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Fanny at Christmas

Fanny Cradock makes Mincemeat out of an Omelette [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 22, 2014 - 20 comments

NASA emails spanner to the ISS Space Station

"Astronauts on the International Space Station have used their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in an email. It is the first time hardware has been "emailed" to space. Nasa was responding to a request by ISS commander Barry Wilmore for a ratcheting socket wrench."
posted by marienbad on Dec 20, 2014 - 52 comments

The Year Before

A fascinating BBC Radio Seven Four xtra audio documentary about life and events in the UK in the run up to World War One. Written and narrated by Michael Portillo, but don't let this put you off. Starts with "The long summer." If you are not in the UK, you may need to spoof your IP address to listen to them.
posted by marienbad on Dec 17, 2014 - 4 comments

The Turbolift Mark I?

"German company ThyssenKrupp is proposing a self-propelled lift that can travel both horizontally and vertically through large buildings and skyscrapers." Includes short animated video demonstration.
posted by marienbad on Dec 15, 2014 - 61 comments

"I made it so she wanted to sleep with me, which was totally a lie..."

She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge
She studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College, that's where I caught her eye.
She told me that her Dad was loaded
I said in that case I'll have a rum and coke-cola.
She said fine, and in thirty seconds time she said,
I want to live like common people I want to do whatever common people do,
I want to sleep with common people I want to sleep with common people like you.
Well what else could I do – I said I'll see what I can do. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 13, 2014 - 53 comments

England, England

BBC Land "Popular BBC shows such as Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear could be turned into theme-park attractions as part of a development deal involving the Hollywood studio behind Mission Impossible and Star Trek." [more inside]
posted by betweenthebars on Dec 10, 2014 - 109 comments

What are you doing here? ... Physician, heal thyself.

The first 15 mins of all the episodes of classic Doctor Who at the same time. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 8, 2014 - 12 comments

UK's Premier Foods accused over 'pay and stay' practice

Premier Foods, one of the UK's biggest manufacturers, has been asking its suppliers for payments to continue doing business with the firm.
posted by marienbad on Dec 4, 2014 - 20 comments

ARISE, SIR NEWS.

Anarchic comedy provocateur Chris Morris (The Day Today, Brass Eye, Jam and Four Lions) was recently the subject of a retrospective on BBC's Raw meat Radio [more inside]
posted by AzzaMcKazza on Dec 2, 2014 - 26 comments

Melvyn, no need to Bragg

Melvyn Bragg's been digging deep for more than 40 years. You may know In Our Time [previously], The South Bank Show [previouslier] or The Adventure of English. If you don't, you probably should. [more inside]
posted by stinker on Nov 29, 2014 - 57 comments

Bonobo, inspired by beautiful hip-hop, London scenes, and a tumble dryer

From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 27, 2014 - 12 comments

The secret lives of cats

Playful pets, fearsome fighters or deadly hunters? Millions of us have cats in our homes, yet we know very little about them. In this series, Liz Bonnin joins forces with some of the world's top cat experts to conduct a groundbreaking scientific study. With GPS trackers and cat cameras, we follow 100 cats in three very different environments to find out what they get up to when they leave the cat flap.
Last October, BBC's flagship science programme Horizon devoted a series of 3 episodes to tracking and analysing the secret lives of cats. These episodes are now available on Youtube. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 18, 2014 - 54 comments

A laptop of one's own

Now, however, the internet has created a revolution in the place of young women in our culture, granting millions of them the chance to represent themselves to the world in all sorts of ways that Ruby Tandoh argues are both tremendously exciting and profoundly empowering. She'll look back at the development of the place of girls in youth culture over the decades, examining the importance of the private space of the bedroom in providing a crucible in which identities are actively formed, and find out about those young women in movements like punk and Riot Grrrl who blazed a trail for today's girls as they take the reins of cultural production through their vlogs, blogs and zines.
From Radio 4's Archive on 4 programme comes A Girl's Own Story.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 17, 2014 - 3 comments

You wanna understand America, don't come here — go to the movies

Rich Hall’s How The West Was Lost (What started with Red River mostly ended with Blazing Saddles; from 20th C. cultural behemoth to object of satire; the Western genre and the archetype of the cowboy.)

There’s a tradition of Brits coming to the US to explain this young country and expose the folks back home to America. From Charles William Janson and Thomas Ashe on through Stephen Fry and Jeremy Clarkson, foreigners with funny accents and strange vocabulary have set foot on American soil in an effort to explore the place and its people. But for the Brits to truly understand America, two things might be necessary: an American expat and (more importantly) MOVIES! Because an insider’s take on Hollywood’s misportrayal, mythmaking, stereotypes, historical ignorance, misunderstanding, bullshit, and skewed lens through which we see (and are shown) ourselves as Americans can get pretty interesting as well as informative.

Stuff like: [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Nov 16, 2014 - 19 comments

The Hovering Angel Takes Wing

[Ernst] Barlach’s memorial ["Der Schwebende Engel," or The Hovering Angel] is unusual and unique. Detached from earth and time, with folded arms and closed eyes, the hovering figure expresses an internalized vision of the grief and sufferings of war. When the Nazis came to power in the 1930s, Barlach’s works were among the first to be declared Entartete Kunst (‘degenerate art’) and confiscated and removed from public display. Sadly, Barlach died in 1938, knowing that his masterwork had been taken down to be melted and probably made into war munitions. However, some courageous friends had managed to hide a second cast, which was then hung in the Antoniter Church in Cologne after the end of the Second World War.
The British Museum welcomes Ernst Barlach's Der Schwebende to its exhibition "Germany: memories of a nation." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Nov 6, 2014 - 4 comments

MI5, MI6 and GCHQ 'spied on lawyers', breached lawyer-client privilege

British intelligence agencies have policies allowing staff to access confidential communications between lawyers and their clients, official documents have revealed. The guidance was disclosed for the first time at a tribunal which examines complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.
posted by marienbad on Nov 6, 2014 - 13 comments

We're Witches Of Halloween... Woo-Ooo!

Words And Pictures was a long running BBC television series created to help small children to learn to read and write. From back in an era when most broadcasting seemed designed to utterly terrify its younger viewers here is the Halloween episode that managed to traumatized several generations as it was repeated year-in year-out (if not on television, then on scratchy VHS recordings in school classrooms) seemingly forever. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 31, 2014 - 18 comments

Beware The Moon!

An American Werewolf In London [Part 2] [~2h total], a radio drama adaptation of John Landis' original script, written and directed by Dirk Maggs.
posted by hippybear on Oct 31, 2014 - 8 comments

Gender-Based Prize Money Differences In Sport

A BBC Sport study into prize money found 30% of sports reward men more highly than women. The biggest disparities in prize money were found in football, cricket, golf, darts, snooker and squash. [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Oct 28, 2014 - 29 comments

Sex and Drugs and a £1.7 Billion EU bill.

Robert Peston, BBC : "Well you may recall that the Office for National Statistics recently recalculated the size of our national income to take account of unreported or under-reported parts of the economy, such as research and development, illicit drugs and prostitution. So thanks in part to the inclusion in the official economy of our productive sex workers, our EU membership fee has been augmented." - The BBC's economic editor's take on the UK's new, increased (by £1.7 billion) EU subscription. [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Oct 24, 2014 - 17 comments

To modern ears they sound like nothing short of anarchy

The BBC looks back on the Free Schools movement
There would be no timetable, no compulsory lessons, no uniform, no hierarchy. Teachers would be called by their first names. The children would make up the rules and decide what they wanted to learn.
There'd be no fees, fixed hours, term times or holidays. They were to be schools without walls - and open whenever the community wanted them.
Many of them quickly folded - with some communities not receptive to the idea of educational anarchy. But a few put down solid roots.

posted by frimble on Oct 22, 2014 - 22 comments

"...to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out."

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace, BBC Documentary. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 19, 2014 - 5 comments

But who WAS presenting the Nine O'Clock News on 24 November 1995?

Ever wanted to know who was on BBC Radio 1 at 1pm on Sunday 6 February, 1994*? Or what happened in EastEnders on 13 October 1998**? Or who was on the Top of the Pops Christmas special in 1971? Genome can answer that. [more inside]
posted by garlicsmack on Oct 16, 2014 - 11 comments

Iggy Pop on free music in a capitalist society

Iggy Pop delivers the 2014 John Peel lecture. Transcript here.
posted by goo on Oct 14, 2014 - 23 comments

Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community

BBC: Vatican family review signals shift on homosexuality - "Senior clerics taking part in a review of Catholic teachings on the family have called on the Church to adopt a more positive stance on homosexuality. A preliminary report written by bishops during a Vatican synod said homosexuals had "gifts and qualities to offer"."
posted by marienbad on Oct 14, 2014 - 57 comments

Duncan Campbell's Secret Society - BBC Documentary Series - 1987

This is Duncan Campbell's BBC documentary series Secret Society which shows the never broadcast episode on secret groups, committees and societies that operate silently within British government. The first episode about secret cabinet committees features author Peter Hennessy, Clive Ponting and MP Clement Freud amongst others. It also contains the infamous Zircon spy satellite epsode. [Warning - Vimeo - alternative links for four of these are at Archive.org.] [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Oct 12, 2014 - 8 comments

God Only Knows

God Only Knows that this is an interesting production of one of your Beach Boy favorites. More here.
posted by HuronBob on Oct 8, 2014 - 80 comments

"Where ignorant armies clash by night."

Sea of Faith: a six-part documentary television series, presented on BBC television in 1984 by Don Cupitt. [youtube]
"The programme dealt with the history of Christianity in the modern world, focussing especially on how Christianity has responded to challenges such as scientific advances, political atheism and secularisation in general"
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 7, 2014 - 4 comments

"It's The Fall, The Fall, The Fall of course, and by The Fall, from The Fall"

Approximately one hour of John Peel announcing The Fall.
posted by ardgedee on Oct 3, 2014 - 16 comments

Ambridge: the MMORPG

But consider how much of videogaming is controlled by corporations like Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and Apple. Their influence is far-reaching, and their decisions often show little regard for their audience. That’s dangerous. The PC is a fine and flourishing alternative, but it’s an anarchic ecosystem. There ought to be a third way, an organisation with the influence of a corporation but the interests of the people at heart. That’s what the BBC can represent. That’s what I feel we need in games.
In an impassionate editorial at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Graham Smith draws on the Corporation's pioneering role in television as he sets out his reasons for wanting the BBC to enter videogaming.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 30, 2014 - 37 comments

They have grown so big they no longer simply suck blood

This absolutely horrifying clip from forthcoming BBC documentary Wonders of the Monsoon shows a giant red leech sucking down a giant blue earthworm like spaghetti, deep in the forests of Borneo. [more inside]
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Sep 28, 2014 - 103 comments

Dipdap

Dipdap is a children's BBC show for pre-schoolers. Completely wordless, it's a fairly delightful and surprisingly funny mixture of shape recognition, music and discovery (and lots of visual comedy), where "the line" draws a series of challenges and problems for Dipdap to solve. Here's every single episode of it.
posted by dng on Sep 25, 2014 - 19 comments

If I were king for a day, I would ban open-plan offices

"There is nowhere to have a quiet chat – if a channel controller wants to discuss a commission, they must first book time in a glass-walled meeting room named after some long-gone BBC character – the Del Boy or Wilfred Pickles suite or something. The Mr Pastry Suite or the Basil Fawlty Snack Bar would have been no more likely to produce creative ideas, but at least it might have been fun getting the summons." (SLGuardian)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 13, 2014 - 62 comments

Donald Winnicott at the BBC

Donald Winnicott, the British pediatrician and psychoanalyst, was notable in the mid-20th century for his empathy and recognition of the complexity and resilience of the mother-child bond. In the late 40s he recorded extensively for the BBC, and the resulting broadcasts made his term "good enough mother," and his advice about parenting, influential throughout England. There is a short (2 min) snippet of him talking at BBC 4, but the full show about Winnicott's broadcasts and influence is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Sep 12, 2014 - 2 comments

Just do it already

"And yes, I get that sexuality is fluid and all of that, but honestly, can't they just do it and get it over with? Either that, or shut up about it." Are Sherlock and Watson Gonna Bone, or What? [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 10, 2014 - 202 comments

"Spy" cameras for wildlife photography

Spy cameras and the tricks and technology of modern wildlife filming. (Vimeo) From BBC Wildlife.
posted by OmieWise on Sep 10, 2014 - 7 comments

Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Especially on the Radio.

The BBC has announced that it will be producing a radio dramatization of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's book, Good Omens. The radio drama will be broadcast as six episodes in December on BBC Radio 4, and will feature Mark Heap and Peter Serafinowicz in the lead roles.
posted by schmod on Sep 7, 2014 - 39 comments

"Do you... do you like Tina Turner, Ted?"

The Fast Show summary from Wikipedia:
The Fast Show, known as Brilliant in the US, was a BBC comedy sketch show programme that ran from 1994 to 1997, with a special in 2000 and 2014. It was one of the most popular sketch shows of the 1990s in the UK. The show's central performers were Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day, Mark Williams, John Thomson, Arabella Weir and Caroline Aherne. Other significant cast members included Paul Shearer, Rhys Thomas, Jeff Harding, Maria McErlane, Eryl Maynard, Colin McFarlane and Donna Ewin.

It was loosely structured and relied on character sketches, recurring running gags, and many catchphrases. Its fast-paced "blackout" style set it apart from traditional sketch series because of the number and relative brevity of its sketches; a typical half-hour TV sketch comedy of the period might have consisted of nine or ten major items, with contrived situations and extended setups, whereas the premiere episode of The Fast Show featured twenty-seven sketches in thirty minutes, with some items lasting less than ten seconds and none running longer than three minutes. Its innovative style and presentation influenced many later series such as Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 30, 2014 - 32 comments

For Kate I wait: BBC documentary and first live show in 35 years

Last night, Kate Bush performed her first concert in 35 years at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. She last toured in 1979, following the release of Lionheart. "Not since the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited for a one-off show in 2007 has there been such hype over a comeback." - The Guardian. Last week, BBC 4 released an hour-long documentary called The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill that reflects on Bush’s long and enigmatic career. It features appearances from Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Tori Amos, Annie Clark, Big Boi, Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Kahn, and more. Vimeo link. Guardian review.
posted by porn in the woods on Aug 27, 2014 - 58 comments

There was no BBC in Shakespeare's time.

Shakespeare's Restless World is a BBC radio series (podcast link) where the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, explores England during the lifetime of William Shakespeare as represented by twenty objects, much in the way of his earlier A History of the World in a 100 Objects (previously). The focus is on Shakespeare's plays and how they were understood by his contemporaries. The series was also published as a book.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 19, 2014 - 12 comments

Run you cowardly Italian!

On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart fought loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. In 1964, Peter Watkins wrote and produced a docudrama for the BBC, from the perspective of a documentary crew on the ground, depicting the battle and its aftermath: Culloden. [1:12:14]
posted by cthuljew on Aug 18, 2014 - 15 comments

Who are you now, Doctor?

A hypnotic video merging every actor who's played Doctor Who into one average face. [SLYT] (Laughing Squid via)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 17, 2014 - 29 comments

The Cello and The Nightingale

In 1924 the BBC transmitted its first live outside broadcast: a duet between cellist Beatrice Harrison and the nightingales nesting in the garden of her Surrey home. Capturing the song of the Nightingale. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Aug 16, 2014 - 10 comments

“How well I would write if I were not here!”

Italo Calvino profiled on the BBC TV show Book Mark in 1985: [SLYT] Rare interview with the great Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels.
posted by Fizz on Aug 11, 2014 - 4 comments

A hundred years ago Europe was in the midst of the July Crisis.

The BBC will be covering World War One in great detail over the next four years. They've already started, with podcasts, interactive guides, online courses, programs new and old plus much, much more. Perhaps it's best to start at the beginning, with Professor Margaret MacMillan's Countdown to World War One (podcast link) or the account of her fellow historian Christopher Clark, Month of Madness. Of course, how the war started is still contested by historians, as recounted in The Great War of Words. The latter two are also part of the main WWI podcast. Or you can dive into the Music and Culture section, go through an A-Z guide or look at comics drawn by modern cartoonists.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 27, 2014 - 42 comments

George Martin - In My Life

In 1998, after over 40 years in the music studio, orchestral arranger and music producer Sir George Martin (the 5th Beatle, or maybe the 6th, or possibly the 7th, depending on how you count or where your priorities lie) decided he was going to retire with a selfish project: recording an album (mostly) entirely of Beatles songs. This ~50 minute BBC documentary recorded many moments from the creation of this swan song, In My Life. The film features interviews with and studio footage of Phil Collins, Robin Williams, Bobby McFerrin, JohnWilliams (classical guitarist, not Star Wars composer), Goldie Hawn, Jim Carrey, and Céline Dion. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jul 25, 2014 - 18 comments

I am a natural sportsballer. Right here. Built to sportsball. Watch out.

Which sport are you physically most suited for? Find out with some help from the BBC!
posted by phunniemee on Jul 23, 2014 - 129 comments

"Local films for local people"

"The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon": In 1994, workers demolishing a toy shop in Blackburn, England stumbled on hundreds of films of Edwardian-era daily life made and collected by Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon. This BBC series describes their rediscovery and historical significance, revisits filming locations, and includes interviews with relatives of some of the films' subjects. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard on Jul 2, 2014 - 7 comments

Where it went wrong for African teams at the World Cup

As the last of the African teams exits at the Round of 16, filmmaker and columnist Farai Sevenzo looks at the state of African football, bedevilled by the perennial problems of poor organisation, tactical indiscipline and rows over money. [BBC]
posted by marienbad on Jul 2, 2014 - 10 comments

Learning languages with Muzzy, the clock-eating fuzzy alien

“Je Suis La Jeune Fille.” “Yes, that’s French they’re speaking. But no, these children aren’t French – they’re American!” If you grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, or watched children's TV programming from that era in the US or UK, no doubt you saw that commercial for Muzzy (formally titled Muzzy in Gondoland). The show was first produced by the BBC in 1986 to teach English as a second language, as seen in this playlist of five videos, and later expanded with Muzzy Comes Back in 1989 (six episode playlist). The shows were both translated in to French, German (playlist), Spanish (and the Spanish vocabulary builder), and Italian (Muzzy in Gondoland, Muzzy Comes Back).
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 28, 2014 - 32 comments

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