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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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Every day 1% of the world's population will eat at McDonald's, and hundreds of millions more will eat burgers, chips and all sorts of different fast food. But just how popular is it, how is it so cheap and where did it come from in the first place? Ancient "fast food" The first modern fast food at White Castle in 1921 Bringing the automobile assemb…
 
Within the course of a few years, Robert Baden-Powell created a global movement that united children from all over the world. In this episode, we'll take a look at how he came up with the idea, why it was so appealing, and the legacy that he has left on the world. The early life of Robert Baden-Powell Doing what was expected of an upper-class Engli…
 
Although there have always been children, the concept of "childhood" is more recent than many people think, with one French historian declaring that childhood didn't exist until the 17th century. In this episode, we'll explore how ideas of childhood have changed, from John Locke to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from the English Romantic poets right throug…
 
There is a lot about the English language that makes very little sense at all. In this episode we look at some of these illogicalities, paying close attention to homonyms, homographs, homophones, and even something called lonely negatives. How many words are there in English? English: The Mongrel Language A quick history of the English language: An…
 
He is the most famous spy in the world and has been drinking vodka martinis and driving fast cars since 1952. In this episode, we'll look at the history of 007, his creator Ian Fleming, how Bond has changed over the years, and the fascinating family business behind the UK's most famous special agent. The classic image of James Bond Ian Fleming: the…
 
She is the longest-serving monarch in British history and has lived through 14 British prime ministers and 13 US presidents. In this episode, we'll take a look at the remarkable life of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, and ask ourselves how she, the monarchy, and the country have changed since she became queen almost 70 years ago. Why Elizabeth wa…
 
Part Two of our Brexit mini-series focuses on the Brexit vote itself. In this episode, we'll look at why the UK held a referendum in the first place, how the campaign was fought, who voted for and against Brexit (and for what reasons), and why it was ultimately the vote to leave the European Union that proved successful. Recap of Britain's complica…
 
The term "fake news" came to prominence in late 2016, but the idea of fake news is as old as time. In this episode, we explore how fake news has been created over the years, for what purpose and by who, and ask ourselves whether it is harder than ever to tell the truth from a lie. "Fake News" in 2016 What does "fake news" actually mean? The three r…
 
From 1995 to 2001, a man from eastern France stole 239 different pieces of art from 172 museums, an average of one theft every 14 days. It's estimated that the value of all the stolen art was over 1 billion Euros, but he never sold a single piece of it. The early life of Stéphane Breitwieser Breitwieser's life falls apart Meeting (and falling in lo…
 
"Let's jump on board and cut them to pieces!" - Blackbeard. "A merry life and a short one" - Captain Bartholomew Roberts. Pirates have a special place in our imagination. They are both heroes and villains, their lives attractive but scary. In this episode, we'll take a closer look at pirates through history, the situations that allowed them to exis…
 
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…
 
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