Music as a Mirror of History by Prof. Robert Greenberg (The Great Courses)

If you take a long, hard look at the worlds of art, music, and literature, they all run parallel to one another.  They often reflect similar ideas from similar regions at the same times.  This is not coincidence.  As the old adage goes, "art reflects life reflects art."  This means that while we can appreciate such … Continue reading Music as a Mirror of History by Prof. Robert Greenberg (The Great Courses)

My Favorite Universe by Prof. Neil deGrasse Tyson (The Great Courses)

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is, for me, something of a modern day folk hero.  I have nothing but admiration and respect for his work and his commitment to education, both of which continue in the footsteps of his mentor, Dr. Carl Sagan, and both of which are sorely needed in our age of mind-blowing levels … Continue reading My Favorite Universe by Prof. Neil deGrasse Tyson (The Great Courses)

Great American Music: Broadway Musicals (The Great Courses) by Prof. Bill Messenger

When it comes to the Broadway Musical, I am less than well-versed, and as a music geek I feel that's a bit of a crime.  I grew up with many of the songs from The American Songbook, those hits from the 1940s to the 1960s that became standards thanks to the likes of Frank Sinatra … Continue reading Great American Music: Broadway Musicals (The Great Courses) by Prof. Bill Messenger

Becoming a Great Essayist by Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black (The Great Courses)

With the construction of a new website comes the desire to step up my writing game.  When in doubt, I like to start with ever-reliable offerings from The Great Courses. This is one of those series where I find I'm grateful for the accompanying PDF course outline.  Prof. Cognard-Black utilizes a great many examples in … Continue reading Becoming a Great Essayist by Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black (The Great Courses)

Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas (The Great Courses) by Prof. David Brakke

It's really no surprise, but The Great Courses has knocked another one out of the park. For anyone who's curious about Gnosticism and how it overlaps with early Christianity, Judaism, and even different Gnostic traditions, this series of 24 lectures lays it all out in about the simplest means possible.  Popular books and concepts from the … Continue reading Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas (The Great Courses) by Prof. David Brakke

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Retraining Your Brain by Prof. Jason M. Satterfield (The Great Courses)

The problem with most self help books is that you get some good ideas to build upon, but there's a spiral effect that actually makes a given problem worse on some level, which then causes the person to think that maybe the information was incomplete, so they seek out another book, and cycle repeats until … Continue reading Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Retraining Your Brain by Prof. Jason M. Satterfield (The Great Courses)

The Skeptic’s Guide to American History by Prof. Mark A. Stoler

The United States has a heavily mythologized element to it, a number of them, in fact, if we want to be truly honest about it.  Those myths play heavily into how we interpret events both domestic and international, and they are the cause of as much trauma as they are salvation.  Taking the skeptic's approach … Continue reading The Skeptic’s Guide to American History by Prof. Mark A. Stoler

Great Masters: Beethoven – His Life and Music by Prof. Robert Greenberg

Given enough time to properly unpack a subject, Professor Robert Greenberg proves time and again his music history expertise.  Until now, I've only listened to lecture series based around select compositions.  This is the first I've listened to revolving around a single composer. This is a series of eight 45-minute lectures that help to highlight … Continue reading Great Masters: Beethoven – His Life and Music by Prof. Robert Greenberg

The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries by Prof. Neil deGrasse Tyson (The Great Courses)

Quarks.  Black holes.  Dark matter.  Dark energy.  Alien intelligence.  These are but some of the topics that Dr. Tyson discusses in this short but mind-blowing series of lectures.  This is the kind of thing that makes you scratch your head and stare out at the omniverse in awe and wonder.  None of it is dumbed down … Continue reading The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries by Prof. Neil deGrasse Tyson (The Great Courses)