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Shake up your mind in 2019 by checking out these 6 websites and 7 podcasts

Tim Ferriss, right, interviews Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, cofounder of Imagine Entertainment, at Summit LA17 in Los Angeles in 2017. Ferriss’ podcasts are worth hearing, Nancy Napier writes.
Tim Ferriss, right, interviews Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, cofounder of Imagine Entertainment, at Summit LA17 in Los Angeles in 2017. Ferriss’ podcasts are worth hearing, Nancy Napier writes. Amy Harris/Invision/AP

The year is still fresh and perhaps you’re on a road to living well and learning more.

That may mean rethinking some reading and listening routines. I’ve listed below a few that you might want to check out — most of them focus on offering new ideas, different perspectives or alternative ways to look at some issue.

If you’re curious about new social or business trends, check these websites.

Springwise.com (https://www.springwise.com/) and Trendwatching.com (https://trendwatching.com/) both talk about tech and business trends around the world. Springwise recently had an article about seaweed straws — how we can drink with them and then eat them. The site also reported on the world’s first plastic-free grocery store aisle in Amsterdam.

Edge.org (https://www.edge.org/) is a collection of ideas from some of the world’s biggest thinkers. I wrote recently about “what is your question,” which stemmed from the site’s 2018 discussion.

Napier, Nancy

Two sites draw from writings of people past and present to cover a range of topics:

Brainpickings.org (https://www.brainpickings.org/) taps comments from people throughout the ages to muse on topics from death to writing, singularity to aging. It’s a quick daily read that shows some idea in a different way.

Likewise, Arts and Letters Daily (https://www.aldaily.com/) offers a collection of current articles from a range of sources — literary, scientific, political, historical — that also jolt and surprise, like one recent article, which started like this:

Harvard at 16, on Berkeley’s math faculty by 25, then ecoterrorism. Now the Unabomber’s ideas are spreading to a new generation ...

If you are a podcast junkie, consider some interview sites and perhaps a few storytelling ones.

For interviews, try David Axelrod (“The Axe Files), Alec Baldwin (“Here’s the Thing”) or Tim Ferriss (“The Tim Ferriss Show”). Ferriss’s interviews, in particular, are long and rambling, but he does get scientists, writers, entertainers and deep thinkers to open up about their morning routines, what inspires them, and what they do when they are in the dumps.

If you’re up for some real-life stories, both harrowing and illuminating, try Dr. Death and Casefiles, and then toss in some Hidden Brain and Business Wars for variety.

And last, to find out about quirky and interesting spots around the world, not much can beat Atlas Obscura (https://www.atlasobscura.com/) to indulge in what the site calls “Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations.” A recent headline was “How Japanese immigrants in the Amazon created a new cuisine.” How could that not tempt you to click and read?

So what do you have on your reading/listening list for 2019?

Nancy Napier is a Boise State University distinguished professor. nnapier@boisestate.edu

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