songs Considered (Tuesday, December 18, 2012) — We decided to go all out for this year’s All Songs Considered holiday party. The guest list for this (trust us!) unforgettable night of music and tall tales included Kishi Bashi, Dan Deacon, Carrie Brownstein and Nellie McKay. We hosted the festivities at a secluded cabin we rented one weekend in a snowy woods. It was a chilly night, but we had a roaring fire, plenty of eggnog, vegan haggis and lots of holiday songs to keep everybody warm!

Book Reviews from The New York Times

Book Review Podcast (Friday, December 21, 2012) — This week, Robert P. George discusses America’s Unwritten Constitution; Leslie Kaufman has notes from the field; Jonathan Mahler talks about the fate of Detroit; and Gregory Cowles has best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.

Books Podcast from NPR

NPR: 12-20-2012 Books (Thursday, December 20, 2012) — Stories:  1) Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project 2) In Red Pyramid, Kid Heroes Take On Ancient Egypt 3) Rod Stewart: Big Dreams, Bigger Hair 4) The Year’s Best Science Fiction Crosses Galaxies And Genres

Brain Stuff from HowStuffWorks.com

Will a really big earthquake sink Western California? (Friday, December 21, 2012) — Given California’s history of earthquakes and major fault lines, it’s not surprising that people speculate about parts of California breaking off into the ocean. Fortunately, seismic forces don’t work that way, as Marshall Brain explains in this episode.

How does residential real estate work? (Wednesday, December 19, 2012) — There are many different types of residential real estate: traditional houses, condos, mobile homes, etc. But what’s the difference between these types? Marshall Brain breaks it down for you in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why do some engines use a dry sump oil system? (Monday, December 17, 2012) — Most car engines use a wet sump oil system, but some rely on a dry sump system. Find out how a dry sump system works — and why it’s advantageous — in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

The Coolest Stuff on the Planet

Oh, Christmas Tree: a Tribute to a Very Old Tree-dition (Friday, December 21, 2012) — Over the centuries, Christmas has acquired a lot of nifty traditions, from special foods to festive foliage. In this episode, Matt and Rachel pay homage to one of the most popular symbols of the season: the Christmas tree.

Culturetopia from NPR

The Hobbit And The Habit Of Storing Your Stuff (Friday, December 21, 2012) — This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR Monkey See’s Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson, Trey Graham and Glen Weldon ponder talk about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  How did it compare to the other Lord of the Rings movies and did its plot sustain its length? They also discuss the more technical aspects of the The Hobbit: how did it look on screen? Next, they discuss the issue of sentimentality versus convenience when it comes to hard copies and digital copies. How should we store stuff? All that, plus What’s Making Us Happy this week.

Film Junk

Episode 397: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Monday, December 17, 2012) — We review The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and debate the 48 fps experience plus we also discuss new trailers for Star Trek Into Darkness and Pacific Rim, Mirror Mirror, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Die Nibelungen, Dick Tracy and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Freakonomics Radio

The House of Dreams (Wednesday, December 19, 2012) — Dubner’s childhood home goes from sacred to profane — and then back again.

PopStuff from HowStuffWorks.com

All the (Dr.) Whos in Whoville (Wednesday, December 19, 2012) — If you run in circles with geeks, odds are that you know someone who is a full-on “Dr. Who” fan. You might be one, too! Tracy schools Holly on all things Whovian, and talks about the tradition of the “Dr. Who” Christmas episode.

The End is Nigh! (Monday, December 17, 2012) — The end of the world has been predicted so many times, we’re fairly blasé about it. But so many people are fretful about the Mayan calendar and December 21. Why are we so obsessed with Armageddon scenarios, and is the end actually near?

Science Talk from Scientific American

Darwin in Space: How Multigenerational Missions Could Shape Human Evolution (Tuesday, December 18, 2012) — Portland State University anthropologist Cameron Smith talks with Scientific American‘s John Matson about how multigenerational space exploration missions and colonization might change the human genome and thus shape human evolution.

Sound Opinions

The 2012 Holiday Spectacular (Sunday, December 16, 2012) — Every year Jim and Greg set out the cookies and milk, hoping for a visit from Sound Opinions’ own Kris Kringle, crate-digging DJ Andy Cirzan. This year, Andy joins us for a special soul music edition of our Holiday Spectacular: Santa Soul.

Stuff To Blow Your Mind from HowStuffWorks.com

Nutmeg: The Scary Spice (Thursday, December 20, 2012) — Sure, you sprinkle nutmeg indifferently on your eggnog, but do you know its bloody history and psychotropic properties? In this episode, Julie and Robert discuss the weird side of an everyday spice and why you should use it sparingly but often.

The Science of Gremlins and Mogwai (Tuesday, December 18, 2012) — Mogwai and Gremlins might seem the most unrealistic monsters of the 1980s, but nothing could be further from the truth. Join Robert and Julie as they dissect Gremlin/Mogwai biology and show you these creatures compare to the rest of the animal kingdom.

Stuff You Missed in History Class from HowStuffWorks.com

Why was Juana called “la Loca”? Part 2 (Wednesday, December 19, 2012) — In this second part of our series, Juana has become her mother’s unlikely heir. Just a few years after inheriting Castile, she is declared insane and imprisoned. But was she actually mad? And why didn’t her son free her when he came to power?

Subterranean Cities (Monday, December 17, 2012) — In this episode, Sarah and Deblina take a world tour of some of the world’s most ancient, mysterious and historically influential underground cities. Listen in to learn more about subterranean cities around the globe.

Stuff You Should Know from HowStuffWorks.com

How Barbie® Doll Works (Thursday, December 20, 2012) — In this episode, Josh and Chuck explore the history, cultural impact and feminist ire raised by the Barbie doll. The boys are joined by Gordon Javna, the founder of the Bathroom Readers’ Institute and publisher of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.

Lab-grown meat: Order up! (Tuesday, December 18, 2012) — Since Winston Churchill predicted we’d grow meat in a lab by 1981, researchers have considered doing just that. And thanks to the current work of about 30 groups, we may be only years away from mass-produced artificial meat. But will anyone eat it?

WNYC’s Radiolab

Bliss (Monday, December 17, 2012) — Moments of total, world-shaking bliss are not easy to come by. Maybe that’s what makes them feel so life-altering when they strike. And so worth chasing. This hour: stories of striving, grasping, tripping, and falling for happiness, perfection, and ideals.

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