One way I keep up with what happens in the rest of the world, widen my knowledge, and get fodder for thought in general is to listen to podcasts.
Podcasts are like recorded radio shows, which you download (or stream) via Internet. The easiest way to do this is to use an “app” (how I hate that word) on the mobile phone. I use Overcast. Specific, single podcast shows appear periodically, some, like news, even several a day, others daily or weekly. So the usual modus operandi is to subscribe to podcasts in your app, and it will download the single shows automatically, as they are published. It’s like an RSS feed for audio content.
Hence each morning, and even during the day, I have an updated set of shows to listen to whenever I feel like it. They’re just there on my phone awaiting to be consumed. If I don’t feel like listening to a specific show, or topic, I can either defer or delete the show with the flick of my finger. No need to be completionist.
I also subscribe to new podcasts, and unsubscribe from existing ones, all the time. To discover, Apple’s iTunes has a large section on podcasts, as do news organisations such as NPR, Rolling Stone, or New York Times, but I usually find them through cross references in news articles or podcasts I listen to already. Podcast apps such as Overcast also have a search function, and you can subscribe directly from the search results.
There are also video podcasts, but I am not into them. They work the same way, you just need a podcast player that supports video. However, I want to be able to walk around, do the laundry, work out, whatever, when listening to podcasts, and videos are not suited for that use case.
There are literally thousands of podcasts available. Here are a few of the podcasts I regularly listen to. I am subscribed to many more, but these are the ones I really enjoy and can recommend.
Note: the podcasts are in English, unless noted, but there are many shows in other languages as well.
General political new channels reporting on events and developments all over the world.
I’d also put The Bugle here: the current state of things through the eyes of a comedian and his co-hosts. Requires a liking for British humour, though.
Technology and Photography
Two podcasts about life and personalities in general. Both very different, but usually interesting, if you’re ready to put yourself into the shows of the hosts. As these are pretty personal, liking or disliking these shows obviously depends very much on if you can go along with the hosts’ personalities. Which I do. Your mileage may vary.