During my 2nd year as a postdoctoral fellow, I commuted about 1.5 hours to work EACH WAY, and that was only if traffic was moving well. (The things we do for love…) I kept my sanity by finding great audiobooks and podcasts to distract me from the horrors of I-95. If you’re stuck with a long commute or some time to kill with your ipod, you might try one of these podcasts. They’ll definitely make you feel smarter than you will after an hour of listening to Ke$ha, and they’re pretty entertaining.
The absolute best podcast for science nerds is RadioLab, which is actually produced at WNYC . Some of the episodes are better than others, but many, many of them touch on psych-related topics, and they’re always worth a listen. A few of my favorites are “Words,””Falling,” and “Desperately Seeking Symmetry.”
The relatively new Freakonomics podcast is more hit and miss so far, but some of the episodes are pretty great, too. I was a big fan of the first “Freakonomics” book, which examined common myths and assumptions in pop culture using data and behavioral economics. A few good episodes to try are “Sciontology” (stupid name — it’s about whether it’s a good idea for kids to take over the family business), “The Economist’s Guide to Parenting,” and “The Suicide Paradox” (it sounds more depressing than it is).