Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Heads-up for 30 November 2010

Africa Past & Present
Popular Politics in Southern Africa
Historian Paul Landau (University of Maryland) on rethinking the broad history of Southern Africa from 1400 to 1948. His new book re-asserts African agency by seeing Africans in motion, coming out of their own past. Drawing on oral traditions, genealogies, 19th-century conversations, and other sources, Landau highlights the resilience of African political cultures and their adeptness at incorporating diverse peoples.
(review, feed)

SALT - Seminars About Long Term Thinking (The Long Now Foundation)
Lera Boroditsky
How Language Shapes Thought
(review, feed)

Wise Counsel Podcast
Monica Ramirez Basco, Ph.D. on Procrastination
Procrastination, defined by putting things off, falling behind, and then feeling badly, is a normal behavior but one that can cause real problems when taken to extremes. It can present as a symptom of depression or anxiety or perfectionism. it's remediation can help create a sense of relief or respite from these other conditions. A first step in addressing problematic procrastination is to raise awareness that procrastination is occurring so that it becomes more of a conscious choice rather than a simple reflex. Next, it is helpful to understand the motivations that cause the behavior, which vary across different people. Some people procrastinate as a simple short-term means of avoiding having to do tasks they find aversive. Others avoid due to social evaluation fears or self-doubt. Others procrastinate due to poor organizational skills and difficulty accurately estimating the time it will take to accomplish a goal. Procrastination can also occur as a practical means of social manipulation (such as when delay in cleaning one's room will cause another to do it for you), or as a result of existential paralysis over not being able to complete tasks with a (self-imposed) required level of skill or quality. Its important to pick a single instance of procrastination to address rather than try to stop the pattern globally. Keeping change goals small and manageable makes it possible to maintain motivation to change and to measure change as it occurs.
(review, feed)

Omega Tau Podcast
/49/ Chip Production and Waferscanners
In this episode we take a look at microchip production, with a special focus on waferscanners. To do this, we talked with Wilbert Albers of ASML, the leading waferscanner manufacturer in the world. In the episode, we talk about the overall chip production process (from silicon sand over wafer cutting to lithography and etching), and then we talk about the challenges of building high-precision, high-throughput waferscanners.
(review, feed)

The Total Football Soccer Show
El Clasico: Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid. Dominación
After the Thanksgiving hiatus, we're back with an Extra Time review of the incredible El Clasico game, in which Barcelona embarrassed Real Madrid 5-0, and shocked those of us (Albert) who expected more from Madrid. The podcast was recorded immediately after watching the game. At time of posting, Albert is yet to satisfy the terms of his bet with Taylor.
(review, feed)

Podcasts on American History

I have reported on so many podcasts in the realm of history that I have deemed it necessary to take my history directory and order it into subdivisions. There will be subdivisions into eras, into regions and into themes, to whatever extent the division is useful, accepting the overlap and holes that remain - just to cut up an unwieldy list of over 130 podcasts into reasonable chunks.

The first subset I created was Ancient History.
The second was Medieval History

And now the third will be on American History. Obviously with this I move the emphasis from the temporal to the spatial. Most history podcasts that address the Americas will take the history beyond Ancient and Medieval times, so that an overlap with the previous sections hardly occurs, but should this be so, the podcasts will go in both categories. Moreover, as we close in on modern times, the amount of podcasts is larger and the regional sectioning in many ways is an addition to the temporal. 

Local American history taken from environmental perspective. Excellent lecture series to get acquainted with the idea of an environmental history.

Dr. Gretchen Ann Reilly at Temple College, Texas, turned her lectures into privately read 15 minute podcasts. This enhances the clarity and structure in comparison with recorded live lectures. She delivers her history in a very insightful and accessible way.

Tony Cocks' monologues about history. Starting off with the British roots of the American constitution and following up with the Battle of Britain.

Extensive lecture series about US History before 1870. Mind the low audio that comes with live recorded lectures.

A history podcast that digs up anything that has to do with Abraham Lincoln. Much in the way of Tudorcast does for the Tudors. there is no didactic build in order to pass understanding of the person, but rather an unstructured stream of episodes. Charmingly done however. So far there are three podcasts in the feed.

History lectures on US history, with recurring themes such as lectures about Lincoln and about Slavery.

History 131 (University of Alaska Fairbanks) (reviewsitefeed)
History of the Americas before 1870

History 132 (University of Alaska Fairbanks) (reviewsitefeed)
US History after 1870

History 7B (Berkeley) US History: from Civil War to Present, (reviewsitefeed).
Professor Jennifer Burns lays out American History in 39 lectures lasting less than one hour each. The lecture series is 'old' (begin 2006) but is still kept alive through Burns' personal website.

Bob Packett is a college history professor who simply cannot stop talking. He delivers history lectures, with sources, on a daily basis, touching on all corners of history. Bob has a lot of American history topics.

History of the American Revolution (reviewsitefeed)
Kurtis Ford, retells the American history in quite extensive detail and with great narrative power with a very personal touch.

Jamie Lawson takes us back 20 years and gives her personal view on history back then. These issues contain quite a few American subjects.

the Memory Palace (reviewsitefeed)
Nate diMeo tells historic tales in the most poetic way.

The one and only and most outstanding interview podcast in the history podcast genre. Marshall Poe interviews historians about their recent books. Lively, varied and intelligent content. Many American subjects.

350 years of the Jewish experience in America. Journalist Larry Josephson delivers historical episodes taking us through the entry of Jews in the Americas to contemporary Jewry in the US. He combines these exposes with interviews with leading American Jews on Jewish subjects.

Religion and Law in US, HIUS 155A (UCSD) (review, site, feed)
Professor Michael Parrish teaches the legal and religious foundations of the American Society until the Civil War.

Religion and Law in US, HIUS 155B (UCSD) (review, site, feed)
Professor Michael Parrish teaches the legal and religious foundations of the American Society from the Civil War until the present.

Richard Miller tells the history of San Francisco.

University lectures on various subjects of American History; a project of the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University.

US History since 1877 (Temple College) (reviewsitefeed)
Gretchen Reilly's straightforward monologue podcast about American History from 1877 until today

A podcast of the US National Constitution Center addressing constitutional issues with lectures and forum discussions on a very high level.

Pieces of History, a Hebrew podcast. Selected topics in history. The latest series is about the American Revolution.

New podcasts in October and November 2010 - Anne is a Man

Today I am looking back at two months of podcast reviewing. Normally I summarize monthly, but as many of you must have noticed, I was not consistently at the blog during October and the beginning of November. Fortunately, I got the writing back on track and now the time is due to give a list of feeds that were reviewed for the first time in the past period:

Forum-Network (NPR) (review, site, feed)
Interviews with authors

Interdisciplinary Collaboration Audio (Carnegie Mellon University) (review, site, feed)
Guest lectures at Carnegie Mellon University.

A brief history of mathematics (BBC) (review, site, feed)
In ten easy to digest episodes Marcus du Sautoy introduces us to the history of modern mathematics.

Mercy Podcast (review, site, feed)
Music and Arts podcast coming from Liverpool about artistic life in the city on the Mercy.

Conspiracy Podcast (RTE) (review, site, feed)
History podcast about political trials in Ireland

Some Books Considered (review, site, feed)
Book review podcast.

Center for Near Eastern Studies (review, site, feed)
Lectures at UCLA concerning history and politics of the Middle and Near East.

Kol Hadash (review, site, feed)
Rabbi Adam Chalom's Judaism podcast with a secular streak. Coming from the Humanistic Congregation in Chicago.

The International Institute (review, site, feed)
Lectures at UCLA concerning history and politics.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Heads-up for 29 November 2010

Indicast Podcast
The Corruption Continues
When an IAS officer is caught for corruption, it isn't a big deal, but when he uses encrypted language in his telephone conversations to cover up, we also get a trailer of the hilarious side of such crimes. Listen to know what we mean! The 2G license scam has banks having withdrawal symptoms. While Dalai Lama contemplates retirement, the pope approves selective condom use. In sports, Kumble and Srinath become the new face of Karnataka cricket.
(review, feed)

Russian Rulers History Podcast
Muscovite Education
Were the Muscovites literate? Did they have an educational system? We answer these questions in today's short podcast.
(review, feed)

The History of Rome
Aurelian's Walls
Aurelian became Emperor in 270 and immediatly faced an invasion of Italy by the Juthungi. After succesfully driving the Germans off, Aurelian turned his attention to building a new wall circuit around Rome to protect the capital in the future.
(review, feed)

Media Matters with Bob McChesney
Sunday November 28, 2010
McChesney and Nichols discuss "The Money and Media Election Complex"
(review, feed)

Europe from its Origins
Episode 18 AD 1276 - 1347
After Acre fell in 1291, it was to be more than a hundred years before European princes would undertake another major Crusade. Why was this so?
In this episode we see the emergence of Ottoman power in north-west Anatolia, sealing the permanent civilizational loss of Graeco-Roman Asia Minor to Christendom.
Europe, in contrast, appeared to be powerful and united under papal leadership, as the Republic of Christendom. But within European society deep political changes were afoot that would lead to centuries of internal civil war and paralysis vis-à-vis the wider Mediterranean world.
(review, feed)

Mahabharata Podcast
Episode 34 - Monkey's Uncle
Episode 34 - The Pandavas resume center stage as the main characters of this episode. They continue their trek through the mountains until the going gets too rough for Draupadi. Bhima summons his half-Rakshasa son, Gatotkacha, who can fly, and they are carried the rest of their journey to the Ashram of Nar-Narayan.
While hanging out at this heavenly retreat, Draupadi sends Bhima off to find her some special lotus blossoms. Along the way, Bhima meets up with Hanuman, who it turns out is his brother (both are sons of the Wind God).
The quest for the Lotus Blossom finally leads Bhima to Kubera's Pleasure Garden, which is guarded by hordes of Rakshasas. Bhima makes short work of them and takes a dip in Kubera's pond.
Yuddistira gets suspicious and has Gatotkacha take them to Bhima. Kubera takes the destruction of his gardens and the death of his guards pretty lightly, and he allows the Pandavas to stay in his garden as long as they like. We leave them there until next Episode, when Arjun finally makes his return.
(review, feed)

Reported podcasts since July 2010

Hi Anne,

I'd really appreciate you reviewing our podcast: The Ministry of Geek, a light-hearted, entertaining and often-times acerbic take on technology issues and geekdom from Downunder (in an easily digestible 30-40 minute format).

We're getting great word of mouth down here, but would love to pick up some global listeners out there who might enjoy our unique vibe.

Kind regards,
Richard F

The Ministry of Geek (feed)

-----

Hello,

The company I am doing an internship with have just started doing a really quality weekly podcast. It's about the arts and music scene in Liverpool UK. Just wondering if you want to review it?

Here is the podcast Mercy Podcast (feed)

I am looking around for podcast review shows/blogs in general- do you know of any other really good ones?

It'd be really great if you could help me, I am aiming to be the best intern of all time.

Let me know!

Thank you

Emma Hammond
----

Hi, There! My name is Chris, and I'm the head writer for a sketch comedy podcast called "The Abraham Lincoln Show." I have been working to promote our new show recently, so I thought I'd forward along ours for your consideration, in hopes that it might be reviewed on your blog. (feed)

"The Abraham Lincoln Show" is a fully-scripted podcast featuring Abraham Lincoln hosting a radio talk show, with appearances by Hannibal Hamlin, Mary Todd Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, Albert Einstein, and others. It also features satire of TV, Film, commercials, and more. It's an absurd sort of podcast that mixes a fast pace with an "Out-there" sense of humor. We have our pilot episode, a summer special, and several preview clips on our blog right now, and we plan to premiere Season One (Starting with episode 102, 7 new episodes are planned) on Sunday, October 24th. I'd be thrilled if you'd take the time to review our show!

Fair warning: Our show does contain some explicit content (not a ton, but enough to warrant an "Explicit" tag), so if you are typically not a fan of these sorts of podcasts, then I completely understand.

Below is a link to our blog which contains all of our current content, and links to our RSS and iTunes pages. I am also happy to send you an advance copy of our Season Premiere episode which comes out next week for your review. I hope to hear from you soon, and look forward to any feedback you can provide. Thanks!

Sincerely,
Chris Michaud

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Heads-up for 28 November 2010

Beyond the Book
‘Content’ Get A Rules Book
“When everything else fails, read the instructions.” That was the sage advice of the Sage of Concord, Henry David Thoreau. Chris Kenneally has just finished reading the instructions for content creation and distribution in the digital age, as written by two pioneers in online communications. This week, he speaks with co-authors Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman of Content Rules: How To Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars, and More that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business, which will be published tomorrow, Tuesday, November 30, in the New Rules Social Media series from Wiley.
(review, feed)

Zencast
Gratitude
Dharma teaching by Gil Fronsdal.
(review, feed)

Pasajes de la Historia
Johannes Kepler Vs. Tycho Brahe
En Enemigos Íntimos, Juan Antonio Cebrián nos cuenta el enfrentamiento entre Johannes Kepler y Tycho Brahe.
(review, feed)

Gates to Joy - Jack Kornfield

Most of the time the Buddhist podcast Zencast can be enjoyed best with the beginner's mind. Just listen in and let the podcast deliver what it has to deliver. You can pick and choose on the way what fits your needs and preferences. The latest teaching by Jack Kornfield about joy and what can be the causes for joy surely is not different. (feed)

However, if you have the mind for it, you can also try to listen while being prepared. Kornfield is applying his usual undulating style, larded with seemingly impromptu shoart narratives, but in hindsight you will find he systematically went through what he sees as the gates to joy and you may want to grab that list and recall them, as soon as you get to the end.

What he suggests by then is a nice recipe for you, how to tap into joy and it goes like this: first of all stick with those gates that work for you best and be with them at all times as much as possible. But while you are at it, why not give try at the others as well. When I finished the podcast on the first hearing, I felt I fumbled with my beginner's mind and wondered, what were the others again?

More Zencast:
Jack Kornfield - Zencast,
Engaging in the path,
Gil Fronsdal on speech,
Right effort,
Mindfulness.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Heads-up for 27 November 2010

History According to Bob
American Civil War February 1864
This show is part 1 of 2 on the events of February 1864 in the American Civil War.
(review, feed)

Philosopher's Zone
Hegel and Hegel's God
This week, in another trek through the luxuriant and fascinating jungle that is the thought of one of the greatest philosophers of the nineteenth century, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, we turn to Hegel´s god and look at Hegel as a rational mystic. Our guest again is Robert M. Wallace, a philosopher best known for his book Hegel´s Philosophy of Reality, Freedom and God, and a man with a keen interest in philosophical mysticism. Liberal theologians during the last century and a half have wanted to articulate a conception of God that could satisfy people´s spiritual longings without conflicting with Darwinian evolution and other well-established scientific discoveries. Robert Wallace believes that Hegel had already done this.
(review, feed)

Veertien Achttien
John Jellicoe en de Slag om Armageddon (zondag 26 november 1916)
Loyaal, behoedzaam, plichtsgetrouw: het zijn niet per se de eigenschappen waaruit zeehelden worden opgetrokken. John Jellicoe was geen publiekslieveling. Terwijl hij toch de enige aan beide zijden was, volgens Churchill althans, die de oorlog op een enkele middag had kunnen verliezen.
(review, feed)

A Soviet Memoir - New Books in History

Here is yet another warm recommendation for New Books In History, Marsahll Poe's weekly podcast in which he interviews the author of a recently published book in history. (feed)

This week he spoke with Deborah Kaple about her book Gulag Boss, a Soviet Memoir. While Kaple was in Moscow for research on another project, she ran into Fyodor Vasilevich Mochulsky who had been a boss in a Gulag work camp and had written his experiences down. He had tried to find a publisher for it, but to no avail. Kaple translated and delivered some additional material to the work of Mochulsky.

The interview (and the book obviously) give a very fine insight in the workings of Soviet society, of the NKVD and the Gulag camps. Mochulsky is a faithful and dedicated communist yet also has to find his way between strict obedience and proper treatment of the prisoners. The prisoners, by the way, are not just men and not just political prisoners, making for a very challenging environment for Mochulsky to run the camp.

More NBIH:
This I accomplish,
Not your idea of World War II,
When Akkadian was Lingua Franca,
The 1910 Paris flood,
Stasi agents and informants.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Heads-up for 26 November 2010

Shrink Rap Radio
A Buddhist Perspective on Psychotherapy with Mark Epstein, MD
Mark Epstein, M.D., is a psychiatrist and author of Psychotherapy Without The Self: A Buddhist Perspective (Yale University Press, 2007), Going to Pieces: Without Falling Apart (Broadway Books, 1999), and Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective (Basic Books, 1995). Dr. Epstein is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Medical School. He is a psychotherapist with a private practice in New York City and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University. Dr. Epstein has been a contributing editor to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review since it was founded in 1991. He writes for Yoga Journal, O, The Oprah Magazine, Buddhadharma, Body and Soul and other periodicals. Additionally Mark Epstein is the author of well-respected books that deal with the difficult and counter-intuitive Eastern teachings of non-self, a concept which has sometimes proved so alien to the western mind as to be out of reach for many western Buddhists. As a student of Vipassana meditation, he teaches periodically with Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman at Tibet House in New York and lectures to therapists around the country on the relationship of Buddhist and western approaches to psychotherapy.
(review, feed)

Distillations
Space Science
Space, the Final Frontier! Mention the chemistry of space and you’re likely to hear bad jokes about Tang or the behavior of liquids in zero gravity. But it turns out that there’s an entire field—astrochemistry—dedicated to understanding the chemistry of the universe. Chemical Agent: Panspermia.
(review, feed)

The Economist
Climate change and development
Adil Najam of Boston University on the danger of kicking the can down the road at Cancun
(review, feed)

London School of Economics: Public lectures and events
Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk among Us
The recent financial crisis laid bare many of the assumptions behind market liberalism--the theory that market-based solutions are always best, regardless of the problem. For decades, their advocates dominated mainstream economics, and their influence created a system where an unthinking faith in markets led many to view speculative investments as fundamentally safe. The crisis seemed to have killed off these ideas, but they still live on in the minds of many-- even some of those charged with cleaning up the mess. John Quiggin explains how these dead ideas still walk among us--and why we must find a way to kill them once and for all if we are to avoid an even bigger financial crisis in the future. John Quiggin is professor of economics at the University of Queensland in Australia.
(review, feed)

The fall of democracies - History 5

The interbellum is a very fascinating period. How could a damaged Europe while it recovered from the devastations of the Great War choose for the fast lane for yet another world war? We learned just recently how international politics failed and states embarked on an arms race that drew the world to war on the podcast New Books in History - Not your idea of WW2. It was not just that though, national politics also failed, especially democracy had to make way.

The 25th lecture of History 5 is dedicated to the failure of democracy in Germany and Italy and the hard to explain rise to power of their fascist dictators. Speaker is Margaret Anderson and I am not sure whether this is a guest lecture or a rerun of the 2008 lecture. Anderson is a great lecturer and she delivers History 5 in a very clear and organized way. She also has a knack for narrative suspense. (feed)

Take for example how she kicks off this lecture with telling the sordid details of two losers and how they fail in society. One a school teacher who is too easily tempered and eventually gets kicked out for knifing a student and consequently is arrested for loitering. The other a drop out from high school who sleeps in homeless shelters and tires to make ends meet by selling postcards in the street. Who are these men? Could they be Mussolini and Hitler in their youth?

More History 5:
Lecture mix up,
5 Podcasts I listened to when I was away from the blog,
Berkeley History 5 by Thomas Laqueur 2010,
History 5 by Laqueur in previous years,
History 5 by Margaret Anderson.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Heads-up for 25 November 2010

In Our Time (BBC)
Metaphor
Melvyn Bragg and guests explore metaphor; the literary device that pervades our language, literature and lives. From medieval literature to Shakespeare, the Metaphysical poets and Virginia Woolf, this programme considers the role of metaphor in their work and more. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Julie Sanders, Professor of English Literature and Drama at the University of Nottingham; Steve Connor, Professor of Modern Literature and Theory at Birkbeck, University of London; and Tom Healy, Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Sussex.
(review, feed)

New Books In History
Deborah Kaple, “Gulag Boss: A Soviet Memoir”
In Gulag Boss: A Soviet Memoir (Oxford UP, 2010), Deborah Kaple gives us the biography of Fyodor Vasilevich Mochulsky – ordinary fellow, Communist Party member, and GULAG officer from 1940 to 1946.
(review, feed)

TED Talks
Creative houses from reclaimed stuff - Dan Phillips (2010)
In this funny and insightful talk from TEDxHouston, builder Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own creative drive.
(review, feed)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Heads-up for 24 November 2010

The China History Podcast
The Southern & Northern Kingdoms
The Southern and Northern Kingdoms were a collection of dynasties that lasted 170 years and preceded the time of unification under the Sui Dynasty. North of the Yangzi River you had the Northern Wei, the Northern Qi and the Northern Zhou. South of the great river reigned the Liu Song, Southern Qi, the Liang and finally the Chen. Although there was disunity in China and plenty of warring going on to make things miserable for most, it was still a very critical and formative time in China with mass migrations of Han Chinese from the north to the south. It was also a time when Buddhism triumphed in China.
(review, feed)

TED Talks
Jason Fried: Why work doesn't happen at work
Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.
(review, feed)

This I accomplish - New Books in History (NBIH)

I tend to recommend all issues of the excellent podcast New Books In History with the caveat that you obviously must select the subjects that appeal to you. For myself I thought I might skip for example the latest interview which was with Kyra Hicks who has written a biography of a quilter. I thought: "Quilts... hm ... no, not for me." Yet, I could not stop listening to the interview. (feed)

The excitement eventually even is with the craft of quilting, which was originally putting me off, but what initially kept me glued to the podcast was the careful way the host, Marshal Poe, built up the interview. He revealed that Hicks made some exciting discovery during her research, but directed his questioning according to a build-up towards the climax.

And this makes you listen and guess what it is going to be and really get into the person about whom the biography is. Harriet Powers, a former slave, whose quilt she made by the end of the nineteenth century can be seen in the Smithsonian Museum. Hicks took on this interesting character and with determination added to what little was known about her. Mrs. Powers comes to life, quilting comes to life and of course, eventually she makes her amazing discovery.

It goes to show that New Books In History is good to listen to even if you feel no direct connection with the subject.

More NBIH:
Not your idea of World War II,
When Akkadian was Lingua Franca,
The 1910 Paris flood,
Stasi agents and informants,
War in Human Civilization.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Heads-up for 23 November 2010

Poetry Off the Shelf
Pass the Mashed Potatoes
W.S. Merwin and Dara Wier on gratitude and food.
(review, feed)

Forgotten Classics
Episode 142: Genesis, chapters 5-7
In which we encounter the "begots" and begin Noah's story
(review, feed)

London School of Economics: Public lectures and events
How to Avoid Financial Crises in the Future
Lots of people did many stupid things for us to get into the current financial mess. Now, the government is stepping up efforts to impose stricter financial regulations to ensure that such things do not happen in future. Will more regulation work? If history is any guide, the answer is no. Over the last 100 years, we've had a financial crisis every 15-20 years. Every time one took place, the government would step in and impose more regulation - only for another crisis to occur 15-20 years later. Why is that? Costas Markides is the Robert P. Bauman Chair of Strategic Leadership at the London Business School.
(review, feed)

Raking up Roswell - Witness

The Roswell incident has a knack of turning up over and over again. Believers in UFO's and extraterrestrial sightings as well as government conspiracies cannot get enough of the story, but why do serious sources return to it as well, that I wonder. A few years ago I reported on Berkeley's science course Physics for future presidents, to claim to have solved the Roswell incident. Now it is the BBC to open the file again.

In Witness the program presents the son of one of the people who found debris of the alleged flying saucer. This US airman later changed his story to make it fit the official cover up, but as the son persists: the debris father had brought home did not fit the descriptions of the official statements. He and his father have over the years come up with this testimony and so the whole affair continues to be fed.

For all you believers and debunkers, listen to this issue of the podcast it sure is something to chew on.

More Witness:
Silent Spring,
Oslo Accords,
Witness BBC.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Heads-up for 22 November 2010

Mahabharata Podcast
The Hawk and the Dove
The last three stories of the long series of tales in the Book of the Forest. Yavakrita, Jantu and the Hawk & the Dove.
(review, feed)

Archaeo News Podcast
Issue 179
British archaeology volunteers trace transport links back 4,000 years
Ancient Orcadians decorated their houses with homemade paint
Bronze Age hoard found intact in Essex
Tool-making technique is much older than thought
Prehistoric migrants found in Gloucestershire
Silbury Hill's construction process was more important than design
Copper Age history of Armenia revealed
Bulgarian archaeologist stumble upon 8000-year-old skeleton
10,000-year-old camp site unearthed along USA/Canada border
Neolithic knives found at Tirnony Dolmen
Ancient megalithic sites discovered in Russia
Archaeologists uncover early Neolithic activity on Cyprus
Modern humans emerged earlier than thought
(review, feed)

The History of Rome
116- Here Come the Illyrians
Claudius Gothicus became Emperor in 268 and promptly lead the legions to victories against the Goths and the Alamanni. Unfortunately he died before he was able to reunify the Empire.
(review, feed)

Paradigms
November 21, 2010
Rev. Dr. Katherine O'Connell of East-West Faith Seminary, Rabbi Roger Ross of The New Seminary for Interfaith Studies, and Rev. Tim Miner of the International Academy for Interfaith Studies join us to discuss Interfaith. We learn about World Interfaith Week, February 1 - 7, 2011.
(review, feed)

Zencast
288 - Joy & It's Causes
Dharma teaching by Jack Kornfield
(review, feed)

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Here is a podcast that I want to recommend you simply listen to. I do not want to say too much about it. On Big Ideas, listen to Robert Adams give his interpretation of Moshin Hamid's novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist. (feed)

The novel and Adams's interpretation give a personal touch to the clash of cultures. It also broadens the perception of Anti-Americanism beyond the world of Islam. As a matter of fact, Adams is of the opinion the novel is not about religion at all. It is about identity, about the identity one aspires and the culture to which one would want to belong. In that sense the whole discussion is thoroughly modern: culture has become a matter of choice, but that is not Adams's main point and probably also not Hamid's.

One thing I cannot resist to point out: Adams claims not to know of any other novel that has a monologue of the main character and a discussion partner who, although we do not hear his words, we get to know through the reactions of the speaker. My immediate thoughts of comparison went to the novel by Albert Camus, La Chute.

More Big Ideas:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the quest against Islam,
Jewish Humor,
JRR Tolkien versus CS Lewis,
Malcolm Gladwell,
The Age of Inequality.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Heads-up for 21 November 2010

Philosophy Bites
Nick Phillipson on Adam Smith on What Human Beings Are Like
Adam Smith, the great thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment, is best known as an economist. But much of his work was philosophical, and even his economic thinking is probably best understood as part of a larger project of attempting a science of humanity. Nick Phillipson, author of an acclaimed biography of Adam Smith, discusses Smith's philosophical agenda in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.
(review, feed)

KMTT - The Torah Podcast
She'elot uTeshuvot 18-19 Century #05
Lessons by Rav Binyamin Tabory - Noda BeYehuda
(review, feed)

Indian roots of the Unicorn

It was not mentioned in the recent issue of In Our Time which dealt with the unicorn: there is a Unicorn story in the Mahabharata. You can hear that story in the Mahabharata podcast (feed).

Episode 31 - Rshyashrnga, you can hear this story be told by Lawrence Manzo. Manzo also mentions the hypothesis that the story made its way to the West in the form of the Unicorn myth.

The Mahabharata version tells of a Sadhu, a hermit who lives in abstinence, sits by a river after years of not having seen any woman. The river is being visited by some beautiful princess who takes a naked dip and this sight is too much for the Sadhu. He spills his seed, it falls in the water and is drunk by a deer who gives immediate birth to a boy who has an antilope horn growing from his forehead.

The boy grows up with his father the Sadhu who raises him as another hermit. Eventually, the boy, Rshyashrnga, grows up as a formidable yogi who has no knowledge of women. Yet, the moment comes when he is to be seduced and obviously it takes a maiden to conquer the Unicorn.

More Mahabharata Podcast:
Endless cloth,
The Mahabharata Podcast.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Heads-up for 20 November 2010

New Books In History by Marshall Poe
Kyra Hicks, “This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers’ Bible Quilt and Other Pieces”
There was a freed slave named Harriet Powers who made really beautiful, highly literate, and deeply religious quilts. In the world of quilting (which is much bigger than you think), she’s a bit like Vermeer: not many pieces, but all highly valued. And like Vermeer, she’s interesting because we don’t know a lot about her. In This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers’ Bible Quilt and Other Pieces (2010), Kyra Hicks does her best to fill in the many blanks. The book is a combination detective story, journey of discovery, and guide to further research. Hicks, a master quilter herself, doggedly pursues every lead she can find regarding the mysterious Powers, and they take her to some very unexpected places (for example, Keokuk, Iowa). The picture of Powers that emerges from This I Accomplish is that of a skilled, religiously-inspired artist, confident and proud of her work, moving through a long-forgotten world of African American quilters.
(review, feed)

Philosopher's Zone
The Mystery of Hegel
His thought was hugely influential and hugely difficult. The philosopher Bertrand Russell once described him as the single most difficult philosopher to understand. He was Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Though he enjoyed relative fame during his lifetime, in the decades after his death in 1831, according to one writer, Hegel´s ideas were treated with "a mixture of contempt, horror and indifference." But something happened during the 20th century that brought Hegel back into sight for philosophers and thinkers. This week on The Philosopher´s Zone find out what that was.
(review, feed)

The State We're In
Stealing children
A father hatches a plan for his son to escape from Japan after his ex-wife took him there illegally. A detective specializing in snatchbacks tells how he returns children to their custodial parents from other countries. And a young black woman raised by a white family in the Netherlands talks about meeting her birth mother in Ghana for the first time.
(review, feed)

Veertien Achttien
Franz Joseph en de ogen van de waarzegster (zondag 19 november 1916)
'Mij blijft niets bespaard', verzucht keizer Franz Joseph van Oostenrijk-Hongarije na de moordaanslag op zijn vrouw Elisabeth, die hem postuum als Sissi naar de kroon zal blijven steken. Al eerder ook van zijn zoon beroofd, krijgt de stokoude vorst in 1914 het lot van de wereld toegespeeld.
(review, feed)

Diarmaid MacCulloch in podcast

As usual it was a great pleasure to listen to BBC's In Our Time. The latest issue contained a discussion of Foxe's Book of Martyrs which was published at the height of the stormy Reformation in England in 1563 and was frequently republished afterward. Foxe's historic work gave the new Protestant Churches a legitimacy by making a connection between Christian martyrs through the ages. (feed)

One of the guests at the BBC was historian Diarmaid MacCulloch whose voice I recognized from a lecture I fondly remember at the LSE about the pasts and futures of Christianity. Here he showed the enormous varieties of Christianity through the ages and in all corners of the world. It made me search for his name in iTunes.

My search brought me to the 24th episode of the podcast Some Books Considered (feed). Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch spoke with podcast host Dan Skinner about his book Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. MacCulloch chose the title to indicate that the history prior to Christianity is important to understand the context of the of religion’s birth and also to indicate that it still has a long history yet to unfold. The book has been described as the first truly global history that examines the great ideas and personalities of Christianity. MacCulloch also examined how Christianity is currently being expressed in different cultures around the world.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Heads-up for 19 November 2010

History 5 (Berkeley) by Thomas Laqueur
Lecture 24: The Russian Revolution this is the title but the real subject is: The Great War: Its Causes, Course, and Consequences
How an assassination in Sarajevo came to embroil all of Europe. A war of stalemate and stagnation. A war resulting in revolutions and a radically changed power balance and world map.
(review, feed)

Being also known as Speaking of Faith
Translating the Dalai Lama
Geshe Thupten Jinpa, a Buddhist scholar and former monk, is the Dalai Lama's chief English translator. He shares the intricacies of Tibetan Buddhism that can't be conveyed in public teachings, and what happens when this ancient tradition meets modern science and modern lives.
(review, feed)

London School of Economics: Public lectures and events
Impunity in Cambodia
Senior leaders of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime of Democratic Kampuchea are now on trial in Cambodia for the crimes committed between 1975 and 1979 when two million people are estimated to have died. Will these trials help to break the impunity that has characterised Cambodia's recent history and which continues today? Brad Adams is executive director of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division and is a general expert on Asia. Simon Taylor is one of three co-founder/directors of Global Witness, a London and Washington DC based NGO which investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses. Margo Picken has worked in the field of human rights for much of her professional career. Most recently, she worked for the United Nations as director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia from 2001 to 2007.
(review, feed)

Something other than the show notes promise - History 5

I was wrong. On Wednesday I wrote a heads-up pointing to the Berkeley lecture series History 5, and followed the lecture notes and title which suggested the just published lecture was about the Great War. It was not. It was about the Russian revolution. Today you will find a lecture published titled the Russian Revolution and this is the one about the First World War. (feed)

The cause is quite simple. For the Russian revolution Professor Laqueur wanted to conduct a conversation with a guest lecturer who was available on Monday and so he simple switched the Monday and the Thursday lecture. Yet, the show notes went out according to the original plan. And here is my pitfall when I write the heads-up: I actually rely on those show notes.

I would want to encourage everybody to take on both lectures, or better even, listen to the whole course. In my opinion this is the best modern history course on podcast available.

More History 5:
5 Podcasts I listened to when I was away from the blog,
Berkeley History 5 by Thomas Laqueur 2010,
History 5 by Laqueur in previous years,
History 5 by Carla Hesse,
History 5 by Margaret Anderson.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Heads-up for 18 November 2010

In Our Time (BBC)
Foxe's Book of Martyrs 18th Nov 2010
Melvyn Bragg discusses one of the most important books of the Reformation, Foxe's 'Book of Martyrs' that recounts the horrific deaths of hundreds of martyrs put to death in the reign of Mary I. Melvyn is joined by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University; Justin Champion, Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway, University of London; and Elizabeth Evenden, Lecturer in Book History at Brunel University.
(review, feed)

Forum Network
Paul Auster: Sunset Park
Writer Paul Auster reads from his newest book, Sunset Park, which follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse: An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families; a group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world; William Wyler?s 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives; a celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway; an independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage; these are just some of the elements Auster weaves together in this novel about contemporary America and its ghosts.
(review, feed)

Thinking Allowed (BBC)
AK-47
Laurie Taylor talks to Professor Philip Smith about his new research looking at public incivility and examines the impact of the AK-47 (the Kalashnikov rifle) with former US Marine and writer C.J Chivers and military historian Richard Holmes
(review, feed)

Three issues of Philosophy Bites

In recent weeks the eminent podcast Philosophy Bites has released three excellent new issues, which I recommend one by one. (feed)

Inequality. Nigel Warburton and David Edmonds spoke with Alex Voorhoeve about inequality. Our main stream line of thought seems to sort of imply that inequality is bad, but is it really so? And if yes, why? Voorhoeve gives very insightful answers to the question and shows how inequality eventually disrupts human interaction.

Moral Responsibility. Gideon Rosen is a skeptic on the subject of moral responsibility. We normally assume people are morally responsible for their actions and the only exceptions we might accept are extreme cases of ignorance about facts or moral incapacity such as mental disease. Rosen shows another set of possible exceptions and this allows for a huge close on th range of responsibility - yet he does not rule it out completely.

What is philosophy? This sort of seems to be the question for this podcast to start with, yet the question has not been asked until this bonus episode, or more accurately: the answers have not been compiled until this episode. What does it mean? Are Warburton and Edmonds making some kind of inventory? Is this the beginning of a hiatus? In any case, listen and find how many of the philosophers explode in embarrassed laughter as they have to answer the question.

More Philosophy Bites:
Morality,
The genocide and the trial,
Dirty Hands,
Understanding decisions,
Nietzsche repossessed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Heads-up for 17 November 2010

My heads-up post which I try to deliver every day contains a number of good podcasts that publish on that day. It gives you the opportunity to pick and choose from a wider variety of feeds.

I noticed that my favorite blog DIY Scholar has begun to do something similar. She, Dara the DIY Scholar herself, published her 'listening notes' which do actually a little bit more than my heads-up. Where I just give you an idea what range of feeds I am keeping an eye on, Dara discloses what podcasts she has been listening to and reveals a couple of interesting points she has picked up on. I would say, heads-up, keep your eyes peeled for Dara's listening notes.

Witness (BBC)
Greek Student Protest
A woman at the centre of a momentous student protest in Athens in 1973 tells us of the moment when the country's military junta sent in the tanks.
(review, feed)

History 5 (Berkeley) by Thomas Laqueur
The Great War: Its Causes, Course, and Consequences
How an assassination in Sarajevo came to embroil all of Europe. A war of stalemate and stagnation. A war resulting in revolutions and a radically changed power balance and world map.
(review, feed)

History, linguistics and the downside of society

I want to point you to a lecture on iTunes U which has the lengthy title From Early Judeo-Iranian Jargons to Central Asiatic Argots of Rom Groups: Evidence for an Influential Jewish Underworld in the Late Abbasid Period. Martin Schwartz (Berkeley) spoke at UCLA about his research into the language of beggars and criminals of Central Asia as can be found in late medieval sources and which has traces until today. The lecture was published in the series from the Center for Near Eastern Studies (feed).

Schwartz's research is mostly linguistic, but since it uses Arabic and Persian sources from the 10th to the 14th century it becomes historic research already by virtue of that. In addition, once he delves into the linguistic peculiarities of his subject, you also get an indicator of historic influences and social stratifications. It seems almost impossible and not serious to research the underworld languages of beggars and thieves, but apart from the fact that there are sources, it always serves looking at society from below, while regular historiography most of the time takes on the top of society.

To be sure, the beggars and thieves do speak the common languages of their environment, whether it is Arabic, Persian or Turkic languages. Yet they have a need for switching to a slang of their own in order not to be understood in the environment when they need to. Strictly their colloquial is not a language but rather a jargon or an argot as Schwartz calls it. What is striking is that they look for replacement words that cannot easily be understood and often find them in Hebrew or Aramaic even if the speakers themselves are not Jewish.

More from the Center of Near Eastern Studies:
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer on Indus Valley Civilization.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Heads-up for 16 November 2010

Forgotten Classics
Episode 141: Genesis, chapters 3-4
In which Adam and Eve give in to temptation and suffer the consequences.
(review, feed)

Mahabharata Podcast
Sukanya and Cyavana
Episode 32 - Two more stories from the Book of the Forest. The first involves another Bhrgu Brahmin with a Kshatriya wife. The second story, about Mahdhatar, is short, but interesting in how it differs from all the other stories we've had so far from Lomasha.
(review, feed)

The China History Podcast
The Three Kingdoms, the Jin Dynasty & the Sixteen Kingdoms
This week we are back with more Chinese history. We will look at a very confusing but exciting time when there was mostly a period of disunity and China was broken up into contending kingdoms. However this period of chaos brought us some of the richest tales of ancient China filled with amazing battles, events and larger than life characters. We'll look at the Three Kingdoms period that followed the demise of the Eastern Han. Then we will look at the Western Jin dynasty that briefly united China, followed by the Eastern Jin and then the period of the 16 Northern Kingdoms.
(review, feed)

Scientific American Podcast aka Science Talk
Physics Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg
Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg spoke to an audience of science journalists, and then to podcast host Steve Mirsky.
(review, feed)

Not your idea of World War II - New Books In History

I cannot recommend enough the podcast New Books In History (NBIH). Marshall Poe interviews authors of recently published books in history. Here you will earn some real insight in history topics that have your interest. Moreover, the interview format and the length of the show makes it extremely fit for podcast and accessible for all audiences. (feed)

NBIH is the podcast that frequently teaches me something radically new in history. Take for example the recent show with Joe Maiolo about the origins of World War II. Maiolo's book 'Cry Havoc: How the Arms Race Drove the World to War 1931-1941' does away with a major consensus about WW2 which especially lives among the lay: Without Hitler no war. Maiolo attempts to show that the international politics of the interbellum and the ensuing arms race pushed Europe to a second version of the Great War. Hitler only facilitated and expedited it.

Then there was another consensus challenged, more implicitly though and apparently the challenge was not new, but again, for the lay public, that is, for me, this was also a radically different view: Germany was to lose the war, always. Germany lost the war already before it started. The victory over France in 1940 was a fluke. I always thought the attack on the Soviet Union (1941) did the Germans in, as they got overstretched, but the facts as Maiolo sees them (and apparently not just he) is that from the onset this was a war of industry and Germany never had a chance the meet the capacity of England and the US, even without France and Russia. It is a miracle they came as far as they did and the sheer industrial disparity only came out as late as 1942, 1943.

Eventually one thing nags me after the interview. In light of the second point the first actually loses some weight. If the objective power balance was such that Germany could never win, neither the arms race, nor the total war, why would you be so sure ANY other German ruler had let the whole things slide into war? It actually sort of suggests that it took a warmonger and megalomaniac such as Hitler to take on all German enemies in spite of the stack being against him. Yet, the interview makes it also clear that much of Maiolo's findings have the clarity of hindsight. Few of the leaders involved saw it as clear as all that. So maybe indeed, WW2 had to happen, although it was more likely to become a short repetition of WW1, not the huge disaster we know. So, how is that?

More NBIH:
When Akkadian was Lingua Franca,
The 1910 Paris flood,
Stasi agents and informants,
War in Human Civilization,
Always recommended: New Books in History.