Dirty John – A Terrifying True Crime Podcast from the L.A. Times

The six-part podcast, ‘Dirty John‘, is a true story about seduction, deception, forgiveness, denial, and ultimately, survival. It’s reported and hosted by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times.

Debra Newell is a successful interior designer. She meets John Meehan, a handsome man who seems to check all the boxes: attentive, available, just back from a year in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders. But her family are not fond of John and as it turns out, they have good reason to feel this way.

John Meehan is what nightmares are made of so settle in and prepare yourself.

Listen to the Dirty John podcast.

36 Questions – A Podcast Musical

36 Questions is a three-part podcast musical by Two-Up Productions in which a couple, played by Jonathan Groff (aka Kristoff from Frozen) and Jessie Shelton, attempt to bring their marriage back from the brink of divorce using 36 revealing questions designed to make strangers fall in love.

Not being a fan of musicals, I was dubious. However, I adored La La Land, needed a new podcast to get stuck into and it had great reviews.

Whilst it took me the first episode to get into it because the format is so different to anything I’ve heard before, by episode two I was unashamedly hooked.

Maybe I really do like musicals after all.

Read reviews by The New York Times, The Guardian and Vulture.

Listen to the podcast.

Podcast – Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty

Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty is a six-episode podcast from Gimlet Media that tells the story of Chris Lighty, a music industry and hip-hop heavyweight who was found dead at his home in the Bronx in 2012.

Chris Lighty was a giant in hip-hop. He managed LL Cool J, 50 CentMissy Elliott, Busta RhymesFoxy Brown and Fat Joe – anyone who was anyone worked with Lighty. His death left the music world reeling and left many questions unanswered.

Reggie Ossé, who came up through the hip-hop scene as an entertainment lawyer at the same time as Lighty, tells the vibrant story from the first breakbeat to the last heartbeat.

Whilst Chris’ story is interesting in itself, I love how the documentation of hip-hop history is woven through. Even if you’re not a hip-hop fan, it’s well worth a listen.

Read a review of the podcast.

Listen to the podcast.

The Secret To Living Longer May Be Your Social Life – A TED Talk

Well, this is uplifting news for people that beat themselves up about not eating the right foods, not exercising enough and drinking too much.* It turns out that the strongest predictors of longevity are two features of your social life.

It turns out that the strongest predictors of longevity are two features of your social life.

The Italian island of Sardinia has more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North America. Why? According to psychologist Susan Pinker, it’s not a sunny disposition or a low-fat, gluten-free diet that keeps the islanders healthy — it’s their emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions.

Learn more about super longevity as Pinker explains what it takes to live to 100 and beyond, and why social isolation is the public health risk of our time.

Watch or listen to the talk.

* I don’t condone reckless living but it is refreshing to hear about studies that have found there may be other factors at play with regards to a living a long life. 

Jon Ronson Uncovers Who Really Pays the Price for Free Porn in The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect by Jon Ronson is a seven-part series on Audible and is the most compelling audio I’ve listened to since S-Town.

Jon Ronson describes it beautifully:

“It’s sort of about porn, but it’s about a lot of other things. It’s sad, funny, moving and totally unlike some other nonfiction stories about porn – because it isn’t judgmental or salacious. It’s human and sweet and strange and lovely. It’s a mystery story, an adventure. It’s also, I think, a new way of telling a story. The flap of the butterfly’s wings is a boy in Brussels having an idea. His idea is how to get rich from giving the world free online porn. Over seven episodes I trace the consequences of this idea, from consequence through to consequence. If you keep going in this way, where might you end up? It turns out you end up in the most surprising and unexpected places.”

Here’s an excerpt, from This American Life.

Get it now on Audible for free or wait until November for iTunes and everywhere else.

See my previous post about Audible.

Bang On Podcast – Two Friends Talk Music, Art, Life and Stuff

When I hear Zan Rowe on ABC’s Triple J radio, I often wish she was one of my friends. She seems fun, down to earth, knowledgeable and could get you free tickets to the best gigs.

So I’ve been deepening my non-existent friendship with her by listening to the Bang On podcast she co-hosts with (bonafide) friend and equally as delightful Myf Warhurst, where they discuss what’s been going on that week in music, art, life and stuff.

In the latest episode, they discuss:

Listen to Double J‘s Bang On podcast on the ABC Radio app, or via iTunes, RSS and other podcast apps.

Trace – A New True Crime Podcast from the ABC

Trace is a new true crime podcast from the ABC. Mother of two, Maria James, was stabbed to death in the back of her suburban Melbourne bookshop in June 1980. Her killer has never been found.

Presented by ABC investigative reporter, Rachael Brown, Trace sifts through evidence to see whether police missed anything at the time, revisits suspects, and finds a new one of its own.

Two episodes in and I’m gripped. Warning: it’s gruesome and terrifying in parts.

Listen to the preview and podcast episodes.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History Podcast Season 2

Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell‘s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode of the podcast re-examines something from the past – an event, a person, an idea, even a song – and asks whether we got it right the first time.

Season 2 is here and even if you’re bored by the idea of golf or “crack for rich white guys,” you will find the first episode (‘A Good Walk Spoiled‘) interesting and amusing.

About Revisionist History podcast.

NPR’s Invisibilia Podcast Season 3

NPR‘s Invisibilia podcast is back with a third season and so far, it’s as clever and well researched as previous seasons. Invisibilia is about the invisible forces that shape human behaviour – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and emotions. The first two episodes in the new season challenge the way we think about how emotions are made. They haven’t given much more away about what the rest of the season will contain, except to say that all the episodes are connected to a central idea. The hosts are calling it a ‘concept album.’ If you haven’t listened to previous seasons, I urge you to do so. Be prepared to be engrossed from the start.

Listen to the season 3 trailer.
Listen to the new season.
See previous post on Invisibilia.

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