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Posts tagged ‘podcasts’

Creativity and the Brain – the Science Weekly podcast

This is a very interesting podcast about creativity in which the Guardian’s Alok Jha meets author Jonah Lehrer.

Creativity and the Brain

…to make it through, to be successful, to bring this idea you had in the shower into the real world – that’s going to take persistence, it’s going to take almost a silly single-mindedness, and that’s what we call grit. So if I was forced to choose one thing to say work on to maximise your creativity, it’s build up your grit.

You can subscribe to the Science Weekly podcast via iTunes.

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Interested in science…?

…then I recommend the Science Weekly podcast with the Guardian’s Alok Jha.

Beyond Belief – UFOs and alien life

There’s a very interesting Beyond Belief podcast dated 14 July discussing the relationship between alien life, UFOs and religion.

I think you’ll have to subscribe via iTunes to get this.

Stem cell research

There’s a tremendously interesting debate regarding stem cell research on a special Beyond Belief podcast from April 21st. The programme, hosted by Ernie Ray, features the Rev. Mary Seller, a Professor of Developmental Genetics at Kings’ College London School of Medicine, David Jones, Professor of Bio Ethics at St Mary’s University College, and Omar Sultan Haque, a Muslim theologian at Harvard Medical School.

This is an incredibly complex issue with passionate views on both sides. The research is already under way, and could eventually lead to cures for Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s and type one diabetes. But when does life begin? What is human? What is the ethical position of a cybrid embryo created using material from cows and humans (created by inserting a human cell into a hollowed-out cow’s egg)? Stirring stuff.

To make a decision one has to be thoroughly and correctly informed regarding the procedures involved and their (likely/potential/desired) results. It’s easy to cry that this is unnatural or blasphemous, but do the potential benefits of such research justify it? Should we trust those who are thoroughly and correctly informed to make decisions for us on such issues, or should we adopt a more cautious stance and leave well alone?

Millions of sufferers of the kinds of diseases that could be treated as a result of such research are living in pain every day of their lives. But is this just another step along a dangerous route from which we can’t turn back?

I don’t know any of the answers.

Doris Lessing, Simon Gray, Life After People

There’s a fascinating piece on Radio 4′s FrontRow podcast from May 16th in which Doris Lessing is interviewed. Lessing advises anyone with an ounce of writing talent to get on with it: “Don’t imagine you’re going to have this for ever,” she says. “Use it while you’ve got it. Use it, because it’ll go.” In her case, Lessing says: “It’s sliding away like water down a plug hole.”

In the same edition Simon Gray, whose novel The Last Cigarette is out now, talks about being diagnosed with lung cancer, and the fact that he has come to the conclusion that he can’t give up smoking, but has cut down from 60 a day to between five and 20. Gray says: “I’ve decided really that I can’t [give up smoking]. That I’m not prepared to spend the rest of my life battling my habit. It would consume all my time, I think. And I’d still be dead at the end of it.”

Last night I watched some of Channel 4′s Life After People. I found it somewhat unconvincing and inconsistent, to be honest. I didn’t quite get how the cities would burn down apparently as a result of lightening strikes. And while Chernobyl was used as an example of the decay that sets in after 20 years of abandonment, it wasn’t half as bad as the computer-generated graphics presented to us just a few minutes earlier. I reckon this programme would’ve been far more engaging and exciting at half the length.


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