Here are some impressions of the latest episodes from my current list of active podcasts. Topics covered included the election, the financial crisis, new Macs, Frank TV, your "Desert Island Sedaris," Santa vs. Odin and a squid with a dog's head that eats penguins at the South Pole. In the order I listened this week:

  • "Uhh, Yeah Dude, Episode 138" The show is more political than usual. Seth and Jonathan have some advice for McCain about profanity and do not like Obama's sports-team pandering. The badness of Frank TV: All of Frank Calienda's impressions sound the same. Who is your Desert Island Sedaris, David or Amy? In the funniest and longest set-piece, Seth describes a visit with "2,000" school children to the traveling DEA exhibit "Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause" at the California Science Center, which explains how to manufacture cocaine, heroin and crystal meth. Unlikely street names for drugs. Aaron Neville sings "Silent Night." Planning an Applebee's fan video. And more riffs on headlines. Released: Oct. 24. Length: 1 hour, 6 minutes.
  • "TWIT 166: Toxic Tea Party" Leo Laporte, Will Harris, Sarah Lane of Revision 3, Jason Calacanis of Mahalo and others discuss the ongoing financial crisis, including rumors about The New York Times. Calacanis explains Mahalo layoffs: "I think the downmarket is going to last 18 to 36 months and I would like to have a year or two of runway after it..." How retail bankruptcies lead to deflation and more bankruptcies. Riding on private jets is just like on "Entourage." Dentistry in England. The G1 Google phone. Kevin Rose of Digg calls in near the end, extending the podcast by 20 minutes, joshing with his staffer Sarah Lane, with no hint that she would be laid off the next day. Released: Oct. 26. Length: An overly long 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • "Smodcast 66: Sleipner the Conquerer" One of their best: Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier discuss whether a "War of the Worlds" style hoax is possible in the modern world. Perhaps if the aliens landed in Antartica and started eating the cast of "March of the Penguins." With digressions about the history of arctic exploration, the origins of Santa Claus and the presidential election. How they get from Barack Obama's 30-minute infomercial to a battle between Santa and Odin is well worth the ride for students of the absurd. This was one of the better recent Smodcasts, which had taken on a boring, mailed-in quality while the pair were working on their most recent film, "Zack & Miri Make a Porno," which opens Friday. Released: Oct. 24. Length: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
  • "You Look Nice Today: Who Voted?" More highly edited, easygoing nonsense conversation: Cold start about how there are no more grownups. How to decide how to vote for local candidates for minor offices you know nothing about, and other election quandaries. Every time Merlin says vis-a-vis, take a drink. A complicated sexual fantasy about a voting booth. If you had 14 Farrah Fawcetts. The science of seduction. "Obviously, he is a sex scientist." The narcissism of fantasy nudity. Pickup lines, Twitter and Dungeons & Dragons. Heat-sensitive Hypercolor clothes. The smug "I Voted" sticker. Not as loose as past episodes; I could actually follow the train of the conversation, which may or may not be good. Released: Oct. 28. Length: 30 minutes.
  • "MacBreak Weekly 112: 分かりません"After listening to Alex Lindsay's travel and home-buying plans and some bad celebrity impressions, plus a Frank TV reference, actual Mac talk starts at 10-minute mark. Apple finances opposition to California's Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage in California. G1 Google vs. iPhone. Rumors about features in the new iPhone 2.2. firmware. Extended discussion of Twitter. Experiences with the new MacBook. Trackpad weirdness.The missing Firewire port. Apple quarterly results. Snow Leopard with Cocoa Finder is coming. Future of Apple TV and Mini. Picks were inexpensive, esoteric or uninteresting. Released: Oct. 28. Length: An overly long 1 hour, 51 minutes.

    Release dates are when episodes were available on iTunes. Alternative download sites are in the links. I didn't have time for the video podcasts Diggnation and The Totally Rad Show this week.