Museums of Antwerp – FotoMuseum Provencie Antwerpen (1/27/15)

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  Tuesday morning broke cold but sunny, giving us the opportunity to make a long walk across Antwerp. Like so many old cities, the streets of Antwerp twist and turn in paths that were designed for people and horses, rather … Continue reading

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A Walking Tour of Antwerp – in January (1/26/15)

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Antwerp is one of my favorite places on earth.  I’ve been to this bright, vibrant, fun city –  that seems to be just the right size – twice before; once in May 2012, and again in July 2013.  There’s no … Continue reading

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Learning About Media in Belgium – The University of Antwerp (1/26/15)

Following a full travel day on Sunday that took us from Lincoln via coach to St. Pancras International railway station in London, then on the high speed Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel to Brussels, and finally on a local train to the city of Antwerp, MSCM 398 spent Monday morning at the  University of Antwerp, where they attended a lecture on mass media in Belgium given by Professor Hilde Van den Bulck, Dean of the School of Political and Social Sciences and internationally recognized scholar of media.

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While Belgium’s media system is far smaller than that in the U.S., it exhibits a high degree of complexity based on the country’s complicated blending of distinct Flemish, French, and German cultures. For Belgian journalism and media, the circumstances allow for a wide variety of content to entertain and inform the nation’s population.  For public service media, the challenge is to balance these strong cultural distinctions with a sense of national service, as Hilde discussed in her lecture.

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Making Radio, Week 2: Saturday Morning LIVE! Again at Siren FM (1/24/15)

On our final day in Lincoln, MSCM 398 presented the second edition of Linfield Live on Siren FM. Somewhat more spontaneous and leaner then the first program, the second edition was still packed with music, information, and energy.

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The full program audio is available at http://www.sirenonline.co.uk/archives/12083 from Siren’s catch-up service. Almost all of the spoken portions of the broadcast were captured on the video presented here (though the battery in the Go Pro camera managed to fail just moments before the big sign off at the conclusion of the show).

After the program, everyone celebrated in the control room, bringing to a close our fantastic 16 days in Lincoln. Many thanks to all our hosts, who made our visit unforgettable.

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A Most English Experience – Petwood Hotel (1/22/15)

Our final excursion from Lincoln took MSCM 398  20 miles southeast of Lincoln, and a century or more back in time to visit the Petwood Hotel in Woodhull Spa.

 

To call Petwood simply historic is unfair to this unique place. Over its’ many decades, Petwood has been a destination for restorative therapy, scandalous lovemaking, wartime convalescence, and top secret strategy. All of these stories, and more, were shared by the hotel’s resident historian, Mr. Edward Mayor, in a lecture prepared specially for our visit. (Not surprisingly, Mr. Mayor does not have a website, nor is he active on Twitter or Facebook.)

 

With his loyal terrier Sandy constantly at his side, Mr. Mayor told the story of Lord Weigall and Miss Grace Maple, who became Lady Weigall, and architect Frank Peck, who together created this most elegant home in the country for entertaining family and friends. As it turns out, Lady Weigall was most open-minded about relationships, and she worked with Peck to assure that Petwood would allow men and women to discreetly indulge their passions – Lady Weigall’s especially. During World War I, the house was requisitioned by The Crown to serve as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers (as was Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle). But the home is most well-known as the site where the officers of 617th RAF Squadron – the Dambusters – gathered to relax during World War II. MSCM 398 attended Mr. Mayor’s lecture in the Dambusters Bar, surrounded by the historic artifacts that document the unit’s mission to destroy the dams in Germany’s Ruhr Valley using the Wallis “Bouncing Bomb,” (as documented in Martin Shaw’s fascinating documentary, Dambusters Declassified). The room even contains, in a large frame to the right of the bar, the orders to the 617th from RAF command, meticulously typed in single spaced lines across six error-free pages.

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Visiting Petwood was remarkable in many ways. Certainly, the history embodied in the hotel is thrilling. But Petwood also exudes a delightfully quiet and satisfying dignity, whether one strolls the lovingly-tendered gardens, or dozes by the fire in the cozy common room. The atmosphere is rich, relaxing, and even a bit playful, as our host Andrew demonstrated when he took a turn at the grand piano outside the bar. Of all the places we visited in England, this was without a doubt the most quintessentially English.

 

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Making Radio, Week Two (1/22-23/15)

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Though our second week in Lincoln included more visits to sites off the campus, MSCM 398 still had a radio program to prepare for the next Saturday morning. The previous week’s novice nerves were nowhere in evidence.  This week, the … Continue reading

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A Day in York, Part Two (1/21/15)

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While most of MSCM 398 preferred to go shopping in York, Kelsey, Troy and I opted to make the short walk to the National Railway Museum. A must-see attraction for any fan of trains, technology, or industrial history, the museum … Continue reading

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