The aural answer to all your problems. Something that will make you smarter, happier and less boring to be around. It will make you sleep better and your brain grow larger. Amazingly it's also completely free.
I refer of course to the Stuff You Should Know podcast. Last week this entertaining and informative life changer celebrated its 1000th episode. Impressive considering most instalments are nearly an hour long.
For those of you who don't know Stuff You Should Know , I'll save me some time by copying and pasting its description from Wikipedia.
An award-winning podcast hosted by Josh Clark and Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant. One of the most popular podcasts in the world, being downloaded millions of times each month. The podcast, released every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday (New Zealand time), educates and entertains listeners on a variety of topics often using pop culture references for comic effect.
I listen to a SYSK everyday. Riding my bike home from work, driving in my car or when I can't sleep at night. I can't get enough of Josh and Chuck's easy going, well researched and witty chat.
My kids love them too. The other day while my sporty son and I were playing cricket. I had my boy walking round and round Melville Park listening on headphones. Two hours of entertainment, education and exercise all in one package. Twenty laps and he still had a smile on his face when we left. Josh and Chuck are great virtual baby sitters.
Now my 8 year old has a working knowledge of giraffes, cheese and faecal transplants. Did you know that the Greeks called giraffes 'camel leopards? They thought they looked like a camel with leopard colourings. Seems odd. Surely their massive necks would jump out at you before the vague camelness did. Idiots. Did you know cheese has been around since at least 6000BC. Did you know faecal transplants can be taken orally with milk?
The SYSK podcast was first released in April 2008, hosted by Josh. Chuck joined that May. The chemistry was clear and they have been together ever since. Researching and sharing like few others have researched and shared before them.
If you are jumping on board SYSK in 2017 you're in a great position. Nearly everything you can think of has been covered. It's all curated beautifully at stuffyoushouldknow.com. Past podcasts organised into topics like archaeology, drugs, economics, food , history, medicine, movies, murder, music, neuroscience, physics, space, surveillance, true crime and war.
After you've listened to an episode, you'll find further reading and source material at Howstuffworks.com.
Ironically SYSK, while entertaining and stimulating also works as a late night sedative. If I can't sleep I'll throw on a low volume Stuff You Should Know episode. Josh and Chucky's soothing good-humoured tones ease me back into slumber every time.
Having said that, last week's two part series How The Simpson's Work (SYSK episodes 999 and 1000) gave me some serious nightmares. Homer grew massive lips and kept trying to pin me down and kiss me. I think my brain may have mixed in some Kevin Spacey from the news.
Did you know Mr Burns and Smithers are voiced by the same guy? Harry Shearer. He also does Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert, Lenny Leonard, Otto Mann, Rainier Wolfcastle, Scratchy, Dr. Marvin Monroe and many others. Genius.
Before you ask. These guys aren't paying me for this gushing hype. In fact they won't even talk to me. I tried to contact them for an interview and got nothing back. Complete snub. To be fair, with millions of listeners they may not have seen my one-off Facebook direct message.
If you are already a fan you'll be stoked to hear Josh and Chuck are bringing their live show to New Zealand early next year. Can't wait.
So try Stuff You Should Know. I guarantee you're life will be much better for it. It's so good. Having said that, I hope I haven't overhyped it. It's pretty low key.
Other podcasts you might like include the Hauraki Breakfast Podcast with Matt and Jerry. It's good too.