Sunday, September 25, 2011

Break update

Dear Readers,

Here is to tell you I am still on my break. It is a relief to be exempt from the pressure of posting every day. It is also a relief to be listening fewer podcasts and only those that I feel like listening to and not all those that I have to get a bite of in order to be able to write about them. The blogging and the listening had begun to resemble a job rather than a hobby. If it were a job, I'd do it with pleasure and ten times better than I ever did. But it is not and to have to squeeze it in with a real job and family life, while the blog was becoming more and more demanding (more and more podcasts to keep track of) got just a tad too much.

So, that is why I am away. That is why I listen less, but surely,while updating you, I might as well relate what I am listening to these days.

I find myself with three podcast about the First World War:
Veertien Achttien, the unmatched weekly bio of a participant in the war, be it on war or the home front. This remarkable Dutch podcast aims to supply a weekly bio for as long as the Great War itself lasted, that is for some 230 weeks. By now the podcast has reached week 170 without ever failing and at an outstanding constant quality. Another aim is said to translate the podcast into English and to start repeating the weekly feat from 2014 until 2018. Stay posted! (feed)

First World War Centenary podcast by the Imperial War Museum, offering extracts from their unique oral history program.

History of the First World War, an amateur podcast that offers a very accessible military history of the first world war. Currently the podcast is on hiatus, hopefully not for long. (feed)

As the Palestinian bid for statehood is pending at the UN, I also want to point you to a couple of podcast episodes that offer an unexpected perspective on the Middle-East conflict, but that I will report in another post. Stay tuned.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

A break

Dear Readers,

I have begun taking a break from the blog. In due time I will be back to posting, but for the time being it will be very infrequent.

To keep you busy, here are a couple of recent finds I wish to recommend:

1- 2011 Reith Lectures; the lectures have resumed and a looking into the question of protecting Freedom in society. (feed)
2- History of England by David Crowther (feed) - a very nice history of England by following the line of the Royal Family of England as far as it can be traced back. One thing to keep in mind when you start: Crowther calls the Britons 'British' which can easily confuse or even confound (a war of the English on the British? That is between Britons and Anglo-Saxons)
3- History of the First World War - a history with emphasis on the military aspects of the war and with an interesting batch of stories about fronts other than the Western or the Eastern front. In stead of looking up the feed, I recommend to download from the site as the feed contains only the last handful of the entire 44 episodes so far.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Zomertip: Marathon Interviews

Ian Buruma kon in podcast beluisterd worden via het inmiddels ter ziele UChannel Podcast (Taming Religion). Dat was in 2009, er was toen ook een interview met hem op de VPRO radio dat ik niet kon achterhalen, maar ik kreeg wel het Marathon Interview met hem uit 2004 te pakken. Dat was echter in de oude feed en het werd wachten totdat de nieuwe feed dit interview opnieuw uit zou brengen. Dat duurde tot nu. (Djoeke Veninga in gesprek met Ian Buruma)

Het is een echte aanrader. Je kan Buruma trouwens ook kort horen in de podcast Voices on Antisemitism (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) (feed) (Ian Buruma on Freedom of Speech), maar dat is nogal kort.

Voor lange zomerdagen is het de moeite waard om meer interessante Marathon Interviews op te zoeken. Hier zijn een paar recente die ik zelf ook beluisterd heb:

Hanny Michaelis,
Theun de Vries,
Wim Kok,
Ayaan Hirsi Ali,
Afshin Elian,
W.A. Wagenaar,
Douwe Draaisma.

Meer Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
Interview Vrijdag.

Meer W.A. Wagenaar:
New Books In Law,
Simek 's Nachts,

Meer Douwe Draaisma:
Simek 's Nachts (1),
Simek 's Nachts (2).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summertime tip: across podcast listening

While your favorite podcast may be on a summer break you probably are looking for something else to listen to. Suppose your favorite podcast's subject is what you are generally interested in and this might be the time to look for other podcasts who touch upon the same subject and get a broader perspective.

When I listened to the Irish History Podcast (feed) I got fascinated by its episodes about the Viking era in Irish history. For lack of a Viking History Podcast, some holes in this history are not covered by the Irish History Podcast. What was their trade? Where did they exactly come from? Why did they go on plunder?And how is it they got to be so successful? It goes to show there is much to be found out about Vikings and Normans, Scandinavian history in general and the time in the Middle Ages that they dominated Europe. Although there is not one podcast that takes care of the subject, there are several that touch upon it (like the Irish History podcast) and by listening across podcasts, a lot can be learned.

Not only Ireland was beset by Vikings, also Anglo-Saxon England was visited and the podcast History of England (feed) by David Crowther does a very good job of relating this era. In a good portion of the first thirty episodes you get to learn a lot and it wonderfully complements the Irish story. For example, from David we learn that the Vikings that landed in Ireland were mostly from Norway, whereas England was dominated by the Danes. The Swedes concentrated their efforts towards the Baltic. Those Vikings that got hold of Normandy, eventually became the Normans, a Francophone branch of this Scandinavian family. The podcast Norman Centuries (feed) is dedicated to the Normans.

The Norman story and the English story obviously come together around 1066, which is also elegantly told by Notes on History (feed), but apart from England, Norman conquests also take us into the Mediterranean and eventually all the way to Constantinople, where Normans became the famous Varangian Guard, about whom you will also learn in the podcast 12 Byzantine Rulers (feed)

There in the east, the Normans met Vikings who reached the same point but through a different route. Swedish Vikings conquered eastward and became known as the Rus, the founders of later Russia as we learn in the opening issues of the Russian Rulers History Podcast (feed)

As usual with Historic subjects, the archives of BBC's In Our Time are worth a visit and offer among others:
Volga Vikings,
The battle of Stamford Bridge,
Alfred and the battle of Edington
And The Norman yoke.

Irish History Podcast,
Norman Centuries,
Notes on History,
12 Byzantine Rulers,
Russian Rulers History Podcast.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer time tip: learn a language

What to do these months when your regular podcasts are on a summer break and you, the listener, actually has more time to spend on listening. Gotten past the backlog yet? Here is something new to try: why not take up a foreign language through podcast?

Podcasting is highly developed in the realm of language learning and although a lot of good content comes at a premium, also a lot is free. If you search 'learn nn through podcast', especially when nn is a rather commonly used language, you will find an astonishing amount of productions. Many are very similar and most of the free content is on beginners level, but through a couple of sessions of initial listening you can certainly identify the podcast that matches your level and preferences.

For example pick up some French. Here is a quick sample of what I collected when I was looking for a refresher of my high school French:

French for beginners; Real life French (feed)
Learn French by Podcast (feed)
Learn French With Alexa (feed)
Learn French with daily podcasts (feed)
The FrenchPodClass - Frenchie Productions (feed)

More advanced:

More learning language on Anne is a Man:
Learn German through podcast,
Learn Hebrew through podcast,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer time tip: Mystery at Geneva

If you are looking for something different to listen to during long Summer days, whether on vacation or on dreary office days, you might consider listening to a piece of ironic narration from the public domain. Breakaway fro a moment from the lectures, the panel discussions and the interviews.

I was mesmerized by Mystery at Geneva: An Improbable Tale of Singular Happenings, written by Dame Rose Macaulay and skillfully read to us by Cathy Barratt at Librivox (feed)

Henry Beechtree is a British journalist who attends a session of the League of Nations in the early twenties and tries to solve the disappearance of the president of the League. Soon enough Beechtree not only gets into trouble, he also gets involved in the case. While on the surface the story evolves around the mystery plot, some of the best stuff Macaulay has to offer is not related to the plot, but rather the elegant irony with which she describes the machinations of international politics, lobbyists and journalists. In that respect the story is just as relevant today as it was in the 1920s and it can apply just as much to the buzz around UN sessions as the activities around Capitol Hill or any other political power center for that matter.

More Librivox:
Beyond Good and Evil,
Bhagavad Gita,
History of Holland.

Listening ideas for 17 August 2011

New Books in Psychoanalysis
Susie Orbach, “Bodies”
“Why is the body the site of so much ongoing, current and growing attention in the West”? asks the feminist psychoanalyst and public intellectual Susie Orbach in her book Bodies (Picador, 2009). In this interview, the groundbreaking author of Fat is a Feminist Issue (inter alia) speaks to New Books in Psychoanalysis about how the body is “no longer a place we live from” but rather a place where the capitalist marketplace has hit a sort of pay dirt. From trendy diets to vaginal recalibration to liposuction, the body is big business. Indeed, as women and men feel a greater and greater need to control their bodies, losing touch with our natural appetites, and attempting to look a certain way, the market that exploits our fears and anxieties is making a fortune.
(review, feed)

New Books in Language
David Crystal, “Just a Phrase I’m Going Through: My Life in Language”
In an enormously prolific writing and editing career, David Crystal has excelled in supplying volumes hitherto missing from the field: here a balanced and accessible introduction to general linguistics, there a lucid specialised textbook in an emerging field. With this memoir, Just a Phrase I’m Going Through: My Life in Language (Routledge, 2009), he fills another gap, and offers a vivid picture of the working life of a professional linguist.
(review, feed)

New Books in Philosophy
Susan Schneider, “The Language of Thought: A New Philosophical Direction”
In 1975, Jerry Fodor published a book entitled The Language of Thought, which is aptly considered one of the most important books in philosophy of mind and cognitive science of the last 50 years or so. This book helped launch what became known as the classical computational theory of the mind, in which thinking was theorized as the manipulation of symbols according to rules. Fodor argued that certain features of human thought required that any human-like computational cognitive system had to have a structured format analogous to the structure that sentences have in natural languages. That is, according to Fodor, we must think in a Language of Thought, sometimes also called Mentalese.
(review, feed)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer time tip: In Our Time

During the summer in podcasting just as in other media, there is a slight dip in activity. Although there is still enough new audio coming out every day to keep you very busy, I can imagine that during the month of August you may be looking for something else. So, here is are a short series of posts where to look for old material that is worth listening to again.

My first recommendation is the famous BBC four programme and podcast In Our Time. As you probably already know, this podcast offers 40 minute episodes in which Melvyn Bragg discusses one subject from the history of ideas with a panel of three specialists.

In the past I could not have reasonably point you at this podcast over the summer, as the BBC always removed the podcast episode from the feed as soon as a new one was added. This however changed in the last season. The whole of 2010 / 2011 is still available and there is much to choose from.

An additional quality of In Our Time has become apparent to me: in the world of podcast it has authority. I have noticed over the years an increasing number of (history) podcasters that refer to In Our Time in their own audio. These references are more and more explicit, but I have also noticed implicit ones - where the content was obviously directly informed by an issue of In Our Time. For me this is very much as in books the way authors refer to standing works on the same subject within the text or within footnotes. While this kind of referencing is not yet common within podcast, where it happens, it has frequently involved reference to In Our Time.

More In Our Time:
A reminder of the great BBC podcasts,
Diarmaid MacCulloch in podcast,
The Indian Rebellion of 1857,
Frankfurt School,
The history of the Royal Society.

Listening ideas for 16 August 2011

Citizen Mel - Part Two
His name is synonymous with the words "Canadian nationalist". Mel Hurtig's voice has been prominent in discussions about the country for almost fifty years. He is a bookseller, a publisher and a catalyst for debate on subjects ranging from child poverty to nuclear arms. IDEAS producer Kathleen Flaherty traces Mel Hurtig's lifelong quest to shape a Canada he passionately believes in.
(review, feed)

Documentary on One
Malaria 2.0
Microsoft's Bill Gates dreams of eradicating malaria; he's given millions to those working on the problem. In this fascinating story, Elizabeth O'Neill meets people receiving Gates' money, including a Dublin man with an invention inspired by spy movies.
(review, feed)

Brady on the Electorate and the Elections of 2010 and 2012
David Brady of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons of the election of 2010 and what we might expect from the elections of 2012. Brady draws on political history as well as survey results from work with colleagues Doug Rivers and Morris Fiorina to speculate about the elections of 2012. Along the way he discusses the power of the independent vote, how ObamaCare affected the election of 2010, and the prospects for the Republican nominee in 2012. Taped a few days before the deal on the debt was reached, Brady gives his thoughts on the politics of the negotiations. The conversation concludes with a discussion of whether Obama will have a primary challenger.
(review, feed)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Listening ideas for 15 August 2011

Philosophy Bites
Nick Bostrom on the Simulation Argument
Could you be part of a computer simulation of reality? Sounds unlikely, doesn't it. But Nick Bostrom might make you think again about this. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he discusses the Simulation Argument. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.
(review, feed)

The History of Rome
Jovian extracted the Roman legions from the east at a heavy price. He then ruled the Empire for eight months before suddenly dying on his way to Constantinople in early 364.
(review, feed)

Talks@Harvard Book Store: Sean Dorrance Kelly
Sean Dorrance Kelly, a voluble, high-octane philosopher and Harvard professor, spoke at the Harvard Book Store recently about his latest creation: All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age, which he co-wrote with Hubert Dreyfus, another professor of philosophy, this time at Berkeley.
(review, feed)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Listening ideas for 14 August 2011

To Err is Human
We all know that to err is human, but for some the fear of making a mistake can lead to a diminished experience of life. We'll talk to celebrated Canadian designer Bruce Mau about the importance of making friends with failure. And we'll hear from research professor Brene Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection. For the past decade she has been exploring the role of shame, empathy, vulnerability and authenticity, and it's brought her a unique understanding of imperfection.
(review, feed)

Veertien Achttien
Miguel Almereyda en het einde van de schoenveters (zondag 12 augustus 1917)
Links komt in Frankrijk onder vuur te liggen. In de nasleep van de Bonnet Rouge Affaire valt het kabinet-Ribot. Met de anarchistische krantenmaker Miguel Almereyda loopt het nog slechter af.
(review, feed)

The Economist
Looking at the ratings agencies
In the week after America's credit rating downgrade, our correspondents look at the agencies that make these decisions
(review, feed)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Berkeley's disappeared lectures

What do we do now? Berkeley has removed its fantastic treasure trove from our favorite lecture podcast site and has drastically reduced what they offer on iTunes U...

Many readers have turned to me asking how they can lay their hands on old lecture courses. Very highly in demand are -and for good reason- lecture series by Margaret Lavinia Anderson, such as History 5 (European history from the Renaissance until today) and History 167b (History of the Second Reich).

There are some rumors that Berkeley are to share the archive, but how and where and to what extent is not at all clear. We will keep you posted (that is, not just me, also Dara from DIY Scholar is on the lookout).

In the mean time, not all consumers are patiently waiting for the shop to open up again and have gone looking for alternative sites where the files might be shared. One such place would be the Internet Archive. Here you can already find a score of courses from 2006 and 2007.

Listening ideas for 13 August 2011

New Books in Public Policy
Max Singer, “The History of the Future: The Shape of the World to Come Is Visible Today”
In his new book, History of the Future: The Shape of the World to Come Is Visible Today (Lexington Books, 2011), Max Singer, Senior Fellow and co-founder of the Hudson Institute, argues that the human race is undergoing an enormous transition, from an agrarian, violent past to a wealthy and peaceful future. Singer believes that all countries are on parallel paths to becoming modern states, albeit at different points in the process. As such, he tries to predict the future of the majority of countries that are still making this transitioning by examining the experiences of countries that have already completed the transition. In our interview, we talked about the rise of China, why Churchill thought that scuttling the British Navy would immediately end the British Empire, and how freedom is the key element to creating economic powerhouses. Read all about it, and more, in Singer’s wide-ranging new book
(review, feed)

New Books in South Asian Studies
Vinayak Chaturvedi, “Peasant Pasts: History and Memory in Western India”
The odds are that if you don’t figure in an administration’s records, you won’t figure in the historical record. But what do you do to get into those records? Raising a ruckus is one way. But that works only if someone else hasn’t managed to raise more of a ruckus than you can ever hope to – and this, as Vinayak Chaturvedi tells us in Peasant Pasts: History and Memory in Western India (University of California Press, 2007) was exactly the situation the peasants of Gujarat faced during the last century of British rule in India. The Dharala peasants lived and worked in the Kheda district, the stomping ground of the powerful Patidar community, who formed a support base for Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha campaigns. The Mahatma’s nationalism did not, however, attract the Dharalas, given that the Patidars had co-opted it for themselves. The Dharalas felt they stood nothing to gain by joining forces with groups that locally exercised economic power over them. But that is not to say they didn’t have their own ideas about the way they wished to live, as Chaturvedi shows. Peasant Pasts skillfully traces how the Dharalas, through many demonstrations employing traditional as well as more recent forms of protest, managed to form a distinct political identity of their own, one that is current and excites much debate in the region. And yes, they did manage to get themselves into the administrative records of the Indian state as well.
(review, feed)

BBC History magazine
BBC History Magazine - 12th August 2011
Susan Doran describes the reign of Elizabeth I, Dan Snow talks about his new TV series and Richard Noakes highlights the Victorian telegraph. To find out more, visit
(review, feed)

Friday, August 12, 2011

First World War Centenary - Imperial War Museum

In 1988 I visited the Imperial War Museum and bought a cassette (who remembers those?) with extracts from the Museum's oral history program. Until the little was worn out, I have been able to listen to about 45 minutes from the vast archive of interviews with eye-witnesses of the Great War. This material would be great source for a podcast, as is also shown by the Armistice Podcast (feed) and the Imperial War Museum has come to understand that as well.

Just now, they have begun producing the First World War Centenary podcast which will describe a large variety of aspects of the war with the help of their exceptional audio archive. I have heard the first installment and the series is off on a promising start. (feed)

Thanks to WWI podcaster Tom Tacken to point out this new podcast.

Listening ideas for 12 August 2011

KQED's Forum
John Muir's Life and Legacy
We explore the life, legend and legacy of the man known as "The Father of the National Parks."
(review, feed)

Radio Open Source
Saad Haroon: Pakistan as a bad Bollywood comedy
What’s acceptable, then, as public humor as Saad Haroon reads the rule? Terrorists, believe it or not. Young women in burkas. President Zardari’s lust for “money, money, money.” And before him, General / President Musharraf’s lust for “power, power, power.” In the stage bits he shared with us, I liked Saad Haroon’s voice-over for a Bollywood love story, “Pipeline of Passion,” between Musharraf of Pakistan and President Sonia Gandhi of India — the man in uniform and the bereaved widow, on the phone late at night: “Mushy, you take Kashmir…” “No, Sonia, you take Kashmir…” I also love his version of a Pakistani street guy talking with a mouthful of pan leaves.
(review, feed)

Finding planets around other stars - Lucianne Walkowicz
How do we find planets -- even habitable planets -- around other stars? By looking for tiny dimming as a planet passes in front of its sun, TED Fellow Lucianne Walkowicz and the Kepler mission have found some 1,200 potential new planetary systems. With new techniques, they may even find ones with the right conditions for life.
(review, feed)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Listening ideas for 11 August 2011 (3)

In 2001 the music sharing website Napster was closed down.
(review, feed)

Namaste Stories
Episode #49 "Strange Bedfellows"
Music is, first, "La Noche" by Lynne Arriale and second, "Making an Entrance" by Dave Painchaud, both available at Thank you Lynne, Dave, and anyone still listening for your patience.
(review, feed)

The building of the Berlin Wall.
On August 13, 1961 work began on the Berlin Wall.
(review, feed)

Listening ideas for 11 August 2011 (2)

Jamillah goes long
This week Jamillah finds out finds out the best ways to listen to long bits of audio or watch long bits of video on the web.
(review, feed)

Documentary on One
Breaking Records
Can anything good come of riots? Maybe music. In the summer of the London riots, a new documentary from Delaney Hall on the New York riots of 1977 and their impact on hip-hop music. (Short radio documentary from on RTE Radio Ireland)
(review, feed)

The Total Football Soccer Show
USA 1-1 Mexico Reaction
We discuss the USA's 1-1 draw with Mexico, with the focus on Juergen Klinsmann's debut as head coach. Also covered: potential moves for Freddy Au and Maurice Edu, and the big MLS/US Soccer television deal with NBC.
(review, feed)

Listening ideas for 11 August 2011 (1)

Mahabharata Podcast
Episode 66 - Kurukshetra, Day 9
Episode 67 - On the previous day, Duryodhana was quickly losing faith with his uncle. He began to suspect that Bhisma was throwing the contest in favor of the Pandavas. Karna didn't help any when he offered to take charge in place of the old man. So Duryodhana asked the old man to either fulfill his oaths or get out of the game. Now today, on the 9th day, Bhisma sets out to finish off his Dharma so he could move on to the next phase in his life. On the battlefield, he kills hundreds of thousands, including the entire nation of the Saumakas. Bhisma takes out a large chunk of the Pandava army. If he keeps this up another day or two, there will be no one left to fight on the Pandavas' side. So that night, after the battle, they go unarmed to Bhisma's tent and ask him what they should do about this and how they should win the war. Of course, they've known what they needed to do all along, but it's nice to have Bhisma tell you himself and to even give his blessing! We'll see tomorrow if Arjun finally carries through with his duty...
(review, feed)

Radio Open Source
The Fisherfolk of Karachi: a Parable of Pakistan
The city of Karachi (pop. roughly 20-million) dumps 500-million gallons of waste into its harbors every day — “into the bowl of our livelihood,” as Mohammad Ali Shah puts it, and that’s just the beginning. “Land grabbers,” whom we’d call developers, are encroaching on their land, as fish factories at sea are gobbling their catch. Two of the allied activists fighting the “land mafia” that has targeted their mangrove forest were murdered this past May. Fishing families suffer the cold war between Pakistan and India acutely, in the periodic arrest (and long arbitrary sentences) of fishermen who stray across territorial borders. And on top of everything, says Mohammad Ali Shah, nobody seems to care — certainly nobody with much political power. Pakistani politics, he instructs us, is an inside brokers’ game that shuns “people power.”
(review, feed)

The Economist
Britain's riots
Our correspondents on riots that had more to do with unruly chaos than genuine grievances, and how the Conservatives could benefit
(review, feed)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Listening ideas for 10 August 2011 (2)

Leonard Lopate Show
Building America’s Superhighways
Earl Swift discusses how the U.S. interstate system changed the face of our country. The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways follows a winding route through 20th-century American life, from the citizen-led “Good Roads” movement, to the driven engineers who conceived of the interstates and how they would work, to the protests that erupted when highways reached the cities, displaced people and carved up neighborhoods.
(review, feed)

Scientific American Podcast
The City That Became Safe: What New York Teaches About Urban Crime And Its Control
UC Berkeley School of Law professor Franklin Zimring talks about his article How New York Beat Crime in the August issue of Scientific American
(review, feed)

Radio Lab
Damn It, Basal Ganglia
The basal ganglia is a core part of the brain, deep inside your skull, that helps control movement. Unless something upsets the chain of command. In this short, Jad and Robert meet a young researcher who was studying what happens when the basal ganglia gets short-circuited in mice...until one fateful day, when things got really, really weird.
(review, feed)

Listening ideas for 10 August 2011 (1)

Social Innovation Conversations
B.J. Fogg - 2011 Stanford Healthcare Summit
How do we get individuals to practice healthier habits and influence positive behavior change? The "Behavior Wizard" offers technology-based solutions in this audio lecture from the 2011 Stanford Graduate School of Business Healthcare Summit. B.J. Fogg, Director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, bring his insights from the tech world. In decades studying how computers and mobile apps can be used to bring about behavior change, Fogg found new applications for the health sector in promoting positive habits.
(review, feed)

Het Marathon Interview (VPRO)
Ian Buruma, kosmopoliet
Zijn boek over de moord op Theo van Gogh: Dood van een gezonde roker, baarde opzien in 2006. Vanuit zijn woonplaats New York, plaatste hij pittige kanttekeningen bij het lage land aan de Noordzee. In 2004 al werd hij als commentator 3 uren aan het woord gelaten door Djoeke Veeninga.
(review, feed)

New Books in Sports
Evander Lomke and Martin Rowe, “Right Off the Bat: Cricket, Baseball, Literature & Life”
Martin Rowe and Evander Lomke have long recognized the commonalities between cricket and baseball. Their book Right Off the Bat: Cricket, Baseball, Literature & Life (Paul Dry Books, 2011) points out those analogies in an erudite yet readable style. The book is a primer to both sports. They give a brief and comprehensible explanation of what happens on the field. But more important to them are the lessons of the sports’ histories, the patterns of their cultures, and the deeper attractions they have for their fans. In the book, and our interview, Martin and Evander talk about the slow meander of time at a game, the expanse of green spaces under summer skies, the guarantee of the familiar and the thrill of the unexpected. If you are new to cricket or baseball, you will find their book a gratifying guide. And if you are already a fan of one of the sports, you will gain a new appreciation and new insights when seeing it alongside its cousin in the bat-and-ball family.
(review, feed)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Listening ideas for 9 August 2011 (2)

Russian Rulers History Podcast
Reforms? There Will Be No Reforms!
Alexander III takes control of Russia and undoes many of the reforms of his late, murdered father.
(review, feed)

Stone Pages Archaeo News
Archaeo News Podcast 195
The first Mesolithic open-air cemetery found in England
Major Bronze Age city-state unearthed in Jordan
Ancient child burial site found in Siberia
Populations intermixed well after migration out of Africa
Stone Age relics may be hidden in Scotland's seas
Prehistoric Indian relics discovered during oil spill clean-up
Ethiopian lake sediments reveal history of African droughts
Dig starts at Bronze Age roundhouse on Dartmoor
5,000-year-old skeleton unearthed in Northern Italy
Tracing back the history of human evolution at Mungo
25,000-year-old bones discovered in Colorado
Ancient human remains found at broch site
British schoolboy discovers 4,000-year-old arrowhead
Dancing shaman carved on ancient Japanese pottery
(review, feed)

The Economist
Money talks: August 8th 2011
The European Central Bank announces it will buy large portions of Italian and Spanish debt, and the US loses its perfect credit rating
(review, feed)

Radio Open Source
Dr. Geet: Yankee doc, speaking Sindhi, in the flood zone
Geet Chainani grew up on Staten Island with a grandmother who told her “we were Sindhis first.” Meaning: master the Sindhi language early; think of yourself as a child of the world’s first big-city culture, at Mohenjo-daro, from 2600 B.C. Her grandparents were part of the vast Hindu migration out of Sindh to India in 1947, at the partition that created Pakistan. But Sindh was where Geet came looking for her roots a year ago — for the tombs of the Sufi saints and the world’s oldest plumbing. The first big shock was Pakistan’s devastation by immersion. The second, when she pitched herself into the emergency, was discovering, with mothers in distress, that knowing their language was as valuable as her medical training.
(review, feed)

Fresh Air Podcast
08-08-2011 Fresh Air
Stories: 1) In '1493,' Columbus Shaped A World To Be 2) A Delightful Portrait Of The Screwball 'Family Fang' Also recommended by Varnam.
(review, feed)

Listening ideas for 9 August 2011 (1)

Inspired Minds
Inspired Minds: Sameh Zoabi – Filmmaker
Born and raised in a Palestinian village in Israel, Sameh Zoabi is a graduate of Tel Aviv University and New York's Columbia's School of the Arts. His short film"Be Quiet," was honoured by the Cinefondation at the Cannes Film Festival. His feature debut, "Man Without a Cellphone" is a humorous take on the social milieu of a Palestinian village inside Israel.
(review, feed)

WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show
Miss Timmins’ School for Girls
Nayana Currimbhoy discusses her novel Miss Timmins’ School for Girls, set in a British boarding school in the hills of western India in the 1970s. Running from a scandal that disgraced her Brahmin family, Charulata Apte arrives at Miss Timmins' School for Girls in Panchgani to teach Shakespeare. It’s here that Charu's real education begins.
(review, feed)

היילה סלאסי
הוא היה בסך הכל אציל זוטר ונשכח שעלה עד לכסא המלך. אבל משהגיע לשם לא בזבז את זמנו בנשפים ומחולות. במשך עשרים שנההנהיג בארצו רפורמות מקיפות שהצעידו אותה קדימה לקראת שאר העולם המודרני. אך משזכה לתהילת עולם, זנח את כל מאמציו ועסק בעיקר בכיבודים דיפלומטיים למיניהם, כשהוא משאיר את עמו וארצו תחת מגף המשטרה והצבא. לבסוף, מת מוות משפיל בלא שאף אחד בארצו הזיל עליו דמעה. אריה יהודה - היילה סלאסי.
(review, feed)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Listening ideas for 8 August 2011 (2)

Satz on Markets Debra Satz, Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book, Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale: The Moral Limits of the Market. Satz argues that some markets are noxious and should not be allowed to operate freely. Topics discussed include organ sales, price spikes after natural disasters, the economic concept of efficiency and utilitarianism. The conversation includes a discussion of the possible limits of political intervention and whether it would be good to allow voters to sell their votes.
(review, feed)

Irish History Podcast
Special: The story of Ireland’s Spanish Armada Shipwrecks (2010) Over the last week archaeologists have begun to excavate the remains of a shipwreck from the Spanish Armada. Lying off the coast of County Donegal, the timbers, musketballs and pottery found so far reveal a tantalising glimpse of what else may lie on the sea bed. In this podcast, first released in 2010, you can hear how ships from the Spanish Armada came to lie off the coast of Ireland, what has been found on excavations to date and what else we can expect to turn up.
(review, feed)

Leonard Lopate Show
To a Mountain in Tibet Colin Thubron gives the account of a journey to the holiest mountain on earth, the solitary peak of Kailash in Tibet. It’s the mystic heart of the world and an ancient site of pilgrimage for both Buddhists and Hindus. In To a Mountain in Tibet, Thubron writes of his journey, an entry into the culture of today's Tibet, and a pilgrimage in the wake his mother's death and the loss of his family.
(review, feed)

The Roundtable
David Goldfield - America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation Joe speaks with David Goldfield about his book, America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation.
(review, feed)

The China History Podcast
Daoism - Part 3 We close out our little Daoism overview by looking at the most powerful and popular Daoist deities.
(review, feed)

Listening ideas for 8 August 2011 (1)

The History of Rome
The Spear of Destiny
In 363 Julian launched an invasion of Sassanid Persia. He would die in battle just three months later.
(review, feed)

Documentary on One
Oil in Uganda: The Trickle Down Effect
The largest onshore oilfield in sub-Saharan Africa has been discovered in Uganda with the involvement of Irish-founded company, Tullow Oil. Tim Desmond asks who will benefit from the discovery and how will it change the lives of ordinary Ugandans?
(review, feed)

Citizen Mel - Part One
His name is synonymous with the words "Canadian nationalist". Mel Hurtig's voice has been prominent in discussions about the country for almost fifty years. He is a bookseller, a publisher and a catalyst for debate on subjects ranging from child poverty to nuclear arms. IDEAS producer Kathleen Flaherty traces Mel Hurtig's lifelong quest to shape a Canada he passionately believes in.
(review, feed)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Listening ideas for 7 August 2011 (2)

Beyond the Book
Exploring Apps Ecosystem
Rafael SidiAs publisher of nearly 2,000 journals spanning the scientific, technical and medical (STM) communities, Elsevier serves more than 30 million scientists, students, and health and information professionals worldwide. In 2011, however, Elsevier’s customers are also its collaborators, thanks to a revolutionary view of application development. “We don’t want to be just an information provider, but we want also to provide solutions to our customers, to our market,” explains Rafael Sidi, Elsevier VP of Product Management for Applications Marketplace and Developer Network. “And we don’t want to just build the solutions ourselves, but we want to go to the community, to collaborate with the community, and build the solutions together with the community.” Envisioning a comprehensive “ecosystem” of apps, Sidi sees data as a shared resource. “We are letting [researchers] play with our data and build on top of our data stuff that they need to build. In the end, scientists and researchers know their problem better than us.” Speaking with CCC’s Chris Kenneally in his Manhattan office, Sidi cited a variety of innovative application efforts, including for SciVerse, which offers developers access to Elsevier content, and the community driven projects AppsforScience Challenge and AppsforLibrary Idea Challenge.
(review, feed)

Kritisch denken
Zeno’s Paradox en het Probleem van de Vrije Wil deel 2
Het bestaan van vrije wil is een onderwerp waarover 1000den generaties filosofen zich gebogen hebben. Wat kunnen we erover zeggen?
(review, feed)

OVT 7 augustus 2011
Gouden Jaren: het eerste anti-kernenergiekwartiertje; Ongehoord: Ierse hongersnood (1845-1850)
(review, feed)

Listening ideas for 7 August 2011 (1)

New Books in Popular Culture
Robert Corber, “Cold War Femme: Lesbianism, National Identity, and Hollywood Cinema”
The study of non-heteronormative sexualities in the academy continues to be remarkably dynamic. Despite the usual attempts to harden the frame around this scholarship, it remains consistently exciting and surprising. Robert J. Corber is one of the reasons why. His books In the Name of National Security: Hitchcock, Homophobia, and the Political Construction of Gender in Postwar America (Duke University Press, 1996) and Homosexuality in Cold War America: Resistance and the Crisis of Masculinity (Duke University Press, 1997) are recognized as important contributions to the field. In his new book Cold War Femme: Lesbianism, National Identity, and Hollywood Cinema (Duke University Press, 2011), Corber expands earlier arguments about the places of homophobia in the Cold War to include anxieties about the feminine lesbian. Corber emphasizes the ways in which Hollywood representations aligned with shifting understandings of the lesbian in American political culture, while acknowledging the extent to which the Production Code limited and complicated a full realization of that shift onscreen. In films ranging from Nicholas Ray’s to Hitchcock’s, the collision of new and old models of lesbianism enabled ambivalent and often bizarre portrayals of female desire. At once a companion to and an implicit critique of his earlier work, Corber opens a new and provocative discussion of some of Hollywood’s most famous films and stars.
(review, feed)

Veertien Achttien
Harry Patch en de flits van het verzorgingstehuis
Toen Harry Patch op 25 juli 2009 stierf, 111 jaar oud, was er niemand meer die nog kon verhalen van de gruwelen in de loopgraven. Zijn boodschap: 'Oorlog is niet één mensenleven waard.'
(review, feed)

The Road to Damascus
Today on Tapestry we're featuring stories of seekers: people who are so driven to find out their spiritual home, they scope out new ones. We'll bring you the story of Neil Littlejohn in St. John's Newfoundland, who left Christianity for Islam. And we'll hear from freelance producer Prudent Nsengiyumva in Rwanda, where in the aftermath of the genocide, Islam is growing faster than any other faith. Also, comedian and actor Mary Walsh talks about her struggle with faith, and her instinct to hold onto it.
(review, feed)

Slow German
Marie-Françoise ist Lehrerin aus Belgien. Sie hat mich gebeten, über Ferienjobs zu sprechen. Also werde ich das heute machen.
(review, feed)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Listening ideas for 6 August 2011

New Books in Human Rights
Rajshree Chandra, “Knowledge as Property: Issues in the Moral Grounding of Intellectual Property Rights”
Copyright is one of those topics over which even two saints disagreed. The legend has it that Saint Columba and Saint Finnian engaged in an argument as Columba had secretly, and without the latter’s permission, copied a Latin Psalter owned by Finnian. When Finnian found out about it, he requested the copy, but Columbia refused to give it back. Dermott, the King of Ireland, decreed “to every cow belong its calf, so to every book belong its copy.”
(review, feed)

New Books in Political Science
Tamara Metz, “Untying the Knot: Marriage, the State, and the Case for Their Divorce”
Marriage is at the center of some of our fiercest political debates. Here are some recent developments regarding marriage in the United States. Earlier this year, the Justice Department announced that it would no longer defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). A few weeks ago, New York became the largest state to allow same-sex marriage, joining five other states, the District of Columbia, and the Coquille and Suquamish Indian tribes in Oregon. The Senate Judiciary Committee has recently started to consider a bill that would grant federal benefits to same-sex married couples. But to what extent should the state be involved at all in regulating or recognizing marriage? In her recent book, Untying the Knot: Marriage, the State, and the Case for Their Divorce (Princeton University Press, 2010), Tamara Metz argues for the “disestablishment” of marriage. Marriage, Metz argues, like religion, should be separated from the state. She further claims that the liberal state should only be in the business of legally recognizing a wide variety of intimate caregiving unions among consenting, able-minded, able-bodied, adult intimates. In this interview, she clarifies her position further.
(review, feed)

New Books in Philosophy
Sanford Goldberg, “Relying on Others: An Essay in Epistemology”
In our attempts to know and understand the world around us, we inevitably rely on others to provide us with reliable testimony about facts and states of affairs to which we do not have access. What is the nature of this reliance? Do testifiers simply provide us with especially compelling evidence? Should we regard the testimony of others as only so much more local data in our cognitive environment? Or is there a deeper sense in which much of our knowledge depends on others? In his new book, Relying on Others: An Essay in Epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2010), Sanford Goldberg argues for the striking thesis that in cases of testimonial knowledge, part of our justification in believing another’s testimony resides in the mind/brain of the testifier. This thesis runs counter to what Goldberg regards as a widespread and insufficiently examined premise at the heart of most views in contemporary epistemology, namely, individualism, which is the view that a believer’s justification never extends outside of the believer’s mind/brain. Goldberg argues that, over a significant range of cases, a believer’s justification depends upon irreducibly social factors, and thus that an individual’s justification sometimes resides in part in the cognitive processes of others.
(review, feed)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Listening ideas for 5 August 2011

The Economist
Syria's uprising
As the crackdown continues, our correspondents discuss Syria's protest movement, the army's role and what outsiders can do to help
(review, feed)

New Books In History
Robert Thurston, “Lynching: American Mob Murder in Global Perspective”
It takes a brave historian to take on the orthodoxy regarding the rise and fall of lynching in the United States. That orthodoxy holds that lynching in the South was a ‘system of social control’ in which whites used organized terror to oppress blacks. You can find this thesis in numerous monographs, textbooks, and in [...]
(review, feed)

BBC History magazine
BBC History Magazine - 5th August 2011
Marc Morris describes England’s conquest of Wales, Dan Snow previews his new TV series and Anna Whitelock continues our Tudor series with a discussion of Mary I. To find out more, visit
(review, feed)

New Books in Military History
Michael Neiberg, “Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I”
As we close in on the centennial of the First World War, no doubt there will be a flood of new interpretations and “hidden histories” of the conflict. Many books will certainly promise much, but in the end deliver little. Fortunately this is not the case with Michael Neiberg’s latest book Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I (Harvard University Press, 2011).
(review, feed)

New Books in Law
Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola, “Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling”
One hallmark of important art, in any medium, is a thoughtful relation with artistic precursors. Every artist reckons with heroes and rivals, influences and nemeses, and the old work becomes a part of the new. In Adam Bradley’s seminal monograph on hip-hop lyrics, Book of Rhymes, legendary MC Mos Def describes his desire to participate in posterity: “I wanted it to be something that was durable. You can listen to all these Jimi records and Miles records and Curtis Mayfield records; I wanted to be able to add something to that conversation.”
(review, feed)

New Books in Public Policy
Siva Vaidhyanathan, “The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry)”
In his new book The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry) (University of California Press, 2011), Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia, takes a close look at the powerful influence Google has on our society. He believes that by valuing popularity over accuracy, Google dictates what information is most useful to users, thereby changing societal perceptions of what information is relevant. In our interview, we talked about how Vaidyanathan’s American Studies training informed his analysis of Google, the problem of Google’s use in authoritarian countries, and how Google emerged out of nowhere to defeat all other search competitors. Read all about it, and more, in Vaidhyanathan’s illuminating new book.
(review, feed)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Listening ideas for 4 August 2011 (2)

Leonard Lopate Show
A Portrait of the Hacker as a Young Man
In 2000, Michael Calce, known as Mafiaboy, brought down the websites of Amazon, CNN, Dell, E-TRADE, eBay, and Yahoo!, inciting panic from Silicon Valley to the White House. He served eight months in open custody for the 56 charges on which he was convicted. In Mafiaboy: A Portrait of the Hacker as a Young Man, written with Craig Silverman, he gives a tour of the fast-evolving 21st-century world of hacking—from disruptions caused by teens like Calce, to organized crime and other efforts with potentially catastrophic results—and explains how to protect yourself online.
(review, feed)

Thinking Allowed
The Mummy's Curse
Roger Luckhurst and Marina Warner discuss the myth of the mummy's curse and Audrey Linkman considers the relationship between photography and death
(review, feed)

The Kon-Tiki expedition
In 1947 a Norwegian explorer sailed a wooden raft across the Pacific Ocean.
(review, feed)

TED Talks
How language transformed humanity - Mark Pagel
Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language. He suggests that language is a piece of "social technology" that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.
(review, feed)

Listening ideas for 4 August 2011 (1)

Inspired Minds
Erez Kavel - Screenwriter
Recently the Israeli film "Restoration" took out the top award at the Czech Republic's annual Karlovy Vary International Film festival. Prior to this, the film’s screenwriter Erez Kavel was awarded the prize for "Best Screenplay" at the Sundance Film Festival. "Restoration" is a moving portrayal of modern Israeli society through the eyes of an antiques restorer.
(review, feed)

Science & the City
Exploring the Universe with Brian Cox
Physicist Brian Cox talks about his new TV show "Wonders of the Universe" and the future of physics as the search for the Higgs Boson heats up at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.
(review, feed)

Social Innovation Conversations
David Kessler - Food Industry and Global Health
Why have American eating habits changed so drastically for the worse in the last half century? What is the appropriate role of government in mitigating these changes? Who can we hold responsible? In this audio lecture, author and former FDA Commissioner David Kessler discusses the marketing strategies of multinational food companies, the scientific realities behind these current trends, and what we might do to change them.
(review, feed)

Keynes vs Hayek - The LSE Debate 3 AUG 2011
John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek are regarded as two of the twentieth century’s greatest economists. Modern day followers came together at the London School of Economics to debate the ideas of their intellectual heroes. The event was chaired by BBC Newsnight Economics Editor, Paul Mason.
(review, feed)

Free course, but a grade? A certificate?

I got it from DIY Scholar and she has it from Lifehacker:

We have been reporting about many courses that great universities offer for free, whether on audio or video. So what is new about Stanford's newest free course Artificial Intelligence: you can sign up, do the course and get a grade and a certificate. Consider the challenge? The professors, Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, reckon you will have to spend about 10 hours a week to pass, so it may be free, it is not for nothing. Sign up before Sept 10th and you are in.

Apart from the question whether to sign up, I am intrigued by this initiative. Is this where we are going? How many people will sign up? How many will pass? I am sure there will be many more to sign up than Stanford had ever expected. That is how these things go and I am contributing here with the message going viral. But when all is said and done, will it still be more? And how will the average level turn out to be? That may also be more than expected - my hunch.

Either Stanford will find out the bite was way too big to chew, or this is revolution.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Listening ideas for 3 August 2011 (2)

Rob Kall Bottom Up
Tom Wolff: The Power of Collaborative Solutions
Tom Wolff helps local people become coalitions and groups that help each other-- to collaborate-- simply, doing together what they cannot do apart. The problem is people have a hard time believing in their right and ability to become empowered and active participants in the community. We talk about why and how they become so disempowered-- how different parts of the system do it to us all.
(review, feed)

Bologna bomb
In August 1980 a bomb planted by right-wing extremists killed 85 people in Italy.
(review, feed)

Engines Of Our Ingenuity
Louis Braille
Episode : 2731 Invention from Injury: The Story of Louis Braille
(review, feed)

History According to Bob
Tea Act 1773
This show is about the Tea Act of 1773 that triggered the Boston Tea Party.
(review, feed)

Optimizing Brain Fitness - Saeed Ahmed quick post

Hi Anne
I wanted to draw your attention to this:

Dr. Richard Restak is a neuroscientist who, for several decades, has been writing about the brain and its function for the layperson.

Now, he has put together a course for the Teaching Company, and one of his lectures is available for free for 7 days, and available here: Optimizing Brain Fitness.

Of course, the Teaching Company would like people to view this with the hope they would buy the course, but after viewing this myself, I think it is quite good standing alone, as a general but very accurate introduction to the brain, free of jargon and details that is common in many, even introductory, university courses.

The free 30 minute video lecture is available until August 8.




More Teaching Company:
Abraham Lincoln

More Saeed Ahmed:
Political and current affairs podcasts,
International Political Economy,
A podcast on climate, energy and food,
Two podcasts on the brain.

Listening ideas for 3 August 2011 (1)

Social Innovation Conversations
Jennifer Lynn Aaker - Creating Infectious Action
Imagine what it would be like to find out that your best friend had cancer; what would you do? In this keynote presentation about social media and social action, Jennifer Lynn Aker shares a touching story of what a small group of people did when they found out that their friends were dying, and how that changed the fate of leukemia patients from South Asia. Jennifer explains how the group achieved incredible results in a short time and shares the four keys to creating infectious action.
(review, feed)

Mahabharata Podcast
Kurukshetra, Days 7 & 8
Episode 66 - The seventh and eights days of the War. Bhisma kills a few more Dhartarastras, king Virata loses another son, and we meet Arjun's son Iravat, a Naga prince from Arjun's tour of the holy places, long long ago. We meet Iravat only to see him killed by the demon Alambusha. Alambusha is also the son of a famous father-- none other than the peculiar half-deer Rshyashrnga! In the story we get from the epic, Rshyashrnga's son is the child of a Kshatriya princess, and becomes Raja of the kingdom. We are not told where he begot this demon! Arjun and Bhisma seem ready to get down and fight, but it never seems to happen. Maybe on day 9? Duryodhana is quickly losing faith in his general, so he better do something big on the next day...
(review, feed)

The Korea Society
Keynote Address by Ambassador Kathleen Stephens
On July 19th, 2011, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Kathleen Stephens delivered the keynote address at The Korea Society’s 2011 Annual Dinner in New York City. She spoke about the “better than ever” relationship between Korea and the United States, the importance of the free trade agreement, and her own 700-kilometer bicycle trip from Seoul to Jindo.
(review, feed)

Rear Vision
Who Counts? A history of the census
Next week Australia holds its census, and so Rear Vision traces the recent history of this ancient institution, to make sense of who counts, and who does the counting. While there have been systems of "enumeration" in place since the Romans, Egyptians and Chinese wanted to keep track of populations and landowners, fighting forces and minorities - the Australian system owes its origins to both English naval "musters" and colonial forms of control, and international statistical developments. So today on Rear Vision we compare the Australian census with the British census of the nineteenth century, and the census in the USA - mandated in the constitution and posited as central to nation-building and politics.
(review, feed)

למען המדינה והקיסר - איסורוקו ימאמוטו
הוא נולד לשושלת ארוכה של לוחמים, וגדל בהתאם להיות קצין צבא מקצועי, שלמרות הרקע המסורתי מאוד שלו,הוביל מהפכה כלל עולמית בתחום הלוחמה הימית. עמדתו המקצועית גרמה לו להחשב לאנטי-פטריוט ואולי אף בוגד בארצו, עד שהודח מתפקידו הרם והורחק מהפיקוד העליון. גם הרחקתו לא הפסיקה את מריבותיו עם מפקדיו, עד שתכנן עבורם את אפשרות הנצחון היחידה. בזכות הוצאת דבריו מהקשרם התייחסו אליהם בכלל, ובדרך הפוכה מזו שהתכוון - וכך הפך לגדול גיבוריה של ארצו מאז ומעולם, עד לתבוסתה המוחצת...
(review, feed)