University of Pittsburgh offers a class on the politics of Northern Ireland every semester. Tony Novosel teaches it with the intention that it will be the most challenging — and most involving — class the students will ever take.
The veterans of the class — like Scott Nicolson, heard here — leave with an intricate understanding of the Troubles, as well as some insight into the unexpected comic book connections + psychological conditions of the province.
Terri Hooley, purveyor of the Good Vibrations record shop in Belfast, and the man who released The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks” talks about the evolution of the music scene in the city. Even as his contemporaries abandoned Northern Ireland for less bombs and more culture, Terri stuck to the city. From Them + Van Morrison playing the Martime Hotel in the 1960s, through the coming of punk with shouts of SS RUC, to the current crop of young Belfast talent, he walks us through his unprofitable, trouble-making, fame-brushing career.
Rick Washington, a video games designer and teacher at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, explains the psychology of popular video games. He also discusses the growing field of serious video games, the four personality types of gamers, and the morality programmed into the games.