What's in Our Headphones at ITS: Favorite Podcasts of the ITS Crew - ITS Tactical
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What’s in Our Headphones at ITS: Favorite Podcasts of the ITS Crew

By The ITS Crew


We’re all about Podcasts here at ITS, so much so that we created our own with Ridiculous Dialogue! There are thousands of podcasts available, covering every topic imaginable and it can be daunting if you’ve never listened to an episode. Today, we’re sharing the favorite podcasts from the ITS Crew and a bit about why they listen to each one.

Bryan Black – Editor-in-Chief

Ridiculous Dialogue

What's in Our HeadphonesIt should be no surprise that our Podcast at ITS is at the top of my list. I may be biased, but I think I laugh more when going back and listening to an episode, than I do when we’re recording it.

If you haven’t checked out RD yet, you’re missing out. It’s a look at the non-tactical side of everyone at ITS HQ, candid and laughing about everything from movies to childhood experiences. Occasionally we have guests on the show and many tell us it’s like sitting around and listening to a group of good friends shoot the sh*t. Be warned though, it’s not PG-rated.

The Nerdist

What's in Our HeadphonesI’m a self-described geek at heart and the topics that come up on Nerdist are right up my alley. It’s turned into more of an interview outlet as of late and my interest has waned a bit, but I still listen fairly often. The host, Chris Hardwick, is pretty entertaining.

I also enjoy the co-hosts, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, who aren’t on as often as I’d like. Kelly and I had the opportunity to see a live taping of a Nerdist Podcast at Comic-Con a while back and we really loved the dynamic everyone shares in person as well. I’d highly recommend The Nerdist if you’re at all into good humor and laughs.

The Survival Podcast

What's in Our HeadphonesI’ve been listening to my good friend Jack Spirko’s show now for the better part of 6 years and have even make a few appearances myself from time to time with an interview, or as part of his TSP Expert Council. Even though I don’t like the term expert, I’m glad to share my experiences with the TSP audience by answering questions they come up with.

Before I knew anything about Jack, or had met him and his wife Dorothy, his show was a huge motivator for me to start my own business with ITS. It was about a year after starting ITS in 2009 that I heard him say he lived in Arlington, TX, which was right down the street. We all met up, had a drink and the rest is history.

While the title of Jack’s show is The Survival Podcast and he does talk quite a bit about survival, his practical approach to the topics he discusses is extremely refreshing. That and Jack has a ton of knowledge to impart and does so whether you want it or not, so enjoy the show and tell Jack that Bryan sent you.

Art of Manliness

What's in Our HeadphonesHost Brett McKay from the Art of Manliness website has an excellent interview-based Podcast that covers a wide range of topics from accomplished authors, adventurers and leaders in their respective fields.

While I promise the list of Podcasts I listen to isn’t just to plug my appearances, I’m very appreciative to have been asked on the show by Brett awhile back. He’s a very entertaining and thoughtful host that truly makes his guests feel comfortable and relaxed. You won’t regret giving the AoM Podcast a listen.


Kelly Black – Chief Operating Officer

Ted Radio Hour

What's in Our HeadphonesThis is a radio version of TED Talks from “the world’s most innovative minds” shared by NPR (National Public Radio) that follow a theme, so multiple TED videos may be referenced in each podcast episode.

Topics range from business to personal, from dissecting creativity to the origins of our planet. Each episode is uniquely interesting and I always come away with a broader perspective and having learned something valuable.


Seamwork Radio

What's in Our HeadphonesThis is a new podcast from the publisher of Collette Patterns and Seamwork Magazine with just a few episodes out so far. The stories are from sewists who share why they sew, what inspires them and how producing their own garments has really been life changing. I’ve followed Collette Patterns and the mastermind behind it Sarai Mitnick for years as I’ve dreamed of making time for sewing my own garments.

Even though I still haven’t taken that leap into stitching up tailored outfits I glean a ton of creative inspiration from Sarai, her blog, books and her pattern releases. Not only are her online resources always professionally produced and awe-inspiring, but her podcast rivals any major production I’ve listened to.

The Moth Podcast

What's in Our HeadphonesI’ve been a Moth listener for years and this is still one of my all-time faves. It’s an outlet dedicated to the art of story telling and the stories are real, shared by the people who’ve experienced them.

They’re sometimes motivational and sometimes painful to hear, but isn’t that what real life is all about? I’m always intrigued that most of the story tellers who participate are writers, so hearing how they put their experiences together in a measured way that provides a beginning, a middle and an end is almost like listening to mini audio books.

 Freakonomics Radio

What's in Our HeadphonesThis is a show hosted by the authors of the Freakonomics books, Stephen J. Dubner and Steve Levitt. Each episode feels like being part of a conversation with an economic twist on topics about life, social issues or society in general.

Humor is almost always included and this show always gets me thinking about whatever the topic is from a different perspective, or at least gets me thinking about something new.


Yarniacs Podcast and 2KnitLitChicks

What's in Our HeadphonesMy podcast repertoire wouldn’t be complete without some crafty and fiber related shows. For my knitting and crochet fix I catch every episode of The Yarniacs Podcast and the 2KnitLitChicks.

Both of these podcasts feature new episodes every two weeks and they both have two hosts, so the banter between them is lively, educational and inspiring. It also helps that both shows talk about yarn, tools, tips and tricks to help keep me on my stitchy toes.


Rob Henderson – Community Manager


What's in Our HeadphonesThe StartUp podcast is a great look into the world of startup companies, as Alex Bloomberg chronicles leaving NPR to start his own Podcast network. He offers insight into what it really takes to start a media company and the many pitfalls that new companies fall into.

One of the best things about the show is that you as the listener get to see tangible results as the podcast moves forward. Alex attempts to secure funding for the company, while also attempting to come up with a name and solid plan for their growth. It’s a developing podcast that doesn’t seem to have a set direction and that’s what keeps it so interesting.

Their second season focused on another startup company in the world of online dating. While it was definitely interesting, I found myself craving more information about how Gimlet was doing and what was going on at their HQ.

Reply All

What's in Our HeadphonesThe first show created by Gimlet Media after StartUp, Reply All is a show about the Internet. The hosts, PJ and Alex, find a different story each week that revolves around the Internet. From the man that created the first pop-up advertisement to their “Email Debt Forgiveness Day” the show reveals just how integral the Internet has become to us and how connected it allows us to be.

I’ve really enjoyed how the show has played with different tones throughout their run, one episode will be cheesy or joking and the next will be a serious think-piece that allows the listener to really relate with the character’s story. This is a podcast that I find myself mashing the refresh button on each week, impatiently waiting for the newest episode to drop.

This American Life

What's in Our HeadphonesGrowing up, my parents would always listen to NPR on any kind of drive. I loved the quiet narration and the subtle mystery behind the stories that were told. One of my favorite shows to listen to was This American Life and even now as an adult, I find myself drawn to the show each week.

This American Life doesn’t really have a central topic, instead, each episode usually features multiple stories around a central theme, dubbed “Acts.” Sometimes, those stories are huge and dramatic, but occasionally they’ll have lighthearted and even humorous themes.

The host, Ira Glass, has a voice that was destined for the radio and his narration helps glue the different stories together to keep you interested throughout the entire program.

This is Only a Test

What's in Our HeadphonesI’m a bit of a tech nerd and I constantly find myself drawn to websites that feature reviews and breakdowns of the latest and greatest in technology. One of my favorite resources is Tested.com and I was overjoyed to find out that the site owners, Will Smith and Norman Chan, had a weekly podcast. This is Only a Test focuses on what’s new in technology as well as what Will and Norm have been testing.

Each episode varies from 1.5 – 2.5 hours so this is great show for long drives or longer listening periods. Despite the long run time, I never find myself getting bored or feeling like the show is running too slow. Most episodes feature one or multiple guests and it’s always refreshing to hear new opinions on different technology.

This show has also helped to keep me up to date on things that I normally wouldn’t follow, including Virtual Reality and Quadcopter development. Each time I hear about new technology, I find myself eager to hear what Will and Norm think about it.

Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project

What's in Our HeadphonesMythbusters is one of my favorite shows on TV and I love watching the process behind the work they do. I’m always particularly interested in the work of Adam Savage and found myself looking for more content he’d been involved with. In addition to several talks he’d given, I found that he’d started a podcast with Will and Norm from Tested!

Each week, Will, Adam and Norm discuss different topics that usually revolve around the processes Adam uses to build and design everything from props to storage items. Adam offers great insight into his processes and one of the things you discover is that someone with a busy schedule like his has a purpose for almost everything he does. It’s always interesting to me to see how other people work and I enjoy hearing different ideas about workshop efficiency and even normal life efficiency.

With Mythbusters announcing their final season, I’m hoping that Adam will have even more time to work with the guys from Tested to create more content. The videos they’ve produced on the site so far have all been wonderful and Still Untitled is a great place to hear more behind the scenes from these videos.

Amanda Millard – Community Support

Stuff you Missed in History Class

What's in Our HeadphonesThis is a great podcast for history lovers! One recent episode I listened to was about Olive Oatman, whose family was attacked by Indians in 1851 when traveling in Arizona. During this ordeal, Olive was taken hostage by her attackers and lived with Indian tribes for five years before she was ransomed by the U.S. Government. After returning to life as a civilian, Olive wrote a couple of different stories about what happened and how she was treated while she lived with the natives.

Another great episode was The Night Witches. These women were an all-female bombing regiment in the Soviet Air force who dropped 23,000 tons of bombs on the German Forces during World War II. These courageous women went above and beyond to do their part in the war effort. Each episode offers an in-depth look on a different part of history and I’m always learning new things from this show.

Stuff You Should Know

What's in Our HeadphonesStuff you Should Know is an amazing podcast that covers, well, everything. A recent episode I listened to was “How Cult Deprogramming Worked.” It was an interesting discussion on how people were deprogrammed, so to speak, after being brain washed.

The humor that Josh and Chuck share, along with their willingness to take on tough subjects, always entertains me. Show topics range from gory subjects like death and dying to interesting need-to-know subjects like how passports work.


What's in Our HeadphonesThis show had an amazing first season and the second season should be released late in 2015. The first season delves into the true story of a murder that was committed in Baltimore in 1999. The episodes were released weekly and hosted by Sarah Koenig, who I felt did a fantastic job with the narration of each episode as well as the overall story.

Adnan Syed was a regular high school student with normal teenage secrets, crushes, papers and friends, who is convicted for the murder of ex girlfriend Hae Min Lee. The conviction comes down to a few specific details such as Adnan not being able to remember exactly where he was for 20 minutes on an ordinary day six weeks before.

It’s hard enough for me to remember what I did yesterday, much less 6 weeks before and this was before social media, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram updates, texts and smart phones to help. This true story taught me a lot about legal proceedings and how easy it could be to incriminate yourself just by answering seemingly unimportant questions while trying to help. Listen to the first episode and you’ll be hooked and through the whole season in a week.

Stuff Mom Never Told You

What's in Our HeadphonesThis wonderful podcast is geared around all things female ranging from women in history, health, literature and sociology.

The hosts’ antics and jovial perspective make dull and ordinary topics fun and interesting. I’ve found the episodes to be educational, entertaining and very useful for learning about all things women related.




What’s in your headphones? Leave us a comment and let us know your favorite podcasts and other things to listen to.

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