Earhole #2: Star Trek, Unsolved Art Heists and Mexican Revolutions

I was trying to remember how long it had been since I had done one of these posts and to my shock, I realized that the last one was sometime over the summer- and we're officially into a new season now, so I figured why not take the first week of October to update everyone on what's in my Podcast feed at the moment. There's a lot to be excited about if you're into podcasts... Dan Carlin has a new Hardcore History series going and did an addendum show on the sinking of the USS Indianapolis that's worth your time. Season 3 of Serial is underway. Tim Ferris has had a couple of interviews that are worth a listen as well: Doris Kearns Goodwin, the historian and Hamilton Morris of Viceland's Hamilton's Pharmacopeia. But if you want to know my top three at the moment, here they are:

Star Trek The Next Conversation: A must listen for any serious fan of Star Trek, this show also takes a critical if humorous look at every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Hosted by podcast savant Matt Mira and his co-pilot Andrew Secunda, both of whom write for The Goldbergs at the moment, their love of Trek collides with their knowledge of how television is actually produced in interesting and insightful ways. I'm barely a year off of completing the grand Star Trek Cycle (I watched every. single. Star Trek show.) and these guys make me want to jump back in and start all over again.

They've got a Patreon, an Instagram, Twitter and a Facebook group that's insanely active with followers of the show- so if you're willing to plonk down some cash on the Patreon, you can get access to bonus content- if you're not willing to do that, then they've got an extensive social media platform you can hop onboard. More importantly though: they've just gotten into Season 4, so now they're getting into TNG at it's best. (As every true Trekker knows, this show didn't get good until Season 3.) So if you want a Star Trek podcast, there's no better time to jump aboard than right now.

Last Seen: This one was a recent recommendation from a Facebook friend, and I'm only one episode in, but man oh man, I am all in on this one and you should be as well. Exploring the largest unsolved art heist in US history, a team from the Boston Globe is digging into the infamous 1990 heist at the Isabella Stuart Gardiner Museum, which saw thirteen paintings- including Rembrandt's The Storm on the Sea of Galilee vanish in one night- they have yet to be recovered.

I had heard of this art heist- you don't spend five years as an undergraduate working in an Art Museum and not pick up a nugget or two about art heists, but knew absolutely nothing about it and the news that the thieves disguised themselves as cops and spent nearly an hour and a half inside the Museum was sort of a stunning revelation to me. I have no idea where this one is going to go, but if you love art, heists or just a good unsolved mystery get this one in your podcast feed pronto.

Revolutions: Mike Duncan did an amazing job with The History of Rome and followed it up with his Revolutions podcast which is now in it's ninth 'season'. I cannot, cannot, cannot recommend this one to people enough. He's looked at The English Revolution, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, the Wars of Independence in South America, The Revolution of 1830, the Revolutionary Year of 1848, The Paris Commune and now he's just getting into the meat and potatoes of the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

In general, our educational system does a dubious job teaching history as it is. But they also leave most Americans with an incredibly poor understanding about the history and politics of our immediate neighbor to the south (and the north as well.) Duncan's latest revolution, the Mexican Revolution is offering (so far) a fascinating look into the history of Mexico, what drove it's political evolution and development with a few historical ironies thrown in for good measure. (Porfirio Diaz running for President on the platform of 'no re-election' springs to mind, despite it being his most lasting legacy in Mexican politics.) The Mexican Revolution defined the politics south of the border for nearly a century in large ways and small. If you've always wanted to know about the country right next door, this is the podcast for you.

This is what I'm listening to at the moment... have a suggestion or two? Leave them in the comments below!


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