Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Engines Of Our Ingenuity

A podcast about the machines that make our civilization run and the people whose ingenuity created them. How does that sound? History? Technology? Very serious in any case. This is how the podcast Engines Of Our Ingenuity presents itself in the introduction to each episode.

This is about where the seriousness of this University of Houston podcast ends. Speaker John Lienhard delivers a monologue of two hundred and twenty seconds. Those seconds, though seriously filled with facts and provoking thoughts, are rife with wit and irony. The result is a very charming and very short program that sheds light on some aspect of human progress - not necessarily even technological. The program is broadcast on Houston Public Radio and various other stations. And published as a podcast - luckily for us.

There are more light science, technology and history podcasts, but I have yet to hear one that wraps them all in so little time with so huge a result. A real gem in the world of educational audio.

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Celtic Myth Podshow

Here is a new podcast that recently started: Celtic Myth Podshow. The podcast intends to bring us a wide variety of stories from the Celtic traditions, that is Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish and from Brittany. The way the show intends to bring the tales is by telling them.

The way they phrase it themselves is: 'bringing the tales and stories of the ancient Celts to your fireplace.' Indeed they are brought home, close to the listener, by subtle dramatization. The text is read with a bardic tone of voice and the characters are featured with speaking voices. This is mixed with music in style and the odd sound effect, just the right blend to get you in the Celtic mood.

It may be hard, hopefully will become easier, to keep track of all the names, as they are many and they are very outlandish to the unaccustomed ear. Host Gary performs a pronunciation of the Celtic names that sounded very genuine to me, but at the end of the first show he throws a disclaimer and apologizes for possible mistakes in this respect. Well, we have had one show, I hope this is going to be continued in the splendid way it started.

Related content:
The Fisher King,
The art of coherence,
The Bitch, the Crone, and the Harlot,
Shrinkrapradio meets Curtiss Hoffman.

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