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How I discovered floating: My life as a podcast connoisseur

Updated: May 31, 2023

Author's note: this was originally posted in 2017. Reading it now, parts of it are rather outdated. If you don't know what a podcast is in 2023 you've probably been living under a salt rock. I've decided to leave it posted as is for the nostalgia and so I can read it in 2035 and we can have a laugh about how outdated podcasts are.

I have been a long time podcast connoisseur. From the days before they were even called podcasts. Talk to me for more than 30 minutes and I’m sure I’ll drop some knowledge on you with the preface ‘So I was listening to a podcast…’.

I realize this is not specifically float based. I discovered floating through podcasts so in a way the two feel connected and somehow it made sense to tell you about them.

We all know what a podcast is by now right? It’s generally long form, uninterrupted and largely unedited conversations, sometimes it’s educational or tells a story. It’s relatively easy to record and upload a podcast so there are thousands of different ones. No matter what you are into – there is a podcast for you! The best thing about podcasts is that they are FREE! Well mostly, some charge for special episodes, some have ad’s, others ask you to purchase things through their Amazon portal but there is enough free content to keep your ear drums buzzing for eternity!

I listen to podcasts while I’m working, cooking, driving, walking the dog, or my favorite – grocery shopping. I am addicted to podcasts for their ability to economically entertain and educate.

I first learned about floating while listening to the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast (JRE). Do you know who Joe Rogan is? I guess everyone does these days. Some people know him as the host of Fear Factor, others may recognize him as the long time commentator for the UFC, or from way back when he was on News Radio. The frequency of released episodes, quality and diversity of the guests made the JRE a long running staple in my life, for a long time. The JRE has sparked many other podcasts including the Duncan Trussell Family Hour, and Tangentially Speaking with Dr. Chris Ryan.

(Julie Turner and Chris Ryan at the Float Conference)

Through the JRE I’ve also become acquainted with the works of Graham Hancock, Randall Carlson, Dr. Carl Hart, and Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Joe Rogan introduced me to my favorite music ever, Honey Honey, the very cool and psychedelic Sturgill Simpson and gave me a renewed appreciation for Everlast. Joe Rogan has made a significant impact on my life, sometimes in more ways than I’m willing to admit. It’s weird when I think about the fact that a muscle monkey known for cheering people on to eat cockroaches has influenced me to such an extent, and yet here I am touting the benefits of floating, consuming Alpha-Brain, gifting Honey Honey to all my loved ones and purchasing books about ancient civilizations.

The first podcast I ever listened to was Smodcast with Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. I found this out of sheer fandom for the dick and fart joke movies the two have made together. The View Askew universe also birthed a podcast called Tell em’ Steve Dave (TESD). This podcast might not strike the funny bone of everyone but it sure nails mine. The smart, witty banter and taboo topics of discussion have kept me listening to every episode since it’s inception in 2010. This podcast sparked the TV show, Comic Book Men on AMC featuring Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson. Brian Quinn is one of the stars of the mega popular Impractical Jokers on TruTV. When I started listening to TESD Brian Quinn was the tech guy, and now fans scream his name and stalk his house. The hipster in me loves that I found it first!

This brings me to another interesting facet of podcasting. For the listener, we hear hours and hours of conversation from the host; they reveal their ambitions, fears, and opinions on a variety of topics. As the listener, you begin to develop a uniquely intimate relationship with the host, and yet the conversation is only one sided. I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting a few podcast hosts but each time I find myself completely star struck and saying things like “remember the time we…” which of course they don’t, because they weren’t there and we’ve only just met. I can’t imagine what it would be like to meet someone for the first time and yet they know you so well.

(Bryan Johnson, Julie Turner, Brian Quinn - London, England September 2011)

So how do I chose which podcast to listen to? It totally depends on my mood, the level of attention I can dedicate, and the amount of time I have available. In addition to the aforementioned, here is a list of a few more of my favourites.

I listen to Doug Loves Movies regularly. My attention can phase in and out and not miss much. If you love movies, puns and Mark Wahlberg this will tickle your insides! Hollywood Babble-On is another podcast from Kevin Smith, co-hosted by Ralph Garman. These two mock what’s happening in the tabloids with raunchy humor and endless impressions. Grown-up’s Read Things They Wrote As Kids is a Canadian touring podcast that is exactly how it sounds. Brave people read journals, school projects or letters they wrote when they were young, it’s fascinating and very funny to remember what life was like through the eyes of our inner child.

Radiolab is a fascinating and educational podcast with new episodes released regularly. The topics vary and are well researched. One of my favorite episodes is From Tree to Shinning Tree – I assure you, you will never look at a forest the same again! TED Radio Hour transforms TED talks into podcast format for easy listening. A couple of my favorite episodes are Extrasensory and Quiet . Stuff You Should Know is another podcasts that is always great listening and easy learning.

This American Life tells amazing stories. The topics vary from weird, educational or inspirational. Criminal podcast tells amazing stories about crimes throughout history; only about 20 minutes these are fantastic for a short commute. 99% Invisible offers short episodes that probe into many things we don’t often see or think about.

Align Podcast has had some seriously interesting guests and host Aaron Alexander isn’t scared to delve into nitty gritty health related topics. Tim Ferriss is an author turned podcaster and focuses on providing tools to help you get the most out of life. From entrepreneurs to one of a kind athletes this podcast offers so much great information! Start up is a podcast that follows entrepreneurs working to get their business off the ground. If business is your game check out Murray Newlands article in Entrepreneur online detailing his top 25 recommended podcasts for business.

This list represents only a few of my top shows in various categories. Where can you go to find podcasts that suit your tastes and interests? The above links direct you to the individual pages of the podcasts, but it would be a huge pain to have to go to the site each time you wanted to listen. There are various platforms available where you can find all your favorite podcasts in one place. iTunes has a podcast section, PodcastAddict is a highly rated app, and I generally use Stitcher. All platforms will let you search by genre or for a specific show.

I love talking about podcasts almost as much as I do floating. What's your favourite podcast? Do you have one you would like to recommend? I always love learning about new podcasts to drop into my queue! Drop me a line, anytime!, on Facebook or by phone, 250-488-2930.

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