The week in podcasts #1: fitness, mindfulness and the future of creativity

January 10, 2016

by — Posted in Travel & Lifestyle

Featured image via Ted-Ed

 

Recently I’ve started listening to a lot of podcasts at work. I’ve been noting down the key points so I can start this weekly series; recommending my favourite shows of the week.

I used to only listen to music at work, and that evolved into listening to audiobooks. For some reason I thought podcasts were all just like radio talk shows and seemed like a waste of time (I was sooo wrong!) I started off listening to Ash Thorp’s creative podcast: The Collective. Then I delved into scientific and creative podcasts on iTunes. Over the last month or two I’ve subscribed to about 25 podcasts and listened to hundreds of shows (about 4 hours a day).

The week in podcasts:

Big Ideas: The fight for racial justice in America

This was the most moving podcast I’ve listened to so far. A lawyer talks about his experiences fighting for the rights of black prisoners in America. He talks about the big problem with mass incarceration and how we need to change the narratives of fear, anger and indifference in society. He encourages us not to ignore these issues because everyone can make a change. Best quote: “Don’t judge a country by how it treats it’s rich, but by how it treats it’s poor, incarcerated and disabled.”

It makes me wonder what we can all do to help; besides being more open-minded.

Listen here

 

Curious Minds: Michelle Segar on Rethinking Exercise and Motivation

Just in time to help you through those tricky New Year’s Resolutions! Michelle Segar discusses exercise and why we tend to fail our goals. She advocates for a change in the ‘prescription’ communication so that people don’t feel guilty and give up. If you have monstrous amounts of self-discipline and really enjoy going to crossfit everyday – good for you. For everyone else; Michelle says the key to success is choosing something that you actually enjoy, because the idea is sustainability; “fitness for life”. She also encourages busy people to just exercise in the few minutes they have between tasks, because every little bit counts.

I’ve chosen walking and pilates, because these are things I do enjoy and know that I can do. If I chose an hour at the gym 5 days a week, I would give up after a month which doesn’t help at all. I’ve started walking for 30 mins + most lunchtimes, and I try to do pilates once or twice a week at home.

What is your favourite exercise?

Listen here

 

Ted-Ed: What percentage of your brain do you use?

podcasts, Ted talks, science, AI, creativity
Cooked food saves time and gives us more energy.
Image via Ted-Ed

I enjoyed this short “lesson” because it really made it clear how much energy our brains use. The part that really hit home (even though it’s so obvious!) was pointing out that humans were able to evolve when we started using fire to cook food. Cooked food takes less time and is easier to digest so we can get the most vitamins and minerals (instead of animals like cows who have to chew and re-chew grass all day, just to stay alive). In our modern society, it is far too easy to buy pre-made cooked food without expending any energy, so we’re becoming overweight really easily.

For me the key takeaway from this is: prepare your own food, so that the energy you spend making the food balances out the energy you will receive. Also, go for lots of walks, and eat less!

Watch/listen here

 

Curious Minds: Thiel Fellow Madison Maxey on Making and Design

The host speaks to a young female entrepreneur about the Makers Movement and her exciting work involving wearable tech. Her work has been featured in Wired, New York Magazine and Fast Company and she provides insight to the White House and Google. I found this show interesting because it shows what young people can achieve without a ‘formal’ education. Madison really wants to encourage young people to start interning, working and experimenting as young as possible; preferably while they’re still in High School. She found that she made a lot of mistakes while working, but everyone was very forgiving because of her youth and enthusiasm.

This reminds me of emailing print houses and design studios while I was in university. I had a lot of questions and people were really happy to show me through their printing factories and design studios, and talk about their processes because they wanted to help someone young and motivated.

What advice would you give to young people today?

Listen here

 

Back to Work #253: Ty Lambo

The importance of mindfulness. Image via Psychology Today
The importance of mindfulness.
Image via Psychology Today

This podcast is long, rambling and pretty funny. I enjoyed the parts near the end which talked about mindfulness. The hosts say that mindfulness is about the ‘presence of mind’, not about living in the moment and doing crazy things everyday. They discuss Kurt Vonnegut who advocates really stopping to appreciate when you feel happy, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

I think this is something I definitely need to work on. I even bought a mindfulness journal where I note down what I’m thinking and feeling (it’s supposed to be healthy?)

Are you interested in mindfulness? Let me know in the comments below…

Listen here

 

Big Ideas: Future Shock (Again)

I really love this podcast series because it goes into so many different topics, but I’m somehow interested in all of them.

This episode features a speech by Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist. Alan has a lot to say about AI and how it will cause mass unemployment in certain fields (programming, medicine, science, writing, law, research etc…). In 2013, an Oxford University study stated that it’s likely that half of all jobs will be automated in 15 years – what a scary thought!

Another podcast about AI discussed creativity and how this is potentially the only job safe from automation: so we need to encourage more of it. This makes me feel a little better about my job as a graphic designer; except that I’m sure a lot of the layout work I do now will be easily automated. I’ll need to think about upskilling soon!

What jobs do you think will still exist in 50 years time? Read this related article if you’re interested.

Listen here

 

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