Category Archives: Podcast

Tea & Review: ‘Fish’ Podcast is the Ultimate Edutainment Experience

{All images used courtesy the No Such Thing as a Fish Facebook page.}

No Such Thing as a Fish
produced by BBC Two / QI
Hosted by James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray, Anna Ptaszynski, and Dan Schreiber.
Released weekly, with an approximate running time of 60 minutes.
Started March 2014.

Did you know that there is an American cricket team in Compton (as in ‘Straight Outta….’)? How about that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller coaster ride? And Leonardo da Vinci made sculptures out of marzipan and got angry when people ate them. These are just some of the fun facts you will learn when you start listening to the podcast No Such Thing as a Fish.

Started three years ago this month, the podcast is a byproduct of the British quiz show QI. Hosted by the researchers of said show, who are cheekily titled the QI Elves, the podcast combines the best of British humor and the fun parts of research and education.

Each week, the approximately hour long podcast is hosted by four of the Elves (mostly James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray, Anna Ptaszynski, and Dan Schreiber, although they occasionally have someone else come in for one of them). They each present their favorite fact they came across that week, and then discuss it. The topics range from somewhat serious to outright hilarious, and are always fascinating.

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Podcast: The Redemption of M. Night Shyamalan?

M. Night Shyamalan’s career of producing good movies has been an unfortunate pattern of hits and misses.

In 1999, Shyamalan hit the blockbuster payload when The Sixth Sense gave the universe the ultimate freaky line that would stand the test of time.

“I see dead people.”

Shymalan’s ultimately created a shock and awe template for his films that left audience members with a twist, with sprinkles of Alfred Hitchcock seen throughout.

But following the horrible, white washed flop of Shyamalan’s 2010 film The Last Airbender the director began what we could easily call a “creative freefall into hell”.

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“Fantastic” Spinoffs and Where to Find Them

I picked up the first Harry Potter book– actually, it was given to me by a kindly school librarian– when I was 12, just a year or so after the book was published in 1997. The series took a decade to complete, culminating, for me, with a trip to a bookstore in Germany to buy the UK edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows during a backpacking trip before my senior year of college.   Like any piece of art that wallops you at just the right time, those books embedded themselves in my identity. Who would I have been without Harry Potter, or for that matter, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Simpsons, Monsoon Wedding, or that mural on the wall of Amoeba Records commemorating the free speech movement? (When I was a freshman in college, I walked by it twice a day and still think about it pretty often.) We are what we love, especially what we love when we are young.

So, it’s not really correct to say that I’m a “fan” of Harry Potter. It’s deeper than that. The series provided a framework for my adolescence. The first movie coincided with my first real crush, who kissed another girl at the screening and provided my first real heartbreak. I picked up the fourth book one hot high school summer and stayed up till 3 AM weeping over the return of Voldemort, my brothers collaborating on music in the next room. The sixth book came out when I was working at a mini-Borders in a shopping mall, so I remember staring at those unopened boxes in the windowless storage room, eating turkey sandwiches brought in from my parents’ house. Then there was the pinnacle seventh book that summer in Europe, a reading experience so dear that I stopped reading it on the plane in order to finish it in the privacy of my own home.

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