If you're a cubicle dweller, you know podcasts are a great way to get through a slow work day. After listening to podcasts for years, I've determined that there are three things that separate the good from the bad: the host, the guests and the quality of the production. All of these podcasts meet these requirements and then some.
Here are 7 podcasts I can't live without:
Pop Tech Jam: Remember the New York Times Tech Talk podcast? When it was shuttered a little over a year ago, I was totally bummed, but reporters J.D. Biersdorfer and Pedro Rafael Rosado heard their listeners' cries on Twitter and started the podcast as their own side project. It's released once a week and covers the latest in tech, the occasional interview and helpful hints for your devices.
StarTalk Radio Show by Neil DeGrasse Tyson: I love this show so much, I wish there was a new episode every single day. By mixing astrophysics with pop culture, host Neil DeGrasse Tyson makes space accessible and funny. The show also covers other parts of the scientific world, like the portrayal of science in video games and the correct and incorrect uses of time travel in the movies.
Joy the Baker: If you love the blog, then you can't miss this podcast. Dieting, scarves, friendship and blogging: it's all covered here.
The JV Club with Janet Varney: Ever see a glamorous Hollywood starlet and think: "I wonder what she was like in high school?" Host Janet Varney, who you'll also find voicing Korra in The Legend of Korra, gives us an inside look at the ups and downs of prom and first jobs with guests like Christina Hendricks, Malin Akerman and Alison Brie.
WTF with Marc Maron: There's a reason everyone listens to this podcast. Marc Maron + Boomer the cat + Guest = comedy guarantee. Funny and insightful, I like to think of it as ear hole therapy.
The Jillian Michaels Show: If you're watching your weight or just need to keep tabs on your health, the Jillian Michaels Show is a great go-to. Of course, there's Janice, Jillian's producer. She adds heart and soul to the show and always asks the hard questions. Like, what's a normal amount of sweat when working out?
NPR's Fresh Air: I always miss the show when it airs live on the radio, so to have this show available via podcast is a dream. And if I'm being honest, I don't listen for the guests. It's all about Terri Gross. She's an absolute pro and possibly the most likable person on radio ever.
(Images: Top: Patrick J. Hamilton / Marcia Patmos' Modern Sense and Sensibility, Others, via Podcasts listed above)