Sunday, 23 May 2010

Now Listen

May has been a slow blog-month partially due to work. I've also been away a bit, visiting my parents, and partially for that reason its been a slow playing-month (which has made for little blogging).

What I have done more of, however, is reading and listening to podcasts. I might do a review of one of the books a bit later, but right now I want to share with you some of the pod-nuggets I've found.

First out is The History of Rome. I cannot express how awesome this cast is. Mike Duncan is not only an expert storyteller, he is also extremely knowledgeable in this field. The series starts with Romulus and Remus, and continues through the Roman history up to (so far) 175 CE. If you are thinking that this sounds too much like school, I can assure you that it's anything but. Mike presents the events in a laid-back and witty manner that keeps the material alive and fresh.

So, to conclude my indorsement, search for "the history of rome" in iTunes and get started. One thing, though. The episode-numbers are a little wacky, so look for episode "001 - Birth of A Nation". You should be able to stream and/or dl from the blog, but I haven't tried.

If you're wondering; yes, this inspired the last post about the Skythian Empire.

Then there's BBC Radio 4's show A History of the World in 100 Objects, hosted by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum. It is, as you might have guessed by the title, a show about the history of the world, each episode focusing on a unique artifact.

You'll hear about the oldest known man-made tool, long dead civilizations, about the Black Pharao, the Persian Empire, and the list goes on. Each episode brings us closer to our own age. What's more, it covers the whole world, not just the normal euro-centric stuff you expect from a European presentation. The episodes are short (~15 minutes), and without boring dates and all that crap that makes people yawn.

It is a new and very fascinating way of looking at our history, expertly presented. Also, if you disagree with the fact that pictures are best on radio, the homepage lets you explore all the featured items, plus a pantload of other cool stuff.

Again, you'll find it all on iTunes.

One of the really neat things about these podcasts is that the whole series will cost you absolutely nothing.

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