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The Curiosity of a Child
4 minutes | May 8, 2022
😍 Announcement: We’re at Intelligent Speech 2022!
We are very excited and proud to announce that we will be talking at the 2022 Intelligent Speech conference! Our talk will be about 22 orphans packed onto a ship to America and deliberately infected with cowpox! We would love our listeners to join us. Tickets cost $20 for the early bird (and 8 hours of talks) or $30 thereafter, but if you use promo code curiosity at checkout you get an extra 10% off. https://www.intelligentspeechconference.com Here’s what they say: CROSSING LINES We chose to make the topic for this year’s Intelligent Speech conference, Crossing Lines, as it seemed to not only resonate with our times but also with what we hope Intelligent Speech 2022 will represent through our range of speakers. This year’s conference will be cross-curricular, we will have speakers who have crossed over from being podcasters to being authors and vice versa, we’ll be crossing continents, we might even have stories about crossing over and crossed lines. Where lines cross are junctures and our era certainly feels like a major juncture in time; at Intelligent Speech 2022, our speakers will be exploring other times when lines have been crossed in one way or another. Intelligent Speech 2022 will take place on Saturday, June 25 at 10 am EST (New York)/3 pm GMT (London). There will be eight hours of great presentations from up to 40 different content creators from the worlds of podcasting, YouTube, and media. Each session will be 40 minutes long.
51 minutes | Apr 8, 2022
38: 🪃 The Paradoxical Platypus
We travel downunder to meet one of Australia’s most unusual creatures: Ornithorhynchus anatinus, better know as the Platypus. Few animals have caused such debate as our duckbilled friend, for nearly a century leading scientists across Europe (maybe they should travel a bit closer to their subject) debated exactly what this paradoxical animal was – mammal, lizard, something entirely new? What are the eggs all about, and where are the nipples? And don’t get us started on the penis! The Platypus is one very strange animal indeed. We explore the folklore, tell the history, look at the science of how we came to understand Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Along the way there are epic arguments and a secret WW2 mission, finally we top it off with a rap written and performed by Anton!
38 minutes | Mar 1, 2022
37: 🏰 Anton Investigates: Norman Castles
This episode Anton takes the lead as he explores the development of Norman castles in the British Isles. Whilst fortifications dotted the English landscape long before the 1066 Norman invasion nothing quite like their castles existed before. Anton and I talk about early motte and bailey fortifications that offered only rudimentary protection to vast concentric circle castles like Beaumaris in Wales that dominated the surrounding landscape. What did they symbolise? How did they change? And are they the origin of IKEA?! Full show notes.
68 minutes | Feb 11, 2022
36: 👑 King of Spices: The Potent Power of Pepper
Pepper, king of the spices. Found in every kitchen and on every restaurant table pepper is a spice that’s ‘just there’. Today we take this spice for granted but this wasn’t always the case as great European powers fought over it’s control wanting to monopolise the trade and the wealth it brought. The Portuguese, Dutch and British sent countless sailors and soldiers on voyages to the mystical east. But they weren’t only there to trade and soon conflict and brutality would stain the history of pepper. We tell this story, taste some of the finest peppercorns available, test Roman and Greek medical recipes and explore how today pepper is being rediscovered as a power medicine. Full show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/king-of-spices-the-potent-power-of-pepper
69 minutes | Dec 23, 2021
35: ⭐ Interview: Science Communicator Greg Wah
We are honoured to be joined by Greg Wah, science communicator from Australia and co-host of the excellent Smart Enough to Know Better podcast. We discuss the size of the universe and how the JWST is going to help us look back further than ever, iconic images from Hubble, the beauty and importance of science and more. Podcast: https://smartenough.org/ Greg on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thewah SE2KB on Twitter: https://twitter.com/se2kb Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/interview-greg-wah-science-communicator-and-podcaster
53 minutes | Dec 22, 2021
34: ☀️ Interview: Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy
Keeping with our space theme we chat to Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy about how he captures his incredible images, space travel, aliens and more. You have to check out Andrew’s photos, they’re mind-blowing. He definitely has an eye for creating something beautiful but it’s backed up by a sound scientific knowledge and genuine love for the wonders of space. Follow Andrew: Twitter, Instagram, website store Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/interview-andrew-mccarthy-astrophotographer
50 minutes | Dec 16, 2021
33: 🔭 Warren de la Rue. The man who looked at the sun
History remembers many great men but it forgets far more. Warren De la Rue, born 1815, was an engineer and scientist who pioneered astral photography. From designing and operating the photoheliograph – the first instrument created specifically for photographing celestial bodies – to improving chemical processes to decrease exposure times De la Rue was a true innovator. Working alongside some of the greatest names of the age he helped advance not just astronomy but many fields of research through hard work, dedication, intelligence and generosity. Warren De la Rue should be better known today and, with the launch of the James Webb telescope, what better time than now to remember him. Oh, he also has an incredible invention - a very bight idea! 😉 Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/warren-de-la-rue-the-man-who-looked-at-the-sun-scientist-engineer-eclipse
50 minutes | Nov 10, 2021
32: 👻 Ghost hunters, we seek the truth!
We go ghost hunting in a Neolithic passage grave, taking with us an infrared robot, an EMF metre and recording equipment for EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). Do we capture anything? Does anything capture us!? Belief in ghosts and spirits is a worldwide phenomenon, it crosses cultures and ages. You’d expect modern science to taper these ideas, but surveys show over half of Americans still believe. We look at some of the theories, from stone tapes to infrasound, as we try to understand what is really going on. But reading books and articles will only get us so far, we need to seek answers ourselves with a series of ghost hunts at ancient locations. Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/ghost-hunters-of-the-neolithic
40 minutes | Oct 23, 2021
31: 👻 Interview with Tim Brown from the Paranormal Intelligence Gathering Service
Halloween is drawing near and the spirits are stirring so what better time than now to chat with Tim Brown from the Paranormal Intelligence Gathering Service (PIGS). Anton and I really enjoyed talking to Tim as he explained how PIGS conduct their research, what findings they’ve discovered and the use of EVP in some of the unique locations Guernsey offers for those seeking contact with the deceased. Far from believing every story he hears, Tim wants to find and understand exactly what people are experiencing – is it infrasound, simply being in a heightened state or a haunting spirit? Join us this episode as we learn more. Will we be ready for our ghost hunting trip next episode? For more information on the PIGS visit their website. Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/interview-with-tim-brown-from-the-paranormal-intelligence-gathering-service
12 minutes | Oct 21, 2021
Bonus: 🎙️Interview at the BBC
We were invited to chat to our local BBC radio station and they very kindly gave us permission to reproduce the show. If you’re curious how the podcast begun and what Anton’s favourite topic has been (I can’t believe he said it live on air, on the BBC!!) then have a listen! It was great fun and we’re so pleased they invited us on, thank you BBC Guernsey. Find out more about our podcast: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/
39 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
30: 💩 Miasma, a London stink and plastic pollution
This episode marks our two year anniversary and we celebrate in style! I recreate the 1858 Great Stink of London, a terrible smell caused by an overburdened sewerage system and unresponsive government. Cholera filled the streets killing thousands - bad air or miasma was thought to be the cause. The city needed a hero... Anton then tells of modern day pollution - plastic dumped into the world’s oceans where it kills wildlife. One of the worst affected areas is the small atoll of Midway where the Albatross population is under threat. Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/miasma-a-london-stink-and-plastic-pollution
54 minutes | Aug 14, 2021
29: 🧠 Perception - how do we see the world?
What is perception? How do we see the world? How do our senses trick and lie to us? Through a series of simple experiments you can try at home we look at all these questions. We then delve deeper into our perception and understanding of the world around us. Most people perceive themselves as above average, can’t take on new ideas and misremember events. Being aware of this will help us all understand the world and each other with deeper respect. Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/perception-how-we-see-the-world
48 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
28: 🦟 We chat with entomologist Dr George McGavin
We are honoured to be joined by the very charming George McGavin. One of the leading entomologists he taught at the University of Oxford before embarking on TV career that has taken him deep into the jungles of Guyana, New Guinea and more. Always lively and passionate George is full of stories of his adventures and the importance of understanding our position in, and the protection of, our fragile environment. We had an amazing time talking with George and hope you’ll enjoy the interview as much as we did! Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/we-chat-with-entomologist-george-mcgavin Cover photo: Lois Wendon
56 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
27: 🐔 Foam guns to chicken bombs: stupid weapons from history
War is never nice but sometimes it drives people to their extremes. In desperation to gain the upper hand all logic and rational thought is flung out the window and insane proposals for weapons are put forth. From dropping cakes seeded with anthrax on herds of cows to bats with bomb-backpacks and giant siege towers to expanding foam guns mankind has devised some odd and, let’s be honest, terrifying devices. Join Anton and myself as we travel through time discovering some of the strangest. Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/chickens-to-wetsuits-stupid-weapons-from-history
32 minutes | Mar 21, 2021
26: 🐂 Oxen, more than just ‘unintact bulls’
In possibly our most uncomfortable episode yet for Anton we talk Oxen! In school history lessons they just seem to turn during the agricultural revolution to help with crop rotation and then disappear. But what exactly are Oxen, how are they used, where do they come from and what is their history? We travel the world to answer all these questions. Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/oxen-more-than-just-unintact-bulls
38 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
25: ☕ William Le Lacheur and the transformation of Costa Rica
After its independence in 1821 Costa Rica was a poor nation with very little outside trade but one man, from a small island halfway around the world, would change that. William Le Lacheur, born 1802, was a merchant and sea captain who is widely credited with transforming Costa Rica’s economy through the coffee trade. Commanding a fine fleet of ships he would not only bring trade to a nation but also help educate it’s citizens, help pull them from poverty and help fight off American filibusters. This episode we tell the story of this remarkable man. Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/william-le-lacheur-and-the-transformation-of-costa-rica
44 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
24: 🎄 Old toys and Christmas elves
Come settle down next to the fire, help yourself to a mince pie and glass of mulled wine for we have a festive delight for you. This episode we take a relaxed look at popular toys from days gone bye, what will Anton make of Tonka Trucks, Pet Rocks and Cabbage Patch kids? But it’s not long until the warmth of the fire sends the drowsy child to sleep, but he’s awoken by a visitor checking up which list, naughty or nice, he should be on… Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/old-toys-and-christmas-elves
45 minutes | Dec 2, 2020
23: 🌰 We go nuts for conkers!
This episode we go nuts! For conkers and hazelnuts to be exact. Have you ever heard of Melch Dick, a forest guardian who punished children for picking unripe nuts? Or do you know why Ministry of Munitions asked school children to collect conkers during WW1? We reveal all this an more in our nutty winter special. We also interview Conker Cup representative and host of Chestnut Chat, ‘Mr Conkers’, who tells us all about the exciting sport. Visit conkercup.com to find out more. Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/we-go-nuts-for-conkers-and-hazel
34 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
22: 🎃We make Corpse Medicine
People across cultures and ages have practiced corpse medicine – using the human body or it’s secretions to cure ailments ranging from baldness to epilepsy and toothache to mania. From Europe to China to Arabia a special quality has been attached healing powers of the human body. Crushed skull and cocoa, mellified man, the blood of the recently deceased (or three young boys if you happen to be Pope.) and more have all been highly sort after remedies. This episode Anton and I bring back this lost knowledge, making and tasting our own corpse medicine from skulls, brains, mummies and honeyed human flesh. Welcome to our Halloween special! Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/halloween-special-corpse-medicine
44 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
21: 🎨 Colours and pigments (and we’re one year old!)
We’ve made a podcast about pigments and colours because why not? I know you can’t see them but we’ve tried really hard to describe them! When Sir Isaac Newton first draw his colour wheel after seeing light through a prism he matched each colour to a musical note, but our love of colour goes back far further than that, to a time when we maybe weren’t exactly like we are now. Artists all over the world have sought out new pigments, new colours, to wow and amaze, however how they were created and their effects on people’s health hasn’t always been of great concern. Show notes: https://thecuriosityofachild.com/episodes/pigments-that-poison-and-a-colourful-history
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