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Posts Tagged ‘science’

Name: Wissenschaft | Deutsche Welle

Provider: DW.DE | Deutsche Welle

Another podcast in German (let’s pretend for a minute that the semester has not started yet). This summer I attended an intensive course in German and afterwards began searching for something interesting to listen to. This is what I’d found. It is, as the name suggests, a podcast about the new developments in science and technology. Normally I wouldn’t be able to listen to something as advanced as this – my German is not that good yet – but fortunately the scientific vocabulary is fairly international, so at least I get the technical stuff. As long as the reporter is speaking I can manage reasonably well. The trouble comes when he is interviewing an expert – then that person speaks fast and I really have trouble keeping up.

Nevertheless it is something in German and the subjects interests me so I can’t complain, can I? After all, it would be incredibly stupid of me if I did not work on the language after investing so much time and effort in it.

This is not the usual raving review I write and I do like this podcast. It’s just that it is (was) summer and this is a chore – two words that don’t go well together.

By Izabela

P.S. I promise the next post will be about English again.

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Title: Women in Science

Provider: The Open University

I’ve written about science before and I’ve written about feminism before. This podcast is in a way about both. For me, as a university student and a woman, this is a true inspiration. Women scientists talk about their predecessors that were an inspiration for them. Not many people think how we as women are blessed to be able to pursue a higher education. This podcasts consists of stories of women who made a difference and who carved that path that we now walk. Without them by now I’d be looking for a husband and realising my dream to further explore the English language, literature and culture would be impossible. While I’m not interested in the fields they excelled in professionally speaking (that sounds a bit majestic, doesn’t it?) as I’ve written before – to claim a higher education you have to  be interested in a little of everything. So, even though I have no desire to find out more about those subjects, I still found listening to this podcast enjoyable. And, anyway, the first of the series is about Maria Skłodowska Curie – a so I was feeling patriotic. And it is her bust that stands in CERN. Only hers. Go Poland!

As always go listen and please come back and comment.

By Izabela

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Accelerating Science

You will all have to excuse me in this post, because this time the listening I’m recommending is not that easily available. You see, I was traveling during my winter vacation and, long story short, I was flying home from Geneva and had some time to kill. So, obviously, I went to CERN. Yes, the very same CERN with the Large Hadron Collider. There, in the  The Globe of Science and Innovation, is an exhibition “Universe of particles”. Unfortunately it is not very large, but it is, and there is no word for it, awesome. You must go there if you get the opportunity. Really. If you fly somewhere and have a chance to fly through Geneva do it. The exhibition is admission free.  You need just half an hour, but what a half hour this will be! Imagine a circular, darkened room that explains the mystery of the universe. And it gets better – there are several dome-like armchairs with a speakers built-in. To be fair there are only a few of them, but they are great. You just  sink into them and listen to podcasts in  perfect English about the mysteries of the universe. Why does the force exist? What about the black holes? Why do we need the Higgs Boson and what is it? You will find answers to those and many more questions, all told simply enough for everyone to understand.

If that wasn’t enough there is a multimedia presentation which literally left me with my jaw hanging open. It was beautifully done and helped to imagine the beginning of the universe (though I must admit that the  “The Big Bang Theory” theme song kept running through my head)

And, anyway, their slogan – ‘Accelerating Science”? Priceless.

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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My Summer Listening

Hello again after the summer, which I spent – surprise, surprise – listening. I’ve found two brilliant podcasts. Since summertime means free-time neither of them is even remotely connected to literature or linguistics. After all, as much as I love those two subjects, everyone deserves a break from studying.

My first choice is a series of lectures from Dr. Vernick on jazz music.

Title: Jazz Insights

Speaker: Dr Gorgon Vernick

Provider: Georgia State University

I’m absolutely addicted to it. I love jazz and this podcasts allowed me into a whole new world. I think it would be interesting both for people who know  something about music and those who are absolutely clueless. Dr Vernick goes into quite a lot of detail but he explains the terms so that anyone could understand. What’s more you do not only learn about great musicians, you actually get to listen to the songs. However if you simply want to get some information on jazz and learn the basics, say in a week, this podcast is not for you. By now there are 269 episodes – it takes time to listen to all of them. But if you are a jazz enthusiast, just like I am – this is a treasure.

Title: “Stuff to Blow Your Mind”

Speakers: Robert Lamb and Julie Douglas

Provider: HowStuffWorks.com

My second choice of some light listening is a bit different. The podcast used to be called “Scientsy stuff” but now the name changed into “Stuff to Blow Your Mind”. As both titles suggest the whole series is about science – the things you’ve always wondered about, but never had the opportunity to find out. And, believe me, some of it can blow your mind. Some examples of the episodes are “How Exploding Lakes Work” and “The Virtues of Venom”. The variety of subjects is staggering, and while I admit that I did not enjoy every episode that I’ve listened to, most were really interesting and entertaining.

So take a little time everyday to find pleasure in jazz or find out more about the world we live in. I promise you won’t regret it.

As both podcasts can be found in different places, here is a list of links:

“Jazz Insights”

“Stuff to Blow Your Mind”

by Izabela

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