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48 minutes | 5 days ago
The Natural History of the Bible
What was the natural environment of the Near East like 3,000 years ago? Did it drive the evolution of monotheistic religions? In this special, Gil and Rutger explore the biological and cultural diversity of the Levant in biblical times, in a cross-over episode with PodcastOfBiblicalProportions.com
54 minutes | 12 days ago
AI in Movies: Expert Systems
For many decades, humans have lived with the alluring idea that it must be possible to design artificial intelligence systems that can advise us on the most critical life and death decisions we may have to take, in warfare, justice, or complex missions that push human boundaries. However, such systems can easily fail, resulting in flawed decisions or analysis paralysis. In this episode, we discuss three dystopian scenarios where expert systems failed to deliver on their promises.
49 minutes | 19 days ago
Medieval Music in Movies (and Shows)
Medieval music has left its DNA in most of the popular music today. It was a storytelling tool, whether to impart history, genealogy, or as a PR tool for nobles and knights. Our movies/shows are Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Witcher. Special guests: violinist Bridget Hall and campsite guitarist Shay Golan.
55 minutes | a month ago
Developed from a funerary human sacrifice, gladiator gaming became a massive form of entertainment, intimidation and execution in the late republic and early Roman empire. With up to ten per cent of the empire's inhabitants being enslaved, training some of them to become deadly killers became a liability and gladiator uprisings started happening. In this episode, we discuss the historical context of these events and the political and religious perspectives behind the adoption of gladiator uprisings in propaganda up till this day. Gil and Rutger review the classics Spartacus (1960) and Ben-Hur (1959), the epic Gladiator (2000), and several surprise bonus movies. More visual content with this episode at: https://www.ourpodacademy.com/post/gladiators-rising
50 minutes | a month ago
Sisters in Movies
How do movies portray relationships between sisters? Especially sisters that have no brothers? Dr. Noga Ariel Galor and Lireza Elezaj join Gil to discuss. Visit our website https://www.ourpodacademy.com/
79 minutes | a month ago
Greek Heroes in Movies
Greek Heroes have been a staple of western culture for millenias, and are still relevant in contemporary moviemaking. Special guest and expert paleontologist Charalampos Kevrekidis joins us to break down Hercules (1997), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Troy (2004) and the two Wonder Woman movies (2017 and 2020).
50 minutes | 2 months ago
Female Solidarity in Movies and Shows
There aren't a lot of movies and shows depicting female solidarity, but those who do shed important light on storytelling from a female perspective. Musician, architect and feminist Lireza Elezaj joins Gil once more on the podcast.
52 minutes | 2 months ago
Upcoming Dutch and Israeli Elections
Coming this month to the Dutch and Israeli nations near new: elections that could change their history forever. Or do nothing.
65 minutes | 2 months ago
Strong AI and the Turing Test
Strong artificial intelligence is the term for machines that have generalized intelligence similar to humans, such that they might be able to fool people into believing that the machines are people too. The hypothetical test for distinguishing strong AI from humans is the Turing Test, and in this episode, we look at the application of such tests in sci-fi movies. Gil and Rutger discuss Blade Runner (1982), A.I. (2001) and Ex Machina (2014). Check the website for more episode content at ourpodacademy.com/post/strong-ai-and-the-turing-test
59 minutes | 2 months ago
Roman Britain in Movies
In our third installment of Ancient Rome in movies - we move from the centers of power to the most distant province - Britannia, annexed in the year 47 CE. It is a fabled and mysterious land full of Celtic-type peoples who do their best to stop the Roman advance - and fail. Until 400 years later they cut and run when other so-called barbarians are encroaching on the Roman mainland.
100 minutes | 3 months ago
Geopolitical & Historical Breakdown of the Morocco-Israel-U.S. Deal
We bring in a special guest to talk about Morocco, its internal politics, its geopolitical game, its history and the many Moroccan communities that live outside the country. Special guest: longtime patron Younes Al Alami!
20 minutes | 3 months ago
Introducing A Podcast of Biblical Proportions
Gil has a new podcast with his former partner in Got Academy, looking at the stories of the bible from the perspective of the people who wrote and listened to it. It's an engaging journey! Check out the website https://podcastofbiblicalproportions.com/
35 minutes | 3 months ago
About The Violent Riots in The Netherlands
There have been worse riots in The Netherlands in January than the country has seen in 40 years. The government is reinforcing the lockdown and tries to appear tough, while not offering any solution to the problems at hand. Elections are due in March, but it doesn't look like much will change.
76 minutes | 3 months ago
Julius Caesar in Movies Part 2
In our second episode about the depictions of Julius Caesar in movies and shows, we go over the most compelling episodes of his life - the conquests, the incursions, the ingenuity, the civil war - and the dramatic assassination.
60 minutes | 4 months ago
Julius Caesar in Movies
Julius Caesar might be the most iconic historical figure of all time, yet since he was such a complex and interesting man of flesh and blood, each movie or TV version of him depicts him in a different way, emphasizing one or several sides of him.
50 minutes | 4 months ago
How To Train Your Dragon vs Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
How the animated fantasy children's movie How To Train Your Dragon accurately reflects the views of white privileged liberals who are living in an intractable conflict. Guest appearance: Omri Cohen.
55 minutes | 4 months ago
The Americans (FX) and The Immigrant Experience in the US
The Americans is ostensibly a spy thriller set during the Cold War, but it is also a story of the struggles of immigration to the US, and negotiating your old and new identities. Linguist Mallory Aler joins Gil to talk languages.
71 minutes | 4 months ago
Classic Academy: Jesus in Movies
Reposting the episode from Christmas 2019: To mark Christmas, we look at movies depicting the life and times of perhaps the most controversial rabbi of the Second Temple period: Jesus of Nazareth. We rewatch the Life of Brian and are reminded of Empire and of the brutality with which the Romans imposed their will homogenously across enormous swathes of land, ironically setting up the environment in which the ideology of the guy they executed could spread. We then go over the odious Passion of the Christ, which features prosthetic noses and blood curses, and wrap it up with the interesting but slow-moving Last Temptation of Christ. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and everything else!
43 minutes | 5 months ago
The Expanse Season 5 Kicks Off
The Expanse is back on Amazon for its fifth season. We go back to the sci-fi show to explore its rich historical themes and its Solar System geopolitics to talk about those, as well as science. This is a review for episodes 1 through 3 (that were dropped together), but from this coming Thursday, we'll post on Thursdays episode reviews for the new episode aired on Wednesdays. Those will be on top of our regular content.
66 minutes | 5 months ago
The Rise of Rome
In our first episode on Rome in antiquity, we look at the rise of the eternal city from an insignificant hamlet ruled by petty kings to an empire spanning much of the known world. Gil and Rutger watch The First King (2019, about the founders Romulus and Remus; Coriolanus (2011), on the warfare between city-states during the early republican era; and Hannibal (2006), where Rome defeats its last existential threat. We wrap up with an early look at I, Claudius (1976), at the dawn of the imperial age.
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