Thursday, September 30, 2010

New podcasts in September 2010 - Anne is a Man

Newly reviewed podcasts (14) this month:

Korea Society Podcast (review, site, feed)
Lectures recorded by the Korea Society containing a lot of Korean history content as well as contemporary Korean issues.

China History Podcast (review, site, feed)
Laszlo Montgomery's history of China.

Short history of Japan (review, site, feed)
Cameron Foster's history of Japan.

What is the stars (RTE) (review, site, feed)
Short monologues by astronomer Frances McCarthy pointing out a tidbit of astronomy and the history of astronomy.

Institut für Alte Geschichte und Altorientalistik - audio (review, site, feed)
Lectures at the Institute. Most of these are in German.

Philosophy 139x: Heidegger: Being and Time (Harvard) (review, site, feed)
Sean Kelly's teachings on Heidegger and his book Being and Time.

Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (review, site, feed)
Dialogs about economics.

Metropolitan Museum of Art - Medieval Art (review, site, feed)
Lectures at the Museum about or related to new exhibitions.

Making Love in the Kitchen (review, site, feed)
Health podcast concentrating on right food, right ingredients and right cooking.

Office Hours (review, site, feed)
Dialogs about theory and research in Sociology.

Neuropod (Nature) (review, site, feed)
Short podcasts about issues related to neurology.

Roundtable (WAMC) (review, site, feed)
Extracts from the radio program Roundtable. Interviews, dialogs and more.

The ripple that drowns (review, site, feed)
Lecture about famines in China and Bengal.

Religion in history (Open University) (review, site, feed)
Assorted dialogs about religion and diversity accompanying a much wider (paid) course at the Open University.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heads-up for 29 September 2010

Witness (BBC)
Silent Spring
When Silent Spring, a book about the effect of pesticides, was published in 1962 it prompted a new way of looking at the world. It was written by Rachel Carson, and her adopted son Roger Christie has been talking to Witness.
(review, feed)

Rear Vision
The Middle East conflict and the two-state solution
American president Barack Obama is committed to the Middle East peace process and the two-state solution. That is, that between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River there should be two states: one Israeli and the other Palestinian. We take a look at the history of the two-state solution. First broadcast on 23 September 2009
(review, feed)

The China History Podcast
The Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward ( 大跃进) from 1958-1960 caused death and suffering to dozens of millions of people. It sounded like a workable idea but it didn't turn out like Chairman Mao hoped. When looking back on the life of Mao Zedong, the Great Leap Forward is always viewed as a black mark against his legacy. I welcome you to listen to the podcast and learn all about what happens when central planning goes awry.
(review, feed)

New Books In History by Marshall Poe
Norman Naimark, “Stalin’s Genocides”
Absolutely no one doubts that Stalin murdered millions of people in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. His ruthless campaign of “dekulakization,” his pitiless deportation of “unreliable” ethnic groups, his senseless starvation of Ukrainian peasants, his cruel attempt to “cleanse” the Communist Party of supposed “enemies of the people”–all of these actions resulted in mass death. In total, Stalin is responsible for the murder of roughly 10 million Soviet citizens. Again, this is well established.
What is not well established is what to call Stalin’s crimes.
(review, feed)

Philosophy Bites
Daniel Everett on the Nature of Language
Since John Locke declared the child's mind a blank slate, philosophers have long debated the degree to which language-learning is innate. Are there are universal grammatical features that all languages share? Daniel Everett, who has spent many years among the Piraha, an Amazonian people who have a highly unusual language, believes that some of Noam Chomsky's claims about language acquisition are mistaken. Listen to him discussing the nature of language with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with The Institute of Philosophy
(review, feed)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Enjoy this while I am working on the next post

Monday, September 27, 2010

Being, formerly known as Speaking of Faith

Here is a short indicator about the podcast Speaking of Faith that I have been reviewing on and off. This public radio program has changed its name to Being which uses, still, the same feed. If you are a regular listener, you surely already know all about it. In case you are the kind of pick and choose listener I am, you may miss out on this.

Host Krista Tippett also did a special show in which she looked back at 7 years of Speaking of Faith and digging a little bit into why the name change: From Faith to Being. This show contains many highlights, many of which I recognized. It also reveals the trepidation there was when the show started. Faith was not exactly a good subject for public radio and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 did not contribute to the word. Nevertheless the program took off and went through its own evolution.

Conform the times of modern media, Speaking of Faith and Being, is open to audience participation, feedback and influence. There are user forums, a Facebook community and of course there is the podcast. The podcast has also brought content that was not broadcast on the radio. Short issues and the unedited interviews have been made available over time.

Speaking of Faith on this blog:
Alan Rabinowitz at Speaking of Faith,
Desmond Tutu,
China, secularism, religiosity,
Three issues of Speaking of Faith,
Preserving Ojibwe,
The story and God,
Fragility and Humanity,
The Sunni-Shia divide and the future of Islam,
Wangari Maathai,
The Buddha in the world,
Listening Generously - Rachel Remen, (recommended)
The Sunni-Shia Divide and the future of Islam,
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel,
Faith based diplomacy,
Karen Armstrong,
New Evangelicals,
V. V. Raman,
Reinold Niebuhr.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chronology of dynasties - China History Podcast

Upon following the first episodes of The China History Podcast one learns that the maker Laszlo Montgomery was taking his example from Bob Packett's History according to Bob and in addition to doing a regular questions and answers session, also jumps back and forth in time between podcasts. However, I was happy to find out that not just me, but also other listeners are in need of a chronology and they have persuaded Montgomory to turn back to the beginning and take us through the dynasties, step by step. (feed)

We had, of course, already had the Qin Dynastay, which is credited for being the first to unify China and with which many Chinese histories begin. The first in this dynasty Qin Shi Huang, was the first Chinese emperor. Laszlo did one of his first episodes about this third century BC figure. Yet there is Chinese history way before that. Montgomery went back as far as the traditional Chinese histories go and told about the Xia dynasty. Much of this history is unconfirmed and hence facts are rare and far apart. Even the timing is problematic, but somewhere around 2000 BC this dynasty must have ruled.

The next was the Shang Dynasty. Here is a fascinating podcast to take with you. Not only are there more stories about the dynasty itself to tell, but there is also the riveting point that much of this was until very recently only known from traditional sources. Only in the twentieth century, until as late as 1976, archeological evidence came up that the legendary Shang actually had existed.

China History Podcast - Laszlo Montgomery.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jewish Humor - Big Ideas

In addition to new lectures, Big Ideas (TVO) also frequently reruns old lectures from their archives. Here is one from 2004 which was very interesting and, obviously, very entertaining with all the Jewish jokes in them, Ruth Wisse (Weiss?) analyzes Jewish humor and debates its strengths and weaknesses. (feed)

I regret not having posted this review a week ago on Yom Kippur, because Wisse tells a very charming comic tale from Sholem Aleichem which takes place on Yom Kippur in one such a proverbial Shtetl. On this holiday and huge sum of money appears to have been stolen. Nobody is let out of the synagogue until the perpetrator is revealed. But what to do when the town's most pious and promising Talmud student turns suspect?

There are many more jokes Wisse retells, but within this joyous framework she discusses the anxieties, workings and dynamic of Jewish humor, as well as for Jews as for gentiles. Where the humor might be seen as a strategy to deal with being a weak minority, it works both as a strength as well as a weakness, as it not only reaffirms the minority identity, but also the prejudices about them.

More Big Ideas:
JRR Tolkien versus CS Lewis,
Malcolm Gladwell,
The Age of Inequality,
Disappearing cultures,
Waiting for Godot.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Three issues of New Books In History

The podcast New Books In History is one of my favorite podcasts around. In general I have a great appreciation for interview podcasts - they bring the kind of dynamic that works especially well in audio - but NBIH has my special fondness for being about history and persistently bringing us a new and interesting issue each week. By today there will be yet another new interview, I expect, but here I want to briefly point you to the three last ones.

Thomas Kessner, “The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh & the Rise of American Aviation”
Marshall Poe lets Kessner tell the story of Lindbergh and he does it very well. Asides a suspending narrative we have thoughts about modern day heroism.

Kip Kosek, “Acts of Conscience: Christian Nonviolence and Modern American Democracy”
They seem like a completely insignificant fringe phenomenon: religiously motivated conscientious pacifists. Yet, Kosek comes to argue how influential they have been in American politics. And Marshall Poe takes him also up on discussing the theological foundations of nonviolence.

Elaine Tyler May, “America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation”
The pill changed our world - there seems to be wide consensus about this. Elaine Tyler May's research shows that even if this is the case, it did not work exactly in the way we thought. The pill did less for sexual freedom and more for bringing women into the workplace - to sum it up very short.

More NBIH:
When Akkadian was Lingua Franca,
The 1910 Paris flood,
Stasi agents and informants,
War in Human Civilization,
Always recommended: New Books in History.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Heads-up for 23 September 2010

In Our Time (BBC)
Imaginary Numbers
Melvyn Bragg grapples with the concept of imaginary numbers. Perplexing digits that underpin the majority of technology we take for granted today, from radios to computers to MRI scans; not to mention quantum mechanics. Melvyn is joined by Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University; Ian Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick; and Caroline Series, Professor of Mathematics, also at the University of Warwick.
(review, feed)

The China History Podcast
The Western Zhou Dynasty
Today we take a 走马看花 look at the 790 year Zhou Dynasty, the longest dynasty in Chinese history. Then in this episode we will focus on the Western Zhou Period which lasted for 275 years. Next week we will finish the Zhou Dynasty by examining the Eastern Zhou Period.
(review, feed)

The Economist
Paddy Ashdown on Clegg's coalition
A slightly different beast
(review, feed)

TED Talks (2)
Annie Lennox: Why I am an HIV/AIDS activist
For the last eight years, pop singer Annie Lennox has devoted the majority of her time to her SING campaign, raising awareness and money to combat HIV/AIDS. She shares the experiences that have inspired her, from working with Nelson Mandela to meeting a little African girl in a desperate situation.
Mitchell Besser: Mothers helping mothers fight HIV
In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV infections are more prevalent and doctors scarcer than anywhere else in the world. With a lack of medical professionals, Mitchell Besser enlisted the help of his patients to create mothers2mothers -- an extraordinary network of HIV-positive women whose support for each other is changing and saving lives.
(review, feed)

Naxos Classical Music Spotlight Podcast
Podcast: Jose Serebrier’s Symphony No. 1
Jose Serebrier was 16 years old when he wrote his Symphony No. 1, and although he is better known as a conductor, he has been an active composer for more than five decades. This podcast, and this CD, trace his musical journey through music he has composed in four different decades. Included are the Symphony No. 1, composed in 1956, his Double Bass Concerto, composed in 1971, the Violin Concerto, composed in 1991, and three shorter works composed in the past decade. On this CD, Jose Serebrier serves as both composer and conductor, and is joined by a stellar group of musicians – double bass virtuoso Gary Karr, violinist Philippe Quint, actor Simon Callow, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
(review, feed)

Fraunhofer Podcast
Aus Pulver gebaut
Maßgeschneiderte Zahnkronen oder Knochenimplantate, Bauteile für Autos und Flugzeuge — das sind einige der ersten generativ gefertigten Produkte. Sie werden direkt aus den Konstruktionsdaten Schicht für Schicht aus Pulver hergestellt — schnell und kostengünstig.
(review, feed)

Twentieth century famines

Here is a podcast with a weird name, The Ripple That Drowns, which contains the same lecture in three versions. You can hear the straightforward audio, which I did, or take the enhanced podcast or even the video of the lecture. And even though this lecture took place some time in 2007, it is still very interesting and relevant. (feed)

Professor Cormac O'Grada from the University College of Dublin spoke about new evidence on the causes of 1959-61 Chinese famine as well as the Bengal famine of 1943-44. These two famines, in his mind stand out for the sheer size of the disaster.

In general famines in the twentieth century, he argues, are not that great. There are fewer famines than in other eras and if they are there there are fewer excess deaths. This is on account of smaller scale and also on account of modern insight in disease. The problem with famine in earlier times, as to the excess deaths, was not so much starvation, but rather the ensuing diseases. During famine, more people die of typhus and such rather than sheer undernourishment. Especially famines in regions where there is peace, have become very small if they happen at all.

Exceptional, though, are the Chinese and the Bengal famines. In both cases, political incentive to ignore and downplay the famine by the authorities turn out to greatly contribute to the extent. In Bengal it is the British war effort in World War 2 and in China it is the Great Leap Forward.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Heads-up for 22 September 2010

First of all, check out the blog DIY Scholar and find today's post pointing to the new lecture podcasts coming up at UCLA and UCSD. Three of these have also been reviewed by me:
MMW 4 (new feed)
East Asian Thought (new feed)
Formations of Modern Art (now with a video feed)

History 5, with Thomas Laqueur (Berkeley )
Lecture 8: English Revolutions, Dutch Revolutions and Constitutionalism
Law grounded somewhere other than in God and the person of the king; Civil liberties enshrined in law; The possibility of a strong state combined with some version of representative government; Political legacies: (1) secular contract theory (Locke and Hobbes) (2) the peoples’ place in the political nation put on the agenda with the levelers; A history of revolution is born.
(review, feed)

Rear Vision
Roma history
President Nicolas Sarkozy accuses the Romani people of 'illicit trafficking and exploitation of children for begging, prostitution or crime'. Romani camps across France have been bulldozed and Roma with Romanian or Bulgarian citizenship have been given a choice of 'voluntary repatriation' or deportation. Rear Vision looks at the history of the Romani people -- where they came from and why they remain one of the most isolated groups in Europe.
(review, feed)

Scientific American Podcast aka Science Talk
Could Time End?
Scientific American staff editor George Musser joins podcast host Steve Mirsky to discuss his article in the September issue about the possibility of time itself coming to an end.
(review, feed)

The Memory Palace - history telling

The Memory Palace is a great podcast I cannot recommend enough (feed). Nate DiMeo has an exquisite feel to take a history trivia and turn it into a story full of suspense and humane irony. He tells his stories in five to ten minutes so that it hardly takes any of your time, but these short histories are full of delight.

Just recently I enjoyed his culinary history of the lobster, how this crustacean went from poor people's meat to a career of cheap, mass produced canned food, to haute-cuisine. Another is the story of the mythical John Frum which is the name of a Messianic figure some people in the Pacific are waiting for and until his coming, bring them to most unexpected ritual.

If you have not encountered this podcast yet, sign up now and listen. But savor the experience. I think these tales need to be told far apart and not listened to in a big batched chain.

More The Memory Palace:
Another Memory Palace fantastic find,
The Death of Edgar Allan Poe,
A Great Escape,
The Memory Palace,
Ferris Wheel and other historic experiences.

The Art of Choosing with Sheena Iyengar

It has been some time since I last listened to the psychology podcast Shrink Rap Radio. This podcast in which psychologist David van Nuys interviews authors of recently published psychology books, still signifies to me one of the best produced amateur podcasts around and the only reason I stopped following it so closely is because lately I have been less interested in psychology and more in economics and politics. History has always been my top interest. (feed)

But if you want to get a fine example of what this podcast is about and what a very good interview podcast sounds like, take up Van Nuys's interview with Sheena Iyengar about her research how people make choices. I discussed this show with a couple of friends who had also listened to it and was struck that some were surprised by Iyengar's findings and quite to the contrary, the others thought it all to be common sense. So I cannot tell what you will find, but do listen and hear what freedom of choice and amount of options for choice do to choosing.

Personally, while the subject was still truly interesting, I was struck by Iyengar's personal story and here I do not want to spoil the surprises by giving it all away. But promise that this is a story of many drawbacks to overcome to achieve what she did achieve. Together with this one, Shrink Rap Radio offers a near 250 more such interviews, making it one of the longest standing and still regularly publishing podcasts around.

More Shrink Rap Radio:
Surviving in the Wilderness,
Happiness and Health,
Resurrection after Rape,
Life Changing Lessons,
Shrink Rap Radio - 200 great podcasts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Heads-up for 21 September 2010

A History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC)
077 Benin Plaque - the Oba with Europeans
Plaque showing aspects of Benin court life. Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, examines some of Africa's most famous artworks, the Benin Plaques, and the effect these brass portraits first had when they arrived in London at the end of the 19th century. With contributions by Sokari Douglas Camp and Wole Soyinka on the art and heritage of Benin.
(review, feed)

London School of Economics: Public lectures and events
IGC Growth Week 2010 - Managing Natural Resource Rents: China and Africa
Is China's strategy - of negotiating deals in which resources are exchanged for infrastructure - mutually beneficial, or a new variant of the plunder of Africa? China 'asks no questions' of African governments: is that respectful of African sovereignty or an abrogation of responsibility?
(review, feed)

TED Talks
Where good ideas come from - Steven Johnson
People often credit their ideas to individual "Eureka!" moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the "liquid networks" of London's coffee houses to Charles Darwin's long, slow hunch to today's high-velocity web.
(review, feed)

Bengal Renaissance

Here is a quick review to point to some bonus material to an Open University Course that comes in a podcast. This is a paid history course that quite generally studies the issue of religious tolerance by looking historically at religious co-existence, religious conversions and obviously conflict. Hence the title: Religion in history: conflict, conversion and co-existence.

From what I can see as one that has not signed up to the study, the course is heavily centered on Europe and besides Christianity, touches on Judaism and Islam. The same is true for the free podcast that comes along with it and can be had on iTunesU. It contains five chapters four of which also concentrate on Christian and European subjects. (feed)

My attention was drawn by the last though: a conversation about the Bengal renaissance in the nineteenth century. We learn about a cultural flowering in this region which today is partly within India and the rest in Bangladesh and which contains Hindu and Muslim communities coexisting. The renaissance as discussed is examined in the light of this co-existence and the question is asked whether this was a Hindu cultural development or a Bengali one that gave room for the Muslims as well. The podcast wants to claim that it is a broad Bengali occurrence, but already the question suggests how this is contentious.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Heads-up for 20 September 2010

The Writing Show
Slush Pile Workshop #5
Our new podcast series is designed to help you practice capturing readers’ attention. Inspired by literary agent Kristin Nelson’s two-page pitch sessions, Writing Show host Paula B. will play agent and comment on your anonymous submissions on the show.
(review, feed)

The History of Rome
109- The New Millenium
Gordian III died in 244 AD and was succeeded by his Praetorian Prefect Philip the Arab. While Philip dealt with internal revolts and external invasion, he found time to celebrate Rome's 1000th birthday in 248 AD.
(review, feed)

WTF with Marc Maron
Episode 109 - Bob Saget
When you think of Bob Saget, you generally don't think of white-hot blind rage, but Bob says he's working really hard on his anger issues. He and Marc will compare anger management notes in addition to discussing the roles Bob is most known for and why they're so different from the Bob that nobody really knows.
(review, feed)

The Memory Palace
Episode 34 - Soldier Frum
(review, feed)

Volkis Stimme
Auf Waldreise
Volkis Stimme auf reist durch die Welt - und heute durch den Wald.
(review, feed)

La Rosa de los Vientos
#530 12 de Septiembre de 2010
En Materia Reservada 2.0 reflexionamos sobre el papel de las ONG en zonas de conflicto junto a Fernando Rueda y con la participación de Rafael Jariod. La guerra de los espías presenta la historia de Felipe González y su relación con el espionaje español. Azul y Verde: la política pesquera de la Unión Europea.
Historias Zona Cero de Jesús Callejo presenta los enigmas y leyendas de las gárgolas. La Cara B analiza el atentado del Pentágono el 11-S. En Las Curiosidades del Mundo Antiguo, Ignacio Monzón nos habla de los constructores de las pirámides y los arquitectos del pasado.
En la agenda cultural Martín Expósito entrevista al cantante Eli Paperboy Reed. En el mundo del cómic, Shogún habla del autor francés Jacques Tardi. Mujeres con Historia de Silvia Casasola presenta a la princesa musulmana Isabel. En los 32 rumbos viajamos a Trujillo.
(review, feed)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Heads-up for 19 September 2010

Mahabharata Podcast
Episode 24 - Into the Forest, part 2
The Pandavas are now settled into their forest encampment and receive a surprise visitor. The Kauravas plot to kill the Pandavas while they are defenseless in the forest. Vyasa himself steps in to put a stop to this outrage, and he then introduces the sage Maitreya, who scolds Duryodhana, and then finally curses him to be struck in the "thigh" by Bhima.
If you ever felt uncomfortable about the fact that Bhima had to cheat and hit Duryodhana below the belt in their final battle, you can now rest assured that it wasn't Bhima's fault. Maitreya made him do it!
(review, feed)

Tapestry (CBC)
Hassan Ghedi Santur/Stephen Prothero
Hassan Ghedi Santur explores loneliness. In the world of texting, Facebook, Twitter and instant messaging, we should feel more connected to our fellow human beings than at any other time in history. But it hasn't quite turned out that way. And Mary Hynes talks to Stephen Prothero, contributor to CNN's Belief Blog. He argues that while the idea that all religions are really about the same thing, is a comforting one, it is also wrong.
(review, feed)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Heads-up for 18 September 2010

Although belated, here are some podcast tips for recent arrivals to be had on 18 September:

Africa Past & Present
Episode 44: Oral History and Memory Work in Africa
Radikobo Ntsimane (UKZN School of Theology) on African voices in the history of mission hospitals in South Africa and the Sinomlando Center‘s ‘memory box’ program. Ntsimane’s work demonstrates how oral history is not just an intellectual practice, but also ‘a human encounter that can have a profound effect on people’s lives.’
(review, feed)

Radio Open Source
Andrew Bacevich: how war without end became the rule
Andrew Bacevich is the soldier turned writer who’s still unlearning and puncturing the Washington Rules of national security. The rules have turned into doctrines, he’s telling us, of global war forever. He is talking about the scales that have fallen from the eyes of a slow learner, as he calls himself — a dutiful, conformist Army officer who woke up at the end of the Cold War twenty years ago to the thought that the orthodoxy he’d accepted was a sham.
(review, feed)

Science Friday (NPR)
White House Says ‘No’ To Solar Panel
Environmentalist Bill McKibben was hoping the Obama administration would reinstall a solar panel President Jimmy Carter once had on the White House. McKibben took the panel to Washington, D.C., but administration officials declined to put the panel back on the White House roof.
(review, feed)

TED Talks
How social networks predict epidemics - Nicholas Christakis
After mapping humans' intricate social networks, Nicholas Christakis and colleague James Fowler began investigating how this information could better our lives. Now, he reveals his hot-off-the-press findings: These networks can be used to detect epidemics earlier than ever, from the spread of innovative ideas to risky behaviors to viruses (like H1N1).
(review, feed)

Veertien Achttien
Harry Farr en de beverige zinnen
Niet eerder dan in 2006 strijkt de Britse regering over haar hart. Een generaal pardon wordt verleend aan meer dan 306 soldaten die 'shot at dawn' zijn. Een van de mannen die als 'lafaard' tegen de eigen executiepaal werd gezet, was Harry Farr. Toen hij in blinde paniek van het front wegvluchtte, schreeuwde zijn officier het hem al na: 'I'll get you fucking well shot'.
(recensie, feed)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement

Today and tomorrow I will be away from the blog for Yom Kippur also known as the Day of Atonement. In accordance to local custom there will be no traffic, no commerce and no media. The kids will take control of the highways with their bicycles and even if we do not fast, we will have to pass the time without the regular bustle of every day life. Instituted contemplation - something can be said for it.

See you again on Saturday evening or Sunday morning,


AHOW is back again

In case you had not yet noticed, make your way to the feed and get this week's new arrivals at A History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC) in one feel swoop.

It will allow you to enjoy this show in the way I think is the most delightful. Each week gives five issues along that week's theme and if you pile them up over the week, you will get the whole flow of thought and the interlocking connections more clear and in a pleasant 70 minutes or so.

This week's theme is The Threshold of the Modern World (1375-1550 AD) and it contains examples from China, South-America, the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia and Europe. It was an era of large Asian and American empires. In contrast the fringe area of Europe was an unruly and divided backwater. Yet it was here in Europe that maritime powers were springing up and casting a shadow forward of new empires to come.

More AHOW:
Returned from hiatus: A History of the World in 100 Objects,
Indus Seal,
First AHOW Review.

Jack Kornfield - Zencast

Over the years I have always picked the occasional issue from the Buddhist podcast Zencast. While these contain meditations and Dharma teachings they are also sufficiently accessible for the non-Buddhist with either a spiritual or a psychological and philosophical interest. My favorite speaker has mostly been Gil Fronsdal, but recently I discovered, and much enjoyed, Jack Kornfield. (feed)

Check out the last two talks, #265 on the joys of the awakened heart and #275 on Redemption. Kornfield has a very pleasant voice, good sense of humor and combines a nice sense of self-deprecation with fine story-telling in his lectures which are very insightful. The joy lies in the listening, the free picking and choosing from what is discussed and undergoing the talk as a meditation in itself.

More Zencast:
Engaging in the path,
Gil Fronsdal on speech,
Right effort,
Not knowing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Heads-up for 16 September 2010

A History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC)
074 Jade Dragon Cup
Jade cup that belonged to one of the great leaders of the Timurid Empire. Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, tells the story of a cup once owned by Ulugh Beg, who built the great observatory in Samakand and has a crater on the moon named after him. Neil explores the story of the Timurids in Central Asia and the influences that spread along the Silk Road at this time.
(review, feed)

Documentary on One (RTÉ)
The Runners
Christy Fagan was a 'runner' - the name given to children who escaped from Industrial Schools. This radio documentary tells the story of Christy - a boy sent to Ferryhouse Industrial School and the man - Jemmy Gunnery - who helped him escape.
(review, feed)

New Books In History by Marshall Poe
Thomas Kessner, “The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh & the Rise of American Aviation”
Try to imagine having never seen an airplane. It’s hard. Aircraft are an ordinary part of our daily experience. Just look up and you’ll probably see one, or at least its vapor trails. Go to your local airport and you can fly in one pretty inexpensively. Heck, if you like, you can learn to pilot one yourself at any one of hundreds of flying schools. There is just nothing unusual or even very exciting about airships.
(review, feed)

Thinking Allowed (BBC)
CCTV and Eavesdropping
85% of secondarty schools now have CCTV, Emmeline Taylor has asked them how they feel about that. Also Laurie talks to John L Locke and John Mullan about the time-honoured practice of eavesdropping.
(review, feed)

Wise Counsel
Daniel Strunk, Ph.D. on Cognitive Therapy for Depression
Dr. Strunk, a cognitive-behavioral therapy researcher, describes results of his recent psychotherapy research. Specifically, he has examined the contributions of two aspects of the psychotherapy process, rapport (or the quality of the relationship between therapist and client) and technique (or the consistency with which the therapist sticks to teaching core cognitive therapy principles within therapy sessions, and found that, given a pool of reasonably competent therapists (some masters and some journeymen), there is a direct relationship between the consistent teaching of cognitive techniques and early symptom remission, but not really a relationship between how well therapists and clients think of each other and symptom remission. Dr. Strunk is quick to point out that rapport would likely have become more important if therapists taking part in the research had been seriously lacking in rapport building skills. He emphasizes that both cognitive therapy for depression and medication therapy for depression have been shown to be effective treatments for depression, and that since the majority of depressed people go untreated, the most important thing is that people who are suffering get themselves into an effective treatment of some kind.
(review, feed)

TED Talks
Our natural sleep cycle - Jessa Gamble (2010)
In today's world, balancing school, work, kids and more, most of us can only hope for the recommended eight hours of sleep. Examining the science behind our body's internal clock, Jessa Gamble reveals the surprising and substantial program of rest we should be observing.
(review, feed)

Julian Zelizer about Jimmy Carter (and Obama) - Roundtable

Here is a short review about an issue of The Roundtable. The Roundtable is a three hour radio program from WAMC that delivers sections as podcast. These sections are around 15 minute long items from the radio show. (feed)

I listened to an interview with Julian Zelizer who is a biographer of the former US president Jimmy Carter. Carter is portrayed as a failed president. Once in office, in spite of a sensational electoral win and in spite of being associated to the Israeli-Egypt peace of 1978, he mostly messed up his rule. He was not good at working with Congress and eventually dramatically lost his face internationally in the US Hostages affair in Iran.

Explanations for this phenomenon are found in the way and period Carter came to power. He could defeat Gerald Ford in the election as Ford and the Republicans were thoroughly associated with the Nixon debacle. Furthermore, Carter got hold of the Democrat candidacy by being the outsider politician which shows the broader audience was fed up with traditional Washington figureheads. Once in office he inherited a problematic economic situation which wouldn't improve too easily. Parallels with Obama are easily found and Zelizer also discusses in how far the current president faces the same fate or is different as a person and hence may fare otherwise.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Heads-up for 15 September 2010

The China History Podcast
The Shang Dynasty
This week in part two of our dynasty overview, we examine the Shang Dynasty 1600BC to 1046BC. Chinese characters make their appearance for the first time. Artisans cast the most beautiful bronzes. Many consider this China's first real dynasty.
(review, feed)

Scientific American Podcast aka Science Talk
The End: Death, Endings and Things That Should End
Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and issue editor Michael Moyer talk with podcast host Steve Mirsky about the September single-topic issue of Scientific American--endings in science. Plus, we test your knowledge of some recent science in the news
(review, feed)

Rear Vision
The Red Cross
The large number of wars, conflicts and more recently natural disasters means the International Committee of the Red Cross is still busy helping the wounded and the lost almost 150 years since it was formed.
(review, feed)

History 5 Fall 2010 (Berkeley) by Thomas Laqueur
Lecture 6: Cultural Diversity in Early Modern Europe
The reformation creates cultural diversity. A self conscious elite culture is created that will come to define itself against a popular culture which will become an object of study, admiration, or disgust.
(review, feed)

A History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC)
073 Inca Gold Llama
A simple, gold sculpture of a llama. Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum examines the animal that helped fuel the success of the great Inca Empire, which ruled over some 12 million people along the Pacific West Coast of America. He tells the story of the Inca, their culture and religion, as well as what happened to them when the Spanish arrived.
(review, feed)


Here is a quick review of the science podcast NeuroPod. Neuropod is a neuroscience podcast from Nature, produced in association with the Dana Foundation. Each month it brings about half an hour of news and updates in the field. (feed) This varies from research updates, to theory, to the history of the field.

What brought me to the podcast was the announcement that the September issue would have a major item about William James, the American philosopher who is here acclaimed as to be the founder of psychology. This was indeed an interesting listen and it is recommended to take it in conjunction with the In Our Times issue about William James.

I have already noticed when following psychology podcasts such as Shrink Rap Radio that psychology is closely looking at neuroscience. It is interesting to see that in turn neuroscience, or at least the podcast, is also acknowledging its connection to psychology.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Heads-up for 14 September 2010

Stuff You Missed in History Class
The Death of Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in December of 1791, bringing his profound career to an untimely end. But how exactly did he die? Join Katie and Sarah as they examine the life of Mozart -- and the questions surrounding his death -- in this podcast.
(review, feed)

Big Ideas (TVO)
Ruth Wisse on Getting Serious about Jewish Humor - 2004
Ruth Wisse delivers her lecture entitled Getting Serious about Jewish Humor recorded at Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto, in November, 2004.
(review, feed)

Inspired Minds
One to One with theatre director Stephen Jameson
In Germany the London director is well remembered for his acclaimed productions at the Shakespeare Festival at the Globe, Neuss, which have included "Hamlet," "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and "Titus Andronicus." Director, actor, author and teacher Stephen Jameson has directed numerous productions for renowned institutions including the London Academy for Music and Dramatic Art – the Guildhall, The English Shakespeare Company and Music Dance Theater Hildesheim in the Netherlands - to name but a few. He is the founder and director of the Sturdy Beggars Theatre Company where has directed and produced numerous productions, and has also written works for stage and radio. In this week’s Inspired Minds, Stephen Jameson speaks to Breandáin O’Shea about his new company "Alma Mater," his latest production of "Much Ado About Nothing " – which he set in Chicago in the 1950s, and his admiration for Germany’s care of the arts.
(review, feed)

Outriders formerly known as Pods and Blogs (BBC)
Learning from the recent past
This week Jamillah discusses decentralisation, the history of the internet and a possible digital future with author Johnny Ryan.
(review, feed)

La Resistance
Jean Moulin: Maximizing the Resistance
It’s the long awaited Jean Moulin ep on La Resistance! Tune in to learn more about the man historian Thane Peterson was speaking of when he said ‘If there’s a greater hero of WWII of any nationality, I haven’t read about him.’
(review, feed)

Office Hours - Sociology Podcast

Early in the past Summer a sociology podcast, Office Hours, was recommended to me by one of his makers - see Reported Podcasts Summer 2010. Consequently I have tried two episodes from the backlog and keeping it in my feed readers for the coming updates. Among the social sciences in podcast we mostly see economics and psychology and relatively few sociology so it is good to have this one around. (feed)

When I studied Sociology in the good old days, we had a running joke about sociological research: it somehow tended to narrow down on too specific a subject. We would call it 'Alcoholism in Drenthe' (Drenthe is a small region in The Netherlands) and if that would not put the message through we would add 'Alcoholism among school teachers in Drenthe'. The point being, how much can you learn about alcoholism, about Drenthe or about school teachers if this is the study. And so, with some trepidation I watched the subject list and listened to issue Elizabeth Wissinger on Modeling.

A much more general issue was found when they discussed Studs Terkel and I was surprised and extremely delighted to hear Harvey Pekar on the show. If I recall correctly Studs Terkel was also discussed one day at the BBC program about sociology Thinking Allowed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Heads-up for 13 September 2010

A History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC)
Tughra of Suleiman the Magnificent
Personal signature of the great Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent. Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum examines this monogram which is the ultimate expression of Suleiman's authority at this time - a stamp of state and delicate artwork rolled into one. The Turkish novelist Elif Shafak and the historian Caroline Finkel explore the power and meaning of this object.
(review, feed)

The History of Rome
108- Gordian's Knot
By August of 238, the other five men who had claimed a share of the purple were dead, leaving 13-year-old Gordian III as the last man standing.
(review, feed)

Media Matters with Bob McChesney Podcast
Bob welcomes Glenn Greenwald to Media Matters
(review, feed)

Iran History Podcast - Columbia

By lecture 10 Professor Richard Bulliet's lecture series about the history of Iran (at Columbia University) reaches the arrival of Islam. Bulliet introduces Islam in the same general fashion as he introduced other topics in this course, which, by the way, once again, draws the whole course beyond the regional focus. (feed)

I have had general introductions in Islam at the history courses of UCSD (MMW3 and MMW4) and eventually also Bulliet delivers the traditional narrative as is presented at UCSD. This is the inception story of Islam that the Muslims tell themselves. Bulliet expands only a little bit by not just telling Mohammed was divinely inspired and dictated the Koran by the angel Gabriel. He explores the contemporary traditions which might precede the content of the Koran. The traditions that used Arabic verse and makes an implicit conjecture that Mohammed came from such a background.

However, before Bulliet gives the traditional narrative, he spends a lecture on skeptics about Islam. Eventually he completely rejects their doubts and alternative histories, but he deems it important to familiarize hi audience with their existence. For me, this was completely new. I had never heard of the term Hagarism, in place of Islam and had no idea there were researchers who tried some kind of linguistic analysis of the Koran and study suggestions that the Koran was not written (or recited) by Mohammed, but rather some 200 years later by scholars in Iraq. I hear Bulliet when he claims these ideas are improbable and I understand why he delivers them in a nutshell. I was happy he did just to get an idea where the questions lie.

Armenian History - Nina G. Garsoïan,
History of the Parthians,
History of Iran,
A tip from Baxter Wood,
Iran today.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Heads-up for 12 September 2010

Binge Thinking History Podcast
Ironclads, Big Guns and the road to World War One
Sails are finally done away with as steam power takes over and the race between armour and guns gets under way. Pax Britannia turns maps of the world red as the Americans, Japanese and Germans aspire to have navies just like the British; the road to World War One begins.
(review, feed)

Mahabharata Podcast
Episode 23 - Into the Forest, part 1
This episode covers the Pandava's departure for the forest and the initial fears of theKauravas as they considered what they had done. As things washed out, only the five brothers, Draupadi and a gaggle of Brahmins went into the forest. Yuddistira did some yoga and some austerities and memorized the 108 names of Surya, and was able to get the Sun God to give him the ability to magically feed everyone while they were in the forest.
(review, feed)

Tapestry (CBC)
September 12, 2010 - Hope
We open our season with a program about hope. Joan Chittister, Benedictine nun and author of more than 40 books, weighs in on what hope means in tough times: "Hope is marble", Sister Joan says. "Hope is not marshmallow". Neil Pasricha, blogger about all things awesome, drops by the studio, and writer Teri Degler will share her story about finding hope when she least expected it. Last but not least, we'll treat you to some of the wisdom of the English novelist Terry Pratchett.
(review, feed)

Making Love in the Kitchen - Meghan Telpner

Here is a podcast I ran into by accident Making Love in the Kitchen. Meghan Telpner is a nutritionist who keeps a blog and podcast about healthy living. She takes an angle on diet that is very much to my liking: in stead of suggesting some short term regimen that will bring the kilos off, she concentrates on what is healthy food and emphasizes how you can feel better, including losing superfluous weight, by cooking right, eating well and living properly. I for one can say that this way, I keep my weight right. (feed)

I have listened to two episodes. One is episode #2 (A Diet That Works: Healthy Living) in which she interviews one of her clients about her new life style. What comes out is almost a gourmet conversation, you will almost forget that the original point of it all was weight loss. The two ladies discuss cooking, recipes, ingredients and it sounds plentiful all day long. But the efficacy lies herein that food is prepared with good, natural components, the meal is enjoyed in time and consequently there is no snacking in between and no intake of bad fats and sugars.

The other episode I listened to was #9 (What’s In A Supplement) in which Telpner interviews Alain Roy about supplements. Supplements are not food and do not replace food, they are taken as additives to specifically address an issue. Whether it is vitamins, minerals or others, whether separate or in combination, Roy tries to point out how to choose the right supplement. He also gets the opportunity to expand upon the product of the company he works for which makes it come rather close to a promotional talk, but surely his narrative is very interesting.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Heads-up for 11 September 2010

Omega Tau Podcast
/43/ Flying the Space Shuttle
In this episode we talk with Duane “Digger” Carey about flying the US Space Shuttle. We cover all the major phases of a shuttle flight (countdown, launch, orbit insertion, on orbit, breaking, reentry and landing) and discuss the activities of the pilot and commander. We also cover briefly some of the Shuttle’s systems. We conclude the episode with a brief look at Shuttle pilot and commander training.
(review, feed)

New Books In History
Kip Kosek, “Acts of Conscience: Christian Nonviolence and Modern American Democracy”
There’s a quip that goes “Christianity is probably a great religion. Someone should really try it.” The implication, of course, is that most people who call themselves Christians aren’t very Christian at all.
(review, feed)

Big Ideas (TVO)
Gerard t'Hooft on Science Fiction and Reality
Gerard t'Hooft, a Nobel Laureate from Utrecht University, delivers a lecture on Science Fiction and Reality at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario on May 7, 2008
(review, feed)

Philosophy Bites
Cynthia Freeland on Portraits
What is a portrait? What can it reveal? Cynthia Freeland explores the nature of portraits in this interview with Nigel Warburton for the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy. A book, Philosophy Bites, based on 25 interviews, is now available from Oxford University Press.
(review, feed)

Veertien Achttien
Annie Besant en de unie van harten
Met een geschiedenis als stakingsleidster en een overtuiging als theosofe stort de Britse Annie Besant zich in de Grote Oorlog op het India's nationalisme. Het imperiale gezag van de Raj gaat Besant interneren, maar moet haar na demonstraties al snel weer vrijlaten. In de jaren daarna mist ze de aansluiting met Gandhi.
(review, feed)

Schlaflos in München
Salat, Gedanken und nochmal Salat
Heute mal live aus der Küche - ganz ohne Kochshow. Also lauter aufdrehen!
(review, feed)

Armenian History - Nina G. Garsoian

As I wrote before I am tremendously enjoying Professor Richard Bulliet's 2008 course on the history of Iran at Columbia university. While at it, I was motivated though, to make a side step and search the realms of podcast in search for some of the names and places he brings up that I would love to find out more about.

For example about the Armenians. I could not find any podcast dedicated to Armenian History and I know of very few general podcasts that have given ample attention. One interesting lecture I found in a vodcast from the Metropolitan Museum of Art - Medieval Art. The museum acquired an Armenian stone cross (Armenian Khatchkar) on loan and for the occasion invited historian Nina G. Garsoïan to speak about Armenian Medieval History. (iTunesU feed) In spite of the fact that this is video, there is absolutely nothing you miss out if you merely listen to it.

Garsoïan takes on the lecture with a very ambitious goal. She sets out to do something other than outline the bloom period of Armenia in the Middle Ages, but rather embark on an analysis of the various rises and falls of Armenia and try to explain why it is that the Armenian culture has survived when most of history there was no geographic or political integrity that could be called Armenia. In her words: how could the Armenians survive as a people without a land? And this reaches to the heart of Armenian History, the culture and an explanation for its resilience. The paradoxical thing is that the Armenians rather by division than by unity seem to stand.

History of the Parthians,
History of Iran,
A tip from Baxter Wood,
Iran today,
Iran in 2009.