Archive for December, 2012

Advent Calendar

Title: Download Advent Calendar

Provider: BBC Radio

This year BBC is really spoiling the listeners and subscribers. Not only do we get “A Christmas Carol”, which I wrote about in the last post, but an advent calendar as well. It is superb. It is a series of unrelated, brilliant episodes on different topics. It is difficult to describe just how good they are. It was just what I needed to get into the Christmas cheer. The podcasts contain a fabulous variety of accents, which thrills me to no end – I am a student of English Philology after all. Lately I developed an appreciation for Scottish English, because of the “Varieties of English” course at my home University, and the very first podcast is in that accent. I must admit (reluctantly) that I had to rewind the first minutes of the podcast because I was so focused on getting all the features of Scottish English, that I missed what they were talking about.

The podcasts vary from funny to informative and I believe there is something for everyone in the series. While listening to some of the episodes I laughed out loud. So, as always go and listen! Hurry to download the series, because the episodes are only available for 30 days.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night :-).

by Izabela


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Title: A Christmas Carol (BBC Learning)

Provider: BBC

Just a quick recommendation this time. As I said in the previous post I’m crazy about the holiday season. Every year without fail I read “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Sometimes I listen to the Polish version I got as a bonus to some magazine. This year there is a treat from BBC: “A Christmas Carol” podcast read by Alan Smith. It is brilliant. I’ve listened to it twice already (and there is still a week to Christmas). If you have not read this classic story yet here is your chance to listen to it. But you have to hurry – download it as fast as you can because the episodes are only available for 30 days.

If, by any chance, you know some other good recordings of “A Christmas Carol” or can recommend more Christmas stories please share.

by Izabela

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Title: Christmas Science Lectures

Provider: University of Oxford

As can be seen from the new festive background and the falling snow I’m a bit crazy about Christmas. I enjoy the holiday season and try to get the most out of it. I’m very happy to say that I’m not the only one. The Oxford University has a special series entitled “Christmas Science Lectures”. I am aware that as this blog is mostly meant for philology students, this may not be the most popular subject. But I firmly believe that everyone boasting higher education should have a basic understanding of a little of everything. I vehemently argue to ‘science’ people that reading and arts are important and just as strongly insist to all my fellow students that you cannot claim to be educated unless you know something about the world.

Now, with the rant out of the way, I can go on to recommend the series.

Even though I’m all for listening to podcasts on the way to work or the university or school, I must admit it is better to have video in this case. All of the lectures have either interesting computer presentations or (I’m sorry but there is no other word for it) cool experiments. And anyway, seeing Dr. Malcolm Stewart and Dr. Fabrice Birembaut in “The Chemistry Show” all dressed up in Santa and Elf costumes was priceless.  I know the talks are not advanced – but that is what makes them fun! I would not understand a  lecture about the Large Hadron Collider.

All of the podcasts from the series are energetic and interesting, and what is more important for poor student waiting for the Christmas break, easy. December is not a month that inspires much ambition, so listening to complicated, long lectures on university level is a bit tiring. With those series I actually couldn’t tear myself away – which says a lot, because lately (as seen from lack of posts) I couldn’t find it in me to do any listening.

By the end of the month you will probably be fed up with all the Christmas cheer on the blog, but oh well. As always, go listen and then come back and tell me what you thought.

Izabela Rudnicka

P.S. And don’t kid yourself – you will be thinking whoa at some point during the lectures. No matter how cool you are.

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