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.