Friday, December 31, 2010

Heads-up for 31 December 2010

First of all, a happy new year to you all. May you live 2011 in health and happiness

Philosophy Bites
Paul Russell on Fate
Must it be? Do I really have a choice about what I do? I seem to be able to reason about what I will do, but do I have a choice about how I weight the different choices available? And where does luck come in? Paul Russell discusses the thorny question of whether or not we have control over our lives for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
(review, feed)

The Economist
Politics in 2011
The second in our two-part series on the year ahead examines China's rise, America's gridlock, social unrest and the fun of 2011
(review, feed)

Outriders aka Pods and Blogs
2010 Roundup!
Happy New Year to our Outriding listeners and guests. Jamillah takes a look back at a year online and the voices from the digital domain through 2010.
(review, feed)

omega tau podcast
Seehunde im Wattenmeer
Im Rahmen der omegaTour Nord 2010 besuchten wir die Seehundstation Nationalpark-Haus Norden, wo verwaiste Seehunde aufgezogen auf eine ihre anschließende Auswilderung vorbereitet werden. Wir sprachen mit Peter Lienau, dem Leiter der Station, über Seehunde, ihr Verhaltung und ihre Erforschung sowie über die Einrichtungen und Aktiviäten der Seehundstation.
(review, feed)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Heads-up for 30 December 2010

In Our Time
Industrial Revolution Part II 30th Dec 2010
In the second part of this two-part series on The Industrial Revolution, Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the consequences of the revolution and how the economy, social structures, housing, education and public health were all affected. Melvyn is joined by Jane Humphries, Professor of Economic History and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford; Emma Griffin, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of East Anglia; and Lawrence Goldman, Fellow and Tutor in History at St. Peter’s College, Oxford.
(review, feed)

A Short History of Japan
Power Moves East
The Taira v Minamoto war, known as the Gempei War, of the 1180s involved a lot of skulduggery and backstabbery. Before the Minamoto were to beat the Taira, they had to fight amongst themselves first. At the end of all this, Yoritomo, back in Kamakura, will be able to assert his will uninterrupted.
(review, feed)

עושים היסטוריה! עם רן לוי Making History! with Ran Levi
על הטכנולוגיה של כלי נגינה
בפרק זה נתחקה אחר ההיסטוריה של כמה מכלי הנגינה המוכרים ביותר, וננסה לענות על השאלה: מי משפיע על מי- המוזיקה על כלי הנגינה, או כלי הנגינה על המוזיקה?
(review, feed)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Heads-up for 29 December 2010

Mahabharata Podcast
The Markandeya Sessions Pt. 2
The Sage Markandeya continues with his storytelling. He begins with his own version of the Four Ages or Yugas. One interesting point is that in his reckoning, the Kali Yuga lasts 1,200 years in total. Since we are told elsewhere that the Kali Yuga began for us on the death of Krishna, then the Kali Yuga must have ended centuries ago, and we happy people have made it into the next Golden Age! After an apocalyptic vision of the future, Makandeya gives us the Tale of the Frog, which culminates in a showdown between the brahmin Vamadev and a pair of stubborn kings. The brahmin, of course, comes out the victor! There are more stories to come in the next episode, so the Markandeya Sessions will continue...
(review, feed)

Europe from its Origins
Episode 19 AD 1347 - 1396
The long secular rise of Christendom, unbroken since the 10th century, suffered severe setbacks during the 14th. The society had reached a high level of wealth, for the elite; those working the land had a standard of life better than in some regions of the 3rd World today. There were major gains on the peripheries: in Spain the last major invasion from Morocco was successfully repulsed; in the east pagan Lithuania opted to join the European cultural realm.

But internally the society was fracturing on several levels, as new ways of thinking and new forms of claims to authority collided with one another. Civil war was the result, and from it spewed forth chaos. While this almost paralysed Christendom, the Roman Empire at Constantinople was entering its final years, as the Ottoman Turks emerged as an enormous military power and tansplanted their centre to continental Europe.
(review, feed)

Rear Vision
The Mossad
The story of the Israeli secret service the Mossad.
(review, feed)

Christian Humanist Podcast

I began to listen to the Christian Humanist Podcast (feed) as a follow up to the Jewish Humanist podcast Kol Hadash (feed) I discovered a couple of weeks ago (read my review of Kol Hadash). I learned from Kol Hadash to view the Jewish, or respectively the Christian, tradition as a cultural luggage I carry with me which can be taken seriously and therefore studied and taken to heart also for the secular. I was hoping to find a Christian pendant to Kol Hadash.

There is a website called The Christian Humanist which offers a load of articles along this line of thinking. However, a podcast they do not offer. The podcast with the same name, is not secular, it is openly confessional as they say. However, it is still a very interesting listen, also within the framework of looking at the Christian tradition as a substantial part of our (my) cultural baggage. Although the three hosts Michial Farmer, David Grubbs and Nathan Gilmour profess their faith and express themselves in the language of the believers and imply assumptions that I cannot identify with, I find we still have something in common. And that was an interesting find in itself.

What the Christian Humanist Podcast obviously attempts to do is to reconcile the Christian world view the presenters have with their other cultural luggage. The three are academics, versed in the humanities tended towards modern open-minded, rational, tolerant and liberal thinking. In that respect, they are not only the kind of humanists they identify with such as Erasmus and before that Thomas Aquinas and Augustin which results in very interesting issues such as the ones about Calvin, about politics or about the incarnation (to name a few I have listened to). They are also very similar to the non-believing secular, whether Christian or Jewish who just as much is trying to be a modern person with conscious historicity which leads him to understand and accept his connections with both the religious traditions he stands in as well as the secular, scientific, rationalistic etc.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Heads-up for 28 December 2010

The Great Escape
Witness talks to the last surviving participant in the Great Escape - the mass break out from a German prisoner of war camp in 1944.
(review, feed)

Inspired Minds
Christo, Joan Sutherland and Ernie Dingo
In this the second of two special editions of Inspired Minds we will have the chance to hear some of the 2010 highlights. They include renowned Australian Aboriginal actor Ernie Dingo and the installation artist Christo. We also remember the sensational soprano Dame Joan Sutherland, who died in 2010.
(review, feed)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Heads-up for 27 December 2010

Boettke on Mises
Pete Boettke of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the life, work, and legacy of Ludwig von Mises. Boettke outlines Mises's most important contributions to economics--business cycle theory, the socialism/calculation debate, and the application of economics to a wide range of behavior beyond the financial. Boettke discusses how Mises fits into the Austrian tradition and how he influenced scholars who came after him. The conversation closes with a discussion of Mises's most important works and suggests which books and articles are most accessible to a beginner who wants to explore Mises's ideas.
(review, feed)

Het Marathoninterview
Tijs Goldschmidt, gedragsbioloog
Hij publiceerde om te beginnen in 1994 “Darwins hofvijver, een drama in het Victoriameer” dat in vele talen werd vertaald. Rik Delhaas spreekt drie uur met Tijs Goldschmidt over zijn ontwikkeling als wetenschapper, zijn schrijverschap en zijn persoonlijk leven. En wat verder ter tafel komt.
(review, feed)

The SFFaudio Podcast #088
Scott and Jesse talk about audiobooks, the recent arrivals and the new releases.
(review, feed)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Heads-up for 26 December 2010

The Kamla Show
Anglo-Indians 0f India: Glenda Michelle Singh
You probably have heard of Russell Peters, the Canadian comedian. But, did you know he is an Anglo-Indian? He is perhaps the best known Anglo-Indian in the world today. Famous Anglo-Indians include Hollywood actress Merle Oberon and singer Engelbert Humperdinck The Anglo-Indians are a diminishing minority of India.
(review, feed)

Big Ideas
Craig Kaplan on Mathematical Art and Artistic Mathematicians
Craig Kaplan discusses origami, tiling patterns and other areas of art where mathematics and computers have had a significant impact. The lecture, entitled Mathematical Art and Artistic Mathematicians, was deliverd at the Quantum to Cosmos Festival.
(review, feed)

Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice; Dharma teaching by Jack Kornfield
(review, feed)

Art & Soul
Today we're exploring the intricate relationship between art and soul. Mary Hynes speaks with the world-renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman. We also hear from Rosemary Phelan a former nurse who witnessed a healing influence of music on her patients. And Rev. Jennie Hogan talks about how art galleries are replacing traditional places of worship for those seeking spiritual inspiration.
(review, feed)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Heads-up for 25 December 2010

Philosophy Bites
Martha Nussbaum on the Value of the Humanities
Why bother studying the Humanities? Surely when resources are limited we should be concentrating on subjects that have clear economic benefits, shouldn't we? Not necessarily. Martha Nussbaum, author of Not For Profit, argues for the continuing importance of Humanities subjects, particularly Philosophy, in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.
(review, feed)

Namaste Stories
"Baba Ji"
"Teachers are many, masters few." Osho Music is, first, "Broadway Boogie Woogie" by Dave Frank and, second, "Blue in Green" by Sameer Gupta, both available at Thank you, listener, for your patience, and thank you Dave and Sameer.
(review, feed)

Celtic Myth Podshow
Christmas Wish 2010
This is our Christmas wish to you for 2010. It is only a short episode with three pieces of music and a little story, but we thought it important to let you all know where we were with the show, what was and has been going on and that we are still here! We have had so much wonderful support and feedback over the last year that it has made our job of Gary getting better and Ruthie looking after him much easier.
(review, feed)

Argos Podcast
Opkomst en ondergang van het Nationaal Historisch Museum
Deze Eerste Kerstdag staat Argos stil bij de geschiedenis. Het afgelopen jaar zou het Nationaal Historisch Museum definitief zijn vorm krijgen. Dat is ook gebeurd. Maar totaal anders dan iedereen aan het begin van dit jaar nog dacht. Het is geen gebouw meer, maar een idee, een lezing, een voorstelling op internet. Er is nog wel een directie en die maakt plannen.
Over hoe het allemaal zo gekomen is spraken we in mei met alle hoofdrolspelers in dit kleine Nederlandse drama. Maar daarna is er veel gebeurd. Tijd om opnieuw de balans op te maken.
Luister naar een bijgewerkte reconstructie van de opkomst en ondergang van het Nationaal Historisch Museum.
(review, feed)

Veertien Achttien
Raspoetin en de bloederziekte van Victoria (zondag 24 december 1916)
Een duistere monnik, voortgestuwd door seks en alcohol, dicteert de gang van zaken aan het Russisch hof. December 1916 is het genoeg. Vergiftigd, neergeschoten, verzopen: zo eindigt Raspoetin.
(review, feed)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Heads-up for 24 December 2010

Being [APM]
Joe Carter the the Legacy of the African-American Spiritual
The African-American spiritual is the source from which gospel, jazz, blues, and hip-hop evolved. We celebrate the life of Joe Carter, who explored the meaning of the Negro spiritual in word and song -- through its hidden meanings, as well as its beauty, lament, and hope.
(review, feed)

What is the Stars?
Monday December 20th
The Blue of the Night's resident astronomer Francis McCarthy from Blackrock Observatory in Cork marks the 15th anniversary since the first deep field image was obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope.
(review, feed)

Shrink Rap Radio
A Psychiatrist’s Most Bizarre Cases with Gary Small, MD
Gary Small, M.D. is co-author (along with his wife, Gigi Vorgan) of the 2010 book, The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist’s Stories of His Most Bizzare Cases. I interviewed Dr. Small two years ago on episode #188 about their earlier 2008 book, iBrain: Surviving The Technological Alteration of The Modern Mind. Dr. Small is a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute and directs the Memory and Aging Research Center and the UCLA Center on Aging. He is one of the world’s leading experts on brain science and has published numerous books and articles. Scientific American magazine named him one of the world’s top innovators in science and technology, and he frequently appears on The Today Show, Good Morning America, 20/20 and CNN. Dr. Small has invented the first brain scan that allows doctors to see the physical evidence of brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease in living people. Among his numerous breakthrough research studies, he now leads a team of neuroscientists who are demonstrating that exposure to computer technology causes rapid and profound changes in brain neural circuitry.
(review, feed)

Christmas Truce 1914
Christmas 1914, WW1 - and soldiers from both sides lay down their arms, climb out of their trenches and talk to their enemies. Witness brings you testimonies from the BBC archive, and the records of the Imperial War Museum.
(review, feed)

Norman Centuries - The Great Count

What is Sicily? Part of Italy - right? A month ago I saw a movie that took place on Sicily and I noticed how the language sounded so different from the Italian I know. Now let us get back in history. The Middle Ages. A lot of the people who live on the island are Greeks, they are ruled by Arab Muslims and those have brought Berber troops to maintain order. The Arabs and the Berbers begin to compete for influence and some Italian lords from the main land also show interest. But then the Normans arrive.

This is but a rough and inaccurate way of describing, but it gives in a nut shell what I learned from Lars Brownworth's podcast Norman Centuries. Over the last episodes, the Normans have begun arriving in Italy and Sicily and expanded their influence. The last episode, #11 - The Great Count, tells the tale of the Norman Roger de Hauteville, who over the 11th century eventually wrestled Sicily from the Arabs and the Berbers and came to rule it by himself. (feed)

So what have we learned by now? We have learned how the Normans gained a foothold in Normandy and began to be a power in France. We knew of course of William the Conqueror, who crosses the Channel and established Norman reign in England. Now we have had a couple of shows about the sons of Tancred de Hauteville who tried their luck in Italy and Sicily and succeeded over there. Apart from William the Conqueror I had hardly any idea of the extent of Norman influence, until Lars came with his podcast.

More Norman Centuries:
6 more podcasts I listened to when I was away from the blog,
Norman Centuries - Lars Brownworth,
William the Conqueror,
Magnificent Devil,
Richard the Fearless.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Heads-up for 23 December 2010

Scientific American Podcast aka Science Talk
How You Gonna Keep Flu Down On The Farm?: Pig Farms and Public Health
Journalist Helen Branswell discusses her January Scientific American article, "Flu Factories", about the attempts to monitor new strains of flu that can originate on pig farms and the difficulties of balancing economic and public health constituencies.
(review, feed)

Thinking Allowed
Christmas and Class
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, children gathered beneath a sparking tree, a table groaning with turkey.....the cliches of the season are as alive and well as they were in Dickens time. But does everybody have equal access to the bounty of Christmas and the good will of others? The geographer, Steve Millington, finds that the distaste some middle class people feel for 'excessive' displays of xmas lights in working class areas reveals a narrative of class hostility which echoes Victorian attitudes to the 'undeserving' poor. He joins Laurie Taylor, the sociologist Bev Skeggs and the historian Julie Marie Strange to explore Christmas, compassion and class, then and now.
(review, feed)

Andrei Sakharov
On December 23 1986 the Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov was allowed to return home from internal exile. He was greeted by a huge crowd at a Moscow railway station.
(review, feed)

December 2010
On NeuroPod this month, being in control helps you learn, the 200th birthday of the founder of cell theory, depression and cognition, and the brain's 'preplay' button.
(review, feed)

In Our Time
The Industrial Revolution: Part I 23 December 2010
In the first of two programmes concentrating on the Industrial Revolution, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss what caused the Industrial Revolution and examine the reasons for why it happened in Britain; as well as highlighting some of the men who invented the machinery which changed the world forever. Melvyn is joined by Jeremy Black, Professor of History at the University of Exeter; Pat Hudson, Professor Emerita of History at Cardiff University; and William Ashworth, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Liverpool.
(review, feed)

The long history of the Royal Navy - the end?

The Binge Thinking History Podcast (BTHP) has told the history of the British Navy in nine installments. This week came out the last chapter, which takes the narrative through the 20th century. (feed)

It is called 1914 to the decline of empire and this surely covers both time and theme, however, within the story lies also the decline of navy and the rise of air force. Host Tony Cocks, in his familiar attractive narration, explains how the Royal Navy loses its grip on the waves, not only as the Empire recedes and the Americans take their place as hegemon. New technologies also require different tactics.

So far the history has been one of steadily larger ships, but with the advent of submarines, the Navy sees what it has seen through the years. Even if big battleships are powerful, sometimes it is more effective to have a number of small ships in stead of one biggie. Especially small and rapid ships give the dynamics a powerful navy needs. But then aircraft enter into the mix and this not only renders ships vulnerable from a new angle, it also reduces the navy's capacity to isolate harbors from trade. It is air force that will decide a hegemon's capacity to choke an opponent - no longer the navy.

More BTHP:
The Royal Navy vs. Napoleon and post-Napoleon,
James Cook and a famous mutiny,
The Royal Navy and the Seven Year War,
Britannia Rules the Waves,
Royal Navy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heads-up for 22 December 2010

Ancient Rome Refocused
"I'm the Emperor, and You're Not."
Title - "I'm the Emperor and You're Not." A look at a boy who visits a soothsayer and is foretold of his rise to the emperorship of Rome. A review of the cancelled NBC show KINGS, and a comparison of what it means to be part of the imperial family. The listener then travels back in time (in Mr. Cain's time machine) to interview for the position of emperor. This is the last episode of Season One. The show will return in March.
(review, feed)

Oxford Biographies
Charles Rolls, motor car promoter and aviator; Sir Henry Royce, engineer and motor car designer
Biography of Rolls Royce.
(review, feed)

TED Talks
Why we have too few women leaders - Sheryl Sandberg (2010)
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions -- and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.
(review, feed)

Classic Poetry Aloud
To Celia by Ben Johnson
Johnson read by Classic Poetry Aloud. Giving voice to classic poetry.
(review, feed)

Flood tales; Noah, Gilgamesh and Manu

One thing leads to another - this we know. Forgotten Classics was reading Genesis, got to the story of Noah and then inserted an issue about Gilgamesh. In this way we could hear and compare the more known flood tale to its probable Mesopotamian predecessor. Host Julie Davis sat down with her daughter who has had Gilgamesh in her literature class. In her own adolescent lingo she recounts the tale and then mother and daughter discuss its meaning. (feed)

I vaguely knew there were more flood tales in ancient narratives, but frankly, I would not have been able to name one but Noah and Gilgamesh. Fortunately, and completely by chance, in the same week Forgotten Classics came with Gilgamesh, the Mahabharata Podcast came with Episode 37 - The Markandeya Sessions Pt. 1 which recounts how the Pandavas sit with the sage Markandeya and push him to tell tales of Brahmins. He tells two, the second of which is the tale of Manu, a formidable sadhu who is being foretold of a flood to come and instructed to build an ark. (feed)

So there we have it, a flood story in the Mahabharata. Manu builds the ark, takes on it a bank of seeds and other material which eventually will enable him to bring life back to the world and then, obviously, the world gets inundated. The ark drifts around for a long time until the waters slowly recede and the first mountain peaks pop up again - in this tale not the Ararat, but rather the peaks of the Himalaya of course. Go and listen for more.

With me, as said, one thing leads to another and I went on to look for more podcasts on flood tales and among others ran into an iTunes collection of Harrisburg Area Community College with a World Literature course that addresses Genesis, Gilgamesh and many other important tales.

More Forgotten Classics:
5 podcasts I listened to (Genesis),
The Riddle of the Sands,
The message of Uncle Tom's Cabin,
Cooking with Forgotten Classics,
Forgotten Classics - podcast review.

More Mahabharata Podcast:
Indian roots of the Unicorn,
Endless cloth,
The Mahabharata Podcast.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heads-up for 21 December 2010

Mighty Movie Podcast
In 1999, Warner’s released THE IRON GIANT. Well… released may not be the best term. Slipped into theaters under the cover of night so that anyone who might be remotely interested couldn’t possibly know of its existence… yeah, that’s the term. Despite the stealth marketing, director Brad Bird’s animated tale of a young boy who lives in red-scare, 1950’s America and manages to bond with a giant, gentle, metal-eating robot managed to catch a few discerning eyes (mine included), and has since been championed as a tremendously entertaining animation classic. As for Bird, well, the guys at Pixar took note, too, and Brad wound up helming a couple of minor trifles you might have heard of: THE INCREDIBLES and RATATOUILLE.
(review, feed)

Scientific American Podcast aka Science Talk
Anna Deavere Smith: Let Me Down Easy
Actor, playwright and journalist Anna Deavere Smith talks about the health care crisis and her play about people dealing with illness, health and the health care system, Let Me Down Easy.
(review, feed)

The Korea Society
After the G20: Issues & Outlook
On November 18, 2010, Ambassador Thomas Hubbard, Chairman of the Korea Society, hosted a discussion of the economic, trade, and regulatory issues covered at the G-20 Summit. The panel included Ambassador Young-Mok Kim, Consul General of The Republic of Korea in New York, William Rhodes, senior advisor to Citigroup and a G-20 participant, and James E. Glassman, a managing director and senior economist at JPMorgan Chase.
(review, feed)

Stuff You Missed in History Class
Did Empress Wu's reign change China?
During the Tong Dynasty, Chinese women were often treated as second-class citizens. This made the rise of Empress Wu even more extraordinary. But did her work have a lasting effect? Learn more about how -- or if -- Empress Wu permanently changed China.
(review, feed)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Heads-up for 20 December 2010

The History of Rome
120- Interregnum
After Aurelian's death, an old Senator named Marcus Cluadius Tacitus briefly reigned before the throne fell to Probus, who ruled from 276-282.
(review, feed)

Binge Thinking History
1914 to the decline of Empire
The First World War marks the end the supremacy of the battleship and the beginning of the end for Pax Britannia. The decline of Royal Navy mirrors the that of the British Empire for obvious reasons and the it's future is unclear.
(review, feed)

Nocera on the Crisis and All the Devils Are Here
Joe Nocera, New York Times columnist and co-author with Bethany McClean of All the Devils Are Here, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the origins of the financial crisis. Drawing on his book, Nocera identifies many people he considers devils for contributing to the crisis and a few angels who tried but failed to stop it. The discussion covers the history and development of securitization and the peculiar incentives created by securitization and the relative lack of regulation of the securitization process. The conversation also includes a discussion of whether past bailouts contributed to the crisis.
(review, feed)

University of Warwick Podcasts
Dating the Birth of Jesus and the 'first Christmas' with a Herodian Coin
Anno domini. Today we use the system devised by the sixth-century monk, Dionysius Exiguus, as a way of synchronising events, and associate its origin with the nativity of Jesus and the 'first Christmas'. But did Dionysius get his dates right? Professor Kevin Butcher from the Department of Classics explores how a coin issued by Herod Antipas suggests not.
(review, feed)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Heads-up for 19 December 2010

Exploring Environmental History
Reframing a vision of lost fens
Wetlands were once common over a large part of eastern England. Of these so-called fens only two percent survives today and most of it is now situated in nature reserves. One of these reserves is Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire. Today Wicken Fen is the focus of a controversial proposal to radically expand the area of managed wetland around the reserve and to return arable land to its former wetland condition. On this podcast we interview Stuart Warrington, Nature Conservation Advisor for the National Trust at Wicken Fen, about these proposed changes and the role of history in recreating the wetlands. The second half of the podcast is devoted to a talk delivered by Ian Rotherham of Sheffield Hallam University. In his talk Ian analyses the attitudes towards the fens over the centuries and how these influenced the desire to drain thousands of square kilometres of wetland. He also considers the rich wild life in these wetlands and what a rich resources these provided for its inhabitants. Music credit: Mechanics in Love (Cue 3) flac Stems by boomaga, available from ccMixter.
(review, feed)

Norman Centuries
Episode 11 - The Great Count
Roger de Hauteville was a strange conqueror. The youngest of twelve sons he was the last to come to Italy and treated as the least capable of the siblings by a jealous Guiscard. His first raid in Sicily was a disaster that seemed to confirm the worst suspicions about him. But Roger persevered and over three decades he managed to carve out a kingdom that rivaled that of William the Conqueror's. Along the way he won one of the most spectacular battles in medieval history and managed to die with all of his vast conquests at peace. Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at the surprising life of the last Hauteville brother.
(review, feed)

History According to Bob
The Berlin Wall Goes Up
This show is about the construction and political fallout from the first Berlin Wall 1961 .
(review, feed)

Franciscan Priest
Mary Hynes talks to Richard Rohr. One of the world's best-known religious thinkers and activists, he is both adored and denounced. Many see him as a spiritual leader who lives the teachings of the 13th century friar, St. Francis. Rohr is an advocate for urban renewal, the eradication of poverty, male spirituality, as well as for gay and lesbian rights. He is a priest, a former prison chaplain, author, and a man who spends half the year living out of a suitcase, teaching around the world
(review, feed)

Dogear Nation
The Death of Delicious
We end the year with some bitter news, and we need your help to move into 2011. Delicious, our site of choice for getting your tags, is being shut down by Yahoo. How do you want us to get your input for the show? Please drop us an email at or comment on the blog. Should we use an open Google Doc? Should we use Twitter Hashtags? Should we use the Facebook? Should we use Google Buzz? Or do you have an idea? We hope everyone has a great year end, and we will be back with a new episode Recorded January 7th, 2011.
(review, feed)

Chris Hedges - Radio Open Source

Here is a quick recommendation to listen to Radio Open Source, where Christopher Lydon interviews Chris Hedges about his bleak outlook on modern world in general and the US society in particular. Here he explains how he think our democracy is run down the drain - with Democrats and Republicans equally guilty. (feed)

About a year and a half ago, we also heard him on Media Matters with an equally grim depiction of where we live. Also here his concern is liberal democracy, but here he discusses how our culture is dumbing down and thus is undermining the proper political state. (feed)

More Radio Open Source:
Geography shifting big history,
Kai Bird,
Amartya Sen on India,
Mustafa Barghouti,
Jackson Lears.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Heads-up for 18 December 2010

New Books In History
Ann Fabian, “The Skull Collectors: Race, Science and America’s Unburied Dead”
What should we study? The eighteenth-century luminary and poet Alexander Pope had this to say on the subject: “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man ” (An Essay on Man, 1733). He was not alone in this opinion. The philosophers of the Enlightenment–of which we may count Pope–all believed that humans would benefit most from a proper comprehension of temporal things, and most particularly humanity itself. For them, understanding humanity meant, first and foremost, understanding the human body. Naturally, then, the philosophes and their successors paid close attention to the body. They cut it up, took it apart, measured it and attempted to see how it worked. They were most interested in one part in particular–the human head. It was the seat of the human characteristic the Enlightenment scientists admired most: intelligence. If one could get a handle on the human cranium, then one would understand what it meant to be human. Or at least so they thought.
(review, feed)

London School of Economics: Public lectures and events
Valuing the Humanities
James Ladyman is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bristol and co-editor of the British Journal of the Philosophy of Science. Martha Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Lord Rees of Ludlow is President of the Royal Society, Astronomer Royal and Master of Trinity College Cambridge. Richard Smith is a Former editor of the British Medical Journal and Director of the Ovations Institute. Mark Lawson from BBC Radio 4 and The Guardian.
(review, feed)

Big Ideas
Art historian Francis Broun on The Art of Sir Edwin Landseer
Art historian Francis Broun presents his lecture entitled Genius Denied: The Art of Sir Edwin Landseer. It was recorded at the Women's Art Association in Toronto on May 24th, 2010.
(review, feed)

Philosophy Bites
Philip Pettit on Group Agency
When a group of people acts together we can hold that group morally and legally responsible. But how does the group decide to act? Is a decision of the group simply the majoritarian sum of individual group members' views? Princeton philosopher Philip Pettit, who has written a book about this topic with Christian List of the LSE, discusses these issues with Nigel Warburton for the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.
(review, feed)

Veertien Achttien
Charles Mangin en het succes van de vijfde golf (zondag 17 december 1916)
'De slager' noemden de soldaten hem wel. Erger nog: 'de menseneter'. Charles Mangin nam in het krijgsbedrijf menselijke verliezen voor lief. Met het eind van de oorlog had hij ook geen vrede.
(review, feed)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Heads-up for 17 December 2010

Being aka Speaking of Faith
The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi
This Peabody award-winning show explores the spiritual world of Rumi, a 13th-century Muslim mystic and poet, with Persian scholar Fatemeh Keshavarz. Rumi saw human love as a mirror of the divine, and searching as a form of arrival. Hear his poetry and its echoes in our world.
(review, feed)

Forgotten Classics
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Epic of Gilgamesh: The Deluge. In which we hear a retelling of the Epic of Gilgamesh
and also consider myth and literature.
(review, feed)

Russian Rulers History Podcast
Peter Takes on the Turks
Peter, having partied for 5 years, is ready to take control of things and take the fight to the Turk backed Tatars in Azov.
(review, feed)

Washington Snipers
On December 18th 2003, one of the 2 Washington Snipers, Lee Boyd Malvo, was convicted of murder. He and John Allen Muhammad had terrorised the US capital and its suburbs for 3 weeks in 2002, killling at random.
(review, feed)

Harvard Business IdeaCast
Guilty People Make Good Managers
Frank Flynn, Stanford Business School professor and subject of the HBR article "Guilt-Ridden People Make Great Leaders."
(review, feed)

Remove iTunesU files - revisited

It is hard to remove iTunesU files from iPod (nano and older - not from iPod touch). I have written about this last August and that is one the most frequented posts on this blog - Problem with iPod: remove iTunesU files. This post gives three methods to remove the files, each with their own limitations.
1- Recategorize (safe, but does not work for all)
2- Delete through file system (risky and complicated, but effective)
3- Reset (easy and safe, but with side-effects)

Here I want to tell you about a fourth method I have found. The fourth method is safe and effective, but as I will point out, has drawbacks of its own.

4. Synchronize iTunesU

You can change the settings of your iPod to synchronize with iTunes on your computer. This can be done for Music and Podcasts as well as for iTunesU. Select your iPod in iTunes (as on the picture above) and click on the iTunesU label above the summary. Then select the checkbox to sync iTunes U and choose to synchronize all unplayed and all collections. As on the picture below.

What this setting will cause is for iTunes to automatically copy all unplayed iTunesU files from your computer onto your iPod and after you have played them, either on computer or iPod, automatically remove them from the iPod. In case you want to listen more than once, you can choose to sync All files from iTunesU and in that case, the files will only be removed from your iPod, after you delete them from your computer. In case your iTunesU section is very large, you may also want to not sync for all collections, but rather choose one or more among them.

So far so good - this indeed is a safe and effective way to get rid of redundant iTunesU files from your iPod. What are the drawbacks?

First of all, like me, you may want to prefer managing your iPod manually. You may not like all unplayed files to be on iPod and also, you may not want to immediately remove what has already been played.

A second, very weird phenomenon, is that iTunesU files will appear on the computer interface on the iTunesU item under iPod, that is, as a category like podcasts, yet when you handle the iPod independently, iTunesU acts as a playlist and not as a category like podcasts. This makes the files more difficult to find and one more click away than podcasts.

The best solution to the second phenomenon is the playlist, which is a feature I use anyway, because I like back to back listening. Copy your iTunesU files onto a playlist together with podcasts and other audio you like and create your own order there. One has to be warned though: you can only make playlists when your iPod is managed manually, so do not sync music and podcasts otherwise playlists are no longer available. Be aware also that this not stopping the first problem and therefore, the iTunesU files will be removed from the playlist as they are removed from iPod during synchronization.

The way around the first problem is to only use the sync iTunesU setting occasionally when you want to remove all iTunesU files and once that is done, revert back to manual.

UPDATE: Go to the BEST method I propose for dealing with this problem: Subscribe to iTunesU feeds as a podcast

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Heads-up for 16 December 2010

In Our Time
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ancient religion and philosophy, Daoism. Said to date from the 6th century BC when a wise man called Laozi wrote the 'Scripture of the Way and its Power', the 'Daodejing'; Daoism plays a significant role in Chinese culture in general and is now one of the most influential religions worldwide. Melvyn is joined by Tim Barrett, Professor of East Asian History at SOAS; Martin Palmer, Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture; and Hilde De Weerdt,Fellow and Tutor in Chinese History at Pembroke College, University of Oxford.
(review, feed)

KQED Forum
AIDS Breakthrough
A team of doctors in Berlin say they've cured a man of HIV/AIDS with a stem cell transplant. While AIDS researchers say the exact procedure is unlikely to result in many cures, some are celebrating the findings as a huge leap in research that could lead to a cure.
(review, feed)

The China History Podcast
The Empress Wu Zetian REBROADCAST
Today we rebroadcast our July 19, 2010 program on the Tang empress Wu Zetian. Initially a concubine to the second Tang emperor and wife of the third, she later went on to reign as Empress of China in her own right. In this week's episode we look at her colorful life. Then next episode we will resume our dynasty overview in 705 after the death of Wu Zetian.
(review, feed)

Schlaflos in München
Dick im Geschäft
Erstmal vielen Dank für das Intro von Toby vom Heute endlich mal wieder ein Interviewpartner. Peter Kuhn von der Ascuro AG erzählt uns, wie schwer übergewichtige Menschen es im Alltag haben. Seine Firma verkauft im Online-Shop viele Produkte, die dicken Menschen helfen sollen. Mehr Informationen auch bei Adicare. Er plädiert für mehr Verständnis und dafür, Vorbehalte endlich abzulegen! Wäre doch ein guter Vorsatz für's nächste Jahr... Das von ihm angesprochene Buch ist Fat! So?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size.
(review, feed)

Rise of women, fall of men - inequality again

Most of the time, in most places of the world, I think, women are still discriminated against. The inequality mostly still is at the expense of women, yet, in the TED Talk I embed below, Hanna Rosin presents data of the rise of women in the modern age, in the modern world and the extent seems to not go towards equality, but rather show a flipped reality, in which women are the better performers, the better earners, the ones in power. And Rosin seems to also ask: was this what Feminism was aiming for? (feed)

I have been aware of some elements of what Rosin makes visible. For example, I have been seeing for decades that there is an especially underpriviliged chanceless class of uneducated poor young men. These days, for a man to be without education is worse than for women. Rosin adds the next nail to the coffin: men have been underperforming in the educational system for a long time. Consequently, this class of male drop-outs is only growing. Consequnetly, as Rosin has made me realize, our culture will change and within it our stereotypes of men and woman. We both fear that the next inequality will be just as bad as the other and most of all worse than the equality we had hoped for.

A last point to make is about this show being a videocast. I prefer podcast; my listening time lies especially in moments when my hands and eyes need to be somewhere else. Ted Talks are great videos to look at, but this specific talk I tested listening while not looking and there is very little you miss. I have experienced that this goes for many videocasts and so, if you are inclined like me towards audio alone, do not discard the vodcasts off the cuff.

More TED:
Rory Sutherland,
Dimitar Sasselov,
Sir Ken Robinson,
Photos that changed the world - Jonathan Klein,
Karen Armstrong on The Golden Rule.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Heads-up for 15 December 2010

Rear Vision
The changing nature of friendship
Friendship relationships have always played a significant role in human society - historically they were public relationships, often underpinning the political and social structures of society. Today friendships are private or personal - having no place in political or public life. We trace the changing meaning of friendships.
(review, feed)

Radio Open Source
Chris Hedges: We’re Missing Our Safety Valve
Chris Hedges, among those anxious prophets to whom attention must be paid, is a sort of George Carlin without the laugh lines. Grim obituarist of our empire, democracy and culture, the ex-New York Times war reporter is gabbing with us here about the smothered conscience of power: the Death of the Liberal Class, in the title of his new book.
(review, feed)

Wise Counsel
Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D. on the Synaptic Self and Memory Reconsolidation
Entering psychology by way of marketing, Dr. LeDoux chose to study animal brain mechanisms of fear after becoming disenchanted with the overly broad concept of the limbic system and frustrated by the difficulties associated with the study of human brains in that era (e.g., modern brain imaging techniques did not yet exist). He applied an information processing approach to this work (wherein mental processes like memory and attention are attended to; not emotion or other subjective mental contents). He became well known after demonstrating that auditory signals indicating danger were independently transmitted by the thalamus (a sub-cortical switch of sorts) in parallel to both the auditory cortex and the amygdala. Because the route to the amygdala is physically shorter, animals are thus able to respond to danger signals before becoming consciously aware of the danger. Dr. LeDoux's more recent contributions include authoring several excellent books such as Synaptic Self, which introduce lay people to neuroscience concepts in accessible language, and conducting important work in memory reconsolidation, a recent advance in the understanding of the nature of how memory functions, which has enormous promise as a therapy for PTSD and other conditions which revolve around problems involving emotion and memory. The interview winds up with discussion of Dr. LeDoux's rock/pop band the Amygdaloids which has recently put out a new CD, Theory of My Mind
(review, feed)

Radio Lab
The Good Show
In this episode, a question that haunted Charles Darwin: if natural selection boils down to survival of the fittest, how do you explain why one creature might stick its neck out for another?
(review, feed)

Parshat Vayechi
KMTT - Parshat Vayechi, by Rav Alex: Israel - Not Egypt!
(review, feed)

Torah Threads
Vayehi 5771-Blessings, Endings and Beginnings
Jacob’s Blessings for his sons and grandsons
(review, feed)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Heads-up for 14 December 2010

Outriders aka Pods and Blogs
Wikileaks so far and a little light mathematics
This week Jamillah and Chris Vallance tease out the strands of the wikileaks story so far and chat with experts on the real meaning of cyber war and the future of leaked documents. Oh - and there's a great song about maths too.
(review, feed)

Inspired Minds
Pavan Sukhdev
The Special Advisor to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Economy Initiative, Pavan Sukhdev, pursues long-standing interests in environmental economics and nature conservation. Initially as a senior banker, Pavan Sukhdev founded and went on to join the board of Deutsche Bank's Global Markets Centre in Mumbai. Sukhdev has also held positions with Deutsche Bank as Head of Global Markets Finance for Asia-Pacific and later Chief Operating Officer of the Bank's Global Emerging Markets Division, a leading and multiple award-winning markets division represented in over thirty countries. He also manages a model rainforest restoration and eco-tourism project in Australia, and an organic farming and eco-tourism venture in south India. Pavan Sukhdev talks this week to Robin Powell.
(review, feed)

Some Books Considered
Program 073
Patricia Cornwell continues her highly successful Kay Scarpetta series with Port Mortuary. She shares how she developed her interest in forensic science, which led to her career as an author. She also discusses the plotline of the book and the research that went into developing the story. Through the military focus of this novel, set in part at Port Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, she gained a greater appreciation for the Armed Forces and has launched an “America for Vets” national campaign. More information is available at
(review, feed)

Science Times
This week: thinking about thinking about eating, why bugs hold their breath, and insights on dementia.
(review, feed)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Heads-up for 13 December 2010

The History of Rome
Restitutor Orbis
Aurelian defeated the breakaway western provinces and reunified the Empire in 274 AD. The next year he was assassinated by officers who had been tricked into committing murder.
(review, feed)

Philosopher's Zone
The Athenian philosopher Epicurus
born in 341 BC, Epicurus set up a philosophical school which was unusual for its time - it allowed women and slaves to join. He also developed ideas about pleasure and the good life, but would likely turn in his grave were he to know how the term 'Epicurean' has come to be used in the 21st century.
(review, feed)

Mahabharata Podcast
Bhima and the Snake
The Pandavas journey south, out of the Himalayas and back to the plains. Along the way, Bhima goes hunting and finds himself captured by a giant magical snake. The Snake takes his time and tells Bhima his life story before proceeding to eat the hero. Meanwhile, Yuddistira sees dark omens and heads off to look for his brother on his own. For the purposes of the later story, Arjun stays at home and Yuddistira does the rescuing.
(review, feed)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Heads-up for 12 December 2010

Social Innovation Conversations
Laney Whitcanack - Nonprofit Management: The Art of Organizing Volunteers
"Every year, I say 'Never again,' but I do, and I love it." Does this sound familiar to you? Volunteer organizations enhance the quality of life, usually locally. But anyone who has been involved in a volunteer organization understands their fragility. BigTent, a platform for social groups, hosts 20,000 free, online forums with controls specifically for the needs of volunteer groups. Sheela Sethuraman talks with Laney Whitcanack, COO of BigTent.
(review, feed)

A Short History of Japan
Episode 7: Rule by the Sword
The rise of the Minamoto and the fall of the Taira. 1180-82
(review, feed)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Heads-up for 11 December 2010

Shrink Rap Radio
Creativity and The Brain with Shelly Carson
Harvard psychologist Shelley Carson PhD, is a researcher and instructor of creativity, psychopathology and resilience. She is the author of Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity and Innovation in Your Life (Jossey-Bass/Wiley). Based on scientific findings from studies involving brain imaging, brain injury cases, neuropsychological testing and interviews with hundreds of highly creative individuals, Dr. Carson has created a model of seven different brain states related to creative thought, which she calls the CREATES brainsets model. In her book she offers a route to greater creative productivity through a series of engaging exercises and problem sets (based on cognitive behavioral therapy methods) that enable us to strengthen our brainsets and switch among them with ease.
(review, feed)

The Economist
The return of the big three
Our correspondents discuss how Ford, Chrysler and GM are raising their sights, upgrading their models and moving into emerging markets
(review, feed)

Big Ideas
William R. Newman on Why Did Isaac Newton Believe in Alchemy
Indiana University professor of History and Philosophy of Science, William R. Newman presents his lecture, entitled Why Did Isaac Newton Believe in Alchemy? Through historical documents and experiments that demonstrate alchemical processes, this lecture explains why one of the most insightful scientists in history was convinced that alchemical transformations were scientifically plausible. It was delivered at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, on October 6th, 2010.
(review, feed)

New Books In History
David Shearer, “Policing Stalin’s Socialism: Repression and Social Order in the Soviet Union, 1924-1953″
The question as to why the leaders of the Soviet Union murdered hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens during the Great Purges is one of the most important of modern history, primarily because it shapes what we are likely to think about communism.
(review, feed)

Veertien Achttien
Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg en het koken van de soep (zondag 10 december 1916)
De morele standaard van rijkskanselier Von Bethmann Hollweg bezwijkt keer op keer onder nationalistische krachten. 'Ik ben mij bewust van mijn eigen beperkingen', zal hij zelf de slotsom opmaken.
(review, feed)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Heads-up for 10 December 2010

Harvard Business IdeaCast
The Glass Cliff Phenomenon
Susanne Bruckmüller, research associate at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and coauthor of the HBR article "How Women End Up on the 'Glass Cliff'."
(review, feed)

London School of Economics: Public lectures and events
European democracies and human rights: from present failures to future protection
In a lecture marking UN International Human Rights Day, Thomas Hammarberg discusses the gap between human rights standards and realities in the EU. Thomas Hammarberg was elected Commissioner for Human Rights on 5 October 2005 by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly. He took up his position on 1 April 2006, succeeding the first commissioner, Mr Alvaro Gil-Robles. Prior to his appointment, he spent several decades working on the advancement of human rights in Europe and worldwide.
(review, feed)

TED Talks
A call to men - Tony Porter
At TEDWomen, Tony Porter makes a call to men everywhere: Don't "act like a man." Telling powerful stories from his own life, he shows how this mentality, drummed into so many men and boys, can lead men to disrespect, mistreat and abuse women and each other. His solution: Break free of the "man box."
(review, feed)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Heads-up for 9 December 2010

Thinking Allowed
Cuban Science and Moral Panics
How did Cuba manage to become a world leader in bioscience despite and economic blockade and a developing world economy? Laurie talks to Simon Reid-Henry. Also what does the term 'moral panic' mean and is it overused. Jewel Thomas and Chas Critcher discuss.
(review, feed)

KQED Forum
WikiLeaks, Free Speech and National Security
Last week, WikiLeaks distributed more than 250,000 classified embassy cables to newspapers around the globe that provide an unvarnished view of U.S. foreign policy. While proponents of WikiLeaks herald the release of the documents as a victory for free speech and open information, critics contend that it undermines national security. We speak with experts on the both sides of the debate.
(review, feed)

In Our Time
Thomas Edison
Melvyn Bragg examines the life of the great American inventor, Thomas Edison. Creator of the phonograph and the mass-produced electric lightbulb, not to mention his pivotal role in the development of motion pictures, Edison was a true technological pioneer. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Kathleen Burk, Professor of History at University College, London; Simon Schaffer, Professor of the History of Science and Fellow of Darwin College at the University of Cambridge; and Iwan Morus, Reader in History at the University of Aberystwyth.
(review, feed)

Exploring Environmental History
Slavery, fossil fuel use and climate change: past connections, present similarities
What is the connection between the abolition of slavery, the Industrial Revolution, the use fossil fuels and climate change? Jeff Mohout of Birmingham University recently discussed this question in an article in the journal Climatic Change. In this episode of the podcast Mohout presents his idea that that slaves in the past and fossil-fuelled machines at present play similar economic and social roles: both slave and modern societies externalised labour and both slaves and modern machines freed their owners from daily chores. Consequently, modern society is as dependent on fossil fuels as slave societies were dependent on bonded labour. Mohout also suggests that, in differing ways, suffering resulting (directly) from slavery and (indirectly) from the excessive burning of fossil fuels are now morally comparable. The pocast concludes with some suggestions of the lessons which may be learned from the abolition of slavery in the 19th century for dealing with modern climate change and the associated energy transition.
(review, feed)