So here we are again, locked down, working from home, furloughed or just hunkering down until things get better, which they invariably will. One upside of having one's freedom of movement restricted is that we have to find new ways to keep us uplifted, distracted, engaged and learning while we're all at home, which has led to an explosion in the quantity and quality of podcasts that are now becoming part and parcel of our collective daily soundscape. So with that in mind, we've shortlisted a few of our favourites right now, spanning a plethora of industries and genres, from entrepreneurship and menswear to extreme exploration and celebrity.
Founded and hosted by Roman Mars, 99% invisible is a trove of information you simply won't learn about anywhere else. Think of it as a sort of QI for the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. It's a lively compendium of vital pub quiz knowledge - the type of stuff that makes you look like a well-heeled, well-read conversationalist.
Aelx Cvetkovic's Handcut Radio is now in its fourth season, which is just as well because it provides fantastic insight into the world of menswear. With something of a sartorial/tailoring/artisanal persuasion, Cvetkovic's guests reveal the inner workings of the menswear industry along with valuable smarts on personal style. He also drops some great content on the luxury watch industry to keep the horologists among you sated. Season 3 features none other than Mr Oli Spencer - well worth a listen!
Whether you're a jazzhead or not, you won't fail to be entertained by Tokyo Jazz Joints, all about the jazz kissaten (jazz cafes) that exist all over Japan. The show documents a phenomenon that started in Japan after WW2 when few could afford Hi-Fi systems and imported jazz records were hard to come by. Philip Arneill and James Catchpole share their stories of travelling around these unique joints. There are also superb photos on their website to accompany each episode.
Guy Raz's roster reads like a Hall of Fame for entrepreneurs and innovators. Raz digs deep into the processes of the world's greatest business and creative minds to try to understand how they built businesses that have become part of the human fabric. With guests such as the Patreon founders Jack Conte and Sam Yam, Chipotle's Steve Ells, Tim Ferriss, Dropbox's Drew Houston, alongside names you'll have never heard of but with business trajectories equally as laudable, you'll find so many great takeaways from HIBT.
This is the perfect antidote for being stuck at home. Terra Incognita, as the name might suggest, charts the peripheries of human travel, in those places where sheer grit and resilience is more useful than a passport. Explorer Matt Pycroft interviews a who's who of explorers, pioneers, endurance athletes and survivalists, examining all aspects of their adventures, from the physiological hardships to the psychological stamina that keeps these remarkable people alive in the toughest of environments.