Here’s what I like to plug my ears with on my way to work. They’re also a great idea for days like, well, all this week — rain, rain, and rainy. They are all Toronto (at least produced here) but, ironically, hardly contain any music at all.
Spark with Nora Young: http://www.cbc.ca/spark/
This one’s easy to get sucked into. It’s about modern digital technology — but rather than talk about tech as the topic, Spark discusses how it relates to humanity, the environment, and all that kinda stuff. The social implications of technology, in other words. Nora also manages to squeeze out another podcast every week or so. Oh, and all this month Spark is interweaving topics with another famous local, Marshall McLuhan.
Dispatches with Rick MacInnes-Rae: http://www.cbc.ca/dispatches/
I used to listen to this show on my lengthy drives home before I ever knew it was a podcast. Unfortunately, the show is produced only once a week but CBC makes up for it by packing in all sorts of interesting features. The topics are global but most of the reporters local-ish so I find it easier to connect with the stories.
Ideas with Paul Kennedy: http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/
Yeah, this podcast is as vague as the title implies. The show, however, covers a wide enough range of topics in a truly informative way, and regularly enough, that it’s worth a listen even if the topic of the day doesn’t necessarily strike your fancy.
Manthropology with Pedro Mendes: http://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/pastpodcasts.html?92#ref92
I was sad to learn that a couple of weeks ago this podcast — about what it means to be a man in the 21st century — came to an end. While it’s still available for download, it’s unlikely to be so for long so grab those MP3s now!
Quirks and Quarks with Bob MacDonald: http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/
Toronto’s answer to another fave podcast of mine has been around since I don’t even know when. I always get Bob MacDonald and Jay Ingram mixed up, perhaps because they both sound very similar, or maybe because they’re both kinda short and swarthy, or it could be because they both host popular science shows. Bob, however, strikes me as having more of a sciency background and that makes him eminently more qualified to discuss the topics of the day. Even better is the fact that, as more and more cutting-edge tech comes out of Canada, podcasts like Q&Q are among the first to do on-the-spot, in-depth interviews with the scientists involved.
Search Engine with Jesse Brown: http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/searchengine/index.cfm?page_id=613&blog_id=485&action=blog
Jesse used to do this internet-news-and-social-implications podcast for, I believe, CBC, and then moved it over to TVO. Thankfully, neither the topics, nor the format, or even the name have changed. Plus, this is one of the few podcasts released under a Creative Commons license — props, Jesse!