Podcasts | The Greastest Hits (so Far)

My FOPper (Fan of Podcast) all-time favorite podcast greatest hits.

Please email me at johnny.gwin@gmail for comments on these podcasts. Also, I would love to hear your favorite "can't miss" podcasts.
Plus, I am always looking for new episodes. Maybe it will make my FOPper lists.

Episode 129: Thomasson

99% Invisible – Aired 8.26.2015

Who is Akasegawa Genpei? What is Hyperart? What does this have to do with San Francisco Giants baseball legend Gary Thomasson? Learn about the fascinating and dedicating hunters of these treasured “urban leftovers” - the architecture afterthoughts that are:

1). Completely useless.
2). Are they regularly maintained?

This episode by Roman Mars and producer Avery Trufelman speaks with Matt Fargo, the translator of Hyperart Thomasson into English. Claire Light and Alan Manolo, give 99pi a Thomasson tour of San Francisco.

Listen to Thomasson


Episode 513: 129 Cars

This American Life – Aired 12.13.2014

Car Salesman Confidential. Behind the sticker price. This American Life embeds itself for 30 days in the car lot wars between buyers and sellers, sellers and sellers, dealers and manufacturers. Learn the tricks of the car sales trade. One salesman runs on pure adrenaline. One’s secret is Lao-Tze’s The Art of War. Other’s just rely on good old fashion look. The big winners in this deal is the listeners of this terrific podcast.

Listen to 129 Cars


Episode: Walking Across America: Advice for a Young Man

This American Life – Aired 7.3.2015

Andrew Forsthoefel, 23 years old and a first time radio producer, documents his 4000 mile, East to West trek across America. With a backpack and a sign that reads “Walking To Listen” Andrew is a magnet for wonderful stories and really knows how to connect with his eclectic people and traveling companions. Editing 85 hours of tape into a 1 hour episode creates one amazing coming of age road story, and a beautiful portrait of this Country.

Listen to Walking Across America: Advice for a Young Man


Episode 609: The Curse Of The Black Lotus

Planet Money – Aired 3.11.2015

The NPR Plant Money guys explain the classic economic bubble. Housing, tech stocks, Beanie Babies, and Magic: The gathering. Bubbles happen frequently and are not a game. Many get rich and most people lose a lot of money. On this episode we hear the epic tale of the creators of Magic and how they worked on studying the stages of a bubble and how to protect their collectible game from dying the quick death of the Beanie Babies.

Listen to The Curse Of The Black Lotus


Episode 482: Lights, Camera, Christmas!

This American Life – Aired 12.21.2012

Maya Gurantz introduces us to the Mutchler family and how the dad, Glenn, took the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus to unbelievable lengths with his kids. Meet Jeko, the scary elf that lives up in the attic and the amazing family Christmas mythology that would make Dickens jealous.

Listen to Lights, Camera, Christmas


SERIAL Podcast | Fall 2014 | First Season


12 individual 1 hour webisodes that took podcasts into the mainstream. SNL did a freaking skit about it due to it’s huge audience. From the creators of This American Life, Sarah Koening investigates and entertains through the life of a relative unknown murder in Baltimore in 1999. Did Adnan Syed kill Hae Min Lee to save face with his strict muslim family. Was Syed rail-road into a unjust conviction. Koening is the Errol Morris of podcasts, and like Morris, might free an innocent man. We will all have to wait and see.  

Listen to Serial


Startup Podcast | First Season

Gimlet Media | Aired 4.7.2015

Something you never hear. The idea and the first beginning of a startup company. A season of ups, downs, and tons of drama considering the one starting the new tech company happens to know nothing about business much less starting one. Alex Blumberg, from NPR’s Planet Money, botches his pitch to Silicon Valley billionaire Chris Sacca.

Listen to #1 How Not to Pitch a Billionaire



Episode 161: Show of Force

99% Invisible – Aired 4.21.2015
Host: Roman Mar
Producer: Katie Mingle

This is the WW2 story of recruits from the top art schools that help defeat and fool Hitler and his Nazis on the battlefield. This top-secret division of “Ghost Soldiers” weren’t ordinary and prototypical warriors.They were designers, artists, and craftsman soldiers who created a massive mobile “deception unit” (visual, sonic, and radio) creating inflatable rubber dummy large armored divisions of trucks, tanks, artillery, and soldiers. The Ghost Soldiers would replicate the sights, sonic sounds, and details of a large US force on the move and giving the Nazis false information on troop sizes and movements. These brave artisans were always in danger if they were found out by larger and weaponized real German division.

Per 99% Invisible: Over the course of the war, the Ghost Army lost three soldiers, and had several dozen wounded, but overall it was one of the safer assignments of WWII. And in the end, the crazy idea of a “mobile deception unit” worked. They fooled the Axis powers, they held the line, and they saved lives.

Some of the members of this group went on to artistic fame: sculpture Ellsworth Kelly, fashion icon Bill Blass, and world famous designer Jack Masey. This small group of talented, dedicated, and top-secret “Ghost Soldiers” were relatively unknown for decades. Now their story can be told and we can all hear how instrumental these brave men were in D-Day and the Victory of Europe.

Listen to Show Of Force

The Ghost Army of World War II - by Elizabeth Sayles & Rick Beyer

More to come soon!