I'm writing this on an airplane, on which I am thoroughly enjoying my iPod full of podcasts. I know planes are increasingly chock-full of ways to divert your attention from the shrinking seat size, including these new airlines with TV screens at every seat. Tempting, yes, but I recommend you also bring some podcasts with you on your next flight, for two reasons:
1) Even with live satellite TV at your seat, there's much more of a chance that you'll find something worth your time among the thousands of podcasts now available.
2) Podcasting isn't live, so there's no chance you'll have to endure live coverage if your plane's landing gear gets stuck in the wrong position.
And to help you find good stuff to load before your flight, here's my first Slate Pod Pick of the Week™.It's Left, Right & Center (available from iTunes, or here's the podcast feed: http://kcrw.com/podcast/show/lr).
It's a weekly half-hour political chat show from Los Angeles public radio station KCRW, although in fairness it should really be called Far Left, Left, Center Left, and Right. It's hosted by Matt Miller and features columnist Robert Scheer, blog-presario Arianna Huffington (whom longtime listeners have heard move from right to left before our very ears), and newly added conservative Tony Blankley, who can make even the most heartless Bush policies sound downright friendly. I look forward to it every week.
And in case you missed any of this week's Slate podcasts, including one in which Jack Shafer admits to being a heartless bastard, you can download or listen to them below (or click
Sept. 30: GIANT SQUID! (Slate piece)
Sept. 29: Are Bogus Trend Stories a Trend? (Slate piece)
Sept. 28: Gas Guzzler Nation (Slate piece)
Sept. 27: How Gotti Jr. Beat the Rap (Slate piece)
Sept. 26: Documenting Dylan (Slate piece)
And you can reach me at Podcasts@slate.com. (E-mail you send may be quoted unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)