Monday, June 16, 2008

BBC's In Our Time (podcast review)

One of my all time favorite podcasts is BBC's In Our Time. I apologize to readers who hope to see my review during the week the podcast is out. I usually listen then, but not always see what to write and schedule in time. The drawback is that after a week, the podcast is replaced by the next one and the former can only be listened to in stream (see archive).

Here is a short overview of the last four issues, since the last review I wrote:

The Black Death; the plague reduced the European populace, but what other traces did it leave behind. More on not just the economic effect of the epidemic.

Heads or Tails; an issue for the mathematically inclined. Statistics are a rather new chapter in mathematics and though it grew out of gambling, its seriousness today makes it indispensable.

Trofim Lysenko; Science under Stalin. How a totalitarian regime makes and breaks scientists.

The riddle of the sands; relations between the English and the Germans pre-1914, both politically as well as culturally.

More In Our Time:
General review of In Our Time,
Library of Nineveh,
The Brain: A History,
Yeats, Enclosures and Materialism,
King Lear.

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9 comments:

jimmowatt said...

This is just such an amazingly good programme. Melvyn Bragg does a beautiful job of balancing out the various contributors and making sure the show rolls on in an entertaining and informative fashion. There's no attempt to shock or sensationalise. They discuss the issues and explore their collective knowldge in a mature but enthusiastic manner. It is shows such as this that restore my faith that there are still many people out there with an attention span longer of than 15 seconds and the capacity to explore the complexities of what it is to be human.

nick@podxies said...

This is a great podcast!
Probably the cleverest I ever bumped into...
Even though for the purists of podcasting this is just an mp3 rendition of a radio show!
I am glad that I can listen to In our times on a beach or while commuting...
Only thing is that, like other media corporations, BBC has a very strict download policy, quiet counterproductive in my opinion.
What's the point of having such a narrow window opportunity to download it? Why can it not be available as a download for longer...
Of course all these question should be addressed to the BBC big bosses...

The man called Anne said...

I can only agree with both of you, Jim and Nick.
I can only repeat my advice: download always, listen whenever you like.

nick@podxies said...

I'd like to start a campaign to free bbc content and Abc australia too....

The man called Anne said...

I think that is a splendid idea. Let's think how to do that.

nick@podxies said...

Ok I'll keep you posted on that

Karen said...

Nick & Anne - I'm with you on the Free the Podcasts movement! I get so sad when IOT goes on summer break, then I get re-frustrated in the fall when I remember their silly podcast posting methods. The BBC has so much great stuff (especially for Americans who would like to know what's going on outside the US), I'm appalled it isn't easier to get their podcasts. Would an email-blitzing campaign do anything, do you think?

jimmowatt said...

I'm not sure I can see how it would benefit the BBC to give their material away more readily. The BBC gets their money through the TV license paid for by any British person who has a unit capable of receiving television programmes. I wonder if they're looking at other ways of making money from their programmes. Maybe some of these programmes will be repackaged and sold as CD's at some time in the future. Leaving it online for free would mean such revenue raising streams would be non viable.
Having said this
I am willing to be convinced otherwise. Is there a good argument for making these programmes more freely available?

The Man called Anne said...

Indeed, we must give the BBC a very good reason to share. I bet they feel pretty generous giving one podcast away and supplying all those archived shows in stream.