Tolkien debates; Come one, come all!

We here at Three Wise Guys and Total Tolkien are excited to announce the first iteration of our Tolkien debate shows.

 

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We are opening the floor to everyone, anyone interested in Tolkien and the topics with in are free to apply, we will select 8 people randomly so long as they meet the requirements (Have internet and a headset to talk into).

 

We will then announce a topic from the options submited, we have already had contract with several listeners who have put forward ideas such as the classic, Do Balrogs have wings, Where the Valar involved in the War of Wrath, was Numenor a good idea? Are Orcs immortal.

 

The first debate will probably be in about 2 weeks once everyone is prepared and times are sorted.

 

We will handle all the production and moderations, from recording of the debate, to editing the down time between talks and then posting it to our show feed and any other Tolkien sites interested in hosting this brand new event.

 

If you’d like to join contact us here or directly to the show at: Link

Total Tolkien #007 7 Wonders of Middle Earth

Total Tolkien #007 7 Wonders of Middle Earth

 

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In this episode following on from the ring of Isenguard and the Tower of Orthanc we are taking a look at the Statues of the Argonath. The twin statues guarding the ancient norther boundary of the kingdom of Gondor.

 

Who built them, when, why, how and how do they compare to modern marvels in our world?

 

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Total Tolkien #006 7 Wonders of Middle Earth

This is the first in a seven episode series exploring the 7 Wonders of Middle Earth left standing at the end of the Third Age.

 

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Obviously inspired by the famous list of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient world, ours differs only in that we are only counting those monuments that are still surviving as of the events in The Lord of the Rings.

 

At number 7 on our list is the ring of isengard and the tower of Orthanc.  Listen to the episode to find out why this monument to the craft of the Numenorians comes in at numbers seven.

 

What do you think will come in at the remaining 6 places.

 

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Total Tolkien #004 Magic In Middle Earth III

Total Tolkien #004

 

Magic In Middle Earth III

 

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This episode we round off our three part look at Magic in Middle Earth with a look at how Magic is used in Middle Earth. The different types of magic, how it differs from Valar to Elf to Man to Dwarves and how knowledge and natural power play their own important roles.

 

We look perhaps one of the most important issues of magic in Tolkien, expendable power, using your own natural power dominate and corrupt the nature of something else. Usually an evil act, but not always…

 

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Total Tolkien #003 Magic in Middle Earth

Total Tolkien #003 Magic in Middle Earth

 

In this episode we look at the races of Middle Earth and Valinor and what power each have available to them and where they come from.  

 

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We finish with an interesting look at the men of Aragorns people and their strange position between that of lesser men and that of the Half Elven. 

 

Where does magic derive from in Tolkiens world, What is Magic in the Lord of the Rings? How does it differ to magics seen in other fantasy.

 

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Total Tolkien, Magic in MIddle Earth I

Welcome Back to Total Tolkien

 

In this three part episode we are looking at Magic in Middle Earth. Look for our full episode listings on iTunes or at out server.

 

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Its one of the questions brought up my new readers of Tolien or those turned off from Fantasy because they think it childish or naive to read about magic and fantasy worlds.

 

In this first of the three part episode we list several of the examples of magic shown in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. From the surprisingly few examples in the Hobbit, To the more obvious, but also more abstract magic shown in The Lord of the Rings.

 

IN the next two episodes we will be taking a deeper look into exactly what magic is in Tolkiens world and how it differs to most modern concepts of magic.

Total Tolkien, What is Canon?

The first ever episode of our brand new Podcast.

 

Total Tolkien.

 

This week our pilot episode is on, what exactly is Canon? What books published by the Tolkien and his estate are part of the official Middle Earth Mythos and which are supplementary works?

 

Listen direct at our site or find us on iTunes.

 

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From the original version of the Hobbit to its latter revised edition, the publishing of the Lord of the Rings on to The Silmarilion, published by his son Christopher soon after his death. 

 

Along with Unfinished Tales, Lost Tails, the Letters of Tolkien and the 12 volume set of The History of Middle Earth.

 

What books fit in where, when were they published and when did Tolkien write them? His works cover a life time but were refined down to several rather small works.

 

And a sneak peak at our up coming episode on Magic in Middle Earth.

Three Wise Guys #023 Guilty till proved innocent no more!

Three Wise Guys

 

Episode 023 – Guilty till proved innocent no more!

 

Soap Box: Constructive Feedback

 

Legend or Loser: Rolling Stones Magazine and the Boston Bomber cover

 

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This weeks show takes a look at the concept of innocent till proven guilty and the changing opinion to “well your probably guilty of something”

 

DNA databases, licence plate readers and random searches, what benefit do they bring, how much should we tolerate for safety, and whats next? Will we allow it so long as we keep the veneer of freedom?

 

Also a look at the controversial Rolling Stones cover and our first ever split vote on Legend or Loser!

 

Listen direct, or on iTunes, or subscribe!

Three Wise Guys #022

This weeks show takes a look at the established and growing trend of designer drugs, both legal pharmaceuticals and illegal highs. What are the legal, societal and political issues that we face when dealing with this trend in our societies.  

 

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The problems with trying to outlaws them, the issues with rapid addiction and the possible of home made drugs.

 

From their birth mid way through last century to their shift from the laboratory to peoples bathrooms and barns. 

 

Also our soap box looks at the worlds reaction to Edward Snowden and how countries that show support for him and contempt for the USA still dont offer him asylum. 

 

And this weeks Legend or Loser, Wimbledon Winner Andy Murray!

 

Listen at iTunes or Subscribe,  or listen direct online

In Defence of the Nuclear Dream

This is in reply to a show we did on Nuclear Energy earlier in the year and some really insightful feed back we got from Derek over at EarthEvolution.

 

First I’ll summaries for show for those who havent got around to it yet, the segment on nuclear is about 30 minutes and is the first portion of the show. You can listen here directly through the web on our site, or find it on iTunes here.

 

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As a general rule, we three, were in favor of nuclear power, seeing it as the only long term, realistic answer to our energy demands. That is not to say its perfect, or that there arent other ways, but that to meet the ever rising, sweeping demands we face on our energy supply, Nuclear seems to be the way to go.

 

The first point Derek brought up was the type and nature of the nuclear plants in use. As we mentioned in the show, our support is mainly for the new type of reactors either fully developed or on the drawing board and just in need of additional funding to finalize, apparently designing nuclear reactors are hard or something….

 

These new breed of reactors, from just fairly stock standard reactors similar to what we use today but safer and a bit cleaner, to the whole new breed of Thorium reactors, can meet energy demands over decades, with minimal contribution to greenhouse gases, marginal nuclear waste that can be dealt with in a safe and environmentally friendly matter, and most importantly when you compare it to the other hot power items today like wind and solar, nuclear can provide stable, safe and continual power to nations that need it. 

 

While I am not against solar or wind power, they do not provide constant power, their upkeep costs can be very high (a lot of people seem to be under the assumption that you just let a wind turbine go and it will last decades, in reality they have long “down time” where they are maintained) and  they can be shut down by either good, or bad weather, or by our damned round earth. These are great interesting sources of power, but as we have almost no ability to save power from when it is produced to when it is used, we have to make the energy as it is needed.

 

This conflicts with the goal people who are heading the movement to solar and wind power also have, of having us convert to electric cars. Now it goes with out saying, these cars would, for the most part, be charged over night when we are not using them (Also they tend to take several hours of charging) so at night time, when the production of power would be at a low (totally for solar and diminished for wind) we would be adding a whole new drain to the grid. 

 

As to what to do with the old plants, improve ones that can be, and do rolling shutdowns of those that can’t and replace them with the new breed, if we just slam shut all of them now, the people who work in them will be out of jobs, are their expertise will be lost as it will take time to bring the new plants online. And once that expertise is lost, it is hard to get back, the US Space program has less technical expertise now than it did in the 60’s, solely due to the fact they didnt keep their engineers employed over time. So while the technology is better, they are actually worse off in terms of personal.

 

Making a snap decision to close down plants after disasters is natural, but not very smart, you can take a few months or years to find a solution, as worrying as it is, a disaster of the same level is unlikely to strike several times in a such a short period. And other safety measures can be taken. 

 

IT is a bit of risk/reward, but the reward of shutting them down due to fear with out a suitable replacement is not backed up by reward. That power is now most likely coming from fossil fuel plants, that pollute a lot more, cause a lot more health risks, are adding to global warming and are not a long term solution .

 

Derek also brought up the point that even if we did swap to nuclear, we face the issue that that we still have massive need for fossil fuels and will suffer the damage they cause. And that rapidly swapping to electric cars now would be very bad, as they are in the big picture, just as bad, if not worse than SUV’s die to the massive damage the mining to get their raw materials is causing. 

 

This again is rather like nuclear, the first few plants will cost a lot, will likely cost more than they ever make, but it is the start up cost of a new industry. Like electic cars, we just need to support them through the growing phase to the point that they do become viable/green. But you must always keep an eye out for the alternative that no one saw coming, having blinders on does no one any good. 

 

Dereks last and most pointed question was, how do we lower our demand on energy.

 

Quite simply I dont think we can. I think energy saving devices are just plain smart, why wouldnt you want appliances or cars that use less power? So long as the cost of building or making them is not exorbitant, their is no point in spending $2000 for for a fridge that uses 4% less power, you’ll never see that money back and that money would have been better spent saving power elsewhere. 

 

There is also game theory to consider. When there is a global agreement to stop green house gases, everyone must agree to it. If only half do, the problem is still there and those countries that did lower GG have probably cost themselves billions and hurt industry in the short term, so they likely wont.

 

If everyone agrees, all the better, because then your country can sneak back home and not really try, reaping the rewards of everyone else doing it, while you carry on your old ways, getting all the rewards with none of the costs, unfortunately, it seems most countries have this idea, they all want lower GG, but they want others to do it, no them. 

 

Game theory says, plainly, if only half do it there is no point, if everyone does it, your better off not doing it yourself and reaping the rewards, If no one does it, well your no worse off in the short term.

 

Considering the growing power and apathy of China and India and other countries, there is not going to be a global agreement on this issue. 

 

I personally think our best hope is in the technologies that can reverse the damage we do to our world, while sadly still doing it.

 

We did touch on several such ideas in this show, listen direct or on iTunes, And some of them show great promise, but we barely scratched the surface of that topic. 

 

This is a complex, deep issue and we only touched on a few points that were brought up directly, we are more than happy to hear your feed back and we may even do a new show on this soon and even include some interviews/emails if people have good points. 

 

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