Category: UCTV

Arrr – Here be pirates!

8232“To err is human, to arr is pirate.”

This quote (a personal favorite) cleverly illustrates one of many myths Hollywood has popularized about pirates: that all pirates talked like… well, like pirates. You know, “shiver me timbers,” “blow me down” and the like. Other popular myths include:

- All pirates were missing body parts.
- All pirate ships flew the Skull and Crossbones.
- Pirates buried their stolen treasure.
- Pirates were fond of rum and parrots.
- Sailors became pirates to pursue a life of crime.

And perhaps most enduringly: All pirates were “anarchistic maniacs,” a la Blackbeard.

Here be Pirates chronicles the efforts of UC San Diego history professor Mark Hanna to correct these and other misconceptions about buccaneers. In his Harvard doctoral thesis, several popular courses and ongoing research, Hanna paints a detailed and nuanced picture of pirates and privateers, perhaps less colorful than the Tinseltown version but no less fascinating.

One especially intriguing aspect of Hanna’s work focuses on the profound contributions of those wide-ranging mariners to the development of the natural sciences from the late 16th century through the early 18th century. Occasional pirates such as William Dampier made extensive studies of Pacific Rim flora and fauna, and influenced later scientists such as Alexander von Humboldt and Charles Darwin. To spotlight the efforts of these “citizen scientists,” Hanna worked closely with the Special Collections & Archives at the UC San Diego Library to create Unlikely Naturalists, a local component of the traveling exhibition Real Pirates!, currently on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Unlikely Naturalists features original journals and logbooks held in the Library’s world-renowned Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages, which comprises more than 2,000 works spanning nearly 300 years of maritime exploration and discovery.

In addition to first-hand study of materials from the Hill Collection and a tour of the Museum exhibition, Hanna’s students sailed on the Californian, a 1984 replica of an 1847 cutter operated by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. During a four-hour trip students were introduced to sail operations and shipboard life, including the vital importance of teamwork and following the captain’s orders with dispatch.

As Hanna notes in Here Be Pirates, we can’t literally travel back in time, but these resources and activities – first-hand study of primary sources, the Museum exhibition, and sailing on a tall ship – each contribute to fostering empathy, which is vital to the study of the early modern period.

“Always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate. Then always be a pirate.”

Watch Here be Pirates and browse other programs from the Library Channel.

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Contributed by Arts and Humanities Producer, John Menier

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Why are we violent?

786As CARTA co-director Ajit Varki so aptly put it in his concluding remarks, “It was an intellectually stimulating and fascinating but deeply disturbing symposium.”

From interactions in lions and our hominid cousins the chimpanzees, to our Pleistocene ancestors and early human cultures to modern society, CARTA gathered scientists across the spectrum from neurophysiology to sociology to bring their respective microscopes to bear upon the question of aggression within the human species, its role in our development, its causes and its consequences.

While the data are at times grim, disturbing and depressing, it is an important look at an inescapable (or is it?) feature of human evolution, the use of aggression and violence.

Hopefully, if one can remain dispassionate, we are led to ask, can it evolve out of us?

Watch the latest programs from CARTA on Male Aggression and Violence in Human Evolution to learn more.

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Let’s Talk About Movies

8181bNew programs in our Film & Television Collection will take you behind the scenes of the movie-making process.


Watch the latest from the Carsey-Wolf Center:

1761“Brave Miss World” Discussion
A look at the new documentary by Cecilia Peck, “Brave Miss World” that follows Miss Israel Linor Abargil from her rape, to her Miss World win and through to her crusade to fight for justice for victims of rape.


1761The Fault in Our Stars
“The Fault in Our Stars” director Josh Boone, and executive producer Isaac Klausner discuss their new film based on the New York Times best-selling novel written by John Green.


1761The 30th Anniversary of Footloose
Join writer/songrwriter Dean Pitchford to celebrate the classic film “Footloose.”


1761An Evening with Leonard Maltin
Leonard Maltin is one of the most recognized and respected film critics of our time. He recently completed his 30th season with the long-running television show, Entertainment Tonight (1981).


1761Draft Day – A Conversation with Ivan Reitman
Director Ivan Reitman and producers Tom Pollock and Joe Medjuck discuss their new film “Draft Day” starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.


Browse the entire collection of Carsey-Wolf programs, or visit our Film & Television Collection.

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Turbo Charge Your Job Hunt

28254Because he loves his job as an employment industry expert, few people think more about work than Phil Blair.

Beginning in 1977, he has built Manpower San Diego into the largest Manpower franchise in the U.S. It is San Diego’s fourth largest for-profit employer providing approximately 2,500 jobs daily.

Watch Job Won and learn strategies and techniques to leverage your education and experience into a career you’re passionate about.

For more career videos, check out The Career Channel.

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Goldman Talkers

28277Trained in fiction with an MFA in creative writing, a young Ben Rhodes soon found himself writing foreign policy speeches — first, for a think tank and then later, for the President of the United States. He shares his colorful journey from graduate school to the White House with the 2014 graduates of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.


28272For more non-fiction, check out former Obama advisor and UC Berkeley professor Michael Nacht as he recounts how he explained his career choice to his perplexed father. This, before offering thoughtful analysis on Vladimir Putin’s moves in Ukraine and the impact of new nuclear technologies.


Like these programs? Stay tuned for the late summer launch of The UC Public Policy Channel, anchored by none other than the Goldman School, home of some of the best thinkers and talkers on issues that matter.

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