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Communist state in Europe and Asia that lasted from 1922 to 1991

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Engines of Our Ingenuity
Engines of our Ingenuity 2138: P-39, Bell Airacobra

Engines of Our Ingenuity

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2021 3:46


Episode: 2138 The P-39, Bell Airacobra: lemonade from a lemon.  Today, we're given a lemon, and we make lemonade.

How To Love Lit Podcast
Walt Whitman - Leaves Of Grass - The Poetry Of Young America!

How To Love Lit Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 20, 2021 41:53


Walt Whitman - Leaves Of Grass - The Poetry Of Young America!   Hi, I'm Christy Shriver and we're here to discuss books that have changed the world and have changed us.    I'm Garry Shriver and this is the How to Love Lit Podcast.  This episode and next, we tackle one of the most intimidating poets in the American Canon- Walt Whitman.  He is the generally accepted and almost uncontested greatest contribution America has made to the great canon of World Literature- the ones comprised of those that really intimidate- William Shakespeare,  James Joyce, Gustave Flaubert, Vladimir Nabokov, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda, Ovid, Goethe, Neitche-, Dante- people like that- there are not too many Americans that make that list.    And he does intimidate me- truly.  And honestly he baffles me.  The things he says seem easy to understand except I don't actually understand them.  They are beautiful and interesting but also uncomfortable.  People love his writing and always have, but he's also very offensive- and he offends all equally- the prude and the religious, but also the secular and intellectual- he offends the socialist as well as the capitalist.  Name an identity- he references it and somewhat dismantles it.  Primarily because he absolutely rejects group identities as we think of them today- even in terms of nations but in every sense.  To use his words, “I am large; I contains multitudes” that's a paraphrase from my favorite selection of his work which we'll read today.      For me he's such a curious person in part because of the time he emerged in what was called then the American experiment- and I honestly think his perspective has a lot to do from this unique time period, of course this is not different than how I feel about all of the writers we discuss.  But being born in 1819, the United States of America is only 36 years older than he is.  His parents were present during the Revolutionary War and have a real respect for what people were trying to do here, and how unusual and fragile democratic government actually was or really is.  We, at least we here in the United States, live with the feeling that this country just always has been- that democracy just happens.  That elections are just things that have always happened.  Most students today in this country don't even think about it. Democracy is the normal order in how things occur; equality and liberty are just virtues that everyone agrees are important- by one definition or another.  But None of this was reality and common understanding in 1819 in almost any part of the planet Earth.  And most of the world looked at the United States with contempt- a bunch of non-educated hillbillies living in some weird schemata that wouldn't stand the test of time.  There was no culture in this country, by international standards.  We had no great art, no history to speak of, we weren't writing great philosophies or composing great music.  We had not produced a Voltaire, or a Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  We had no Catherine the Great or Cosimo De Medici sponsoring great artistic ventures.        And so enters Walt Whitman- to which he would say, and did say- whoopdeedoo Europe- you are correct- we have none of that, and I celebrate that we don't.      I want to begin with this famous poem by Whitman.  Of course, it's from Leaves of Grass which we'll introduce in a second, but if you are reading the Death bed edition which is the one I have- again I'll explain all that later, it's in the beginning, that very first part called “Inscriptions”.  Let me read Whitman's famous words on America.     I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,  Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,  The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,  The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,  The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,  The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,  The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,  The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,  Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,  The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,  Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.      Garry, I want to hear your first thoughts when you read this poem.  Let me start by saying, notice how celebratory it is.  America is singing carols- not dirges- and the song of the American is the song of hard work- not the Vienna Philharmonic- which by the way was founded in 1842.  America was not building art, as commonly understood- we were building lives- free lives- lives where people lived with the choices they made, but they got to make their own choices.  This is very different than anywhere else- places more cultured, more sophisticated, more idealized.  We don't have serfs working for great lords or ladies.  We have no jet-setters so to speak- or people of privilege or high cultural standing- In America we work hard,  but we work for ourselves-and everyone does it- and that is something we're proud of.  There is no shame in labor.  There's a song to that.      Yes, it's very much about homestead.  It's about individualism and taking responsibility to create it- About creating your own little corner of the world.  This is exactly the idea that Alexis DeToqueville referenced in his important work Democracy in America.  As a Frenchman, he was totally surprised and impressed with this very thing that Whitman is talking about.  This poem is a complete refutation of the English feudal system and that's what Northerners loved about it.  In the South, and what was so offensive to Whitman when he spent time in New Orleans was that they were trying to recreate that hierarchal system where some people outrank others to the point of claiming they weren't even human- and that, to Whitman, was the complete opposite of what the entire American Experiment was about.      His parents were clearly on team America- he had one brother named George Washington Whitman, another named Thomas Jefferson Whitman and a third named Andrew Jackson Whitman.       Ha- I guess that IS a statement.  This unique time of history in which he lived allowed Whitman to see such great contrasts in America- he saw democracy and success found in personal effort.  He saw vast amounts of unpolluted natural beauty, but he also saw evil at its most deranged, and pain and loneliness at its most intense.  We have to remember that his parents lived through the glorious revolutionary war, but he lived during the treacherous Civil War- and his perspective and life experience is very different. He admired the expanse of the West. He loved the natural beauty of this continent, but he also was horrified and despised to its core – the. National plague that has defined and still defines so much of the American story- this legacy of slavery- his views on such, btw- got him fired by more than one employer, btw.  At this time, newspapers were owned and operated by political parties, and he was always slipping in views that the political operatives didn't like- so he got fired.       HA!  Well, I guess some things never change.    One thing that baffles and almost offends most academics is Whitman's absolute nothing of an academic background.  His parents were basically illiterate, his family was excessively large and chaotic; today we would say dysfunctional.  He had one sibling that actually had to be committed to an insane asylum.   His formal education was inadequate because his father sent him out to work.  It's so ironic that the greatest American poet had no formal tutelage to except what he scrounged up for himself in his own self-taught way by reading in libraries and attending operas.  He didn't have that option.  His father was also pretty much a financial failure.  He was a carpenter by trade, but had also had a little property.  His father speculated in real estate after moving to Brooklyn, NY, but wasn't all that great at business and ended up losing most of it.      And of course, that's the problem with the land of opportunity- you are kind of out there on your own to make it or break it.  And people were very aware of this.  There was no guarantee, at all, that America would even survive as a country.  It was still an experiment.  No one else was living like this.  Europeans had monarchies; the South American countries were colonies.  Our neighbors to the East were living in empires.  Only this little backward nation in a corner of North America was trying to do this weird thing.    And Whitman loved it.  He really did.  He loved the land.  He loved the cities.  He loved the people.  He spent the first 36 years of his life walking around and observing life, mostly in New York City and Long Island (which was NOT a suburb of New York at that time).    He loved the libraries and spent tons of time there reading.  He loved music, especially opera, which we'll notice has a strong influence on how he writes.  He loved learning, listening and observing, and this is what he wrote about.  I heard one lecturer say that he was the first non-blind poet- which I thought was weird and what made it stand out.  But what the professor meant was that most poets were writing about their inner life, things from their imagination- think Edgar Allan Poe and “The Raven”, but Whitman, in many cases, was transcribing things that he was seeing and hearing in urban life- and this was very different.  He would catalogue it- to use a word that is often used to describe this thing that we just saw him do in the poem we just read, make these long lists of details in these long sentences.         I also want to point out that it was this desire to self-educate that led him, like many of his day, to be influenced and challenged by the great Ralph Waldo Emerson. We'll do an entire episode or more than one of him, but Emerson's non-conventional ideas about nature and the soul and our inter-connectedness, although ideas that were commonly accepted in the far East, were new on this continent.      True- well, In 1855, something happened.  Whitman self-publishes the book Leaves of Grass.  This first version was only 95 pages long- that's compared to the death bed one which has 415 in my copy.   There was no author's name on the cover.  Instead, on the first page there was this image of a man in laborer's clothes.  Whitman only reveals that he's the author through one of the first unnamed poems calling himself, “Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos.”    If you look up the word Kosmos in the dictionary it will tell you that that word means- a complex orderly self-inclusive system- which is interesting to think about someone describing themselves as- but it's a Greek word.  It's also a Biblical word- which is how I believe Whitman would know it.  It is used in the New Testament to mean the universe or the creation as a whole- that's how Whitman defines himself in this poem “Song of Myself”  and the context of how he wants us to understand his work and who we are as individuals.  We too are kosmos.      Well, it didn't start out very cosmic- that's for sure.  It's a miracle Leaves of Grass came to be read by anyone.  He self-published it, literally type-setting it himself.  He printed 795 copies and sold almost none of them.     Don't you wish you had one of those originals?    I know right, well, people do.  In case you're in the market, there are 200 that are still around, and in 2014, one sold at Christie's for $305,000.  It's so ironic- Whitman struggled financially until the day he died and celebrated working people in everything he wrote.  What do you think he would think of that, Christy?    I have zero doubt, he would love it.  Totally.  Beyond being the book's publisher, he also was the book's publicist.  He sent copies to the leading poets of the day trying to drum up some good reviews.  Whittier was said to thrown his copy into the fire he was so offended and outraged- the homoerotic imagery was more than he could handle, but Ralph Waldo Emerson saw it for what it was and wrote Whitman back an amazing letter of encouragement.  Let me quote Emerson, “I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of Leaves of Grass. I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed.”  And of course, to this day, many world class literary scholars still think this about Whitman.       What I find humorous about Whitman is that he wrote glowing reviews of his book himself secretly and published them as if they were written by other people.       Yeah, he was working the influencer thing way back before that was a thing- He also, printed Emerson's actual glowing review when he reprinted the book in 1856, except he didn't get Emerson's permission to do so.  He put Emerson's words, “I greet you at the beginning of a great career” on the spine of the book and he published the entire letter with a long reply andress to Dear Master.”  It was NOT received well by Emerson.      I can see that as being slightly presumptuous.      Of course it was, but I would be tempted as well.  He really admired Emerson, in fact this is what he said about Emerson's influence on his writing.  “I was simmering, simmering, simmering; Emerson brought me to a boil.”    I want us to read the very first part of Song of Myself which was the first poem    I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,  And what I assume you shall assume,  For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.  I loafe and invite my soul,  I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.  My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air,  Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,  I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,  Hoping to cease not till death.  Creeds and schools in abeyance,  Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,  I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,  Nature without check with original energy.  This is what I mean when I say, it seems like it's very simple to understand except I've read this poem hundreds of times and am still slightly confused as to what he means.  The term for this is ambiguous- he makes you, as a reader, put your own interpretation, put yourself into the lines to force the meaning out of it.      True, and if you take it at face value just superficially, it may seem that this is a narcissist celebrating egotism, but it clearly doesn't.  It also could be misunderstood to mean he celebrates idleness and laziness, but that doesn't seem to be right either.    Exactly- I love these first lines.  First of all, they are so iconic.  One thing Whitman is known for besides the cataloguing which I mentioned when we read I Hear America Singing, is this thing that today we call Free Verse. Whitman is often given credit for inventing the concept, although that is debatable.  But what is obvious is that there is no rhyme or meter of any kind at all and there isn't supposed to be.  He doesn't want anything to rhyme.  Instead, he wants to write in these really long sentences.  Every stanza is a single sentence, and he is going to do that through the entire poem.  Whitman felt you couldn't get your idea out in these little short phrases of iambic tetrameter like his Whittier, the guy who threw his book in the fire, was doing.  Whitman wanted, above all else, to create a sense of intimacy between himself and the person reading- and so he wanted to make sure you could follow his idea- from idea to idea.  He got this idea from two places- first he copied the idea from the one book he had been familiar with since his childhood- the King James Version of the Bible.  He copied the style like you see in the Psalms or even the Sermon on the Mount.  He also got the idea from the opera- if you think about opera- you also have these long phrases- that end with things like figaro figaro fiiiigaro-     Is that your impression of the opera?    Well, as you know, I enjoy the opera.  I haven't always, to be honest.  A few years ago, my good friend, I've mentioned her on the podcast before, Millington AP Literature/ Lang teacher Amy Nolette, coerced me to attend with her- and I did.  She is an accomplished musician so she really taught me how to admire what was going on- and we went every year for several years until Covid hit.  But, having said that, I'm fairly sure, that's my best attempt at singing opera.      But back to Whitman, so one of the first things that Whitman is famous for today is this concept of Free Verse- it was innovative then, but now, it doesn't seem that big of a deal.  That was a big deal, but a bigger deal to Whitman were the ideas he was putting out there.    I celebrate myself- not because I'm so important- not because I have all this amazing heritage or skill or anything- I celebrate myself because I have an essence that is 100% unique to me.  Let's read it again.     I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,  And what I assume you shall assume,  For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.  It's not accidental that he throws in there that scientific language.  And this is where he will offend the capitalist or competitive side of us.  He makes this bold assertion- in this poetic way- to say- what, do you think you're that much better than me- you are made of the exact same material I am- we're both made of atoms- science teaches us that- and for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.      In some sense it's the I'm okay- you're okay attitude, but taking it up a notch- I celebrate myself- you celebrate yourself.      For sure, and something we all give lip-service to today but no one actually really believes.  I have a creative writing assignment that I ask my students to do every year.  We take another Whitman poem called “There was a Child Went Forth” that talks about identity and the physical objects and places that influence who you are- it's a wonderful poem, anyway, I ask my students to write a poem using Whitman's style and technique about THEIR lives.  I tell them we're going to read them in small groups, and if they like what they wrote and feel comfortable,  we are going to print them and put them outside my door in the hallway for everything to read.  At first they are very very resistant to the idea.  They all hate it- first because it's writing, secondly because it's poetry- but mostly because they don't think they want their lives sprawled on the hallway of the school.  I had a sweet darling child, actually a quiet student, raise her hand in protest and literallty say, I don't want to do this.  I can't do this.  All I do is go to school and work- there is nothing interesting at all about my life.      Ha!  She seems to have missed the point.  She didn't want to celebrate herself and she's exactly the kind of person Whitman loved celebrating.    Exactly- and lots of my kids are like that- they work at Sonic, Chick-Fila- the mall- mowing lawns- but in her case, it turns out she is way more interesting and her poem is on the wall right now.  I may take a picture and post it on our website, so you can see them all.  I'm very proud of my kiddos- not just because they produced good poems but because lots of them are hardworking.       I will say, that next phrase leads us to think that Whitman is a lazy person.  He extols the virtue of loafing.  But of course, what I know about his biography which we'll get more into next week when we talk about his experiences in the Civil War and all of that, but Whitman was the very opposite of lazy.  He was an extremely physical hard worker.      True- Let's read the lines you're talking about..    I loafe and invite my soul,  I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.  When he says I loaf and invite my soul- he's getting into the philosopher side of him that is so complex and we really don't even have time to go there today, but it's that old idea of contemplating- today what we call mindfulness.  And I have to admit, I'm not good at this.        He really believes in mindfulness although he didn't know we renamed his concept for him.  Loafe- meaning chill out- turn off the phone, turn off the tv, turn off the computer and invite your soul into yourself.  Chill out!!!  Stop and observe a spear of grass.  Just look at it- let your mind go there- let it focus on something small- it's the kind of thing the yoga instructors keep telling us to do, that we rarely heed but we all know we should.      Exactly- attention and silence- he things they are indispensable to a sane existence- and two things I'm not all that good at.  And then we get to these last two sentences in this opening little poem-    My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air,  Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,  I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,  Hoping to cease not till death.  Creeds and schools in abeyance,  Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,  I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,  Nature without check with original energy.  There's a lot to say- but he's going to say- I'm proud to be from this place- my parents are from this place.  I'm 37- that is not young.  He is not a child prodigy- he's writing his first book late in life, relatively- he knows that- but he says I'm in good health and I begin- and I'm not going to stop until death- I'm going to live well all the way til the end- I'm not going to give up on myself.  Ever.      I can see why he's inspiring.  And I to get back to this idea of origins.  You know being an American today is something lots of people are proud of (although it is very American to trash our own country) but that's part of our national ethos- but even these same people proudly display their passport.  America is a powerful country and a rich country.  At that time it was a new country- and new countries don't have the safety of heritage and sometimes the people who come from them have trouble taking pride in their heritage.    I totally know what you're talking about.  There was a listener who connected with us through our Instagram page and showed us some beautiful pictures he had taken.  They were truly amazing- not only were the mountains breathtakingly gorgeous in their own right, but his eye for framing was genius.  I messaged him back and told him what I thought of his art.  We went back and forth and I finally asked him.  Where are you from? And he would never tell me.  He said he was from Central Asia and so fort which I eventually gathered he is from one of the new countries formally part of the USSR.   I'm not saying he was ashamed of where he was from, I didn't get that sense, but he seemed intimated that we were from America- a place that seems so far away and idealized from his point of view.  Whitman would tell this young man- you're from that wonderful air,  from wonderful heritage, from atoms just like ours- not just accept it celebrate it.    Because, as I read onward, he seems to imply, this is the attitude that breeds great things that breeds beautiful things but if it doesn't- that's okay as well- keep going all the way til death- compete not with others but with yourself- as he goes to self- publish the same book 8 more times until he does .    Ha!  I guess that's true.      I want to read the last sentence again of that opening because he sets up a lot of the rest of his writings with something of a warning-    Creeds and schools in abeyance,  Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,  I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,  Nature without check with original energy.  Again- that language seems simple but at the same time I have to really work at what he's going to say.  But I have an interpretation- he's going to say this- put away your school learning and your religious training when you read this.  Sit back because I'm going to say some really hard things- that's what he means with that word “hazard”- but they are not mean- they are natural- it's about the energy of being alive.  It's the beauty of being you, of being a physical body, of being an inter-connected spirit with connections to other people and part of this physical space.      And of course, it's that celebration of the physical body that kept getting him censored. Even Ralph Waldo Emerson later when he was reproducing his book begged him to self-censor what was thinly veiled homo-erotic passages, but he just wouldn't.  He didn't see them as erotic- he didn't even see sex like that.  For him sexuality and the physical body had a self-evidence important place in our lives and had to be brought out in the open- be it a hazard or not.  And again, it kind of was a hazard, he lost a really good job in Washington at one point because his boss found a copy of leaves of Grass in his desk and found it obscene.      Poor guy- well, that takes us to the title- Leaves of Grass- and what that even means.  I mentioned that Whitman was famous for his style or innovative literary technique, he has been increasingly praised for his innovative ideas about the body, the self, consciousness- he was one of the first America poets to even write about consciousness- the other one btw is Emily Dickinson.  But probably the thing I like the best about Whitman, and this is me, personally, is his ability to really capture a wonderful metaphor.  He could just say things in an understandable and pretty way- and this is what poetry really is all about- for my money.    This phrase that is the title – Leaves of Grass- it means something.  First let's read the first part of Song of Myself that talks about grass- I'd ask you to read all of it but I think we might get lost. Song of Myself number 6.      A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;  How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.  I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.    Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,  A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,  Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose?    Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.    Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,  And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,  Growing among black folks as among white,  Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same.  And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.  When Whitman loafs around and stares at grass- he sees a picture of America- or a picture of any democracy any group of people that understand that they are one poeple- of which America was the example he knew, but he's not exclusionary by any means.  He says, look, every single blade of grass is totally different and yet in some sense the same.  He calls it a uniform hieroglyphic- what an interesting turn of phrase.  It's and I use his words here “black folks as among white, kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congreeman, Cuff, I give to me the same, I receive them the same.”    For Whitman, the picture of America was a field of grass.  If we look at it, we see hopeful green woven stuff. The handkerchief of the Lord- but if we look at it closely we're all so different- and both things are truly beautiful.  It's a paradox.   He goes on to say, it's from the land, it's made up of the dust that is made up of the people of the land- I know it gets philosophical- and you can take it as far deep as you want to plunge with him.   But you don't have to get all that deep or esoteric if you don't want to.  You can just lay on the grass, and smell it and enjoy it- loaf on it- to use his words.    You know what I like about that entire image and about Whitman's entire philosophy.  He absolutely spoke of diversity, but he did not celebrate diversity- not like we think of doing that today.  He celebrates unity- and that's why this metaphor is the title.  Whitman had a very refined understanding of how easy we can rip each other apart- there is not more divisive time in American history than the 1850s and of course the 1860s- which are the war years.   He lived through the most divided time in American history and he could see it coming even in 1855.  But during his life time, he would see 2.5% of America's population die killing each other that was 750,000 people- if we would compare it to the population of America today- that would be over 7 million people.  Next week we will see how much he admired Lincoln and what he stood for, but as he understood the American experiment,  he believed in admiring differences and loving them, but identifying as a single group- first and foremost.  The dominant image here is of a single landscape- beautiful and united across time and space respecting the past not judging or condemning it- allowing ourselves to spring from it renewed and refreshed.   And I think that's where the universal appeal comes from.  If Whitman was just about American patriotism, maybe we'd like him in this country, but it would feel propagandistic.  His ideals are universal and apply to any group of people- anywhere.  And he's not afraid to admit-some of thing may be self-contradictory.  The first time I ever read Whitman was in college.  I went to school studying political science, but in my junior year I decided I didn't want to do that anymore and I was going to get an English major, well this meant I had to take almost exclusively classes that demanded intense reading- and all at the same time.  I read so much that they all ran together and my grades were not as good as they could have been had I had a healthier pace.  And in all that reading, not a whole lot stood out- but this little poem by Whitman actually did- I underlined it, and I kept the trade book I purchased at the time.  I actually still have it after all these years and so many moves.  In this little section, Whitman is talking in that intimate way that he talks to his reader- it's personal- it's in the second person- and at that time of my life- it was a very chaotic time to be honest- I had no idea what I was doing in my life, my mother had recently died, I had very little idea what I should do in the future- I had changed directions at the last moment- and these famous words just stood out.  Will you read them?  51  The past and present wilt—I have fill'd them, emptied them.  And proceed to fill my next fold of the future.  Listener up there! what have you to confide to me?  Look in my face while I snuff the sidle of evening,  (Talk honestly, no one else hears you, and I stay only a minute longer.)  Do I contradict myself?  Very well then I contradict myself,  (I am large, I contain multitudes.)  I concentrate toward them that are nigh, I wait on the door-slab.  Who has done his day's work? who will soonest be through with his supper?  Who wishes to walk with me?  Will you speak before I am gone? will you prove already too late?  Christy- what did that mean to you.      I really have no idea.  I think the line that I liked is the line everyone likes, “Do I contradict myself?  Very well then I contradict. Myself.”   It just made me feel better.  I knew I was full of inconsistencies. And Whitman just seemed to be saying- of course you are- everyone is- to understand that is just being honest.  Let it go.  Just concentrate on what is near- what you're doing today, supper- that sort of thing.  If you're successful- that's great- if you're a failure- what difference does it make- we're all the same atoms, we're all just leaves of grass.   He just made me feel okay.    Which I guess that would probably have made him happy- the bard of democracy- known as the good gray poet- speaking across time and space about what it means to be a human- to be a leaf of grass.  Thanks for listeninging- next episode- we will delve a little more into his adult life, read some of his most famous poems – those tributes to Abraham Lincoln- and finish our discussion of this amazing American.  AS always, please share about us with a friend or colleague- push out an episode on your social media feed, text an episode to a friend.  Connect with us on our social media at howtolovelitpodcast on facebook, Instagram, twitter, or Linkedin.  If you are a teacher, visit our website for teaching materials that provide ideas scaffolding for using our podcasts as instructional pieces in your classroom.      Peace out.      

Secure Freedom Minute
Free Zhang Zhan

Secure Freedom Minute

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 1:01


Four decades ago, I worked for a great U.S. Senator named Henry “Scoop” Jackson. He tirelessly fought his time's existential threats to freedom – especially, Soviet Communism. Notably, Scoop publicized courageous dissidents harshly persecuted by the Kremlin for challenging its repression. By so doing, he and millions of others around the world helped protect those freedom-fighters, and undermine the legitimacy of the USSR that punished them and endangered us. The rest is history. We must do the same for those resisting today's greatest threat to freedom: the Chinese Communist Party. One such dissident is Zhang Zhan, a Christian journalist imprisoned for her “troublesome” reporting on the CCP's murderous Covid-19 virus. She's responded with a hunger-strike that now has her near death. President Biden – and the rest of us – must demand that his “old friend,” China's dictator, Xi Jinping, free Zhang Zhan immediately. This is Frank Gaffney. 

Climbing Gold
Soviet Speed

Climbing Gold

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 28:08


This year's Olympic climbers weren't the original USA climbing team. That honor actually goes to a rag-tag group of adventurous dirtbags including Beth Wald, Russ Clune and Todd Skinner, who managed to travel to the USSR at the tail end of the Cold War to compete in a one of a kind climbing competition.

The Shortwave Radio Audio Archive
1977 - Jamming, we're jamming - I hope you like jamming too - IBA in Russian

The Shortwave Radio Audio Archive

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021


Back in 1977, when we were still in the throes of the Cold War, there was not only a psychological battle on the ground - there was the war on the airwaves to squelch public opinion. One such example of silencing the opposition was “jamming” - it was immensely popular in the 1960's and 1970's. It consisted of one nation switching on transmitters on (or slightly off frequency) and blasting the smaller broadcaster with noise and interference. The USSR, for example, poured megawatts of electricity into silencing the voice of Israel on its scheduled broadcasts to he jewish diaspora in Russia. Like Radio Free Europe at the time, the jamming was merciless - and this is an excellent example of how it worked and what it sounded like… way back in the bad old days of May 1977! KOL Israel - Israel Radio - Jerusalem - on the 19 meter band

Teach Me Communism
Episode 78: What Happened in the Soviet Afghan War?

Teach Me Communism

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 108:37


Join us for a tale of socialist reform, betrayal, and interventionism as we discuss the long and complicated conflict between the USSR and rebel forces in Afghanistan. We learn about the healing properties of Coca-Cola. Christine has an epiphany about the Taliban. We look up cool flag designs and Olympic mascots.   Check us out on social media: Merch: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/teach-me-communism?ref_id=10068 Instagram: @teachmecommunism Twitter: @teachcommunism Gmail: teachmecommunism@gmail.com Patreon: Patreon.com/teachmecommunism  And like and subscribe to us at Teach Me Communism on YouTube!   Solidarity forever!

THIS IS REVOLUTION >podcast
THIS IS REVOLUTION>podcast Ep. 209: The End of the End of History w/ Alex Hochuli of Aufhebunga Bunga Podcast

THIS IS REVOLUTION >podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2021 159:10


In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved in chaos ending the twentieth century's first self-proclaimed worker's state. For many in the West, the fact that the USSR collapsed under its own internal contradictions was evidence of the superiority of the liberal capitalist system over any potential rivals. In the heady years that followed, Francis Fukuyama declared that the fall of communism signaled “the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” Viewed from 2021, such pontifications appear to be hubris of the highest order. Beginning with the 2008 economic crisis, through Brexit, Trump and now COVID, talk of the end of history has ended as the liberal democratic consensus evaporates. But what does the end of the end of history mean for the future?   Alex Hochuli is a Brazil based researcher and writer. He is also the co-host of the @BungaCast and co-author of the End of the End of History. https://alexhochuli.xyz/ https://www.patreon.com/bungacast   About TIR Thank you, guys, again for taking the time to check this out. We appreciate each and every one of you. If you have the means, and you feel so inclined, BECOME A PATRON! We're creating patron-only programming, you'll get bonus content from many of the episodes, and you get MERCH!   Become a patron now: https://www.patreon.com/join/BitterLakePresents   Please also like, subscribe, and follow us on these platforms as well, especially YouTube!   THANKS Y'ALL   YouTube: www.youtube.com/thisisrevolutionpodcast   Twitch: www.twitch.tv/thisisrevolutionpodcast & www.twitch.tv/leftflankvets   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Thisisrevolutionpodcast/   Twitter: @TIRShowOakland Instagram: @thisisrevolutionoakland   Pascal Robert in Black Agenda Report: https://www.blackagendareport.com/author/PascalRobert   Get THIS IS REVOLUTION Merch here: www.thisisrevolutionpodcast.com   Get the music from the show here: https://bitterlakeoakland.bandcamp.com/   Follow Djene Bajalan @djenebajalan Follow Kuba Wrzesniewski @DrKuba2   Readings The End of the End of History https://bungacast.com/book/

The Majority Report with Sam Seder
2718 - Cold War Defense Spending and How It Transformed Politics w/ Michael Brenes

The Majority Report with Sam Seder

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 66:28


Sam and Emma host Michael Brenes, history lecturer at Yale University, to discuss his recent book For Might and Right: Cold War Defense Spending and the Remaking of American Democracy, on how the Cold War helped to ingrain the military-industrial complex within the American political, economic, and labor sectors. Michael takes Emma and Sam back to the forties, in the wake of WWII, as the US shifted its focus to the USSR's threat to US imperial interests, with the unification of liberals in the government around the idea that the US military must be broadened, even while conservatives were wary of a garrison state. They also dive into how the Cold War saw the defense budget cemented as a new form of welfare state, far from the New Deal, serving to generate unionized, stable jobs, with legislation from the GI bill to full racial integration in the military presenting the sector as the leader of social progress. Next, they look at Eisenhower's presidency, as, despite being a key figure in identifying the military-industrial complex, he allowed defense funding to flourish in a time of austerity, with the holes in the military-welfare state becoming more and more glaring as the actual welfare state is rolled back under the second red scare. Over the next two decades, the US sees a declining faith in the military-industrial complex as it becomes clear that the fight for jobs in the sector is both a zero-sum game, and becoming increasingly concentrated in specific, higher-educated fields. Then, they dive into the 80s and 90s, as the sudden disappearance of the USSR left a gaping hole for excuses for the Pentagon budget, until a conversation around reassessing the connection between defense and the economy is interrupted with a presidential impeachment trial, putting US politics into a drama-driven state, with 9/11 then putting US defense back into the money seat, even on the domestic scale, with the militarization of police increasing rapidly into the aughts with the wars on drugs and crime. They wrap up the interview by touching on the last couple of decades, and how the war on terror has both seen the biggest uptick in total defense spending, and a return of the discussion around an international, completely autonomous US military and its failures. They also look at how the defense industry exacerbates income inequality, and what we can do to begin to shift jobs during a period of peace to civilian, peacetime purposes. Emma and Sam also discuss Sen. Barrasso extending empathy and understanding to Jan 6 insurrectionists' “hang Mike Pence” chants. And in the Fun Half: Emma and Sam cover the general failings of COP26, looking at AOC's recent comments about the US “[recovering] our moral authority,” before John from SA calls in to debate the importance of negative partisanship, and the MR crew covers the Republicans that voted for BIF almost immediately announcing their retirement. Tulsi visits Fox as Sean Hannity flirts with her imperialist and fiscally conservative tendencies, Dave from Jamaica discusses vaccine hesitancy versus anti-vaccination propaganda, and Cole James Cash shares good news, bad news, and great news. Jared from Portland discusses avoiding painting our children a nihilist picture of the future, plus, your calls and IMs! Purchase tickets for the live show in Boston on January 16th HERE! https://thewilbur.com/artist/majority-report/ Become a member at JoinTheMajorityReport.com Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here. Join the Majority Report Discord! http://majoritydiscord.com/ Get all your MR merch at our store https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/ (Merch issues and concerns can be addressed here: majorityreportstore@mirrorimage.com) You can now watch the livestream on Twitch Check out today's sponsors: Podium makes doing business as easy as sending a text. All your employees can text from a single inbox, offering a smoother experience for your customers. Whether you're answering questions, collecting reviews, scheduling appointments and deliveries or dealing with payment collection – all you have to do is just send a text. Stay ahead of the competition with Podium – they have free plans for growing businesses, plus all the power growing businesses need to scale. Get started free today at Podium.com/MAJORITY. Support the St. Vincent Nurses today as they continue to strike for a fair contract! https://action.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/ Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/ Subscribe to AM Quickie writer Corey Pein's podcast News from Nowhere, at https://www.patreon.com/newsfromnowhere Check out Matt's show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon! Subscribe to Matt's other show Literary Hangover on Patreon! Check out The Letterhack's upcoming Kickstarter project for his new graphic novel! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/milagrocomic/milagro-heroe-de-las-calles Check out Matt Binder's YouTube channel! Subscribe to Brandon's show The Discourse on Patreon! Check out The Nomiki Show live at 3 pm ET on YouTube at patreon.com/thenomikishow Check out Jamie's podcast, The Antifada, at patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or at twitch.tv/theantifada (streaming every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7pm ET!) Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter: @SamSeder @EmmaVigeland @MattBinder @MattLech @BF1nn @BradKAlsop Purchase tickets for Cole James Cash's DJ set in Brooklyn here!

World's a Mess
#197 Bring Me the Head of Popeye the Sailor Man

World's a Mess

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 33:50


EPISODE #197-- What is there to say about news that hasn't already been said? Actually, you know what? Don't answer that. Today we talk about the three S's: Satan, Swords, and Skulls. We're talking about Gen. Flynn's run-in with IRL witch hunters, a guy finds another guy's sword, and an oligarch trying to sell a space shuttle for a skull. This and more, I guess? Support our show at Patreon.com/quality! Follow James on twitter @kislingtwits and Alex @giraffetermath. Follow us on tumblr at https://worldsamess.tumblr.com/. Donate directly to James at Ko-fi.com/T6T16E5D. Thanks to Sef Joosten for our show art (http://spexdoodles.tumblr.com). Our theme music is "The World's a Mess" by X. Outro is "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" by Warren Zevon. Our sources are Daily Beast, Guardian, Ars Technica, and Futurism.

Cold War Conversations History Podcast
A Canadian Communist journalist in Moscow (208)

Cold War Conversations History Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2021 62:45


Fred Weir was a third-generation red diaper baby from Toronto and a long-time member of the  Communist Party. His uncle, trained at the Lenin School in Moscow in the 1920s as an agent of the Communist International, the Comintern and spent many years in the USSR.Fred had visited a few times, had studied Russian history up to the graduate level, but never wanted to live there until Gorbachev came to power in 1985. The new general secretary, the party's first to be born after the revolution, talked, unlike any Communist leader since the original Bolsheviks. Suddenly, there was the electrifying prospect of socialism powered from below, a system focused on creative human potential rather than crop statistics. Now I know some of you skip this bit, but if you want to continue hearing these Cold War stories I'm asking listeners to pledge a monthly donation of at least $4, £3 or €3 per month to help keep the podcast on the air, although larger amounts are welcome too. If you donate monthly via Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee you will get the sought after CWC coaster and bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/If a financial contribution is not your cup of tea, then you can still help us by leaving written reviews wherever you listen to us as well as sharing us on social media. It really helps us get new guests on the show.I am delighted to welcome Fred Wier to our Cold War conversation…There's further information here. https://coldwarconversations.com/episode208/If you can't wait for next week's episode do visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated Looking for a Xmas gift for the Cold War aficionado in your life? Do check out loads of gift ideas including our wide range of CW themed mugs at our store. More info here https://rdbl.co/3kv7lYk Have a look at our store and find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life? Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/Our Book List Help Support the podcast by shopping at Amazon. Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/coldwarpod)

Your Brain on Facts
Secret Cities (do-over, ep 170)

Your Brain on Facts

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 33:46


Quick, switch over to Vodacast to see the pictures I talk about in the episode! We all lose things -- keys, wallets, patience -- but how do you lose an entire city?  Hear the stories of three American towns built in a hurry but kept off the map, secure Soviet enclaves known by their post codes, ancient cities found by modern technology, and the ingenious engineering of underground dwellings. YBOF Book; Audiobook (basically everywhere but Audible); Merch Reach out and touch Moxie on Facebook, Twitter,  or Instagram. Hang out with your fellow Brainiacs. Support the show Music by Kevin MacLeod, .   Links to all the research resources are on our website.    In the opal-mining region of South Australia, lies the town of Coober Peedy.  You're welcome to visit, but don't expect to see much.  There aren't many buildings, though the landscape is dotted with ventilation shafts.  There's almost no movement at all.  So if the town is here, where are its 3500 residents?  Look down.  My name's Moxie and this is your brain on facts.   In 1943, three ordinary-looking US cities were constructed at record speed, but left off all maps.  Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Richland, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico held laboratories and sprawling industrial plants, as well as residential neighborhoods, schools, churches, and stores.  The three cities had a combined population of more than 125,000 and one extraordinary purpose: to create nuclear weapons as part of the Manhattan project, the U.S. military's initiative to develop nuclear weapons.     Their design was driven by unique considerations, such as including buffer zones for radiation leaks or explosions. In each case, there were natural features, topographical features, that were considered to be favorable. In all three cases, they were somewhat remote—in the case of Richland and Los Alamos, very remote—which offered a more secure environment, of course. But also, in the event of a disaster, an explosion or a radiation leak, that would also minimize the potential exposure of people outside the project to any sort of radiation danger.  The sites were  selected far from one another in case German or Japanese bombers somehow managed to penetrate that far into the United States, it would be harder for them in a single bombing run to take out more than one facility.  K-25 plant at Oak Ridge, which was where they enriched uranium using the gaseous diffusion method, was the largest building in the world under a single roof, spanning more than 40 acres.    Before you being any building project, you have to clear the site of things like trees, high spots, people. In 1942, the government approached the families that lived near the Clinch river in Tennessee, some of whom had farmed there for generations, and kicked them out, telling them the land was needed for a “demolition range,” so as to scare off hold-outs with the threat of adjacent explosions.  The town scaled up fast.   Oak Ridge was initially conceived as a town for 13,000 people but grew to 75,000 by the end of the war, the biggest of the secret cities. The laboratories took up most of the space, but rather than constructing basic dormitories for employees, the architects and designers settled on a suburban vision.  To pull this off quickly and secretly, the architects relied on prefabricated housing, in some cases, a house might come in two halves on the back of a truck to be assembled on-site. These were called “alphabet houses;” A houses were the most modest (read: tiny), while D houses included dining rooms.  Housing was assigned based on seniority, though allowances were sometimes made for large families.     And race.  This was the early 40's, after all.  The secret suburbs for factories manufacturing megadeaths were segregated by design.  Their houses were called “hutments,” little more than plywood frames without indoor plumbing, insulation or glass in the windows.  Though two of the first public schools in the south to be desegregated were in Oak Ridge. They even threatened to secede from Tennessee in order to desegregate, so at least there's that.  There were white families in the hutments as well and all of the residents of that lower-class neighborhood were under more surveillance and stricter rules than the families in better housing.  Married couples may be forbidden to live together.  By the end of the war, most of the white families had been moved out of the hutments and but many of the African American families continued to live in the basic dwellings until the early 1950s.    These towns didn't appear on any official maps, and visitors were screened by guards posted at the entrances.  Anyone over 12 had to have official ID.  Firearms, cameras, and even binoculars were prohibited.  Billboards were installed all over town to remind workers to keep their mouths shut about their work, even though most workers knew very little about the project's true scope.  For example, you job may be to watch a gauge for eight hours and flip a switch if it goes to high.  You don't know what you're measuring or what the machine is doing.  All you've been told is to flip the switch when the needle hits a certain number.  In Los Alamos and Richland, the entire neighborhood may have the same mailing address.  At Oak Ridge, street addresses were designed to be confusing to outsiders. Bus routes might be called X-10 or K-25 while dorms had simple names such as M1.  There were no signs on buildings. The town was full of such ciphers, and even employees didn't know how to decode them all.  The use of words such as “atomic” or “uranium” was taboo lest it tip off the enemy.   When the US dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, the city's secret was out. Many residents celebrated at this turning point in the war, but not all.  Mary Lowe Michel, a typist in Oak Ridge, is quoted in an exhibit on display now at the National Building Museum in DC: “The night that the news broke that the bombs had been dropped, there was joyous occasions in the streets, hugging and kissing and dancing and live music and singing that went on for hours and hours. But it bothered me to know that I, in my very small way, had participated in such a thing, and I sat in my dorm room and cried.”  All three cities remained part of the military industrial complex, continuing to work on nuclear weapons during the cold war as well as broader scientific research.  Today Oak Ridge is heavily involved in renewable energy, minus the barbed wire fence.   For most of the twentieth century, if the US was doing it, so was the USSR.  We had closed cities to build nuclear weapons, and so did the Soviet Union.  We had three, they had….lots. Like, a lot a lot.  Like, multiple screens on the Wikipedia list.  Where the US began to open its closed cities after the war, the USSR was building more and more, and not just for nuclear weapons.  These closed cities were nicknamed “post boxes,” because they would be named for the nearest non-secret city and the end of their post code; or simply “boxes” for their closed nature. During the two decades following World War II, dozens of closed cities were built around the country. Some were naukogradi (“science cities”) or akademgorodoki (“academic cities”), while others developed military technology and later spacecraft.  The official name was closed administrative-territorial formations or zakrytye administrativno-territorial'nye obrazovaniya, or ZATOs.    The cities were largely built by slave labor from the Gulag prison camps, which at the time accounted for 23% of the non-agricultural labor force in the Soviet Union.  They were guarded like gulags, too - surrounded by barbed wire and guards, with no one was allowed to enter or leave without official authorization.  Many residents did not leave the city once between their arrival and their death.  That being said, the captive residents enjoyed access to housing, food, and health care better than Soviet citizens elsewhere.  While most towns in the Soviet Union were run by local communist party committees, military officials oversaw the secret cities that would eventually be home to over 100,000 people.  Even during construction, officials were ordered to use trusted prisoners only, meaning no Germans, POWs, hard criminals, political prisoners.  Nevertheless, even living alongside Gulag prisoners, residents believed they were making a valuable contribution to their country. Nikolai Rabotnov, a resident of Chelyabinsk-65, remembered, “I was sure that within our barbed labyrinth, I inhaled the air of freedom!”   Arzamas-16, today known by its original name Sarov, was one of the most important sites in the early development of the first Soviet atomic bomb and hydrogen and was roughly the Soviet equivalent of Los Alamos.  Scientists, workers, and their families enjoyed privileged living conditions and were sheltered from difficulties like military service and economic crisis.  Leading researchers were paid a very large salary for those times.  Chelyabinsk-65 or Ozersk was home to a plutonium production plant similar to the American facilities built at Richland.  Located near a collective farm in the southern Ural Mountains, Chelyabinsk-65 was more or less built from nothing, where Arzamas-16 was an existing town that was taken over.  After the basics of the city were completed, early years were very difficult for the residents. The cities lacked basic infrastructure and suffered from high rates of alcoholism and poor living conditions. The Mayak Plutonium Plant dumped nuclear waste in the nearby Techa River, causing a health crisis not only for the residents of Chelyabinsk-65 but for all the villages which ran along it.   Conditions at Chelyabinsk-65/Ozersk would not improve until after the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953.  You remember that story, it was in our episode For Want of a Nail.  Owing to the plutonium plant, Chelyabinsk-65 is still one of the most polluted places in the world. Some residents refer to it as the “graveyard of the Earth.”  Somehow, though, it's considered a prestigious place to live where.  When the government polled residents after the Cold War had thawed over whether to open the city, they voted to keep it closed.  In fact, half of the nuclear scientists said they would refuse to stay if it was opened.  As one resident explained, “We take pride in the fact that the state trusts us enough to live and work in Ozersk.”   In 1991, the Soviet Union officially disbanded and its fifteen republics became independent, four of which had nuclear weapons deployed on their territories. This was of great concern to the West, as these newly formed nations did not have the financial or technological means to properly store and safeguard these weapons.  With budgets a fraction of what they were in the decades before, the standard of living in the ZATOs quickly declined.  Security went with it, as the soldiers who guarded the ZATOs also saw their wages slashed.   With little prospect of employment and limited security, scientists suddenly had the freedom not only to leave their cities but to leave the country.  Fear quickly spread in the United States that they could help develop nuclear programs in other countries, such as Iran.  In 1991, the Nunn-Lugar Act financed the transportation and dismantlement of the scattered nukes to not only reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world but to provide the scientists with proper employment.  One result of this effort was the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow, which employed many former atomic scientists on non-weapons programs and still exists today.      If you need to hide a city from your enemies, you'd do well to move it underground.  Built in the late 50s in Wiltshire, England, the massive complex, codename Burlington was designed to safely house up to 4,000 central government personnel in the event of a nuclear strike.  In a former Bath stone quarry the city was to be the site of the main Emergency Government War Headquarters, the country's alternative seat of power if the worst happened.  Over 2/3mi/1km in length, and boasting over 60mi/97km  of roads, the underground site was designed to accommodate the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Office, civil servants and an army of domestic support staff.   Blast proof and completely self-sufficient the secret underground site could accommodate up to 4,000 people  in complete isolation from the outside world  for up to three months.  Though it was fortunately never used, the grid of roads and avenues ran between underground hospitals, canteens, kitchens, warehouses of supplies, dormitories, and offices.  The city was also equipped with the second largest telephone exchange in Britain, a BBC studio from which the PM could address the nation and a pneumatic tube system that could relay messages, using compressed air, throughout the complex.  An underground lake and treatment plant could provide all the drinking water needed.  A dozen huge tanks could store the fuel required to keep the generators in the underground power station running for up to three months.  The air within the complex could also be kept at a constant humidity and heated to around 68F/20C degrees.   The complex was kept on standby in case of future nuclear threats to the UK, until 2005, when the underground reservoir was drained, the supplies removed, the fuel tanks were emptied and the skeleton staff of four were dismissed. Some cities were not secret in their heyday, but were lost to time until recently.  In what's being hailed as a “major breakthrough” for Maya archaeology in February 2018, researchers have identified the ruins of more than 60,000 buildings hidden for centuries under the jungles of Guatemala.  Using LiDAR, or Light Detection And Ranging, scholars digitally removed the tree canopy from aerial images of the area, revealing the ruins of a sprawling pre-Columbian civilization that was far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed.   Mounted on a helicopter, the laser continually aims pulses toward the ground below, so many that a large number streak through the spaces between the leaves and branches, and are reflected back to the aircraft and registered by a GPS unit. By calculating the precise distances between the airborne laser and myriad points on the earth's surface, computer software can generate a three-dimensional digital image of what lies below.  To put the density of this jungle into perspective, archaeologists have been searching the area on foot for years, but did not find a single man-made feature.   “LiDAR is revolutionizing archaeology the way the Hubble Space Telescope revolutionized astronomy,” said Francisco Estrada-Belli, a Tulane University archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer. “We'll need 100 years to go through all [the data] and really understand what we're seeing.”  The project mapped more than 800 sq mi/2,100 sq km of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in the Petén region of northern Guatemala, producing the largest LiDAR data set ever obtained for archaeological research.  The old school of that held that Mayan civilization existed as scattered city-states, but these findings suggest that Central America supported an advanced civilization that was, with as many as 14 million people at its peak around 1,200 years ago, comparable to sophisticated cultures like ancient Greece or China.  The LiDAR even revealed raised highways connecting urban centers and complex irrigation and agricultural terracing systems.  And that was without the use of the wheel or beasts of burden   Despite standing for millennia, these sites are in danger from looting and environmental degradation.  Guatemala is losing more than 10 percent of its forests annually, and habitat loss has accelerated along its border with Mexico as trespassers burn and clear land for agriculture and human settlement.  “By identifying these sites and helping to understand who these ancient people were, we hope to raise awareness of the value of protecting these places,” Marianne Hernandez, president of the Foundation for Maya Cultural and Natural Heritage.   Lidar has also helped scientists to redraw a settlement located on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa, and it tells the beginnings of a fascinating story.  Scientists from the University of Witwatersrand believe the newly discovered city was occupied in the 15th century by Tswana-speaking people who lived in the northern parts of South Africa.  Many similar Tswana city-states fell during regional wars and forced migration in the 1820s, and there was little oral or physical evidence to prove their existence.  Though archaeologists excavated some ancient ruins in the area in the 1960s, they couldn't comprehend the full extent of the settlement. By using LiDAR technology, the team was able to virtually remove vegetation and recreate images of the surrounding landscape, allowing them to produce aerial views of the monuments and buildings in a way that could not have been imagined a generation ago.    Using these new aerial photographs, they can now estimate that as many as 850 homesteads had once existed in and around the city they've given the temporary designation of SKBR.  It's likely that most homesteads housed several family members, meaning this was a city with a large population.  There are also stone towers outside some homesteads, as high as 8ft2.5m high with bases 16ft/5m wide.  The academics believe these may have been bases for grain bins or even burial markers for important people.  Though the team estimates they are still another decade or two away from fully understanding the city's inhabitants and how the city came to be, and ceased to exist.   Modern technology has also helped us find an ancient city in Cambodia.  Constructed around 1150, the palaces and temples of Angkor Wat were, and still are, the biggest religious complex on Earth, covering an area four times larger than Vatican City.   In the 15th Century, the Khmer kings abandoned their city and moved to the coast.  They built a new city, Phnom Penh, the present-day capital of Cambodia.  Life in Angkor slowly ebbed away.  Everything made of wood rotted away; everything made of stone was reclaimed by the jungle.   An international team, led by the University of Sydney's Dr Damian Evans, was able to map out /370 sq km around Angkor in unprecedented detail in less than two weeks - no mean feat given the density of the jungle.  Rampant illegal logging of valuable hardwoods had stripped away much of the primary forest, allowing dense new undergrowth to fill in the gaps. It was unclear whether the lasers could locate enough holes in the canopy to penetrate to the forest floor.  The prevalence of landmines from Cambodia's civil war are another area where shooting Lidar from a helicopter really shines. The findings were staggering.  The archaeologists found undocumented cityscapes etched on to the forest floor, with remnants of boulevards, reservoirs, ponds, dams, dikes, irrigation canals, agricultural plots, low-density settlement complexes and orderly rows of temples. They were all clustered around what the archaeologists realized must be a royal palace, a vast structure surrounded by a network of earthen dikes—the ninth-century fortress of King Jayavarman II. “To suspect that a city is there, somewhere underneath the forest, and then to see the entire structure revealed with such clarity and precision was extraordinary,” Evans told me. “It was amazing.”     These new discoveries have profoundly transformed our understanding of Angkor, the greatest medieval city on Earth.  Most striking of all was evidence of large-scale hydraulic engineering, the defining signature of the Khmer empire, used to store and distribute seasonal monsoon water using a complex network of huge canals and reservoirs.  Harnessing the monsoon provided food security - and made the ruling elite fantastically rich. For the next three centuries they channelled their wealth into the greatest concentration of temples on Earth.  Angkor was a bustling metropolis at its peak, covering /1,000 sq km; It would be another 700 years before London reached a similar size.     Bonus fact: and not to be a pedant, but “monsoon” refers no to the heavy rains in the rainy season from May to September, but to the strong, sustained winds that bring them.   And that's where we run out of ideas, at least for today.  Some cities are hidden, not for reasons of subterfuge or dereliction, but by necessity.  80% of the world's opal comes from the area of Coober Peedy, but that wealth is nothing to the sun it's going to continue with the Mad Max motif.  It may be 115 degrees F/47C outside, but it's only 74F/23C underground.  When heavy mining equipment was introduced a century ago, people took advantage of it to dug themselves homes, a church, hotels and B&Bs, a museum, casino, a gift shop, and, of course, a pub.  Remember...thanks... Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/history/laser-scans-reveal-maya-megalopolis-below-guatemalan-jungle.aspx https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/lost-city-cambodia-180958508/ https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29245289 https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/05/inside-the-secret-cities-that-created-the-atomic-bomb/559601/ https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-to-build-secret-nuclear-city https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/may/03/off-the-map-the-secret-cities-behind-the-atom-bomb-manhattan-project https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/soviet-closed-cities https://metro.co.uk/2015/05/28/theres-a-whole-town-in-australia-that-lives-underground-5219091/ https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2016/09/coober-pedy-opal-mining/ https://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/coober-pedy-underground-homes.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/content/articles/2005/12/14/burlington_nuclear_bunker_feature.shtml https://theculturetrip.com/africa/south-africa/articles/a-lost-african-city-has-just-been-discovered-by-scientists/ https://www.historicmysteries.com/derinkuyu-underground-city-cappadocia/

New Books in History
Yuri Kostenko, "Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament: A History" (HURI, 2020)

New Books in History

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 31:16


Yuri Kostenko's Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament: A History (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2020) is a meticulous account of how the Ukrainian government made a decision in the 1990s to give up the nuclear status. The book includes unique documents from the private archive, which Yuri Kostenko shares with the readers. Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament provides not only an account of nuclear weapons elimination in Ukraine, but also offers a broader picture of the political environment in which Ukraine found itself after the fall of the USSR. What political players participated in the construction of the newly formed independent state? What challenges did the country face? In addition to this retrospective approach, the book also provides insights into the present moment, particularly in terms of the ongoing armed conflict initiated by Russia in 2014. Yuri Kostenko mentions that the occupation of the Crimea and the subsequent Russian military aggression against Ukraine were not a surprise to him. The book engages with the consequences of the nuclear disarmament and prompts the readers to draw parallels between the decisions that were made in the 1990s and the current international position that was created for Ukraine.  Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

New Books in World Affairs
Yuri Kostenko, "Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament: A History" (HURI, 2020)

New Books in World Affairs

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 31:16


Yuri Kostenko's Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament: A History (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2020) is a meticulous account of how the Ukrainian government made a decision in the 1990s to give up the nuclear status. The book includes unique documents from the private archive, which Yuri Kostenko shares with the readers. Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament provides not only an account of nuclear weapons elimination in Ukraine, but also offers a broader picture of the political environment in which Ukraine found itself after the fall of the USSR. What political players participated in the construction of the newly formed independent state? What challenges did the country face? In addition to this retrospective approach, the book also provides insights into the present moment, particularly in terms of the ongoing armed conflict initiated by Russia in 2014. Yuri Kostenko mentions that the occupation of the Crimea and the subsequent Russian military aggression against Ukraine were not a surprise to him. The book engages with the consequences of the nuclear disarmament and prompts the readers to draw parallels between the decisions that were made in the 1990s and the current international position that was created for Ukraine.  Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/world-affairs

New Books Network
Yuri Kostenko, "Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament: A History" (HURI, 2020)

New Books Network

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 31:16


Yuri Kostenko's Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament: A History (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2020) is a meticulous account of how the Ukrainian government made a decision in the 1990s to give up the nuclear status. The book includes unique documents from the private archive, which Yuri Kostenko shares with the readers. Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament provides not only an account of nuclear weapons elimination in Ukraine, but also offers a broader picture of the political environment in which Ukraine found itself after the fall of the USSR. What political players participated in the construction of the newly formed independent state? What challenges did the country face? In addition to this retrospective approach, the book also provides insights into the present moment, particularly in terms of the ongoing armed conflict initiated by Russia in 2014. Yuri Kostenko mentions that the occupation of the Crimea and the subsequent Russian military aggression against Ukraine were not a surprise to him. The book engages with the consequences of the nuclear disarmament and prompts the readers to draw parallels between the decisions that were made in the 1990s and the current international position that was created for Ukraine.  Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/new-books-network

Planet 8 Podcast
Episode 86: They are Legend! Adaptations of I Am Legend

Planet 8 Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021


 Come with us on this episode as we ponder...what would it be like to be the last human being on Earth? How would a person cope with the loneliness, the despair? We look at a trio of films all based on a story built around this concept, Richard Matheson's classic 1954 novel, I Am Legend. Matheson's story took the classic vampire legend and gave it a modern, pseudo-scientific twist, with the vampires created by a bacterial plague, leaving one man,  immune, struggling to survive.After Bob provides some background on the novel, we dive into the first film adaptation, 1964's Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price. Matheson wrote the first draft of the screenplay but eventually withdrew his name from it after a number of other writers came in later and altered it. However, it is still the most faithful version to the book. It's certainly the one that retains the horror aspects the most. The black and white film gives it a ton of atmosphere, and Price provides a strong performance as the deeply depressed Robert Morgan (not Neville, as he was named in the book and the other two films). Having Morgan's former neighbors, now turned into pseudo vampires/zombies stand outside his house at night groaning, "Morgan!" is pretty chilling. By 1971, the concept turns into an action/sci fi vehicle for Charlton Heston, called The Omega Man. This version differs markedly from the original Matheson story. Heston plays Colonel Robert Neville, MD, a military man and doctor, who was working on a vaccine to a biowarfare agent unleashed in a war between China and the USSR. Unfortunately, Neville is the only one to receive the experimental vaccine before most of the world succumbs to the disease. The survivors are mutated into strange albinos who can't stand daylight, and develop a science-hating cult (The Family) led by a former newscaster, played by Anthony Zerbe. During the day, Neville goes around killing The Family where he can find them, and taking whatever food, clothes, cars, etc., he wants. This film features a love interest -Rosalind Cash as Lisa - and is notable for the obvious Christ analogy at the end of the film. It's a big ball of cheese, but entertaining.The property was moved around Hollywood for a while, with Ridley Scott and Arnold Schwarzenegger attached for a length of time. But the third version was released in 2007, titled I Am Legend, starring Will Smith. This film took many of the ideas of the book, but followed Omega Man's action packed  style. Once again, Smith's character is both a military man and a doctor, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neville, an Army virologist. He is the only survivor of a plague that has wiped out mankind, with the few survivors turned into wild cannibalistic mutants who can only come out at night. Neville, with his dog Sam as his only companion, hunts the mutants during the day, sometimes capturing them to experiment on them, still searching for a cure. The Planet 8 crew all agrees that we had a hard time sticking with this film once the CGI creatures appeared - it's a shame such bad CGI basically ruined this film.Of course we will compare and contrast the movies, discuss what elements they have in common, how they differ, and what we thought worked best. It's fascinating to have three films, from different decades, all working from the same source material. Each is a product of its time. And what would a new adaptation look like?For our Sensor Sweep, fittingly, Karen shares her soundtrack CD for the Omega Man -it's Omega Man 2.0 Unlimited from Film Score Monthly. This version has a whopping 18 tracks, for 64 minutes of amazing music from Ron Grainer. It's a fantastic, memorable 70s score. Put it on the next time you're cruising around Los Angeles!That's it for us this time. Be sure to share your thoughts with us about the many versions of I Am Legend.Twitter: https://twitter.com/Planet8CastFacebook: www.Facebook.com/Planet8PodcastMoooor - gan!!

Blunt Force Truth
Beliefs Cost, Just the Way Products Do - an interview with Jason Voiovich

Blunt Force Truth

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 91:31


Today's show rundown: Chuck is out for today's episode, but Mark has us covered. Mark wants us to pay attention to history - places like the old USSR, N. Korea, all these places....if you look at where we are now, you can see how close we are to tipping over there. Being American is a philosophy, it's a way of thinking. What made America so unique in the history of the world, is that we have a set of laws that is built on the premises that the individual is more important the the groups rights. That's why we are a constitutionally limited Republic. Even the Founding Founders themselves said that democracy was the most vile form of government ever. They knew how fragile this could be. When we look at socialist, Marxist, Communist countries, pay attention to the "hallmarks" of these places. Reductions in personal freedoms, rapid inflation, personal freedoms going away, a lack of goods and services, people not going to work, and living off the government. Mark introduces our guest Jason Voiovich. Jason weighs in on what Mark talked about in the opener. The reality Jason says, people make emotional decisions first, and then back them up with facts. The mainstream media has taken the notes from advertising, and really use programming to keep people watching more and more horrible news all day long. About the Jason In a career that spans more than 25 years, Jason Voiovich has launched hundreds of new products – everything from medical devices, to virtual healthcare systems, to non-dairy consumer cheese, to next-generation alternatives to the dreaded “cone of shame” for pets, to sex aides for cows (really!). He's a graduate of both the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota, and he has completed post-graduate studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonvoiovich/ https://twitter.com/marketerinchief?lang=en Get his book here - https://marketerinchief.com/

WorldAffairs
In Putin's Shadow

WorldAffairs

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 59:01


It's been about 30 years since the fall of the Soviet Union, and in many post-Soviet countries, people are still fighting for basic rights. From Belarus to Central Asia, to the Caucasus, to Russia itself, people still struggle under regimes that flout democratic norms. Unresolved border disputes sometimes lead to devastating wars. In this episode, we look at democracy movements fighting to survive in the shadow of a Russian government that's determined to consolidate power. We start in Armenia. This is part of a 3-part series on Putin's Russia. Guests: Harout Manougian, elections expert, EVN Report Elize Manoukian, associate producer, World Affairs Simon Ostrovsky, PBS NewsHour special correspondent Arzu Geybulla, journalist and founder of Azerbaijan Internet Watch Hosts: Teresa Cotsirilos, senior producer and co-host, WorldAffairs Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

The Final Straw Radio
The Russian Political Landscape and Anarchist Prisoners

The Final Straw Radio

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2021 74:59


This week we're featuring 2 guests speaking about Russia. First up, John spoke with author and journalist Dmitry Okrest about the state of anarchist and antifascist movements in Russia, the politics of Putin's United Russia party, nazis and the far right in Russia and successes of the Communist Party in electoral politics. Then, Moscow Anarchist Black Cross member-in-exile, Antii Rautiainen, adds some more detail on repression in Russia, including the hunger strike of Network Case prisoner, Victor Filinkov, calls for solidarity from mathematician Azat Miftakhov and others. A transcript will follow soon at our website and in this post. Give us a week or two. Rad Russia Links: Moscow, Russia Anarchist Black Cross: https://avtonom.org/en/anarchist-black-cross Minsk, Belarus Anarchist Black Cross: https://abc-belarus.org/?lang=en Campaign Against the Network Case: https://rupression.com/en/ List of Moscow ABC-Supported Prisoners: https://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Category:Currently_imprisoned_in_Russia Instructions to Donate to Those Prisoners: https://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Donate appeal text for Filinkov in Russian: http://amp.gs/j1Kh3 Dmitry Okrest's Books: https://ussrchaosss.su/en https://sutugabook.ru/en https://hevale.nihilist.li/new-book-life-without-a-state-the-revolution-in-kurdistan/ Russian Limbo, Podcast about prisons: https://open.spotify.com/show/3tyBLCEQnvkY9L3DdrGry1 Antii Rautiainen's podcast links: Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/arautiainen Spotify: https://sptfy.com/arautiainen Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/arautiainen Past interviews on repression in Russia: Antifascist Struggle in Russia (Feb 2019): https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2019/02/10/anti-fascist-struggle-in-europe-repression-in-russia/ FSB Is The Real Terrorist w Antii (March 2018): https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2018/03/11/fsb-is-the-real-terrorist-intl-solidarity-with-russian-anarchists-antifa/ Intl Solidarity with Russian Anarchist and Antifa Prisoners w Antii (July 2016): https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2016/07/12/intl-solidarity-with-russian-anarchist-and-antifa-prisoners/ Anarcha-feminism + LGBT in the former-USSR today: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2014/03/10/interview-with-volodya-anarcha-feminism-lgbt-in-the-former-ussr-today/ Announcement Keith "Comrade Malik" Washington In a quick announcement, we want to note that The SF Bay View National Black Newspaper editor Nube Brown just published an article showing that Keith Washington, aka Comrade Malik, admitted in a letter to a prosecutor in 2011 (while throwing a prisoner seeking legal support to the wolves) that he had and would gladly work with law enforcement and the FBI to snitch on inmates or whoever as a source or informant. Malik was then incarcerated in Texas and became involved in organizing with the New Afrikan Black Panther Party and participated in the 2016 nationwide prison strikes, gaining notoriety. Malik came to play a prominent role in the prison movement and was in 2020 released to a halfway house in San Francisco after a surprising parole from Texas and brief stint in Federal prison. Malik helped to run the SF Bay View upon release but has since left. I think a lot of facts on this still need clarification, but some things just don't add up with Malik's situation. Check out the piece by editor Nube Brown with an addendum by former editor Mary Ratcliff at SFBayView.Com and likely in the print edition of the paper. . ... . .. Featured Track: Set Adrift On Memory Bliss (Extended) by PM Dawn from eponymous single

Secure Freedom Minute
Employ the Reagan Strategy for Defunding Today‘s Communist Threat

Secure Freedom Minute

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 1:01


A generation ago, the United States faced an implacable Communist foe determined to defeat us and dominate the world. Incredibly, the Soviet Union was effectively propped up by funding from the West. President Ronald Reagan drew on the skills of financial warfare expert Roger Robinson to develop and execute a strategy for cutting off the USSR's cash-flow. Once “the Evil Empire” was bankrupted, it collapsed almost immediately. Mr. Robinson warns that today's Communist threat from China is being underwritten on a vastly larger scale by us. On Maria Bartiromo's Fox Business program Wednesday, he revealed that well over 5,000 unvetted Chinese companies get funds from our capital markets – even though every one is obliged to render support to the regime in Beijing and the danger it poses to us. We literally can't afford to enable our mortal enemy, the Chinese Communist Party. This is Frank Gaffney.

The Eastern Border
Soviet Army Halloween Special

The Eastern Border

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 40:36


Greetings, Comrades! This episode is all about Soviet urban legends, straight from the USSR army! Enjoy!Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/theeasternborder. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Cosmopod
Untold Stories of the United Electrical Workers with Chris Townsend

Cosmopod

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 91:09


Annie joins Chris Townsend, longtime organizer with both the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) and the Amalgamated Transit Union for an oral history on UE from the second World War, through their split with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the offshoring wave of the late 20th century and the collapse of the USSR. They discuss how UE develops a militant class consciousness in its members, their survival through the dark years of the 1990s, organizing the unorganized, their attitude towards union bureaucracy and much more! Check out Chris's Letter to the Socialists, Old and New and his previous podcast appearance in From Trade Union Consciousness to Socialist Consciousness.

The Arts of Travel
Bathsheba Demuth - How Capitalism & State Socialism Transformed the Arctic

The Arts of Travel

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 44:47


I chatted with Dr. Bathsheba Demuth on her ground-breaking work, Floating Coast: An Environmental History fo the Bering Strait, which discusses how both the Capitalism of the US and the State Socialism of the USSR sought to enclose, extract and transform the Arctic. We discuss the impact of nation-states on the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. How both capitalism and environmentalism devastated the arctic's flora and fauna, and what deeper spiritual meanings we can find in the Arctic and its lifeforms. Music by Prod Riddiman: https://www.youtube.com/c/ProdRiddiman/videos

Boozed and Confused
Episode 59: Lost Cosmonauts

Boozed and Confused

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 34:40


Some claim that the USSR won the mid-century Space Race when they launched Yuri Gagarin into orbit in 1961, making him the first man to make it into space. But the question is.. was Yuri the first man to make it into space? Or the first man to survive? Join Matt and Carolanne this week as they talk about the Lost Cosmonauts theory.  Our linktree: linktr.ee/boozedandconfused This week's booze of choice: Guinness and Smithwicks  Sources:  Listen to the recordings: https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4115 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Cosmonauts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laika https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentin_Bondarenko#Death https://allthatsinteresting.com/lost-cosmonauts https://www.straightdope.com/21343565/are-there-really-lost-cosmonauts-stranded-in-space

SPYCRAFT 101
Secrets of the Cold War from 1947 to 1990 with Aden Magee

SPYCRAFT 101

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 57:21


Today, hear from author and counterintelligence professional Aden Magee. Aden discusses how Cold War espionage began in a relatively friendly manner and evolved into the high stakes stories we know today. Initial "liaison tours" served as methods of intelligence collection as tensions rose between the USSR and the other Allied powers. As boundaries on restricted areas were drawn, tours became more and more dangerous with the risk of Soviet or East German detention, vehicle ramming, and shooting of MLM officers who strayed too close to restricted lines.Connect with Aden:LinkedIn: Aden MageeCheck out Aden's book, The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors, here.https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09672Q27C/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1Connect with Spycraft 101:IG: @spycraft101Patreon: Spycraft 101Buy the book: here on AmazonSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/spycraft101)

Explaining History (explaininghistory) (explaininghistory)
Debt, decline and post Prague Spring Eastern Europe 1969-1989

Explaining History (explaininghistory) (explaininghistory)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2021 27:19


When the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies drove their tanks into Prague in 1968, crushing the nascent pro democracy movement led by Alexander Dubcek, the last pretense of there being anything emancipatory about Soviet Communism disappeared. Instead, the USSR and its sattelite regimes were shorn of any ideological credibility and now faced sullen and uncooperative populations across the eastern bloc whose only interest in communism was whether it could economically deliver. The next two decades were an exercise in economic failure for the Soviet Union and its satellites, and an opportunity for Western banks, that had injected debt into Eastern Europe, as Soviet backed regimes desperately tried to modernise their economies, but became ensnared in a financial game that the west and its institutions were far better at playing. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Blunt Force Truth
If You Tell a Big Lie Often Enough - an interview with Bart Marqois - Ep. 673

Blunt Force Truth

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 73:00


Today's show rundown: Chuck was watching his television this morning and he realized that everyone is commanded and or is bowing to China. After spreading COVID through out the world, these olympics coming up, China is laying down all these rules about what you can and cant do in government, and industry, at such a rapid pace. No one wants to get on the wrong side of china. How is it that so many people feel like China should pay for what they have done, but no one in D.C. seems to feel this way. Are the people in Washington on the Chinese Payroll. Biden's stance on China launching hypersonic missiles was "We welcome the competition"? I mean really, this is our President, saying that he welcomes the fact that another country could blow up the world? What is this guy thinking? Joe Biden is "The Big Guy" getting 10% of 1.5 Billion investment in China, of course he welcomes whatever China does. Saule Omarova - Biden's pick for Banking Watchdog, hates banks, is a Marxist, went to school in Moscow, was born in the USSR - and is notorious for hating banks, and this is who we are appointing to the Controller of Currency for this Country. What we have in Washington is just tons of "smiling cobras". The majority of Americans do NOT believe democrats are doing it right. You need to do more...besides voting, you need to sign up to be a poll watcher. Republicans tend to trust democrats, and democrats cheat elections. What we saw last year was just a bigger version of what they have been doing on a smaller scale for years. We need to STOP trusting them, and make sure the elections are held HONESTLY. States that are historically Democrat are about to flip, and so many of them are going to flip based on school boards and parents issues, not the economy. Soros and China have been funding these far left candidates for years. He will pick a race where 100K is a money bomb, something like a district attorney or a school board member. He comes in and gives them 50K or 100K, and that person can advertise, and boom...they win - are on the school board. There are 2 days in early November on school calendars called "teacher work days" all this is is the teachers unions giving teachers free 4 day holidays where they can go door to door causing harm in elections. More about Bart Marcois: Bart Marcois is a retired career Foreign Service Officer and former senior official at the Energy Dept under Bush 43. He's worked in the world of commercial trading and business intelligence, and speaks fluent Arabic and Dutch, and pretty lousy French and Spanish. He has been a volunteer or advisor on every GOP presidential campaign except McCain since he left the foreign service, but takes the most pride in working on the Trump campaign. He started working life as a laborer in the oil fields of Kern County, California, and can still sling a pipe wrench or grind out a weld as well as anyone out there. Connect with Bert Marcois: Website: www.OpsLens.com Twitter: @bmarcois https://worldmission.cc/donate-humanitarianoutreach/

New Books Network
Serhii Plokhy, "The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present" (HURI, 2021)

New Books Network

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 55:25


Serhii Plokhy's The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2021) includes discussions that focus on the major milestones of the history of Ukraine, ranging from the first ancient mentionings of the territory to the recent Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The book offers a concise and comprehensible commentary on the most contested and controversial issues, including the legacy of Kyivan Rus', the Pereiaslav Agreement, historical and political representations of Ivan Mazepa, the formation and the collapse of the USSR, the Chornobyl disaster, and the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian war, to name but a few. Providing thoroughly researched materials, the essays are important contributions that enrich and detail the study of Ukraine; additionally, the book inscribes Ukraine into a broader, global historical and political context. In this regard, The Frontline is an invitation to think about Ukraine not only as a territory whose history was overshadowed for a long time by the overbearing presence of Russia, but also as a historical and political unit that participated in and propelled a number of changes that led to major geopolitical shifts that eventually entailed the transformation of how the region was perceived and understood at the local and global levels. Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/new-books-network

New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies
Serhii Plokhy, "The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present" (HURI, 2021)

New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 55:25


Serhii Plokhy's The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2021) includes discussions that focus on the major milestones of the history of Ukraine, ranging from the first ancient mentionings of the territory to the recent Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The book offers a concise and comprehensible commentary on the most contested and controversial issues, including the legacy of Kyivan Rus', the Pereiaslav Agreement, historical and political representations of Ivan Mazepa, the formation and the collapse of the USSR, the Chornobyl disaster, and the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian war, to name but a few. Providing thoroughly researched materials, the essays are important contributions that enrich and detail the study of Ukraine; additionally, the book inscribes Ukraine into a broader, global historical and political context. In this regard, The Frontline is an invitation to think about Ukraine not only as a territory whose history was overshadowed for a long time by the overbearing presence of Russia, but also as a historical and political unit that participated in and propelled a number of changes that led to major geopolitical shifts that eventually entailed the transformation of how the region was perceived and understood at the local and global levels. Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/russian-studies

New Books in Eastern European Studies
Serhii Plokhy, "The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present" (HURI, 2021)

New Books in Eastern European Studies

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 55:25


Serhii Plokhy's The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2021) includes discussions that focus on the major milestones of the history of Ukraine, ranging from the first ancient mentionings of the territory to the recent Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The book offers a concise and comprehensible commentary on the most contested and controversial issues, including the legacy of Kyivan Rus', the Pereiaslav Agreement, historical and political representations of Ivan Mazepa, the formation and the collapse of the USSR, the Chornobyl disaster, and the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian war, to name but a few. Providing thoroughly researched materials, the essays are important contributions that enrich and detail the study of Ukraine; additionally, the book inscribes Ukraine into a broader, global historical and political context. In this regard, The Frontline is an invitation to think about Ukraine not only as a territory whose history was overshadowed for a long time by the overbearing presence of Russia, but also as a historical and political unit that participated in and propelled a number of changes that led to major geopolitical shifts that eventually entailed the transformation of how the region was perceived and understood at the local and global levels. Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/eastern-european-studies

New Books in History
Serhii Plokhy, "The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present" (HURI, 2021)

New Books in History

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 55:25


Serhii Plokhy's The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine's Past and Present (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2021) includes discussions that focus on the major milestones of the history of Ukraine, ranging from the first ancient mentionings of the territory to the recent Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The book offers a concise and comprehensible commentary on the most contested and controversial issues, including the legacy of Kyivan Rus', the Pereiaslav Agreement, historical and political representations of Ivan Mazepa, the formation and the collapse of the USSR, the Chornobyl disaster, and the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian war, to name but a few. Providing thoroughly researched materials, the essays are important contributions that enrich and detail the study of Ukraine; additionally, the book inscribes Ukraine into a broader, global historical and political context. In this regard, The Frontline is an invitation to think about Ukraine not only as a territory whose history was overshadowed for a long time by the overbearing presence of Russia, but also as a historical and political unit that participated in and propelled a number of changes that led to major geopolitical shifts that eventually entailed the transformation of how the region was perceived and understood at the local and global levels. Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

Overwatch
E57: Soviet-era Iran Planning Holds Lessons for Modern US Middle East Strategy

Overwatch

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 17:24


The Defense Department recently declassified a briefing Dr. David Crist prepared in 2020 on US war planning in the Middle East against the Soviet Union from 1979 to 1987.  On this episode of Overwatch, Dr. Crist talks to ISW Research Director Matthew McInnis about this assessment and what it may reveal about a possible future conflict with Iran and strategic competition with Russia and China in the region.  Dr. David Crist is the Executive Director of the Joint Staff History and Research Office and an advisor to US Central Command Commander General Frank McKenzie. He is also the author of “The Twilight War” which is still considered a must-read for students of the US-Iran conflict since the 1979 revolution.   You can see the entire declassified briefing on the ISW website. 

MoneyBall Medicine
Nanowear's Venk Varadan on the Next-Gen of Wearable Technology

MoneyBall Medicine

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 53:03


Many of us wear wireless, battery-powered medical sensors on our wrists in the form of our smartwatches or fitness trackers. But someday soon, similar sensors may be woven into our very clothing. Harry's guest this week, Nanowear CEO Venk Varadan, explains that his company's microscopic nanosensors, when embedded in fabric and worn against the skin, can pick up electrical changes that reveal heart rate, heart rhythms, respiration rate, and physical activity and relay the information to doctors in real time. And that kind of technology could move us one step closer to a world where we're far more intimately connected to the medical system and doctors can catch health problems before they turn into disasters.Nanowear's leading product is a sash called SimpleSense that fits over the shoulder and around the torso. Last month the company won FDA approval for the software package that goes with the SimpleSense sash and turns it into a diagnostic and predictive device. It's currently being tested in a network of clinics as a way to monitor and manage congestive heart failure.Varadan trained in biochemistry at Duke, earned an MBA at Columbia, and spent about a decade in pharmaceutical sales and marketing and technology investment banking before co-founding Brooklyn, NY-based Nanowear in 2014. His father Vijay Varadan, MD, PhD, now an emeritus professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, is the other co-founder and the company's chief innovation officer. "Nanowear's technology was actually the culmination of his life's work," Venk says.Please rate and review The Harry Glorikian Show on Apple Podcasts! Here's how to do that from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:1. Open the Podcasts app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. 2. Navigate to The Harry Glorikian Show podcast. You can find it by searching for it or selecting it from your library. Just note that you'll have to go to the series page which shows all the episodes, not just the page for a single episode.3. Scroll down to find the subhead titled "Ratings & Reviews."4. Under one of the highlighted reviews, select "Write a Review."5. Next, select a star rating at the top — you have the option of choosing between one and five stars. 6. Using the text box at the top, write a title for your review. Then, in the lower text box, write your review. Your review can be up to 300 words long.7. Once you've finished, select "Send" or "Save" in the top-right corner. 8. If you've never left a podcast review before, enter a nickname. Your nickname will be displayed next to any reviews you leave from here on out. 9. After selecting a nickname, tap OK. Your review may not be immediately visible.That's it! Thanks so much.Full TranscriptHarry Glorikian: Hello. I'm Harry Glorikian. Welcome to The Harry Glorikian Show, the interview podcast that explores how technology is changing everything we know about healthcare.Artificial intelligence. Big data. Predictive analytics. In fields like these, breakthroughs are happening way faster than most people realize. If you want to be proactive about your own health and the health of your loved ones, you'll need to learn everything you can about how medicine is changing and how you can take advantage of all the new options.Explaining this approaching world is the mission of my new book, The Future You. And it's also our theme here on the show, where we bring you conversations with the innovators, caregivers, and patient advocateswho are transforming the healthcare system and working to push it in positive directions.Everyone's used to the idea that if they're being treated in a hospital, they'll probably get wired up to sensors that track their heart rate or respiration rate or blood oxygen level.We've talked on the show before about a new generation of portable medical sensors for everyday life, like continuous glucose monitors for people with diabetes.And some people even wear medical sensors on their wrists in the form of their Fitbit or Apple Watch. Some of these devices can go beyond fitness monitoring to alert wearers to problems like cardiac arrhythmia.But what if medical sensors were woven into your very clothing? My guest this week is Venk Varadan, and he's the CEO and co-founder of a company called Nanowear that's taken a big step in that direction. Nanowear has developed a way to put microscopic nanosensors inside clothes .If that cloth is worn against the skin, it can pick up electrical changes that reveal heart rate, heart rhythms, respiration rate, and physical activity and relay the information to doctors in real time. Nanowear's leading product is a sash called SimpleSense that fits over the shoulder and around the torso. And last month the company won FDA approval for the software package that goes with the SimpleSense sash and turns it into a diagnostic and predictive device.But Varadan says that in the future the nanosensors and the software could be put into even more places, like headbands, conventional clothing, or bed sheets. That's just one example of the explosion in mobile health technology that's putting more power into the hands of patients. And it's also one of the topics in my book The Future You, which is available now in Kindle ebook format. You can get your copy by going to Amazon.com and searching for "The Future You," by Harry Glorikian. The book grows partly out of conversations like the ones I have here on the podcast with medical researchers and entrepreneurs. But it goes even deeper into the impact of wearable sensors, AI, and so many other technologies that have the potential to help us live longer, healthier lives. So I hope you'll check it out.And now on to my conversation with Venk Varadan.Harry Glorikian: Venk, welcome to the show.Venk Varadan: Thank you, Harry.Harry Glorikian: So, look, we all know that with with technology startups, there's always this sort of chicken and the egg question what what came first in the mind of the inventors: the market need or the product that needs to address it. You know, ideally they come together simultaneously and there's a back and forth dialogue between founders and potential customers. And you end up with what the startup community calls--what is it?--product-market fit, if I talk to my, you know, my Silicon Valley nephew of mine. So in the case of Nanowear, you know, did you start to think about the problem and how to solve it? Or did you start out with the technology? Which in your case involves a way to embed these tiny nano-pillar sensors into cloth and then look at ways to make it sellable. So which one was it for you?Venk Varadan: Great question, Harry, and again, thanks for having me on the podcast. We were squarely the latter and I think most entrepreneurs are the former. But we had this great advanced material, a cloth based nanotechnology that could pick up really, really high fidelity clinical grade biomarker data off the body. And we didn't really know what to do with it. Do we start as a consumer company? Work on fitness, B2B, sports? Do we think about industrial safety, military use cases? They've been trying to figure out smart textiles forever. Or do we go into health care? And I think stubbornly so, and a little bit of altruism, we chose the harder route, which was health care. But I think it was probably more premised on that we believed in the quality of the sensor. It was doing something from a quality and quantity standpoint that no other on body sensor or non-invasive sensor out there could do, whether it was consumer grade off the shelf or health care based electrodes. So all we really knew when we started is that we wanted to be a health care company, but we didn't know the right application to start with.Harry Glorikian: Yeah, I was going to say, let's, let's pick the hardest one and see if we can get over that hill. So let's back up here and talk about like the medical need you're trying to address. I mean, at a high level, why is portable diagnostic sensing so important for people's health?Venk Varadan: I think it was always important because of an access issue, right? Not everybody can go see a physician or can do high cost diagnostic tests that require a facility or diagnostic tools in person. And there's a cost even to running a blood pressure cuff or checking your heart with a stethoscope or running a hemodynamic monitor, all the way up to more expensive tests like sleep studies and sleep labs. So I think it started, remote diagnostic needs started with an access issue, and it's not like we haven't had telemedicine in the past. But even that was sort of limited due to access issues. You needed a broadband network, you needed particular devices, you needed smartphones, and there were a lot of industry, I guess, pressures holding this sort of need to sort of push health care out into the more wide stream for those that have access issues. And we all said that this was going to happen one day. Virtual care, telemedicine, remote monitoring at home, replacing offices at home. And it was a nice sound bite. And COVID kind of forced the issue and I think completely accelerated that 10 year frame on the need, right? Because folks were still sick. Folks still have chronic disease. Folks still needed acute procedures. But you weren't really able to do a lot before, during and after, if you had to have these people camped out in the hospital or in outpatient clinics or acute surgical centers. So that's when while everybody thought it was cool and one day I'll employ these digital technologies, it really took COVID to shut their business down or they didn't have any patients, to force them to adopt. So I think a lot of our, companies like us, we were all doing the right thing. And we also are the first to admit that we got fortunate that the pandemic sort of accelerated the need for our solutions.Harry Glorikian: Yeah, I mean, I remember I put together, god, it's got to be like 15 plus years ago, I put together a distributed diagnostics conference, because I was like, "This is going to happen." And, well, OK, eventually. But so let's talk about, let's step back for a minute and talk about some of the specific medical conditions where continuous, high resolution, high fidelity data is useful. Like, I know we need to probably start with congestive heart failure.Venk Varadan: Yes, so that's where we actually started before COVID. That was the sort of market need where our technology, our ability to sort of simultaneously and synchronously look at biomarkers from the heart, from the lungs, the upper vascular system in a sort of contiguous way and sort of map the trends over the same period of time as you would with a stethoscope or blood pressure cuff and electrocardiogram or hemodynamic monitor if they were all in one platform. That's really what we're replacing as part of our solution and our device-enabled platform. But the economics of heart failure and the business need were really what was pulling us there in the sense that there were penalties from CMS to avoid that next hospitalization within 30 days. And many of these patients are, one in four are being readmitted within 30 days. One in two are readmitted within six months. So this isn't a problem that we can just medicate our way out of. We have to understand when decompensation of the heart is happening before symptoms show up, because once symptom show up in fluids accumulating in their lungs, it's already too late. So I think there was a good product need for us, as well as the economic need with reimbursement and solutions for something that can be done outside the body that a patient could be be using at home.Venk Varadan: And then I think, you know, COVID hit and the market applications really just exploded beyond heart failure. Heart failure is still on our roadmap. Our clinical study to prove that ALERT algorithm of, we take all these data points, send it into the cloud, do a risk based predictive algorithm to predict worsening heart failure or decompensated heart failure weeks before fluid accumulates in the lungs. That's still firmly on our roadmap. We've just got to restart the study that was halted due to COVID. But the same product that does the same parameters with a different sort of algorithmic use cases opened up a lot of other applications that now have a business need and economic need to use us. So the two that we're starting with is pos-procedural or post-surgical follow up in an acute use case setting. And the second is outpatient cardiology longitudinal care for someone who unfortunately probably has to see a cardiologist for the rest of their life.Harry Glorikian: And if I'm not mistaken, congratulations are in order because of an FDA approval.Venk Varadan: Yes, so we actually got our third 510K just two days ago. September 21st, sorry, September 22nd, we got our third 510K. This is actually an example of our of our first digital-only clearance. So our first two clearances, our first clearance in 2016 was primarily around the advanced material, the nanotechnology, to get FDA comfortable in its safety and efficacy profile. The second was for our product, which is the SimpleSense shoulder sash, which simultaneously and synchronously captures data across the heart, lung and upper vascular system biomarkers, feeds that data through a mobile application and into the cloud. And then this clearance is sort of for an end-to-end digital infrastructure that circularly includes ingestion of our 85 biomarkers and then analytics circularly across our spectrum that continues to sort of process and then has the ability to push insights or algorithmic alerts down. So that last part is not included. But if you think about it, Harry, we kind of had a strategy before we got to the AI part. Now everything we submit with FDA has nothing to do with the device, has nothing to do with software infrastructure, has nothing to do with what would be MDDS or what wouldn't be. We can simply send in statistical analysis on the AI algorithms based on the inputs that we've already cleared and then looking retroactively on the outcomes. So it was it's a nice win for us to kind of show that we're not a device company, we're a device-enabled platform. But I think what it's really exciting the market on is that we're ready for AI diagnostics. We hope to have a first one and our fourth 510K, I guess here with FDA pretty soon in the complex chronic disease state. So really exciting times for us.Harry Glorikian: Yeah. And I mean, as an investor, I mean, I, you know, I've been in diagnostics forever and I, you know, I'm so focused on Where's the data? Show me the exponential nature of the data and then what we can do with it and really like blow that up, right? That's where I see the value in these platforms and technologies. But there are technically other methods that had been used, right, that you might say you might or might not say are competitive in some way. But one of them is called a Holter monitor, right? Which people put on their skin to monitor, you know, electrocardiogram and EKG rhythms outside the hospital. And I don't want to say the name wrong, but I think it's SimpleECG for yours and then the SimpleSense vest, [how does it] compare to that. What are the alternatives? How long do you wear it and how do you compare it to the existing status quo?Venk Varadan: Sure. So, you know, a Holter monitor has a specific use case. It's looking at your electrocardiogram rhythm to see if you have a rhythm or abnormality, right? So we one of the metrics we capture is an electrocardiograph, right, and we do multiple channels of that. So it's not a single lead. So we could certainly compete against that application and just look at rhythm abnormalities in the same way. Companies like iRhythm have that, and Apple Watch has that 30 second feature on it. We are not playing in that space. And the difference between us, even though our signal quality, we would argue, is much cleaner than a Holter monitor that's using standard electrocardiographs, with those you have to shave your chest, you have to stand the dead skin down. You have to put gel on for the electrode to get a conductive signal. We don't have to do any of that because of the nanotechnology. But what the nanotechnology also affords, in addition to a better experience and better quality, is the ability to do more than just a Holter monitor, right? So imagine if that same Holter monitor wasn't just looking at rhythm abnormalities, it was also looking at the acoustics of your heart and your lungs, the sounds of your heart in your lungs. It was looking at the flow characteristics. The blood injection times, the fluid accumulation in your lungs. It was looking at your breathing rate, your breath per minute, your lung capacity, your changes in lung capacity over time, if it was looking at your pressure related issues at the aorta, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In addition to being a better experience in all of these and sort of kind of replacing a Holter monitor and a stethoscope and what have you, the real value is being able to do all of that at the same period of time over the same period of time. So even if I'm monitoring for, our use cases are about 30 minutes to an hour in the morning, 30 minutes or at night. And because we're getting such dense quality and quantity of data over that time period, we can actually see trends across the cardiopulmonary and upper vascular complex, which is actually the first company and platform that can do that. And that may not have been important before COVID. But COVID, I think, was revelatory in the sense that COVID may have started as a respiratory disease, but it affects the heart. It affects the upper vascular system. You can get a DVT from it. And I think it opened the world's eyes into understanding. We're not looking at all of these systems, the heart-lungs-upper-vascular system that all work together and work uniquely in each of our own bodies. We're only getting a risk based signature on just cardiac rhythm or just breaths per minute or just the sound murmurs of your heart, whereas we're doing it now.Harry Glorikian: Yeah. So for a guy like me, like, I'm like, Oh my god, how do I get one of these? I want one of these right now. I'm thinking like, Oh, I could use it right after I work out. And I'm, you know, forget the I'm sick part of it. I want to use it as a wellness monitoring and sort of to see, get a baseline. Tell me where I'm going, right, over time. That's what I'm always discussing with my my physician is we need a baseline because I don't know how it's going to change over time. If I only look at it at that point in the future, I don't know what it was. So, but the other side, I think to myself, there are physicians listening to this show that are probably all excited about this. And there are physicians going, "That's a lot of different data points. How in the hell am I going to make sense of that?" And so I'm I'm assuming what you're going to tell me is you've got this amazing software that lets you visualize, you know, and make sense of all these different parameters together.Venk Varadan: And that's exactly right. You know, we were actually stubbornly annoying to our KOLs, our clinical teams, as well as our original customers in beta rollouts, because Harry, we agreed with you. We looked at where Gen 1 and Gen 2 sort of digital health companies struggled in health care. Health and wellness is a little bit different right? I mean, to each their own, right. I mean, if you market well, you'll find that pocket of people that want to be overwhelmed with data or what have you. But we really listened to what digital health was doing for the provider and patient relationship. There were some good things there and there were other bad things, and the bad things we realized actually wasn't monolithic between clinics. Some people thought that bad things were "I'm alerted too often." Others wanted to be alerted all the time. Some were like, "This is noisy data. It's too unclean." Others were saying, "I just need, you know, 70 percent C-minus level data," right? And then we were thinking about all of those aspects which we couldn't get consensus on. How do you bring all of those aspects that gives control to the provider so the provider can say, how often are they alerted, how much data and the raw signals do I want to look at, how much do I not want to look at? And really, with the thesis of building the platform on them, spending less time than what they do before? Because I think Gen 1 and Gen 2 products unfortunately actually added more time in adjudication and frequency of the provider being notified, and also cause some anxiety for patients as well because they were looking at their screen and their data at all times.Venk Varadan: So we really tried to be sponges of all of those different devices that were tech enabled and sort of moving from hundred-year-old devices to now Gen 1, Gen 2, pushing into the cloud. And really listened on... And I'll tell you, it was mostly from staff. It wasn't necessarily from the physicians and the surgeons themselves. It was mostly from triage nurse, from health care staff, the people that are running around coordinating the follow up visits, coordinating the phone calls from patients that were doing poorly or feeling bad after feeling sick after a procedure. And I just think we just kept our ears open and didn't go in saying, we know what you need. We were asking, What do you?Harry Glorikian: All right, so let's talk about the technology itself, the  SimpleSense wearable sash. How does the cloth sensor in the garment work? I mean, on a microscopic level, what are the kind of changes that this nano pillar detects and how?Venk Varadan: Yeah, so not to get to sort of, you know, granular into the physics, although I'm happy to Harry, if you if your audience ends up sending me some questions. But think about our ability to just detect a difference in potential action potential from point A to point B. And it's an oversimplified way of describing what we do, but the reason we can do it better than anybody else with any other sensor -- and that's what really feeds the cleanliness and the quality of our data and allows us to derive so many biomarkers that other others can't, which obviously feeds the ability for AI -- is because we've got these billions of vertically standing nano sensors per centimeter of surface area. The differential or the potential difference that we can find because our signal quality so clean is so narrow. Whereas other sensors that might be treated as noise, we can consistently see deltas from point A to point B and know exactly what caused those deltas, right? And that's unique to us and our vector orientation. And it's probably a little too wonky here, but if you have a vector across the largest slice of the heart, across the largest slice of the lungs, across the upper vascular system in its entirety, with that finite ability to get really microscopic level changes in potential, irrespective of what signal you're looking at. Because once you we know what signal we're looking for, we just set the frequency bands for those, right? Right. And that's really, in a nutshell, how it works across the multiple parameters that we can capture from a biomarker standpoint.Harry Glorikian: So you said 85 biomarkers, right? We're not going to go through all of them because we'll be at the end of the show. But what are the kinds of, let's say, physiological data that you're pulling in and that you're differentiating on?Venk Varadan: Sure. So I probably summarize it into several different buckets that each have maybe 20 or 30 derivatives under it. But, you know, cardiopulmonary biomarkers. So the coupling between the cardio and pulmonary complexes, impedance cardiography, thoracic impedance and then looking at not only the means and the median trends across those metrics, but the standard deviation. So one of our board members famously said, Nadim Yared, the CEO of CVRx, You will learn so much more from the standard deviations than you will from the trends. Don't just look at the sort of the trend. So that's an example. Cardiopulmonary: We look at the electrical signals of the cardio complex and electrocardiographs. We look at a combinatorial methodology of cardiographs, acoustics, BMI, height and weight. And then we tie activity, posture, movement. What is your sleep orientation? Are you sleeping on your left side? Are you sleeping on your right side? All of these sort of things together actually enable some really interesting insights from a machine learning standpoint. And again, the beauty of our ability to sort of understand them and see more biomarkers. Eighty-five is where what we know right now, what we've validated. There's probably a lot more that we will discover under certain disease states. But what we're able to sort of mesh together from all of those are really cool aspects like blood ejection times. That's not a physical, raw metric we're getting. That's a derived metric and combining a lot of these aspects cardiac output, stroke volume, you know, these are things that could only have previously been done with an arterial line in your body and in a hospital system. So I don't know if that answers your question.Harry Glorikian: Well, no. I mean, listen, I mean, this is why I invest in this space because, you know, theoretically, as I get older, I may be a patient and you know, the better these technologies get, the better off I'm going to be. But so let's talk about for a second, where did where did this originate from? And I think your dad, your father had something to do with this, if my research is correct.Venk Varadan: He sure did. This may be a little bit of a long winded answer, Harry. But but for your audience, I'll tell the story because it's important for dad to be happy at all times, even though I'm 40 years old. So, Dr. Vijay Vardhan is our co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer. My father, 40 plus year academic researcher in the fields of materials, research and biomedical engineering and this was actually, Nanowear's core technology was actually a culmination of his life's work. Back in the 80s and the 90s when I was still a young pup and he was convincing me to go be a doctor, he was doing research in this field, and it wasn't even called nanotechnology back then. There wasn't a term for it, but he was doing defense related projects in the ability to detect very minute signals at very, very, very, very difficult detect detection environment. So an example is submarine coating, right? Submarines when they're below water are picking up their external environment information through sonar. The deeper they get in the ocean, the harder that sonar frequency is to be able to differentiate. Is that a a school of plankton? Is that a whale? Is that a thermal geyser that's sending me the signal? Or is it a Russian sub, right? And his thesis was, if I have a really big footprint of sensors and exponentially higher surface area of sensors and not just one sensor or two or one hundred but billions across the hull, I can start to differentiate over time the nuanced differences between the sonar a whale emits, the sonar a thermal geyser emits, or oh, by the way, what are our friends in the USSR emitting, right? And that's an example in really, really hard to detect environments. He did the same with observatory jets and missile defense systems at 75,000 feet, you know, the opposite, very high frequencies at very high speeds. So that original thesis, the human body is also a very complex environment and hard to detect environment as well, right? So long story short, he kind of took that same thesis over many years of playing around in the lab and publishing papers and doing great work for our government and our Department of Defense, but also with an eye to the future on what could this do in the human body one day?Harry Glorikian: Right. Well, that's great. I mean, it's I'm sure he's very happy that you two are working together to bring this to market.Venk Varadan: He's not as disappointed in me about not going to med school anymore. Let's put it that way.Harry Glorikian: Yeah. Keeping parents happy is is a is a difficult thing. I know many people are like, Are you going to be a doctor or are you going to be a lawyer? You know, I know the I know the joke. So you've got FDA approval for a number of, as you said, you're building on top of, this layering that you've been doing from an FDA approval standpoint. What did it take to get them to sign off? What sort of evidence did they need to see?Venk Varadan: Yeah, it's a great question. I think that we kind of had to create our own playbook with them. I'm sure if they're listening, they don't want to hear this because you're not supposed to sort of commend and compliment the agency. They're just supposed to be there as sort of the gatekeepers. But we used to hear just a lot of horror stories like, "Oh man, you know, working with the agency, it's really tough. You know, they're really tough on this." I mean, we always looked at them as our partners, you know, we were bringing a novel technology to the world. We chose to go into a regulated environment because we believed in the promise of saving patients. We were not taking a sort of anti-regulation attitude that I can fix this, government get out of my way. I'm a patient first. I like living in a country with FDA where something is scrutinized that I have to take when I'm sick. And I think that attitude and going into it from us as a product and R&D team, first of all, helped in clarifying our understanding of FDA's processes because it's a lot, and you really need to dig through the guidance in that. But I would say this is really hats off, Harry, to our founding engineers. I mean, they went from being engineers to really understanding process, and that's really what FDA is. Our first clients we met with, we went down to Washington 11 times in person to demo to ask questions continuously. And "Hey, we read this part of the guidance. Does this make sense for us?" And we shut up and listened when we didn't agree with them. We said, "But what do you think about this? Doesn't this solve it?" We weren't trying to go around them, and so we were trying to develop sort of new understandings of it.Venk Varadan: And I think collaboratively we put together a good playbook with FDA to clear a material that they had never seen before. Right? It would be one thing if we use the standard electrode like all Holter monitors do and combined it with something, and did different things on the software side. That would be somewhat straightforward because they know the data that's being generated is often the standard electrode. But for us, we had to do a lot of different and in many cases, much more rigorous testing, which that was painful. Don't get me wrong, but totally worth it, right? I mean, our sort of boundaries and our understanding of what FDA put us through, it turned out to be a boon in disguise. I mean, our whole team can sort of run through the needs now of FDA and we feel very experienced and very well equipped on how they think. And now that they're comfortable with the sort of data we capture, all the great things we can do on the AI side, which is still scary to a lot of people. You just say I've got a black box and I'm combing electronic medical records, and here's what the unsupervised learning tells me. I was a regulator. I'd be like, Wow, I'm not touching that with a 10-foot pole, you know? So it's different with us, right? I mean, we can define everything that's coming in and we can define the outputs. Yes, the AI in the middle is the magic, but we're not sort of defining everything until the outcomes, right, which is where I see a lot of companies got into trouble. So I think it was worth it with the FDA.Harry Glorikian: Well it's funny because, I mean, I always say to people, I'm like, Listen, they're not the enemy, actually. They can make your life easier because and I say, people tell me, "Well, I'm not going to go until I'm absolutely done." I'm like, If you wait that long and they tell you you're wrong, you just spent a whole lot of money for "and you're wrong." Right? So you should look at them as your partner. Right. And I'm assuming you went to, you worked with the digital health group at the FDA.Venk Varadan: We worked predominantly, consistently we work with CDRH [the Center for Devices and Radiological Health] and now actually as a as a board member on Advamed, sitting on the executive leadership group for digital health, Advamed is a trade association that helps with FDA and with CMS on on industry innovation. CDRH does have its own sort of digital health group within it that's focused on a lot of these issues that we're talking about A.I., data privacy, cybersecurity, which in this sort of next decade, I think is going to be the main sort of frontier for the industry government relationship that we all sort of signed up for when we decided to go into health care, because even the most sleepy widgets right that we use consistently, they're all tech enabled now. Everything is digital, you know?Harry Glorikian: So yeah, and I mean, they're they've been creating that from the ground up. I remember talking to the the gentleman that runs it and he's like, I feel like I'm running a startup because, right, most of the stuff that we're, you know, we need to figure out has never been done before at the regulatory agency. And so we're sort of creating it from scratch, right? So I mean, in a way that that's good because he understands the pains that the companies are having to go through in creating something that hasn't been done before.[musical interlude]Harry Glorikian: Let's pause the conversation for a minute to talk about one small but important thing you can do, to help keep the podcast going. And that's to make it easier for other listeners discover the show by leaving a rating and a review on Apple Podcasts.All you have to do is open the Apple Podcasts app on your smartphone, search for The Harry Glorikian Show, and scroll down to the Ratings & Reviews section. Tap the stars to rate the show, and then tap the link that says Write a Review to leave your comments. It'll only take a minute, but you'll be doing us a huge favor.And one more thing. If you like the interviews we do here on the show I know you'll   like my new book, The Future You: How Artificial Intelligence Can Help You Get Healthier, Stress Less, and Live Longer.It's a friendly and accessible tour of all the ways today's information technologies are helping us diagnose diseases faster, treat them more precisely, and create personalized diet and exercise programs to prevent them in the first place.The book is now available in Kindle format. Just go to Amazon and search for "The Future You" by Harry Glorikian.And now, back to the show.[musical interlude]Harry Glorikian: So let's go back for a second to, you know, 2020 in the first wave of coronavirus pandemic, right? You partnered with some medical centers in New York and New Jersey to start using it to monitor patients. And what did you learn from those studies and how did the device help improve treatment?Venk Varadan: There were two things I think. One, it was all anybody was talking about, and there were so many unknowns about it that we recognized that this was a, you know, a virus that was affecting the cardiopulmonary complex. Those that were getting sick and we're going to the E.R. had issues there, and that's what we were doing. And so in the same way that we're looking at potential use cases with the ultimate goal of assessing someone's risk, right, which is really what we're what we're doing as a remote diagnostic company or a remote hospital at home patient monitoring company, we went into COVID with that same thesis in doing so. And obviously in our backyard in New York, we got punched in the mouth first in the USA. With that, pretty much everybody I know was infected in March. We were all riding the subway together, you know, up until the last day as sardines. So it was not escapable here. And we're a dense city, right? We all sort of live on top of each other and our hospitals almost in a week. There were patients in the cafeteria. They were we were making tent villages for additional beds in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It was completely overwhelming. And so we really feel it felt like we wanted to do something about it now. We would have gotten on patients right away, but. We did have to go through the IRB processes, which would take time, unfortunately, but we learned a couple of things and the two things actually that we learned are is that we're not necessarily super helpful in a acute virus that hits you really fast.Venk Varadan: The patients that this is sending to the ICU, it's doing so very quickly. It's rare that someone is sick for three or four weeks. They progress so badly that then they go to the ICU. They have a drop pretty quickly when it happens. So what we found was, our study was really to go on patients while they were in the general ward, and the endpoint would be when they were transferred to the ICU because they had gotten so sick a morbidity event or they were discharged. And I think we were unable, to be candid, we were unable to find the lead up to that point because we just simply didn't know what patients were coming in. I would have loved data on them from 48 hours beforehand. Right? We could have learned so much, even very basic functions that Fitbit and the Apple Watch are trying to market. "I saw a spike in heart rate from the all patients that got infected with COVID 48 hours before." That is the premise of where I would have loved to go with our granular data, but we're not the type of device that somebody just wears at all times, whether they're sick or not, right? So I think that was a learning experience for us that if there's an unknown of when something's going to hit, it'll be challenging. Venk Varadan: For infectious disease that becomes chronic disease, I think we're going to be in much better shape, and I think we could definitely do a longitudinal study for the long hauler community, right> You know, the folks that have been infected with COVID and have literally seen symptoms for a year or two, I think there's a lot we can learn longitudinally from there. And that's really where I think our study with our with our great partners at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and Hackensack, New Jersey and others across the country would, we would be more than happy to to participate in some of those longitudinal studies because, you know, we don't know what the long hauler is going to look like in five to 10 years, right? Or even people that have been infected before the vaccines now. That's still a let's figure it out type thing. So it's not you have to balance sort of running a sales product business versus a research part, but with the right resources and the right partners we would love to continue that work in COVID because it's not going anywhere as you know.Harry Glorikian: Well, listen, I actually want you to put it into a T-shirt and send me one so that I can wear it and monitor myself. But let's talk about where this technology is going in the future, right? The SimpleSense sash looks, you know, comfortable, convenient, way more comfortable than, say, a Holter monitor. But you'll correct me if I'm wrong, but it's still a specialty device. It isn't made from off the shelf materials, et cetera. But do you think there's like we're moving to a day where you can sort of embed these sensors in, as I said, a T-shirt, familiar cloth items. I'm looking at digital health and saying it has the ability to monitor me and sort of help identify problems before they come up so I can get ahead of them. And so that's how I'm thinking about this technology, because those sensors look pretty small and thin, at least from what I could see visually in the picture.Harry Glorikian: We're the first to say we don't know when we don't know, Harry. I know the market wants you to always have an answer for everything. A lot is going to depend on the additional aspects that we all use in technology stack. Where does 5G take us? Where does increased broadband take us? You know, 10 years ago, we didn't realize everyone in the world would have a smartphone, right? Villages in India and Africa, they have these now, you know what I mean? They may not have running water, but they've got, you know, a Samsung device, right? And so we may have never thought that monitoring in remote places like that because we couldn't find an economic model to sell shirts or bed sheets for a dollar out there. But maybe with the volume and with the right partners, that's where we could go. We certainly built our our stack with that sort of dream in mind. We filed IP and got patents awarded to embed in clothing and bed sheets and upholstery on cars and seatbelts and on the steering wheel and. You know, this could be in the gloves of a pilot one day. You know, this could replace your sort of neurological monitoring. We've got a prototype of a headband that's calculating all your EEG and EOG signals could replace an 18 lead one day. I think when you throw in real good advances in automated supply chain and 3D printing, there's a lot that can be done in this space and it's going to be done through partnership. We're not going to do it all on our own.Harry Glorikian:  No way. I was going to say Venk, get to work, man! What are you doing? Like, you're using this in a in a medical application, but I really want to understand: so especially if, you must have believed in it because you filed the patents, but do you think that this sort of sensor technology could just be a normal part of preventative health care in healthy patients?Venk Varadan: I think that was always the goal, Harry. What can we do to really help a physician provider and ultimately a payer understand someone's risk without them coming in to a hospital or doing a visit? Because really the only people you should be seeing in person are people that need to be seen, not me, for an annual physical. Not you for an annual physical. Not, you know, somebody in the villages in Africa who really just needs to understand why they have a fever, whether there's something really wrong inside them. That's where I think this should go. It always was that case. We never knew what the right problem was to start to build a business around it. But this should replace your your annual physical, your annual checkup for healthy people. This should replace the follow up visit for your post-surgical, whether you get a knee replacement and angioplasty or a stent in your heart and should replace your chronic disease visits. If you have sleep disorder or heart failure where you know, do you really have to go get a $10,000 test every three months to see if you're regressing, improving or if you're staying the same? I think that this can democratize all of that in some way, and it's cloth. We all wear clothes every day, right? So yeah.Harry Glorikian: I mean, I look at I've looked at all these technological advances and I look at them as deflationary in a sense right. We're allowing people to get higher quality care from these technologies because of the information that comes off of it and then utilizing AI and machine learning and, you know, different forms of data analytics to sort of highlight trends and problems or hopefully, no problems, and then if one comes up, it sort of sticks out like a sore thumb, but it gives you a longitudinal view on that patient. And that's where I see all of this going, I mean, COVID has just pulled everything forward a lot faster than. You know, anybody could have guessed, and I agree with you, if you look at 5G and all these things coming together, it's just it's going to take it one more leap forward that much faster. I mean, I can imagine a partner for you would be Apple or Google thinking about, you know, clothing. Or Lululemon, for that matter, I guess. But somebody that that can incorporate this into their into their materials and make it more available. Because I got to believe that there's a consumer application that somebody could take advantage of rather than just a hardcore medical need, if that makes sense.Venk Varadan: No, you're absolutely right, and again, this sort of went through our strategic thinking when we were thinking about what we wanted to be when we grew up. And we think that the our unique cloth nanosensor technology, which good luck trying to replicate and copy that for anybody who's interested, I mean that again, this was 40 years of work that sort of how to create it and we're bulletproof, protected from a from a patent standpoint. But we think this can enable all of those markets. Our thesis was always, Harry, if we could start in health care we'd have the need-to-have population. The people that don't have a choice, right? I mean, I can go out for a jog or I don't need to go out for a jog, right? I can run with a monitor but I don't need to. But there's a good percentage of the population that doesn't have a choice. They must be monitored. If we could start with that, need to have population and prove it, prove that it works, that it's changing outcomes. Why would the nice-to-have market use something that you know, is already working for for sick people, right? And that was kind of always our thesis. We don't really have a timeline on when we're going into the consumer market, but because, you know, there are different aspects that are involved there from a business standpoint, customer acquisition marketing are the obvious ones, but sexiness, fit, we did not focus on "Do we look cool?" We were focusing on, you know, design is important on everything, don't get me wrong, but we first started with "make it work." We didn't start with "It has to be this big" and then figure it out, right? We started the other way around.Harry Glorikian: Well, and if you think about all the existing wearable technologies, they incorporate a sensor that everybody understands very well, right? There's no question that temperature monitoring, there's no question that, you know, if you can have a CGM on you, you can sort of understand what foods affect you positively or negatively. You're right. We need the scientific publication to prove that the technology that you built does what it needs to do, and it's probably all the time going to give you new information. You're going to be like, I didn't know we could figure that out, right? Which is the beauty of having 85 biomarkers. You're going to find something new all the time, but you could easily see that certain applications would then become accepted and then make its way into mainstream.Harry Glorikian: Yeah, absolutely. And I think the more that folks are using and the cool thing or not, maybe not cool, maybe it bothers some people, I'm sure, but technology goes one way. It does not go backwards, right? And COVID sort of shifting virtual care into the forefront, which is what technophiles did before. "Oh, I just talked to my doctor on the phone." I would have laughed. I was like, What can they do with that right before I started Nanowear, right? But that's not going back right. If you don't have to go see your position in person and you've got an alternative now that replaces it, why wouldn't you do that right? So. Yeah, I think as people get more accustomed with devices, they'll understand how to differentiate from them. You know, I'm not taking shots at our friends in Cupertino, but there's only so much you can do on the wrist, righHarry Glorikian: Absolutely.Venk Varadan: If you're not going across the heart, across the lungs, across the brain, you're going to be limited in what you can do if you just have an armband device that's picking up your pulse rate and your skin temperature, you're limited in what you can do, right? So I think what we're excited about, maybe not just on this form factor in this product, but understanding its application around the body. You can't put a smartwatch around your body, but you can put a cloth around your body. You can put a sheet around your body, right? I think that hopefully the understanding is going to come that there is a delineation between something that's great for the consumer and something that's great for, you know, the health care population. And where does that nexus come together? I think that's going to be driven by patients. I don't think it's going to be driven by us. I don't think it's going to be driven by the provider or the payer. I think the patients are going to demand, you know, as they are doing now, right? I mean, the reason providers are buying our solution right now is because the patients are demanding it right. The payers are kind of demanding it. To some extent, cardiologists would love to see 40 patients a day in their office again. They were really used to that, right?Harry Glorikian: Yeah. This is a longer debate over a beer at some point.Venk Varadan: It is Friday!Harry Glorikian: Listen, it was great to talk to you. Healthy congratulations on the on the latest approval and look forward to seeing other approvals as as you're taking this thing forward. And you know, I can only wish you great success. I mean, obviously since I'm an investor, I have a soft spot in my heart for every entrepreneur out there.Venk Varadan: Thank you, Harry, and thank you for the opportunity to spend some time with you and and your audience. Hopefully, it's the first of many and I can come back and give an update in a year or so. And hopefully by then, it's not just about FDA approvals, but I'm showing we really built sales here because I know investors care about that. Just selling our product in the enterprise for the first time this month in September, and early numbers are great. So it's a really exciting time. I think six and a half years into the journey and being able to do it starting with dad has been pretty special. So so thanks for having us and appreciate you following our progress going forward. Harry Glorikian: Excellent.Thanks for participating.Venk Varadan: Thanks, Harry.Harry Glorikian: That's it for this week's episode. You can find past episodes of The Harry Glorikian Show and MoneyBall Medicine at my website, glorikian.com, under the tab Podcasts.Don't forget to go to Apple Podcasts to leave a rating and review for the show.You can find me on Twitter at hglorikian. And we always love it when listeners post about the show there, or on other social media. Thanks for listening, stay healthy, and be sure to tune in two weeks from now for our next interview. 

History Unplugged Podcast
The Iowa Boy Who Loved Baseball, Leaked Atomic Secrets to the USSR, and Jump Started the Cold War

History Unplugged Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 52:49


Of all the WW2 spies who stole atomic secrets from the Manhattan Project, none were as successfully, or as unassuming as George Koval. He was a kid from Iowa who played baseball, and loved Walt Whitman's poetry. But he was also from a family of Russian immigrants who spent years in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and was trained as a spy for the proto-KGB. A gifted science student, he enrolled at Columbia University, and befriended the scientists soon to join the Manhattan Project. After being drafted into the US Army, George used his scientific background and connections to secure assignments at the most secret sites of the Manhattan Project—where plutonium and uranium were produced to fuel the atom bomb. Unbeknownst to his friends and colleagues, for years George passed top-secret information on the atomic bomb to his handlers in Moscow. The intelligence he provided made its way to the Soviet atomic program, which produced a bomb identical to America's years earlier than U.S. experts had expected. No one ever suspected George. George eventually returned to the Soviet Union—his secret identity was known only to top intelligence officials and his story was only brought to light after the fall of the USSR. He escaped without a scratch, was never caught, and the story remains little known to this day. To get into this story is today's guest Ann Hagedorn, author of SLEEPER AGENT: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away We delve into his psychologyshowing the hopes, fears, and beliefs that spurred Koval's decisions, and how he was able to integrate himself so completely into the ideology and culture of the United States.

Cold War Conversations History Podcast
Terrorism in the Cold War (205)

Cold War Conversations History Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 56:56


I talk with the writers and editors of Terrorism in the Cold War a new two volume book that uses a wide range of case studies including Polish Military Intelligence and Its Secret Relationship with the Abu Nidal Organization and Gladio – Myth and Reality: The Origins and Function of Stay Behind in the Case of Post-war Austria. The book sheds new light on the relations between state and terrorist actors, allowing for a fresh and much more insightful assessment of the contacts, dealings, agreements and collusion with terrorist organizations undertaken by state actors on both sides of the Iron Curtain.You will learn that these state-terrorism relationships were not only much more ambiguous than much of the older literature had suggested but are, in fact, crucial for the understanding of global political history in the Cold War era.If you are enjoying the podcast I could use some support to enable me to continue recording these incredible stories. If you become a monthly supporter via Patreon, you will get the sought after CWC coaster as a thank you and bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/If you can't wait for next week's episode do visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.There's more in the episode notes here coldwarconversations.com/episode205/I am delighted to welcome Thomas Riegler,  Przemyslaw Gasztold and Adrian Hänni to our Cold War conversation…Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated.Book Giveaway - Terrorism in the Cold WarDetails on this link. https://coldwarconversations.com/episode205/ Have a look at our store and find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life? Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/coldwarpod)

THIS IS REVOLUTION >podcast
THIS IS REVOLUTION>podcast Ep. 197: Unlearning Marx w/ Steve Paxton and the Saturday Crüe

THIS IS REVOLUTION >podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 148:13


For many on the political right, the collapse of the Soviet Union has been posited as evidence that Marx was ‘wrong' and that Marxism ought to be consigned to the “dustbin of history”. To many in the capitalist west, this argumentation makes intuitive sense, given the intimate association between the Soviet experiment and Marxism. However, Steve Paxton has a different argument. In his new book, Unlearning Marx, he makes the counter-intuitive case that the history of Russia and the USSR is, in fact, a vindication of Marxian theories of historical development. How does Paxton's reframing of Soviet history build on Marxist theory? What does this mean for our understanding of the Soviet experiment? And what does this mean for Marxism today?   Steve Paxton In addition to an academic career culminating in doctoral research with GA Cohen at Oxford, Steve Paxton has worked on building sites and in betting shops, been a PHP programmer and a T-shirt designer, been employed, self-employed and unemployed, blue-collar, white-collar and no-collar. He was a contributor to The Communist Manifesto: New Interpretations as well as the author of Unlearning Marx and the forthcoming How Capitalism Ends, both from Zer0 books.   Thank you, guys, again for taking the time to check this out. We appreciate each and every one of you. If you have the means, and you feel so inclined, BECOME A PATRON! We're creating patron-only programming, you'll get bonus content from many of the episodes, and you get MERCH!   Become a patron now https://www.patreon.com/BitterLakePresents   Please also like, subscribe, and follow us on these platforms as well (especially YouTube!)!   THANKS Y'ALL   YouTube: www.youtube.com/thisisrevolutionpodcast   Twitch: www.twitch.tv/thisisrevolutionpodcast www.twitch.tv/leftflankvets   Twitter: @TIRShowOakland Instagram: @thisisrevolutionoakland   The Dispatch on Zero Books (video essay series): https://youtu.be/nSTpCvIoRgw   Get THIS IS REVOLUTION Merch here: www.thisisrevolutionpodcast.com   Get the music from the show here: https://bitterlakeoakland.bandcamp.com/album/coronavirus-sessions

Kill James Bond!
Episode 18.5: Ronin [TEASER]

Kill James Bond!

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 10:14


It's got three former Bond villains in it, it's themed around the fall of the USSR, and above all it's Alice's favourite movie, so we simply couldn't resist the opportunity to discuss Ronin, the star-studded Robert De Niro vehicle about hired killers stealing a briefcase. Join us for Hugo Drax painting miniatures, Elliot Carver going full IRA, Alec Trevelyan with impostor syndrome, and learn the details of the KJB drinking game (Do Not Attempt This)! Find the full episode at our reasonably-priced patreon! https://www.patreon.com/posts/57610453 *SHIRT ALERT* We are accepting pre-orders for a new shirt design until the end of the day on October 31st, 2021 -- get it here! https://www.killjamesbond.com/store/p/kill-james-bond-presents-the-moore-pre-order *WEB DESIGN ALERT* Tom Allen is a friend of the show (and the designer behind our website). If you need web design help, reach out to him here:  https://www.tomallen.media/   Find us at https://killjamesbond.com and https://twitter.com/killjamesbond   little bit of raspberry jam back there ey!!!

SPYCRAFT 101
Highly Unusual Friendship: The Bond between a CIA Case Officer and a KGB Agent with Eric Dezenhall

SPYCRAFT 101

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 50:23


Today, hear from author, crisis manager, and public relations expert Eric Dezenhall about one of the strangest friendships in Cold War history. Jack Platt and Gennady Vasilenko forged a strong brotherly connection despite their respective loyalties to the CIA and the KGB. They shared a love of shooting and a thirst for adventure, but one of their greatest feats is revealing the FBI's most notorious double agent: Robert Hanssen. Listen to hear stories of Jack and Gennady's misadventures and what it took to bring down one of the worst spies in history.Connect with Eric:dezbooks.netBuy Eric's book, Best of Enemies, here or here on Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/Best-Enemies-Last-Great-Story/dp/1538761319Connect with Spycraft 101:IG: @spycraft101Patreon: Spycraft 101Buy the book: here on Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/Spy-Shots-Tales-World-Espionage/dp/B09BY3WH71/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1628473373&sr=1-2Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/spycraft101)Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/spycraft101)

Wyrd Transmissions
Ep. 72 - Totalitarianism, Monsters, and the power of Words with Elana Gomel

Wyrd Transmissions

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 52:23


Elana Gomel is one of the most fascinating people I have ever had the pleasure to speak with. Elana, an accomplished academic and award-winning author, grew up in the Soviet Union where her mother was a political dissident. We discuss her new book LITTLE SISTER from Crystal Lake Press, growing up in and fleeing the USSR, balancing the academic examination of fiction with writing her own stories, writing as a multi-linguist, the power of words, and more!Episode links - LITTLE SISTER on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Little-Sister-Friendship-Monsters-Soviet-era-ebook/dp/B09HXT4MCP/Elana Gomel Official - https://www.citiesoflightanddarkness.com/Sponsored Link - DEVIL'S NIGHT Limited Edition Hardcover - https://www.weirdhousepress.com/product/devils-night/DEVIL'S NIGHT on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Night-Curtis-M-Lawson-ebook/dp/B09C2Q6FG1

Front Burner
The KGB and Chrystia Freeland

Front Burner

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 24:42


Unearthed journals that were once the top-secret communications of the KGB — the Soviet Union's secret police — shed new light on an early chapter of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland's life, and give us a window into the dying days of the USSR.

A.K. 47 - Selections from the Works of Alexandra Kollontai
90 - A.K. 47 - Working Woman and Mother - Part 3

A.K. 47 - Selections from the Works of Alexandra Kollontai

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 20:03


Kristen Ghodsee reads the third part of Alexandra Kollontai's 1916 essay, "Working Woman and Mother," and discusses reform vs. revolution.Upcoming events - Second World, Second Sex. Socialist Women's Global Solidarity in the Cold WarVideosFrance 24 English, “Women Under Socialism: A Better Emancipation,” October 6, 2021Second Life Book Club, “Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism,” September 9, 2021 InterviewsJudit Bertan, “Kristen R. Ghodsee: "A las aplicaciones de citas no les interesa que tengas buen sexo" La Provincia, October 11, 2021Guiseppe Pavino, “"El socialisme d'estat va ser terrible en algunes coses, però beneficiós en d'altres,” La Directa, October 7, 2021Emma Pons Valls, “"Als països socialistes les relacions personals eren millors: era una manera de viure diferent" Public.es, October 4, 2021Sílvia Marimon Molas, “Kristen Ghodsee: "Las parejas que comparten la crianza de los hijos tienen mejores relaciones sexuales"“ Ara, October 2, 2021Xavi Ayén, ¿Tienen las mujeres mejor sexo bajo el socialismo?, La Vanguardia, September 30, 2021Sandra Vicente, Kristen Ghodsee: “El capitalismo no respeta a las madres, pero nos necesita, ¿quién va a comprar iPhone si dejamos de tener bebés?” El Salto, September 30, 2021Gislle Nath, “Interview: Kristen Ghodsee, ‘Vrouwen die seks niet moeten ruilen voor economische zekerheid zijn gelukkiger in bed'” De Standaard, September 18, 2021

The Opperman Report
Angels over Moscow: Life, Death and Human Trafficking in Russia a Memoir

The Opperman Report

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 189:45


Angels Over Moscow is an inspirational, first-person account of the life of American physician, Dr. Juliette Engel, who founded the non-profit MiraMed Institute to devote her energy and resources to helping reform maternal and infant healthcare in Russia. During a mission to improve medical care for children in orphanages, she discovered a link between the State institutions and an international network that trafficked young Russian girls to Scandinavia for prostitution. She followed their trail north into Norway, where she ran headlong into the international slave trade of the 20th Century&;human trafficking. From that point forward, there was no turning back for the determined doctor, as she traveled throughout the former USSR, often at great personal peril, building a network of villagers, educators, police, media, and government officials called the Angel Coalition who committed their talents and resources to fighting human trafficking, and bringing thousands of Russian trafficking victims safely home. As a result of her work, she became eyewitness to the collapse of an empire as the USSR broke apart, and the Russian people struggled to find their identity without losing their humanity. Her strength and personal commitment saved thousands of lives and has helped heal the wounds of a broken nation. In Angels Over Moscow, Dr. Engel describes her journey as the &;gift of an unexpected life.&; More than that, it is a tribute to American ideals, and to idealists like Dr. Engel, who put her life and freedom on the line to fight the good fight for all of us. Every human being encounters crossroads on the path of life that require fate-altering decisions with unknowable outcomes. Selling my medical practice to live and work in Russia wasn&;t among my life plans when I first set out to explore what lay beyond the boundaries of my familiar world. How could I anticipate that I&;d be drawn down the harder, darker, unexplored road into the tumultuous disorder of Russia? I look back and wonder if I might have been more cautious had I known the magnitude of the winds that were gathering outside my door, waiting for me to step beyond the limits of safety. I did not know. Instead, I engaged the opportunity for exploring new cultures without hesitation. It was 1990 when I first flew to Moscow. The Berlin Wall had just been torn down as the Evil Empire capitulated to the forces of greater good. The ideals of democracy and freedom could now be realized for all people. Like many Americans, I saw only optimism for the future, and it was in that heady atmosphere of the Age of Aquarius that I set out to explore the world behind the Iron Curtain. Do I regret it? No. My path became a difficult, frustrating and often tragic one but I was gifted with a rarified view into other dimensions and joined by a cast of characters that enriched my life even if they didn&;t have a kopek between them. The takeaway for readers of Angels Over Moscow? You cannot anticipate the unexpected. Instead, open your arms. Embrace all that life has to offer. Drink it in. Celebrate every moment. Do not be afraid of tears. 4 months ago 11 giorni fa #angels over moscow: life, #deat

The Opperman Report
SPARKY: Surviving Sex Magick

The Opperman Report

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 67:10


Sparky: Surviving Sex Magick is the literary memoir of a little girl warrior, who survived. Sparky's story shines the spotlight on crimes against American children that were sanctioned on a national scale by the United States government. At the age of six in 1955, she was sold by her parents to the Sex Magick cult run by the CIA under its illegal program of secret experimentation on mind control called Monarch. By the time she was ten, she'd been purposely split into multiple identities, each one associated with a different age and place as her family moved around the country to avoid Child Protective Services and the police. With each new identity, she forgot the last one. In Imperial Beach, California, a tough neighborhood of gangs and brothels abutting the Tijuana Sewer and the Mexican border, she discovered her own courage in the determined persona of a new character, Sparky MacGregor, a Scottish girl who stepped from the pages of an old book and chided her for being weak and afraid. When they touched hands, she exhaled the last vestiges of fear and defeat. She became a warrior who never surrendered. As she grew older, Sparky's memory faded as she was moved from one location to the next. At the age of seventeen, she escaped from a camp in Big Sur, and left childhood behind. She became a physician, raised a family and moved to Moscow where she founded and ran an underground railroad for child sex trafficking victims from the former USSR. Years later, she returned to Imperial Beach to speak at an international conference on border security. The memory of her lost childhood suddenly returned. It hung in the briny air of the wetlands that stretched south to Tijuana. It was there that she re-discovered Sparky. When they touched hands again, the fusion of past and present was like the purr of two engines meshed into synchrony. "Do you remember your promise to me?" Sparky asked. "You vowed to write our terrible story, making it beautiful." This is Sparky's story. 11 giorni fa #sparky: surviving sex magick

THIS IS REVOLUTION >podcast
THIS IS REVOLUTION>podcast Ep. 194: The Bossless World of Participatory Economics w/ Michael Albert

THIS IS REVOLUTION >podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 83:28


Perhaps one of the greatest paradoxes of the modern era is that, while capitalism is in perpetual crisis, there seems to be no alternative. Once upon a time, Soviet style central planning at least attempted to present an alternative paradigm. However, with the USSR gone and China embracing its own brand of state-led capitalist development, the prospects of a post-capitalist mode of economic organization appear more distant than ever. As discontent grows, both liberals and conservatives scramble for answers within the existing frameworks to questions of economic inequality, social alienation, and environmental crisis. But are there alternatives? Is it possible to organize the economy differently? And is it possible to have a world without bosses?   Michael Albert: Michael Albert (born April 8, 1947) is an American economist, speaker, writer, and political critic. Since the late 1970s, he has published books, articles, and other contributions on a wide array of subjects. He has also set up his own media outfits, magazines, and podcasts. He is known for helping to develop the socioeconomic theory of participatory economics.   Listen to Michael on his Revolution Z podcast here: https://zcomm.org/revolutionz/     Thank you, guys, again for taking the time to check this out. We appreciate each and every one of you. If you have the means, and you feel so inclined, BECOME A PATRON! We're creating patron only programing, you'll get bonus content from many of the episodes, and you get MERCH!   Become a patron now https://www.patreon.com/join/BitterLakePresents?   Please also like, subscribe, and follow us on these platforms as well, (specially YouTube!)   THANKS Y'ALL   YouTube: www.youtube.com/thisisrevolutionpodcast   Twitch: www.twitch.tv/thisisrevolutionpodcast www.twitch.tv/leftflankvets   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Thisisrevolutionpodcast/   Twitter: @TIRShowOakland Instagram: @thisisrevolutionoakland   The Dispatch on Zero Books (video essay series): https://youtu.be/nSTpCvIoRgw   Medium: https://jasonmyles.medium.com/i-was-a-teenage-anarchist...   Pascal Robert's Black Agenda Report: https://www.blackagendareport.com/author/PascalRobert   Get THIS IS REVOLUTION Merch here: www.thisisrevolutionpodcast.com   Get the music from the show here: https://bitterlakeoakland.bandcamp.com/.../coronavirus...

Russian Rulers History Podcast
The Enabler's - Part Three

Russian Rulers History Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021


Today, we finish the three part series about the men who helped Joseph Stalin terrorize the Soviet Union.

The John Batchelor Show
1752: 9/12: #CrossfireHurricaneDiary: Profile of "well-regarded academic who is also a patriot" Stefan Halper in the Washington Post, June 5, 2018. Svetlana Lokhova @TheRealSLokhova. #FriendsofHistoryDebatingSociety

The John Batchelor Show

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 10, 2021 15:58


Photo:  Octyabrskaya Hotel, Moscow:  where highest officials and important guests stayed during the USSR, and somewhat later. 9/12: #CrossfireHurricaneDiary: Profile of "well-regarded academic who is also a patriot" Stefan Halper in the Washington Post, June 5, 2018. Svetlana Lokhova @TheRealSLokhova. #FriendsofHistoryDebatingSociety ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  . . Permissions: Русский: Вокзал Николаевский (Московский) (Санкт-Петербург и Лен.область, Санкт-Петербург, Восстания площадь, 2) Taken on 3 November 2012, 20:45:41 Source | Own work Author | Отрадин This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | You are free: to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work; to remix – to adapt the workUnder the following conditions: attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

Mark Levin Podcast
Mark Levin Audio Rewind - 10/7/21

Mark Levin Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 113:59


On Thursday's Mark Levin Show, the America First Legal Foundation sent a letter to Inspector General Horowitz requesting an investigation into Attorney General Merrick Garland. The letter questions whether Garland's memo may be preventing parents from practicing their constitutional right to protect their children and protest their government. The AFL letter also cites that Garland met with several John and Jane Doe's in the White House to plan a pretext to minimize the effect of parental mobilization, and the political impact such motivated parents could have on the upcoming midterm elections by using federal action against parents. The AFL letter also cites key dates in September 2021 where the Biden Administration concocted a plan -- an inside job -- to deter such a grassroots movement by parents by involving a third party's concocted complaint so that the Patriot Act could be used as a 'solution' to the pseudo-problem that they'd just created to advance their political agenda and stifle the speech of American citizens. Then, Americans' trust in the government and the media has dwindled. Perhaps it's because Sen Mitch McConnell agreed to the disastrous debt limit debacle. There would be no default on the U.S debt service yet frauds in the media are still reporting the exact opposite. Later, Biden's administration is made up of Marxists, and some unabashed bureaucrats even praise the former USSR and Marxian policies. Afterward, Rep. Brian Mast joins the show to discuss the ISIS-K suicide bomber, who killed 13 service members, was released from prison from Bagram Air Base on August 15.

Mark Levin Podcast
Mark Levin Audio Rewind - 10/7/21

Mark Levin Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 113:59


On Thursday's Mark Levin Show, the America First Legal Foundation sent a letter to Inspector General Horowitz requesting an investigation into Attorney General Merrick Garland. The letter questions whether Garland's memo may be preventing parents from practicing their constitutional right to protect their children and protest their government. The AFL letter also cites that Garland met with several John and Jane Doe's in the White House to plan a pretext to minimize the effect of parental mobilization, and the political impact such motivated parents could have on the upcoming midterm elections by using federal action against parents. The AFL letter also cites key dates in September 2021 where the Biden Administration concocted a plan -- an inside job -- to deter such a grassroots movement by parents by involving a third party's concocted complaint so that the Patriot Act could be used as a 'solution' to the pseudo-problem that they'd just created to advance their political agenda and stifle the speech of American citizens. Then, Americans' trust in the government and the media has dwindled. Perhaps it's because Sen Mitch McConnell agreed to the disastrous debt limit debacle. There would be no default on the U.S debt service yet frauds in the media are still reporting the exact opposite. Later, Biden's administration is made up of Marxists, and some unabashed bureaucrats even praise the former USSR and Marxian policies. Afterward, Rep. Brian Mast joins the show to discuss the ISIS-K suicide bomber, who killed 13 service members, was released from prison from Bagram Air Base on August 15.

Sofa King Podcast
A Sofa King Classic: Andrei Chikatilo

Sofa King Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 81:54


This episode of the Sofa King Podcast explores the grisly killing spree of the most famous Soviet serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo, aka “The Butcher of Rostov.” Between 1978 and 1990, he was thought to have killed a total of 56 people throughout the USSR, and he was responsible for one wrongful execution and several suicides. This was an especially interesting case because the investigation was hampered by the Soviet government who publicly claimed there was no such thing as a Russian serial killer and that this was a sickness only the decadent West could catch. Andrei Chikatilo fits many of the key ingredients of serial killers—he had a major illness as a child, an oppressive mother, sexual dysfunction, high intelligence, and of course a cold cunning. He grew up in Stalin's Ukraine during the massive food shortages and famines that his regime caused, and Chikatilo also lived with the shame of a father who was captured by the Germans during WWI (it was a major taboo for them). The worst part was that his childhood hydrocephalic condition caused him to wet his bed well into his later years and kept him from being able to get an erection. The sexual frustration and humiliation of his childhood years twisted him into a monster and killer. So who were his targest? He mostly liked underage girls, but he would take anyone. He wasn't that picky. All of his targets met the same horrible end. He would stab them at least 20 times, using the knife as a surrogate penis. He would tie them up, stuff leaves and dirt in their mouths, and ejaculate on them as their death struggle sexually excited him. He would also cut off body parts and even bite off nipples. Yes, he was really crazy and horrible. So, how did he eventually get caught if the government didn't publicly admit he existed? What lead to him being called the “Forest Strip Killer?” How did he father children if he could never get an erection? Why would Andrei Chikatilo gouge out the eyes of his victims? What body parts would he nibble on? Listen, laugh, learn.

Short History Of...
The Moon Landing

Short History Of...

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 3, 2021 56:12


After multiple coups by the Soviet Union, astronaut Alan B. Shepard has just become the first American in space. But this is only the beginning. Now, NASA have the moon in their sights, but it's still a long way off. For either the USA or the USSR to succeed, they'll need newer and better technology. The 1960s are about to become the defining decade in space exploration. Who will touch down first on Earth's nearest neighbour? This is a Short History of the Moon Landing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices