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In reality, the headband antenna was a sham

How to Convince People WiFi Is Making Them Sick [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on May 21, 2013 - 127 comments

 

It's a knitted voodoo thing

Voodoo, also titled Mini-Me, is a stop animation short created by Wonky Films featuring two knitted characters named Knit and Purl. Wonky Films has also produced two more films featuring the same knitted characters: Stuffing Up and Tickle. These knitted little guys have won the Bablegum film festival's Jury Runner Up Award and appeared on BBC Big Screens across the U.K. to help promote Children in Need.
posted by orange swan on May 21, 2013 - 3 comments

The Big News of the Week

The Royal Horticultural Society has temporarily lifted a ban on garden gnomes - normally deemed too "tacky" - at the Chelsea Flower Show. Garden historian Twigs Way charts the public's long love-hate relationship with these figurines.
posted by marienbad on May 20, 2013 - 26 comments

Doctor Who?

BBC America has shipped the ‘Doctor Who’ Season 7B Blu-Ray/DVD set early to those who pre-ordered it. Only one problem: it includes the season finale, which airs next week. The BBC confirms on Facebook (where people are having fun in the comments,) and Steven Moffat has promised that if fans keep spoilers off the net, they'll release a special video featuring the 10th and 11th Doctors after the finale airs. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 12, 2013 - 144 comments

'Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky'

BBC Radio 4 has begun to transmit Tweet of the Day, a 90 second 5:58 A.M. weekday broadcast (also podcast!), featuring the songs of UK birds. The program is set to last for 265 episodes, and will feature a revolving door of presenters, beginning with Sir David Attenborough.
posted by Omon Ra on May 8, 2013 - 8 comments

And so the World New Chess Championship begins.

How to play chess properly, as explained by the BBC. Written and performed by John Luke Roberts. Directed by Steve Dawson.
posted by Wonton Cruelty on May 3, 2013 - 15 comments

BBC: How to Eat Healthily on £1 a day

"Starting on Monday 29 April, 5,000 Britons will be challenging themselves to live on just £1 a day for five days, as part of a campaign by the Global Poverty Project. But is it possible not just to survive, but also to eat a balanced and healthy diet on that sort of budget?" [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Apr 30, 2013 - 78 comments

DNA Lab Party at 4 PM: Staph only!

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of the discovery of DNA's structure with a pictorial story behind DNA's double helix and the Rosalind Franklin papers, including correspondences and lab notes that detail some of her crystallography research, findings that laid the groundwork for Watson and Crick's later publication.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 25, 2013 - 6 comments

The twentieth century started here

When Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in the same place.
posted by Gilgongo on Apr 18, 2013 - 53 comments

Where are all the right-wing stand-ups?

Stewart Lee asks "Where are all the right-wing stand-ups?" after BBC Radio 4's commisioning editor Caroline Raphael recently admitted they struggle to "find comedians from the right" on shows such as The News Quiz.
posted by dng on Apr 17, 2013 - 166 comments

The Fishing Party

The BBC documentary The Fishing Party captures the mood of the Thatcher era with devastating accuracy. First broadcast in 1986, it follows a group of four City businessmen on a fishing trip to Scotland as they air their opinions on politics, money, education, discipline, women and dogs. Hilarious and appalling by turns, the whole documentary can now be viewed on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. (Bonus link: the director Paul Watson describes the making of 'Mrs Thatcher's least favourite film ever'.)
posted by verstegan on Apr 9, 2013 - 22 comments

DOCTOR PUPPET!

To celebrate Doctor Who's 50 year(!) run, our friends at Nerdist bring you a new animated web series featuring a stop-motion 11th Doctor investigating a mystery involving his previous selves. It's Doctor Puppet! (I wouldn't have though it was possible for Matt Smith to look even more like a Rankin/Bass stop-motion puppet, but these folks proved me wrong...)
posted by Ursula Hitler on Apr 7, 2013 - 32 comments

Charlie Is My Darling

The Rolling Stones are playing at Glastonbury this summer. (Here's the full line up of the acts). Sold out. Followed by another open-air show in Hyde Park, London. On July 6. Also sold out. "So Charlie, the Stones are playing Glastonbury! Excited?" [more inside]
posted by Mister Bijou on Apr 7, 2013 - 39 comments

The moment has been prepared for.

Something is coming. Not Winter (well, yes, that), but the new half-series of Doctor Who. Here's the prequel to this weekend's episode: The Bells of St Johns. And here's what you really want: Madame Vastra, Jenny 'n' Strax The Sontaran in: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To London, Boy. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Mar 28, 2013 - 171 comments

Itching to snitch

The latest Dwayne Johnson vehicle, Snitch, has used an activist approach for its marketing campaign in a bid to expose the human damage caused by police activity in the War on Drugs. Meanwhile, the BBC notes that some law enforcement agencies in the US use informants in as many as 90% of their drug cases, with little oversight or consistency. Snitching is now an end in itself: at least 48,895 federal convicts — one of every eight — had their prison sentences reduced in exchange for informing, with much higher rates in certain states. Since the murder of informant Rachel Hoffman in 2008, there has been a growing focus on reforming the business of snitching, what the ACLU calls the "unnecessary evil." [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Mar 27, 2013 - 29 comments

It's the capital of the world, but is it still the capital of the UK?

BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders asks "Should Britain let go of London?"
posted by nickrussell on Mar 26, 2013 - 82 comments

Bye bye Boris

London mayor (and oft talked-up potential future PM) Boris Johnson is demolished in a slow motion bicycle crash of an interview. (The whole thing)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 25, 2013 - 92 comments

Memories of BBC Television Centre.

Memories of BBC Television Centre. The British Broadcasting Corporation's central production hub for the past fifty years closes this week (though parts of it will reopen soon as a post-production facility). There have been many hagiographies, but this is perhaps the most poignant. It's a building full of the memories of millions, good and bad (SLYT).
posted by feelinglistless on Mar 25, 2013 - 18 comments

Secret Universe

The Hidden Life Of the Cell (57:24) There is a battle playing out inside your body right now. It started billions of years ago and it is still being fought in every one of us every minute of every day. It is the story of a viral infection - the battle for the cell. This film reveals the exquisite machinery of the human cell system from within the inner world of the cell itself - from the frenetic membrane surface that acts as a security system for everything passing in and out of the cell, the dynamic highways that transport cargo across the cell and the remarkable turbines that power the whole cellular world to the amazing nucleus housing DNA and the construction of thousands of different proteins all with unique tasks. The virus intends to commandeer this system to one selfish end: to make more viruses. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Exploring the very latest ideas about the evolution of life on earth and the bio-chemical processes at the heart of every one of us, and revealing a world smaller than it is possible to comprehend, in a story large enough to fill the biggest imaginations.
You may be familiar with molecular movies from my two previous megaposts collecting them, but this extended documentary uses original animation that is collected into a coherent educational narrative and is just so fucking gorgeous. Enjoy.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Mar 24, 2013 - 20 comments

Some nifty special effects models

Steve Howarth has made a lot of practical special effects miniatures, including work on the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie, Moon, Crystal Maze and many more projects. Perhaps the most interesting is his work on Red Dwarf. [more inside]
posted by jiawen on Mar 22, 2013 - 12 comments

We used to have these things called books, and some told you where to go

Does BBC Worldwide's sale of Lonely Planet at an £80 million loss (after writing down its value by £67 million over 6 years), on top of Google's purchase of Frommer's last year, herald the end of travel guidebooks? [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky on Mar 20, 2013 - 52 comments

"Sarcastic Fringehead?" Really?

Amazing territorial behavior by a fish bearing the rather odd name of "Sarcastic Fringehead," from the David Attenborough's BBC Life series via WTF, Evolution?
posted by Scientist on Mar 11, 2013 - 46 comments

Dalek designer sadly exterminated at 84

In 1963, BBC production designer Raymond Cusick was asked to design the first monster for a new show, Doctor Who. Terry Nation's script required aliens called "Daleks" whose hobbies included world-domination and shouting "exterminate". In response, Cusick came up with the amazing and even iconic Dalek design which spawned Dalek-Mania across the world. [more inside]
posted by w0mbat on Feb 25, 2013 - 60 comments

This is no domestic moggy.

Earthflight is a BBC nature documentary narrated by David Tennant that takes a breathtaking flight on the wings of birds across six continents and experiences some of the world's greatest natural spectacles from a bird's-eye view. There are some full episodes up on YouTube (including South America, Africa, and the Making Of), but in particular these two clips caught my eye: Feral Cat Hunting and Peregrine Falcon Hunting.
posted by lazaruslong on Feb 14, 2013 - 9 comments

The Other 11 Doctors

An alternate history of Women cast as of Doctor Who
posted by Artw on Feb 9, 2013 - 86 comments

Battered Vinyl Retaliates

BBC DJs Mark and Lard show of some of their treasured vinyl recordings which are "particularly hard to find these days in this kind of condition": Mull of *Kintyre, Messing about on the River, Rocking around the Christmas Tree, Bright Eyes (more). NSFW - although somehow they got away with broadcasting it in the middle of the afternoon.
posted by rongorongo on Jan 30, 2013 - 13 comments

The Real George Orwell

The Radio 4 on the BBC is presenting a month of readings from George Orwell's books. Some of them will only be available for one week from the date of broadcast, so be quick. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 29, 2013 - 5 comments

"Quantum biology: Do weird physics effects abound in nature?"

Quantum Biology - Disappearing in one place and reappearing in another. Being in two places at once. Communicating information seemingly faster than the speed of light. This kind of weird behaviour is commonplace in dark, still laboratories studying the branch of physics called quantum mechanics, but what might it have to do with fresh flowers, migrating birds, and the smell of rotten eggs? More: Quantum smell' idea gains ground Both BBC.
posted by marienbad on Jan 28, 2013 - 59 comments

Cunning Punts

In the English-speaking world, punning is viewed as more of a tic than a trick, a pathological condition whose sufferers are classed as "compulsive", "inveterate" and "unable to help themselves". The BBC on Punning.
posted by marienbad on Jan 16, 2013 - 99 comments

A small island

Britain from Above was a 2008 BBC TV program that used aerial photography and data visualization to depict British transportation, land planning, police management of public order, ecology and much else. Of particular interest: the effect on the national electrical grid of millions of tea kettles being switched on simultaneously at the end of a popular soap opera airing. [more inside]
posted by grouse on Jan 6, 2013 - 17 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

"Dark glasses are like being behind a waterfall - daring and safe at the same time"

The 1992 BBC investigative documentary series The Look, aiming to examine the 'serious side of fashion', is available to watch online. The episodes cover the power of licensing luxury names, who benefits from catwalk shows, how the industry commodifies identity, the story of Yves Saint Laurent, the power of the press, and how fabric itself makes a difference. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Jan 5, 2013 - 10 comments

What polar bears seek out when they're tired of Coke

"Cameraman Captures What It’s Like to Be Targeted as Food by a Polar Bear." Does what it says on the tiny, flimsy, Plexiglas shelter with some promising gaps.
posted by maudlin on Jan 4, 2013 - 78 comments

Better than "S&M". Guaranteed.

"As part of Radio 1's Specialist Takeover in the first week of January 2013, Benji B delivered a very special show from Maida Vale. A 16 piece string orchestra performed specially arranged scores, written by Grant Windsor, over some of the biggest underground electronic tunes, including the likes of Kanye West, Flying Lotus and Drake." [more inside]
posted by raihan_ on Jan 3, 2013 - 17 comments

Michael Buerk Attacks BBC, the media, the privately educated, and inequality

Michael Buerk: ""The arts, low and high, are dominated by them. The BBC is a private-school old boys' and girls' association. They edit most newspapers, even the Leftish Daily Mirror and the Guardian", he wrote."

Buerk also criticised the BBC's coverage of the Jubilee : "saying it was "cringingly inept" and had left him ashamed."

Michael Buerk rants about the BBC, the media and the UK.
posted by marienbad on Dec 31, 2012 - 54 comments

R is for RORY who dies every day

The GallifreyCrumb Tinies (Contains Doctor Who Spoilers) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 26, 2012 - 16 comments

Poverty in the UK during the 1930s

"Yet when I went before the Public Assistance Committee [to plead for more benefit] they asked me if the baby was being breast-fed and when I said yes, they reduced the allowance for a child.' [Daily Mail - Although not their usual fare].
posted by marienbad on Dec 25, 2012 - 12 comments

Who! Who! Who! Merry Christmas!

This year's festive Doctor Who Christmas episode will feature a new companion, a new theme tune and title sequence and a new look to the Tardis interior! But look out for those scary Snowmen! [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 24, 2012 - 121 comments

Recreating the sounds of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Explore the BBC sound of the 1960s with 4 demos of Radiophonic equipment. [more inside]
posted by LinnTate on Dec 20, 2012 - 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

I'm Going Straight

Porridge. A slang term for a prison sentence, "Porridge" is one of the more unusual situation comedies in BBC's history. [more inside]
posted by Bunny Ultramod on Dec 11, 2012 - 22 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

Nation shall speak unto nation using Objective-C

The inside story of the website that saved the BBC
posted by Hartster on Nov 28, 2012 - 13 comments

Thurman Lives

Back in March I posted about the forgotten Nickelodeon show Turkey Television. Recently a full episode of the show (later era) has shown up on YouTube: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3.
If that's too much video tryptophan (even at its best, Turkey Television was amazingly uneven), here's a few clips (WARNING: CONTAINS UNCLE HOGRAM, also some of Uncle Floyd's bizarre Day In The Life Of A Food) from YouTube user 2reelers. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 25, 2012 - 19 comments

Oxbridge dominates list of leading UK people

A third of the UK's leading people went to Oxford or Cambridge universities and four out of every 10 of them attended private schools, a report suggests. [BBC] [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Nov 20, 2012 - 46 comments

The New Sound of Music

Airing in 1979, The New Sound of Music was a BBC documentary which depicted and demonstrated the history of recorded and manipulated music, from the earliest paper rolls to electronic synthesizers and the cutting and manipulation of tape. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Nov 19, 2012 - 13 comments

"The phrase 'intergalactically stupid' appeared... and he responded."

The Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Review YouTube channel has a lot of videos of film reviews from the livestream of their BBC radio show and podcast, going back about five years. They are sorted by genre, film rating, geographic origin and one special category, Classic Kermodean Rants, which includes his reviews of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Sex and the City 2, in which he ends up sing-shouting The Internationale, and Angels and Demons, which woke a man from a coma (mp3, story starts at 5:10, and it is followed up here, beginning at 5:30).
posted by Kattullus on Nov 10, 2012 - 32 comments

Stephen Fry in America

Stephen Fry in America is a six part BBC television series of one hour shows in which Stephen Fry travels across the United States of America. He travels, mostly in a London cab, through all 50 U.S. states and offers his unique variety of insight as well as his infectious optimism and genuine love for many things American. New World, Deep South, Mississippi [US Edit], Mountains and Plains, True West, and Pacific. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 2, 2012 - 95 comments

"I close my eyes and dream about a sunny holiday ... "

Caro Emerald is a Dutch jazz singer. Her debut album "Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor" went sextuple-platinum in The Netherlands, and has the longest run at #1 on the Dutch charts. BBC Music reviews. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 31, 2012 - 16 comments

Gabby Douglas is the Prez.

Pick your celebrity president - "We have gathered runners and riders from across the celebrity spectrum - from sports stars to celebrity chefs - for a more glittering election in 2012. Answer the questions and find out who you would likely vote for in a showbiz showdown for the keys to the White House." via BBC. [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Oct 27, 2012 - 40 comments

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