I think, if I didn’t have podcasts, I’d have snapped long before this (so close to finishing I can feel it) stage.
When I was very young, my parents swore by Ladybird books on tape as a way of keeping my sister and I amused on car journeys/keeping me in bed in the evening. When I ‘grew out’ of it, graduating to musical radio, I never looked back on spoken word audios and failed to occur to me that the benefit I got from it as a child would contuine as a grown up; that is, something to ground me, focus me in the moment without any need to do anything except be with the words. Nowadays I need to knit so I’m physically focused as well, but podcasts are now my way of choice of passing the time on my commute, two hours a day at least.
Bright Club is a variety night hosted by UCL, combining academics talking about their work, with comedians and with music and with being in a pub. The podcast features those academics who have performed at the live nights, and having them chat with a comedian about their work. It’s intellectual and funny, and a great example of public engagement.
The current run on the podcast is on a metal theme, and the comedian guest, Andrew O’Neill, is an amazing host because he is as knowledgeable and free with the anecdotes as the academics he’s supposed to be asking questions from. The very most recent episode is on dinosaurs, tied to the theme in that dinosaurs are fucking metal.
(Also the palaeontologist guest is someone you’ve heard of.)