By Pat St. Claire, CNN
(CNN) - Welcome to the CNN Radio Soundwaves Sunday Playlist. Each week we present interesting stories we're listening to. We hope you'll return the favor and let us know what you're listening to on the web by entering your comments below.
Here are our top picks for this week. They made us laugh, think, smile and empathize.
Hair is a big deal among African-American women. And this week, Facebook and Twitter were buzzing about Gabby Douglas's hair! Despite the fact that the 16-year-old has just earned a membership to the elite club of Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnasts, a lot of the talk on social media, particularly from black women, has been about her ponytail. Writer Monique Fields, in a commentary for NPR's All Things Considered, takes offense to that and suggests that critics would be better served by focusing on the young athlete's astounding accomplishments.
You may know Kevin Smith as the prolific American screenwriter, actor, film producer and director. Or you might simply know him as "Silent Bob." But, did you know he's also an internet radio star hosting several weekly podcasts? Last week, Smith sat down for a chat with Mark Ramsey, a media and strategy consultant to media companies in the U.S. The two talked about the world of podcasts versus the enduring power of radio and where the two formats meet.
What happens when someone in your family commits an unthinkable crime? Unfortunately, family members sometimes blame themselves when asking why. In the aftermath of the tragic theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado last month that left 12 people dead, NPR's All Things Considered featured this story on August 1. Reporter Alix Spiegel talked with the brother of Ted Kaczynski, the man known as the Unabomber, as well the the parents of mass murderer Larry Robison, to learn how the tragedies affected those family members.
And finally, something for the sports enthusiast. ESPN's Pardon the Interruption TV show is also available as an audio podcast. Hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon's banter is funny, but it's also informative. Even if you're not a sports fan you’ll likely enjoy this. And if you've ever wondered what Olympic swimmers do when they have to take a "bio-break" while in the pool, you'll find out in this podcast from August 3rd.
That's it for this week. Enjoy! Remember to let us know what podcasts you're discovering online.
–The CNN Radio Team