Thursday, December 23, 2010

Heads-up for 23 December 2010

Scientific American Podcast aka Science Talk
How You Gonna Keep Flu Down On The Farm?: Pig Farms and Public Health
Journalist Helen Branswell discusses her January Scientific American article, "Flu Factories", about the attempts to monitor new strains of flu that can originate on pig farms and the difficulties of balancing economic and public health constituencies.
(review, feed)

Thinking Allowed
Christmas and Class
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, children gathered beneath a sparking tree, a table groaning with turkey.....the cliches of the season are as alive and well as they were in Dickens time. But does everybody have equal access to the bounty of Christmas and the good will of others? The geographer, Steve Millington, finds that the distaste some middle class people feel for 'excessive' displays of xmas lights in working class areas reveals a narrative of class hostility which echoes Victorian attitudes to the 'undeserving' poor. He joins Laurie Taylor, the sociologist Bev Skeggs and the historian Julie Marie Strange to explore Christmas, compassion and class, then and now.
(review, feed)

Andrei Sakharov
On December 23 1986 the Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov was allowed to return home from internal exile. He was greeted by a huge crowd at a Moscow railway station.
(review, feed)

December 2010
On NeuroPod this month, being in control helps you learn, the 200th birthday of the founder of cell theory, depression and cognition, and the brain's 'preplay' button.
(review, feed)

In Our Time
The Industrial Revolution: Part I 23 December 2010
In the first of two programmes concentrating on the Industrial Revolution, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss what caused the Industrial Revolution and examine the reasons for why it happened in Britain; as well as highlighting some of the men who invented the machinery which changed the world forever. Melvyn is joined by Jeremy Black, Professor of History at the University of Exeter; Pat Hudson, Professor Emerita of History at Cardiff University; and William Ashworth, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Liverpool.
(review, feed)

The long history of the Royal Navy - the end?

The Binge Thinking History Podcast (BTHP) has told the history of the British Navy in nine installments. This week came out the last chapter, which takes the narrative through the 20th century. (feed)

It is called 1914 to the decline of empire and this surely covers both time and theme, however, within the story lies also the decline of navy and the rise of air force. Host Tony Cocks, in his familiar attractive narration, explains how the Royal Navy loses its grip on the waves, not only as the Empire recedes and the Americans take their place as hegemon. New technologies also require different tactics.

So far the history has been one of steadily larger ships, but with the advent of submarines, the Navy sees what it has seen through the years. Even if big battleships are powerful, sometimes it is more effective to have a number of small ships in stead of one biggie. Especially small and rapid ships give the dynamics a powerful navy needs. But then aircraft enter into the mix and this not only renders ships vulnerable from a new angle, it also reduces the navy's capacity to isolate harbors from trade. It is air force that will decide a hegemon's capacity to choke an opponent - no longer the navy.

More BTHP:
The Royal Navy vs. Napoleon and post-Napoleon,
James Cook and a famous mutiny,
The Royal Navy and the Seven Year War,
Britannia Rules the Waves,
Royal Navy.