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Are you looking for a more interesting way to learn English? English Learning for Curious Minds is where you can learn English from native speakers while learning fascinating things about the world. Every episode comes with a transcript & key vocabulary and is spoken at a speed you can understand. Join listeners from 189 countries and discover the most interesting way to improve your English while expanding your mind. Find the bonus episodes, transcripts, key vocabulary, and learning materia ...
 
Enthusiastic amateurs, inquisitive gadabouts, cheerful idiots. Join sisters Anna and Kate every fortnight as they discuss something, someone or somewhere fun, freaky or fascinating they’ve discovered in their adopted countries of France and Italy. Highlights include: decapitation, cheese, arguing about mountains, stolen penises, serial killers, existential crises, WAR and more. Get in touch via theenglishhavedisembarked@gmail.com or on Instagram @theenglishhavedisembarked
 
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In September 1519, a Portuguese explorer and a crew of 270 men set sail from Spain trying to find a sea route west, through the Americas. Three years later, 18 of the men returned, tired and hungry, but becoming the first people to have successfully completed a full circle of the Earth. Introduction to The Age of Exploration The Treaty of Tordesill…
 
On September 17th, 2011, hundreds of people descended on a park in the heart of New York's financial district. Their aim? To protest against the global financial system and its effects on 99% of the population. On this 10th anniversary of the protests, we take a look at what happened, what they achieved, and what impact they might have in the futur…
 
It is one of the most popular websites in the world and has the goal of being a comprehensive collection of all of the knowledge in the world. In this episode, we'll learn about the history of this amazing website, why it succeeded where others failed, how it actually works, and its importance as a source of truth. Some statistics about how big Wik…
 
It's one of the United States' most powerful advocacy groups and is a fierce defender of gun rights. But it hasn't always been like this. In this episode, we'll discover how it went from helping create gun control laws to becoming the most powerful pro-gun organisation in Washington D.C. The early years of the NRA Helping introduce gun control laws…
 
In 1745 Charles Stuart arrived on the west coast of Scotland with the aim of taking back the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland. It didn't go as planned and resulted in the last battle fought on British soil. In this episode, we'll learn about his failed rebellion, and the legacy he has left on Great Britain. The early life of Bonnie Prince Ch…
 
He was the Scottish rebel who fought against the English and has become the most famous freedom fighter in Scottish history. In this episode, we'll learn all about his battles against the English, and the legacy that William Wallace left on the country. Introduction to mini-series on Scottish heroes The brutal execution of William Wallace Introduct…
 
It's often said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and throughout history there are books that have been considered too dangerous to be read. In this episode, we'll take a look at the times when governments have banned books, the reasons for this, and ask ourselves what this tells us about society. What's the link between The Bible, William S…
 
He was an internet security pioneer, and his McAfee Antivirus software was used on hundreds of millions of computers all around the world. But privately, he lived a crazy life that ended in tragedy. In this episode, we'll learn all about the wild, wild, life of this cybersecurity legend. The early life of John McAfee Finding talent for mathematics …
 
He is considered by many to be the greatest public speaker in British history, and his words and speeches were a defining force in the British war effort. In this episode, we'll learn all about how Winston Churchill used the English language to inspire a nation. Winning the 1953 Nobel Prize for literature Early obstacles to being a great orator Com…
 
In 2019, former Vice President Mike Pence said "Make no mistake about it - we're in a space race today". Discover who the key players are, why there is a renewed interest in going to space, why it is now cheaper than ever before, and what the future of space exploration might look like. Enthusiasm for space post moon landing What was the next step …
 
After the end of the Second World War, the US and the USSR were locked in a race to get to space first. Discover how the race started, who scored all the early points, and why going to the moon first was the biggest prize in space history. End of World War II & Nazi V2 rockets The head of the USA space programme: Wernher von Braun The head of the U…
 
It's a technology that some have said will bring in a Fourth Industrial Revolution. Discover how 3D printing actually works, what industries it is revolutionising, and how it will (or won't) change every aspect of the world we live in. A brief history of the creation of objects 3D printing vs. traditional manufacturing Should we really call it "pri…
 
British food has a bad reputation. It's often considered boring, uninspiring, and tasteless. But it hasn't always been this way. Discover what role William the Conqueror, Henry VIII, The French Revolution and Colonialism all played in making British food taste the way it does. The current reputation of British food The arrival of the Normans in 106…
 
It is, by some standards, the most successful modern religion. Discover how Scientology went from the pseudo-medical ideas of an out-of-luck science fiction writer to a religion that counts some of the world's most famous film stars among its believers. The early life of L. Ron Hubbard Discovering a talent as a science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard…
 
Spices are an integral part of almost every cuisine in the world and are something that most of us now take for granted. Yet spices used to be an incredibly valuable commodity and were the preserve of only the very richest in some societies. In this episode, we'll learn more about how they went from being the preserve of the very richest in society…
 
It was a revolutionary idea: being able to conduct fast, cheap, and effective blood tests with only a tiny drop of blood. But it turned out that the company behind it was one, huge fraud. This is the fascinating story of how a Stanford dropout went from the youngest self-made female billionaire in history to facing 20 years in prison. Background of…
 
It is the coworking company that was once valued at over $50 billion, but then came spectacularly crashing down. In this episode, we'll learn about the amazing rise and fall of the company that tried to make office space cool. The questions that WeWork gets us thinking about WeWork at its peak The founding of WeWork in 2010 Who was Adam Neumann? Wh…
 
He is the most famous playwright in history and has been translated into every major living language. In this episode, you'll learn about this fantastic man's life, his works, and why he is still called "the world's greatest living playwright". An exhibition celebrating Shakespeare's 450th birthday The two most common questions people have about Sh…
 
The Olympics are meant to be a politics-free zone. But is this ever really possible? In this episode, we'll learn about the history of The Olympics, and analyse five times politics was at the heart of the games. History of The Ancient Olympics When The Olympics were banned by the Romans Revival of Olympics in 19th century Baron Pierre de Coubertin …
 
For many, he is the greatest writer in the history of the English language. Outside the UK, he is known as the author of two of the most important political fiction books in history: Animal Farm & 1984. Learn about the amazing life of this fantastic man and the events that shaped his worldview. Reasons to learn about George Orwell The statue of Geo…
 
“A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see.” It was the trip of a lifetime, where young, aristocratic British men would travel across Europe and open their eyes to new worlds. Discover why these men would do this, how they travelled, what they got up to, and…
 
It's the world's Sin City, where fortunes and made and lost. In this episode, you'll learn about the history of this unlikely city, from its early days as a desert oasis to its links with the Mafia, from eccentric entrepreneurs right through to atomic bombs. Geographic location of Las Vegas Discovering Las Vegas ("The Meadows") 1905: A sleepy railw…
 
It is the most famous revolution in Europe and saw the continent's most populous country execute its monarch and restructure its society. From guillotines to out of touch queens, the French Revolution is the story of how France became the country of "liberté, égalité, and fraternité". French society before the revolution Louis XVI & Marie Antoinett…
 
It was the period in the mid-18th century where Britain experienced a radical transformation. The Industrial Revolution saw huge improvements in manufacturing, millions of people move to the cities and the fabric of British society change forever. Evolution or Revolution? Pre-industrial life in Britain The inventions in The Industrial Revolution Ja…
 
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes" Tax might not sound interesting or exciting to most people, but it affects all of us. In this episode, we explore what paying taxes actually means, and how it affects our relationship with the government and society. And we'll do all of this through the story of two pen-pals,…
 
He is considered by many to have been the greatest footballer to have ever lived, yet off the pitch his life was full of tragedy. Learn about the fascinating history of this amazing man, and discover why he arrived in Naples as a hero and left as the most hated man in Italy. Diego vs. Maradona Early life in Buenos Aires Being spotted by a talent sc…
 
It has been called the "bloodiest business in history", and cost the lives of 3 million whales. In today's episode, we take a look at the amazing history of whaling, from how it really worked to the reasons it went on for so long. History of pre-industrial whaling How pre-industrial whaling worked Whaling during the Renaissance era How whale huntin…
 
It's one of the four countries that form part of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and has a fantastic history of invention, rivalry with its neighbour, and fierce pride. In this episode, we take a look at the fantastic history of Scotland and ask ourselves how long it will remain part of the UK. “We look to Scotland for all …
 
It's a dialect from a small area of London's that might sound impossible to understand. In this episode, you'll learn what "apple and pears" means, what you should do if a friend asks if you want to go to the "battle", and who your "trouble and strife" might be... Example clip of Cockney Rhyming Slang How Cockney Rhyming Slang is formed Funny conne…
 
Content warning: in this episode we get into some pretty heavy subjects including sexual assault, harassment and rape. The majority of this comes in at the 35 minute mark up until 42 minutes and 30 seconds if you want to skip. In which we discuss the musical Hamilton, terrible taxes and a crow called Checca. More on Hortensia: https://www.britannic…
 
In the last part of our three-part series on Disney, we take a look at the magic of Disney and ask ourselves what ingredients are in its special, magic sauce. Can you really explain the 'magic' of Disney? The Hero's Journey The 5 core themes: narrative, characters, morale, humour, songs Theme #1: Narrative Theme #2: Characters Theme #3: Morale Them…
 
In the first part of our three-part series, we take a look at the fascinating history of Disney. From why Mickey Mouse isn't a rabbit through to what Walt Disney was like as a person, the history of Disney is as interesting as it is magical. Early life of Walt Disney Setting off to California The "Alice Comedies" Setting up Disney Brothers Cartoon …
 
From a small, wet island, English has come to be the world's dominant language. How did this actually happen, where does English actually come from, and how has the language changed over the years? How many people speak English Why English isn't a 'pure' language (English as a mongrel dog, and as a soup) Anglo-Saxons & "Old" English Anglo-Saxon wor…
 
It's the day of the year where we celebrate love and desire. But where does it actually come from? The origins of Valentine's Day are mysterious, and not even that closely related to love at all. "One of those mysterious historical or antiquarian problems which are doomed never to be solved.” Theory #1: St Valentine of Rome Theory #2: St Valentine …
 
Discover the story of what happened when an Italian engineer decided to build an island off the coast of Italy..and then declare it to be an independent country. Giorgio Rosa - the ambitious engineer The law about who owns the sea How he built the island Declaring Rose Island to be an independent country The political situation in the 1960s Why peo…
 
It's the world's most famous book on military strategy. Learn about its fascinating history, about the lessons in the book, and discover how you can apply some ideas from this 2,500-year-old book to your English learning. What we know (and don't know) about the book Sun Tzu: military strategist and general Other authors & editors of The Art of War …
 
It's the world's favourite sweet snack, and the chocolate industry is worth over $100 billion. Discover the fantastic history of where it comes from, how it became so popular, and learn about some of the economics of chocolate production. The Theobroma Cacao tree: where it all starts Aztecs & the early years of drinking chocolate The arrival of the…
 
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