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Learn about the world while learning English

We produce new podcasts every week. They come out on Tuesdays and Fridays.

You can listen for free on the website or on your favourite podcast app.

Then become a member and get unlimited access to animating transcripts and key vocabulary to help you improve your listening and speaking, and speak English like a native.
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Episode

28

Help!

Feb 19, 2020
Lucky dip
-
9
minutes

A very different episode to normal.

Today it's time to ask for your help...

Curious? It's only 9 minutes long.

‍

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Episode

27

North Korea - The Hermit Kingdom

Feb 18, 2020
History
-
20
minutes

The media might portray it as just a failed state run by a mad dictator, but today we'll find out that it might be just a little bit more complicated than things seem.

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Episode

26

Why Are So Many Jobs So Pointless? The Rise of the Bullsh*t Job

Feb 14, 2020
Economics
-
21
minutes

Why do so many jobs seem quite so pointless?

Today we're taking a look at the phenomenon of the bullsh*t job, and its effect on us individually and as a society.

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Episode

25

What's The Difference Between Great Britain and The United Kingdom?

Feb 11, 2020
Geography
-
18
minutes

Confused about the difference between Great Britain and The United Kingdom, and always wondered when to call someone British instead of English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish?

Let's clear it up, and explain how we got to this, admittedly, pretty complicated situation.

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Episode

24

Part 2: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Learning English (and How to Avoid Them)

Feb 7, 2020
Language Learning
-
19
minutes

It's time for Part 2 of our most common mistakes people make when learning English.

Learn about why you shouldn't worry about grammar, why 'survival' listening isn't the answer, why you don't need to go to an English-speaking country to learn English, and how to set yourself effective goals and not get disheartened.

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Episode

23

Part 1: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Learning English (and How to Avoid Them)

Feb 4, 2020
Language Learning
-
20
minutes

From how to get over the fear of opening your mouth to why you shouldn't speak too fast, we go into some of the most common mistakes English learners make, and how to avoid them.

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Episode

How To Use A Dictionary (Properly) To Learn English

Jan 31, 2020
Language Learning
-
22
minutes

Have you always wondered how to properly use a dictionary to learn English? Here are our top tips for how to use a dictionary to help you remember words and become a more effective English learner

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Episode

22

Fake Meat

Jan 31, 2020
Technology
-
15
minutes

The fake meat industry is booming.

Today we take a look at why that is, and ask ourselves whether there will ever be a day that 'real' meat vanishes from our dinner tables altogether.

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21

Conspiracy Theories

Jan 28, 2020
Lucky dip
-
14
minutes

Today we are taking a look at conspiracy theories.

Why people believe them, why they can be so seductive, and the damage that they can do.

We'll also take a look at three of the wackiest ones out there - from why people believe Disney made Frozen to why people think the dinosaurs built the pyramids.

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Episode

20

Carbon Offsetting

Jan 24, 2020
Economics
-
17
minutes

You've probably heard of carbon offsetting, and heard people praise it as one potential tool in the fight against climate change.

But how much do you really know about it?

In today's podcast we go into how it really works, why people love it, why others hate it, and discuss whether it's a positive or a negative force in the fight to prevent global warming.

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Episode

19

British Food Part 4: The (Earl of) Sandwich

Jan 21, 2020
Lucky dip
-
18
minutes

It was called "Britain's biggest contribution to gastronomy" by the Wall Street Journal.

Today, in part 4 of our mini-series on British food, we're looking at the sandwich, the story behind it, why it is so important for people in Britain, and how it reached such an iconic status.

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Episode

18

British Food Part 3: The English Breakfast

Jan 17, 2020
History
-
17
minutes

The English Breakfast is a truly British institution, and its history goes back 700 years.

In today's episode we go into the story behind the meal, and reveal how it went from favourite of lords and ladies to the way the working classes started the day.

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Episode

17

British Food Part 2: Fish & Chips

Jan 14, 2020
Lucky dip
-
13
minutes

It's a British classic, but how much do you really know about it?

Today we are diving into the fascinating history of fish and chips, and we'll discover that it might be not quite so British as you might think.

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Episode

16

British Food Part 1: Oysters

Jan 10, 2020
History
-
18
minutes

Part 1 of our 4-part mini-series on British food. First up it's the oyster.

It's not something that people normally associate with British food, but this little creature was hugely important in British cuisine.

In this podcast we'll learn about how it went from the choice of emperors to food of the poor, hear about how one man (supposedly) ate 1,200 in a single sitting, about a time when the average Londoner used to eat 1 oyster a day, and when they used to be given away for free outside pubs.

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Episode

15

Why Is All The News So Negative? And What If It Wasn't?

Jan 7, 2020
Lucky dip
-
19
minutes

Why is the news always full of disasters?

What would the world be like if it wasn't?

In today's episode we take a look at some of the theories about why the news is always so negative, and imagine what kind of world might exist if it wasn't.

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Episode

14

What Makes Babies The Ultimate Language Learners?

Jan 3, 2020
Language Learning
-
18
minutes

Why are babies so good at language learning, and what can we learn from them to make us better English students?

Today we take a look at 5 qualities that babies have that we should all incorporate into our language learning.

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13

Why is New Year, New Year

Dec 31, 2019
History
-
10
minutes

Have you ever wondered why January 1st is the start of the new year?

In today's episode we'll discuss the history of new year, talk about the longest year ever (it had 445 days), and you'll find out why new year is celebrated on January 1st, and not on any of the other 364 days of the year.

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Episode

12

The Sea That Disappeared

Dec 27, 2019
History
-
10
minutes

Today we're going to talk about a sea that disappeared, and find out what happens when a country tries to start a hub for cotton farming in the middle of a desert.

Spoiler alert: it doesn't go well.

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Episode

11

The Book That Made Christmas, Christmas

Dec 24, 2019
History
-
15
minutes

Today we take a look at the book that is fundamental to our modern understanding of what makes Christmas, Christmas.

No, it's not the Bible. It was written in Victorian London, and tells the story of an old miser who discovers the Christmas spirit.

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Episode

10

The Most Successful Advertising Slogans of All Time

Dec 20, 2019
Business
-
15
minutes

Today we take a look at three of the most successful advertising slogans of all time.

We'll explain how they work, why they work, and we'll go through any clever twists on language that they use.

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Episode

9

Who Owns Space (And Why Does It Matter)?

Dec 16, 2019
Science
-
12
minutes

We humans do a pretty good job of dividing up ownership of the world.

But what about beyond that?

Who owns space? Who decides who owns that, and why does it matter?

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8

Who Owns The Sky (And Why Does It Matter)?

Dec 13, 2019
Politics
-
12
minutes

Part 2 of our 3-part series on who owns the sea, sky and stars.

Ever wondered who actually owns the sky?

Today we'll discuss who owns it, why it's still not clear who does own most of it, and why that doesn't actually really matter.

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7

Who Owns The Sea (And Why Does It Matter)?

Dec 10, 2019
Politics
-
18
minutes

Part 1 of our 3-part series of who owns the sea, sky and space.

Every wondered who actually owns the sea?

Learn about who actually owns 2/3 of the surface area of the world, why countries want to claim ownership of rocks in the middle of nowhere, and why this matters.

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6

How Did The Russian Oligarchs Get So Rich?

Dec 6, 2019
Economics
-
15
minutes

Ever wondered how the Russian oligarchs actually managed to get so rich?

Today we're going to be taking a look at how 22 men managed to gain control of 39% of Russia's entire economy, while the the rest of the country suffered.

You can then decide whether you agree with Putin, who in 2019 said "We do not have oligarchs in Russia anymore".

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5

What is Soft Power (and why does it matter)?

Dec 2, 2019
Politics
-
18
minutes

How do other countries win the political game without force?

Why is language such a fantastic tool to project power across the world? What is Donald Trump doing for US interests outside the US?

Learn about how soft power is a vital tool in the global diplomatic toolbox.

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4

How To Use Podcasts To Learn English (Like A Boss)

Dec 2, 2019
Language Learning
-
18
minutes

Ever wondered how you can use podcasts to learn English?

This episode explains why listening to podcasts is the serious English learner's secret weapon, how it is 10x more effective than watching videos on YouTube or Netflix, and why you should start doing it today.

We'll explain some of the best techniques to maximise your learning, and give you an actionable plan on what steps you can take today to use podcasts to improve your English speaking, listening, reading and writing.

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3

The Most Amazing Prison Escapes in History

Dec 2, 2019
History
-
12
minutes

From a Korean yoga expert to a wooden pistol, we take a look at the most ingenious ways in which people have escaped their captors.

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2

The Places In The World Where Planes Can't Go

Dec 2, 2019
Lucky dip
-
10
minutes

Ever wondered if there are places in the world where planes can't fly?

From mountainous regions to hostile states, from theme parks to ancient temples, it's time to find out where planes can and can't fly.

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Episode

1

Meet the English for Curious Minds Podcast

Dec 2, 2019
Lucky dip
-
14
minutes

Wondering what the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast is all about, who is behind it, and whether it's for you?

Well, this should clear things up. In today's inaugural episode, we'll cover who should be listening to the podcast (hint - if you want to improve your English and learn interesting things about the way the world works, this is you), who is behind the podcast (an English avid language learner), and talk about some of the quick things you can do to get the most out of the podcast.

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