I may have said this previously, but I'm a podcast fan. I use to have quite a commute when I lived in the suburbs of Chicago. An hour or so each way. When there was weather or traffic or a stiff breeze, the commute could easily go to an hour and a half. 17 mile commute in 45 minutes. 30 mile commute in an hour and a half. eh.
Not only did I have a long commute, but I was an extremely tired individual and would get SO TIRED on the road. SCARY! But I was young and dumb.
I would try all of the tricks that I heard about. Opening the windows, turning the air on at full blast, chewing gum, etc. The worst would be listening to the radio. Any music with a rhythmic beat would put me into a trance. Caffeine was horrible. It wouldn't keep me up during the car ride, but I would arrive at home peeing my pants and I'd be wound up all night not able to sleep. Which made me tired in the morning... a bit too tired to drive, and so continues the cycle.
I finally found that talk radio was the only thing that kept me awake. It kept me engaged. Chicago has great talk radio. My favorites were the sports channels and public radio.
When I moved up to NE Wisconsin. There weren't many choices for talk radio. My commute went from the 30 mile commute in an hour and a half to 20 miles in 20 minutes. These 'short' jaunts weren't bad. There were times that I'd have to travel to other hospitals - 100 miles or more. Those were bad. In comes the podcast.
So one of my favorite podcasts is on the How Stuff Works network. The Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast is a perfect setup for me. Two engaging and engaged hosts in, Katie Lambert and Sarah Dowdy, keep me listening to their broadcasts. Subjects range from entertainers in Vaudeville to the life of Rasputin. The length of the podcasts range between 8 to 20 minutes or so. The duo provide a chronological report of their subject. Provide their impressions of the behavior of their subject for the podcast and relate what they are speaking about to the other happenings around the world at that particular time.
Interesting stuff. I'll tell you that I wish that I had access to this podcast when I was in AP European history in high school. It would have kept me more interested.