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    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2011
     
    Since I can't seem to comment with your system (but Louboutin ads can, heh) I thought I would make a post.

    I listen to a lot of podcasts at work, but I can't stream online and don't have an ipod or like itunes to do the subscribe thing, so I just go to a couple of main websites a couple of times a week to download enough stuff to get me through work.

    Slate- My favorites are the Slate political, cultural and Double X gabfest, but I even like their sports one a bit too.

    BBC- The Ouch! Disability podcast is usually pretty darn funny and it helps me keep perspective with my job. Likewise, Health Check and Medical Matters often have a topic related to or useful for work, but are also just fun on a medical nerd level. Every once in a while Women's Hour has an interesting topic, but it can be sort of boring or depressing so I don't download every episode. Likewise, Natural History Radio, Food Programme, World Have Your Say and a few others I will download depending on the topic. But, the best thing about BBC is how easy it is to browse all of the recent podcasts online.

    NPR- I download Wait, Wait don't tell me every week and quite often This American Life.

    I told Nick about All Beers Considered and he is going to check it out. He recommends a pod cast called Brew Strong from the Brewing Network.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2011
     
    Son of a biscuit. I was away this week, so I'm not ignoring you or anything, I just recently returned to the world of internet connections:) Are you trying to sign in, or is the CAPTCHA thing not working for anonymous commenting? I think some spammers have figured out the default MT captcha or something, as I've seen a recent increase in spam getting through (only a handful of comments though - normally I catch them pretty quickly, but again, no internets this week...)

    The slate culture gabfest is definitely on my list of podcasts to check out. I just haven't really gotten there yet. I also want to check out The Totally Rad Show, which seems pretty, well, rad.

    I have a couple NPR podcasts that I listen to (and have mentioned on the blog a long time ago). There's The Treatment, which is basically an interview show with Elvis Mitchell (usually interviewing movie folk) and Filmically Perfect, which seems to disappear every once in a while (presumably because two of the hosts have big movie careers - one is a storyboard artist that works for the Coens, for instance, so I assume he gets consumed with work every now and again). Oh, and of course, Filmspotting is on NPR now, and that's long been one of my favorite podcasts. I've checked out This American Life before, but have never become obsessed with it, as some folks seem to do.

    "Wait, Wait don't tell me" sounds interesting, and I'll definitely check out Brew Strong as well.

    It looks like you have a more balanced podcast regimen. I just use it to fill out my obsessions - movies and beer!

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2011
     
    I didn't realize anonymous comments were back and didn't actually try to sign in. I will try to comment next time you make a post about something I can add some sort of insight to.
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2011
     
    They have some good podcasts on guardian.co.uk although it is a bit UK centric. I love the Slate podcasts and also bloggingheads.tv

    I thought I'd make one of my sporadic visits to this forum. I've been minding the shop in Paris for the last few weeks (even though my French is awful) which means I don't have much to do because any Frenchman worth talking to is at the beach or sailing their yacht in the Mediterranean. Someone could do it from London, but the boss thinks I need a soft ticket after Asia and the Middle East. I have lots of time to do the museums and bookshops or just sit outside the cafes, sip an espresso and watch Paris go by. It is a great city for exploring, quite possibly the greatest. The weather has been a bit iffy, but at least I'm not in Egypt any more. I'm off to London for a couple of weeks soon and then I think Hong Kong for a bit and then possibly New York.

    I've been reading some of your beer posts. I don't drink and can barely tell beer from wine, but I was introduced to non-alcohol beer in Egypt. I think the brand is called Birell. I thought it was a bit watery. It didn't have much head to it, but there was a vaguely beer-like taste to it. You should be able to get some where you are. Ask at the local Middle East food mart or mosque. I like to hear what an expert thinks of the stuff.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2011
     
    Hi grenville! Good to hear from you...

    I used to listen to a Guardian movie podcast, but I cannot remember what it was called. It featured a British critic who was very outspoken. Kermit? Kermode? Something like that?

    There's also a podcast called Left Field Cinema. It's very short, usually only 15 minutes or so a week, but the British guy who runs it is pretty good (though I'm pretty sure he's just reading from a script that he wrote)...

    Is this the beer you're referring to:
    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/571/30800

    That one is from the Czech republic, but there's an Australian one too. I don't believe I've ever seen either, but then, I don't usually look at the non-alcoholic beers. I have a pregnant friend who has been exploring NA beers though, so I'll check with her. From the reviews on beer advocate, it looks like you're instincts were right - I see a lot of descriptions of it being "watery". If I see it, I'll check it out. Why not? But considering that I tend to prefer high ABV Belgian styles with loads of body the most, I suspect I'd hate it:p

    I wonder if anyone really makes a fantastic NA or low ABV beer. I've been trying to keep my eyes out for BrewDog's Nanny State, but I haven't seen it anywhere (it's a kinda gimmicky beer made in reaction to the government complaining about their high ABV beers, so perhaps they don't make much of it or it doesn't make its way to the US). I think that part of the issue is that it's probably costly to de-alcohol the beer (or whatever you call that process), so brewers tend to make light styles to start with. Removing the alcohol just removes more body, so you end up with thin, watery beer. Heck, given that light lagers tend to be the most popular beer in the world, it probably tasted thin and watery even with the alcohol. But I wonder what would happen if you took a big Imperial Stout and boiled the alcohol out of it...

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2011
     
    That was it, I think. If I recall correctly the label was Arabic. It is probably a better thirst quencher than coke or other sodas which are mostly fizz anyway. I suppose the problem with beers in a place like Egypt is that you can't radiate yourself with them. I spent a little time in Upper Egypt around Luxor and Aswan as it came into summer and where the temps get up to 55 Celcius or 130 Fahrenheit. It nearly killed me at first. My guards would poor water over their arms and heads to stay cool. It works.

    I spent some time recently in Germany and Prague and the beer culture is pretty heavy. I didn't participate because I don't drink the stuff. Prague is a fun place if you drink. Have you thought of doing a beer-tasting trip to Central Europe? Its pretty cheap at the moment. You could exchange your worthless dollars into worthless Euro and drown sorrows with the locals over a brew.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2011
     
    Believe it or not, I am in the midst of planning a potential vacation to Italy next year. Alas, not much of a beer culture there, though they apparently do have something of a burgeoning craft beer movement that I'll try to keep my eyes out for.

    But I would also LOVE to visit Belgium and drown my sorrows with the locals over some of their fantastic beers. Perhaps even stop by the Abbey in Westvleteren and pick up some of their ultra-rare beer. Westy 12 is almost always pegged as the best beer in the world (or near so) on sites like BA and ratebeer, but the Trappist monks that brew it are somewhat restrictive. You have to buy it at the brewery/abbey and they request that you not resell it. Of course, that doesn't stop people from selling it on the grey market, but it's quite expensive and you can't find it anywhere that's legit. It's just about the definition of a "white whale" beer... It might very well be worth planning a detour on the way to (or on the way back from) Italy....

    I'm sure Germany/Czech Republic would also be pretty cool, as they do have big beer cultures. Perhaps during Octoberfest.

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2011
     
    I'll have to break my prohibition and try out that beer next time I'm in Belgium and have the time. Its probably easy to reach by train. The great thing about Europe is that you are only a few hours from anywhere by high-speed combined with efficient local train. Flying in Europe is no fun at all, but the trains are fantastic.

    Where in Italy do you plan to go? I know Rome very well. There is so much to see and do there. It has more history per square inch than any other place on Earth.

    I used to have the company do my travel, but I do it myself now so I can work in my interests and maximize miles and hotel points. You might find that if you try searching for different airport combinations you will get surprising results over searching for point to point. You could look at taking in Brussels, do the beer thing by looking at NYC-BRU via ROM or MXP making Rome or Milan a stopover. You could also do, say, any US East Coast airport to Frankfurt with stopover in Rome and high-speed train to Belgium direct from FRA airport high-speed train station. You could do US to ROM via BRU with Brussels Air. There are lots of choices. You can also be adventurous with carriers. Try Egypt Air or Turkish Airlines from the US to Rome or Milan via Cairo or Istanbul. I used to fly the BKK-CAI-ROM route a lot because it got into Rome at just the right time for me and I like the lamb stew in the lounge in CAi. Egypt is a lousy airline and I would not fly economy on it and you have to factor in ticketing screw ups, delays or equipment changes. Business class on some of those third world airlines can be almost as cheap as economy on Singapore or Lufthansa and almost as good. Try Ethiopian Air which is joining Star Alliance in September I think. It is a great airline from what I have heard. I would, personally, avoid any US carrier because they are, lets face it, just plain awful. I'd also avoid Alitalia which is even worse than any US carrier.

    I use expertflyer which is subscription only, but try kayak.com which has some great filtering and multi-city options. You could also use the alliance sites like staralliance.com or oneworld.com which will give you an idea of possible linkups. I'm Singapore Airlines PPS and use Star Alliance almost exclusively, but OneWorld is pretty good from what I hear. I'd avoid SkyTeam (Scary Team) because they are the airlines with the dodgy pasts, dicey records and bad reviews.

    If you need any advice on Rome or how to get around Europe I'm happy to help.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2011
     
    Rome is definitely on the list for Italy, but other than that, I don't think we've settled on anything. At this point, it's becoming a family vacation, so there's that to consider too. They kinda want to do a package deal, which is probably a ripoff in some ways, but which could be good for us non-travellers as well. Someone mentioned the possibility of a Mediterranean cruise, which sounds interesting, but the ports it stops in seem to be less frequented than the places we want to go...

    I'll have to play around with the sites and airports you mentioned though, especially if I try to stop off in Belgium. I should probably look at that Abbey too, just to make sure the beer will be available when I'm there! How much would that suck! Travel 6000 miles only to find that they're not selling any!

    Thanks for the pointers!

    ~tallman