assaf / Assaf Lavi

There is one person in assaf’s collective.

Huffduffed (13)

  1. Hardcore History - Wrath of the Khans (part 5)

    Show 47 - Wrath of the Khans V Sun, 13 Jan 2013   -   02:06:52 minutes   -   122.63mb

    Succession issues weaken the Mongol Empire as the grandchildren of Genghis Khan fight over their imperial inheritance. This doesn't stop them from dealing out pain, suffering, and ironically good governance while doing so.

    1. "The Mongol Campaigns in Asia" by Douglas S. Benson
    2. The Mongols by Steven Dutch (article)

    Keywords: Russia, Persia, Turks, Huns, Asia, podcast, history, Middle Ages, invasion, conquest, Ogedai, Batu, Tartars, Muslim, Crusades, Baghdad, Mameluke, military , Mongke, Guyuk, Kublai, Golden Horde, Helegu, Egypt Mongols, Genghis, Chingis, Jengiz, Khan

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  2. Hardcore History - Wrath of the Khans (part 4)

    Show 46 - Wrath of the Khans IV Tue, 13 Nov 2012   -   01:31:19 minutes   -   88.50mb

    The death of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, should have slowed the momentum of Mongol conquests, but instead it accelerated it. This time though, all of Europe is on the Mongol hit list.

    "The Mongol Campaigns in Asia" by Douglas S. Benson

    Keywords: Mongols, Genghis, Chingis, Jengiz, Khan, steppe, China, Eurasia, Russia, Persia, Turks, Huns, Asia, podcast, history, Middle Ages, invasion, conquest, Hungarians, Poland, Leignitz, Ogedai, Batu, Tartars, Muslim, Crusades, Cumans, Polovtsy, military

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  3. Hardcore History - Wrath of the Khans (part 3)

    Show 45 - Wrath of the Khans III Sun, 23 Sep 2012   -   01:28:24 minutes   -   85.30mb

    The expansion of Genghis Khan's conquests continue, with locations as far apart as Europe and China feeling the bloody effects of Mongol warfare and retribution. Can anything halt the carnage?

    Keywords: Mongols, Genghis, Chingis, Jengiz, Khan, steppe, China, Eurasia, Russia, Persia, Turks, Huns, Central Asia, podcast, history, Middle Ages, invasion, conquest, Khwarezmian, Khwarezm, Shah, Islam, Muhammad, Muslim, Crusades, Cumans, Polovtsy

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  4. Hardcore History - Wrath of the Khans (part 2)

    Show 44 - Wrath of the Khans II Tue, 31 Jul 2012   -   01:35:10 minutes   -   103.19mb

    The Mongol leader Genghis Khan displays an unmatched level of strategic genius while moving against both Northern China and the Eastern Islamic world. Both civilizations are left stunned and millions are slaughtered.


    Keywords: Mongols, Genghis, Chingis, Jengiz, Khan, steppe, China, Eurasia, Russia, Persia, Turks, Huns, Central Asia, podcast, history, Middle Ages, Marco Polo, invasion, conquest, horsemen, Khwarezmian, Khwarezm, Shah, Islam, Muhammad, Muslim

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  5. Hardcore History - Wrath of the Khans (part 1)

    Show 43 - Wrath of the Khans I Wed, 13 Jun 2012   -   01:47:02 minutes   -   103.19mb

    In one of the most violent outbursts in history a little-known tribe of Eurasian nomads breaks upon the great societies of the Old World like a human tsunami. It may have ushered in the modern era, but at what cost?


    Keywords: Mongols, Genghis, Chingis, Jengiz, Khan, steppe, China, Eurasia, Russia, Persia, Turks, Huns, Central Asia, podcast, history, Middle Ages, Marco Polo, invasion, conquest, horsemen

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  6. Cul de Sac | 99% Invisible

    When people critique cul-de-sacs, a lot of the time, they’re actually critiquing the suburbs more generally. The cul-de-sac has become sort of like the mascot of the suburbs– like if suburbia had a flag, it would have a picture of a cul-de-sac on it. Cul-de-sacs by definition aren’t well connected to other streets and they are far away town centers. People can argue whether or not these are pros or cons, depending on what lifestyle choices they prioritize. For little kids, cul-de-sacs can be great, but they do have some real, quantifiable design flaws. Imagine being a garbage collector, or a street cleaner, instead of driving down one long street and collecting all the garbage from that street, then taking a right onto the next street and so on, you have to turn around in all of these cul-de-sacs over and over again. It takes more time and uses more gas. They’re expensive for governments to maintain, and now, governments are starting to enact regulations against them.

    Producer Katie Mingle talks with Matt Lassiter about cul-de-sacs, the pitfalls of suburban design, and of course, E.T.

    Special thanks to The Congress for the New Urbanism, who provided very helpful background information, but didn’t end up in the piece itself.

    Katie Mingle works for the Third Coast International Audio Festival. She produces Re:sound, hosts the Third Coast Podcast, and develops features for the TCIAF website. If you aren’t familiar with the Third Coast International Audio Festival, get familiar! It’s the best.

    ALSO— Thank you, beautiful people! The show received dozens of new iTunes reviews and well over 100 new followers on Facebook. It was so lovely to read everyone’s kind words about the show and know that I’m at least partially achieving my many goals for the program. Several of the reviews could’ve been lifted directly from my “mission statement” (the one in my head), so clearly you’re picking up what I’m laying down. I knew you were capable, but I wasn’t sure I was. Anyway, your reviews have been very effective and are helping the show stay high up in the “Arts” rankings. Keep them coming! Thanks, again!

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  7. Higher and Higher | 99% Invisible

    Like the best of these stories, the two bitter rivals started out as best friends: William Van Alen and Craig Severance.

    They were business partners. Van Alen was considered the artistic maverick and Severance was the savvy businessman. It’s unclear why they broke up, but at some point, Severance decided he could do better on his own. The two parted ways and set up separate practices.

    At the time of their breakup, New York City was undergoing a boom like nothing ever seen before. Massive wealth turned Manhattan into some of the most valuable property in human history. And when property gets valuable, we build up.

    Late in 1928 Walter Chrysler, founder of the Chrysler car company, came to New York and bought a plot of land and decided to build, what he referred to as, “a monument to me.” Van Alen had already been working on plans for the previous owner of that plot and Chrysler decided to hire him to develop that plan into what would become the Chrysler Building. Walter Chrysler was a great fan of art and architecture and felt a real kinship with the Beaux-Arts trained William Van Alen.

    Meanwhile, downtown at 40 Wall Street, Craig Severance was planning the Manhattan Company Building. It was funded primarily by the young, Wall Street hot shot, George Ohrstrom. The two towers had different goals. Severance’s building was being constructed to make money. The Chrysler Building was intended to be a monument to Chrysler, but it also aimed to be a beautiful and innovative structure.

    At the time, Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth building was the tallest building in New York City and both Van Alen and Severance intended to take its crown.

    What followed was an epic back and forth struggle for the glory of ruling the New York City skyline.

    At this point, if you haven’t already, you should really just listen to the episode…

    (Above: The Chrysler Building)

    (Above: The Manhattan Company Building at 40 Wall Street)

    The Manhattan Company Building grew incrementally. As reports came in about the proposed height of the Chrysler Building, Severance simply kept adding as many floors as the foundation could handle. The Chrysler Building reached for the sky in two much more dramatic ways. First, the dome of the tower was originally much more squat and rounded, but the urge to go higher made Van Alen stretch the arches to accommodate more floors. So that elegant, elongated dome that we love on the Chrysler Building was the result of this silly height race. But the sneaky masterstroke, that ultimately led the Chrysler building to surpass the Manhattan company building for good, was the gleaming spire called the vertex. Van Alen had the 185 ft spire secretly constructed inside the building and on October 23, 1929, the vertex emerged from the building’s core, “like a butterfly from its cocoon.” With that, the Chrysler Building became the tallest building in the world.

    If the story stopped there you might think that Van Alen, the quintessential “architect as artist,” won the day. The Chrysler building was the tallest structure in the world, and even though the design was panned originally, we all know that it eventually got its due. But the story did not end there. After all this hubbub of partner against partner, fighting for who would be the tallest, a mere 11 months later, the great Empire State Building was completed and it became the tallest building in the world for nearly 40 years. Frankly, I don’t really care about that so much, what happened next was the real tragedy.

    The lack business acumen that probably contributed to Val Alen and Severance parting ways, really came back to bite William Van Alen. He never actually had a contract with Walter Chrysler to design the Chrysler building. After the building was completed, Chrysler refused to pay Van Alen the customary 6% fee and the architect ended up suing the car maker. Van Alen eventually got his money, but the lawsuit ruined his reputation. He never got a major commission again.

    (Above: Van Alen dressed as the Chrysler Building at the Beaux-Arts Architects Ball in 1931)

    (Above: The Chrysler Building)

    (Above: 40 Wall Street)

    You probably know, and can clearly picture, the now classic, Art Deco style of the Chrysler building: the steel-clad arches, the sunburst triangular windows, the hood ornament style eagles, and the hub cap friezes (It was made for a car guy, after all). But it’s doubtful you’ve even heard of the Manhattan Company Building. This is probably because now it’s called 40 Wall Street or the Trump Building, but also because the design just never took hold in the public consciousness. This was not the case when the buildings were first completed. The Chrysler Building was universally panned and the Manhattan Company Building got great reviews from architecture critics.

    Telling our story today is Neal Bascomb, author of Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City and several other books. Higher is fantastic, goes into much greater detail, and also includes a lot of fascinating material on the construction of the Empire State Building. Get it! I read it and also listened to it on Audible.

    We are a founding member of Radiotopia from PRX– a collective of the best story-driven, creative, cutting-edge radio shows on earth. Shows like The Truth, Strangers, Theory of Everything, Love and Radio, Radio Diaries and Fugitive Waves from the Kitchen Sisters. Really, it’s the best group of programs that has ever existed, all in one place. Get to know your new favorite podcasts and subscribe to them all!

    Our Squarespace site of the week is from Emily Eifler.

    —Huffduffed by assaf

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