The Third Horseman: Climate Change And The Great Famine Of The 14th Century By William Rosen chats with Dr. Alvin

William Rosen Click Here To Listen In May 1315, it started to rain. It didn’t stop anywhere in north Europe until August. Next came the four coldest winters in a millennium. Two separate animal epidemics killed nearly 80 percent of northern Europe’s livestock. Wars between Scotland and England, France and Flanders, and two rival claimants to the Holy Roman Empire destroyed all remaining farmland. After seven years, the combination of lost harvests, warfare, and pestilence would claim six million lives—one eighth of Europe’s total population. William Rosen draws on a wide array of disciplines, from military history to feudal law to agricultural economics and climatology, to trace the succession of traumas that caused the Great [...]

By |May 19th, 2014|Agriculture, Environment, History, Military, War|Comments Off on The Third Horseman: Climate Change And The Great Famine Of The 14th Century By William Rosen chats with Dr. Alvin

American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt By John Beckman chats with Dr. Alvin

John Beckman Click Here To Listen   From the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Americans have defied their stodgy rules and hierarchies with pranks, dances, stunts, and wild parties, shaping the national character in profound and lasting ways. In the nation’s earlier eras, revelers flouted Puritans, Patriots pranked Redcoats, slaves lampooned masters, and forty-niners bucked the saddles of an increasingly uptight middle class. In the twentieth century, fun-loving Americans celebrated this heritage and pushed it even further: flappers “barney-mugged” in “petting pantries,” Yippies showered the New York Stock Exchange with dollar bills, and B-boys invented hip-hop in a war zone in the Bronx. This is the surprising and revelatory history that John Beckman [...]

By |May 7th, 2014|African Americans, Agriculture, History, Politics, Pop Culture|Comments Off on American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt By John Beckman chats with Dr. Alvin

The Ogallala Road By Julene Bair chats with Dr. Alvin

Julene Bair Click Here To Listen Julene Bair has inherited part of a farming empire and fallen in love with a rancher from Kansas’s beautiful Smoky Valley. She means to create a family, provide her son with the father he longs for, and preserve the Bair farm for the next generation, honoring her own father’s wish and commandment, “Hang on to your land!” But part of her legacy is a share of the ecological harm the Bair Farm has done: each growing season her family—like other irrigators—pumps over two hundred million gallons out of the Ogallala aquifer. The rapidly disappearing aquifer is the sole source of water on the vast western plains, and her family’s role [...]

By |May 6th, 2014|Agriculture, Biography, Women|Comments Off on The Ogallala Road By Julene Bair chats with Dr. Alvin

The Knowledge By Lewis Dartnell

Lewis Dartnell Click Here To Listen The Knowledge is a brilliantly original guide to the fundamentals of science and how it built our modern world as well as a thought experiment about the very idea of scientific knowledge itself.  

By |April 30th, 2014|Agriculture, History, Science, Technology|Comments Off on The Knowledge By Lewis Dartnell