Monday, November 17, 2008

Skeptics Guide to the Universe - podcast review

A good podcast combines a clear subject with a message, a community, a regular release schedule and entertainment. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe has all of this. (feed) The subject is science, the message is the skeptical one. The podcast's mission is to inform about science, educate in solid reasoning and reveal the dangers of superstition, unscientific fads and beliefs and it spectacularly succeeds at that.

The podcast has built a huge following and fame. I have been following it from the beginning and if I discontinued to do so, it was out of saturation. The message is clear, no need for repetition there and the entertainment element has had its effect. Yet, the friendly banter and the jokes among the panelists are certainly a strong point for the show, even if it has worn out on me. The same goes for the recurring game of 'science or fiction' during which the panel is presented with three alleged news items, one of which is fictitious and they need to guess which one.

Upon continuous listening, the persistent quality lies with the science news updates and the interviews. The latest in science and technology are discussed and especially panel leader Steven Novella and his brother Bob are knowledgeable and good at explaining the items. Nearly every show features an interview with a speaker of note, who contributed to the skeptical cause, mostly by publication. Promptly, every week the show is published. With a show this good, it should come as no surprise there is a great following.

More Skeptics Guide to the Universe:
The predictions for 2007 reviewed,
In Memoriam Perry DeAngelis,
Barry Glassner,
Interview with Jimmy Carter,
Brian Trent.

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The week with Anne is a Man

For the coming week I have a tight schedule in mind. About two posts a day and still there are more podcasts I will have listened to and who knows how pressed I will feel to relate.

- The Skeptics Guide to the Universe; the podcast for the critics of superstitions, make-belief, alternative medicine and whatever claims about the universe that are not empirically founded.
- History according to Bob; the ultimate history podcast. After so many years still running. Here was an issue about Henry the Navigator
- Namaste Stories; the poetic narrative podcast. This time with the title: A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do
- Making History with Ran Levi
- What was has been (מה שהיה היה)
- Martin Simek; before Simek will podfade, some additional attention
- In Our Time; BBC's weekly master piece

In addition I will be listening to Berkeley's History 5, UCSD's MMW 4, Shrink Rap Radio, BBC's Pods and Blogs, VPRO's OVT
And new podcasts: Freedom Radio, Grammar Girl, La Resistance, Meetings Podcast, UCLA's political science (2007)

Then there is good news from the spread the word front: There is yet another blog that points to Anne is a Man!: varnam, a blog about history, archaeology and current affairs with focus on India. (Varnam means colors in Sanskrit.)

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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