Friday, April 10, 2009

Podcast summary review - clean up the desk

I have been listening to a lot of the regular podcasts that I follow and many of those I do not review all the time or did not find the strength to write about this time around. So, I decided to give you a quick overview of those good podcasts that went unmentioned in the past week or two.

BBC's In Our Time about Baconian Science. A great show that gave a nice addition to the Bacon I knew from my introduction to philosophy of science. Bacon the politician, the lawyer, the scheming unsympathetic character. As he appeared in one of those films about Queen Elizabeth. The Queen Elizabeth that was referred to in History 5 as: the Elizabeth that read Plato in Greek, not the one that reads Horse and Hound.

The Word Nerds about nostalgia. As charming and lovable the podcast is, I just didn't know what to write about this one. The Shepherd brothers sit in Chapel Hill and are being nostalgic. Yes.

Veertien Achttien about Pancho Villa. Villa is a character that ha everything for a historical podcast, but what does he do in a WW1 series? He gives some background understanding in which the Zimmermann Telegram can be framed. The Zimmermann Telegram deserves a podcast episode by itself, but about whom should the biography be? History is about people, but apparently not all history can be captured in human interest tales.

The Bitterest Pill went onto the Ocean to see dolphins and whales. Rain, sea sickness and the announcement that 'this is the time the dolphins sleep' give Dan Klas enough to rant about.

Volkis Stimme always cheers me up on Sunday morning when I make it to the office. Last time I laughed out loud. The murderous SMS text message and the friendly automated 911. 'What is the first letter of the city you call from?' Try and say H for Hamburg when you are choking. 'Augsburg?'

The New York Coffee Cup is about to finish Dave's visit to New York. I think Georgette is a spoiled brat. Anything that doesn't work out for her has her cry this is the worst day of her life. Why does Dave continue to feel the awkward father?

Oh, Forgotten Classics with the next installment of Uncle Tom's Cabin. In chapters 10 and 11 Harriet Beecher Stowe commits more racism. In addition, the heroes are so shining and the villains so evil. There is a crude mind set on which the novel is built, the quality must come from the drama.

Making History with Ran Levi announced the 50000th listener on an episode about the portable computer, 3d representation and pasta eating monkeys.

BBC's Thinking Allowed took on communism as religion and Stalin as the messiah - oh my god!

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Crusades - Virginia Tech lecture series

Back to the podcasting professor from Virginia Tech Matthew Gabriele. He also coordinates public lecture series at VT that are supposed to be podcast in a podcast that I had reviewed before Medieval & Renaissance Studies Events (see Virginia Tech history podcast page). In March 2008 I wrote about the excellent and thought provoking lecture by Joseph Miller about the history of Africa. I was keeping an eye on the feed, but found nothing new.

By chance I ran into some parallel feeds. It just so turned out these podcast lectures are put in a separate feed for each semester. Hence, from the fall 2008 feed, I extracted a lecture that I had missed. Jay Rubinstein spoke about the first crusade and how the feats in this crusade had a formative impact on Europe. Godfrey of Bouillon managed to capture Jerusalem and became the first king in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, a state that maintained its grip in the east for some 70 years. This feat captured the imagination of the west. It took on apocalyptic meaning and even if the dream of prophecies come true had to pass, it changed Europe. It brought unity and self-esteem into Christendom.

From the introduction is appears that Rubinstein's lecture is the second in a series that consists of a handful of lectures. Apparently they were not (successfully) recorded and so Rubinstein's is the only one available. Also in the spring 2009 feed there is but one lecture present. Soon I will be listening to that one as well.

More Virginia Tech:
Medieval Heroes in short, (no link available yet - expect update soon)
Thinking outside the European box,
Medieval Texts.

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