I was listening to a rebroadcast of an old RadioLab today (“Time”) – and enjoying it every bit as much as the first time I heard it – when I realized this show has never let me down, ever. It is consistently excellent, which is the toughest type of excellent to be. I want you to listen to this show. I dare you to go poke around their archives and not find something entertaining. I waffle back and forth between which is better: the content or the production value. Equal parts brain and ear candy.


It got me thinking to what other things are so above average that it would actually make me sad for you if they were not at least marginally involved in your life. It’s a short list, as you might expect:

  • The Magic Bullet: I can make my own salsa in about five minutes, which means I haven’t purchased salsa in about four years. I scoff when I walk past them at the store. It’s an empowering feeling. I’ve tried almost everything they trot out in those completely ridiculuous infomercials, and it delivers. Hummus. Coffee. Guacamole. It fits in a drawer and everything goes in the dishwasher. What else could you want?
  • TiVo: You may think your cookie-cutter cable company DVR is good enough, but you’re wrong. You know what I’m watching right now? The 1992 Norris Semifinals. That means mullets, Starter jackets and Chris Chelios bleeding on people in a Chicago Stadium lit about as well as my storage unit. TiVo went ahead and recorded that on its own because it thought I would enjoy it. Good on you, TiVo.
  • Friday Night Lights: Since everyone in Dillon is fine with pretending that Landry never killed that guy, I am, too. Other than that, non-stop excellence. No other show makes me say “Wait, it’s been 50 minutes?!” every single time I watch it.
  • Instant Netflix: And really, regular Netflix, but the Instant one deserves special call-out. I remember being a kid, getting in the car, going to the video store, hoping that the movie I wanted was a) released and b) actually in the store. There was about a 30 percent success rate involved, which dropped to about three if you were relying on a non-Blockbuster store, which I often was (Video Xpress – video stores had the market cornered on awful names). Now I think about a movie, or even better, just a topic (WWI?) and I’m watching it fifteen seconds later (Gallipoli? Yes!).
  • Haribo gummi bears: I can’t keep these around or they would single-handedly cause me to become a diabetic. Someone else out there is thinking along the same lines, it seems.
  • Costco: I’ve been a member for all of 16 days and it was a no-brainer addition to this list.

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