Handpicked Mix



Some of the most compelling storytelling and journalism today can be found in audio podcasts. In the Handpicked Episode Mix we highlight several of the best podcast episodes worth listening to.


  • Richard Bennett Custom Tailors | The Distance | 13 min


    A peek into the handmade world of a custom tailor, a profession that has dwindled in numbers over the years, but is now having a resurgence. It reminds us that the maker movement is not new, it's a nostalgic craving for what was once commonplace.

  • The Birth of Rice-A-Roni | Fugitive Waves | 21 min


    Great piece from the Kitchen Sisters about the origin of the “San Francisco” treat wrapped around a survivor’s story.

  • New York After Rent (II of III) | Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything | 30 min


    Really well sourced and expertly crafted stories around gentrification in NYC. The final days of the Life Cafe in the East Village as told by owner Kathy Kirkpatrick. Tim Kreider's exile in Bushwick before Bushwick was Bushwick. The last story is an excellent movie-for-your-ears take of the New York party scene.

  • To The Brink | Snap Judgment | 23 min


    Segment one from Snap Judgement: The news reported a Japanese woman died from hypothermia in North Dakota while looking for the fictional treasure from Fargo, the Cohen Brother’s film. The truth is much more human than that fleeting headline.

  • Norjak | ARRVLS | 20 min


    "On Thanksgiving Eve 1971, a man hijacked a commercial flight traveling from Portland to Seattle. His demands were simple: 200 thousand dollars in negotiable American currency, four parachutes, and a refueled plane. For the season finale of ARRVLS, we explore the only unsolved hijacking in U.S. history, the mysterious case of D.B. Cooper. A case the FBI refers to, as NORJAK."

  • NYC Police Officer Steve Osborne | Fresh Air | 37 min


    NYC police veteran and regular contributor to "The Moth" storytelling series talks to Terry Gross. Steve Osborne tells several compelling stories from his 20 years with the NYPD. He also gives an officer's view on the recent headlines of excessive force by police across the country.

  • The Deepest Man on Earth | UnFictional | 17 min


    What do you think the record for human no-scuba-equipment freediving is? 100 feet? 150 feet? Try 830 feet. As you might imagine, this activity doesn't come without risk. The story of Herbert Nitsch.

  • Here’s What Watson Actually Does | New Tech City | 21 min


    Remember IBM's Watson, the strangely anthropomorphic supercomputer that competed on Jeopardy? Well Watson is back, and it's (he's?) an app for your phone. Not solving business problems or crunching numbers, Watson is helping you in your kitchen.

  • The Square Deal | Radio Diaries | 17 min


    George F. Johnson was president of the Endicott Johnson Corporation, at one time the largest shoe factory in the world. He was also one of the nation's leading "welfare capitalists" with strong views on how a company should treat workers.

  • Hip Hop to Bibimbap: the Atlanta of Christiane Lauterbach | Gravy | 30 min


    This podcast is worth listening to simply to hear Christiane's unique perspective and personal story, an education on Atlanta's evolving food scene is just a bonus. "In this episode of Gravy, we learn how a Parisian woman came to document the evolution of a Southern restaurant scene, and what her work reveals about Atlanta’s global population."

  • The Ballad of Dock Ellis | KCRW UnFictional | 28 min


    "One of the most memorable characters to ever play baseball, Dock Ellis challenged the baseball establishment, pitched a no-hitter on acid, but always had impeccable style."

  • Game Changer | 99% Invisible | 12 min


    In honor of the NCAA basketball tournament we dug this gem out of the archive. Learn the origin story of the buzzer-beater in this 99% invisible episode.

  • Anatomy of a Confession | Life of the Law | 32 min


    It's shocking how many people confess to crimes they didn't commit. This episode dives into the factors that lead false confessions to happen. The story of Max Soffar is examined, where police had no leads on a triple murder at a bowling alley. Max was convicted based solely on his confession, which he later recanted.

  • Hunting for Prince's Vault | BBC Radio 4 | 28 min


    Prince is rumored to have thousands of fully produced, unreleased tracks in a physical vault near Minneapolis. Some of these songs have leaked out over the years, furthering the mystery around why we haven’t heard the majority of Prince’s music. "Fundamentally his problem was simply that he was more prolific than the market could bear."

  • The Podcast Podcast | Slate Money


    If you're a fan of PodcastPicks and subscribe to the Handpicked Mix, you're very likely a podcast geek like we are. This episode of Slate Money is a very entertaining and interesting discussion of the business of podcasting, which includes Alex Blumberg of Gimlet Media and Will Mayo of Spoken Layer.

  • Forgotten History | Wiretap from CBC Radio | 27:30


    Stories that were lost in transit from the past to the present, one real, one not. Starlee Kine investigates the mystery of a 3rd water tap in some Coney Island apartments, and a Minotaur creates a new mythology.

  • Los Frikis | Radiolab | 32 min


    Compelling and tragic story of desperate acts that happen when overwhelmed by an oppressive government. "How a group of 80’s Cuban misfits found rock-and-roll and created a revolution within a revolution, going into exile without ever leaving home."

  • How Does a Bail Bondsman Work? | Slate Working | 30:33


    Adam Davidson (of NPR’s Planet Money) does a great job drawing out the details of this profession from Ira Judelson. "Judelson discusses his daily routine, the role that trust plays in his work relationships, and the famous clients that inspired the newspaper stories that adorn his office wall, including Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Ja Rule, Robert Durst, and Lindsay Lohan."