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.

Revenge or Rehabilitation?

This weeks post/episode takes a look at the always controversial topic of the justice system. With a massive prison population an a never ending war on drugs adding to the issue every day, soon 1 out of every 100 men in america will be in prison at some point in their life.

 

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Is prison to answer to all the crimes we use it for, does a white collar money launderer deserve to be in the same place as rapists and murderers

 

Does sating the need for revenge trump our social responsibility to people who quite often are a victim of circumstance?

 

Also on a related note Preston takes a shot at bad drivers who many think deserve prison as well. And Canadas new government sponsored nark app. 

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

Three Wise Guys #021.1 Interview with Prof Corey Olsen AKA the Tolkien Professor

Three Wise Guys

 

Episode #021.1 Interview with Professor Corey Olsen, listen direct, or through iTunes, and the catalog

 

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Topic: Fantasy and Sci-fi in Academia and society, its roots, its future, and why it is not taken seriously my academics and critics.

 

This is a interview recorded for show 020: Science Fiction and Fantasy, put posted separately. It features an interview with Professor Corey Olsen of Signum University and the Mythgard institute, online he is known as the Tolkien Professor and has run his own very successful podcast detailing the works of JRR Tolkien and Fantasy in general. The interview goes for about 40 minutes and covers the history of fantasy literature, its perception by the public and academics, and how it effects our lives every day.

Three Wise Guys #021

Three Wise Guys 

 

Episode #021, listen direct or from iTunes and subscribe!

 

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Topic: Fantasy and Sci-fi in society and academia. Why these genres of books and movies are not taken seriously by either society of academia, Why they are passed over for prizes and awards to other, frankly, more boring works. And is the public perception of them changing with the like of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones?

 

Soap Box: Is a rebuttal and reply to several listener comments from the last few shows, featuring several comments from here at WordPress, topics cover, GMO’s, Globilization and media.

 

Legend or Loser (New Segment): Xbone Vs PS4

 

Easy listen Link and Catalog of episodes! Also iTunes.

Whats the Use:- Twitter, Facebook, Blog

This is essentially a part two of this post, where you, our loyal readers and listeners, let forth a avalanche of rage and hatred at social media, primarily Twitter, but old favorites like Facebook  did not escape your wrath.

 

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What seemed to be a underlying theme from everyone’s feedback, was that twitter had no purpose.

 

To contrast them I’m going to show the typical use of each media, or at least how most people try to use them before being driven into a psychotic rage. 

 

Most people, us included use their personal Facebook, to keep in touch with friends and family, some people use it a bit much and spam everyone with Farmville news, but Facebook, actually does have some rather useful features for ignoring someones posts with out offending them by unfriending them. I seem to use this feature for all my relations under 18 you just spam useless updates or photos that were emailed around a decade ago. I personally refuse to use my personal page to promote projects I personally, or Three Wise Guys as a group work on.

 

That is what, Facebook group pages are for. It has a nice interface, it allows people to follow or not follow as they choose with out offending the individuals involved. The posts can be long, well written, have the ability for feedback that is easily visible to everyone. We personally use Facebook as the first place to launch new shows and features, not because the audience is biggest, infact our Facebook page has less followers than the other sites we have, but because it is so user friendly

 

Blogs. well funnily enough, everyone seemed to like blogs, strange for a blogging site… But personally I dont just think that is a selection bias. It allows you to compose your thoughts in a wide variety or formats, it is personalised, and it allows you to connect with people of similar interests and best of all, exchange ideas in a open forum.

 

A media that is not much used, although it popularity is growing so fast iTunes is dedicating larger and larger portions of its makeup to it, is Podcasts. Although by far the most labour intensive of all the options, for us it is the most fun and gratifying. I creates a open and honest dialog, we can receive feedback from people with a huge range of backgrounds, and even do live interviews allowing people a wide audience that they otherwise might not get. This option is obviously not for everyone in terms of production, but in terms of consumption of ideas and the possibility of a wide audience for feedback and thoughts, nothing comes close.

 

The form of media that received almost universal hatred, was Twitter, not a single person out of the dozens that replied to our last post and our show on it, had a single nice thing to say about it. People are either forced to use it by PR and human resources for their firm, or just link it directly to their blog or show. With very limited freedom for what you can say, the butchering of language to fit with in an arbitrary limit, and the utter, utter, utter spam that spews forth from it. Twitter is full of businesses trying to be savy, but coming off sad, narcissistic celebrities who are leaving it in droves after being flooded with hate from the trolls that infest it. For us, our twitter audience is of a decent size, but we just use it to link to the show or our blog, as the character limit does not allow for anything else. Consider people usually just subscribe to the show, its not even really needed. If we all stop using twitter tomorrow, would anyone care? would it matter? does anyone get any use of it? Apparently not.

 

In summation:-

Blog yay

Facebook, a reserved yay if used right

Podcasting, a tired yay after much work

Twitter, Booooooooooo

 

-Ben

Three Wise Guys 020

Three Wise Guys

 

Episode 020, Listen Direct or on iTunes!

 

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Topic: Synthetic Life, Biological Robots. A look at the different portrayals of synthetic life in movies, from Ash in Alien to the artificial life in Blade Runner. Then we look at where we are in the development of this technology and what we can expect from it in the coming years.

 

Soap Box: Animal right and where to draw the line. A talk about the changing face of animal rights, from the vegans to the carnivores, where do we stand and what should we tolerate in the treatment of animals.

Three Wise Guys 019

Three Wise Guys

 

Episode #019 – Listen on ITunes – Or direct!

 

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Topic: Modern day Piracy, online and the open seas, featuring a thrilling real life encounter with pirates in Indonesia (Washed away with fire hoses) and how International waters muddy the already murky laws we line under. Also is online piracy harming the artists at all?

 

Soap Box: The marijuana laws in Canada and around the world and the path to legislation.

iTunes: User friendly no more?

Computer programs have seemed to be getting more and more user friendly, this is a trend headed mostly by Apple.

Three Wise Guys Podcast, 5 long, long steps away in iTunes, 1 away in Google!!!!!!

Apples tag line has long been, it just works. It doesnt need years of training and a manual thick enough to stop a RPG to get it to work.

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What is that?!?!?!?!

But iTunes seems to be damn near indecipherable to lots of people. It is cluttered with suggestions to get you to buy stuff, its covered in advertising, and its always moving. Add to that the fact that I cant remember the last time I opened it with out it telling me it needed to be updated…

If, by chance, you want to find something on their yourself with out just buying whats on the chart (for an inflated price), well good luck, we’ll wait a week for you then hold a simple memorial service, since you were undoubtedly lost somewhere in there.

When we first submitted our show to iTunes podcasts, it took them three weeks to notice a RSS feed that takes most people, 4,2 seconds. They placed it in the wrong section, and over 6 months latter, still have the blurb wrong.

The most common question we have received for the show, is not what topic is next, or when we are going to revisit a topic with lots of feedback, its where is it on iTunes, since that is where most people get most of their music/podcasts from.

Even the search function isnt a lot of help, being hidden away in the corner, iTunes draws you attention away from it with flashing banners on their latest high market hits. Then once searched, it offers nice suggestions on anything but what you actually want.

I have never had the heart to explore the other feed options provided by Google or Microsoft. Since Apple was supposed to be the easy one, I am almost afraid to think what those look like. I just dont have the heart to try.

So we Blog and we Tweet (oh how I hate twitter almost as much as iTunes) and Facebook away, hoping one of those never ending updates will finally fix something!

Three Wise Guys = Subscribe, can iTunes do it with out blowing up a RSS feed?

It takes 5 steps to find it on iTunes, it takes 1 on Google.