Saturday, August 2, 2008

Assorted Podcasts

Human rights in China

Fareed Zakaria

No more than one
Since its introduction in 1979 it has transformed Chinese society and Chinese families. We take a look at the 30-year history of China's one child policy.

Linguistic typology

The polyglot linguist Alexandra Aikhenvald describes the study of linguistic typology: classifying how languages are structured and comparing them to ascertain recurrent patterns and variations.

Me and other languages
Marking the United Nations-declared International Year of Languages, as well as its goal to preserve and promote linguistic diversity, the linguist Alexandra Aikhenvald tells the story of her own multilingualism, which reflects the story of a country that no longer exists.

Stoics at war

Recent philosophical debate on war has focused on the idea that you don't just have to fight by the rules; you also have to be fighting in a just cause. But does this ignore much of the moral context of a soldier's life. What binds comrades in arms together? What about stress and what about grief, and what does the ancient Roman philosophy of Stoicism have to tell us about it?

Literature, law and ethics - The case of Billy Budd

A visiting legal ethicist talks to us about why a novella by Herman Melville, involving mutiny and an execution at sea, has become required reading for those interested in the intersection of literature, law and ethics.

Is being gay in your biology?
What makes someone gay? The quest for the biological roots of sexual orientation remains rife with controversy. Is it in your genes, handedness, or the hormonal soup of the early foetus? Or, is the answer hidden deep inside the brain? Homo or hetero - the science of sexual attraction captures everyone's attention.

The Trials of the Templars
At dawn on 13 October 1307 all the Templars in France were arrested by royal order, on the charge that they had been involved in secret blasphemous rituals. This led to other arrests of Templars in Europe, and an investigation by Pope Clement V. The University of Sydney Rare Books and Special Collections Library recently obtained trial documents from the Vatican archives, which John Pryor discusses with Rachael Kohn.

Modelling the origin of time: science and religion at "the horizon of mystery"

Does science make belief in God obsolete? Cosmologist and mathematician Michal Heller's answer to this 'Big Question' this year won him the world's largest monetary prize given to an individual, the Templeton Prize. On Encounter Professor Heller explores 'creative tensions' between science and religion and talks about his research for a quantum gravity theory that might explain the Planck Epoch. And astronomer Guy Consolmagno SJ has things to say about meteorites, the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan, and beauty.

Snoring kills

Sisters and babies
Why do humans, of all the primates, have so many babies? And what happens when sisters offer to carry babies for other members of their family? What happens to kinship? Professor Marilyn Strathern, a social anthropologist at Cambridge and head of Girton College, and Karen Kramer, another anthropologist at Harvard, have been tracking the complexities of motherhood and babies across many cultures, with surprising results.

New coral alga discovered in Sydney Harbour
Coral in Sydney Harbour has been found to contain a previously undiscovered alga. The coral encrusts rocks under the water. The alga lives in the coral and give it sugars. The family tree of algae based on sequencing DNA shows the alga is in a new position on the tree, and is related to the malaria parasite. The alga is seen as a missing link between another alga and a parasite. It was previously thought to be extinct.

The last environmental taboo

Today Richard Begbie from Canberra looks at the environmental cost of air travel. Airplanes add around 750 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year to the atmosphere and in the process burn 250 million tonnes of a non-renewable resource.

Harry Gordon: Living, breathing and writing the Olympics

The Role of NGOs in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals

What Does It Take to Achieve High, Sustainable, and Inclusive Growth in Developing Countries?

The Pentagon`s New Map

Zimbabwe: Beyond the Endgame

How Inflation Robs Zimbabwe

George Will's America
How Fannie and Freddie Got Big

Escaping Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

India: The Emerging Giant

Globalization and the World's Rising Living Standards

G8 and Aid for Africa,

Author Wallace Says Gates Surrounds Himself With Smart People

Global Democracy

“Fungal footbaths” could save the honey bee
Globally, the honey bee population is in decline. This has serious implications for the cross pollination of commercial crops and wild plants. One of the major causes of this decline is the “Varroa Destructor” mite. However, researchers at Warwick University may have found a natural solution to this problem. Dr Dave Chandler from Warwick HRI explains how.

'Art Gives One Complexity'

Novelist and academic Eva Hoffman has been awarded an honorary degree at Warwick. Here, she talks about her life experiences and the inspirations behind her best selling memoir ‘Lost in Translation’ and her new novel ‘Illuminations’.

‘Troubles in Zimbabwe must be resolved peacefully’

Dr George Kanyeihamba, one of this year’s honorary graduates, helped establish democracy and the independent judicial system in Uganda, and is considered the ‘Founding Father’ of human rights in Africa. Here, he talks about his experiences, and the need for peaceful resolution of events in Zimbabwe.

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