Archive for November, 2015

Episode 7: Talking Tolkien & Hope

Posted in Skeptic on November 29, 2015 by Rick

Peasants & Emperors is a podcast presenting topics related to democracy, science, culture, women’s issues, current events and critical thinking. A new podcast is produced and available for listening/download approximately every two weeks.

In episode seven, the Hooligans discuss whether or not fantasy as a literary genre is still relevant to the 21st century: can we learn anything about our own world by dwelling in imaginary ones?

Episode 7: Talking Tolkien & Hope

Click on the hyperlink above to download and listen to the podcast. Feel free to leave a comment or question in the comments section below. One of the cast members will respond.

Thanks in advance for listening and check back regularly for updates to the site and podcast.

Notes & Clarifications
1). Eucatastrophe in fantasy is a literary term coined by J. R. R. Tolkien referring to a sudden turn of events at the end of a story ensuring the protagonist does not meet some untimely end.

2). We just wanted to point out Jessica’s pronunciation of the word “damned” as “damn-ed” was awesome.

3). Thank you to WingNut Films and New Line Cinema for graciously allowing us to use two audio clips from Peter’s Jackson’s film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.

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Episode 6: Canada & the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Posted in Skeptic on November 24, 2015 by Rick

Peasants & Emperors is a podcast presenting topics related to democracy, science, culture, women’s issues, current events and critical thinking. A new podcast is produced and available for listening/download approximately every two weeks.

In episode six, the cast talks about Canada’s actions to help alleviate the Syrian refugee crisis, problems with the West’s perception of Muslims, and Canadian xenophobia.

Episode 6: Canada & the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Click on the hyperlink above to download and listen to the podcast. Feel free to leave a comment or question in the comments section below. One of the cast members will respond.

Thanks in advance for listening and check back regularly for updates to the site and podcast.

Podcast Episode 5: Meet the Cabinet and Don’t Be So “Lugubrious”

Posted in Skeptic on November 12, 2015 by Rick

Peasants & Emperors is a podcast presenting topics related to democracy, science, culture, women’s issues, current events and critical thinking. A new podcast is produced and available for listening/download approximately every two weeks.

In episode five, the cast talks words, members of Parliament, and factoids.

Episode 5: Meet the Cabinet and Don’t Be So “Lugubrious”

Click on the hyperlink above to download and listen to the podcast. Feel free to leave a comment or question in the comments section below. One of the cast members will respond.

Thanks in advance for listening and check back regularly for updates to the site and podcast. The home site is located at the following URL: https://pandesite.wordpress.com/.

Episode Corrections & Clarifications 
1. During conversation sometimes cast members speak off the cuff and run the risk of hyperbole, e.g. Rick jokingly observed most of the cabinet members from the Conservatives likely came from business backgrounds (not that this should be a bad thing). At a glance the Conservatives appear to draw from a larger pool of career politicians (people who have belonged to the party as a youth and worked for the party through their 20s). The Liberals, by comparison, appear to draw upon a lot of people from banking and business (kind of ironic considering the context of the situation). Nonetheless, Rick regrets oversimplifying about the diverse group of people who worked for the previous Cabinet. With that said, if one compares the 13 highest profile ministries of the previous Conservative and current Liberal cabinets we see the following backgrounds:

Conservatives: career politician x 4, lawyer x 5, science background x 2, teacher, and a journalist.

Liberals: academic x 2, lawyer x 3, science background x 4, business/banking x 3, military.

2. Bones on average renew themselves every seven to ten years.

The Role of Perception in Science: Part 2 “Science & Religion”

Posted in Skeptic on November 11, 2015 by Rick

Please feel free to read the article I penned for my group’s blog. We also have a podcast if you tinker around the site. This article is the second in a series on perception in science.

https://pandesite.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/the-role-of-perception-in-science-part-2-science-religion/

Podcast Episode 4: Talking Meat and Remembrance Day

Posted in Skeptic on November 9, 2015 by Rick

Peasants & Emperors is a podcast presenting topics related to democracy, science, culture, women’s issues, current events and critical thinking. A new podcast is produced and available for listening/download approximately every two weeks.

In episode four, join the cast as they present a different take on Remembrance Day while also addressing some important issues related to the eating of meat.

Episode 4: Talking Meat and Remembrance Day

Click on the hyperlink above to download and listen to the podcast. Feel free to leave a comment or question in the comments section below. One of the cast members will respond.

Thanks in advance for listening and check back regularly for updates to the site and podcast. The home site is located at the following URL: https://pandesite.wordpress.com/.

Episode Corrections & Clarifications 
1. In 1932 Europe was caught in the throes of the Great Depression; it became evident Germany could not meet its reparations payments. The major countries of Europe met in 1932 at the Lausanne Conference and agreed to suspend payments indefinitely. In 1952 the London Debt Agreement was reached whereby it was determined if/when Germany was ever reunited it would repay its war debts as set out in the Treaty of Versailles (1919). Germany began reparation payments in 1996 and made their final payment in 2010.

2. J. R. R. Tolkien fought at the Battle of the Somme which took place between July 1 and November 1, 1916, between the armies of France, England and Germany. The British suffered approximately 420,000 casualties, the French around 200,000 while the Germans suffered about 465,000. Tolkien lost two good friends at the battle (Robert Gilson and Geoffrey Bache Smith). According to the Lord of the Rings Wiki (http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Battle_of_the_Somme), Tolkien’s involvement at the Somme lasted from July to October 1916. He served as a battalion signalling officer to the 11th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers. The was in the Battle of Thiepval Ridge helping to capture the Regina Trench from the Germans. The wretched conditions of the trenches and areas of battle along with stress caused Tolkien to come down with trench fever and trench foot which put him out of the war permanently.

Problems in Perception Part 1: Correlation vs. Causation “Don’t Drink the Water”

Posted in Skeptic on November 8, 2015 by Rick

Peasants & Emperors is a skeptical blog and podcast maintained by four people interested in trying to promote science and critical thinking. Please take some time to read the first part of a three part series on science and perception. There are other articles on the site and an evolving podcast.

https://pandesite.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/problems-in-perception-part-1-correlation-vs-causation-dont-drink-the-water/

Straw Men Don’t Fight Back: Exposing Science Denialism

Posted in Skeptic on November 1, 2015 by Rick

Please read my article on the malforming effects of right wing think tanks on the public perception of science. We also have a podcast. If you look at the links on the “right side” (pun unintended), you’ll see our episodes 1-3 listed.

https://pandesite.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/straw-men-dont-fight-back-exposing-science-denialism/