Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Public Radio - More than just classical music

Probably because I am the biggest nerd you will ever meet.  In all reality though, here is why I STARTED listening so much.  We do not have television. 
We OWN a television, but we do not have cable. We started out not having television as a way to save money.  Cable and satellite start at about $30 a month and only go up from there.  In a year, that's a savings of $400 plus.  (For most people that subscribe to the high end packages, its more in the neighborhood of $600 to $700.  That's a couple of car payments, if you have to make them, which I don't but that's another post.  But for me, that was several student loan payments).  Plus we are so busy in my household that there are only a couple of hours a day that can be allotted for television, and could usually be spent doing better things.

I remember when I realized that NPR was cool. I was in Office Depot one morning and NPR was playing. I heard some snippets of the show that interested me and realized that NPR was actually pretty cool. I listened during my one hour commute to and from work that day and was hooked.

I would subscribe to cable if I could get the channels I really wanted. I like the Weather, History, Discovery, Learning Channels, CNN, and the FoodNetwork. Every now and then I'll check out the Travel Channel. Throw a little MTV in for some "trash tv", and I'm set. I don't require 5 ESPN stations, 10 movie stations, and 30 miscellaneous stations. Ever notice how you'll turn the TV on and there's NOTHING on the 90 stations you receive? What's the point?

I guess for me its all about control. I subscribe to Netflix, and can get any movie and some TV shows when I want. I listen to NPR to get the good stuff, the non-mainstream, eclectic stuff you wont find on TV. And the news. Now, I'll warn you, NPR claims to be neutral, and for the most part they are. Sometimes they'll lean a little to the left, but at least they report on the right. Which is more than can be said about a certain news network that I cannot bear to watch, being a pretty liberal Democrat and all.

Some of the highlights about NPR:
All Things Considered (news, interviews, commentaries). This is where I get alot of off the beaten path information that is very relevant to life today but not what you'll find off the Associated Press. They give you the details and side stories to news that are so interesting, but you usually dont get. And its on every day!

The Splendid Table, on Wednesday evenings. Not quiet as good as the FoodNetwork, but covers a decent range of food topics. Not enough recipes for me, but the lady that hosts it has a nice voice.

A Prairie Home Companion - love it! Classic radio program comedy, sound effects and all.

This American Life - by Ira Glass. Takes a look into the lives of real people. He's got short videos on Netflix too by the same name. Well produced and well written, this is just an enjoyable program to listen to. Check out their website, I cant do them justice:
This American Life

Car Talk - aka how I know things about my car I did not know before. Might come in handy some day when my car fixer isn't around.

Inside Appalachia - specific to our region, covering topics of local concern.

Morning Edition and Weekend Edition- up to the minute news, first thing in the morning. We've also got WV Morning for local news.

Story Corp - ongoing project where real people interview one another and submit them to NPR, then the interviews are cataloged at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Marketplace - so you can keep track of your business interests and investing.

Mountainstage - LOVE IT!! Like a live concert in your living room. The mix of artists is always an awesome blend of well known popular ones with rising and little known artists that are all fabulous musicians.

SideTracks - Sidetracks is a one-hour weekly program of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, and related styles of contemporary acoustic music.

Living on Earth - for the science dork in all of us!

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