RACHEL WORSLEY recommends three nerdy podcasts guaranteed to fill you with wonderful, sexy knowledge, which will come in handy if you’re looking to impress your dear friend, lover, mother, cat, or whatever (no judgement). 


*Interlude* A Short Note From A Sad Adult

This section no longer exists.[1]


99% Invisible: Purple Reign

Broadcast: July 13, 2012

99% Invisible is hard to miss, especially if you’re a design fanatic. This “tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world” is in the top 50 best iTunes podcasts as of January this year, so it’s definitely not invisible when it comes to reaching its audience. The best part: it’s completely funded by its listeners, through a ridiculously successful Kickstarter campaign (over $80 000 raised) and occasionally by their podcast underwriters.

In this episode, we look at a very purple hotel in Illinois, USA, which is so purple, purple-lovers think it’s built just for them. Also, famous Americans like Michael Jordan and Barry Manilow have stayed there. But alas, it’s now run-down and dilapidated after it became associated with drug-fuelled orgies organised by dodgy Chicago politicians, and one time, someone shot a mobster in its parking lot too (no, we’re not making this up). Now, architects believe that they can restore it to its former glory; first by making sure the purple bricks stay in place.


Radiolab: Sperm

Broadcast: December 1, 2008

If curiosity hasn’t killed you already, then prepare yourself for Radiolab, a show about science, philosophy and human experience. Among the more popular shows on the National Public Radio (NPR) network in the US, it’s one for those who just can’t get enough of knowing about things that matter in the world.

Like, sperm. Yep, sperm. In this rollicking adventure through the animal kingdom, the episode candidly discusses flying pig sperm, duck sperm and whippoorwills (whatever they are). We then take a look at the human world, with a discussion about frozen sperm, and whether fatherhood can be preserved for the ages. Definitely one not to miss for the gents, and interested ladies.


Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything: Artifacts (2 of 2)

Broadcast: January 16, 2014

Benjamen Walker isn’t afraid to tackle Einstein for the title of the inventor of the “Theory of Everything”, except he divvies up his time between media theory, art, technology and underground culture. So, not quite physics, but his results can be just as mind-bending.

In this episode, we ponder the idea that photography may quite literally be moments of time that disappear the instant you finish clicking the button. Snapchat is the new way of taking moments in time. Or is it? With the rising popularity of Snapchat, this episode jumps straight into the question of ephemerality versus physical permanence, and as we make the transition from analogue to digital, is there really a need to ‘preserve’? Well, that is, unless you believe all your photography is too embarrassing and deserves to disappear down a time hole.

[1] The notes were not, as they stated, “short”, and were also much too dark and upsetting, apparently. Apologies for any sadness this may or may not have caused you, but it is probably all for the best.