Podcast Review: “Travel with Rick Steves”

Steves’s curiosity and enthusiasm for travel are infectious.

Travel with Rick Steves is a weekly one hour podcast with guest experts and callers about travel, cultures and people. This, in my opinion, is the best travel podcast.

Steves is well-traveled, bright, articulate, positive and most of all curious to learn about the world and the people who inhabit it. Although Steves’s guidebooks and organized tours focus on Europe, the podcast covers the world. Guests include authors and professional guides Steves uses for his tours and guidebooks. The information he provides is timely and accurate. For example, Steves has interviewed great authors such as Paul Theroux and David McCullough.

After listening to the interview of David McCullough, I was really charged up to get out and explore the world, in part because McCullough started his life and explorations in my hometown — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. McCullough has written extensively about the United States starting near home with the The Johnstown Flood. He’s also a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. That’s the caliber of guest Steves can corral. And he does it once a week.

Podcast Review: “Tips for Travellers”

Useful travel tips based on first-hand experience.

Gary Bembridge was born in Zimbabwe but has been based in London since 1987. He has travelled extensively for a quarter of a century. He used to be an executive for multi-national corporations, but since 2012 has been creating the Tips for Travellers podcast. Bembridge travels first-class, often on high-end cruise ships. But you don’t have to travel as he does to benefit from his podcasts. He provides very practical tips on what to see and do in destinations all over the world. Bembridge is candid and as best I can tell is not influenced by sponsors or free travel. Bembridge also has a helpful YouTube channel.

Straight Talk from Gina Trapani, Founder of Lifehacker

“I form opinions about people based on the tech they use.”

Gina Trapani, founder of Lifehacker, writing on her new employer’s blog:

I have a confession to make: I form opinions about people based on the tech they use. I’m not proud of it, but I know I’m not alone. Who among us has not raised an eyebrow at an aol.com email address or judged the green bubbles? So I’ve embraced this character flaw of mine, chalked it up to years of tech blogging, and thought a bit about the tribal lines drawn by whether you spend more time on Twitter or Facebook, use a Mac or a Chromebook, wield a selfie stick or wear a Bluetooth earpiece.

I’m sure Gina isn’t alone.

TV Series Review: “The Heavy Water War”

Gripping drama concerning the efforts of the Allies to prevent Nazi Germany from getting the atom bomb.

The Heavy Water War” is a six-episode TV miniseries produced by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. It depicts Nazi Germany’s efforts to develop an atom bomb and the struggle of the Allied forces to prevent them from getting it.

The series is subtitled. The dialogue is in German, Norwegian and to a lesser extent English. I found the series gripping and the acting first-rate. Anna Friel, Søren Pilmark, Pip Torrens and Dennis Storhøi especially impressed me. The energy between Friel and Pilmark is both evident and well-portrayed.

The series also addresses head-on the issue of “unavoidable” civilian casualties in military operations. The issue as we face it today obviously isn’t new. Only the circumstances have changed. The answers were as unclear then as they are now.

The New York Times has an interesting 2015 interview with Joachim Ronneberg (portrayed in the series by Tobias Santelmann), one of the Norwegians responsible for foiling the German’s nuclear ambitions.

Highly recommended.

Om Malik’s Renewed Interest in Blogging

“I want to write as often as I can about things that mean a lot of me”

Om Malik is ready to step his personal blogging game:

2016 has been a year of rejuvenation and I have a newfound energy to write, travel and share one more time. While I am no longer interested in blogging professionally, I want to write as often as I can about things that mean a lot of me — technology, venture capital, startups, photography, fashion & style and sometimes popular culture & sports. And since I look at the world through the lens of technology you will see my postings reflect that point of view.

This is great news. His redesigned website is beautiful.