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The best podcasts to grow your brain and impress your smart friends

Podcasts are becoming more and more popular around the world.

The number of podcast listeners grew by 23 percent between 2015 and 2016, and you can bet that number will grow in 2017. You might already listen to This American Life, a staple for clued up kids. You might be a fan of Serial, which made podcasting (and true crime) mainstream. If you’re into comedy and art, you might listen to A Piece of Work.

The point is that there’s a podcast out there for everyone, you just need to find your niche. Here’s what we’re loving this week –

StarTalk Radio Show by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Techly has been outspoken about the greatness of Neil deGrasse Tyson – for his passion for science, his ability to make science accessible, and his willingness to tackle big topics.

The StarTalk podcast is a chance to experience deGrasse as an informative and affable teacher. No topic is off-limits, from ‘The Science Behind Game of Thrones‘ to ‘The Physics of the Tour de France’, these hour-long episodes are the perfect way to fill your daily commute with some quality knowledge.

Common Sense with Dan Carlin


In a politically-charged landscape, Common Sense with Dan Carlin is an insightful show with political insights to help even novices make sense of the current era. It’s self-described as “[not a] show for everyone, and that’s what makes it so great. It’s a smart, deep, passionate, engaging, inquisitive and of course, politically Martian view of news and current events. There’s nothing else like it.”

Do yourself a favour and add it to your current podcast rounds.

We’re Alive


This podcast takes the audience through a zombie apocalypse, one terrifying chapter at a time. The series brings radio back to one of its very first forms – audio drama.

Here’s the basic storyline –

For Army Reserve Soldier Michael Cross, the world as he knew it ended in an instant. One minute, he’s in college, and in the next, rioters are roaming the highway around him, breaking into cars, and literally tearing people apart. This is the day the dead walk. This is the world of We’re Alive.

The podcast features performances and sound effects that rival movies and prove that modern audio drama is undead and well. Join our survivors as they band together, struggle to fortify a safe haven known as the Tower, and discovers that zombies are far from the worst thing in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles where the rules of human decency no longer apply.

Little food. Little water. Little hope. Who is lucky enough to say “We’re Alive?”

60 second – Tech

Even the Techly team can get a bit overwhelmed by tech news, so it makes sense that a 60-second breakdown would make everything simpler. The Scientific American podcast breaks down big topics like contact lens binoculars and socially-responsible recycled laptop batteries.

They also present bite-sized summaries of health, earth, space and mind topics.

About the author

Larissa is Techly’s Assistant Editor. She watches so much Youtube that she’s narrowed down her favourite categories – goats, innocent dads getting pranked, and toddlers falling over.

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