I have been learning a lot over the past week or so. I happened to stumble upon an awesome podcast about 12 rulers of the Byzantine Empire. That might sound boring or irrelevant. I have found it to be interesting, sometimes shocking, and quite relevant.
The stories of intrigue, terror, war, passion, leadership, and war are well-told and move quickly. I am very impressed by Lars Brownworth, the teacher at the Stony Brook School who is recording these lectures. At about 20 minutes a piece, he covers a lot of ground. This guy knows his stuff, and you could spend your time in a lot less edifying ways.
I highly recommend you visit his website by clicking here, or sign up quickly and easily through iTunes--just search "Lars Brownsworth" and select "12 Byzantine Rulers." The first episode, the introductory material, is my least favorite. By the end of the second episode, I bet you'll be ready for more. The website also contains further material about specific subjects.