Saturday, July 31, 2010

New podcasts in June and July 2010 - Anne is a Man

I have not summarized the newly reviewed podcasts in two months, so finally here goes:

History of Jerusalem (UCLA) (review, site, feed)
All you needed to know about the Middle-East in a 3000 year span nut shell is offered in this course.

Irish History Podcast (review, site, feed)
New podcast that takes on the history of Ireland in chronological order, starting in Roman times and quickly proceeding to the Middle Ages.

Irish Hedgerow history Lessons (review, sitefeed)
Irish roots podcast with assorted items about Irish history.

History of the American Revolution (reviewsitefeed)
Kurtis Ford, retells the American history in quite extensive detail and with great narrative power with a very personal touch.

The Geologic Podcast (reviewsitefeed)
Comedy podcast by George Hrab - this is not about geology.

Mahabharata Podcast (reviewsitefeed)
Narrative podcast taking on the mighty task of retelling (and abridging) the Mahabharata.

Sports (World Cup and Tour de France):
World Cup Daily (The Guardian) (review, site, feed)

FIFA World Cup Today (ESPN Radio) (review, site, feed)

ITV Tour de France Podcast (review, site, feed)

The Cycling News Podcast (review, site, feed)

VeloCast (review, sitefeed)

Le Journal du Tour (Radio Sud) (review, site, feed) (in French)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mark Schauss: Russian Rulers History Podcast

Two months ago I reported about the Russian Rulers History Podcast for  the first time. Then it had just started and by now it has picked up speed. Maker Mark Schauss has improved the podcast while churning out a good stream of some 10 new episodes. The sound is better, the reading is better, the main subject is adorned with additional rubrics, in short: this podcast is becoming a joy to listen to. (feed)

Before I started listening I knew a very little bit of Russian history. Just enough to place it in the larger scheme of things and to make the mental connection from the Rus, Kiev, Moscow, Czars to Bolshevists and the present. Schauss is not only filling in the gaps, but also tackles the theory of this history for example by delving into the question why is it that Moscow came to dominate Russian history and not Kiev, Novgorod, Rostov, Vladimir or other cities.

It seems Schauss is rising to the task of filling not just my gap. He manages to reach a wider audience and he also interacts with it. He takes on the questions and suggestions and lately he has been rewarding the audience also with free iPhone apps for the podcast.

More Russian history:
Russian Rulers Podcast,
The Caucasus,
Jews in the Russian army,
Lies and truths by Jan Struys,
The great dictators.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

After the Cup - Africa past and Present

Africa Past and Present is a richly varied podcast with conversation about all kinds of subjects related to Africa. Specialists are invited on the show to shed their light in their realm of expertise. The podcast is produced at Michigan State University by the historians Peter Alegi and Peter Limb. It is not just about the continent itself, but also about African influence elsewhere, whether by virtue of the African population living abroad or otherwise. (feed)

I have occasionally pointed at this podcast in the past and I continuously keep an eye on the feed ready to pick up a subject that connects with my interests. This came up with the latest issue where the meaning of the World Cup for Africa was discussed. The conversation was recorded on the eve of the final of the World Cup 2010 in South-Africa. There is some discussion of football, especially about the Ghana team, but mostly about the feat of organizing the tournament for South-Africa in particular and Africa in general.

The greatest concern, also in other media, is how the huge economic investments will pan out. The podcast mentions Greece as an example and makes a connection between Greece's current financial crisis and its organizing of the Summer Olympics 2004. It is pointed out that the World Cup, though big, is not as huge as the Olympics and it is assumed South-Africa learned from the Greek mistakes. Yet, the financial outcome still has to be figured out, the reputation of South-Africa and even Africa in general, has greatly benefited from the World Cup.

More Africa Past and Present:
Podcast Review: Africa Past and Present.

More Africa:
Desmond Tutu,
New weeds in Africa,
Atlantic History,
World History between 100 BCE and 1200 CE,
Sudan and the fallacy of statehood.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sjoerd Kooistra - Simek 's Nachts

Recentelijk werd hij dood gevonden. Omgekomen vanwege een misdrijf? Of was het toch zelfmoord. Hier is een kans om hem in leven te horen. In 2004 was hij, Sjoerd Kooistra, op bezoek bij Simek 's Nachts.

We horen van hem hoe hij in de horeca is gerold. Hoe het was om als homoseksueel te functioneren, eerst in Groningen en later in Amsterdam. De magnaat komt vooral naar voren als een horeca man in hart en nieren. Een die als het moet zelf achter de tap gaat staan. Je blijft je afvragen hoe dat te rijmen valt met de criminele sferen die rondom zijn verscheiden gesuggereerd werden. Of wordt hier een vooroordeel over de branche bevestigd?

Natuurlijk is de oude Simek podcast (zowel de RVU podcast als de Elsevier podcast) onvindbaar geworden, maar waar mogelijk breng ik de oude afleveringen in mijn simek huffduffer feed.

Meer Martin Simek:
Ik ben een geraffineerde vrouw - Naema Tahir,
Fabienne - dochter van Lucia de B (RVU),
Mohammed Jabri (RVU),
Nico Frijda (RVU),
Aaf Brandt Corstius (Elsevier).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

War in Human Civilization - NBIH

I am amazed at New Books in History. Marshall Poe manages to produce new chapters every week. He reads the book and he interviews the author for about an hour. He must be reading more than just those books. He has got his position as a history professor at the University of Iowa, he has to write and he has to teach. In addition he must have got all those would be interviewees, but he won't pick each and every book only those whom he deems good enough.

What a selection we therefore get every week. Still it is one thing Poe gives an implicit recommendation of the book, it means even more if he explicitly does so. When he speaks with Azar Gat about War in Human Civilization, he recommends with special enthusiasm. And he adds he is going to use Gat's book for a course he wants to give. That kind of endorsement we have not yet witnessed often in NBIH.

Sure enough, Gat and Poe are off to a very spirited discussion. The subject is huge: how does war feature in human civilization? Has it always been there? Has it become worse, or perhaps better? Should we go with Rousseau and assume that war comes with civilization and man is deep down a noble savage. Or should we lean towards Hobbes and agree that man is a wolf to man and war is the state of nature, which civilization so feebly attempts to restrain? And what about nationalism and globalization? Poe and Gat are not done in the end. They will continue with Gat's next book.

More NBIH:
Always recommended: New Books in History,
The best varied history podcast,
The Caucasus,
The genocide and the trial,
Nation and Culture.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Royal Navy vs. Napoleon and post-Napoleon -- BTHP

Since I last wrote about Tony Cocks's Binge Thinking History Podcast, he has proceeded with two more episodes on his current subject, the history of the Royal Navy. The Reign of Terror to Trafalgar and The demise of Bonaparte to the introduction of steam power. (feed)

Tony Cocks is an engaging and detailed narrator of history. Just as with his previous subject, The battle of Britain, he takes no short cuts to tell his history. And also similarly, this history is filled with technical details. Where we had extensive mention of aircraft and flight technology when he discussed the Battle of Britain, now that he displays the history of the Royal Navy, he makes a point of getting across a lot of shipping technology. It may be tough on the passing listener, it is splendid for the seriously involved.

Much of the history acquires a deeper logic when you get into the technical details of the ships involved. It is the technology, very frequently, that marks the difference in power between British ships and those of its competitors. Or where no such advantage existed, you get to appreciate much more the sheer seamanship that made the day. Britons make the day eventually in BTHP because, just as with the Battle of Britain, Tony Cocks has yet again chosen a subject that culminates in British success, however challenged all through the narrative.

More BTHP:
James Cook and a famous mutiny,
The Royal Navy and the Seven Year War,
Britannia Rules the Waves,
Royal Navy,
Win, lose or draw.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dan Carlin and SFF Audio

Dan Carlin has started a new multi chapter subject at Hardcore History: Death Throes of the Republic. In this series he will extensively analyze how the Roman Republic dwindled from a formidable Mediterranean power to a decadent and deteriorating empire. (feed)

Carlin is a very successful and popular podcaster in addition to his Hardcore History (which is the most popular podcast among readers of this blog) Carlin also makes the more frequently appearing political opinion podcast Common Sense (feed). Personally I find Common Sense too much focussed on US politics, but also here Carlin can pride himself with reaching a large, international audience.

Common Sense features also dominantly in the interview Carlin gave at the SFF Audio podcast (feed). It is a dynamic and lively interview and one of the highlights is Dan's comparison of making radio with making podcast. We have already widely discussed how listening to podcast is different to listening to radio. But by the same token, Carlin demonstrates, making a podcast is different. You have no time constraints, less worries about losing the audience and a wider reach.

More Dan Carlin's Hardcore History:
Dan Carlin's history musings,
The end of the war,
Ghosts of the Ostfront,
Dan Carlin about the East Front.

More SFF:
Anne is a Man on SFF Audio,
Jesse Willis's five free favorites.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Malcolm Gladwell - Big Ideas

TVO's Big Ideas recently reran a lecture from 2005 by Malcolm Gladwell. (feed)

Gladwell wrote a book (Blink) about the problem that people take many important decisions quickly, in a matter of seconds, in the blink of an eye as it were. This is maybe not a problem from the point of view of economy, but it surely should make us feel uncomfortable about the validity of our decisions, especially on important issues, such as for example, the decision to hire one candidate from a range of applicants to an important job.

Gladwell's example, exactly about hiring: a musician for an orchestra, shows the rapid decision to be fault prone. However, this is not for its speed, which would demand slower deliberation and the viewing of more facts. Gladwell argues that split second decisions are rather reliable and pretty useful and where they go wrong, they do not go wrong for lack of facts, for missing deliberation, but rather too much input. Food for thought, a good podcast to listen to.

More Big Ideas:
The Age of Inequality,
Disappearing cultures,
Waiting for Godot,
Religion as culture - Camille Paglia,
Christopher Hitchens on the Ten Commandments.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The history of Anesthetics - Making History

My favorite Hebrew podcast is Making History with Ran Levi (עושים היסטוריה! עם רן לוי). I would like to draw your attention to one of the latest episodes. Here Ran Levi discusses the history of Anesthetics.

Three years ago BBC's In Our Time had a great program about Anesthetics as well and it is great to compare with Ran Levi's excellent work. Despite overlap, there are some good new insights to be had with him as well. In Our Time pays more attention to the assumed religious problem with anesthetics: pain was supposed to be a meaningful gift of god - how could we attempt to take it away?

This is pointed out by Levi as well, but with Levi we learn more about the finer techniques of the various narcotics that have been in use. And this gives great insight in the technical development. And as usual with histories of human discovery, frequently the wrong people are credited for the invention.

More Making History with Ran Levi:
Social Engineering for hackers,
Ran Levi, then, now and about the Long Now,
Of nightmares and sleepwalking,
Mass Extinctions,
Making History with Ran Levi - עושים היסטוריה! עם רן לוי.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Two issues of Entitled Opinions

One of the best podcasts around, Entitled Opinions, is off to summer hiatus and in addition to recommending to you the latest issue (about The Doors) I would like to encourage you to dive into the long history of the show and try an old issue. (feed)

First about The Doors. This is a great show in the Entitled Opinions tradition of shows about classic heroes in pop music which have already seen outstanding shows about Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. The Doors is mostly about Jim Morrison, about his road to artistry and hence, more show about the creative process as a personal journey rather than the musical genre, culture and era of The Doors. And something to point out to you: this show defines for you what is 'cool'.

An old show I picked up thanks to the tip from a reader of the blog was a show from November 2005 in which Robert Harrison has Joshua Landy on the show and the two discuss Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. Accompanied by single-malt whiskey we are treated with a grand overview of this long work and the meaning of human memory. Where Proust seems to be telling us that our memories are false and what we think we remember is eternally lost, the real verdict turns out to be much much more subtle.

More Entitled Opinions:
Pink Floyd,
Alexander the Great,
Athanasius Kircher (Giordano Bruno),
King Lear.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Irish History in Podcasts

The medieval history of Ireland is heavily influenced by the Vikings. The new Irish History Podcast (feed) has already dedicated two different shows to the Vikings. Next to this podcast, I checked also what another Irish history podcast reported about Ireland and the Vikings: Irish Hedgerow history Lessons (feed) The first is an Irish podcast, the second is an American, Irish roots podcast.

It is interesting to find out that Ireland was not just raiding ground for the Vikings. First of all it was a place for trade and eventually it was also a place for settlement. In addition to the era of fear and negative approach to the Vikings which made the Irish rather flee than seek contact, in the end there was a relation of influence. And Ireland became integrated in the wide world of Scandinavia.

Eventually the Irish also influenced the Norse and especially in the Christianization of the Scandinavians the Irish were instrumental.

More Irish History:
Irish History Podcast

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mahabharata Podcast

Thanks to a tip from Saad Akhtar, I found the Mahabharata Podcast (feed). I find myself listening to each issue, more than once even.

Lawrence Manzo does exactly what the name of the podcast suggests: he tells the story (stories) of the Mahabharata. And I am glad he does so. When I tried to follow UCLA's history of India courses, I found myself seriously lacking in knowledge and feel for this epic tale. Manzo claims the Mahabharata is especially fit to be retold on podcast and I think I agree. By all means I enjoy the podcast a lot and although I still struggle with the vast amount of characters, their outlandish names and complex identities (they are not just the figures they are, they are also very frequently incarnations and representations of the numerous gods) and with the unexpected narrative logic, the stories are invariably powerful.

Manzo makes a very good attempt to comprehensively retell the stories and keep us organized. He cuts out some of the too extensive elements and he goes into explanations on the crucial backgrounds and general story lines. He even leaves the Mahabharata a bit to tell a story from another tale, in order to ascertain the listeners are properly aware of the backstory around Krishna.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Riddle of the Sands - Forgotten Classics (2)

On Forgotten Classics, Julie Davies discusses podcasts and other subjects, but the main content is dedicated to her excellent reading of books from the public domain. She offers a wide variety and on occasion I choose a title to follow. When I do, I am always captivated until the end. Previously I was caught by Uncle Tom's Cabin, right now Julie has me hooked on The Riddle of the Sands

I have extensively written about it when I took up listening (The Riddle of the Sands) and the simple reason I want to pay attention to this series again is that it is coming to a close. The plot is unraveling, the drama is getting to a maximum and I want to say: this is worth your listening time.

The Riddle of the Sands is a pre-WW1 spy drama which pitches the British against the Germans - which was unusual at the time. As such, the meaning of the book is to be the novel that warned the English of a German naval threat as well as to be a first spy genre novel. Other than that, it is also a very charming tale to listen to. Even if Julie has a hard time getting the pronunciation of German, Frisian and Dutch names right.

More Forgotten Classics:
The Riddle of the Sands (1),
The message of Uncle Tom's Cabin,
Cooking with Forgotten Classics,
Forgotten Classics - podcast review.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

George Hrab - The Geologic Podcast

Often I find podcasts by chance, this time I found one by accident, or more accurately, by misunderstanding. One of my methods to induce these chances (or accidents) is by following podcast related tweets and there was one that simply said 'checking the geologic podcast' with a feed link. And I copied without checking.

I was expecting a podcast about geology and even though it struck me as odd and out of place that it should be labeled 'explicit' I still put it in my playlist and gave it a shot.

The reason for using a playlist of podcasts is that one effortlessly moves from one podcast to the next. Moreover, the next button is a one touch option to move along and believe me, I use that one lightly. It is what you get with being a podcast reviewer. It is professional impatience. And so, while I figured within seconds I had the wrong expectations with The Geologic Podcast (feed), I could have skipped instantly and if not instantly then within a couple of minutes of additional listening.

But George Hrab had me engaged. He was witty, intelligent, opinionated and provocative. Obviously this was no scientific podcast, this was comedy. One hour of monologues by George Hrab, comedian and musician, good enough to keep me captivated for 60 minutes - that is telling

Friday, July 16, 2010

Exploring Environmental History (EEH podcast)

It has been some time since I have reported about the Exploring Environmental History Podcast (feed). It is with this podcast as with so many others that I follow regularly. Although I keep listening to them, I cannot find easily something new to write about them. Just as the others EEH continues to be the podcast it always was: an academic level history podcast in which the maker, Jan Oosthoek, interviews colleagues from the field of environmental history to talk about their research.

I especially enjoyed the last two podcasts in which Jan interviewed first Cath Knight and then Colin Tyner. Both podcasts had a distinct Japanese content to them. Cath Knight researched the different approach of Japan and New Zealand to conservation in general and the protection of the Asiatic Black Bear. Colin Tyner researched the environmental history of the Ogasawara Islands (which as of recent belong to Japan, but have no exclusive Japanese history).

Both podcasts are interesting, not only for the one interested in Environmental History, in these specific cases, there is also a lot of Japanese culture coming out in the mix, which, at least to me, gave a very special additional touch to them.

More Exploring Environmental History:
Volcanoes in European History,
Environmental History in the Middle Ages,
New weeds in Africa,
Biological invasions and transformations,
Environmental history: an applied science.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tour de France podcasts

Seamlessly I moved from following the World Cup to following the Tour de France. Last year I had a hard time finding relevant podcasts. This year I put in some more effort and here is where I started:

ITV Tour de France Podcast (feed)

The Cycling News Podcast (feed)

VeloCast (feed)

Le Journal du Tour (Radio Sud) (feed) (in French)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Reported podcasts since May 2010 - Anne is a Man

Hi Anne,

I love what you do, could you please review my show called The Rewind Podcast

The Rewind Podcast brings you music from new and unsigned artists from around the world, Interviews with special guests and plenty of fun and laughs along the way. Play, Pause, Rewind!




Hey Anne!

How are you?

I'm really excited to tell you that the podcast I was talking about is finally launched. 
Check it out: Audible India

We've got some action going on, on twitter. You should join it if you like the podcast :)



Hi there!

 My name is Anna  and I work for R&R World, an online music community for unsigned artists, as well as artists signed to small independents. R&R World provides numerous tools and resources for our members to use, all for free. Our music community includes numerous interesting and free tools for selling and buying music, creating merchandise, organizing and promoting gigs, and interaction between artists, music lovers, and music industry pro's.

 We decided to create a weekly podcast to highlight the best and most popular music on R&R World. The podcast, known as ArenaCast, is not only about listening to music - it also provides recent news about the R&R World community and information on the bands featured in each episode. We also include tips from music industry professionals and veterans to give the listeners a unique insight into the world of the music industry.

 We would be grateful to have you review our podcast, as we are sure you will be impressed with it - Arenacast . The first episode aired in January of this year, and we now have more than 3000 subscribers. ArenaCast was created not only to help promote the music of our members, but to also introduce the listeners to new music of various genres from all over the world.

 We are familiar with your work and we'd really appreciate your opinion, and hopefully promotion of our podcast! Looking forward to hearing from you.




Hi - it's not exactly history or soccer, but we'd love to see a review of our little dog and pony show, Flash Pulp:

We try to pay homage to the pulp stories of the '30s and '40s, three times weekly. Even if you don't do a review, we appreciate the consideration!

JRD Skinner


I would like to submit my podcast for review.  Shut Up Tim!: A Podcast By Robby
it is a weekly podcast, we have been doing for over a year now and we start with pop culture end with a game and in between your guess is as good as mine.
i appreciate your opinions.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The history of the American Revolution

Here is a very thorough and conscientious podcast: History of the American Revolution (feed) Here the presenter, Kurtis Ford, retells the American history in quite extensive detail and with great narrative power. In addition he brings the history alive with reflections and overt interpretations.

When you decide to pick up this podcast, be aware that the series starts with chapter 4. It is said that Kurtis Ford has removed the first three episodes because he was not satisfied with the quality. At some point the may be redone and posted again.

The audio quality is indeed of amateur quality, so to say, but the offered material ranks with the best of them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

World Cup podcasts

The football World Cup is coming to a close in South-Africa and this should give the followers of my blog hope I will be back on track with podcast reviews. Although, the Tour de France just got on its way so podcasts still have to compete for my media attention with a major sports event.

In order to remain updated on the World Cup, I have been following a handful of podcasts:

The best pick, informative and entertaining:
World Cup Daily (The Guardian) (feed)

Along I listened to:
World Cup Buzz (feed)
FIFA World Cup Today (ESPN radio) (feed)
Total football Soccer Show (feed)

Oh and by the way: my team reached the finals of the World Cup. I will be excited until the end. Sunday July 11th: Netherlands - Spain. May the best win.