Entertainment: Podcasts – Planetary Radio

I haven’t updated this blog in a long while, mostly because of school and motivational issues. I’d like to get back into the swing of things, so here’s a review of one of the best podcasts out there.

The Planetary Society Logo

Planetary Radio is the Planetary Society‘s weekly radio show that is featured on NPR stations across the nation. I have been listening to this show for about a year now, through iTunes‘ podcast aggregator (which seems to run my in-car entertainment by itself). Because I don’t have the time to set aside the 20 minutes involved in listening to this fascinating material, I must get by through my iPod while driving to and from school and on errands.

I’m a huge fan of the format, as it’s easy and portable, so that I can spend the time that I take in my car in a constructive way, and excersize my brain a little instead of listening to music while turning my mind off.

I listen to/watch many podcasts:

Out of all of these podcasts, Planetary Radio is absolutely my favorite. This brings me back to a time in my life where my mind wasn’t poisoned with all kinds of depressing and stressful things, and when I truly believed that I could do anything. I always wanted to be a scientist, astronaut, astronomer or a physicist, but reality eventually set in, and I lost my path toward using my potential in a constructive manner.

I always looked into the night sky and imagined what great wonders would await me if I could ever achieve the greatness of the astronauts and cosmonauts before me. As I began to understand the amount of work that it takes to go into one of these professions, realised my affluence with a computers, and my mind turned to girls and other unsavory things, I lost sight of those dreams that were so dear to me.

Only recently, in fact since my son was born, have I realised what a large part of my early life was spent looking to the stars and dreaming of one day being among them. After rediscovering my love of the science and excitement behind space travel, I went searching for ways to ‘get my fix’ of space and science fiction. I happened upon Mysterious Universe, which kept me satiated for a very long time. But once MU stopped production, I was left with a void that I just had to fill.

Enter Planetary Radio. I grasped onto this program like a child absorbs a new and exciting subject in his education. I became a member of the Planetary Society, and I was hooked.

So, what’s so great about Planetary Radio? It rekindles that flame that I had as a child, making me even more excited about the science behind current and future missions into that final frontier. The host of the show is phenomenal, and each of the speakers is in some way involved directly with space science or the Planetary Society.

Hey, it even has Bill Nye (of Science Guy fame)! (who, in other news, you can catch as a guest star on Stargate Atlantis)

The main reason I love this program is that it brings up some of the primordial emotional responses that regularly force tears to stream from my eyes. I’m not talking people dying and the world is such a terrible place; more like there is hope for the future.

It Happened, People!

It Happened, People!

Every episode brings a new guest conversation, with exciting news from the scientific community from across the world. Listening to Neil Armstrong talk about the responsibilities of governments to create a desire for children to learn about science and the future is a guaranteed way to soften even the most un-scientific person in the world. I mean, this man has been on the moon!

Even past the historical signifigance of some of the guests on the show, we get to hear updates from current scientific missions happening within our solar system, and even far beyond. This sort of stuff never makes it into the mainstream media because, well, the average American has the IQ of the current president.

Getting updates on Kaguya, Cassini-Huygens, Spirit and Opportunity, and the innumerable other scientific endeavors happening in near space warms my heart to know that people are still out there, paving the way for our children and their children to make their way out into the cosmos in order to save our species.

If you are scientifically-minded, you should check out Planetary Radio to hear all of the exciting things happening in the world of space exploration and science. This is my favorite podcast out there right now, and I could not recommend it more.