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caesar novus

What series are you streaming now?

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This is inspired by the "song" thread, though I doubt it will be nearly as popular. I wondered what video or audio series do you follow that others might find interesting, especially if there is no cost, commercials, or copyright?

 

I will kick it off with video memoirs of a Harvard law professor who was invited to China for a couple years to help set up a "rule of law". It was just opening up to the west and and thought it could get economically stronger if having at least a veneer of business law. And after 35 years it worked well enough so China now feels strong and self sufficient enough to become a bully with it's neighbors about who owns certain islands in between them. May sound sound dull, but the man is a great and smart storyteller.

 

I attempt to show below the group of 16 one hour videos "Law, Life and Asia: Conversations with Jerome Alan Cohen". Youtube will keep your place when you stop in the middle, although I sometimes find it rocky to advance from one to the next video part using "watch later" feature. It's just a talking head, so I found my Amazon fire tablet will let me put the screen to sleep while still playing youtube (sometimes takes a couple tries). Then it's a good listen if you are resting after a big meal or effort:

 

 

Also some honorable mentions to less gripping series that I use for times I have trouble falling asleep. They are old-time radio satires which are no big loss if I fall asleep and lose my place in them. Most can be streamed commercial free by searching for "british comedy" or "american comedy" on the xiialive app. I picked my favorites and downloaded mp3 files from archive.org or the like. Some episodes have fuzzy audio, and don't take shakey early episodes as representative of later ones more in the groove:

 

Hancocks half hour (misadventures of a Brit who tries hard)

The men from the ministry (branch of UK gov't alternates between dozing and screwball panic)

The great guildersleeve (domestic life of some odd US characters)

The bickersons (husband and wife arguing nonsense in wee hours)

Edited by caesar novus

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...wow looks impressive, i feel so ordinary,

...just finsihed the 8th season of Dr. House (Amazon Prime)

...and started now with Six Feet under (Sky Germany)

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For me, it has been out of laziness that I have built up many long educational videos in youtube "watch later" list. Only recently did I notice youtube will keep track of where I left off, so I can break the logjam by watching in bits. Many are from visiting experts whose lectures I skipped after I promised myself I would watch their video.

 

I can't believe I am contemplating skipping a lecture by the archeologist who worked on a boat that could have fought Vespasian in a naval battle on Sea of Galilee off Mary Magdalene's home town of Migdal. Below I post an old video of his lecture (not a series but long) whose production quality isn't great, but can be supplanted by his writeup of the Roman history context http://www.jesusboat.com/jesusboat-archive/ancient-seafaring-and-the-jesus-boat

 

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So what to stream next... I will riff a bit in this quiet place, even tho it may better fit in a blog. I started on a BBC series on famous battles, but the most interesting episodes have been withdrawn from youtube due to a copyrighted song or something. That left me with a ragtag collection of documentaries on obscure aircraft and tanks of ww2 which are pretty good.
 
An Australian one was pretty raw in dissing hotshot US fighter pilots for having little interest in navigation book-learning. Apparently about 110% of USAF was lost by accidentally landing at an enemy base or dropping in the ocean! The speaker used to escort groups of 6 US fighters in ferries to distant bases. One day is socked in from top to bottom, so he leads the fighters just above the sea to have some level reference. An uncharted island appears and they all hit the trees. The proud speaker was the only survivor because his aircraft was rugged enough to stay airborne... wow, that was presented in bad enough taste to hit the cutting room floor for most documentaries.
 
The strange thing is I might listen again to the China lawyer series! The final few episodes became more raw than just a genial legal scholar bemused by how reality works. It becomes clear he was a high-achievement person sometimes at odds with clients that turn out to be outrageous frauds, with a high achievement spouse that asserts more control to his detriment, and a pilgrim promoting the study of history as the key to understanding now. Such themes make the earlier talks more interesting to see emerging conflicts such as we all may share.
 
For example early in life the (young) CIA tried to recruit him to parachute into contested parts of China. As he predicted to them, most were captured or killed. He and his ivy league pals were recruited by the army for accelerated commander training, but his father wouldn't sign the permission slip. Most of his pals who joined were killed while leading troops in Korea - these positions were especially cannon fodder.
 
How do you balance life with a similarly ambitious spouse? He wants to teach Chinese law in Tokyo's premier university (of interest to Japanese businessmen). No, says his Buddhist scholar wife - it must be in Kyoto where the temples abound. He arrives in a Kyoto university about 100 times less prestigious, and it is paralyzed by a communist student takeover for a very long time. A benefit is he studies how prosecutors, police, and courts really work, which the Tokyo theoreticians are clueless about. Later his wife takes him on a Buddhist pilgrimage in western China during the Muslim uprising where outsiders being shot was an everyday occurrence.
 
His constant plea with everyone is to promote the study of Chinese legal history. He has an audience with Chiang Kai-shek and instead of hopeless pleas to release political prisoners, he successfully makes the case for such study! They set up a whole ministry in Taiwan, which hadn't erased the legacy of ancient law. Makes one wonder why study obscure history of any kind, and you can infer how it informs you of why things are the way they are, and how past discarded ideas maybe had even better answers to human nature.
 
He handled many human rights abuses of China for free. A respected Chinese-American university librarian made a fool of him. She was jailed long term in China for collecting materials slightly embarrassing to the regime for her library. Cohen paid her bills at home, and got all kinds of high political leverage applied. She was released to US only to be jailed for all kinds of corrupt business dealings related to China and US. She started to have a string of pregnancies which the usually reserved Cohen saw as a pity ploy to leave jail. Once released she is put in another prison for further offenses. A lesson to vet your charitable causes - I found thru volunteer work that many charities I used to donate to are scamilicious.

Edited by caesar novus

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Hmm, I think my above post was a difficult sell, so I will try other suggestions. I am streaming a paid series called "Understanding Greek and Roman Technology: From Catapult to the Pantheon" which can be quite expensive even with sale promotions, but I just noticed there are several free samples on youtube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=understanding+greek+and+roman+technology

 

Another short youtube series I am streaming is "Mel Brooks, The Producers, making of 1of 7"... about a classic black comedy about financial fraud. For once something other than a ponzi scheme, but where you profit more when a project flops rather than succeeds because you oversubscribed with investors that then are zeroed out. I think not limited to the showbiz industry but behind certain regional solar power and internet broadband bankruptcies:

 

Here is a snippet from the movie which unfortunately ends just before the one member of audience that claps gets beat up (caution, edgy or bad taste):

 

Edited by caesar novus

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Drone views above Italy are all over youtube, and many are amazing. Not yet doing the best job of Roman ruins, and they appear to be skirting the law (one lands just as the operator is arrested). Search within Youtube for "drone rome" or "drone rome wall" for instance. Also Roman monuments outside of Rome, but avoid keyword of "roman" or it floods you with people of that name.

 

P.S. you can also use this to view earthquake damage, which was what started me on this search.

Edited by caesar novus

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