Happy Monday to you! If you have an extra hour or two this week, I'd highly recommend checking out two or four -- or all ten! -- of the following podcast episodes, if you haven't heard them yet. Each one is fantastic on its own, but I think they're incredible listens when played with their pairs.
Pairing 1: Outside/In + Direct Current
Living Fossils from Outside/In [May 13, 2016, 56 minutes]. Host Sam Evans-Brown wonders why America's electric grid hasn't changed in over sixty years, despite the massive costs associated with maintaining it.
Tackling the Hidden Costs of Rooftop Solar from Direct Current [May 3, 2016, 25 minutes]. The Department of Energy's digital team walks listeners through the maze of buying, installing, and connecting personal rooftop solar panels.
Pairing 2: The Heart + This American Life
Mariya from The Heart [May 4, 2016, 39 minutes]. Writer Mariya Karimjee underwent genital mutilation when she was a seven-year-old girl living in Pakistan. Here, she bravely tells her emotional story.
Who Do We Think We Are from This American Life [May 8, 2016, 1 hour]. The same storyteller -- writer Mariya Karimjee -- gets to the bottom of the life-changing decision her family members made for her when she was just a young girl.
Pairing 3: The Uncertain Hour + This American Life
The Magic Bureaucrat from The Uncertain Hour [April 28, 2016, 41 minutes]. The new podcast from Marketplace dives into the world of welfare. In its first episode, we hear about legislation President Bill Clinton passed to reform the system in 1996.
Barbara from This American Life [Oct. 15, 1999, 59 minutes]. One single mom living on Chicago's south side records her life for seven months, defying politicians' stereotypes about so-called "welfare queens."
Pairing 4: The Longest Shortest Time + Rumble Strip Vermont
The Accidental Gay Parents, 1 from The Longest Shortest Time [June 24, 2015, 37 minutes]. Two dating twenty-somethings become parents overnight after receiving an unexpected phone call from a family member's social worker.
Six Parents. Six DCF Stories from Rumble Strip Vermont [May 19, 2016, 38 minutes]. Six parents share their heartbreaking stories from the opposite side, after their children are taken away by the state's Department of Children and Families.
Pairing 5: Fresh Air + Embedded
Comedian Marc Maron On Sobriety And Managing His 'Uncomfortable' Comfort Zone from Fresh Air [May 24, 2016, 38 minutes]. The podcasting extraordinaire sits down with host Terry Gross to discuss his struggles -- and the struggles of his fictional TV character -- with addiction.
We Found Joy: An Addict Struggles To Get Treatment from Embedded [May 5, 2016, 28 minutes]. Host Kelly McEvers talks with a former nurse named Joy about her bumpy road to recovery after she became addicted to the powerful prescription opioid Opana.