As winter break and syllabus week end, it becomes harder to find time to read or watch the news outside of procrastinating. An easy way to consume the news is through podcasts — you can listen to them in the car, in between classes, while you’re doing homework or really anything else. Almost anyone can create a podcast, so there are plenty of options, both funny and serious, for learning about or listening to almost anything. Below are Pipe Dream’s podcast picks to keep you up to date with (or laughing at) what happens in the year ahead.
“2 Dope Queens”
In this podcast, comedian Phoebe Robinson, who consulted for “Broad City” and wrote for MTV’s “Girl Code,” is joined by former senior correspondent to “The Daily Show,” Jessica Williams. “2 Dope Queens” is recorded as a live comedy show, so little is off limits; the hosts discuss “dad bods,” fanny packs, Lenny Kravitz and first sexual experiences, among other topics. “2 Dope Queens” is a hilarious, highbrow way to get a little bit of advice from comedians.
“Are We There Yet?”
Though this podcast shares its name with a movie starring Ice Cube, “Are We There Yet?” skips the perils of road trips and instead takes an accessible approach to exploring space travel and study. The podcast, hosted by Brendan Byrne of 90.7 WMFE in Orlando, Florida, mixes pop culture and interviews with leading scientists to ground the existential crisis-inducing topic of the future of the human race. “Are We There Yet?” makes the science of space digestible for anyone who wants to listen.
“Pod Save America”
With President-elect Donald Trump officially taking office at the end of the week, many in the United States are grappling with changes to the nation. As a way to process the 2016 election, Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor, former aides to President Barack Obama, started Crooked Media, whose name is a nod to Trump. The hosts team up with guests including comedians and politicians to discuss current political events with a mix of humor and gravity.
“My Dad Wrote a Porno”
For host Jamie Morton, whose father wrote his own erotic novel after the success of “50 Shades of Grey,” “My Dad Wrote a Porno” serves as a forum for discussion about the book. Each episode has Morton read a chapter of “Belinda Blinked,” joined in commentary by his friends James Cooper and Alice Levine. The podcast is less about the plot of the story itself, and more about the culture of sex in popular media and the embarrassing things our parents do.
“Maeve in America”
Irish-American comedian Maeve Higgins, an immigrant herself, explores the stories of immigrants to the United States in the wake of Trump’s win and the fear it has inspired in U.S. immigrants. Though she claims to keep politics out of the conversation, Higgins uses political topics to add to the relevance and importance of the stories she shares on the podcast, giving voices to the immigrant community in the quest of changing the conversation.