Good news! Your favourite podcasters (we know we’re your favourite) have been listed among the Best Geography Resources by Tutorful, based on recommendations of their subscribers. We’re top of the list, too!
Thanks to all of you who’ve downloaded, listened, or liked the podcast, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Our second “minisode” focuses on the events that happened in Runnymede, England in 1215, when King John of England sealed a deal with his rebellious barons to bring some peace to his kingdom.
Thanks to Sam Hume from the History of Witchcraft Podcast for lending us his voice to give life to King John. Music this week comes from Lee Rosevere, and is used under Creative Commons License 3.0 (by attribution).
Merry Christmas from the 80 Days team! We hope you enjoy this Christmas themed “minisode” – this is a new, shorter and more focused format of episode we’re trying out before we launch Season 3. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this different style of storytelling (positive or negative), or indeed we’d love to hear your thoughts on anything on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @80dayspodcast or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best wishes for 2018, wherever you are around the world.
In this episode of 80 Days: An Exploration Podcast, we’ll be discussing the Jewish Autonomous Oblast (JAO), a somewhat independent region in the Russian Far East wedged between Siberia and Northern China. Its capital is the city of Birobidzhan, and with 75,000 inhabitants it is by far the most populated part of the region. For that reason, the name Birobidzhan is often used to refer to the whole area.
Officially founded in 1934 as an attempt to create a Jewish state within Russian borders, the territory was the world’s first attempt at a Jewish national homeland in modern times, and today is Russia’s only autonomous oblast. Aside from Israel, it is the world’s only officially Jewish territory. As of the 2010 Census, JAO’s population was 176,558 people, or 0.1% of the total population of Russia. Judaism is practiced by only 0.2% of the population of the JAO.
Thanks to Louise Ireson, John Killeen, Simon Greene for your support on Kickstarter. Thanks too to Rabbi Eliyahu Riss in Birobidzhan for interviewing with us.
We also need to thank our sponsor for the season Hairy Baby, who in addition to making the funniest Irish-themed t-shirts, have also produced the official 80 Days shirt for our supporters. Find it by clicking here. You can get 10% off anything on www.hairybaby.com by using our promo code “80DAYS”.
This will be the final episode for this season, but never fear, we’ll be back with more obscure goodness soon. We’re extremely grateful to everyone who’s supported us over the past year and a bit of podcasting, and if you want to hear more stay subscribed to the feed and keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In this episode of 80 Days: an exploration podcast, we’ll be talking about Liechtenstein, a tiny European principality, sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria that is still ruled by the same family since the early 18th century. In a small valley towards the beginning of the mighty Rhine river, it was frequented by the Romans and incorporated into the empire before that all went sideways and the Vandals earned their name. After passing through the infuential spheres of central Europe through the centuries they were eventually taken over by the Liechtenstein family in a bid to get more favor with the Austro-Hungarian Empire (which worked a treat as it happened.) They side-stepped the devastation of World War 2 and spent the latter half of the 20th century becoming a financial services powerhouse, while also making a surprisingly successful go of manufacturing – dentures and drills in particular. Builders drills. Not dentists drills. Though there’s a business plan in there somewhere.
Liechtenstein – strong contender for the nicest place we’ve profiled. Apologies to Liberia…
In a break from our normal desktop research, we sent the intrepid Joe Byrne into the field with the savage Liechtensteiners to risk his life in doing some field research. Turns out it’s super safe and lovely. Who knew? Well you did if you listened in, as well as the chilled out nature of the locals and how normal it is to just run into some royalty if you live there.
Proof of Joe’s expedition below-
That’s Joe there, showcasing the Liechtenstein flag like a boss.
Above are a selection of photos from Liechtenstein, including the Roman ruins and the bronze Celtic figurines discussed in the episode. More photos can be seen here.
Here are some HOTLINKS (guitar solo here) to give you all the extra background you apparently weren’t sufficed with in our mega-bumper podcast, you info-hungry maniac:
Thanks to Sarah O’Farrell and Niall O’Leary for your support on Kickstarter and Sinéad Dowling who helped our man on the ground Joe Byrne with his visit and research. Thanks too to Martin Meier for a useful conversation and Donat Büchel, curator of the Liechtensteinische Landesmuseum for some assistance. Special thanks to students Julia and Sebbi from the Liechtensteinische Gymnasium (High School) for a long and informative interview – they make videos that can be found on YouTube.
Thanks too to our sponsor Hairy Baby, who in addition to making the funniest Irish-themed t-shirts, have also produced the official 80 Days shirt for our supporters. Find it by clicking here. You can get 10% off anything on www.hairybaby.com by using our promo code “80DAYS”.
In this episode of 80 Days: an exploration podcast, we’ll be talking about Georgia. Not the US state, but the country in the south caucasus, known to its inhabitants as “Sakartvelo”. This former Soviet Republic is nestled between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and is home to around 3.7 Million people with a history dating back thousands of years. Throughout its history, Georgia has been subject to numerous larger powers, including the Mongols, the Ottoman Empire, and dynasties of Persia (Iran) and the Soviet Union. As the Iron Curtain fell, Georgia declared its independence and has operated as a modern Republic ever since. It’s neighbour to the North, Russia, however, has ensured that Georgia’s hold over independence has never been as secure as most Georgians would like. Ethnic conflicts and economic turmoil beset the country throughout the 1990s, culminating in the brief Russo-Georgian war of 2008, from which tensions still remain to this day.
To get a grip on the expanding and contracting borders of Georgia over the centuries, there are two videos available on YouTube, showing changing maps: here, and here
In 1185 Queen Tamar built remarkable thirteen-storey fortress cave city of Vardzia in the Erusheli Mtn, which looks like something out of Lord of the Rings(Atlas Obscura). It survived the coming of the Mongols, but an earthquake and a Shah more or less finished it off. Now some committed monks live there (see it on YouTube). There is also another rock-hewn city called Uplistsikhe which served as capital after Arab conquest of Tbilisi
“The History of the Mongols“ podcast gives a comprehensive view of the momentous impact of the Mongol expansion on vast reaches of the world, from China to the Caucasus; (iTunes link) Episodes “Tamerlane” and “Blood and Ink” might be of interest
Finally, we promised to include the video of the insane baptism rituals available in the Georgian Orthodox Church, so from EuroNews, here it is:
A massive thanks to the inimitable Gary O’Daly and Jeffrey Dokar, two of the backers of our recent Kickstarter Campaign – thank you for making Season 2 possible. Big thanks also to Mariam Kalandarshvili for talking to us and helping us understand (and pronounce) some elements of Georgian history; we now know that the capital is T’bee-lee-see! Thanks too to our sponsor Hairy Baby, who in addition to making the funniest Irish-themed t-shirts, have also produced the official 80 Days shirt for our supporters. Find it by clicking here. You can get 10% off anything on www.hairybaby.com by using our promo code “80DAYS”.