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Take me to “The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance” by Elna Baker

I was driving to Cleveland in the dark and I’d had a headache for half of Ohio, when Elna Baker came on my MP3 player. I had downloaded podcasts of The Moth, a storytelling show based in New York, and the latest episode featured the comedian/writer/Mormon recounting a family trip to Cyprus (which you can listen to here). My second reaction was, “Man, my family vacations only occurred at lame places (like Gettysburg,which is as interesting as you think a field would be) or predictable places, like Ocean City (love the salt water taffy). Why didn’t I get to go to Cyprus?” This was my second reaction because my first reaction was laughter, which helped me get through the rest of Ohio.

Later, I looked up information on Elna Baker and realized I’d heard her before, on This American Life where she told another funny, yet disturbing story, about selling dolls at FAO Schwarz. So, when I saw that she had a memoir coming out this October 15th called The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween [...]

My top 6 favorite podcasts

There are only so many times I can listen to my favorite CDs in the car before my mind wanders and I get bored. I’ve taken lots of long car trips lately, and I find that podcasts keep my mind engaged in a way music fails to over long periods of time. It’s fun to have people chatting over your speakers, talking about interesting things. Below are some of my favorite podcasts that have kept me company over the past year.

RadioLab

When I listen to RadioLab I feel like my skull has opened up and my mind is as large as a star-filled sky. Hosts Jad and Robert explore a different theme each show, showing how science and curiosity lead to exciting answers about the universe, but usually end with even more questions. The audio of the show is expertly produced, integrating interviews, sound effects and narration in an innovative and enthralling way (though some might also find it exhausting). I’ve learned a lot listening to their archives for the past few months, some of which [...]

Changes in my American life

Now that I have a functioning MP3 player, I’ve started listening to podcasts in my car on the way to work. I usually go to the iTunes podcast directory and look at what’s popular or download some NPR (National Public Radio) since they evidently have 621 podcasts available. I was listening to an episode of This American Life recently called Nobody’s Family is Going to Change. This American Life is an hour long show that presents a variety of stories on a common theme, usually true-life stories of ordinary people. This episode’s theme was about whether people can change. After listening to the show, I would say yes and no. People certainly have the ability to change, but more frequently people just stay the same.

As my MP3 player skipped to the next track, I realized that one of the appeals of weight-loss blogs like this one is the idea that people can change. You might be fat now, but you could get thinner. You might be in debt today, but you can pay off your [...]

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Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

Fitbit, Nest data: How the companies are making money off you.
I don't have a FitBit or an employer, but if I did I wouldn't want them sharing information.

The Citicorp tower design flaw that could have wiped out the skyscraper: 99% Invisible by Roman Mars.
Glad someone figured this out before disaster happened.

Charles O'Rear is the photographer who took the Windows XP wallpaper photo in Napa Valley.
I always thought this image was Photoshopped, but evidently it's real!

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