Got Academy Podcast
Science in Movies: The Jungle | Apocalypse Now, Avatar, Apocalypto, Jungle Book, Tarzan

Science in Movies: The Jungle | Apocalypse Now, Avatar, Apocalypto, Jungle Book, Tarzan

February 17, 2020

The jungle has long been a very attractive topic in movies and books, with its unstoppable nature teeming with mysterious and dramatic creatures and plants. In this episode, Dr. Rutger Vos joins Gil Kidron to talk about the jungle from a scientific perspective, as well as about how it is perceived in the human imagination, through these movies: Apocalypse Now, Avatar, Apocalypto, Jungle Book and Tarzan. As we dive deep we see the common threads in those five different jungle movies (who include a fictional jungle and jungles in Latin America, India, Africa and South East Asia. The jungle is juxtaposed with civilization and progress, as the latter two cannot control this last holdout of raw unstoppable nature.

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Trump’s Deal of the Century for Peace: WTF Does it Mean?

Trump’s Deal of the Century for Peace: WTF Does it Mean?

February 10, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump triumphantly announced his so called Deal of the Century for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clapping alongside him. But what is actually in the deal? What's not there? How does it correlate to reality? Who wins? Who lost? Why is the Israeli government rejecting its own deal? Gil Kidron and Rutger Vos breakdown the reality behind the political theater.

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Corona Virus Epidemic: Dr Rutger Vos on the Science and Politics

Corona Virus Epidemic: Dr Rutger Vos on the Science and Politics

February 3, 2020

The coronavirus 2019-nCov has been spreading out in the world and in the headlines. But what is a coronavirus anyway? Should we be worried? In this episode, Gil Kidron and Dr Rutger Vos (a biologist) discuss some of the basics of this thing that's going around (Is it alive? How is it structured?) and the search for some of the essential facts-on-the-ground (How fast does it spread? How lethal is it?). We also look at some of the social and political implications: the current events have led to very unfortunate outbreaks of another thing - racism against mainland Chinese people, who already have to undergo a very heavy-handed, dystopian government response.

The Democratic Primaries and the Israel Question

The Democratic Primaries and the Israel Question

January 27, 2020

As the Democratic primaries in the United States kick off, we break down the candidates positions on Israel and the Palestinians: who is repeating talking points? Who is pandering? Who is taking it seriously? Who can really affect change? Political activist and data expert Benjy Cook, himself an Israeli-American, joins Gil Kidron to unpack the empty rhetoric, provide context, parcel the different coalitions and try to lay out what will things look like in the Middle East if this or that candidate becomes president.


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Harry, Ron & Hermione: Three Ways To Become a Hero | Harry Potter

Harry, Ron & Hermione: Three Ways To Become a Hero | Harry Potter

January 20, 2020

Harry Potter's three main characters are the heroes of the story, but in vastly different ways, which can teach us a lot about ourselves and how to face injustices in our societies. We welcome back huge Potterhead and patron Lireza Elezaj to join Gil Kidron in breaking down Harry's heroism in facing his inevitable fate with his head held high, Ron's decision to endanger his privileges and family to fight for the rights of other people, and Hermione's journey to accept that the deck is stacked against her and that others want to risk themselves for her.


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History in Movies: World War 1 | 1917 (no spoilers) Lawrence of Arabia, More

History in Movies: World War 1 | 1917 (no spoilers) Lawrence of Arabia, More

January 13, 2020

World War 1 has left an undeniable mark on the world, and in many ways shaped it, even though it is relatively under-represented on screen. It could be because of the lack of clear narrative for the war, the anti-Hollywood elements in trench wars and lack of goodies and baddies, or the fact that it preceded a much more interesting and important war. In this History in Movies podcast Gil Kidron welcomes again Rutger Vos, this time to talk about World War 1 in movies.

The Expanse Science: New Terra | How Can a New Planet Sustain Life?

The Expanse Science: New Terra | How Can a New Planet Sustain Life?

January 6, 2020

In an offhand remark, The Expanse claims that other forms of life are possible, such as forms based on silicon rather than carbon. How plausible is that? And what else would need to be in place? You'd need liquid water, for one. In fact, a whole bunch of things would need to fall exactly into place. Things that are on the one hand rare - but given the enormous numbers of stars and exoplanets would still occur many times. So where are all the aliens?

In this podcast, Gil and Rutger talk about habitability and the origin of life. Rutger is an evolutionary biologist at the national natural history museum, Naturalis, and Leiden University, both in The Netherlands. He probably knows a little bit about the topic. Gil, on the other hand, knows a lot about watching shows and asking the right questions. Together they scan the popular culture for science and history topics.


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Rutger Vos on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rvosa

The Expanse vs History: Founding Belter Nation vs Founding of U.S.

The Expanse vs History: Founding Belter Nation vs Founding of U.S.

January 2, 2020

The Expanse might be set in the 2300s, but it is written by 21st century people and inspired in many ways from history and current political contexts. In this episode patron Omro Goldshtrom, history buff, joins Gil Kidron to find the very many similarities between The Expanse, the path towards the independent Belter nation and the histories of the United States and Israel. We will get into the founding of these immigrant nations vs the immigrant Belter nation, refugees, terrorism and more. 


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The Expanse Science: New Terra | When Species Discover New Habitats

The Expanse Science: New Terra | When Species Discover New Habitats

December 30, 2019

In this episode we dive into The Expanse season 4 and its many layers.As humans travels farther than ever before, to a new world - new evolutionary opportunities arise. And pitfalls. Evolutionary biologist Rutger Vos, from Leiden University and Naturalis Biodiversity Center, both in The Netherlands, joins Gil Kidron yet again to break down the evolutionary opportunities and pitfalls that await organisms that move to new habitats.

In our own world, new environments sometimes open up either because they suddenly appear - like volcanic islands rising up from the ocean floor - or because key innovations in the evolution of a lineage make the environment accessible. For example, when a lineage evolves the ability to fly and the skies open up. In The Expanse, a whole universe of different planets has suddenly opened up. What might that mean for humans if they radiate outward into this vast space? And what about the organisms they might bring along? What do bats have to do with it? And jellyfish in the Mediterranean?


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Rutger Vos on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rvosa

History in Movies: Jesus | Passion of the Christ | Life of Brian | Last Temptation of Christ

History in Movies: Jesus | Passion of the Christ | Life of Brian | Last Temptation of Christ

December 23, 2019

To mark Christmas, we look at movies depicting the life and times of perhaps the most controversial rabbi of the Second Temple period: Jesus of Nazareth. We rewatch the Life of Brian and are reminded of Empire and of the brutality with which the Romans imposed their will homogenously across enormous swathes of land, ironically setting up the environment in which the ideology of the guy they executed could spread. We then go over the odious Passion of the Christ, which features prosthetic noses and blood curses, and wrap it up with the interesting but slow-moving Last Temptation of Christ. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and everything else!