Sunday, August 22, 2010

Heads-up for 22 August 2010

Go to the blog DIY Scholar for all your academic podcast recommendations and lately for a very informative post on how to record lecture streams.

Today there is a new issue in the podcast Ancient Rome Refocused.
If you talk about the Romans you have to talk about the Greeks. This episode explores the ancient Greek play AJAX written by Sophocles. Included in this episode are interviews with Bryan Doerries, director and translator for the New York based THEATER OF WAR acting troupe. Title: "The 24th Shitkickers Were Never The Same After The Peloponnese"
(review, feed)

VPRO's Marathon Interview has reruns of the interviews with Jan Montyn and Ward Ruyslinck. (feed)

Shrink Rap Radio has come with its 244th issue: an interview with Jungian analyst James Hollis. (feed)

Australian ABC's Philosopher's Zone.
The Philosophy of Astronomy: What is the ideology that propels scientists to go to so much trouble? Think, for example, of the hazards involved in a voyage from Europe to our part of the world in the 18th century. Why would you go to all that effort just to observe the transit of Venus? For Science Week, we explore the philosophy of northern astronomy in the Southern Hemisphere with Simon Schaffer, Professor of the History of Science at the University of Cambridge.
(review, feed)

JRR Tolkien versus CS Lewis

TVO's Big Ideas recently (August 13) reran a lecture from 2004, which, with some provisos is worth mentioning. (feed)

Ralph Wood delivered a comparative talk about JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. The lecture gives a great insight in the way both authors worked and what their creative standards were. Wood also makes an attempt into summing up their qualities and measuring their influence. By all means, both are very influential and well known especially as fantasy writers.

Does it hurt to be aware both were Christian authors? I would argue to say no, even if Lewis had a certain evangelizing streak about him. For Wood, however, the authors' faith is the whole reason he wants to lecture about them, present them as influential writers and evaluate their strengths and qualities. In my opinion it makes for a few awkward phrases in the lecture. Worse still, is that Wood makes the whole comparison take on the character of a competition in which he pits the authors against each other and make them score points creating a superfluous suspense who is going to be found to be the winner. Eventually, the lecture is good enough to compensate for these putting off traits. Anyone interested in these authors will have a lot to enjoy.

More Big Ideas:
Malcolm Gladwell,
The Age of Inequality,
Disappearing cultures,
Waiting for Godot,
Religion as culture - Camille Paglia.