25 UC Berkeley Courses Available via Free Video

Not long ago, we wrote a popular piece about UC-Berkeley’s iTunes initiative which, to sum it up,allows anyone, anywhere, to download complete university courses to their iPods for free. Amazing. Today, we want to point out that Berkeley also makes available full-fledged courses via video/webcast. You can find the complete list of courses here, but below we have listed below 25 courses that figure into a “core” undergraduate curriculum. In short, this list includes many good nuts and bolts courses, which will teach you a lot and, even better, cost you nothing. Each of these courses, coming straight from the classroom, can be accessed with Real Player, and some can also be accessed as MP3s.

On a related note, our University Podcast Collection and our collection of Free Courses will give you access to many more university lectures and courses, so be sure to give them a look. You may also want to check out our “playlist” of intelligent videos on YouTube as well as our recent piece: 10 Signs of Intelligent Life at YouTube.

UC Berkeley Courses:

Weekly Wrap Up – March 9

Here’s a quick summary of our recent pieces:

Bono, Richard Dawkins and Al Gore Speaking at TED

Every year, a thousand “thought-leaders, movers and shakers” get together at a four-day conference

called TED (which is short for Technology, Entertainment and Design). In past years, the list of speakers has ranged from Sergey Brin and Larry Page to Bill Gates, to Herbie Hancock and Peter Gabriel, to Frank Gehry and Billy Graham. This year Bill Clinton, Paul Simon, and Larry Lessig are set to speak. It almost goes without saying that not just anyone can attend such an event. You’ll need an invitation for starters, plus $4400 to cover admission fees. If you can look past the country clubbishness of the event, then you may find it worth spending time with the audio (iTunesFeed) and video (iTunesFeed) podcasts of talks from recent conferences. Some “vodcasts” you’ll want to check out include: Bono, Peter Gabriel, Richard Dawkins, Malcolm Gladwell, and Al Gore. (We’re not sure what to say about Tony Robbins.)

The Top 25 Educational Podcasts on iTunes




Ituneslogo New entries since 2/22 are highlighted in red.

#1. Coffee Break Spanish  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#2. Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#3. The French Pod Class  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#4. Legal Lad’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Lawful Life  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#5. MyDailyPhrase Italian  iTunes  Web Site

#6. French for Beginners  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#7. Learn French with Daily Podcasts  iTunes  Feed  Web Site 

#8. Finally Learn Spanish – Beyond the Basics iTunes  Feed  Web Site 

#9. TEDTalks (Video)  iTunes  Feed  Web Site 

#10. MyDailyPhrase German  iTunes  Feed  Web Site 

Let’s Speak Italian  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#12. Learn Spanish Survival Guide  iTunes  Feed

#13. JapanesePod101.com  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#14. LearnItalianPod.com  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#15. Mandarin Chinese Conversation – Times Online iTunes  Web Site

#16. Learn German with German-Podcast.de  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#17. Learn French by Podcast  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#18. Learn Mandarin Chinese with Chinesepod.com  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#19. Twelve Byzantine Rulers: The History of the Byzantine Empire  iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#20. Princeton Review Vocabulary Minute  iTunes  Feed  Web Site  

#21. Insta Spanish Lessons  iTunes  Feed  Web Site  

#22. NPR: Satire from the Unger Report  iTunes  Feed  Web Site 

#23. Man, God and Society in Western Literature (Course at UC-Berkeley) iTunes  Feed  Web Site

#24. Yale University  iTunes  Web Site

#25. Just Vocabulary iTunes  Feed  Web Site

See Open Culture’s podcast collections:

Arts & CultureAudio BooksForeign Language LessonsNews & InformationTechnologyUniversity (General)University (B-School)


The Famous Stanford Prison Experiment on YouTube

Back in 1971, Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford psychology professor, set up an experiment that quickly and now famously went awry. Here, Zimbardo had undergraduates play the role of prisoners and prison guards in a mock prison environment. Meant to last two weeks, the experiment was cut short after only six days when the guards, as The Stanford Prison Experiment web site puts it, “became sadistic and [the] prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress.” For Zimbardo, the way things played out says a lot about what happens when good people are put in bad situations. And it speaks to how torture scenarios, like those at Abu Ghraib, become possible. (For more on the parallels between the prison experiment and the torture in Iraq, you may want to check out Zimbardo’s talk at a recent conference called “Thinking Humanity After Abu Ghraib.” (Get the podcast here.)

“Is America Too Damn Religious?” (A Debate)

GodwetrustIntelligence Squared (iTunes  Feed  Web Site), a new series of NPR broadcasts, has a rather unique
format. It brings Oxford-style debates to America, and it features leading thinkers taking different positions on hot-button issues of our day. (You can get more precise information on the format here.) There will be eight debates in total, all recorded live, and each one revolves around three panelists arguing for, and three against, a "motion," such as "We must tolerate a nuclear Iran," "Freedom of expression must include the license to offend," and "A democratically elected Hamas is still a terrorist organization." And then there is the provocative topic of the most recent debate, "Is America Too Damn Religious?" This debate (see bios of participants) was held at the Asia Society in New York City in February, and you can catch the full debate here (Real Player) or a condensed version here (mp3).

See Open Culture’s Podcast Collections:

Arts & CultureAudio BooksForeign Language LessonsNews & InformationScienceTechnologyUniversity (General)University (B-School)

Free Podcasts of Classic American and British Thrillers


Drjekyllandmrhyde_2Among the growing collections of free audio book podcasts, you’ll find a large number of "thrillers"
that grew out of the American and British literary traditions. It’s perhaps safe to say that the volunteers who record these books like a good, fear-inducing read. But who doesn’t?

The list of suspenseful novels available as free podcasts starts with the "monster novels" of 19th century Britain. These novels, which frequently offered a roundabout commentary on the anxieties produced by a society in the midst of rapid industrialization and widespread colonial involvement, include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1886), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). Meanwhile, across the pond, America was producing its own distinctive thrillers. In the trove of free audio books, you get Washington Irving’s classic 1820 short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (listen here or here) as well as Edgar Allan Poe’s great short tales: The Tell Tale Heart (1843), The Raven from 1845 (listen here or here), and The Cask of Amontillado (1846). (Amazing that he wrote all of these before he died at 40.) Lastly, we’d also point you to the famous ghost story, The Turn of the Screw (listen here and here), written by one of America’s greats, Henry James.

You’ll note that some of these podcasts come from Librivox, and that’s because Librivox, with the help of volunteers, has quickly put together a strong collection of audio texts from the public domain. If you like audio versions of the classics, then you’ll want to spend some time reviewing their catalogue, and, in the meantime, enjoy these suspenseful tales.

P.S. If you haven’t seen it before, check out our recent favorite: The War of the Worlds on Podcast: How H.G. Wells and Orson Welles Riveted A Nation

See Open Culture’s Podcast Collections:

Arts & CultureAudio BooksForeign Language LessonsNews & InformationScienceTechnologyUniversity (General)University (B-School)

This American Life Goes Hollywood (or Something Like That)





This American Life, a slightly quirky but always compelling radio show, has developed a large and fiercely dedicated audience since it first aired in 1995. And nowadays, the program, hosted by Ira Glass, is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes. (It currently ranks #2 on the most popular podcast list: iTunes  Feed  Web Site.) On March 22, This American Life will take the next step in its evolution when Showtime airs a televised version of the program. If you’re a fan who is wondering what the show might look like on TV — how they might translate the feel of the show to a visual medium — below you can find a couple of trailers that will give you a quick taste:

See Open Culture’s Podcast Collections:

Arts & CultureAudio BooksForeign Language LessonsNews & InformationScienceTechnologyUniversity (General)University (B-School)

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.