There are a lot of things one can do when trapped inside during a whirling, raging, cold-as-heck blizzard like Winter Storm Juno: You can knit, you can start working on your taxes, you can clean your apartment, you can cook an awesome meal... and hey, guess what? While you're doing all of that, you can also listen to a few podcasts. The world of podcasts is vast, though, so if you're not already into them, here — allow me to offer a selection of the 12 most interesting-sounding podcasts I could find. You've got to keep the boredom at bay, somehow, right? Then trust me: These auditory treats are a surefire way to make the time pass in a flash. I promise.
My own personal tastes tend towards podcasts of the storytelling variety; as such, you'll find a lot of those types of audio adventures here, whether they're fictional, factual, or a combination of both. That said, though, there are also plenty of offerings I usually file under "Cool Stuff to Know," so if you're more into fun facts or history, don't worry — I've got you covered. And hey, even though you could always get something else accomplished while you're listening to these sucks, there's nothing that says you absolutely have to multitask; it's perfectly acceptable to make a warm drink, find your coziest, fuzziest blanket, and curl up on your couch with both while you open your ears and your mind.
Get ready to tune in — we're about to enter into some pretty neat territory!
A friend recently described Thrilling Adventure Hour to me as a real-life version of the cheesy and hilarious Captain America radio show that occasionally makes appearances on Agent Carter. Guest stars have included everyone from Nathan Fillion to Alison Brie. That should tell you just about everything you need to know about it.
If you like How Did This Get Made, The Flop House is right up your alley. Aimed at dissecting some of the worst movies ever made, it's got a little something for everyone. Still can't get over how Michael Bay ruined your beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Maybe this will make you feel a little better about it. Can't forget the train wreck that was From Justin to Kelly? That's here, too. Grab some popcorn — you're going to want to stick around.
3. Dead Authors
I think Dead Authors' own summary is probably the single best way to introduce it, so I'll just let it speak for itself:
"Legendary time-traveling writer H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes literary giants to The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles for a lively discussion in front of a live audience."
A recent episode included Lord Byron and Norman Mailer. Um, yes please!
Alas, Dial-a-Stranger ceased production a few years ago; it's got a whopping great archive of 99 episodes, though, so there's more than enough to keep you occupied through one measly storm. Its creators, Mercedes Martinez and Zachary Kent, worked off of what sounds like a simple premise, but which lead to some amazing and unexpected things: Ask people to submit their phone numbers to them, crowdsource their audience for interesting questions, then call up the donated phone numbers and ask whoever picked up one of those questions.
I've only just started up Everything Is Stories (I needed something to listen to at the gym once I ran out of episodes of Serial), and I'm loving it so far. Often the truth really is stranger than fiction, and the stories that make their way onto this podcast are proof.
I actually have to yet to tune into this one, but I've heard from pretty much everyone I know that it's the most mind-blowing way to learn about history there is. What better way to brave a storm than to examine ancient Greek and Persian wars through a lens that clearly spent its formative years watching Star Trek?
Like Hardcore History, The Memory Palace focuses on history; unlike it, however, it's the bits of history that tend to get lost in the shuffle. They're not necessarily about big wars or definitive moments — they're about things like the history of lobster-eating. Vox described its episodes as "sort of like bedtime stories from the world's most fascinating history book." Sounds about right to me.
Who wouldn't want to spend an entire day with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman explaining the secrets of the universe to them? No one. That's who.
9. We're Alive
Think The Walking Dead, except it's a podcast instead of a television show and it takes place in Los Angeles instead of Atlanta. It follows a group of survivors as they try to make their way through the zombie apocalypse, and hey: No matter how bad Juno gets, at least there are no undead complicating matters, right?
I'm sure you've heard about Welcome to Night Vale by now, so I probably don't even need to remind you about it — but just in case you've somehow made it this far into the 21st Century without experiencing it, let's just say that now would be the perfect time to dip your toe in the water. Taking the form of the community radio broadcast from a small and extremely odd town located somewhere in the Southwestern United States, it's equal parts freaky and funny — just what you need to keep yourself entertained while you're trapped inside during an awful, terrible blizzard. Just, y'know... watch out for the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home. She might change all your playlists while you're not looking.
11. The Truth
The Truth describes itself as "movies for your ears," which is definitely something that would get me to listen to it. It dramatizes some fascinating-sounding short stories, with subjects that include everything from abandoned subways to penis museums. Intrigued yet?
One that frequently finds its way onto "Essential Podcasts You Absolutely MUST Listen To" lists, Stuff You Should Know is full of.. well, stuff you should know. Now might be a good time to listen to the episode on Nostradamus. Just sayin'.
Image: Peter Gerdes/Flickr