Friday, October 31, 2008

Relationships and the brain - Shrink Rap Radio review

Every time Shrink Rap Radio presents an interview Dr. Dave does with a psychologist who speaks about relationships or relational therapy, I guess, everybody should be interested. You do not have to be an amateur-psychologist for that. In the latest issue, when Dr. Dave interviews Dr. Stan Tatkin, I think one should be especially interested. (feed)

The scene must be painfully familiar to all of us and hopefully not from our own relationships, but if so, know it can be helped. The scene is this: a row arises from the tiniest of triggers. A simple tone of voice, one look in the eyes, one touchy subject and the couple is swept into the maelstrom of irritation, confusing emotions, incriminations and the such. Dr. Tatkin offers an unexpected explanation for the phenomenon and takes this into applied couples therapy - and claims it works.

His view is that the way our brain works is the trigger. He claims our brains are first and foremost shaped for survival and hunting. This involves the kind of, non-verbal, immediate triggers into agitated states. What we are much less adapted to, is the proximity of another, of another brain and interpret that as a safe situation. Too easy, within that proximity the hunter, hunted state is triggered.

It is as usual a very interesting podcast. And as usual this is not only thanks to the excellent guest but also to the wonderful interviewer David van Nuys. There is only one thought that came up with me and seemed not to be addressed by Tatkin, nor asked by Dr. Dave, but seems extremely relevant. Is Tatkin's portrayal of the way our brain works and reacts applicable to men and women to the same extent? I was under the impression the female brain works quite differently and doesn't have the strong separation of right and left hemisphere Tatkin describes. That would show to make women much more stable or at least acting differently in relations. Well, listen to the show and see for yourself.

More Shrink Rap Radio:
Psychologist writer,
Dana Houck, Prison Psychologist,
The humane working place,
Nirvana and the Brain,
Psychoanalysis - Shrink Rap radio review.

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New podcasts of October at Anne is a Man!

A novelty this month was the attention to podcasts in foreign languages. Not just the Dutch, that are always there. In addition this month there was one German and three Hebrew podcasts reviewed. They each go in their own category, but I will make a category of Hebrew Podcasts and possibly a German, or other languages category as well.

In the category of History Podcasts:
MMW 4 (UCSD) (review , site,
The Making of the Modern World part 4, about the period 1200 - 1750 AD.

Teaching Company (review , site, feed)
A promotional podcast from the Teaching Company, a company that sells high quality lectures on audio.

Making History - עושים היסטוריה (review, site, feed)
Hebrew podcast about history, with an emphasis on the history of science and of technology.

Biography Podcast (Learn Out Loud) (review, site, feed)
Various biographies attended to by readings from original sources.

קטעים בהיסטוריה (review, site, feed)
Pieces of History, a Hebrew podcast. Selected topics in history.

In the category of Philosophy and Thought Podcasts:
Philosopher's Zone (ABC) (review, site, feed)
ABC's philosophy show with Alan Saunders

Beyond Good and Evil (Librivox) (review, site, feed)
Nietzsche's masterpiece read aloud on podcast.

In the category of Arts and Culture Podcasts:
Frankenstein, or modern Prometheus (Librivox) (review, site, feed)
Mary Shelley's novel read aloud on podcast.

Volkis Stimme (review, site, feed)
German podcast. Last week's news recounted with a comical touch.

מה שהיה היה (review, site, feed)
A Hebrew podcast from the Hebrew University's radio station 'Har Hatzofim' in Jerusalem. What is supposed to be a history podcast, turns out to have an special artistic quality.

In the category of Economics Podcasts :
EconTalk (review, site, feed)
A conversational podcast on economics.

In the category of Science Podcasts:
Science & the City (review, site, feed)
Lecture podcast from the New York Academy of Sciences

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I love to get new podcast recommendations. You can let your preferences  know by commenting on the blog or sending mail to The Man Called Anne at: Anne Frid de Vries (in one word) AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk

Anne is a Man this weekend

For this weekend I have about seven blog posts in draft. I am doubtful whether I am going to post them all, but I'll list them anyway. If any of those you haven't seen until Sunday, you will see them soon afterwards.

- According to regular schedule, later today, on October 31, I will be posting an overview of the New Podcasts that were reviewed in the past month.

- Tomorrow, on November 1, as usual on every first of the month, I will be posting my full list of reviewed podcasts. This list has passed the 200 mark this month!

Other posts that are likely to be published between now and Sunday evening are:
- A review of Shrink Rap Radio; an issue about relational therapy.
- Podcasting is dead say some people and podcast entrepreneur Cameron Reilly explores this idea in talk held over a year ago.
- Four new shows have been released since the last time I reviewed In Our Time. It is about time to address the podcast again.
- The Word Nerds had a new show out about Debating.
- Berkeley's History 5 is about half way through the semester and I want to pay attention to what is said about the Industrial Revolution.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Suggestion for the advanced podcast listener

Under the label Instructions, I try to compile a set of help posts, giving some guidance to listening to podcasts and more. The first four are a quick guide for the beginner:

1- listen on line
2- download audio files
3- get iTunes
4- put feeds in iTunes

The next post I made, explains about RSS. This mainly showed how you can sign-up with an RSS reader (Google reader) and start following this blog.
5- RSS readers

However, Google Reader, for me, is also a great tool to follow podcasts. I think the advance podcast listener runs into a couple of problems when working with iTunes only. I know of other people. who stopped using iTunes and aggregate their podcasts in another reader, such a Juice. For me, since I use an iPod, iTunes still has great merit and what it lacks, I compensate with Google Reader.

The greatest problem with iTunes lies in the fact it is not designed to handle a huge amount of podcast feeds. Podcasts are listed alphabetically and when the list gets long, your overview is gone. Other RSS readers, though, allow one to create folders and organize the feeds therein. This is how I use Google Reader.

In Google reader I enter all podcasts I intend to follow (and there hundreds of those), ordered in folders, according to my preferences. This is how I know there is a new podcast out. I can even listen through Google Reader, with the help of a plugin. If I decide this podcast is worth listening, I copy the feed into iTunes and download the specific episode.

In iTunes I try to maintain as few feeds as possible. Also, I change the settings thus that iTunes never downloads an episode unless I say so (the default setting is to download the newest episode). And so, through my RSS reader I get a first impression of the feeds and in iTunes I enter only those I want to listen to.

Occasionally, I enter a feed in iTunes first. In order to make sure Google Reader is always synchronized, I will frequently export my feeds in an OPML from iTunes to the RSS reader. If you right click the podcast folder 'export song list...' is the option that allows you to save an OPML on your PC. Afterwards you can import this OPML to any RSS reader.

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RVU stopt Simek, waarom zou Simek stoppen?

Wat lees ik nu? Ronald van den Boogaard, radiomaker in ruste, blogger en vaste lezer van mijn blog (verklaar ik met niet in te houden trots), wees mij op deze ontwikkeling: De RVU gaat met Simek 's nachts stoppen. Wat krijgen we nou?

Aldus de RVU:
De RVU heeft geen ruimte voor Napels én Simek 's nachts. - Een vereiste voor het vernieuwde Radio 1 is dat dat alle programma's live zijn, ook op dit tijdstip. - In waarderingsonderzoek van de Radio 1-programma's wordt het programma van Martin Simek de afgelopen twee jaar niet positief beoordeeld.

Kennen wij het programma Napels? Nee natuurlijk niet, want het is geen podcast. Als je afgaat op wat erover te vinden is, is het een tamelijk slap, doorsnee radio programma. Niet iets waarvoor we Simek in zouden willen ruilen.

Ik wil wel toegeven dat ik mij een beetje schuldig voel. Ik heb in mijn recensies onze Simek niet altijd even positief beoordeeld. Ik vond hem de laatste maanden beduidend zwakker, maar komt dat misschien ook door de beslissing van de RVU? Had Simeks intuitie hem al van dit voornemen op de hoogte gesteld, voordat de omroepbonzen het zelf wisten?

Hoe dan ook, Simek is een van de beste Nederlandse podcasts. Een met een recht van bestaan en een reeds aanwezig publiek, dat recht heeft op voortzetting. Laat Simek daarom zich niets aantrekken van de omroep en zelfstandig gaan podcasten.

Simek op dit blog:
Marc de Hond,
Geen podcast?,
Marjan Berk en Johnny Kraaykamp jr.,
Brigitte Kaandorp,
Heleen Mees, Maarten van Roozendaal,
Barbara van Beukering, Gert Dumbar,
Jaap van der Zwan,
Lucie Stepanova,
Olaf Tempelman,
Paul Gelderloos,
Bas Heijne,
Herman Finkers,
Tijs Goldschmidt,
Truus Menger,
Eva Maria Staal,
A. C. Baantjer,
Ida de Ridder,
Ton Boot,
Robert Kranenborg,
Douwe Draaisma,
Maria Sickesz,
Jeroen Pauw,
Anne Hermans,
Hans Dorrestijn,
Niko Koffeman,
Renate Dorrestein,
Carola van Alphen,
Maurice de Hond,
Jef Vermassen,
Guus te Riele,
Jan Rot.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Anne is a man and profile sites

I am frequently asked whether I am also available on one profile site or another. It seems my readers want to be able connect to me not just through the blog comments and email. I am indeed available on a range of profile sites, many of which I mainly use to promote the blog. I have decided to let you know where you can link up with me, below.

If you consider to do so, I would be pleased. I would be even more pleased if this linking up could result in something more than just a link between the readers an me. I would love to see the readers linking up with each other. My profiles on Facebook and Hyves, would allow that to a certain extent, but we could expand and join up on a Anne is a Man dedicated Facebook Page, or a Hyve on Hyves. In LinkedIn there is also the possibility to set up a group. Would you be interested in a Anne is Man-group, or better even yet, a podcast reviewer group?

In case there is some interest for one of these options, I will move along and set them up. While at it, this raises another question I have in my mind: would you be interested in getting an email newsletter from me, or be part of a Anne is a Man mailing list?

Questions, questions, questions - here are a few places you can give me answers:


Edgy Reviews from That Podcast Show 52 - from Edgy's blog

****For more detail not included in the written reviews please listen to the show to find out much more.***

Gateworld Podcast
Category: TV and Film
GateWorld discusses the sci-fi world of Stargate: Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Universe, and the Stargate movies. Darren and David discuss news in the world of Stargate, give episode analysis of the tv shows, and air exclusive interviews with actors and others involved in the Stargate world. They come across as professional and well-spoken hosts with a well-defined show format that makes great use of bumpers and transition music. Even with their in-depth Stargate analysis, they don’t take themselves too seriously, and therefore, make great podcast personalities. The podcast is well produced and offers preferred audio lengths and refreshing consistency. This is a great podcast for anyone interested in the world of Stargate.

Inside Home Recording
Category: Technology
Inside Home Recording is a veteran in the podcasting world having started in August of 2005. It is a great resource for beginner to intermediate musicians and producers who want to know more about the hardware, software, and editing techniques of home recording. Paul and Derek have been the hosts until it was recently announced that Paul Garay will not be in future recordings until an unspecified time in 2009. These two are credible authorities when it comes to reviewing new equipment and software and when responding to listeners’ questions on technical issues. They are professional and keep the show entertaining as well as informative. We are pleased with the various formats this podcast offers including enhanced AAC, MP3, and video podcasts. Inside Home Recording has excellent sound quality: easily in the top 90%. The only negative we found in this otherwise excellent show is the heavy inconsistency in episode releases. Overall, this show is a great resource for anyone who podcasts or is involved with audio or music production.

The Movie Bandits
Category: TV and Film
This is a film discussion podcast in which hosts Austin Brown, Ryan Asava, Ryan Stibich, Dan Wallace, and Rich Geyer preview movie trailers, review movies, and discuss a featured movie they all watched over the weekend in more depth and with spoilers. With so many hosts on every episode, listeners may find it difficult to “get to know” the hosts and sometimes even follow the discussion. We did enjoy the inclusion of the “minisodes” released on Wednesdays however. This show features the use of music, bumpers, and audio clips of trailers to keep the show interesting. The drawback to including the audio of trailers, though, is that without the corresponding visual element, listeners may find the clips more annoying than interesting or helpful. Overall, this is a lively and informative film discussion show, which could be made better with some changes in number of hosts and format.

(quote from Edgy's blog)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Globalization was started by Gengis Khan

UCSD's history course, taught by Matthew Herbst, MMW4 has progressed to lecture 9 and while this marks around the midterm and it should say we have been studying enough time to understand the framework of the course, there was something that made sense to me only by now. (feed)

It struck me as odd that the MMW cycle, which is aiming to go through the entire World History, divided into eras such, that MMW3 covered The end of antiquity into the Middle Ages, but not until the end of the Middle Ages. It went from around 100 AD to 1200. MMW 4 takes 1200 to 1750 and MMW 5 and 6 obviously will follow up after that. But why not take the Middle Ages in one chunk (500-1500) and then proceed with the Renaissance (1450 and up)? This question may reveal my Western bias and it certainly is an additional quality of MMW it takes on the history of the whole world, and therefore takes us frequently beyond the West and the Western perspective.

Only by the ninth lecture the division began to make sense. We leave MMW 3 and enter MMW 4 with a world that is dominated by the Muslim empire and by 1200 this changes fundamentally. Gengis Khan and his Mongols conquer nearly the whole Eurasian continent, break the powers of not only the Muslems, but also the Chinese. A profound change that the Mongols bring about is that for the first time in world history there is a direct connection between the East and the West. The Mongols rule communication and trade. This makes the world before and after 1200 fundamentally different. Maybe the Europeans did not begin to really feel this effect until the Renaissance. In any case this is one of the greatest assets of MMW in comparison with other history courses: it is able to constantly give original and challenging perspectives.

(Picture: Wikimedia Commons )

More Matthew Herbst:
MMW 4 first review,
The Kingdom of Ghana,
Gupta History,
World history outside the European box,
Making of the Modern World - UCSD.

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De vreemde troepen - veertien achttien

Khudadad Khan is een Punjabi uit Brits Indie. Met vele andere kolonialen, uit de Britse en Franse gebieden draagt hij bij aan het bonte gezelschap van uitheemse deelnemers aan de oorlog in Europa. Hij zal ook de eerste Indier zijn die het Victoria Cross krijgt.

De Europese grootmachten haalden als het enigszins kon hun troepen ook uit de overzeese gebiedsdelen. Daar waar Tom Tacken de vraag stelt waarom de Duitser geen manschappen uit bijvoorbeeld Kameroen haalden, oppert hij dat het antwoord in racisme zou kunnen liggen. Al voegt hij toe dat het geen gemakkelijke operatie zal zijn geweest om de mannen naar het tweede rijk over te brengen en daarmee lijkt mij dat het belangrijkste antwoord gegeven is. Racisme was er wel, maar het weerhield de geallieerden er ook niet van troepen uit alle hoeken en gaten van hun imperia te betrekken.

Dat maakt de Grote Oorlog tot wereldoorlog, misschien nog wel meer dan dat er ook elders op de globe gevochten werd.

Afbeelding: Wikimedia commons

Meer Veertien Achttien:
Käthe Kollwitz,
Sir Robert Borden,
Carol I,
Herbert Hoover,
Otto Weddigen.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Celtic Myth Podshow - podcast review

The Celtic Myth Podshow is more than just a podcast. Take look at the blog and discover that the makers of CMP are heavily involved in anything related to the heritage of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Brittany and ancient Britons in general. Around the website, the forum and the blog, a community has developed contributing to this ever-growing wealth of material.

The community aspect is one of the strongest points in the podcast and as a matter of fact it is something that works well in any other podcast. Hosts Gary and Ruth create exactly that kind of comfortable, homey atmosphere you need to be drawn in. The point I am getting at is that you will need that, it takes some stamina to take in the core of the show. The larger part of the show is dedicated to the team's very lively reading of the old Celtic myths and legendary tales. This comes with trained voices, well acted play and careful sound mixing.

Nevertheless, even if the tales stem from an oral tradition and as a result of that should be extremely fit for podcast, I find it very hard to follow. I cannot solely contribute this to the difficulty my non-native ear has to take in the Celtic accents, pronunciation and words that mark the reading. The difficulty lies also with the uncommon style in which the tales are constructed. If I have to characterize that, I would say it has much less a narrative line than you would expect. The reading is that of a poem and the lines are more of a declarative nature, stating one fact, one name, one law, one occurrence after another, without much plot.

A case in point is the double feature of the last two episodes (18 and 19) about the story-teller Fintan. This legendary bard lives for over 5500 years, he has even lived through the Great Flood (of Noach) and in the story recounts some of his tales and passes lay and eventually dies a mythic death. There is no plot at all (that I could discover) and some of the entries in the tale seem to be there just to punctuate names and places and to interject Christian elements in an otherwise profoundly pagan epic.

What could help and I find this sorely missing, is a thorough framework to the source Gary, Ruth and the others are reading from. Tangible are the old oral elements, the modification in the writing down and the undeniably forcible insertions of Christianity and established history. We need to understand much more about the reception and development of this material, in order to properly appreciate it. I think CMP is planning to dedicate shows to this task in the future, but frankly, I needed them in advance.

Previously on the Celtic Myth Podshow:
Celtic bloodfine,
Bres the beautiful,
Let Battle Commence!,
The Celtic Myth Podshow.

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De gevallen zonen - veertien achttien

Voor velen komt het verhaal van de Eerste Wereldoorlog neer op de eindeloze slachting aan het westelijk front. De podcast veertien achttien maakt duidelijk dat er veel meer is, maar in de aflevering over Käthe Kollwitz, de moeder van de gevallen soldaat Peter Kollwitz (en een oorlog later de grootmoeder van weer een gevallen soldaat), kan presentator Tom Tacken het ook niet laten om de tragiek van de gevallen soldaten en de rouwende ouders uit te lichten als datgene wat voor hem de oorlog zo diep tragisch maakte.

Peter Kollwitz is als voorbeeld naar voren geschoven, vanwege de tragiek van zijn moeder, die terug te vinden is in haar kunst, in haar dagboekaantekeningen en ten slotte ook nog in het verlies van haar kleinkind, ook op het slagveld. Maar het had onverschillig welke andere vader of moeder kunnen zijn. Bijvoorbeeld David Sutherland, de Engelse soldaat die sneuvelt in 1916.

Sutherland's commandant was Ewart Alan Mackintosh en hoewel we naar aanleiding van Tom Tacken meegenomen werden in het allesverscheurende verdriet van de ouders, is de commandant natuurlijk ook een soort ouder. EN die maakt het sneuvelen van veel dichterbij mee. Zo getuigt ook het gedicht van Mackintosh, die zelf in 1917 omkomt, 24 jaar oud.

In Memoriam

So you were David's father,
And he was your only son,
And the new-cut peats are rotting
And the work is left undone,
Because of an old man weeping,
Just an old man in pain,
For David, his son David,
That will not come again.

Oh, the letters he wrote you,
And I can see them still,
Not a word of the fighting,
But just the sheep on the hill
And how you should get the crops in
Ere the year get stormier,
And the Bosches have got his body,
And I was his officer.

You were only David's father,
But I had fifty sons
When we went up in the evening
Under the arch of the guns,
And we came back at twilight -
O God! I heard them call
To me for help and pity
That could not help at all.

Oh, never will I forget you,
My men that trusted me,
More my sons than your fathers',
For they could only see
The little helpless babies
And the young men in their pride.
They could not see you dying,
And hold you while you died.

Happy and young and gallant,
They saw their first-born go,
But not the strong limbs broken
And the beautiful men brought low,
The piteous writhing bodies,
They screamed 'Don't leave me, sir',
For they were only your fathers
But I was your officer.

(Foto: Wikimedia Commons , Publiek domein, en uitdrukkelijke toestemming voor gebruik op Wikipedia. foto gemaakt door G van den Bor, juli 2005)

Meer Veertien Achttien:
Sir Robert Borden,
Carol I,
Herbert Hoover,
Otto Weddigen,
Helmut Von Moltke.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

This week on Anne is a Man!

Some of the posts you can expect this week are about

Veertien Achttien
The Dutch podcast about WW1, which I follow devoutly. Two episodes are to be paid attention to. One about the fallen soldiers and one about the range of exotic participants, from a named Pashtun to scores of Sikh, Maori, Zouave and more.

Celtic Myth Podshow
After two shows about Fintan, the storyteller, I'd like to tell you what the Celtic Myth Podshow told about him.

Globalization was started by Gengis Khan (MMW 4)
I wondered why MMW didn't pay attention to the Middle Ages in one fell swoop, but rather cut it in two. The early Middle Ages were part of MMW3 and MMW4 starts with the 13th century and then goes on beyond the Renaissance. In the latest lecture I cam to understand why: The Mongols changed the world in the 13th century and made it globalized for the first time.

Do I do Profiles?
I do. You can connect to me on a handful of them and here is where.

and more...

Over the following weekend there will be at least the following:
New podcasts of October
All podcasts list on Nov 1st

Historyzine at its best - history podcast review

Historyzine reflects the passion of its maker Jim Mowatt. We could have guessed after 12 episodes, Jim is passionate about history in general and about all things regarding the Spanish War in particular, but in episode 13 he makes it explicit. He explains what were the consequences of the allied victory in Blenheim. And he shows and tells what fascinates him about the Duke of Marlbourough.

Other than that, Historyzine's rubrics are back. The review of a history podcast (All Things Medieval), of a historic movie (The Duchess with Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley) and the historic roots of a word (Macaroni). Also this is done with the inspiring enthusiasm that make Historyzine such a splendid amateur history podcast.

If there has been anything missing in Historyzine it was compensated this time around. It is what in my opinion tends to haunt most history podcasts, amateur podcasts in particular. The host retells the historic facts, but spends too little time explaining their importance. It is one thing to hear some exciting facts, but it is history, where you explain why these facts matter. Jim Mowatt for the first time makes clear how the Spanish War of Succession brought down France as the Mega-Power of the day and triggered the French revolution, enabled the independence of the US and gave way for British domination of the world. This is by the way also done very concisely and charmingly in one of Historyzine's audio promos.

More Historyzine:
The battle of Blenheim,
Reliving the War of Spanish Succession,
The year 1703,
On admirals and more,
18th Century Warfare.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Zimbardo cuts - Science & the City podcast review

After I reviewed a podcast with Philip Zimbardo, a reader of this blog pointed me to the science podcast of the New York Acadamy of Sciences: Science & the City. (feed) One of their latest issues contains the voice of Philip Zimbardo explaining about the Time Paradox.

Zimbardo claims his analysis is supported by years of research and collected data, but the podcast sums the thought up in a popularized way. The idea is that people have five different ways of experiencing time, two for the past, two for the present and one for the future. Zimbardo claims that every individual is dealing with time in either one of these fashions, or alternately (I didn't get this too clear) is inclined predominantly towards either one. The central point that is being made, is how this decisively influences how each and everyone of us, makes decisions about our lives and how we experience our lives. Two of the five styles have serious tendencies towards depression and other disorders.

Interesting as this may be, the podcast left quite a lot to be desired. The basis for the audio was a much longer dialog or lecture with Professor Zimbardo, but it was cut into fragments and assembled to something that was intended (I suppose) to give a good condensation. However, this was done in a substandard way. The cuts were of different audio quality (there are open source tools to deal with this; for example Levelator) and were glued together with superfluous overlap and maintaining the line of thought in a rather tentative way. No voice over or other technique was applied to bring about more unity and cognitive order. It leaves Zimbardo sounding like a charlatan. I'll be listening to more issues of this podcast, but they need to be better than this one in order to be a serious science podcast.

More Philip Zimbardo:
at TED,
at UChannel,
and at Shrink Rap Radio (see both previous reviews).

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What was has been - מה שהיה היה

If you want to get a feel of radio for the future, listen to Har Hatzofim. The Hebrew University allows tomorrow's talents to make radio today. And of course, modern radio is also podcast. The program that captured my heart was What was, has been - מה שהיה היה.

This program is a combination of history items with comedy items. And in spite of the fact that I am a history buff, I was mostly taken in by the comedy aspect. Take for example the last show (before summer recess), where even the history item (about a song from a 1930's movie about the Kibbutzim in the Yizreel Valley) had a tongue in cheek character. The song is a rather famous song of the Kibbutz movement and in the film sung by the members of Beit Alfa and other Kibbutzim from the valley, while they do their work. The podcast also plays their find: a rock version of the song.

Violently funny were the sketches and the radio play though. The radio play tells the tale of the Library of the Hebrew University trying to hire a gorilla librarian. They find the excellent candidate that doesn't smell, make noise and actually understand librarian work. Then it is discovered though, the candidate is actually a librarian in Gorilla disguise. One of the sketches features diseased politician and journalist Tommy Lapid (impersonation with some voice skill), complaining he is in hell (with all the 'Frenkim') and forced to listen to מה שהיה היה all the time.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

That Podcast Show #51 - the blog entry

My colleagues at That Podcast Show, have put out their last issue of podcast reviews, containing:

The Brain Science Podcast with Dr. Ginger Campbell
Category: Science and Medicine
Dr. Ginger Campbell gives in-depth discussions on advancements in neuroscience - the study of the human brain. Dr. Campbell is a well-informed and well-spoken host, but the specific material being delivered in each episode is crucial to whether this show is interesting or monotonous. The Brain Science Podcast is heavily dependent on which guest Dr. Campbell is able to interview. When Campbell serves as the only voice for a specific episode, it can be quite dull because of the monotonous delivery and dryness of the material being covered. Guests are able to balance-out Campbell thus allowing her to demonstrate her ability to interview. This show could also benefit from being shortened and somehow broken into smaller segments with more bumpers, such as the currently used instrumental music, to break up the monotony. The Brain Science Podcast is well-produced and professional and worth a listen to anyone interested in the human mind.

DVD Weekly Podcast
Category: TV and Film
Don and Jarrod Schockow are two brothers who discuss upcoming DVD releases each week. As brothers, they have excellent chemistry and talk animatedly about their subject within a regular format consisting of upcoming releases, that week’s most wanted DVD, and funny or unusual DVD titles. Each host gets random bursts of energy as if he were receiving shots of caffeine throughout the show. Both cover their topic in great detail, at times running a bit long. They are very opinionated and should be careful about alienating listeners with their opinions. Also, the blowing of fans and children playing are heard numerous times in the background. Overall this is a well-produced show with good sound quality, presentation, and consistency. Some listeners will find it to be very entertaining.

HYH Radio: The Yvonne Pierre Show
Category: Personal Journals
Host Yvonne Pierre interviews a variety of guests on different topics relevant to personal growth and emotional health. Her goal is to uplift, inspire, and inform. Yvonne shows a clear interest in her topics and her guests and seems to be driven by a desire to help others achieve inspiration and satisfaction in their lives. Yvonne, while passionate in intent, suffers in her delivery. More time spent in post-production to eliminate unnecessary transition words such as “um” and “uh” would greatly improve the presentation. HYH Radio also employs the easy-to-use yet sound quality-compromising Blog Talk Radio. While this causes some problems with audio, it does a fair job of getting the material across. It is evident that Yvonne is trying to find her feet, and we encourage her to keep going.

(This is a quotation from Edgy's blog)

This weekend on Anne is a Man (or afterwards)

Dear Readers,

This weekend I am planning to make the following posts:
  • An announcement of That Podcast show relating what podcasts they reviewed on their 51st podcast
  • A review of the Hebrew podcast מה שהיה היה, which is a recording of Radio Har HaTsofim, the radio station of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
  • A review of the new podcast Science & the City, a podcast of the New York academy of science. Among others there was an episode dedicated to Philip Zimbardo's research on how people experience time and how this affects their decision making and well-being in life.
  • A review of the last episode of Historyzine, which turned out to be an especially good one.

Other reviews that are to be expected are among others about Veertien Achttien, the Dutch podcast about World War I. On a side note, the maker of Veertien Achttien, Tom Tacken, told me he had misspelled the last name of one of the soldiers in the Great War. When discussing Otto Weddigen, he thought the name was Weddingen. This has been corrected, also by me in my review of this cast.

I have also found yet another blog that points to mine: Gwyn's Blog, the personal blog of a Welshman named Gwyn Hughes. Gwyn is a Man, so to say!

Happy weekend to all of you,


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pieces of history - קטעים בהיסטוריה

קטעים בהיסטוריה is a small Israeli amateur history podcast. There are no more than four episodes out, two of which I have listened to. They are entertaining, informative and lightened up with sound and music effects.

The first episode I listened to was about the Lewis and Clark expedition. This was the better of the two episodes. The host of the show, Yuval Malchi, spent his 50 minutes well on retelling the story. The expedition is also a singular event which bears retelling in one show. The punctuation with musical intersections also adds some cliffhangers and thus add to the entertainment.

A bit less effective was the next installment which took on all of the crusades for one show. This of course spans too much time and reduces what is to be told in 50 minutes to too many facts that are barely related. If Yuval succeeds well, it is only because he has a great narrative talent and again uses the musical interjections as cliffhangers, here and there with a humorous touch even. (I think some of the music was not podsafe, but that is just an aside) He also has the habit of stopping his last sentence before the music in an upturn tone, as if mid-sentence.

The audio-levels bear some improvement, but all in all this is a very pleasant history podcast that deserves to be continued.

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The History of 2050 - UChannel podcast review

UChannel podcast served a lecture and Q&A session with futurist Richard Watson at the RSA. For the podcast listener there was a lot to be expected, yet also a lot to be missed. Expectations were high because of the subject:  the history of the next 50 years. The RSA public was similarly affected and arrived in great numbers.

The lecture disappointed me. Fun though it is, to be informed about current trends and to let someone project them onto each other - even if the charts were not made visible for the iPod audience. (It would do to serve these as enhanced podcasts. Also in vodcast the element of charts and maps goes lost. We do not need to see the speaker, we just need the occasional glimpse at the slide. If one looks for a comparison, one needs only to look at Stanford.) However, getting the hotchpotch of trends only resulted in some sexy one-liners, but hardly in some coherent image that could serve as a history, let alone anything close to a narrative.

The real value, for me, was, that Watson taught me to look at trends, not only as far as new and upcoming developments, but also to look at things that are disappearing. As a new medium user, I can only agree TV and Radio are to disappear, but to my dismay, Watson also included blogging - let's hope not. Anyway, some food for thought, but a much ado about very little.

More UChannel:
The Arab-Israeli Conflict,
Civilization and the Hills,
New World Order,
The Invisible Hand,
The Second World.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Making History - Hebrew podcast review

Ran Levy of עושים היסטוריה replied to my previous review about his podcast with a delicate hint about my Hebrew. He suggested to write my reviews about Hebrew shows in English, because the audience masters English anyway. I took this as a discouragement to write in Hebrew. Too bad, I could do with the exercise, but maybe he is right that here is not the place.

Since the last review Ran has made a new episode of Making History and continued on a sidetrack of the previous subject. Previously, when dealing with simultaneous discoveries in science, he already mentioned how Leibniz and Newton discovered differential equations. In the latest episode this comes back because ran has decided to deal with Newton altogether. The differential equations are a side in a much larger tale of a poor boy who by chance got the opportunity to learn and become the genius he became.

Rather than the picture of the genius, Ran paints us Newton as the sociopath. In all stages of his life, Isaac Newton, in Ran's biography is unstoppable in his career and not willing to share the fame with others. Among his victims are not just Leibniz, but also Robert Hook. Newton took Hook's findings in optics and elaborate upon them without reference to Hook as if the findings were his, Newton's that is. It seems a leading thought in Ran's podcast: without sweeping away what stands as well accepted in history (Newton was a genius with the most important effect on science), but Ran feels the need to make some marks on the side and put all this in perspective.

Making History with Ran Levy

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Monday, October 20, 2008

This week on Anne is a Man (and afterwards)

There are a couple of podcast reviews in the making. In addition there are some podcasts I have listened to that in one way or another will enter some reviews soon. I would like to list some of those and together with that give you some insight in my listening schedule for this week.

Some of the podcasts that are to be reviewed in the coming days are:

Making History with Ran Levy.
Ran enters with the question who was the most influential scientist of all time and while you may have expected an expose about Einstein, you are getting one about Newton. Newton, the eccentric, the egomaniac, the ruthless self serving politician and Newton the rags to fame genius. In addition I'll explain why I review this Hebrew podcast in English.

More Hebrew podcasts to be reviewed soon are: קטעים בהיסוריה and מה שהיה היה.

I have listened to In Our Time's chapter about Godel's Incompleteness Theorems and I am about to take on Vitalism. Even though I feared the Godel issue a bit, on account of the mathematics, I was pleased to be able to follow, yet I still have to work some more on what I have to say about it. I might make a combined review of the last programs.

In the making is also another review of the Celtic Myth Podshow. A two-part series about the fate of Fintan, Erin's great story-teller has started. I'll have to decide whether I'll wait for the second part with the review.

Furthermore, I have listened to issues of Philosophy Bites, Philosopher's Zone and UChannel podcast that need reviewing.

In the series of university lectures, I am not sure I will give more reviews, but to give you an idea what I am following completely, here is the list:
Berkeley's History 5 (A survey of Europe from the Renaissance to the present), Philosophy 6 (Man, God, and Society in Western Literature), Philosophy 7 (Existentialism in Literature and Film).
UCSD's MMW4 (World History from 1200 to 1750) and Poli 113A (East Asian Thought).

Some more podcasts I am about to listen to are:
Veertien Achttien
Science & the City

Before the weekend I will update you again on what to expect on Anne is a Man.

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I love to get new podcast recommendations. You can let your preferences  know by commenting on the blog or sending mail to The Man Called Anne at: Anne Frid de Vries (in one word) AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Volkis Stimme - German podcast review

I had not heard this kind of comedy on podcast yet, though there must be plenty around. The mock news bulletin is a comedy routine that sort of begs to be done. The German podcast Volkis Stimme therefore draws recollections of all the others who I have heard do that before. Have I Got News For You, Eretz Nehederet and Hans Dorrestijn are my handful memories that burst through. I am sure everybody will have their own reminiscing to do. (feed)

Host Volker Klärchen takes twelve news items of the week, including at least some politics, sports and one weather item and fills a six minute podcast with mock news. Volker handles this podcast very true to the art. It takes familiarity with the German actuality landscape to follow the majority of the items, but by all means each and every gag is bound to make you smile at least. The leaders in the program are of the regular TV news style and the inserted audio fragments are snippets Volker managed to clip from true sources, but also some that he makes by himself, revealing him to be a rather promising voice artist.

The result is a light podcast that gives you the weekly laugh at the news you just needed. Don't let your impression be ruined by Volker's last name. This is not Klärchen erzählt ein Märchen which is the rhyme I keep making in my head. This show is truly befitting the stand-up comedy of Have I Got News For You and Eretz Nehederet. And as far as Hans Dorrestijn is concerned; I was wondering whether Volker might understand Dutch and has heard Dorrestijn. In one of the sports items he uses the exact same joke I have heard Dorrestijn make over twenty years ago. When reporting on an athlete having broken a record, he adds: "the record was not seriously hurt." Coincidence, I suppose.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Anne is a Man - continues to grow

Dear Readers,

Three months ago, I happily reported that Anne is a Man is a small but growing blog. I had a hundred readers on a good day. In the past three months, the blog has continued to spread and I can now divulge that, on a good day, I have two hundred readers. So the trend is maintained and I take this as a great encouragement of what I am doing.

The below graph shows the visitor statistics for Anne is a Man! (thanks to Statcounter):

I'll keep on blogging and hope to keep you reading. Thanks,


Friday, October 17, 2008

Edgy Reviews from That Podcast Show

Podcasters Daniel and Jana Sellers had the same idea I had: there is need for a source of podcast reviews. They decided to do this in a podcast format. Every week they review three new podcasts and rate them in a scale of 5 stars. They choose full podcast series, never specific episodes, as I frequently do.

The overlap between their podcast, That Podcast Show, and my blog is minimal. Out of some 150 reviewed podcasts they have covered and over 200 I have, we both touched on less than 10 of them. Their attention goes to no field of podcasting exclusively, whereas my starting point are the educational podcasts. As a consequence, their reviews go into a much lighter variety than I do.

With their star scale and Daniel's emphasis on the technical aspects of the podcast (notably sound quality), the reviews might, on the face of it lack information , but that is not true. Maybe if you just read the blog, you might get that impression, but always, the podcast discussion contains much more information. So much more, I usually have made up my mind, before I know what rating Jana and Daniel each give.

So, check them out: site, blog, feed. See the left sidebar for a list of reviewed podcasts, ordered in section corresponding with iTunes's categories.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Biography podcasts

There are several historical podcasts dedicated to biographies and I would like to take three out of the collection I know and point them out with their pros and cons.

First of all there is Learn Out Loud's Biography podcast. Each episode there is a new biography read out loud. The text is taken from sources in the public domain. This will usually mean old books, of which the rights have expired, but whose language is not always readily fit for podcast. It can be fascinating as in Tolstoy's biography about his youth, because Tolstoy's autobiographical notes were used. Also, the people listed are usually rather well known and interesting ones. So, taken the frequently old-fashioned text in account a good, if not terribly accessible podcast.

In terms of accessibility a much stronger cast is TPN's Biography Show. Also the figures chosen, are of the top shelve of famous and interesting people. The style is that of a loose conversation, or an interview if you will. Host Cameron Reilly will entice, or guide historian David Markham into explaining about the current hero. The latest show was talk on King Arthur what with Markham being sufficiently knowledgeable and prepared (which is not always the case) and with Cameron having an opposite view, there is some recipe for excitement. I do not see fully this come into effect, though, as Cameron sometimes neglects his role as an interviewer and is to eager to show his own views. Charming as the result is and entertaining on occasion, the audience is left with frequent loose ends and uneasy leaps from one speaker to the next.

Much more eloquently handled are the Oxford Biographies. The lesser point here being that invariably much lesser known and rather uninteresting persons from (British) history are discussed. Though on occasion it can hand some unexpected perspective or trivia. Such as the show on Lord Haw Haw, the Anglo-Saxon Nazi who was convicted to death for treason after the war, even if his British citizenship was illegally acquired and therefore not valid.

More TPN:
Sargon of Akkad and Ramses II,
Helen of Troy,
Alexander the Great - Biography Show,
TPN Napoleon 1O1.

More Oxford Biographies:
Podcast Review.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Anne is a Man recommends podcasts for Blog Action Day 2008

In my last post for the day, I want to point you to a number of podcast series that deliver a lot of relevant content for today's subject, poverty. Some of them had a specific episode mentioned today, but some of them not. However, these podcasts, mostly university lectures, are of high quality and very relevant even if they are more general, that is addressing Economics or Geography and no specific poverty subject. This is my chance to steer you towards those podcasts as well.

General economics and politics podcasts I would like to recommend are
Economics 100B (Berkeley) (review, site, feed)
The Economist (review, site, feed)
EconTalk (review, site, feed)

In addition, there are a number of great geography podcasts that cast a lot of insight on how poverty related subjects work such as industrialization, resources, population rise and decline and geopolitcs:
Geography 110 (Berkeley) Economic Geography of the Industrial World (review, site, feed)
Geography 130 (Berkeley) Natural Resources and Population (review, site, feed)
Global Geopolitics (Stanford) (review, site, feed)

Lastly, there are a number of podcasts that bring a new subject with each episode and among those there are many excellent and relevant ones:
UChannel Podcast (review, site, feed)
LSE Podcast (review, site, feed)
CFR Podcast (review, site, feed)
Social Innovation Conversations (review, site, feed)
Open Source (review, site, feed)
Big Ideas (review, site, feed)

Happy listening.

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Wildlife, Property, and Poverty

Here is my prejudice of what Wildlife Reservation mostly entails: Central government or other remote organization fences off an area in order to preserve the natural environment. Local population is shut out of that deal. For the poor parts of the world, this will frequently imply that the region is shut off for what looks like poaching, but for many poor citizens are their necessary additions in a life of subsistence. In broader terms: a lot of preservation activity will go at the expense of especially the poor.

On the podcast EconTalk Russ Roberts speaks with Karol Boudreaux about Wildlife preservation in Namibia. Boudreaux reports a highly successful model of Wildlife Preservation that was developed in Namibia. The essence of the model is that the local community is involved. The areas come into communal property, making locals responsible for the wildlife preservation while enabling them to reap the profits. It turns out that the number one source of income that is generated is tourism. Locally run lodges are set up, bringing in the tourists and attracting other economic activity. The exploitation of the reservation involves not only tourism and thus the viewing of wildlife, there is also place for hunting. But in stead that poaching and hunting drains the wildlife, as a result of the communities taking care of their source of income, they make sure the hunting doesn't run the game out. These projects have succeeded in raising the Wildlife populations to great heights.

One of the regular readers of my blog alerted me to the EconTalk podcast and I happily agree that the recorded conversation is very effective. Russ Roberts is more than just a facilitator. He makes critical points and poses the right questions. In the economics category this is one of the best podcasts I have found so far.

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Invisible hand helping with poverty

Professor Deepak Lal's lecture at the RSA (University channel podcast on August 8) bears in the title his defense for an old-fashioned idea of economic policy: the policy of the invisible hand. For some it may be very unexpected to have classical liberalism be defended in this day and age. I was surely eager to find out myself.

In many ways, Lal did not make a real case for liberalism in his lecture. The lecture was very valuable, but rather than making a normative point as expected, it was much more descriptive. The resulting historical analysis of capitalism and global economy was very instructive. The fact that Dr. Lal applauds all these developments, is tangible, but not so explicit.

The best explication he makes, nevertheless, but his case comes up only by the question and answer section in the end. This is not always the best part of UChannel lectures, but this is one to stay around for. Lal tackles the qualms of moderate, modern, non-liberal economy with the example of child labor, which, as you can see in a previous lecture on UChannel, would normally serve as the case against all out capitalism. His example is that of a factory in Bangladesh that extensively employs young girls. When modern requirements in the Supply Chain come into effect, this factory must lay off the girls, lest it loses its 'free of child labor' certificate.

Lal says: 'Child labor is a symptom of poverty. If standards of living sufficiently rise, the families will no longer send their girls out to work.' If you close their way in the official economy, like in the Bengal example, the next day they are on the street and will work in the unofficial economy (read: they will work in prostitution). Thus he shows a point also made by Thomas Barnett (earlier on UChannel) that nothing is achieved by imposing our standards on the developing countries. You cannot solve the problem by suppressing the symptoms. That I can understand, but I'd love to see another lecture from Lal, or anybody else, how the invisible hand can take these girls out of the factory to school.

More UChannel:
The Arab-Israeli Conflict,
Civilization and the Hills,
New World Order,
The Invisible Hand,
The Second World.

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Disaster Capitalism

Naomi Klein spoke on Big Ideas (TVO) in January and I was alerted by a reader to this speech. Klein builds a flaming argument against Capitalism for her Canadian audience, pointing to the neighbor south as where it all happens first and the images are at the ugliest. She also wrote a book about this: The Shock Doctrine; the rise of disaster capitalism.

Look at the Katrina disaster. It just so happened she was in the disaster area and had to be taken to a hospital and in stead of finding herself in an over-crowded, messy public place, she woke up in a crisp and empty private clinic. This shows her point: capitalism divides the world in the haves and the have-nots. And the have-nots have no access to normal services. This is not just true during disaster, this is true all the time.

I'd like to add, this has always been true throughout history, capitalist societies or not. Being richer means being healthier, safer, more certain regarding the future and so on. Richer people can more easily get out of harms way and if they didn't manage to do so, they have the means to recover faster and more completely.

The point is: Disaster Capitalism has no problem with that. The ideology of the US is that you should invest in the proper means to protect yourself and if you didn't then that is your problem - it is not a public issue. And it goes further: disaster, is not a problem, it is a business opportunity. It allows for new commercial possibilities. Klein shows how this regime is closely intertwined with fear. We are ready to buy away our fears, but receive an ugly society in the bargain. She cries out to stop. She begs her audience not to let this happen in Canada.

The lecture is very invigorating, but the thought remains: although this is important, how much of this is accusing what has always been so in the history of mankind.

More Big Ideas:
The role and place of the intellectual,
Disaster Capitalism,
The Bad News about Good Work,

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