101 episodes

We are Writer and Geek, we make our listeners get excited about boring stuff one episode at a time. Writer and Geek Show is a science and tech podcast and we love geeking about tech, history, science, music and any other topic they can think of. In this show, we discuss a variety of topics and ramble on and on about them.

Writer and Geek Show Shankar & Vishnu

    • Documentary
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

We are Writer and Geek, we make our listeners get excited about boring stuff one episode at a time. Writer and Geek Show is a science and tech podcast and we love geeking about tech, history, science, music and any other topic they can think of. In this show, we discuss a variety of topics and ramble on and on about them.

    EP101: Kunchan Nambiar - The Creator of Ottamthullal

    EP101: Kunchan Nambiar - The Creator of Ottamthullal

    Kunchan Nambiar was an early Malayalam poet, performer, satirist and the inventor of the Kerala art form of Ottamthullal.

    Kunjan Nambiar was born in Kerala on May 5 1705, in Palakkad, Kerala.

    Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan and Cherusseri Namboothiri and Nambiar are known as the ancient triumvirate.

    Nambiar learnt Kalaripayattu and Sanskrit before moving to the court of Marthanda Varma in 1748.

    He had established himself as a poet by the time he reached the royal court.

    He introduced Ottamthullal to the masses in the 18th century.

    The motivation behind creating Ottamthullal is that Nambiar was made fun of by the Chakyar for sleeping while playing Mizhavu during a Chakyar Koothu performance.

    He created Ottamthullal to parody prevalent regional prejudices and sociopolitical conditions.

    Ottamthullal is a dance and poetic performance.

    It is usually accompanied by a Mridangam or an Idakka.

    The performances take popular folktales from the past and satirise it with a lot of comedy.

    He parodied everyone in attendance and didn’t spare even the rich (Which was a big deal back then).

    The Chakyar complained to the King about Nambiar’s performances and Ottamthullal was banned in some of the temple complexes.

    The performer is draped in colourful clothes and green makeup. 

    Some of the performances similar to Ottamthullal are Parayanthullal and Seethankan Thullal.

    Nambiar had written 64 works for the art form.

    One of the most popular works of Ottamthullal is Kalyana Sougandhikam.

    The main feature of the art was that it was conducted in Malayalam which most of the commoners could understand.

    Back then, most of the performances included stylised or Sanskritised Malayalam which was not accessible to the common folks.

    What we can understand is that art was used to spread a social message even back then.

    Nambiar died of rabies in 1770.

    May 5 is celebrated as Kunchan Day in Kerala.

    Links to things Mentioned:

    Our episode on vaccination: 090: How Does Vaccination Work?

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    Sources:

    Curating Kunchan Nambiar for the masses

    Kunjan Nambiar Wikipedia

    Story of the birth of Kunjan Nambiar

    Ottan Thullal Wikipedia

    That Inexplicable Tenth Rasa From An Actor-Dancer Who Collapsed And Died On Stage

    Image by Bobinson K B from Flickr | Source: Oh, my brother is coming!

    EP100: Numbers

    EP100: Numbers

    Correction - Shankar incorrectly mentions that Thomas Edison published the Theory of Relativity as opposed to Albert Einstein. Either he had a momentary lapse of reasoning or he is a complete idiot. You decide!

    In the 100th episode of Writer and Geek Show, the lads discuss the origins of the numerical system and how Vishnu was poor in maths.

    Tally marks were used as early ways of counting.

    Roman numerals were an extension of primitive tally marks with the usage of alphabets as numerals.

    A positional system with place value attached to digits was invented in India between 1st and 4th century AD.

    Aryabhatta approximated the value of Pi during the early medieval period.

    Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi popularized the Hindu numerals in the Arabian and Western world through his mathematical work.

    Fibonacci used these Hindu Arabic numerals for his work and thus popularized it in Europe.

    They came to be known as the Hindu Arabic system or as Arabic numerals.

    In the 15th century, Hindu Arabic numerals replaced Roman numerals as the primary number system.

    Wikipedia articles:

    Number System

    Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi

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    Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

    EP099: Colonialism in India - Part 10: British Raj and Indian National Congress

    EP099: Colonialism in India - Part 10: British Raj and Indian National Congress

    After the Rebellion of 1857, nationalist movements cropped up across the country. The idea of a free India became prevalent during this time.

    Indian National Congress (INC)

    Inspired by AO Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji and Surendranath Banerjee founded INC in 1885

    It was the first time an organisation recognised India as a country

    The organisation initially did not have a well-formed ideology and was a debating society that met annually

    The idea was to let Britishers rule India while obtaining some kind of rights for the Indian citizens

    But it did not last long and the party was divided into two factions - Moderates and Extremists

    Moderates and Extremists

    Moderates were led by Dadabhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale who opposed the extremists led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai.

    The extremists were forced out of INC and the Tilak was later arrested, which led to INC losing its credibility.

    Aligarh University and the Muslim League

    In 1875, under Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh was founded (renamed Aligarh Muslim University in 1920)

    Bengal was divided into two in 1906 - East Bengal and West Bengal

    The Muslim faction in the country did not feel INC is inclusive and they formed The Muslim League

    The Revolutionaries

    Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919 was a turning point in the revolutionary movement

    The work of the revolutionaries including Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki gained recognition

    Both of them tried to assassinate British officials and were captured and executed

    Jugantar was established in April 1906 by Aurobindo Ghosh, his brother Barin Ghosh, Bhupendranath Datta, Raja Subodh Mallik.

    They collected and manufactured arms and explosives for revolutionary activities.

    Ghadar Party and its movement to conduct a Pan-India rebellion in the British Indian Army.

    All India Conference of Indian Christians was founded in 1914 with KT Paul as its first president

    Find the affiliate links to the equipment and resources we use to make this podcast here.

    Find Writer & Geek's guide to podcasting here.

    Source:

    Indian National Congress Wikipedia

    Indian Independence Movement Wikipedia

    Timeline of Indian History from 1857 to 1947

    10 Events That Led to Indian Independence

    Image courtesy Canva

    EP98: Unscripted - Part 3: Life and Death

    EP98: Unscripted - Part 3: Life and Death

    Welcome to the third part of Writer & Geek Unscripted. In this episode, we talk about our idea about life and death. Watch this episode on Youtube.

    We touch upon our personal experiences of dealing with the death of near and dear ones and also how we rely on the principles of optimistic nihilism and stoicism to get through tough situations.

    Find the video about Optimistic Nihilism mentioned in the episode here: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell - Optimistic Nihilism

    Find more about Stoicism here: The philosophy of Stoicism - Massimo Pigliucci

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    Image by Oli Lynch from Pixabay

    EP097: Telephones

    EP097: Telephones

    Phones have progressed from just being an appliance to connect via voice to becoming an all in one device that keeps you connected with the world at all times.

    Alexander Graham Bell is credited with inventing the phone back in 1876.

    In the same year, the first two-way long-distance communication via phone was conducted.

    First telephone exchange in India was set up in 1882.

    Telephones were improved during the early 20th century

    Early car phones appeared in 1946 in the United States

    In 1947, Bell labs proposed a cellular network

    Motorola built the first truly wireless phone in 1973.

    The public started using wireless phones in the 80s

    First mobile phone communication happened in India on July 31st, 1995.

    Find the affiliate links to the equipment and resources we use to make this podcast here.
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    Image by Stefan Kuhn from Pixabay

    • 33 min
    EP096: History of Aircraft Carriers feat. INS Viraat

    EP096: History of Aircraft Carriers feat. INS Viraat

    INS Viraat was India’s flagship aircraft carrier before INS Vikramaditya was commissioned in 2013. It was completed and commissioned in 1959 by the British Royal Navy (as HMS Hermes) and was the last of Centaur-class aircraft carriers. It served the Royal Navy for 25 years before being sold to the Indian Navy in 1987. The carrier was decommissioned in 2017 and is currently on its way to be scrapped at the port of Alang, Gujarat.

    Largest Aircraft Carrier

    USS Gerald R Ford

    Length: 337 metres

    Displacement: 100,000 tons

    Speed: In excess of 30 knots (56 km/h)

    Range: Unlimited (20-25 years)

    Cost: $12.8 billion + $4.7 billion R&D

    Smallest Aircraft Carrier

    HTMS Chakri Naruebet

    Length: 182.65 metres

    Displacement: 11,486 tons

    Speed: 25.5 knots (47.2 km/h)

    Range: 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 kilometres)

    Cost: $285 million in 1993

    History of Aircraft Carriers

    In 1806, the Royal Navy used a ship to launch kites with propaganda leaflets. These leaflets with propaganda against Napoleon in French were dropped in France.

    Ballon Carriers

    On 12 July 1849, Austrian ship SMS Vulcano tried to drop incendiary balloons in Venice. But the wind blew most of the balloon incendiary back to the city.

    Gas-filled balloons were used during the American Civil war for the reconnaissance of Confederate positions.

    Ballon carriers were used during World War I by the navies of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Sweden mostly as observation posts. Their ships were mostly decommissioned or turned into seaplane carriers.

    Seaplane Carriers

    In 1910, seaplanes were invented. These led to the development of ships which could carry these seaplanes. It was the first form of aircraft carriers.

    The first seaplane carrier, Foudre, was developed by the French in December 1911. A 10-metre flat deck was developed in 1913 for launching the seaplanes.

    HMS Hermes was temporarily converted to a seaplane carrier by the Royal Navy in April-May 1913, making it the first British seaplane carrier.

    The first seaplane carrier of the US was USS Mississippi, which was converted in December 1913.

    The first naval launched air raids that happened in 1914 during World War I. The Imperial Japanese Navy seaplane Wakamiya lowered four Maurice Farman seaplanes using a crane, which went on to bombard German forces.

    The naval raid on the Zeppelin base at Cuxhaven on 25 December 1914 demonstrated the ability of seaborne air raids to the Europeans.

    Many ships used catapults to launch seaplanes for reconnaissance and later retrieve it using cranes. This method was popular even during World War II.

    Flat-Deck Carriers

    The first successful launch of a plane from a stationary ship took place in November 1910. The pilot was Eugene Ely. A structure was fixed over the armoured cruiser USS Birmingham.

    The first landing took place on 18 January 1911 on the structure fixed on USS Pennsylvania. It used an improvised braking system of sandbags and ropes.

    On 9 May 1912, Commander Charles Rumney Samson became the first pilot to take off from a moving plane. He took off from the battleship HMS Hibernia.

    World War I

    HMS Ark Royal was the first aircraft carrier. It was launched on 5 September 1914. It was part of the Gallipoli campaign. It was a merchant ship modified to be a carrier.

    The first ship to be designed as an aircraft carrier was HMS Furious in 1916. At first, it had separate flight decks but was rebuilt in 1925 with a full-length flight deck. It took part in combat during World War II.

    Squadron Commander EH Dunning landed his plane on a moving HMS Furious on 2 August 1917, becoming the first person to land on a moving ship. But he tragically died five days later while trying to land another plane on the same carrier.

    The first-ever carrier-launched airstrike took place on 19 July 1918 during the Tondern Raid. Seven planes were launched from HMS Furious with t

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