Saturday, February 28, 2009

New podcasts in February 2009 - Anne is a Man

The month of February has been ravishingly busy although that is not reflected in the amount of new podcasts I have reviewed this month. Only three in total:

Stuff you missed in history class (review, site, feed)
Very light history podcast by How Stuff Works dot com. Every week a short dialog about a wide variety of history subjects such as Marco Polo, the Plague and revisionist history.

From Israelite to Jew (review, site, feed)
Bible Scholar and religious Jew Michael Satlow in a podcast series revealing the history of the Jewish people in the pivotal transitional post-exilic period in which they transformed from being a nation (Israelites) to a religious ethnic group (Jews). There is also a very loosely related episode about the Talmud in this series.

De Geschiedenis Podcast (review, site, feed)
A podfaded history podcast in Dutch by Hugo Teerds with a particularly worthwhile episode about the Code of Hammurabi.

Two podcasts were suggested to me this month, but I could not come around reviewing them:

Something Live (feed); a music podcast by P.J. Shapiro delivering his own work. Although I did not manage to review the podcast I did come round listening to P.J.'s music and liked it enough to download and keep for repeated listening what he offered on MP3.

The boxcutters podcast; a very entertaining Australian podcast that reviews television, in Australia. I found it amusing, but did not see how I could review a podcast about TV that I won't watch. But if you are in Australia, go ahead and check this out.

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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 Anne is a Man at: Anne Frid de Vries (in one word) AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk

Connect with Anne is a Man on
The Podcast Parlor.

Friday, February 27, 2009

It rules the waves - Binge Thinking History Podcast review

The Binge Thinking History Podcast is, considering the charts of iTunes, a rather popular podcast in the history sections. This could come as a surprise for those who assume that the audience must be served regularly and be offered a clear schedule. BTHP has been delayed several times (this time around for over three months) and it has been taking more episodes that projected to cover subjects, now and before.

If indeed the high rating in iTunes is indicative of the public's approval than it must be for the one quality BTHP offers in between hiatus. Host Tony Cocks retells the history in his subject with tangible delight, understated humour, relevant quotations and sound effects. One is immersed into the history, which in the last two episodes and in the coming one (at least) is the history of the British Navy. The product is entertaining and informative, full of facts and story, yet light and easy to follow.

This last episode took us from the moment in the seventeenth century the Dutch and the English stopped being opponents, became allies and faced the formidable French of Louis XIV. Cocks explains how the English step by step outdo the French and then move on to become the empire that ruled the waves. This takes us also to the subject of piracy, the dangerous navigation at sea and the immense profits made of sugar and slaves.

Previously about BTHP:
Royal Navy,
Win, lose or draw,
Blitz on London,
Battle of Britain,
The American Constitution's British roots.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ran Levi tackles urban myths and pseudo-knowledge

The Hebrew podcast Making History with Ran Levi spent the last episode on debunking an impressive list of factual assumptions we are hooked up with, but that turn out to be urban myths and pseudo knowledge. Ran Levi calls them myths, but I think that is too good a word for common misunderstandings and too little credit for mythos.

My favorite debunking is the countlessly repeated statement that the whirlpool in your bath tub turns counter-clockwise if you are on the northern hemisphere and clockwise if you are on the southern hemisphere of this earth. Not true. The direction is determined by the build of your tub. Whatever pull there is from the earth's rotation, that make storms turn in a different direction dependent on position on the globe is way too small to have any effect in you bathroom.

Another one that I never believed if only because of the exaggerated Freudian overtones, is the idea that Adolf Hitler had Jewish ancestry. He did have an unknown grandfather and that leaves ample room for speculation, but Levi attempts to bring some plausibility in that material.

One that I had never questioned and also invites cheap psychology is about the height of Napoleon. Levi claims the emperor was not short at all. 1.70m or thereabouts. The misunderstanding stems from incorrect translation of French feet to English feet, which is not the same measurement.

This is really a must listen. Get that ammunition needed to spoil the downtrodden commonplaces and unchallenged factual claims.

More Making History:
What goes up, must come down,
Douglas Adams,
Sophie Germain,
Max Planck,
Isaac Newton.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sartre - Philosophy Bites review

For a while I was confused, when I listened to the last episode of Philosophy Bites. My common sense idea of 'bad faith' has to do with an unreliable person. But when Sebastian Gardner speaks of Sartre's idea of bad faith this is appears to be more about false consciousness, about wrong faith, misguided faith, rather than bad faith.

What the episode deals with is the human paradox of historicity and freedom, of social conventions and of choice. The bad faith lies herein that we assume our social role as identity, or our personal history as designating, or even our being non-committal at times. The paradox lies herein that we are neither completely free of the facts of our life, nor are we completely defined by them. Sartre's freedom of choice offers a very radical way of reassessing our own convictions, away from common sense as far as possible.

On the question whether Sartre is still a worthwhile philosopher to study, Gardner wholeheartedly agrees. Accessing the thoughts of Sartre seems something most appealing for the adolescent, but Gardner claims there is to be had for all ages.

Do you like to exchange thoughts on ideas like these? Join The Podcast Parlor and discuss all sorts of podcasts with all sorts of other listeners.

More Philosophy Bites
Alternative Hedonism,
Non-realism of God,

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jonathan Engel - Wise Counsel podcast review

A wide insight in the varieties of psychotherapy, the research and the practices is given by the podcast Wise Counsel. In the series, many individual techniques are discussed, but the last interview with Jonathan Engel the attention goes to an overview. Under the title of the history of American psychotherapy the discussion mostly engages into an evaluation of the available main streams of therapeutic approaches and the issue of efficacy.

Dr. Engel's view is that in the abundance of techniques, three main streams can be discerned: 1) Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytic approaches, 2) Humanistic psychotherapy, and 3) Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies. Although the podcast interview shows some criticism to the simplification, but I think the audience may experience some relief with the order in the chaos and will find the categorization helpful.

On the subject of efficacy, the takeaway message seems to be that we have little reliable data on the subject. Usually the therapist is asked, whether the therapy worked and the response, obviously, is dependent. Similarly (though less profoundly stated) the client's answer to the question is not independent. Dr. Engel is hardly suggesting what the proper methodology in this research should be.

More Wise Counsel:
Self-help with PTSD,
Wise Counsel - psychology podcast review,
Irvin Yalom,
David H. Barlow,
Richard Heimberg.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Rosa Luxemburg - veertien achttien recensie

In de podcast serie Veertien Achttien, geeft de maker Tom Tacken zichzelf alle ruimte voor een oordeel over de hoofdrolspelers en de figuranten in de eerste wereldoorlog. Zijn wekelijkse vertelling over de oorlog, opgehangen aan de biografie van een van de grote of kleine deelnemers, worden bevolkt door slachtoffers, helden, daders, meelopers, aanstichters en leiders met veelal een verkeerde opvatting van politiek en vooral oorlog. De slogan die de podcast meekrijgt 'Het verschrikkelijke verhaal opnieuw verteld' en de woorden op het blog van de podcast laten deze benadering onverhuld: "Steeds staan we stil bij een karakter uit de Grote Oorlog. Politici, kunstenaars, soldaten, vorsten, denkers, schrijvers, burgers - ze komen allemaal langs - de daders en de slachtoffers, de ezels en de leeuwen."

Daarom rijst de vraag, waarom wordt er stilgestaan bij Rosa Luxemburg? De oorlog heeft ze doorgebracht in de gevangenis. Haar socialistische opvattingen zijn eveneens marginaal in de oorlog. Pas bij de Weimarrepubliek komt het socialisme terug op het toneel en is er de politieke moord op Luxemburg. Haar verhaal is er vooral een van Duitsland na de oorlog.

De gedachte komt op dat Tackens sympathie bij Rosa Luxemburg ligt en dat hij het socialisme een warm hart toedraagt. In dat geval is in Tackens feuilleton het socialisme de onmachtige god die de waanzinnige slachting niet kan stoppen. Die het proletariaat niet kan redden van het valse, nationalistisch bewustzijn. En dan is Luxemburg de onbegrepen profeet. De gedachte vindt hier een daar bevestiging in Tackens biografieen, maar hij weet het afdoende te maskeren, zodat we niet zeker kunnen zijn van zijn politieke kleur, niet zo zeker als we kunnen zijn dat hij begaan is met het lot van de slachtoffers in de oorlog. Meer nog dan een verhaal van mislukte klassenstrijd lijkt voor hem het verhaal van de oorlog een verhaal van eindeloos menselijk leed.

Meer Veertien Achttien:
Marie Curie,
August von Mackensen,
Franz Hipper,
Enver Pasha,
Veertien Achttien premium.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

James Kennedy - Marathon Interview recensie

Op oudejaarsavond interviewde Rik Delhaas gedurende drie uur de Amerikaans-Nederlandse historicus James Kennedy . Ik had verwacht dat het meer over geschiedenis zou gaan, maar dat was niet zo. In plaats daarvan werd er ingegaan op Kennedy's persoonlijke geschiedenis, en persoonlijke keuzes in het leven. En over de verschillen tussen Nederland en de VS.

De persoonlijke geschiedenis van Kennedy is heel interessant. Dat is een kwaliteit van het interview, al zitten hier naar mijn gevoel ook de zwakke momenten. In het tweede uur haakte ik bijna af, omdat Kennedy zich verschool in algemeenheden, waar Delhaas om persoonlijke profilering vroeg. Maar gelukkig draait het dan weer een beetje bij.

Voor mij zaten de meest waardevolle uitspraken in het onderwerp van de vergelijking tussen Amerika en Nederland. Op zeker moment wordt het als volgt als typering vastgelegd: De VS is een ideaal, een streven. Nederland is een ruimte waarin je iets regelen kunt. Amerikanen willen de geschiedenis maken. Nederlanders leggen zich bij de loop der geschiedenis neer. Los van het waardeoordeel dat je hieraan kunt geven, biedt het een aardig inzicht in het waarom van de mentaliteit en de verschillen daarin. En ik kan me wel in de weergave vinden.

Meer Marathon Interviews:
Dick Berlijn,
Ward Ruyslinck,
Marte Röling,
Remco Campert,
Marjolijn Februari.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Substance and Sociology - Thinking Allowed review

I keep lamenting BBC's Thinking Allowed, the radio four program about sociology, is too short and too fragmented by having to deal with two subjects each week. However, I am slowly getting the hang of listening to the programme. With the whole, long playlist I make myself, it may take a week or more, but I tend to pick up on each issue, since I discovered the podcast.

The issue of the week before last week, more specifically that of February 11th, was shortly titled: Drugs and laddish students. On the subject of drugs, it delivered the sociological facts about drugs, drug use, abuse and social stigma, that are familiar to sociologists and criminologists, but not always for the public at large. When I studied criminology, these views supported the very liberal policies of the city of Amsterdam and still had some political clout twenty-five years ago, but since then I have heard them less and less. As Thinking Allowed also points out: it is no longer politically correct or savvy, since we must be firm on crime.

Frankly, since I have left the field and not kept up with my literature, I was not so sure of those good old liberal views on drugs were still supported in sociology. At the time I had the feeling, the sociologists, at least those who taught me, were ideologically invested in downplaying the dangers of substance abuse and emphasizing the social stigmatization and surrounding factors to be the real threat. If Thinking Allowed is indicative, the research still seems to indicate such. What a surprise.

As to a short remark about the second subject: laddishness. It pays attention to a behavioral strategy male students of disadvantaged backgrounds display when they find themselves in the environment of higher education.

More Thinking Allowed:
Hole in the Wall,
Moral relativism,
Male Immaturity.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

De Geschiedenis Podcast - recensie

Een nieuwe Nederlandse geschiedenispodcast is aan mijn horizon verschenen: De Geschiedenis Podcast van Hugo Teerds. Het kan zijn dat de produktie al podfaded is, want er zijn maar drie episodes en die dateren van vorig jaar. Ik heb geluisterd naar de laatste aflevering, die gaat over Hammurabi.

Teerds schenkt de meeste aandacht aan de wetten van Hammurabi, maar zorgt er op degelijke wijze voor dat de Babylonische koning in zijn context wordt geplaatst. Op die wijze krijgen de wetten meer betekenis mee, dan simpelweg de regelgeving van een ver land uit langvervlogen tijden. Teerds zorgt dat je begrijpt hoe revolutionair de wetten waren en je kan gaan inzien hoe dit de eerste stappen zijn geweest naar het moderne rechtsbegrip. Een aanvulling op de kennis heb ik uit de Open Yale Course van Christina Hayes gehaald: Door aan algemene wetgeving te doen, onttrok Hammurabi een deel van de jurisdictie en de discretionaire bevoegdheid van de aristocraten die voordien de kenners van de rechtsoverlevering waren.

Het punt waarop de podcast zwakker is dan de collega's in het Nederlandse taalgebied Feico Houweling en Tom Tacken is op het punt van de presentatie. Teerds leest zijn tekst op en moet nog wel leren om dat op een vloeiende en pakkende manier te doen. Dus ondanks de kwaliteit van de inhoud, komt het nog niet optimaal over. Ik hoop dat Teerds de draad weer oppakt, want gezien de kwaliteit van deze episode, moet het hem lukken om ook de toegankelijkheid te verbeteren.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Looking for a Persian History podcast

My habit of listening to many different podcasts, one after the other and in doing so, mixing up all sorts of lecture series, in stead of going through them in isolation, usually causes more confusion than insight. Recently however, I had a very nice experience of a bridge between subjects, when listening to installments of three different lecture series, one after the other.

The first two podcasts covered exactly the same subject. Both Michael Satlow's highly recommended podcast Israelite to Jew, as well as the Yale Open Course about the Hebrew Bible, was paying attention to the first post-exilic period in general and specifically about the prophet Ezra. The third was another Yale Open Course, the one about Greek Civilization, that had just arrived at the Greek-Persian wars. The bridge between these two subjects, apart from the fact that they are in the same era (hardly two decades in between Ezra and the first Persian War with the Greeks), is that the global power in the background is the Persian empire. The same empire is the benevolent one in the Ezra story and the evil threat in Greek history. And I realized I hardly knew anything about it.

So what podcast pays attention to the Persians? About a later period are those that go into the conquests of Alexander the Great (Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, The Biography Show, Bob Packett). Also In Our Time's chapters about the Arabian Conquests and about the Sassanian Empire address a much later period. Besides, the perspective is from outside, apart from the last. What remains is to rerun the beginning of an old lecture series at Berkeley History 4A - The Ancient Mediterranean World. Are there any other suggestions? I'll post this call on The Podcast Parlor as well.

More reviews:
Yale: Hebrew Bible
Yale: Ancient Greek history.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Word Nerds on Facebook

This cyber-age in which everybody is networking through the internet, it is inevitable the practice leads to new vocabulary. Necessarily it is a matter of time, language podcasters such as The Word Nerds, pay attention to the new lingo.

TWNIt seems to me that the greatest hype of networking currently is Twitter, but in their show about Social Networking (#115) the greatest amount of the Nerds' interest goes to Facebook - a good number two in the range of social sites, I guess. The reason for this is not in the least the Nerds are heavy Facebook users themselves. As a consequence, the initial part of the show is mostly about the use of Facebook, rather than the vocabulary. When they finally get to it, the listener will learn, among others, new meanings for verbs like to peep and to stalk.

The Word Nerds podcast has a page of its own on Facebook, though their own site also has a forum where the audience can socialize. It is an example I try to emulate. For Anne is a Man, there is also a blog network page on Facebook and the forum is shared with Dara's and Baxter's blog at The Podcast Parlor. And even on Twitter, I can be followed.

Previous reviews of The Word Nerds on this blog:
Abrrev & txt,
Stories and Story Telling,
Ambiguity and linguistic tics,

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The new direction of Dave P

The narration podcasts I keep following are those by Dave P. Namaste Stories and The New York Coffee Cup come out rather irregularly. The short, five to twenty minute narrations by Dave P carry a very unique style and atmosphere that is both emotional and distanced. The tales observe and attach to people and emotions, trying not to judge them. The diction and the music is very suitable: restrained and passionate at the same time.

So it is always interesting to see what Dave P comes up with next and aside the two podcats he has begun publishing visual work. He is dabbling in the art of animation and this work in progress can be followed on the blog Namaste-Wood.

More Dave P on this blog:
New York Coffee Cup,
Namaste Stories, podcast as an art,
Namaste Stories, fiction podcast.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Carthage - In Our Time and other history podcasts

The latest programme of BBC's In Our Time touched on a subject you can listen about also in many other podcasts. Carthage was Rome's competitor in the third century BCE and with it's destruction by the Romans history took a definite turn. In Our Time investigated the destruction of Carthage and what it meant for the Romans

Obviously with the fall of Carthage, Rome went on the fast track to becoming a hegemony and this is what is emphasized in Dan Carlin's Hardcore History trilogy about the Punic Wars. However, the sheer magnitude and completeness of the destruction filled the Romans with a sense of foreboding and took on the meaning not just of the entrance to greatness, but also the road to downfall. The Romans seemed to understand that each great victory in a way implies also a defeat, not for the defeated, but for the victor.

If you follow the history from Carthage's perspective, as does Patrick Hunt in his series about Hannibal the same seems true. Hannibal's feats in Italy constantly had defeat and victory interwoven. No matter how strong and smart Hannibal was, his downfall seemed to be inevitable and only expedited by his successes. Somehow these great warriors and warrior nations understood a deep truth about victory in battle: there are no pure gains and even victory is a fateful and fearful event.

Do you like to exchange thoughts on ideas like these? Join The Podcast Parlor and discuss all sorts of podcasts with all sorts of other listeners.

More In Our Time:
The brothers Grimm,
The modest proposal,
History of history,
Darwin special,
The Consolation of Philosophy.

The Punic Wars in Hardcore History:
Punic Nightmares III,
Punic Nightmares II ,
Punic Nightmares I.

Hannibal by Patrick Hunt:
Hannibal in the end,
Ten discoveries that rewrote history,
Patrick Hunt on Hannibal (and more),
Hannibal Barca on the couch,
Where did Hannibal cross the Alps?.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Idealism - Philosophy Bites review

The podcast Philosophy Bites has quietly moved to a schedule of releasing every two weeks. I reported my suspicion and it has been confirmed by the makers themselves. Apart from that, no change. The podcast remains the short interview about a philosophical subject.

The latest issue I heard dug into idealism. This is a notion about reality that, in my own words, assumes it is dependent of consciousness. Or in other words, this keyboard exists, because I am aware of it.. I remember reading a quote from Churchill in Popper's book Objective Knowledge about idealism. It doesn't exactly ridicule it, but simply shoves it aside for reasons of common sense. Yet, now that we assume all sorts of intangible particles to be part of physical reality, how much common sense is in that?

In any way, Idealism is a serious philosophical standpoint. Not only in western philosophy, also in Chinese and Indian traditions. The issue of Philosophy Bites explores these, compares them and points out where all traditions can learn from each other. Implicitly, idealism is taken seriously and one is invited to ponder the merits of the approach.

Do you like to exchange thoughts on ideas like these? Join The Podcast Parlor and discuss all sorts of podcasts with all sorts of other listeners.

More Philosophy Bites
Alternative Hedonism,
Non-realism of God,

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dick Berlijn - Marathon Interview recensie

In de verse serie Marathon Interviews sprong het interview van Ger Jochems met voormalig commandant der strijdkrachten Dick Berlijn er op voorhand uit. Niet alleen zijn er met Berlijn de nodige hete hangijzers omtrent de missie in Uruzgan te bespreken, maar er was ook al meteen een aankondiging op het blog van Hanneke Groenteman.

De moderne interviews van drie uur blijken steeds opnieuw onvergelijkbaar met de oude van vijf uur. Hoewel drie uur toch ook lang is en de vijf uur in het verleden ook nogal eens te lang bleek te zijn, houd je toch bij vele van de nieuwe uitzendingen het gevoel dat er zoveel achter is gebleven. Ondanks alle goes is dat ook zo bij het interview met Berlijn. Interviewer Ger Jochems had hem misschien wat harder mogen aanpakken, of op bepaalde onderwerpen dieper voortborduren, maar ja dan heb je de klok.

Desalniettemin is er een heel behoorlijk produkt afgeleverd. Voor wie Berlijn nog niet kende (zoals ik) en voor wie het Nederlandse leger toch een beetje een abstractie is, komt er een heel interessant beeld naar boven. Berlijn probeert ook niets te verbergen en ontwijkt geen moeilijke vragen. Ook niet als het over Afghanistan gaat. Je kan ook zijn emotie wel begrijpen. De kritiek vanuit Nederland is makkelijk, maar opeens wordt duidelijk hoezeer de soldaten, tot en met de hoogste commandant, smeken om erkenning en morele steun. Hoezeer Berlijn dit verlangen ook rationeel probeeert weer te geven, het is de gevoelsmatige kant ervan die bij mij is blijven hangen. Niet wat je had verwacht van een generaal.

Meer Marathon Interviews:
Ward Ruyslinck,
Marte Röling,
Remco Campert,
Marjolijn Februari,
Jan Blokker.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Anne is a Man - 1000 blog posts

I started this blog in May 2007 and by now I have written 1000 posts. The real surprise for me is that I have been able to keep on writing. The fact that I attract about 200 readers a day has been beyond my thinking. I had no idea what to expect and on the other hand, my ambition remains to acquire much more.

The fear might be that one day the writing power will leave. I have no such fear yet. The inspiration seems very powerful and alive.

On the subject of how to deal with the writing magic, watch the following TED talk:

More TED:
Bill Gates,
Stephen Petranek,
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
Philip Zimbardo,
Jonathan Haidt.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jacob Dayan - UCLA Israel Studies podcast

An irregular podcast about Israel and its position in the geopolitics of the Middle-East is that of the UCLA Israel Studies Program (feed). Months can go past until a new update. The feed may even seem faded for a long time and then new episodes are posted again.

Recently a lecture by Jacob Dayan an Israeli Consul to the US was posted. The lecture had the recent war in Gaza looming over it and one of the most interesting parts of Dayan's talk was the way he explained the war. In his view the war was one between the moderates and the radicals in the region. He sort of made it look the moderate Arabs were all too happy Israel took on Hamas and by proxy Iran. It was a nice attempt at official reconstruction, but the whole point seems rather poor to me. I can't see how the moderate Arab can be happy with hundreds of Palestinians being slain in Gaza and I cannot see how Israel will be happy to fight the moderates' war for them.

However, Dayan's reasoning bears on a fact that is frequently forgotten in the geopolitics of the region. The rise of Iran and of the religious, militant fundamentalists is not welcome for many of the, if not moderate then at least more secular establishment of the region. This ranks from Abbas and Fatah, through King Abdallah of Jordan, the Mubarak regime in Egypt to the royal rulers of Saudi Arabia. Even if they are not happy with the Gaza war, which they undoubtedly aren't, should Israel succeed in dealing a blow to Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran it is very welcome to them. In stead of using this reality to war, it should be applied in peace diplomacy. Rephrasing to towards an explanation to the war is a feeble ex post facto job.

Previously about UCLA Israel studies podcast:
Gabriela Shalev,
Galia Golan, Aaron David Miller,
Shimon Shamir.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Brothers Grimm - In Our Time podcast review

The latest programme of BBC's In Our Time about the Brothers Grimm has a bit of a slow start, but if you are willing to bear with that a lot of good is to be had.

The project of sampling folk tales turns out to have a much wider importance than that of a kind of anthropological or historic or linguistic effort. Even though the tales eventually make up the landscape of children's tales, their meaning are that of a romantic search for the German. The culture that was so shattered and that was coming together in this new nation and needed some unity. This also explains the liberties that were taken with the material.

The thought struck me that the meaning went even further. If the tales spoke so profoundly to the whole of Europe, even if it were as children's tales, in a way this collection took on some unifying meaning of European culture. And then you may see that there is the romantic idea there is such a beast and there is the forced construction of one, in order to supply the need.

More In Our Time:
The modest proposal,
History of history,
Darwin special,
The Consolation of Philosophy,
The Great Fire.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

De wetenschappers in veertien achttien

Er zijn episodes in de podcast serie Veertien Achttien, die ruimer zijn dan een biografie. De laatste aflevering, die over Marie Curie, is daar een voorbeeld van. Natuurlijk wordt uitgebreid stilgestaan bij het leven van Curie, maar het onderwerp reikt door middel van een aantal verhalen over anderen net even verder. Curie en anderen, in dit geval, de wetenschappers.

Curie begaf zich naar het front om met de moderne stralingstechnieken de medici te assisteren. Meneer Roentgen, naar wie de stralen vernoemd waren, ging niet zover, maar schreef wel, samen met vele andere Duitse intellectuelen een publieke brief waarin hij achter de Duitse oorlogsinspanning ging staan. En dat is dan het meer uitgebreide onderwerp van presentator Tom Tacken in deze aflevering: waar stond de Europese intellectele elite in dit conflict.

Hoewel de meesten hun vaderland steunden zijn er ook de uitzonderingen, met name Albert Einstein. In het universum van Tacken, waarin helden en schurken bestaan, zijn dit de helden, de visionairen en hij laat zien hoe ze in hun kritiek op de oorlog de tijd ver vooruit zijn en ook ver vooruit aan zien komen.

Meer Veertien Achttien:
August von Mackensen,
Franz Hipper,
Enver Pasha,
Veertien Achttien premium,

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Bill Gates on TED

With Bill Gates talking about how to battle malaria and emphasizing how important it is to improve education TED has kicked off for 2009. It has been noted elsewhere Gates is even funny. Well, he surely attempts to be and fortunately doesn't wander off with it.

If you choose to watch Bill Gates on the TED site, you will be offered to continue with a talk from 2007 by Bjorn Lomborg which gives the problem of global warming a rather surprising rating in the list of world problems. The problem of malaria rates higher, to name one that Gates addressed.

More TED:
Stephen Petranek,
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
Philip Zimbardo,
Jonathan Haidt,
Lennart Green.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Anne is a Man in De Standaard

Here is just a short update for those of you who didn't know it yet: I have been invited to blog for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard (Weblogs - En nu even elders - Israel). There I write about once a week about daily life in Israel. The latest entry is about the elections. Previously I have written a lot about the war in Gaza.

The stark difference in experience is that in De Standaard, the blog attracts much more comments. And since it turns out to be a political statement to BE an Israeli, the comments are very frequently molded as personal attacks, where they actually are attacks on Israel or expressions of frustration with the situation in Israel.

The blog is in Dutch.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Slavery - Hardcore History podcast review

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History has the occasional 'blitz' show. Obviously distinct from the interview shows, they are, but less so from the regular shows. However, taken in mind the previous blitz show which was about drug use (mostly alcohol) through the ages and the last one which is about slavery through the ages, the blitz shows are, apparently more thematic.

On the theme of slavery Dan Carlin argues that slavery is of all times and of all places. He goes over a series of examples and appears to use as his main source Milton Meltzer's book Slavery: a World history. On the one side slavery turns out to be a humane alternative to death, but all in all the whole feature of enslavement, servitude and hard labor is problematic. It also remains so, in spite of the numerous attempts to justify it.

The bottom-line Carlin steers to, is that slavery exists still today and not only that, but also that we all, Carlin and his audience, profit from slavery. There are just enough grades of separation that allow us to not actively know of it and feel we can reject slavery as immoral. Carlin takes the additional step, suggesting, if people are like this, they are really evil. The thought that arose with me, however, was that if low-wage work is similar or even equal to slavery, how different is it with higher-wage work if apart from the higher wage, the employee is just as much owned by his employer and his life is governed by his work.

More Hardcore History:
Gwynne Dyer Interview,
Interview with Victor Davis Hanson,
Punic Nightmares III,
Punic Nightmares II ,
Punic Nightmares I.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Science and Religion - LSE podcast review

The public lectures at the School of Economics are podcast in the LSE podcast and afterward at the compiled Uchannel Podcast (sometimes nearly immediately, sometimes up to months later). The latest lecture I listened to was held on January 21st with speaker Professor John Worrall about the incompatibility of science and religion.

Worall operates from the perspective of Science in this matter and examines a variety of ways to define religion such that it might be compatible with science, yet is not too widely or so vaguely defined. Too widely defined would mean that in the definition either science gobbles up religion or vice versa. Too vague would mean religion is watered down to such an extent the definition no longer covers what in practice is understood as religion.

It struck me that Worall, coming from science, was not particularly dedicated to haul in religion. He was, so to speak, rather indifferently weighing modern understanding of religion and see if the religious way to understand the world would meet his starting point requirements of science. His view on science was that of a method rather than a body of knowledge or a view of the world; the method of testing all claims it makes by systematic observation - one feels the influence of Karl Popper. As close as a free version of religion comes to it, Worall supposes the two just might be compatible in that light. But otherwise they would not and he doesn't seem to be particularly worried about this.

This, in my view, might have been very different had we had a talk by a religious person, trying to save science for his or her world view. Any religious person (obscure fundamentalists apart) will try to salvage science and this in itself goes to show what profound authority science has acquired in the modern world. I think there are many like Worall, who wouldn't want to reject religion out of hand, but would lose any sleep over the conclusion the two were incompatible. The division of task, Worall suggests by the end, in which science explains the how and religion the why in the world, smack of being reduced and simplified for both the large body of science as well as the large body of religions, leaving the matter totally unresolved.

More LSE Events:
The crisis,
Desiring walls,
The Post-American World,
Reparing Failed States,
Europe and the Middle East.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

August von Mackensen - veertien achttien recensie

Er is een toegevoegde waarde van de wijze waarop de podcast Veertien Achttien de eerste wereldoorlog in kaart brengt. Soms kan het wat versnipperd lijken, maar door elke week een biografie te geven van een van de vele hoofdrolspelers, komt de oorlog in zijn historisch perspectief te staan, net als de oorlog zelf, begint elke biografie ver voor de schoten van Gavrilo Prinzip en gaat vaak nog verder na de verdragen van Versailles.

Zo kan je in elke biografie niet alleen een klein aspectje van de grote oorlog ontdekken, maar ook de verhalen die tot de oorlog geleid hebben en waar de oorlog weer toe geleid heeft. In de biografie van August von Mackensen, komt dat ook weer sterk naar voren. Von Mackensen draagt het tweede rijk in zich mee, als voormalig helper van Bismarck, als officier uit Pruisen en aan het einde, als hij al 95 is, wordt hij gefeteerd door Hitler. Evenals deze individuele Duitser is Duitsland in de oorlog ingeklemd tussen Bismarck en Hitler, tussen de Duitse eenwording en plotse dominante aanwezigheid in de Europese machtspolitiek en afgleiding naar het Nazisme.

Een uiterst curieus element in het verhaal van de Pruisische August is een legende dat alles van een verzinsel heeft en presentator Tom Tacken kan er ook niet veel meer mee dan het zijdelings noemen. Er zou een persoonsverwisseling hebben plaatsgevonden en Von Mackensen zou eigenlijk een Schot zijn met een tweede leven. Is dit nou een dwaze associatie omdat de achternaam met Mac- begint? Wie heeft dit verzonnen, de Britten? Is er misschien een vader van de gedachte, de wens dat grote officieren eigenlijk Britten zijn? Nou ja, het blijft een zijspoor.

Meer Veertien Achttien:
Franz Hipper,
Enver Pasha,
Veertien Achttien premium,
Oskar Potiorek.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Modest Proposal - In Our Time review

Before the podcast will be taken out of the feed, here is a quick recommendation for the latest In Our Time about Jonathan Swifts 'A modest Proposal'. The discussion involves the history of Ireland, Swifts relation with it, his success with Gulliver's Travels and eventually on the effect of his 'A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of the Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to The Public' on the phenomenon of pamphleteering.

A thought that stuck with me was the fact that Swift used the pamphlet for humor. Whereas the pamphlet would, as you expect, say what the writer wants to say in an immediate way, Swift's pamphlet makes an exaggeration and while obviously saying something the author doesn't mean (arguing for cannibalism), it makes a point and has the political effect any old-fashioned pamphlet would hope to have.

More In Our Time:
History of history,
Darwin special,
The Consolation of Philosophy,
The Great Fire,

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Abrrev & txt - The Word Nerds podcast review

The Word Nerds have gotten back on track with regularly releasing podcast and what is more, they are also getting back at their old amazing quality being informative, light, entertaining and delivering a very cosy atmosphere.

TWNAlso, the nerd that had long been absent from the show: Michael Chang was recently back on the show. "The rumors of my demise (from the show) were greatly exaggerated," he quotes and procedes to contribute his research in the modern abbreviations to the show Abrrev & txt. Abbreviations are of all times and Chang wouldn't be the classicist he is, if he wouldn't kick the subject off with the abbreviations used by the Romans. But soon it is fast forward to the present.

I was expecting that the nerds would speak also of the need for abbreviation in SMS, but mostly the entertained the talk of IM. My favorite abbreviation was KPC for Keep Parents Clueless. It goes to show the nerds are teachers in their day jobs. The rude word of the week could be guessed at the beginning of the show: WTF. LOL!

Previous reviews of TWN on this blog:
Stories and Story Telling,
Ambiguity and linguistic tics,

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Stuff you missed in History Class

Thanks to the discussion boards on The Podcast Parlor I found out there is a history podcast named Stuff you missed in History Class (feed). This is yet another podcast by How Stuff Works, which also brings the history podcast Fact or Fiction aside podcasts that are not about history.

The formula of How Stuff Works is that of the dialog and this is applied in Stuff you missed in History Class as well. A question is raised and two speakers smoothly discuss the subject. The efficacy is great. You will be updated on issues such as the possibility that the Chinese got to America before Columbus did in a matter of 10 to 15 minutes (with the occasional cast just under 30 minutes). In addition the episodes are released very regularly, up to once every two days.

This is exactly according to the formula I'd give to any new podcaster: release regularly, keep it short and use different voices. Still, I did not connect to the podcast personally. The dialog is too scripted. The subjects are too fancy. Something about this podcast is not genuine. Or maybe it is just too light for my taste. And if so, then it is exactly the right kind of history tidbit podcast for the leisure listener.

More How Stuff Works:
Fact or Fiction.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

239 Podcasts - Anne is a Man's list for February 2009

UPDATE: we now have 316 podcasts reviewed. (click this link for the latest list)

Every first of the month I publish a full list of podcasts I have reviewed. You can find the list below. If however you want to have them presented to you in a more orderly fashion, look up my list of directories. The disclaimer must be that the directories are not as up to date as the full list is. I am working on it.
  1. 12 Byzantine Rulers
  2. 7th Son
  3. Africa (Stanford Travel)
  4. Africa Past and Present
  5. All Things Medieval
  6. American Environmental and Cultural History (Berkeley ESPM 160AC)
  7. American History before 1870
  8. Ancient and Medieval Podcast
  9. Ancient History - Alternative Theories
  10. Ancient Philosophy (Berkeley)
  11. Are we alone?
  12. Armistice Podcast 
  13. Backstory
  14. BBC History Magazine
  15. Behind the Black Mask
  16. Behind the News with Doug Henwood
  17. Beyond Good and Evil (Librivox)
  18. Big Ideas (TVO)
  19. Bike Radar
  20. Binge Thinking History 
  21. Bioethics podcast
  22. Biography Podcast (Learn Out Loud)
  23. the Biography Show (TPN)
  24. Biota Podcast
  25. Birth of the Modern (Arizona State University)
  26. the Bitterest Pill 
  27. Bommel Hoorspel
  28. British History 101
  29. Cambridge Alumni Podcast
  30. Car Talk
  31. CAT 2 Culture Art and Technology (UCSD)
  32. CATS 2 Culture and Technology Studies (UCSD)
  33. Celtic Myth Podshow
  34. CFR Podcast 
  35. Chronicles Radio Dispatches
  36. Church History
  37. Dan Carlin's Common Sense
  38. Dan Carlin's Hardcore History
  39. Das Rätsel der verschollenen Schatulle
  40. David Kalivas' World History
  41. Distillations
  42. East Asian Thought (UCSD)
  43. Economics 100B (Berkeley)
  44. the Economist 
  45. EconTalk
  46. Engines of our Ingenuity
  47. English 117S (Berkeley)
  48. Entitled opinions
  49. Everything Lincoln
  50. Existentialism in Literature and Film (Phil 7 - Berkeley)
  51. Exploring Environmental History 
  52. F1Cast
  53. Fact or Fiction
  54. Family History - Genealogy made easy
  55. Forgotten Classics
  56. Frankenstein, or modern Prometheus (Librivox)
  57. Freedomain Radio
  58. Fresh Air (NPR)
  59. From our own Correspondent (BBC)
  60. Game Theory (Yale)
  61. Genealogy Gems Podcast
  62. Geography 110C (Berkeley) Economic Geography of the Industrial World
  63. Geography 130 (Berkeley)
  64. Geography of Europe (Arizona State University)
  65. Geography of World Cultures (Stanford)
  66. German Cultural History
  67. Geschichtspodcast (Chronico)
  68. Geschiedewistjedatjes
  69. Global Geopolitics (Stanford)
  70. Grammar Girl 
  71. Hank's History Hour
  72. Hannibal (Stanford)
  73. Haring Podcast
  74. Harvard Business IdeaCast
  75. Historical Jesus (Stanford)
  76. Historicast
  77. History 106B (Berkeley)
  78. History 167B (Berkeley)
  79. History 181B (Berkeley)
  80. History 2311 (Temple College)
  81. History 2312 (Temple College)
  82. History 4A (Berkeley)
  83. History 5 (Anderson - Berkeley)
  84. History 5 (Hesse- Berkeley)
  85. History 5 (Laqueur - Berkeley)
  86. History 7B (Berkeley)
  87. History according to Bob 
  88. History Compass Blog
  89. History Network
  90. History of Holland (Librivox)
  91. History of Rome
  92. History of the International System (Stanford)
  93. History on the Run 
  94. History Podcast
  95. Historypod
  96. Historyzine
  97. Hoor! Geschiedenis
  98. HUM 4Enlightenment, Romanticism, Revolution (UCSD)
  99. ICT Update
  100. In My Living Room! 
  101. In Our Time (BBC)
  102. In the Media (WNYC)
  103. Inspired Minds (Deutsche Welle)
  104. Interview Vrijdag (VPRO)
  105. Introduction to Ancient Greek History (Yale)
  106. Introduction to German Politics (Oxford)
  107. Introduction to Language (Arizona State University)
  108. Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) (Yale)
  109. Iran Podcast
  110. Irving Poetry podcast
  111. ITV
  112. Jung Podcast
  113. Junggesellenblog
  114. KMTT
  115. La Resistance
  116. KQED Forum
  117. Language (UCSD)
  118. Leben und Überleben mit 45+
  119. Letters and Science (Berkeley)
  120. LSE Podcast  
  121. Making History with Ran Levi - עושים היסטוריה
  122. Marathon Interview (VPRO)
  123. Matt's Today In History
  124. Media Matters (NPR)
  125. medicalhistory 
  126. Medieval & Renaissance Studies Events (Virginia Tech)
  127. Medieval Podcast
  128. Meetings Podcast 
  129. Meiky's Podcast Show 
  130. Midwest Writer
  131. Military History Podcast
  132. Missing Link
  133. MMW 2 , the great classical traditions (Chamberlain - UCSD)
  134. MMW 3, the medieval heritage (Chamberlain - UCSD)
  135. MMW 3, the medieval heritage (Herbst - UCSD)
  136. MMW 4 (UCSD)
  137. MMW6 (UCSD)
  138. Muscular Judaism
  139. My Three Shrinks
  140. Namaste Stories
  141. Napoleon 1O1 (TPN)
  142. National Archives Podcast
  143. Naxos Classical Music Spotlight Podcast
  144. New World Orders
  145. New York Coffee Cup
  146. Night's Knights
  147. Nonviolence (Berkeley PACS 164A)
  148. Nonviolence today (Berkeley PACS 164B)
  149. NRC FM
  150. Only in America
  151. Open Source
  152. Out of the past
  153. OVT (VPRO)
  154. Oxford Biographies
  155. Oy Mendele!
  156. Parnell's History Podcast
  157. Peopletalk's Podcast
  158. Physics for future Presidents (Berkeley)
  159. Philosopher's Zone
  160. Philosophy 103
  161. Philosophy 7 (Berkeley)
  162. Philosophy Bites
  163. the Philosophy Podcast
  164. Philosopy 6 (Berkeley) Man, God, and Society in Western Literature
  165. Podcast history of cooking
  166. Podcasts on Medieval Texts (Virginia Tech)
  167. Pods and Blogs 
  168. Podwatch
  169. POLI 120A - Political Development of Western Europe
  170. Political Science 10 (UCLA)
  171. Political Science 179 (Berkeley)
  172. Politics and Warfare (UCSD)
  173. Pope Podcast
  174. Practice of Art (Berkeley) Foundations of American Cyber-Culture
  175. Prosperity show
  176. PSYC 105 - Introduction cognitive psychology (UCSD)
  177. Radiolab (WNYC)
  178. Rav Dovid's
  179. Real Talk
  180. Red Panda
  181. Redborne History
  182. Religion and Law in the US (UCSD HIUS 155A)
  183. Religion and Law in the US (UCSD HIUS 155B)
  184. Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean
  185. Replaceable You (Stanford)
  186. Rhetoric 10 (Berkeley)
  187. Rpgmp3
  188. RSA Current Audio
  189. Schlaflos in München
  190. Science & the City
  191. Science Fiction and Politics
  192. Science Friday (NPR)
  193. Sex History Podcast
  194. Shrink Rap Radio
  195. Šimek 's Nachts (RVU)
  196. the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe
  197. Skythen-Podcast
  198. SOCD 188JChange in Modern South Africa (UCSD)
  199. Social Innovation Conversations
  200. SOCL 1B - the study of society (UCSD)
  201. Sonic Society
  202. Speaking of Faith (APM)
  203. Stanford U History 
  204. Stem Cells: Policy and Ethics (Stanford)
  205. Sterke Geschiedenis
  206. Straight talk about stem cells (Stanford)
  207. Sunday Sundown 
  208. Talking Robots
  209. TdF London
  210. Teaching American History
  211. Teaching Company
  212. TED Talks
  213. That Podcast Show (aka Edgy Reviews)
  214. Theories of Law and Society (Berkeley)
  215. the Things We Forgot To Remember
  216. Thinking Allowed
  217. Time Out for Truth
  218. Times Talks
  219. Tudorcast
  220. UCLA Israel Studies 
  221. University Channel Podcast (aka UChannel Podcast)
  222. Veertien Achttien
  223. VIS 22Formations of Modern Art (UCSD)
  224. Volkis Stimme
  225. Volkskrant Podcasts
  226. We the People Stories
  227. Welcome to Mars
  228. What is Judaism?
  229. Wise Counsel 
  230. the Word Nerds
  231. the Writing Show
  232. Wynyfryd's meditation room
  233. the Your History Podcast
  234. Your Purpose Centered Life
  235. zencast
  236. zoem
  237. האוניברסיטה המשודרת
  238. מה שהיה היה
  239. קטעים בהיסטוריה
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