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Fit More Podcasts Into Your Day With This Calculator

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An alarm clock next to a pair of headphones

Photo: Tawan Chaisom / EyeEm (Getty Images)

I used to listen to an unreasonable number of podcasts—usually while commuting from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back each day, a process that involved a lot of walking and a lot of waiting for trains. But the pandemic changed all that. I’ve been working from home since March, and my daily commute is currently only as long as it takes for Slack to load. Yet I am still subscribed to 44 podcasts, and I have 29 episodes in my queue. When am I supposed to find time to listen to all of them?

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There’s a new tool that can answer that for me, and if you are similarly preoccupied with podcasts (and there’s a good chance you are), it will help you cram more of them into your head holes too. The Podcast Calculator is hosted by Omni Calculator, a site designed to help people make sense of the world using one of more than a thousand bespoke calculation tools. This one—developed by physicist Steven Wooding, mathematics PhD candidate Maciej Kowalski and Omni’s Farhan Khan—is designed to help you “kill your dead time” by identifying and quantifying the times of the day when you aren’t doing anything too mentally taxing and thus could potentially be listening to a podcast at the same time.

Steven Wooding seems like the ideal guy to ask about how to listen to more podcasts. In an email, he told us he’s been a fan of the medium for over a decade and has listened to them for a cumulative total of around 259 days, according to his own estimate. (His first podcast ever was This Week in Tech, and his all-time favorite is The Infinite Monkey Cage from the BBC.) Wooding listens to podcasts while “walking, driving, doing the washing up [and] mowing the lawn,” he said. “I even sometimes listen to podcasts that are designed to send you to sleep.”

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“Recently my teammates built an Audiobooks Calculator [that works along] similar lines,” Wooding said. “I instantly thought it would be so much cooler if we replaced books with podcasts about anything under the sun. Audiobooks are of course a longer audio format, [and finding time to listen to] something shorter and more educational and inspirational might just be something people need [in 2020].”

And that’s where The Podcast Calculator can help. If you’ve got a big backlog of episodes to listen to, it will help you work through them by identifying not only those times of day when you might be able to listen, but also help you assess how mentally engaged you are during your periods of “dead time.” You can then figure out how long it will take you to consume an episode (or batch of episodes) and choose the best one for a given activity.

A screenshot of The Podcast Calculator in action

Screenshot: Joel Cunningham

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Using a fairly simple set of menus and fields, you’ll note your average time spent traveling or doing chores, log the average length of an episode of the show(s) you listen to, and note how much you need to concentrate while you listen—meaning, essentially, how often you might need to skip back to cover something you missed. The calculator will then tell you how much dead time you could be filling with podcasts, and how many episodes you’ll be able to listen to in an average week, month or year.

For years I’ve been meaning to work through my substantial backlog of episodes of Hello From the Magic Tavern, a supremely silly Dungeons & Dragons-themed improv comedy podcast. I have roughly 160 episodes to get through, and episodes tend to run 50 minutes to an hour. If I assume I have one hour of “dead time” a day during which I am doing chores and I assume I can mostly concentrate on my listening while doing them, The Podcast Calculator tells me I can finish my binge listen in 7-1/2 months.

Because I am truly evil (or so people like to tell me on the internet), I often listen to podcasts at 1.5x speed or faster, and, of course, new episodes will also continue to be released every week, but the calculator doesn’t include those additional variables. Still, if you want more podcasts in your life, now you can easily figure out how many will fit.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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