History on Air

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Archive for the 'behind the scenes' Category

09 February

Podcast Status Update


Soon you should see a new item for History Podcast in your iTunes list. Don’t get too excited its not a full History Podcast, but just a status update. Okay, you can get excited, I am! I want you to help me pick the next episode below.

Thats right, I want to start on the next episode of history podcast.  I’m going to put out a small status update podcast to let everyone know that I have not disappeared completely.  I do want to continue podcasting, but I need your help.  Can you help me go through all the request I have received?  I still have request that I got via email in 2005!  I want to get to them all, but I don’t know where to begin, so maybe you can help?  I’m putting a poll up on this post and it will remain up until sometime in March.  Hopefully by March I will have some time to begin podcasting again.  At least this one episode that you, the listeners and readers of this blog, will choose.  So without further delay, here is the poll:

Choose the next podcast episode

  • The 30 Years War (24%, 4 Votes)
  • Japanese aspirations to Empire, leading up to WWII (18%, 3 Votes)
  • Alexander the Great (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Spanish New World Empire (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Josephus and the Jewish War (12%, 2 Votes)
  • The Mongol Empire (12%, 2 Votes)
  • Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire (6%, 1 Votes)
  • I don't like any of those do something else! (6%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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All of these choices are from a single email of requests that I received from Eric K. Don’t forget to check out our new Facebook Fan page and our Twitter! Thank you for listening and reading!

01 February

The New Look of History on Air


If you are reading this in your favorite RSS reader, head on over to real quick and check out the new look.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of the new design.  I want to update the podcast and blog and these are the first steps.  The website needed a new look.  Hope you all like it.

21 October

Winner, Winner. Chicken Dinner!


Congratulations to Lisa! She is the lucky winner of the America: The Story of Us blu-ray. Lisa I will be contacting you shortly. Thank you everyone for entering and the kind words.

19 October

Review/Giveaway: America: The Story of Us


I was lucky enough to have a copy of this very cool Blu-ray set sent to me recently.  Total disclosure is that they sent me two copies.  One to review and one to giveaway to some lucky history podcast listener.  Since there have been very few episodes lately, I thought it would be a nice way to say thank you to the listeners that are still visiting this website.  The podcast has not been abandoned.  I’m just having trouble finding the time to put anything together.  Anyone with a two year old will understand.  I write this post in my living room/Samantha’s fort.

Back to the review.  This Blu-ray copy of America: The Story of Us is sold for $50 on the history channel website.  And I think it is worth it.  It’s not just a single disc.  It is three disc, twelve part series.  It has various celebrities sharing their thoughts about the different times in America’s history throughout the entire series.  These celebrities include: Tom Brokaw, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powell and more.  The introduction to the series is by President Barack Obama.

The story starts with the first ship loads of “rebels” from Europe landing in the new land.  The Jamestown settlement is covered well in the first disc.  Then they move on to the revolution, west-ward expansion and slavery.  Disc two continues the story with the Civil War through the boom.  Disc three warps up with Word War II and the millennium.  Disc one and two have bonus features as well.

I enjoyed the entertaining way that the history of America is presented.  I thought the computer graphics they used throughout really helped demonstrate various points.  Although, I was a bit let down at how frequently some footage was reused throughout the series.  Maybe that is because I watched all of the episodes in a short time, one right after the other.  My favorite part of the series was the last two discs.  I’ve read a lot about the revolution and didn’t really get much more out of the first disc, but the last two were very interesting.  Even though, I didn’t really learn anything new from the first disc, I did find it entertaining.  I’m including a short portion of the Jamestown portion in this post below.  There are more videos on History Channel’s YouTube channel.

Even if you don’t win a copy of this series I would recommend purchasing it.  If you do please buy via this link to Amazon.  It doesn’t cost you anything more and a portion of the purchase price will go to supporting history podcast.

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this post.  Be sure to include your email address.  Also, just a reminder this is a Blu-Ray copy and will not play on a standard DVD player.  It has to be a blu-ray compatible player for it to work.  Your comment may not appear immediately, don’t worry though I got it.  I just have to approve it.  I will accept entries from the moment this post is published until Wednesday (10/20/2010) night 11:59:59pm pacific time.  Good luck.

12 July

I’m Famous!


Check it out!  Mr. Beardyman has done a write-up about the podcast.  Not bad.  I’m very happy to see that there are people still listening to the podcast.  I wish I had more time to create new episodes, but as it is I barely have enough time to write this post.

History on air is hosted by Jason Watts and he is a amateur historian. He does a good job in researching all of his topics and also provides all the relevant sources/links to all of his podcasts. The sound quality of the podcasts are somewhat poor in the first few episodes though over time it improves thanks to a investment on a decent microphone…

18 February

Test Your Olympic Knowledge


Take this quiz and see how your Olympic knowledge stacks up.  Let me know if you want more quizzes like this in the future by posting your comment at the bottom of this post.

Where were the first modern Summer Olympics held?

In the first Olympic Winter Games, who won a Silver Medal in the 5000m speed skating event and a Gold Medal in the 10,000m speed skating event?

During which Olympic Games did the IOC first join the West Germany and East Germany teams into the Germany team?

Which of the following is Spain's IOC country code?

How many men athletes competed in the 1948 London Summer Games?

In-between what two dates were the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics held?

On February 12, 2010, luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died after crashing, flying over a wall, and hitting his head on a metal support beam on the Whistler Sliding Center in Vancouver, Canada. Which country was he competing for?

Which city hosted New York's first-ever Olympic Games?

In 1980 Lake Placid Games, the USA men's ice hockey team beat the USSR 4-3 in the round-robin tournament. What was this game nicknamed?

How many nations competed in the 2004 Athens Summer Games?

14 February

Happy Valentine’s Day


I hope all of you out there have a great and romantic Valentine’s Day!

11 February

How to Podcast


I found two great videos on how to podcast via Podcasting News. See the embedded videos below.

Podcasting Basics from Brent Powell on Vimeo.

Podcasting 101 from Teknologikally on Vimeo.

14 October



This week I received the following email from Howard B. I wanted to share it and my response to everyone:

I know this will come across as a whiners post … nevertheless I felt I had to write it.
I listen to podcasts every day in my one hour trip by car to work and back. Most science, history and music. I discovered your podcast last month and downloaded about 20 of them, looking forward to it.
This week I abandoned them after tasting about 10 of them, erased them and unsubscribed. Why ? I KNOW it is an amateur effort and I DO appreciate your work and the lack of resources. However I could not suffer any more listening to the poor readings kills being recorded as a podcast. Scripts being read aloud with, sadly, poor and stuttering reading skills and little effort to inject variation in the reading tone. I thought it would improve when I moved on to recent scripts. But it doesn’t and it is just too difficult to listen to. It’s a great project but basic skills are letting it down hugely.
I wish you all the best.

To Howard I say thank you.  Thanks for leaving.  I was taught if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t.  But thats me, I know a lot of Internet people feel the need to share their opinions on everything and I don’t expect everyone to like my little podcast.  I’m not doing it for everyone.  I’m doing it because I want to.  If you want to listen great, go ahead.  If you don’t like it unsubscribe like our friend Howard here.  But here is something to chew on.  People are actually listening to this podcast.  A lot of people actually.


Looking at the above chart from my Libsyn statistics you can see that on average 1,000+people download the history podcast episodes daily.


The website is doing okay, with about 70 visits per day.  I am interested in what you 70 or so folks think about this post.  And I would like to ask you all a question.  What do you think would make this website more valuable to you?  In other words, what do you want to see on this site?

10 September

The Show (What’s Going On?)


Well, some of you may have noticed that my last post to the website was months ago.  Even more have noticed that I haven’t published a podcast in over 9 months.  Listener David B. noticed and sent me this email.

I have been listening to your History Podcast broadcasts for a few weeks, and I have greatly enjoyed your programs. I have noticed that there have been no new podcasts since February, 2009. I was wondering what has happened to the show, plus put in my vote to for its return to the air. Thanks for your hard work on the show!

David, thanks for the email!  You were one of very few to email me.  You are also one of very few who enjoy the podcast according to the iTunes rating in the iTunes store.  Everytime I read those reviews I’m discouraged from doing anymore podcasting.  I never thought I would be a contender for the Podcast Awards, but geez those folks on iTunes are just plain mean!  However, the real reason is with my daughters arrival almost a year ago, I have had very little time for anything related to a hobby.  And since that is all History Podcast is, it is the first thing in my life to be dropped.

I have not deleted the old podcast episodes and all of them are still available to download via iTunes or this website.  I want to continue to podcast, but until I get more time or suddenly require less sleep, it is not going to happen.  So David and anyone else who actually reads this, hang in there. There maybe more coming…

In the meantime, I will continue to try to post on this website as often as I can.  I look forward to reading your comments and emails.


Image courtesy of: sonnyandsandy