The Human Circus Review – Zimbellina

Human-circus

Firstly a confession. I know nothing about Medieval history. I don’t know anything about the geography, the travelling, the religion, the countries, the wars or any of it. This I am rapidly remedying through this podcast, The Human Circus.

The Human Circus dives deep into medieval history through key historical figures over loose seasons. The starting ‘season’ has 4 episodes whereas their second one has 7. The seasons run as long as it takes to tell the story of that key figure. With each season different aspects are spoken about but the podcast entails all those things that I don’t know anything about. Trade is very important, especially for travellers so there’s a lot of trade talk and stories about travelling through different countries. It’s very interesting to witness whole countries come and go through the eyes of different people.

The podcaster, Devon Field, uses a lot of sources and knowledge about a lot of different things. He also uses primary sources which I liked a lot because it shows how invested Field is in getting the information right. He also has a lovely voice, it’s melodious and soothing. The voice work is excellent and very easy to listen to. It’s not boring and you’re interested in everything he has to say.

This podcast is jam packed full of information. It’s a huge, interesting infodump of all you need to gain an understanding of what was happening in the world in medieval times. This is done through focusing on one person and their travels, but a lot is explained and talked about through slight tangents. Mainly it focuses on famous travellers and looks at the world through their eyes, going into meetings with allies and enemies that each traveller experiences.

Religion, trade, economy, wars, clothes, royalty and the movement of key players of the medieval years are all talked about in great depth, which is difficult to do seeing as there is a lot of history to talk about here and the episodes are around the 40 minute mark. But this is just enough time to get a good amount of information exchanged without boring the listener or going on too many tangents.

So far the people covered have been Johann Schiltberger, Thomas Pallam with the current season being about Marco and the Polos.

Standout Episode: To See the Mongols 1: Giovanni Carpine Goes East. This focuses on the Mongols expanse into the rest of the world. in 1241 Latin Christiandom was having a crisis and the Mongols seemed to be knocking on their door. They had defeated and then united all their rivals, destroying empires and then absorbing them or leaving them totally desiccated. They defeat everyone and they were coming for Europe. But then, suddenly, they’re gone. With the use of hindsight we can see some issues which led them to withdraw, the main one being that their Kahn had died and a new Kahn needed to be chosen, but the weather played a part too. So in this breathing space steps Giovanni Carpine.

I’ll let you get the rest of the story from the episode but it’s an interesting one. I’m happy to have discovered this podcast so I can fill the hole in my head about medieval history. Additionally, I found out this podcast is part of The Recorded History Network which has a lot of interesting history podcasts on it that I’m going to binge as well. Too many podcasts, not enough time!

5/5 sailing stars!

Corpus Delicti

CORPUS DELICTI

Hey guys! Ren here with another podcast review! Hope everyone is having a good week.

This time I am reviewing “Corpus Delicti” a true crime podcast. It is hosted by Jenn and Linds. These are two southern babes who adore true crime as much as I! They research throughly and it’s evident because they often know little details that this true crime fan hadn’t heard before. They have both mentioned falling down the rabbit hole with these stories. I also like that they are Southern girls and find it charming that they don’t curse often and do their best to not be too gory with the details. There are times they can’t help it and that’s okay. Sometimes the details are needed. They aren’t exploitative about the crimes and seem to be concerned about the crime victims.

I chose a few different podcast episodes to review: the first one I will talk about is Rose Larner. Rose was an eighteen year old with some problems, but she was a loving daughter. One night Rose borrowed her Mom’s car (also named Rose) to go to her former boyfriend’s grandma’s house with him and their mutual friend. This would be the last night of young Rose’s life. Her two best friends would kill her. I won’t go into the details, but will say this one time the ladies had to get a bit gory with the details to truly let you know how horrific this crime is and how much Rose went through. Their concern for Rose’s Mom was something that really set this podcast apart for me.

The second podcast episode I want to review is episode 25: “Los Feliz Murder Mansion”. This crime is about a doctor (cardiologist) who seemingly out of nowhere kills his wife, tries to kill his oldest daughter and then himself. There is no clear cut reason for him to decide to do this, but our lovely hostesses speculate and I found myself joining in and wondering too! I did thoroughly enjoy the thoughts on the book the Doctor was reading just before deciding to go upstairs and kill his wife(presumably). This is really an intriguing episode and I definitely recommend listening to it and then maybe come here to tell me your thoughts? I have some of my own!

I have listened to almost their entire series and I can say this podcast is fun yet serious. It strikes the right balance to keep you entertained while being respectful. I enjoy the the ladies and their sense of humor not to mention their southern charm. I appreciate the work and research and speculation they put into each episode. I definitely recommend this podcast for my fellow true crime fans. Come join me in becoming a “delicti-ble”!

Most Notorious: A True Crime Podcast

Hi guys, Ren here with another podcast review for your enjoyment.

Today’s review is “Most Notorious” a true crime blog that is different from the other one’s I have reviewed thus far. 
“What makes it different?” You ask.

Well, first of all it’s an interview format not storytelling. The second thing is every person that is interview is there to talk about a book. These authors have spent years researching crimes and then writing a book. Our host Erik Rivens asks the questions that really draw the listener into the book.

Mr. Rivens is also a writer. I think that helps him to understand the research, footwork and writing sweat that goes into writing a book. He has a clear respect for the authors on his show. Mr. Rivens clearly enjoys the books and talking with the people who are on his show to promote his/her book.

I listened to several podcasts and was completely riveted. I love listening to stories I know because I always learn something new. I had never heard of several of the crime stories that are featured on this podcast.

The first podcast I chose was “Indiana Serial Killer Belle Gunness with Harold Schechter”. This story was engrossing. I quick overview, but I won’t spoil the podcast! Belle is an immigrant from Norway to America. As the name of episode tells you…Miss Belle has some issues with letting people live especially if there is money to be made.

The next episode I listened to “Lucky Luciano’s 1930’s NYC Prostitution Trial with Ellen Poulsen”. The author was engaging with the interview and drew me into her stories of Mr. Luciano. I was impressed by Mr. Rivens and his amount of research and the Ms. Poulsen who had worked for years on this book. The facts made me want to know more and more.

I will admit I was giddy when I saw the last podcast I will talk about today. The podcast episode is entitled “Chicago Murderer H.H. Holmes: The True Story of the White City Devil with Adam Selzer”. Again, I won’t wreck this gripping podcast, but I learned several things I thought were true about this killer are in fact not true. Mr. Selzer’s research was impressive and I enjoyed the interview.

In conclusion, this is an interesting podcast and highly recommended. Now, I am off to buy books!

Who’s Right?

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I’ve referred to them as “the 4chan of podcasts” a million or so times. As a disclaimer, because I want to make this perfectly clear, this podcast is not for everyone. If you are easily offended, this isn’t the show for you. But if you’re like me and can spend hours browsing 4chan and Reddit without batting an eye, then you may wanna check them out.

Doug and Anthony are…interesting. They are two self-proclaimed assholes who, according to several of their episodes, don’t care as long as they make themselves laugh. It’s an interesting concept to have a podcast that doesn’t really have any sense of direction. They kind of just talk about random stuff, whatever they find funny at the moment. Topics include news stories with incredibly strange headlines, personal anecdotes from their day to day lives, their opinions on current events, Twitter feuds, and dark humor.

It is one of the most unique podcasts I’ve listened to…ever.

Like I said, Doug and Anthony are self-proclaimed assholes. But they’re also…not that bad. They’ve always been really…kind?…to me, and pretty encouraging when they see I’ve been struggling. They have a messed up sense of humor, but I’d argue that they’re probably good guys. Or maybe the show is just funny. Either way, I like them.

And I’m not the only one. They have over 4,000 followers on Twitter and several five-star reviews on iTunes. They’re a podcast that people from all walks of life listen to, and I’ve never listened to a pod that has made me laugh as hard as these guys do.

Like I said, it really isn’t for everyone. But if you can stomach it, give them a listen. You may be surprised at how much you actually like it (I know I was).

Anthony, Doug – keep doing what you do, guys. Thanks for always being hella cool. You’re doing a damn good job at keeping me laughing, and for that I thank you.

The End of Time and Other Bothers Review – Zimbellina

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The End of Time and Other Bothers is a new podcast coming April 15th. I got the awesome chance to listen to the first episode and I feel like such a lucky girl. What a lovely gift to wake up to!

So, firstly to be totally honest I didn’t know how I would react to this podcast as it is a role playing game being played in real time over the episodes. I’ve never played a real life role playing game like D&D, I’ve never even been in the same room as one being played. However, I’d love to learn it’s just not something that ever crossed my path. Until now. The End of Time and Other Bothers is like a D&D game but in the world of Alba Salix. There are two other Alba Salix podcasts, Alba Salix and The Axe & Crown, this is the third release by these world builders.

Sean the GM does a wonderful job building up the world. He leads the characters through their worlds, building up piece by piece, until you can have a fully imagined world. He’s fabulous at his job and really pulls you into the world he is building.

The other main characters, Blat, Darcy and Eggerton, are very well built up over the first episode. Blat, a half demon, is introduced first, is a file clerk who works in the bottom of a main building in the main part of Steadfast and it’s through him that we learn of the big event of the episode which I won’t say because that would ruin the surprise. Eggerton, a flightless fairy, is then introduced while he’s in the middle of getting ready for a big presentation that gets turned on its head by his nemesis very quickly. And finally Darcy, human cafeteria worker, is introduced. She’s quirky and interesting, I’d keep your eye on her she seems important. There is one other character but I’ll let you learn about that one on your own.

I’m so excited for this to launch. It is funny and surprisingly captivating. It is just like an audiodrama but it’s unfolding as you go in a way that audiodrama’s don’t really feel like. This feels different, like anything could and does happen. It adds drama and excitement to the show. I didn’t know what I expected going in but this was very good and I expect it to be a huge hit with the audiodrama and role playing communities. At least we’ve only got a little bit left to wait! Definitely get on this once it releases.

5/5 slightly singed stars.

Mars 2060 – The Colony Files Review – Zimbellina

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This podcast is a hidden gem of an audiodrama. I haven’t heard much about it but then maybe I just don’t run in the right circles on Twitter. Anyway, the first season of Mars 2060 focuses on the first set of astronauts to set up a habitat on Mars and study the planet. A second ship filled with supplies and more people comes about a year later. The story is told through a series of interviews by two people, Jenna and Megan. Megan is on Earth, interviewing the team on Earth and those who returned with the second ship when it went back to Earth. Jenna is on Mars and interviews both those from the first and second crews.

At first everything was going fine for the first crew then people started getting sick. A lot of people were falling ill but they couldn’t work out what was causing the illness and they couldn’t contain it. This happened when the second ship was on it’s way to Mars but wasn’t quite there yet. The sickness had to be contained and they needed to find the reason everyone was getting sick before the second ship landed. The second ship had orders that they weren’t to disembark if the sickness was not contained and they had to turn around and go back to earth.

“Mars is unfriendly. We are at work here everyday.” 

At first the major worries are psychological, such as anxiety and depression, but they had psychologists on Mars and they found ways to deal with this adequately such as with music or in extreme cases with medication but medication was not used a lot. These people were chosen to be able to withstand a lot of mental and physical strain. They were well trained and eager to do their jobs.

Some people were up there to search specific rock formations on Mars. The ship is divided into people who believe the rock formations are made by aliens and those who think there is either not enough evidence for that or they believe the formations are naturally made. The divide is not extreme, but it is there.

There is an interesting unfolding of the story through the interviews. Slowly with each interview more and more is learnt by the listener but at the same time more and more questions are raised. The interviews make you feel part of the crew and you feel what they feel as they explain the different reactions they had to landing and living on Mars. For example, there is an underlying questions of whether or not there were once aliens on Mars. If there was what happened to them? Did someone make the rock formations? And then there is the sickness that takes over the crew. How are they getting sick and what can be done to stop this sickness before it takes over the entire crew?

I listened to this in one go, so I don’t have a standout episode for you today because it seemed to me to be just one story. The voice recording is outstanding, the story telling is realistic and there are recognisably human moments even in such an inhuman place as Mars. The story quickly descends into a tense, mesmerising tale, told tantalisingly slowly, giving bits and pieces of the story before changing track and focusing on something else. This way of storytelling can sometimes be frustrating but all of the storylines in this audiodrama are so interesting you don’t mind being pulled from one storyline to another. It ends on a cliff hanger, but luckily I have been told there will be a second season. I cannot wait to see where this story takes me, it’s wonderfully told and everyone involved in the making of this podcast should be very proud of what they have produced. Loved it!

“The option of quitting was taken off the table the day we launched.”

5/5 red and dusty stars.

The Unwritable Rant

If you’re anything like me, you have a ton of thoughts that you want to

1200x630bbwrite down but always end up realising that for whatever reason — you probably shouldn’t do that. The show I’m going to introduce to you today is totally the kind of show I would end up doing if I ever actually start my own podcast and pretty much for the reason previously mentioned. Host Juliette Miranda likely realised this from experiences in their own life, which is what brought us all the creation of The Unwritable Rant podcast. Being an author gives the host an amazing insight into how to tell stories and she uses it well. From food to mishaps in hollywood (and always accompanied with a tasty drink), the stories are definitely entertaining and each kind of listener can find a story that resonates with them.

Usually, storytelling podcasts aren’t often my jam but The Unwritable Rant was like grabbing a drink with a friend during Sunday brunch and just shooting the breeze. Speaking of drinks, do you (like me) know next to nothing about bourbon? That will absolutely change after listening to this show. While still a bourbon novice, I now know so much more about a liquor that I never drink and it almost makes me want to drink it more often (which will probably please a lot of my friends, but that’s for another time and another website).

I recommend this show to all who are looking for an easy listen, but aren’t afraid to hear stories and opinions that may challenge the ones you currently hold.