43 posts tagged with bbc and history.
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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

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

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

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

Pop History

The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records is a radio series on BBC written and narrated by Stuart Maconie. Each episode focuses on one particular pop song and tells the story of the song as well as what social trends it mirrored, for instance the episode on Telstar by The Tornadoes focuses on the technological progress, especially in space travel and music, and the story of songwriter and record producer Joe Meek. 25 episodes have been broadcast, including ones on Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers and 21st Century Britain, Cornershop's Brimful of Asha and the British-Asian experience , and Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime and sex. There are 25 more to come. There is also a blog and profiles of the songs already discussed. [Previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus on Jun 25, 2013 - 14 comments

BBC documentary on automata, clockwork and miniaturisation (UK only)

Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams Detailed and thoughtful exploration of clockwork and automata as a phenomenon in the 17th Century and their development into machines that could imitate human activity - eventually leading to the famous Mechanical Turk (eventually exposed as fake) and the truly astounding "Silver Swan" built by John Joseph Merlin. (Definitely not a fake) [more inside]
posted by JohnnyForeign on Jun 8, 2013 - 9 comments

The Value of Culture

The Value of Culture is a five part BBC radio series by Melvyn Bragg (which can be downloaded as a podcast) which explores the modern concept of 'culture' from its roots in mid-19th Century Britain, specifically Matthew Arnold's Culture and Anarchy and Edward Burnett Tylor's Primitive Culture (vol. 2), and exploring the discourse and uses of the concept until the present day. There are five episodes, each a little over forty minutes long, focusing in turn on Arnold and the roots of the concept of culture, Tylor and the anthropological conception of culture, C. P. Snow and the 'Two Cultures' debate, mass culture and culture studies, and then ending with a debate on the value of culture today.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 6, 2013 - 11 comments

Robert Dudley is HOT

Horrible Histories, the historical sketch show on the BBC inspired by the books of the same name, has been featured previously on Metafilter. Not mentioned, however, were the real gems of the show, Historical Desktops [MLYT]: [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer on Dec 20, 2012 - 10 comments

"An Uncovered Woman and Beatle-Haired Men Will Never Liberate Our Holy Places."

From the BBC blog of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis: "Save Your Kisses For Me: How the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Israeli Right became co-dependents in an abusive relationship." Includes images / film clips from the BBC news archive. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 3, 2012 - 37 comments

Mugshot Yourself

Mugshot Yourself: Meet 1864's greatest rogues, then become one yourself. Try your face on different mugshots, and add the best of them to Copper's growing collection of New York's most notorious. Con men, petty thieves, prostitutes...Oh, and you.(via BBCAmerica)
posted by ColdChef on Aug 12, 2012 - 21 comments

Tea should be hot.

A Guide to Writing Sherlockian-Tea Habits. In which EnigmaticPenguin (of death) schools fanfiction authors in correct English tea theory and practice. Follow up: Biscuits.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 29, 2012 - 158 comments

The Written World - A History of Writing

The Written World is a five part radio series put together by Melyvn Bragg as part of the In Our Time BBC radio project. The programmes look at the history of written word, and how it has shaped our intellectual history. Each episode is available as a podcast and has an accompanying page (1 2 3 4 5) with images and links for further exploration. Also: The books that shaped history (narrated slideshow); the British Library page. [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 6, 2012 - 11 comments

From Alchemy to Chemistry back to Alchemy

In this three part series from the BBC, Professor Jim Al-Khalili discusses the history of the elements. [more inside]
posted by quin on Oct 11, 2011 - 4 comments

I never heard that she had any other Name than the Princess Seraphina.

Princess Seraphina was an 18th Century cross-dresser who brought a thief to court for stealing her clothes. Her trial provides a brief glimpse into the life of queer men in 18th-Century England.
posted by Mooseli on Aug 3, 2011 - 31 comments

Ooh, that smell. Can't you smell that smell?

Smell is our most primitive, least understood sense. Perfume manipulates that sense, reminding us of good times past, and speaking of glamour and sophistication to those who get close. --- "Perfume", Episode 1: Something Old, Something New [pt2/pt3/p4]. Guerlain are considered by many to be the essence of Frenchness in a scent. Ancienne école comme attendez! But the house whose founder/namesake wrote his first formulae in the 19th C. face the challenges of the 21st, including the first non-Family perfumer, updating a classic, and the fall of 4th generation family perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain after his openly racist comments on French TV. We also follow the corporate entity known as Tommy Hilfigger as it tries to bottle and market the scent of Rock & Roll to the Drum 'n Bass generation [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Aug 2, 2011 - 34 comments

Your Paintings.

Your Paintings a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation and participating collections and museums from across the UK, is a website which aims to show the entire UK national collection of oil paintings, the stories behind the paintings, and where to see them for real. It is made up of paintings from thousands of museums and other public institutions around the country. Currently the archive contains 63,000 of the approximately 200,000 publically-owned artworks that make up the national collection. [more inside]
posted by dng on Jul 10, 2011 - 12 comments

A Brief History of Mathematics

A Brief History of Mathematics is a BBC series of ten fifteen-minute podcasts by Professor Marcus du Sautoy about the history of mathematics from Newton and Leibniz to Nicolas Bourbaki, the pseudonym of a group of French 20th Century mathematicians. Among those covered by Professor du Sautoy are Euler, Fourier and Poincaré. The podcasts also include short interviews with people such as Brian Eno and Roger Penrose.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 1, 2010 - 11 comments

"Because I'm worth it."

From the BBC blog of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis: Experiments in the Laboratory of Consumerism 1959-67: "I have quite a lot of film from the archives that was shot in the Madison Avenue agencies in the mid 1960s, and I thought I would put some sections up. It is great because it shows some of the major advertising men and women of the time, many of whom are the real-life models for characters in Mad Men." Includes a 9-minute video interview with the late Herta Herzog. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 23, 2010 - 17 comments

How big is it really?

The BBC's Dimensions site lets you view a range of phenomena overlaid on different parts of the Earth. What if the moon was sitting on Alice Springs? What do the Pakistan floods look like if placed on England? What would the walls of Beijing look like around London? Much more to explore.
posted by Jimbob on Aug 19, 2010 - 11 comments

Horrible Histories, children's historical sketch comedy show from BBC

Horrible Histories is a sketch comedy show made by the BBC for children. It's subject is history. Here are twenty-five sketches, including the stupid death of Edmund II, the pirate's rulebook, witchfinders direct, the song about Henry VIII's wives, Christians vs. Lions and crazy Caligula. [via Kate Beaton's twitterfeed]
posted by Kattullus on Feb 10, 2010 - 26 comments

creative dissatisfaction, that elusive fire in the belly

MAN is one of a number of animals that make things, but man is the only one that depends for its very survival on the things he has made. That simple observation is the starting point for an ambitious history programme that the BBC will begin broadcasting on January 18th in which it aims to tell a history of the world through 100 objects in the British Museum (BM). A joint venture four years in the making between the BM and the BBC, the series features 100 15-minute radio broadcasts, a separate 13 episodes in which children visit the museum at night and try to unlock its mysteries, a BBC World Service package of tailored omnibus editions for broadcasting around the world and an interactive digital programme involving 350 museums in Britain which will be available free over the internet. The presenter is Neil MacGregor, the BM’s director, who has moved from the study of art to the contemplation of things. “Objects take you into the thought world of the past,” he says. “When you think about the skills required to make something you begin to think about the brain that made it.” via The Economist [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 30, 2009 - 36 comments

1989, revolution in Eastern Europe

The BBC World Service has put together a special report on the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe (they also have a simpler portal). There is a wealth of material, including TV reports on key events from the BBC archives, interviews, a map timeline, a report on Catholicism's role in the 1989 revolutions, a first-hand report of what it was like to gather news in East Germany during that time and much more.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 27, 2009 - 20 comments

Voyage Of Discovery

30 years ago the BBC celebrated the anniversary of Charles Darwin with the drama series The Voyage of Charles Darwin depicting his life. The whole thing is now on Youtube. ) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 12, 2009 - 7 comments

On The Origin of Darwin

2009 marks not only the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species* but the 200th anniversary of his birth as well. To celebrate, BBC Radio 4 presents a special series of Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time exploring Darwin's life and work: Episode 1 explores Darwin's unhappy childhood, his time at Cambridge University and his failure to become a priest, episode 2 focuses on Darwin's round the world voyage on the Beagle and the objects and the ideas he bought back, episode 3 looks at the publication of Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, and the controversy it stirred, and episode 4 is set in Down House where Darwin lived out the final years of his life and which became both family home and experiment lab. [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Jan 8, 2009 - 14 comments

glimpses of the African Rock n' Roll Years

Clips from the BBC documentary, The African Rock n' Roll Years - Part 1 l Part 2 l Part 3 l Part 4 l Part 5 l Part 6 - a six-part series mixing interviews with key artists, concert footage and news archives, the series examines and explains the "styles that make up the continent's music, and the political and social pressures that led to their development." BBC documentary details. Found in YouTube member, Duncanzibar's, good collection of mostly African music videos. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 30, 2008 - 9 comments

Dufaycolour, Technicolor and Kodachrome

The Thirties in Colour is a four-part series using rare colour film and photographs to give poignant and surprising insights into the 1930s. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Nov 26, 2008 - 15 comments

When the Wind Blows

This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. - The BBC releases its script for use in the event of nuclear war.
posted by Artw on Oct 2, 2008 - 37 comments

Click click victorious, buzz buzz glorious, Long to reign over us, buzz buzz click click.

The first known recording of a digital computer playing music, recorded by the BBC in 1951. The music played on a Ferantti Mark 1, one of the first commercial general-use computers, and was entered via punchtape and played on a speaker usually used for making clicks and tones to indicate program progress.
posted by Artw on Jun 18, 2008 - 14 comments

Britain's Weirdest Tombstones

IN MEMORY OF
HANNAH TWYNNOY
Who died October 23rd 1703
Aged 33 Years.
In bloom of Life
She’s snatched from hence,
She had not room
To make defence;
For Tyger fierce
Took Life Away.
And here she lies
In a bed of Clay,
Until the Resurrection Day

In anticipation of Halloween, BBC History magazine announces the winner (pdf link) of its "Mysterious Memorials" contest. (It's not the one above.) View the complete list of runners-up here.
posted by saslett on Oct 29, 2007 - 9 comments

The Future 'Just' Happened

The Future Just Happened A series of four BBC programmes about the internet from five years ago watchable online (via pre-broadband 56k real) that provide a snapshot of a time when AOL was 'at the heart of the new world', Marillion were releasing music through fan subscriptions and Monica Lewinsky was talking about how she didn't trust email anymore. Amazing.
posted by feelinglistless on Jun 4, 2006 - 9 comments

Department of Choir Preaching

Why We Fight, the BBC documentary from Eugene Jarecki about the American military-industrial complex and its origins (trailer@apple). For some reason its up in full at Google Video, so if you didn't get a chance to see it in the theaters, well, here it is! 1hr,40m - save it for later, perhaps. It's named after a series of war propaganda newsreels, directed by Frank Capra, demonstrating the need to enter WWII. These too are available on GV, as well as archive.org - to your surprise and delight. And for your convenience: Reels One, Two, Three, Four, Five parts 1 and 2, Six, and Seven
posted by BlackLeotardFront on May 6, 2006 - 54 comments

The world of double entendre

The recent post that revived the rude ‘Rainbow’ kids show sketch reminded me of the our (that is, British) obsession with comic double entendre - the ability to accept the filthiest things as long as there is a parallel innocuous interpretation. I think it is something to do our love for wordplay and subtext, our innate hypocrisy and the belief that sex is, in fact, rather naughty. Perhaps the prime example are the Julian and Sandy sketches that ran on the BBC Radio show ‘Beyond Our Ken’ from 1964-69. Over Sunday lunch, millions (there was ONLY the BBC in those days) listened to two very camp characters saying outrageous things in Polari (underground gay slang). A much earlier prime example is the great dirty joke (it’s the one in blue at the bottom of the page) that got comedian Max Miller (died in 1963) banned from the BBC for 5 years. A more recent case of innuendo is, of course, Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy. Of course the double entendre can also be unintentional.
posted by rolo on Feb 27, 2004 - 8 comments

Auntie Beeb

The history of the BBC
A chronological history of everyone's favourite broadcaster, from Guglielmo Marconi to Ricky Gervais.
posted by Mwongozi on Feb 17, 2004 - 6 comments

Looting Asia's antiquities

The trade in stolen Asian relics is booming. TIME reports on how cultural sites are being looted and precious artifacts smuggled overseas. Sometimes they're returned, but much of Asia's cultural heritage is being lost.
posted by homunculus on Oct 26, 2003 - 9 comments

The Story of Africa

The Story of Africa, courtesy of the BBC World Service.
posted by plep on May 7, 2003 - 8 comments

Funny Latin Phrases

Quanto putas mihi stare hoc conclave ? That's "How many prostitutes does it take to change a lightbulb?" in Latin. No, actually it's "How much do you think I paid for this apartment?". Here's hoping, in the wake of the BBC's superb The Roman Way series, written and presented by David Aaranovich, that good old Latin is on its way back, albeit in an Internet, soundbitey way. Those intending to smuggle some into MetaFilter should definitely start here. The owner, for instance, might find Ne ponatur in mea vicinitate useful - "Not in my backyard". And Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione - "I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult" should prove popular in the God threads. Vale!
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 3, 2003 - 26 comments

-=Applause=-

History of Applause: What compels us to clap in appreciation? Theories abound. The earliest clapping is found in percussive instruments of ancient Egypt (jpg), while the Bible has us clap in joy, as well as derision. Emperor Nero so craved it he would pay freelancers to applaud his atrocious singing. Applause has even influenced classical compositions.

But, in the age of the pre-planned encore, do we still mean it?
posted by apostasy on Feb 2, 2003 - 17 comments

Local Heroes

There's one man that represents where I was brought up in Lancashire. Steeplejack Fred Dibnah. His interests include industrial archeology, traction engines and wearing flat caps. Recently he has been making history programmes for the BBC where his enthusiasm and interest in what other people are saying is given a fresh twist by his working class perspective and respect for the builders of castles, mills etc. A great man with his own way with words. So, who are your local heroes?
posted by quarsan on Dec 18, 2002 - 8 comments

NASA Challenges Moon Hoax Conspiracy

NASA Challenges Moon Hoax Conspiracy After decades of almost ignoring claims that the Apollo missions were hoaxed, NASA commissioned aerospace writer James Olberg to write an official rebuttle. Perhaps a bit more reasonable than the NASA Stooge, the book is aimed at the general public.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Nov 7, 2002 - 33 comments

News actuality from September 11th, 2001, from the Television Archive. Live coverage includes programming from ABC, BBC, CBC Newsworld, NBC, NTV Moscow, and China Central Television.
posted by tranquileye on Jan 28, 2002 - 14 comments

Who is Osama Bin Laden?

Who is Osama Bin Laden? ...The Afghan jihad was backed with American dollars and had the blessing of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. He received security training from the CIA itself, according to Middle Eastern analyst Hazhir Teimourian.
Is OBL the United State's Golem?
posted by housepox on Sep 12, 2001 - 2 comments

Are the Conservatives actively trying to lose votes amongst the 18-24 demographic?

Are the Conservatives actively trying to lose votes amongst the 18-24 demographic? Whilst executives at the BBC are rapidly losing their nerve when it comes to home grown programming, Channel 4 has consistently experimented with new formats and programming styles. The intent of the Blue party seems to facilitate the blanding out of television. Would a privatised C4 have the nerve to show its excellent history programmes in primetime? You can expect it will only lead to attitudes like those expressed by the producers of the US version of 'Survivor'.
posted by feelinglistless on May 10, 2001 - 18 comments

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