Sunday, May 13, 2007


If I were to write an introduction into podcast listening, I'd start out to state podcasting for me has pushed talkradio to the edges of the universe. Podcasts are better, deeper, more diverse and you can get them on a play by need basis, talkradio has none of that.
Another great point for podcasts is the educational value. Listening to a podcast is a great way of getting to know your way around in any kind of subject. Great universities are beginning to fathom the possibilities and are publishing their lectures as podcasts. Professionals also deliver podcasts on their subject and if you browse the directories for educational podcasts you'll find a plethora of subjects and entry levels.

Shrinkrapradio is a podcast that brilliantly combines these two outstanding qualities of podcast. It is a podcast on the subject of psychology and the presenter Dr. David van Nuys takes the listener on a tour through the varied fields of the discipline. His voice is great, his sound quality very professional and he delivers consistently on a weekly basis, issues that are around an hour long. Needless to say this is very educational if you are interested in psychology, but that is not all.
Dr. Dave has a great talent as a show host and interviewer and thus produces with his shows, in addition to the educational value the high level entertaining experience that made me a talkradio listener in ancient times.

The latest edition with an interview with Dr. Tobin Hart about his research on Children's Spirituality (#89 - The Secret Spiritual World of Children) is exemplary of the qualities Dr. Dave delivers with Shrinkrapradio. Great chemistry between him and Tobin Hart, wonderful subject, amazingly pleasant atmosphere, informative, thought provoking - what have you. If you are interested in psychology this show is a must have. But even if you are only remotely interested in the field, but love good quality podcasting this show is well worth a try and likely to get you hooked just like me.

Thumbs up for Dr. Dave. All the psychology you need to know and just enough to make you dangerous. :)

Shortcut to Chai

These days one can buy sachets of tea that contain some spices and are sold as Chai. Needless to say this comes nowhere near real Indian Chai.

I know you are supposed to cook the tea with the milk if you want to get the real thing, but apart from the fact I have no time for that, I also do not like the taste when the milk gets overcooked. And this happens very easily. On the other hand, taking the shortcut with the ready-to-go tea bag is a joke.
Some cafes here in Israel pretend to carry chai, but if at all they attempt to brew something that is more than just hot water on Wissotzky with optional milk and sugar, the result is so amazingly bland, I find it justified to publish my embarrassingly simple shortcut to chai.

up to 4 tea spoons sugar
half a teaspoon garam masala
half a teaspoon ground ginger
a quarter of a teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 to 4 servings of black tea
1 liter of boiling water

Throw the dry ingredients in a (pre heated) teapot. Pour on the water, then add milk till the color is right. Stir. Allow around 10 minutes of standing time.

A post scriptum on the issue of spices is in place. The quality of dry spices one is sold in the shops can differ amazingly and this can have a very significant effect on this tea or other cooking for that matter. Notorious, in my experience, are cinnamon and nutmeg, that can vary from tasteless to very strong. You have to be familiar with your garden variety and adjust the amounts in the above or any recipe to your taste and brand strength.
The same goes for garam masala, though the difference, being a blend after all, also lies here in the measures of the ingredients and how fine the spices were ground.
Last but not least, one can pick and choose the spices for this tea, or chai if you will. Other options are: cardamon, cloves, pepper, galanga, cumin and turmeric.