Sound Advice


Sound Advice



Scan the MTR during any weekday commute in Hong Kong, and you’ll see carriages full of commuters with furrowed brows and twitchy fingers. I imagine online gamers who pass the time on the train playing hypnotic, reflex-straining apps like Candy Crush arrive at work jittery and anxious.

Here’s our tip: log out of the online games and tune in to the ever-growing catalogue of free podcasts. Whatever your interest, there’s a podcast to inform, educate or entertain. Below, a list of 10 podcasts that put us on the right track as we trek to and from the office.

Slate Culture Gabfest: It might sound dull – three writers discuss cultural topics – but the exchanges are always lively, the participants are articulate and their opinions are always worth a listen.

NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour: If you find Slate’s Culture Gabfest too highbrow, this podcast follows the same roundtable format but focuses on mass media, discussing the latest movies, music or pop-culture trends.

99% Invisible: Covering design and architecture, host Roman Mars explores the “99% invisible activity that shapes our world”. Topics range from the mundane (the design of the revolving door or traffic markings, for example) to the monumental (the history of a tunnel built beneath the Berlin Wall).

NPR: All Songs Considered: A must for music buffs, host Bob Boilen introduces new tunes and emerging artists.

NPR: Ted Radio Hour: Guy Raz leads listeners through the latest TED talks, thematically grouping them together and offering insights into the presenters.

The Flop House: Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema, hosts Elliott Kalan, Stuart Wellington and Dan McCoy celebrate Hollywood’s biggest bombs and box office duds.

Savage Lovecast: Putting the ‘vice’ in advice, columnist Dan Savage offers words of wisdom to callers on relationships, sex and matters of the heart. Frank and often funny, Savage’s irreverent views and adults-only topics may offend, but those familiar with his weekly column will know what to expect.

The Splendid Table: Host Lynne Roseeetto Kasper serves a tasty selection of culinary topics to sate the appetite of the most demanding foodie. Hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

NYT Book Review: New York Times editor Pamela Paul invites critics and tastemakers to discuss new literature and favourite books.

The Alton Brown Cast: Gastronomic guru Alton Brown dishes food news, grills celebrities on their favourite foods and whips up topics related to the culinary arts.

Do you have a favourite podcast? How do you fill in time on your workaday journey?

Catherine Feliciano-Chon

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