November 16, 2015

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HFM 129 | The Step-by-Step Guide to Building a 13th-Century French Castle

 

In a remote forest clearing in Burgundy, France, a 13th-century castle is slowly being constructed using only the tools, techniques, and materials that would have been available to the builders of the day. It’s archaeology in reverse.

What started out as an eccentric pipe dream is now an established enterprise, drawing in tens of thousands of visitors from around Europe every year.

Learn what it took to build a castle in 13th-century France in this podcast episode. If you want to learn first-hand, go to Burgundy and check it out!

This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s. Harry’s is an awesome and wonderfully disruptive razor company. It was started by two guys who wanted to create the most debonair shaving experience possible but at the best price. They bough a blade factory in German that has crafted some of the world’s highest quality blades for nearly a century. They cut out the middle man and offer an amazing shave and meticulous craftsmanship at less than half the price of a pack of Gillettes.

I can personally vouch that using it is amazing. When using it, I feel like I am about to put on a tux and go gambling in Monte Carlo. Go to harrys.com, where you can get a starter set for only $15. That includes the razor, 3 blades and your choice of Harry’s shave cream or foam shaving gel. If you use my coupon code h5m, you will get another $5 off. That’s a month of a premium shave experience for $10, thanks to their free shipping policy.

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November 2, 2015

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HFM 128 | Europeans in the Far East Before Marco Polo

 

Marco Polo is the most famous European explorer to the Far East, but he definitely wasn’t the first. His father and uncle came there years before. And they found a small colony of Europeans who lived permanently in China.

Perhaps the most famous pre-Polo European in the Far East is William of Rubruck. This plucky monk did his best to convert the Great Khan to Christianity. He made his effort by debating Muslims and Buddhists as to which religion was the true one. See how that turns out in this week’s episode.

This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s. Harry’s is an awesome and wonderfully disruptive razor company. It was started by two guys who wanted to create the most debonair shaving experience possible but at the best price. They bough a blade factory in German that has crafted some of the world’s highest quality blades for nearly a century. They cut out the middle man and offer an amazing shave and meticulous craftsmanship at less than half the price of a pack of Gillettes.

I can personally vouch that using it is amazing. When using it, I feel like I am about to put on a tux and go gambling in Monte Carlo. Go to harrys.com, where you can get a starter set for only $15. That includes the razor, 3 blades and your choice of Harry’s shave cream or foam shaving gel. If you use my coupon code h5m, you will get another $5 off. That’s a month of a premium shave experience for $10, thanks to their free shipping policy.

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October 26, 2015

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HFM 127 | Damascus Steel: The Medieval Blade That We Still Can’t Top Today

Damascus swords, which were generally made in the Middle East anywhere from 540 A.D. to 1800 A.D., were sharper, more flexible and harder/stronger than other contemporary blades. According to legend, the blades can cut a piece of silk in half as it falls to the ground and maintain their edge after cleaving through stone, metal, or even other swords.

However nobody knew exactly how it had been produced, and the last Damascus Steel had been produced in the early 1800s. How was the technology lost?

This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s. Harry’s is an awesome and wonderfully disruptive razor company. It was started by two guys who wanted to create the most debonair shaving experience possible but at the best price. They bough a blade factory in German that has crafted some of the world’s highest quality blades for nearly a century. They cut out the middle man and offer an amazing shave and meticulous craftsmanship at less than half the price of a pack of Gillettes.

I can personally vouch that using it is amazing. When using it, I feel like I am about to put on a tux and go gambling in Monte Carlo. Go to harrys.com, where you can get a starter set for only $15. That includes the razor, 3 blades and your choice of Harry’s shave cream or foam shaving gel. If you use my coupon code h5m, you will get another $5 off. That’s a month of a premium shave experience for $10, thanks to their free shipping policy.

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October 19, 2015

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HFM 126 | Useful Skills That People Had in the Middle Ages That We Don’t Today, Part 2: Making Things With Your Hands

Can you sew your own clothing? That one is easy. What about making your own shoes, butchering an animal, removing its skin, tanning the leather, then rending the fat to make candles? If you can answer ‘yes’ to all those things, then you are merely average for a medieval peasant.

Learn more about what a person could do in the Middle Ages that you likely can’t.

This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s. Harry’s is an awesome and wonderfully disruptive razor company. It was started by two guys who wanted to create the most debonair shaving experience possible but at the best price. They bough a blade factory in German that has crafted some of the world’s highest quality blades for nearly a century. They cut out the middle man and offer an amazing shave and meticulous craftsmanship at less than half the price of a pack of Gillettes.

I can personally vouch that using it is amazing. When using it, I feel like I am about to put on a tux and go gambling in Monte Carlo. Go to harrys.com, where you can get a starter set for only $15. That includes the razor, 3 blades and your choice of Harry’s shave cream or foam shaving gel. If you use my coupon code h5m, you will get another $5 off. That’s a month of a premium shave experience for $10, thanks to their free shipping policy.

Like this podcast?

Click here to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes

Continue reading...

October 11, 2015

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HFM 125 | Useful Skills That People Had in the Middle Ages That We Don’t Today, Part 1: Ars Memoriae – The Art of Memory

memorization

Think you have a good memory? The average peasant of 1,000 years ago had 10x more memorized than you ever will. Learn more about people trained in the  ars memoriae, who were living databases of information.

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July 6, 2015

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HFM 124 | The Origin of “The Finger”: Why Do We Call it The Bird?

We’ve all done it in moments of anger. But why do we use our middle finger to express anger? And why do we call it “the bird.” Suggestions range from The Battle of Agincourt in 1415 to Ancient Rome. We find out the history everyone’s favorite one-finger salute in this episode.

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May 25, 2015

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HFM 123 | The Most Productive People in History, Part 6: Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the inspiration for Tony Stark. The 43-year-old native South African is also CEO of SpaceX, the first private rocket company able to send payloads to the International Space Station. On top of that he is the CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors, which has produced a line of electric cars since 2008. Despite the cars running six figures, there is a months-long waiting list. He sells thousands of its Model S sedans per month and claims Tesla will sell a few million cars by 2025. If so, Musk will fulfill the dream of making electric cars a mass-market reality, which other car makers have failed to accomplish for over a century. 

Learn how he does what he does in this podcast.

Learn more about his life by getting my new book The Most Productive People in History: 18 Extraordinarily Prolific Inventors, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, From Archimedes to Elon Musk by clicking here. 

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May 18, 2015

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HFM 122 | The Most Productive People in History, Part 5: Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas is arguably the greatest theologian in Catholic Church. During his lifetime he wrote over 60 tomes of philosophy and theology, most the size of a scholar’s magnum opus. The total word count of his extant writings exceeds 6 million words, perhaps the largest set of complete works created by one man before the invention of the word processor. The pages of these books contain dense concepts – much more so than Isaac Asimov’s thoughtful-but-workmanlike prose – packing in enough ideas per paragraph to warrant a three-hour graduate student session. They include exegeses of scripture, theological syntheses (Summas), commentaries on church fathers or Aristotelian philosophy, and polemical works. Philosophy professor Peter Kreeft believes that were it not for the scarcity of parchment and ink, Thomas could have written more than 500 books in his lifetime.

How did he do it? By delegation, extraordinary focus, and always keeping his eyes on larger goals.

Learn more about his life by getting my new book The Most Productive People in History: 18 Extraordinarily Prolific Inventors, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, From Archimedes to Elon Musk by clicking here. 

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May 7, 2015

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HFM 121 | The Most Productive People in History, Part 4: Theodore Roosevelt

 

Theodore Roosevelt won the presidency twice, was the first American to earn a belt in judo, hunted, wrote numerous books, and read four hours a day even during the busiest moments of his political life. For good measure he also won a Nobel Peace Prize and visited the Panama Canal works, making him the first sitting president to leave the United States. How did he do it all? Learn more in this podcast episode. 

Learn more about his life by getting my new book The Most Productive People in History: 18 Extraordinarily Prolific Inventors, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, From Archimedes to Elon Musk by clicking here. 

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May 6, 2015

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HFM 120 | The Most Productive People in History, Part 3: Leonardo da Vinci

Few Renaissance figures have as many legends swirling around their life as Leonardo da Vinci. The myths persist because of the unconventional nature of his life. Leonardo was a painter, architect, sculptor, mathematician, engineer, musician, inventor, anatomist, geologist, botanist, cartographer, military strategist, and writer. Leonardo is the ideal of a multi-accomplished humanist figure, of limitless curiosity and feverish imagination. He employed unusual empirical methods of the time to approach his broad scope of interest. He made discoveries in optics, hydrodynamics, engineering, and anatomy. He conceived of flying machines, armored vehicles, calculators, the double hull, and even concentrated solar power. Few of his designs came to fruition – his flying machine would have crashed into the ground if ever built and tested – but some of his designs were manufactured, such as a machine that tested the tensile strength of wire and an automated bobbin winder.

Learn more about his life by getting my new book The Most Productive People in History by clicking here.

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