Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Completed! BBC's A History of the World in 100 Objects


For several months now, I have been listening to the BBC 4 podcast A History of the World in 100 Objects.  It's a fascinating look at human history through the things we make and use- from a crudely shaped rock to a solar panel.  This is right up my alley, of course, being that I love history.  But I also think if you do not love history but just want to feel more informed about the world around you (or love to spout off random facts during conversation), this is a great way to do it.  The podcasts are all about 14 minutes long, so it's easy to listen to one or two on the go, on a commute or while cooking dinner.  They are also completely addictive.  Once you finish an episode, it is hard not to go immediately on to the next one (or the next five).  While it is unlikely you will remember all 100 objects, or even a fraction thereof, I think the program itself is fascinating.  It's a podcast.  You can't see the object that is being described.  And yet... it doesn't really matter as the thing is just a starting off point for a lesson in cultural history that puts the world in perspective for you.  How a Spanish gold coin started global currency.  How a South American llama statue symbolizes the fall of a great civilization.  How a painting helped open up Japan to global trade. 

It really is one of the best podcasts I've had the pleasure of listening to, and I highly recommend checking it out, if you're into that sort of thing.

If you're not, but just want to read about the stuff- there's a companion book!

Anyway, I feel quite accomplished for finishing the podcast series, so felt the need to share the news!

10 comments:

  1. I have never listened to podcasts before, but this sounds right up my alley!

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  2. That is one long podcast, but it does sound good :)

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  3. Thanks for the link, I would love these! Maybe one would get me to cook dinner on those nights I just don't think I can do it!

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  4. This sounds so very much like something I would be interested in! I'm working my way through listening to Oliver Sacks' Musicophilia and then an Elizabeth Peters and then a Jack Kornfield... but I will put this on the listening list for next. Thanks for the heads-up!

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  5. Sounds totally fascinating, and I'm a podcast addict, so I am going to check it out right now. Thanks, Aarti!

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  6. After hearing you mention this the other day I downloaded all of these and am really excited about getting started with them. Thanks for sharing this with me. I know I am going to love them!

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  7. Excellent! I'm still working my way through the podcast myself, I agree, it's pretty fascinating.

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  8. I only just started and am very impressed that you're done! :-) It's such a great idea for a history podcast, I just get frustrated thinking that there's no way I'll remember it all!

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  9. This sounds so interesting! And, in an odd coincidence, just yesterday I heard of it from another source. I believe they're playing it on the radio here in NZ at the moment, grouping four episodes into one hour-long radio program. My source found it as interesting as you did, so I'll have to check out the podcasts!

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  10. This is right up my alley. I'm off to check out the link and listen to my first one!

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