Category Archives: Culture

Episode Fourteen: The Sci-Fi Special (March 23, 2012)

The original Far Side cartoon that indirectly inspired the movie Cowboys And Aliens

Today Ben had the day off, so Henry and Jake got carried away talking about sci-fi, as well as sneaking in a feature about races and nations.

Races & Nations
By: Henry Hawkins
From an idea by Jake, Henry took the question ‘are races and nations outdated concepts?’ and discussed the evolution of these concepts over time. He argued that the are outdated concepts, but they still hold meaning – although they have changed significantly from their original meanings.

Mainstream Science-Fiction Movies
By: Jake Barber
Using the recent catastrophic failure of John Carter From Mars as a springboard, Jake looked at some of the most common mainstream science -fiction films of recent years. He addressed the way science fiction is watered down for mass consumption, and some of the other massive flops from recent years.

Listen [1:00:00]


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Episode Thirteen: Take This! (March 16, 2012)

Perhaps the most famous picture of Take That, everyone’s favourite pop superstars

Henry took the week off, so Ben and Jake were left to dedicate an entire show to everyone’s favourite pop sensations, Take That!

Take That Trivia
By: Jake Barber
Ben and Jake started things off with some Take That trivia, highlighting some of the lesser appreciated facts about Take That in a fun game. Jake threw some questions at Ben, who did astoundingly well, despite having to phone a friend at one point.

A Short History of Take That
By: Ben Garlick & Jake Barber
Jake and Ben then presented a detailed history of Take That, from its early formation, the departure of Robbie Williams, and their triumphant reformation and return to form. A brief review of all the Take That albums followed, breaking of course for some of the greatest (Take That) songs ever.

Listen [1:00:35]

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Episode Eight: A New Season, A New Studio (February 10, 2012)

The River Tyne in Newcastle

For the first show back, we heard a discussion from Ben about what Geography really is, we had a (completely unplanned) Wheel of Disagreement, and the environmental song of the week was Big River, by Jimmy Nail

What is Geography?
By: Ben Garlick
Today Ben attacked on of the major basic disputes of the discipline, discussing what Geography really is. Covering a few ideas about what some notable academics have to say on the matter, the divide between Physical and Cultural geography, and finished with a brief comment on what Geography is to each of us.

Geographical Song Analysis
By: Henry Hawkins
Today our geographical song was Big River, by Jimmy Nail (by request). The song refers to the River Tyne, and takes an ‘elegaic’ look at the decline of shipbuilding industry of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Wheel of Disagreement: Manifest Destiny
We also had a spur of the moment wheel of disagreement, featuring Henry and Ben, Ben making up for his previous loss with a well-earned victory.

Listen [59:59]

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Filed under Culture, Meta-Geography

Episode Seven: Christmas (December 12, 2011)

The SPF Team in the Christmas spirit

This week we had a christmas special, looking at the history of Christmas, as well as playing lots of classic Christmas songs. Since it is also exam time, we didn’t have much to present this week, and instead rambled on for a while, occasionally about something geographic.

Contested Landscape of Christmas Lights
By: Ben Garlick
Ben discussed an article about Christmas light displays, and the class differences of display styles, with colours and size varying between neighbourhoods. He takes issue with it though, and tries to break down the ‘chav-bling’ stereotype of gaudy christmas displays.

Listen [1:02:02]

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Episode Six: Make It So (December 5, 2011)

This week Henry was away, so Jake and Ben were left to carry the torch by themselves. They more than made up for it with an episode dedicated to Star Wars, Star Trek, with many, many soundboard clips.

The Ethics of Star Wars & Star Trek
By: Jake Barber & Ben Garlick
Jake talked a little bit about the moral codes imparted in TNG, specifically looking at the way the series can be seen as a metaphor for white America, with the crew of the Enterprise helping others whether they are wanted or not.

Ben then looked at Star Wars, examining the typical monoculture representation of worlds, even looking at the cultural identity of wookies. And using many soundboard contributions from captains Picard and Kirk, of course.

Geographical Song Analysis
Rihanna: Umbrella
Taking a look at the obvious geographical elements in Rihanna’s biggest song, Jake and Ben discussed the Jay-zeconomics as well as an interpretation through Marcel Mauss’ The Gift.

Some Rubbish Fieldwork
By: Ben Garlick
Ben wrapped up the show by talking about a bit of fieldwork he plans on doing, observing the ways in which people interact with garbage in cafes.

Listen [59:32]

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Episode Three: A Very Special Musical Guest (November 14, 2011)

Turbines at the Black Law Wind Farm

Today on the show we had two very special guests: Helen Whale and Jack McCarthy, from the Department of Geography to perform a couple of songs. First they performed an original song called Bumblebee, then a cover of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song.

We also had a special game of Countdown with Jack and Helen, and a couple of features from Henry and Ben.

The Black Law Wind Farm
By: Henry Hawkins
Last week Henry went on a field trip to the Black Law wind farm just outside Forth in Lanarkshire. He talked about the trip, and some fun facts about wind turbines (they are about 22 stories high! the base is made from 550 tonnes of concrete), and discussed some of the practicalities of wind farm power production.

Colonial Medicine in India
By: Ben Garlick
This morning Ben looked at the relationship between local knowledge of medicine and Western concepts of science in India. Through the lens of colonialism, he discussed how the perspectives clashed over the years, and the British goal of ordering, understanding, and conquering representations of the body through medicine.

Listen [1:00:56]

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Episode One: Halloween (October 31, 2011)

The very first episode of SPF Edinburgh started with a discussion of the history of Halloween from its origins as a Celtic ceremony, the spread of Americanized Halloween culture, and the geopolitical context of horror films.

Jake brought us the week’s news, and Ben discussed the environmental song of the week, Oh, Larson B by British Sea Power.

We also had some problems with the station’s online feed, so this episode was never broadcast, and is an online-exclusive!

Listen: [56:56]

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