Thursday, June 23, 2011

JJJPod: Science Magazine Podcast

I've donned my jogging clothes and laced up my shoes. As I step outside, I stretch my arms up to the sky, and turn on my iPod. I rev my legs into a jog and enjoy the intro music of the Science Magazine Podcast, an upbeat riff. I imagine some hipster dude with crazy hair and gigantic headphones jamming on a keyboard and then pointing to the host with a wink, shooting the attention to him. A friendly voice cuts in and the music fades. "Hello and welcome to the science magazine podcast for June 3rd, 2011. I'm Robert Frederick." He launches into the line up science news stories for the week and I can't help reciprocate his excitement. My legs find a tempo as a young woman explains that the podcast is supported by AAAS, the science society!

The intro music finally fades and the first story begins. I've found my stride. There are about 3 or 4 stories, each lasting roughly 10 minutes and cover an array of topics. They delve into each interview, diving below the surface but not far enough as to get lost (or confuse their listeners). I nod in agreement, chuckle at the jokes, and form questions of my own as I listen--keep in mind I'm running and listening.

Finally, Frederick says, "Now, David Grim, Science's online news editor, is here with a wrap-up of some of the latest science news from our online daily news science site, ScienceNOW." When I hear this, I know the program (and my jog) is almost over. I kick it into high gear for the last 15 minutes, wiping sweat off my brow.

This program is my favorite jogging podcast because it just the right length (35 to 50 minutes), the reporting is professional (supported by AAAS), and the topics are diverse yet not too complex. I enjoy solid science stories while experiencing oxygen deprivation from a reputable organization. Outstanding!

Special note: I am sad to say that this episode featured in this post, June 3rd, is Frederick's last with this program. When I complied a list of reasons why I like this show, he was on top. He has such a kind voice and it makes me feel like I'm going for a jog with an old friend who knows a lot about science. I hope he can be replaced with someone just as nice!

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