Egghead BBC radio podcasts
Posted: 28 August 2015 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Here including The Medieval University, Chaucer, Caxton, Merlin, Morte d’Arthur, Dr Johnson, Marlowe, Joyce’s Ulysses.

Full archive by category/era, etc here. Great for commutes or long trips.

Melvyn Bragg was known as the thinking-woman’s crumpet in the 1970s.

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Posted: 28 August 2015 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Just spotted this one -

Language and the Mind

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of our ideas about the formation of language. The psychologist George Miller worked out that in English there are potentially a hundred million trillion sentences of twenty words in length - that’s a hundred times the number of seconds since the birth of the universe. “Language”, as Chomsky put it, “makes infinite use of finite media”. “Language”, as Steven Pinker puts it, “comes so naturally to us that it’s easy to forget what a strange and miraculous gift it is”. “All over the world”, he writes, “members of our species spend a good part of their lives fashioning their breath into hisses and hums and squeaks and pops and are listening to others do the same”. Jean Jacques Rousseau once said that we differ from the animal kingdom in two main ways - the use of language and the prohibition of incest. Language and our ability to learn it has been held up traditionally as our species’ most remarkable achievement, marking us apart from the animals. But in the 20th century, our ideas about how language is formed are being radically challenged and altered. With Dr Jonathan Miller, medical doctor, performer, broadcaster, author and film and opera director; Steven Pinker, cognitive scientist, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Centre for Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California.

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Posted: 28 August 2015 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Also History of Metaphor which was discussed recently.

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Posted: 28 August 2015 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks for sharing that! I was just wishing for that kind of resource. Listened to the one on Pascal and it was lively and informative.

Is MP3 the only way to download?

edit: Got it to work with RealPlayer.

[ Edited: 28 August 2015 01:50 PM by Iron Pyrite ]
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Posted: 29 August 2015 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks, venomousbede, looks really interesting. But why “egghead”? My understanding of the term has always been that it’s derogatory --- a reference to someone detached from the real world, not someone interested and involved in it. I’d welcome enlightenment.

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Posted: 29 August 2015 04:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I endorse the In Our Time podcast. I’ve been listening for years. Melvyn Bragg is something of a pompous twit, but he’s skilled at keeping the conversation moving and keeping the guests on topic, and the guests, almost always academics, know their subjects.

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Posted: 29 August 2015 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Sorry, venomousbede — I should have checked, before going off half-cocked. I understand the term’s only derogatory among wilfully ignorant individuals, such as low-class journalists. I didn’t realize you were using it in satirical vein.

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Posted: 01 September 2015 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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There’s a series of shorter, less eggheady podcasts called Great Lives presented by another pompous Oxbridge twit. An educated notable champions someone they admire with an expert sitting in. Stan Laurel, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hildegard of Bingen, Ava Gardner, Shakespeare, Kenny Everett. Hours of fun.

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