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Culture Shock

Forget five songs, five podcasts to track your plasma donation

Lying in a reclined chair, needle in arm, as your blood is slowly drawn and recycled for its plasma can only be so comfortable; any pleasant distraction is happily welcomed.

Roughly two months ago, from the chained corner of my basement where he lives, my fellow Tiger Den co-host, Matt Hamilton, generously provided five songs to ease your Biolife plasma donation. If you’re anything like Matt and I, feeling relaxed during the entire experience--not just when you finish and remember that you’re being paid for this–is necessary.

Because of that, I’ve decided to one-up Matt and present five podcasts to pass the “blood farming." Maybe you don’t want to listen to someone sing while your blood is drawn (what are you, crazy?), or maybe you just don’t like music (definitely crazy). Then again you might just enjoy spending the free moments you having learning or laughing.

Whatever the reason is, here are five of my favorite podcasts to drown out the fact that a needle is currently stuck in my arm.

  1. Sampler Podcast

Unlike my co-host’s list, I won’t bring you listening content that relates back to the fact that you are hooked to a plasma-drawing machine. Instead, I want to give you something bearable–maybe even enjoyable–during your donation…

…And because of that, I’m starting with the Sampler podcast, hosted by Brittany Luse.

Gimley is the media company that produces Sampler, among many other podcasts, and this podcast is a podcast–wait for it–about podcasts. Say you’re new to listening to podcast and need ideas, or perhaps you want to listen to the highlights of podcast genres. If so, Brittany is here for you. She’s like your friend who’s always happily introducing her friends to you in the form of special guests, host visits, and the perfectly-sized sound tastings of recommended podcasts.

Did I just recommend a podcast about recommending podcasts?

  1. Rooster Teeth Podcast

I have been listening to this podcast for years. I repeat: years. If that doesn’t show you how purely entertaining it is, then no description of it will convince you.

Still though, here’s a description. An offshoot of the Rooster Teeth studios, the RT Podcast normally features company founders, Gustavo Sorola and Burnie Burns, along with Gavin Free and Barbara Dunkelman. I say “normally” because several other hilarious members of the RT staff cycle onto the show.

This award-winning, self-proclaimed “science & dicks” podcast talks about nearly anything, but often ends up discussing entertainment content (online, movies/TV, videogames), hilarious anecdotes, or discussing confusing science questions in the dumbest, funniest ways they can.

Rooster teeth is an Austin-based production company responsible for creating content that millions enjoy. Their podcast is no different. Be warned: This podcast will hook you.

  1. Philosophize This!

With two entertainment podcasts, I have something for the knowledge-hungry readers. For you wonderful people, I offer Philosophize This! hosted by Stephen West. With his wise but delectable voice, which he describes as sounding like he’s 55 (but he’s not even 30), West brings the profoundly thick world of philosophy into digestible–dare I say entertaining–topic-based segments, ranging from Pre-Socratic philosophy to the most recent discourse.

In this podcast, truly tough human questions collide with the historical and cultural backdrops responsible for the philosophical inspiration. No stone is left unturned, no perspective unconsidered. I only recently discovered this podcast, but because that I have a seemingly unquenchable love for junk like this, I listen every chance I get– but especially when I’m trading plasma for money.

  1. Embedded

Remember how I recommended Sampler to you? (It was the first one, what’s wrong with you?) I found this podcast through Ms. Luse.

Essentially, this is your standard podcast. Oft-funny Erin McGathy hosts this dive into topics on relationships, flings, and whatever irreverent tangent she and her guest(s) that week entertain.

It started with the creator of Community (ex-husband, then boyfriend), Dan Harmon, appearing on her first episode. Over the years, the podcast catalogued their relationship as it happened, simultaneously indulging Erin’s brand of free-speaking comedy. Now she regularly hosts with guests from across the world to talk about whatever weird thing they can relate to sex and relationships.

This is funny, easy-listening–just what you need when you willingly subjugate yourself to having blood sucked from your veins.

  1. Beautiful Anonymous

This is quite a special podcast. The premise is that, for 60 minutes, host/comedian Chris Gethard takes a live call from an anonymous caller and he can’t hang-up first.

The rules are strict and the results are the slow development of a personal narrative, which is oftentimes crushing but sometimes joyous–even hilarious. Occasionally a special guest will host alongside Chris, but normally it is only him, the caller, and the human image that develops.

Not all of the episodes are home-runs, but this podcast is certainly capable of transferring you away from the dystopian feel of your current cash-strapped situation.


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