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Science podcasts for the holiday traveler

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As the second wave of holiday migration is upon us, zillions of soon-to-be travelers are girding their loins, knowing that no matter which mode of transportation they've chosen to get to grandma's, it ain't going to be easy. But travelers can make it a bit easier on themselves by arming their MP3 players with a passel of podcasts. For anyone with a passing interest science or technology, there are some dandy possibilities.

As you might guess, NPR is always loaded with good stuff. Let's say you're still on the hunt for gifts. Visit Science Friday and check out What to Get That Special Geek (link to audio file).

Or, if you know your plane is going to be flying through dark and stormy skies, be prepared and download Erasing Fears by Thinking About Them (link to audio file).

If you're more concerned about being brought down by a plane full of scowling grumps, fire up Smiling in Groups to hear that happiness really is contagious. Ditto with the Science of Getting a 'Yes'. This could come in handy if you're checking in for your flight and you're angling for an upgrade.

If your mode of travel involves a car, check out Radiolab with Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad. This podcast is one of my all-time faves. Here's their description:

Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we'll feed it with possibility.

Their podcasts are about an hour each. They're quirky, full of cool information, and perfect for a long drive in a car full of humans of all ages. For starters, try the piece on Laughter-We all laugh. But why?.

Photo by quinn.anya

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