Three Peas in a Pod(cast)

The Art of Manliness

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Originally a blog, “The Art of Manliness” decided to expand into the realm of podcasts with the release of its first episode, “We Who Are Alive and Remain,” Sept.  21, 2009. Now having just published their 246th episode Oct. 25, 2016, this weekly podcast is still alive and remains with its intriguing name. But what exactly is it about?

Brett McKay, co-founder of “The Art of Manliness,” has been investigating this very issue and “helping men become better men” for seven years now, as he writes on his and his wife’s website. From videos like “The Workout the World Forgot” to “The Making of Winston Churchill,” this podcast manages to cover a broad range of topics under the umbrella of manliness. McKay always supplies some sort of written component to supplement the audio as well, which usually features an overview of the episode, highlights from the show and the resources, studies and people mentioned in the podcast. Thus, I realized that you really can’t judge a podcast by its title because this goofily named podcast seems to have some serious content backed up by legitimate sources and research for listeners to take away.

My Dad Wrote a Porno

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As the title suggests, Jamie Morton’s father wrote a pornographic novel. And what does he decide to do? Team up with his friends Jamie Cooper and BBC Radio 1’s Alice Levine to read one chapter aloud every week on his new podcast, of course!

The absurdity of the content and witty comments from the hosts make the episodes wildly entertaining. The full title of the porno is “Belinda Blinked 1: A Modern Story of Sex, Erotica and Passion — How the Sexiest Salesgirl in Business Earned Her Huge Bonus by Being the Best at Removing Her High Heels.” When Morton’s parents first became interested in self-publishing, they started out with travel guides. After hearing about “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Morton’s father, a 60-year-old man, under the pen name Rocky Flintstone, decided to try writing a pornographic novel, too. And thus, “Belinda Blinked 1″ was born. You can get the Kindle Edition for only $3.99!

In between each weekly chapter reading, the team releases a “Footnotes” episode commenting on the various aspects of the novel and voicing their other extraneous thoughts. You would think that after they finished reading “Belinda Blinked 1,” the podcast would be over. But you would be wrong. “Belinda Blinked 1″ was aptly named so because July 4, 2016, Rocky Flintstone published “Belinda Blinked 2!” This made a second season of “My Dad Wrote a Porno” possible. Who knows what the future holds for Belinda?

Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People

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Once a week, renowned comedian Chris Gethard (from “Broad City,” “This American Life” and “The Chris Gethard Show”) shares an hour-long conversation he’s had with an anonymous person. He has two rules: He cannot hang up first, and no names are given.

With this liberating anonymity, the caller can reveal their deepest darkest secrets, their saddest stories, their most shocking confessions. And we listen to these people’s truths. Sometimes silly, sometimes scandalous, this show offers, in Chris’s own words, “one conversation at a time, just a genuine interaction” with a real person.

While Chris does sometimes have some plugs for his various sponsors at the beginnings of some episodes, he always provides a good preview of the hour-long conversation to follow that is just interesting and vague enough to pique your curiosity, drive you to listen on and let you know what you’re getting into. It’s the perfect podcast for when you’re feeling bored with your own life and want to see what else is going on out there.

From manliness to pornography to anonymous stories, it’s clear that the podcast world has something for everyone. So if you’re ever bored or lonely, you have no excuse. There are plenty of voices out there for you to listen to!


Niche YouTube channels that will make you appreciate YouTube’s weirdness even more

Ants Canada

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Comparing ant species, raising ant colonies and doing the American Ant Challenge — these are just some examples of the topics covered by this channel, which focuses on anything and everything ant-related. It is run by an ant aficionado from the Philippines who loves to learn and teach others about ants by housing them in colonies in his home. The best part is just how well made these videos are. The footage is good quality, there are voiceovers, time lapses, expert angles, a variety of shots, seamless transitions and so much ant knowledge. It seems as if the YouTube channel is run just by this one guy, but judging by its website, AntsCanada is a prospering company that sells supplies for housing and maintaining ant colonies.

Favorite Quote: “If you look carefully there at the top, you’ll notice that there’s a grouping of ants just kind of sitting there — sitting there as if … they were planning something, or waiting for something. Based on experience, when ants do this, I’ve found that they are ready to make an escape.” (From video titled “OMG! My Fire Ants Are Planning an Escape”)

The Slow Mo Guys

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Using HD movie-grade cameras worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy dedicate this channel solely to filming random things in slow motion. These videos show you things that your eyes cannot catch on their own. Some favorites include “Slow Mo Rainbow Flame – 4K – The Slow Mo Guys,” “Paint on a Speaker at 2500fps – The Slow Mo Guys,” “Jelly Tennis – The Slow Mo Guys,” I love the goofy intros, dramatic music and the actually beautiful and interesting images they end up creating with each video.

Favorite Quote: “I feel like you could make anything look good in slow mo.” (From video titled “Slow Mo Guys Channel Trailer”)
(Similar Channels: Hydraulic Press Channel and the “Will It Blend?” series from Blendtec)

vurtegopogo

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Created by Ian Britt, owner of a pogo stick company called Vurtego, this channel features videos that will teach you more than you will ever need or want to know about pogo sticks, from how to use one to how to maintain one. His devotion to pogo sticks is inspiring, as silly as it may sound. Some of the tricks he shows himself doing are quite impressive and potentially dangerous.

Favorite Quote: “There are TWO *crosses arms with both hands displaying peace signs* that we do to keep our sticks bouncing like new.” (From video titled “Adding Lube to Your Pogo Stick)

Primitive Technology

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Through demonstrative tutorials on living in the wild with things like grass huts, bows and arrows and slings, this channel teaches you various skills, from hunting to building to cooking. The creator of this channel is an Australian native, who fans often think has military training, but is really just a self-taught professional survivor who proves to all of us lazy people at home that we really should get better hobbies. Though he only joined the world of YouTube a little over a year ago, with consistent releases of one new video per month, he has gained over 3 million subscribers and over 153 million views on his videos.

Favorite Quote: “When I watch how-to (sic) videos, I fast forward past the talking part to see the action part. So I leave it out of my videos in favor of pure demonstration” (from the “About” page on his channel).


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Which “Stranger Things” character are you?

If you’ve gotten into a two-minute conversation about Netflix these days, chances are someone has frantically asked you, “DO YOU WATCH STRANGER THINGS??” I was asked this question at least ten times in the last week (three of those times were by the same person — she really wanted me to watch “Stranger Things”), and every time I watched their optimistic smiles fade and the hope drain from their eyes when I replied apologetically, “… no.”

But all of that has changed now. Being the dedicated and loyal friend that I am, I could not stand to disappoint any longer. During a two-day battle with procrastinator’s guilt and Netflix addiction, I successfully binge-watched the entire premier season of “Stranger Things.” My friends were all very proud. It was a formative experience; I laughed, I cried. I also realized how every main character accurately represents a member of a close-knit friend group with hilarious quirks and unbreakable bonds.

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#WatsonElection2016

If you are interested in the upcoming election, love discussing and debating politics or want to learn about current affairs from world-renowned experts — or all of the above, the Watson is the place for you! This semester, they’re holding a discussion series called “American Democracy: The Dangers and Opportunities of Right Here and Right Now!” It’s a historic election — be sure to take part and learn your stuff!

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