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Words To That Effect

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A research-based, storytelling podcast which wanders through the fields of fiction, popular culture, science, and history, drawing on the knowledge of a diverse cast of experts. Topics are wide-ranging but every episode is grounded in the same dedication to telling an engaging story about a less well-known aspect of history or culture.

A research-based, storytelling podcast which wanders through the fields of fiction, popular culture, science, and history, drawing on the knowledge of a diverse cast of experts. Topics are wide-ranging but every episode is grounded in the same dedication to telling an engaging story about a less well-known aspect of history or culture.
More Information

Location:

Ireland

Description:

A research-based, storytelling podcast which wanders through the fields of fiction, popular culture, science, and history, drawing on the knowledge of a diverse cast of experts. Topics are wide-ranging but every episode is grounded in the same dedication to telling an engaging story about a less well-known aspect of history or culture.

Twitter:

@cedreid

Language:

English


Episodes

WTTE - 023 - Adaptation (How Does a Book Become a Film?)

7/30/2018
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The book is always better than the film. Or so they say. But there are obviously quite a few problems with this, as there tends to be with any sweeping generalisation. For some, the book is always better than the film, because books are just better than films, which is something I would mostly agree with. Fiction creates and draws us into a world entirely inside our own imagination. At its best, fiction is far more immersive and engaging than a film can ever be. But, of course, there are...

Duration:00:25:01

Two Announcements and an Update (July 2018)

7/16/2018
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No episode this week unfortunately, but I do have two exciting announcements. Have a listen and find out! More at wttepodcast.com

Duration:00:03:33

WTTE - 022 - Book Clubs: Revolution & Politics (and Wine & Cheese)

7/2/2018
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The Rick O'Shea Bookclub is Ireland's largest bookclub. It has 17,000 members and is growing fast. Book clubs have never been more popular. But where did they begin, and what role have they played in literary history? Quite a large role, it turns out: culturally, politically, and commercially. In this episode I talk to Rick O'Shea about the success of his bookclub, and to Prof DeNel Rehberg Sedo and Dr Amy Prendergast, two experts in the history of books clubs and reading groups. More at...

Duration:00:31:06

WTTE - 021 - The Invention of Time

6/18/2018
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Time, as we understand it today, was only really invented in the Victorian era. We take it for granted today that our phones and watches and other devices are accurate to the second. That time zones are clear and fixed – when it’s 3pm in Dublin, it’s also 3pm in London, and 4pm in Paris or 10am in New York. We don’t think twice about the fact that a train can be scheduled to leave at precisely 11.04 and, when it arrives, passengers will be clear as what time it is at their destination We...

Duration:00:18:37

WTTE - 020 - Domestic Noir

6/4/2018
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Why Are There So Many Crime Thrillers With 'Girl' in the Title? Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, Luckiest Girl Alive, Final Girls... There's no shortage of crime novels with 'girl' in the title since the huge success of Gillian Flynn's 2012 thriller Gone Girl. But what do these novels have in common, what explains their success, and why are classified as domestic noir? Domestic Noir is a term first applied to fiction of this type by the author Julia Crouch, and it has stuck. Crime novels...

Duration:00:25:07

WTTE - 019 - Utopia, Pt2 (Climate Change Fiction)

5/21/2018
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This week's episode continues on from the last episode. So, if you haven't listened to that, head on over to Episode 18 first. From the history of utopia in the last episode, we move to the future of the planet and the climate change fiction that addresses it. “For me, utopianism is the creative attempt by a group of people to respond to the great challenges of any age and to do so in a way that’s visionary, it’s not limited, it’s not following a set recipe that has an end point, it’s an...

Duration:00:23:51

WTTE - 018 - What Is Utopia?

5/7/2018
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This is a story of three journeys, by three people, in three very different times. But each of the journeys ends in the same area in the west of Ireland. And each journey is founded on a search for a more perfect world, a search for utopia. Episode 18 (part one of a two-part episode on utopian literature) explores the utopia in fiction and in reality, in the past, present, and future. What is a utopia exactly and why do we create them? Are they idle dreaming, pointless thought experiments,...

Duration:00:29:44

WTTE - 017 - The 10% Brain Myth (from Self-Help to Pulp Fiction to Hollywood)

3/26/2018
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Do we use only 10% of our brain capacity? (Hint: No) “It is estimated that most human beings only use 10% of the brain’s capacity. Imagine if we could access more of our cerebral capacity?" This is the central question of the 2014 Scarlett Johannson film, Lucy. And it is not exactly an original idea. Exploring the extraordinary powers gained by accessing the untapped potential of our brains is a ubiquitous trope in popular culture. It's the premise of the Bradley Cooper film Limitless (and...

Duration:00:16:12

WTTE - 016 - Transhumanism, Fiction, and Immortality

3/12/2018
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This is an episode about who we are as humans. And, more importantly, where we are going. About a future in which technology and biology have merged in ways that are in equal part fascinating and terrifying. A future of unparalleled technological ingenuity, but one with deeply problematic ethical concerns. It’s a future that sounds like science fiction because, in some ways, it is. But it’s a world that’s being designed right now. Transhumanism is a social movement which aims to use...

Duration:00:30:51

WTTE - 015 - The Scarlet Pimpernel & Baroness Orczy

2/26/2018
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The Scarlet Pimpernel is a character now long disconnected from his origins in a 1903 novel. The Pimpernel is a mysterious Englishman who uses elaborate disguises to heroically rescue French aristocrats from the guillotine during the French Revolution. Naming himself after a small red flower, the enigmatic hero's identity is known only to a select few. In reality, he is a wealthy English aristocrat, Sir Percy Blakeney. The Scarlet Pimpernel has appeared in films, TV series, stage plays,...

Duration:00:24:17

WTTE - 014 - Weird Fiction & HP Lovecraft

2/12/2018
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The American writer H.P. Lovecraft wrote weird fiction. His work is both weird, in the conventional sense of the word, and Weird, in a more specific sense. His tales are not typical horror stories, but instead invoke a type of cosmic terror, a slow realization that humanity is an insignificant afterthought in a vast universe of indescribably horrific creatures. Protagonists tend to write their stories on the verge of madness, or just before they commit suicide, having uncovered an...

Duration:00:25:19

WTTE - Season 2 Preview

2/6/2018
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A preview of what's to come on Season 2 of Words To That Effect. There will be utopias, immortality, secret superhero identities, weird fiction and lots more... For a full description and all the links, head to the [Words To That Effect website](http://wttepodcast.com)

Duration:00:01:48

WTTE - 013 - The Ghost Stories of MR James

12/18/2017
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Words To That Effect + Down Below The Reservoir This week’s episode, the end of Season 1, is a Christmas Special. It’s a collaboration with the disturbingly good horror podcast, Down Below The Reservoir. The result is an episode about the ghost stories of MR James, followed by an audio-drama read more... The post Episode 13: The Ghost Stories of MR James appeared first on Words To That Effect.

Duration:00:31:00

WTTE - 013 - The Ghost Stories of MR James - Words To That Effect

12/18/2017
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Words To That Effect + Down Below The Reservoir This week’s episode, the end of Season 1, is a Christmas Special. It’s a collaboration with the disturbingly good horror podcast, Down Below The Reservoir. The result is an episode about the ghost stories of MR James, followed by an audio-drama read more... The post Episode 13: The Ghost Stories of MR James appeared first on Words To That Effect.

Duration:00:31:00

WTTE - 012 - The Horrifically Complicated History of Zombies

11/27/2017
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The History of Zombies from Haiti to Hollywood Whether we like it or not, the zombies are coming for us all. Films, books, computer games, comics and TV shows. From historical and mythical zombies to claims to have proven the scientific truth behind zombification. From the gruesome, cannibalistic monsters of read more... The post Episode 12: The Horrifically Complicated History of Zombies appeared first on Words To That Effect.

Duration:00:23:02

WTTE - 012 - The Horrifically Complicated History of Zombies - Words To That Effect

11/27/2017
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The History of Zombies from Haiti to Hollywood Whether we like it or not, the zombies are coming for us all. Films, books, computer games, comics and TV shows. From historical and mythical zombies to claims to have proven the scientific truth behind zombification. From the gruesome, cannibalistic monsters of read more... The post The Horrifically Complicated History of Zombies appeared first on Words To That Effect.

Duration:00:23:02

WTTE - 011 - Cesare Lombroso & The Born Criminal

11/13/2017
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Turin in the 19th Century The northern Italian city of Turin is quite distinctive as Italian cities go. It is still Italy, so of course it has its grand piazzas and ornate churches, and pasta and pizza and cappuccinos. But whereas in so many Italian cities it is read more... The post Episode 11: Cesare Lombroso & The Born Criminal appeared first on Words To That Effect.

Duration:00:18:32

WTTE - 011 - Cesare Lombroso & The Born Criminal - Words To That Effect

11/13/2017
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Turin in the 19th Century The northern Italian city of Turin is quite distinctive as Italian cities go. It’s still Italy, so of course it’s got its grand piazzas and ornate churches, and pasta and pizza and cappuccinos. But whereas in so many Italian cities it is the read more... The post Episode 11: Cesare Lombroso & The Born Criminal appeared first on Words To That Effect.

Duration:00:18:32

WTTE - 010 - Robinson Crusoe to Survivor: The Robinsonade

10/30/2017
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Daniel Defoe’s classic novel, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, is without doubt one of the most recognizable stories in our culture. It is a book which has had hundreds, if not thousands, of editions. It has been translated into over 100 languages, adapted for stage and read more... The post Episode 10: From Robinson Crusoe to Survivor: The Robinsonade appeared first on Words To That Effect.

Duration:00:19:52

WTTE - 009 - Imaginary Countries and the Ruritanian Romance

10/16/2017
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Imaginary Countries Writers make up imaginary countries all the time, and for a variety of reasons. It’s relatively straightforward to slip in a familiar-sounding name into a part of the world your reader or viewer may not be too familiar with. Livonia, Wallaria, Tazbekistan… They could be countries, right? But read more... The post Episode 9: Imaginary Countries and the Ruritanian Romance appeared first on Words To That Effect.

Duration:00:15:43