Weekly Wrap — June 30

It’s a wrap for the week:

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Colbert Gives iPhone Zero Stars

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Philosophy Bites

Back when we start­ed out, we men­tioned a radio show — and now pod­cast — com­ing out of Stan­ford that offers a “down-to-earth and no-non­sense approach” to phi­los­o­phy that’s engag­ing, if not enter­tain­ing. It’s called Phi­los­o­phy Talk, and you can catch some of the old pro­grams on iTunes.

Now, about 6,000 miles and eight time zones away, anoth­er phi­los­o­phy pod­cast, Phi­los­o­phy Bites (iTunesFeedWeb Site), has been launched in Eng­land by David Edmonds and Nigel War­bur­ton (see bios here). Inter­view­ing top philoso­phers, the two delve into some essen­tial philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions — what is the mean­ing of life? what is the nature of real­i­ty? what is evil?, etc. And then they get into some oth­er good ques­tions: Can philoso­phers con­tribute to pub­lic life, and is wine tast­ing sub­jec­tive?

The lat­est pod­cast (which can be accessed via the feed, but not yet via iTunes) fea­tures an inter­view with Alain de Bot­ton, who has man­aged to write snap­py best­sellers that tack­le philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions. It takes a rare writer to pull that off, and his books are def­i­nite­ly worth a look. After launch­ing his career with How Proust Can Change Your Life, he has more recent­ly pub­lished The Con­so­la­tions of Phi­los­o­phy and The Archi­tec­ture of Hap­pi­ness. And it is this last book that the lat­est pod­cast revolves around.

As a final note, Nigel War­bur­ton has also put out anoth­er pod­cast, Phi­los­o­phy: The Clas­sics (iTunes) in which he reads from a recent­ly pub­lished book with the same title. You may want to give it a lis­ten.

For more pod­casts along these lines, see our Arts & Cul­ture pod­cast col­lec­tion.

Miles and Coltrane on YouTube: The Jazz Greats

One of our read­ers tipped us off to a cou­ple of vin­tage jazz clips on YouTube. First up is footage of Miles Davis and John Coltrane play­ing a nice ren­di­tion of “So What,” the lead­off tune from Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (1959), an album that ranks at the very top of the jazz canon. There is a rea­son why it has five stars and 649 reviews on Ama­zon. It’s just a damn good album.

Next up, we give you Coltrane play­ing “My Favorite Things,” which was first released in 1960 on an album with the same title. This com­plex rework­ing of the song made famous by The Sound of Music came to be Coltrane’s most request­ed tune. And the video (1961) shows Trane lit­er­al­ly and fig­u­ra­tive­ly breath­ing new life into the sopra­no sax­o­phone.

French Podcasts — Learn French

Our col­lec­tion of pod­casts will help you start speak­ing Man­darin or Can­tonese. To learn more lan­guages, see our com­plete col­lec­tion of for­eign lan­guage les­son pod­casts.

  • French for Begin­ners iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Fun, effec­tive lessons for begin­ners. Pro­vid­ed by the French Ecole.
  • Le Jour­nal en français facile iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Night­ly news from RFI pre­sent­ed in slow­ly spo­ken French to assist you with your com­pre­hen­sion.
  • Learn French by Pod­cast iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A well-reviewed series of lessons for begin­ners and those who want to brush up on their French.
  • Learn French with Dai­ly Pod­casts iTunes Feed Web Site
    • These lessons are brought to you by French teach­ers from Paris. They are best suit­ed for those who already have some begin­ning French under their belts.
  • Ma France iTunes Feed Web Site
    • The BBC offers 24 video pod­casts that will teach you French.
  • Mali French Feed Web Site
    • The Peace Corps teach­es you some of the French spo­ken in Mali.
  • The French Pod Class iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A very pop­u­lar col­lec­tion that teach­es stu­dents the French lan­guage and dif­fer­ent facets of French cul­ture.
  • The Ver­b­cast — French Verbs by Relax­ation iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A four-week series of lessons that will allow you to refine your knowl­edge of French verbs.

English Podcasts — Learn English

Our col­lec­tion of pod­casts will help you start get­ting com­fort­able in Eng­lish. To learn more lan­guages, see our com­plete col­lec­tion of for­eign lan­guage les­son pod­casts.

  • Busi­ness Eng­lish iTunes Web Site
    • Learn the Eng­lish you will need to func­tion effec­tive­ly in an Amer­i­can busi­ness envi­ron­ment.
  • Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage Pod­cast iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A very well liked col­lec­tion of ESL lessons. Over 100 episodes in the col­lec­tion.
  • Eng­lish for Span­ish Speak­ers (’Por Fin Aprende Ingles’) iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Si ust­ed haya asis­ti­do al menos a un cur­so de ingles, y ust­ed nece­si­ta la opor­tu­nidad de escuchar al ingles y hablar el ingles, entonces ‘Por Fin Aprende Ingles’ es el pod­cast per­fec­to para ust­ed. Pre­sen­ta­do por Car­la Staufert-Sauvi­er, una pro­fe­so­ra de Mex­i­co, y Jade Lindquist, una pro­fe­so­ra de los EE UU.
  • ESL Busi­ness News iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A week­ly pod­cast of inter­na­tion­al busi­ness news read in slow, clear Eng­lish. Lis­ten to the pod­cast and fol­low along in the accom­pa­ny­ing script.
  • On Demand Eng­lish iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Dai­ly pod­casts that will teach you Eng­lish and Amer­i­can cus­toms. Well done.
  • The Bob and Rob Show: Week­ly Eng­lish Lessons from a Yan­kee and a Brit iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Tak­ing a more uncon­ven­tion­al approach to teach­ing Eng­lish, this pro­gram uses humor to teach inter­me­di­ate-to-advanced stu­dents idioms, gram­mar, and slang in both Amer­i­can and Eng­lish fla­vors.

Weekly Wrap — June 24

Anoth­er week, anoth­er wrap:

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.