In the spirit of #trypod, my reviews this week are all podcasts I started listening to this year.

The goal of #trypod is to help the podcast-unaware by literally taking their phones, installing a podcast app, and subscribing them to something they’ll like.

Here are some good choices:

Science Vs.
Host Wendy Zukerman tackles one topic each week (Acne, Climate Change, Immigration) and sorts the facts from the fiction. It’s delightfully written and produced, and would make a great first podcast for someone transitioning over from NPR-style shows.

Missing Richard Simmons
A great podcast for people who’ve only listened to Serial. Host Dan Tabersky tries to figure out why Richard Simmons has disappeared from public life. Smartly plotted and emotionally generous.

Do By Friday
Each week, hosts Merlin Mann, Alex Cox and Max Temkin face a different challenge, from meditating to watching Les Mis. Episodes wander very far afield from their stated topics, making it much more of a hangout show. That’s either your taste or it’s not.

Pod Save America
A weekly politics podcast hosted by Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor. They’re liberal wonks and speechwriters, not journalists, so it’s interesting hearing their unfiltered take on our chaotic democracy.

I’m also leaving these reviews on iTunes. The reason you always hear podcast hosts pleading for reviews is that it affects the popularity algorithms, increasing exposure.