Friday, December 24, 2010

Heads-up for 24 December 2010

Being [APM]
Joe Carter the the Legacy of the African-American Spiritual
The African-American spiritual is the source from which gospel, jazz, blues, and hip-hop evolved. We celebrate the life of Joe Carter, who explored the meaning of the Negro spiritual in word and song -- through its hidden meanings, as well as its beauty, lament, and hope.
(review, feed)

What is the Stars?
Monday December 20th
The Blue of the Night's resident astronomer Francis McCarthy from Blackrock Observatory in Cork marks the 15th anniversary since the first deep field image was obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope.
(review, feed)

Shrink Rap Radio
A Psychiatrist’s Most Bizarre Cases with Gary Small, MD
Gary Small, M.D. is co-author (along with his wife, Gigi Vorgan) of the 2010 book, The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist’s Stories of His Most Bizzare Cases. I interviewed Dr. Small two years ago on episode #188 about their earlier 2008 book, iBrain: Surviving The Technological Alteration of The Modern Mind. Dr. Small is a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute and directs the Memory and Aging Research Center and the UCLA Center on Aging. He is one of the world’s leading experts on brain science and has published numerous books and articles. Scientific American magazine named him one of the world’s top innovators in science and technology, and he frequently appears on The Today Show, Good Morning America, 20/20 and CNN. Dr. Small has invented the first brain scan that allows doctors to see the physical evidence of brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease in living people. Among his numerous breakthrough research studies, he now leads a team of neuroscientists who are demonstrating that exposure to computer technology causes rapid and profound changes in brain neural circuitry.
(review, feed)

Christmas Truce 1914
Christmas 1914, WW1 - and soldiers from both sides lay down their arms, climb out of their trenches and talk to their enemies. Witness brings you testimonies from the BBC archive, and the records of the Imperial War Museum.
(review, feed)

Norman Centuries - The Great Count

What is Sicily? Part of Italy - right? A month ago I saw a movie that took place on Sicily and I noticed how the language sounded so different from the Italian I know. Now let us get back in history. The Middle Ages. A lot of the people who live on the island are Greeks, they are ruled by Arab Muslims and those have brought Berber troops to maintain order. The Arabs and the Berbers begin to compete for influence and some Italian lords from the main land also show interest. But then the Normans arrive.

This is but a rough and inaccurate way of describing, but it gives in a nut shell what I learned from Lars Brownworth's podcast Norman Centuries. Over the last episodes, the Normans have begun arriving in Italy and Sicily and expanded their influence. The last episode, #11 - The Great Count, tells the tale of the Norman Roger de Hauteville, who over the 11th century eventually wrestled Sicily from the Arabs and the Berbers and came to rule it by himself. (feed)

So what have we learned by now? We have learned how the Normans gained a foothold in Normandy and began to be a power in France. We knew of course of William the Conqueror, who crosses the Channel and established Norman reign in England. Now we have had a couple of shows about the sons of Tancred de Hauteville who tried their luck in Italy and Sicily and succeeded over there. Apart from William the Conqueror I had hardly any idea of the extent of Norman influence, until Lars came with his podcast.

More Norman Centuries:
6 more podcasts I listened to when I was away from the blog,
Norman Centuries - Lars Brownworth,
William the Conqueror,
Magnificent Devil,
Richard the Fearless.