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Yesterday's Tomorrow Today!

The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World (titles on piano) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future and the future of home gardening and crushing ennui). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers, New Banking, Nellie The School Computer, The Elliot Light Pen, Mobile Phones, and Moog Synthesizers.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 26, 2011 - 17 comments

'Brinicle' ice finger of death

"In winter, the air temperature above the sea ice can be below -20C, whereas the sea water is only about -1.9C. Heat flows from the warmer sea up to the very cold air, forming new ice from the bottom. The salt in this newly formed ice is concentrated and pushed into the brine channels. And because it is very cold and salty, it is denser than the water beneath. The result is the brine sinks in a descending plume. But as this extremely cold brine leaves the sea ice, it freezes the relatively fresh seawater it comes in contact with. This forms a fragile tube of ice around the descending plume, which grows into what has been called a brinicle." A BBC film crew has recorded one of these freezing life on the sea floor.
posted by cosmac on Nov 23, 2011 - 47 comments

Frozen Planet decides not to air episode in U.S.

BBC's "Frozen Planet" series will not be airing an episode about climate change in the United States.
posted by deathpanels on Nov 15, 2011 - 78 comments

EXTERMINATE

Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch. Variety reports Harry Potter director David Yates wants to reboot Doctor Who. Topless Robot reacts.
posted by gerryblog on Nov 14, 2011 - 150 comments

On the Expression of Emotion

One of Charles Darwin's lesser-known experiments, on the expression of emotion, is being re-run as an exercise in online crowdsourcing - and anyone can take part. The BBC reports.
posted by beshtya on Nov 9, 2011 - 16 comments

Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of Jazz to Come"

"Ornette in '59" - a BBC documentary segment about Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 5, 2011 - 17 comments

Don't have nightmares

The Nightmare Man was a four part BBC sf/horror drama about some... thing slaughtering the inhabitants of a remote Scottish island. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 31, 2011 - 13 comments

More Mayo, Hold the Kermode

More Mayo is the podcast version of BBC's Simon Mayo Drivetime. Mayo is best known outside of the UK as one half of the Mayo and Kermode's Film Reviews. The centerpiece of the More Mayo podcast is the confessions, where listeners write in asking forgiveness for past transgressions. They are often funny and sometimes jaw-dropping (such as the first one in the latest episode). The podcasts are generally around a half an hour long and contain three or four confessions and a short interview with anyone from huge celebrities to debut novelists to children. The podcasts are available to download for 30 days.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 28, 2011 - 6 comments

"Gotta peel the banana before you can eat it!"

How the Joy of Sex was illustrated. [BBC] Forty years ago, a London publisher was working on a groundbreaking sex manual - a "gourmet guide" to sexual pleasure, with copious and detailed illustrations. But how could this be done tastefully and legally?
posted by Fizz on Oct 27, 2011 - 26 comments

Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot the first

Criminal penguin behaviour [SLYT from BBC's Frozen Planet]
posted by wilful on Oct 24, 2011 - 37 comments

Is the alcohol message all wrong?

It's not drinking alcohol that makes you behave like an ass, it's your culture [more inside]
posted by Philosopher's Beard on Oct 20, 2011 - 132 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

Warning, may contain nuts

The contestants on the grand final of the BBC's The Great British Bake Off were upstaged by the brief 'explicit' appearance of a squirrel. This has apparently shocked a nation. (possibly NSFW unless you work in a zoo/farm/park/pet shop etc)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 6, 2011 - 75 comments

You have been watching...

RIP David Croft, writer / producer of some of Britain's most well known and loved sitcoms including Dad's Army, Are You Being Served?, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Hi-de-Hi! and 'Allo 'Allo!
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 27, 2011 - 64 comments

We appreciate your candor

BBC News asks independent trader Alessio Rastani "what would keep investors happy, make them feel more confident?" and gets a surprisingly honest answer: "Personally, it doesn't matter. See, I'm a trader. I don't really care about that kind of stuff. If I see an opportunity to make money, I go with that. So, for most traders, we don't really care that much about how they're going to fix the economy, about how they're going to fix the whole situation; our job is to make money from it. And, personally, I've been dreaming of this moment for three years. I have a confession which is I go to bed every night and dream of another recession, I dream of another moment like this." [SLYT]
posted by finite on Sep 26, 2011 - 235 comments

I’m lucky, but…

Metafilter Favorite Stephen Fry announces that he is now the president of mental health charity MIND, in part because of his 2006 documentary: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 23, 2011 - 24 comments

The USSR's War and Peace

An 8 hour radio dramatization of Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman is being broadcast by the BBC. Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant star. [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on Sep 19, 2011 - 9 comments

From Our Own Correspondent

For over 50 years, the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent has been an opportunity for reporters to share a bit of context, some relevant history, one or two of the characters encountered en route, some description of a foreign country or capital, in 5 or 10 minute segments. The program is available online in various formats: the weekly 30 minute version can be heard (in its entirety or individual segments) via the BBC website, or there are a wide variety of podcasting options available for those who prefer to download. Alternately, the BBC World Service daily 10 minute version can be heard online. For a different approach, the FOOC Archives have the past few years' worth of segments, sorted by geographical region. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Sep 3, 2011 - 7 comments

Oramics

Radiophonics Workshop Founder Daphne Oram's Oramics Synthesizer "So there Dr. Mick Grierson was, wandering around a French barn, minding his own business when all of a sudden he happened upon an antique: one of the earliest modern synthesizers." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Aug 15, 2011 - 11 comments

A Grand Adventure

When Richard Feynman was a young boy his father told him of the remote land of Tannu Tuva, igniting an obsession that would remain with him for the rest of his life. The Last Journey of a Genius chronicles Feynman’s attempts to get to the country at the geographic center of Asia, all stymied by the Iron Curtain, although he did correspond with some of its citizens and was a fan of its distinctive music and stamps. A visa for Tuva finally arrived days after his death.
Most would suggest that the story ends there, but not so: Feynman’s friend Ralph Leighton eventually made it, and formed the Friends of Tuva; later, Feyman’s daughter Michelle made the trip her father planned but never completed, an emotional journey recorded by the Russian service of the BBC [MP3]. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Aug 14, 2011 - 20 comments

I see trees of green, red roses, too...

Do you see what I see? Do people always see the same thing when they look at colours?
posted by crossoverman on Aug 12, 2011 - 68 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

But Beowulf fought on

Each of us must face the monster down: Children's author Michael Morpurgo reads his essay for the Norwegian people.
posted by Mooseli on Jul 26, 2011 - 25 comments

The abridged career of Stewart Lee, 1991-2031

"I play a CD of a long Evan Parker sax solo while they [enter the theatre]. I figure if people can’t put up with that then they will probably not be able to put up with me." Quoth Benito Strauss, in the context of the Daily Mail's crusade against cruelty to millonaire stand-up Michael McIntyre: Yeah, I'd love it if someone would do a post on Stewart Lee. So: [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Jul 25, 2011 - 28 comments

Before Doctor Who, there was Professor Quartermass

British manned space flights; an insidious threat from outer space; a man mutating into an evil alien, his human consciousness being eaten away; and a scientist - utterly anti-Establishment, courageous and cerebral - the only man who can fight it. No, not Doctor Who, but his highly distinguished predecessor, Prof Bernard Quatermass. A decade before Doctor Who first aired, the The Quartermass Experiment was the first science-fiction TV serial produced for adults, and a live-to-viewers BBC production, to boot. The show ran for six episodes in 1953, of which only the first two episodes are known survive. The short sci-fi series spun off three original sequels and a radio drama-documentary, along with movie re-makes of the first three series by Hammer Films. BBC brought back live TV with a 2005 adaptation of the original 1953 series. You can watch the various series on online (in parts on Daily Motion), thanks to fans of The British Rocket Group. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 23, 2011 - 21 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

Bloggers against type

Maggie McNeil is a semi-retired "honest courtesan" who recently countered Ashton Kutcher's "sex slavery" claims (previously) with some statistics and facts. Bobbi Starr is a professional concert oboist, nationally ranked swimmer, and works in some of the hardest porn available. She was recently featured on the (highly recommended) BBC Radio Assignment series. Primary links are obviously NSFW; BobbiStarr.com also has potential trigger warnings.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jul 8, 2011 - 23 comments

The buddy-foodie road movie

Bored by Bourdain? Zimmern make you go zzzzzzzz? Then this is the travel show you've been longing for: from the BBC, Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure. Think Felix and Oscar on a camper van road trip; with wine critic and dandy Oz Clarke teaching Top Gear's James May all about the noble grape. Season one finds them touring the vineyards of France. Season two, California. In the third series, Oz and James Drink to Britain, we follow the unlikely boon companions as they get soused from Plymouth to Aberdeen. Episodes are currently being rebroadcast on BBC America and are also available On Demand. Fortunately, some kind soul [IchiDeux] has put all three series up on YouTube. This is as entertaining and informative as anything you'll find on the telly. Not convinced? Here they are in Ireland. (And if you're in need of a good belly laugh, please do forward to the 12:15 mark.)
posted by wensink on Jun 27, 2011 - 10 comments

Reith Lectures Archive

The Reith Lectures are an annual series of lectures by the BBC, started in 1948 and dedicated to advancing "public understanding of significant issues of the day through high-profile speakers." The BBC have just opened a complete archive of them, both as audio and as transcripts. (previously) [more inside]
posted by dng on Jun 26, 2011 - 15 comments

Blue Peter garden not included

The iconic BBC Television Centre is up for sale. Reaction is not muted. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Jun 19, 2011 - 25 comments

Anatomy of a spectacularly bad decision

"Hey guys, drinks are on me! I finally scored that interview with the Dali Llama. My journalism career is finally about to take off." 30 minutes and 3 rounds later..."Phil, you know what you should do? Tell him the Pizza joke. I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it." "Haha! You're right. That's an awesome idea. What could possibly go wrong?"
posted by jadayne on Jun 16, 2011 - 404 comments

We're All Stories In The End

In other words, months before The War Games, The Mind Robber has quietly given us an origin story for the Doctor that is almost, but not quite, what we eventually get from the later "official" version. - Philip Sandifer discusses an alternate origin for Doctor Who.
posted by Artw on Jun 15, 2011 - 43 comments

Where's the drop?

The BBC Philharmonic and Nero present A Dubstep Symphony.
posted by empath on Jun 7, 2011 - 39 comments

Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail

Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail -> BBC: Ep1, Ep2. YT: Ep1, Ep2.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 3, 2011 - 56 comments

Springwatch Webcams

The BBC Springwatch webcams are four live webcams showing herons, nesting pied flycatchers, a buzzard, and a barn owl.
posted by OmieWise on Jun 3, 2011 - 10 comments

I. NEVER. Would.

The Doctor will buss a cap directly into yo' ass
posted by clarknova on May 29, 2011 - 273 comments

Audionatomy of Melancholy

A discussion on BBC Radio 4 of Robert Burton's 17th-century compendium The Anatomy Of Melancholy. Examining the medical, literary, political, and religious influences of this enormous work, as well as how it contributed to those same fields over its many years of revisions and continuing popularity. Not exactly thorough (how could it be?) but an interesting listen.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on May 14, 2011 - 26 comments

And the big kids want what the little kids get

"If you have basically heard no music, and then you're told to create music, what will it sound like?" Jon Ronson talks to The Shaggs - the girl group from the 1960s who were home schooled and practised for hours every day in their basement.
posted by ameliaaah on May 12, 2011 - 220 comments

Stonybridge!

Why is BBC Scotland getting all the new comedy shows?
posted by Artw on May 6, 2011 - 43 comments

Bronze Age Sword Making

From liquid fire to metal sword, in a couple of minutes. SLYT, 3.14.
posted by bwg on May 4, 2011 - 53 comments

You know when grown-ups tell you everything's going to be fine, but you really think they're lying to make you feel better?

How Dangerous You Make People: A Boldly Violent New Side to the Doctor discusses who, or what the Doctor (who?) is becoming. [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle on May 2, 2011 - 725 comments

sometimes things go up, sometimes things go down

Go figure: How to succeed in business by doing nothing Article about variability in business and why it is sometimes better to do nothing. "You're a dynamic business leader. Let's say you make widgets - though you might equally make big-budget Hollywood movies. Your widgets, or your movies, vary. Some widgets are perfect, some a tad too long. Some movies make mega-bucks at the box office, some bomb. So what do you do? Well, you're dynamic, so you react, of course. Something must be done. " [SLBBC]
posted by marienbad on Apr 28, 2011 - 16 comments

BBC Radio 4 Collections

BBC Radio 4 now has a dedicated online program library! Rather than hunting through the site, you can now browse by subject and/or program from one main 'Collections' page. It's not all of the output by any means, but there's plenty there to keep you going, such as the philosophy archives from Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time", or various mathematics programs from different series. There's much much more as well. [more inside]
posted by carter on Apr 24, 2011 - 11 comments

Wibbly wobbley timey wimey samey wamey

Last year, BBC America noticed a spike in piracy of Doctor Who episodes as fans were either frustrated with the 2 week gap between UK and US premiere and/or spoilers and gossip everywhere. The solution, as demonstrated by shows like The Walking Dead, seems to be to broadcast world wide on the same day. [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms on Apr 23, 2011 - 341 comments

The best of Google Video on MetaFilter

As discussed over the weekend, in less than two weeks the millions of videos uploaded to six-year-old erstwhile YouTube competitor Google Video will no longer be viewable. Though a download button has been added to each video page for easy back-up, that will only be available though May 13th, and the company will not be offering transfer service for users with YouTube accounts. The search giant has been slowly winding down the service over the years since their billion-dollar buyout of YouTube, controversially revoking purchased content (with a refund) in 2007 and disabling new uploads in 2009. The shutdown is a big blow to the web video ecosystem, as Google Video was one of the few major services to allow free hosting of long-form video, including the content for many popular MetaFilter posts. But all is not lost! Reddit users have organized a virtual potluck to share the most interesting and unique videos not available anywhere else, and the Archive Team, preserver of doomed web properties like Geocities (previously), is partnering with Archive.org to back up as much content as possible. In that spirit, click inside for a list of some of the most popular Google Video-centric content posted here over the years. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 18, 2011 - 54 comments

"....prepares for the hunt."

BBC Human Planet: The Douche For a few weeks, the BBC film crew had the opportunity to follow a unique specimen, they were able to observe and record its mannerisms, rituals and way of life. The result of this is BBC Human Planet: The Douche.
posted by Fizz on Apr 14, 2011 - 49 comments

David Armand explores the medium of interpretative dance

I'm sure many have fond memories of Karaoke for the Deaf, in which 'Johann Lippowitz' gives us Torn. (bit NSFW) With or without Natalie Imbruglia. And Wherever I Lay My Hat. Well, David Armand aka Johann Lippowitz has been at it again. This past season, BBC 2 has been airing an improv comedy show called Fast and Loose hosted by Hugh Dennis. [more inside]
posted by likeso on Apr 7, 2011 - 14 comments

Monday, 9:00 AM. Briefing meeting with Deparment Research Team Thirty-Two.

The Department. Regular listeners to The Bugle (previously) will have been missing their usual weekly dose of historico-politico-silliness. But there is a fallback. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss on Apr 3, 2011 - 10 comments

Stetsons are cool!

The BBC has released the trailer for the new season of Doctor Who and revealed the title of Neil Gaiman's episode. .
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Apr 2, 2011 - 103 comments

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