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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

A brief history of time zones

The BBC looks at time zones - how they are worked out, why they cause so many arguments, and how they affect us all. (via)
posted by nam3d on Mar 25, 2011 - 35 comments

It's All Gone Pete Tong

The top 50 dance records of the past 20 years. -- as selected by BBC radio DJs and 'industry leaders' and mixed by Jaguar Skills.
posted by empath on Mar 23, 2011 - 99 comments

wheezing groaning

In the dim and distant past before video recorders, never mind DVDs and the interweb, the only way a Doctor Who fan could re-live old episodes of the programme was via the Target Books novelizations. The BBC is reissuing some of the classic stories with new intros by the likes of Neil Gaiman. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 21, 2011 - 32 comments

Posh Nosh

Posh Nosh "I once ate a Flayed Swordfish And Guava Millefeuille that reminded me, in one sweet mouthful, of a Sea Interlude by Britten, a painting by Turner and one of Michael Holding's rampant, perfect-length balls. Sniff your computer screen. What does it remind you of? Roasted fruits? A Hockney? Cherry blossom? No. It reminds you of nothing. Computer screens look, smell, feel (even taste) like nothing. They're devoid of sensuality. People who stare at screens all day should be shot. But there are so many millions of them. There simply isn't time." Architect's Fish and Chips :: Birthday Parties:: Paella :: Beautiful Food :: Bread and Butter Pudding :: Leftovers :: Sauces :: Comfort Food :: (BBC 2, Arabella Weir, Richard E. Grant, each episode 9 mins., previously)
posted by puny human on Mar 19, 2011 - 43 comments

"When you say to a child 'Bedtime, it's bedtime now' that's not what the child hears. What the child hears is 'Go and lie down in the dark. For hours. And don't move. I'm locking the door now."

Scottish teenagers to receive sleep training in schools. [BBC] Resources to teach teenagers how to get enough sleep are to be offered to schools across Scotland.
posted by Fizz on Mar 15, 2011 - 58 comments

Its existence almost beggars belief

Matthew Engel, starting a new series on British institutions in the Financial Times, examines the BBC.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 13, 2011 - 10 comments

Greatest Hits

The Greatest Hits of the World looks at two songs that have achieved cross cultural, and multigenerational success -- Ben E. King's Stand By Me and Mbube, aka Wimoweh or The Lion Sleeps Tonight (BBC World Service, 2 parts, 25 minutes each)
posted by puny human on Mar 8, 2011 - 8 comments

The Definitive Look at the Diversity of Our Planet

Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth. The culmination of five years of field work, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups -- including many sights rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Mar 7, 2011 - 69 comments

More of the Human Planet

The BBC nature series, Human Planet, has been mentioned here before. Photographer Timothy Allen traveled with the film crew and has created this audio slideshow. [more inside]
posted by angiep on Mar 5, 2011 - 6 comments

A Booth, a Mic, and a Tower

It’s increasingly rare for musicians to come into a radio station for anything more than a concert or album promo, but you can still find live performances from the booth if you know where to tune in: WNRN, an independent radio station in Virginia, has regular live acoustic performances of touring musicians, and records them in HD: The Punch Brothers covering Reptilia and Rye Whiskey; Locust in the Willow and Sometimes in This Country from Crooked Still. (much more)

Stevie Wonder and Eric Benet improvising on “You and I” at Stevie’s own radio station, KJLH.

Eminem freestyling on BBC Radio 1. BBC Live Lounge.

Howard Stern has supported live acoustic acts for a long time: Elton John, “Why Isn’t Howard Stern On TV?”; Dave Grohl, Everlong, My Hero; Counting Crows. A few public radio stations have dedicated performance spaces used for live shows : WNYC’s Greene Space and the BBC’s Maida Vale. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Feb 27, 2011 - 37 comments

In the beginning was the Word

Canadian horror flick Pontypool (trailer) is a modern zombie tale quite unlike any other. Loosely based on a dense, complicated novel by Tony Burgess and inspired by Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, it tells the story of Grant Mazzy, a grumbling yet likable radio host (played by veteran character actor Stephen McHattie) whose penchant for philosophical ramblings gets him booted from Toronto to the sleepy winter pastures of Pontypool, Ontario. One bleak morning, as the outspoken Mazzy chafes against no-nonsense producer Sydney Briar, disturbing news begins rolling in of a series of bizarre and violent incidents sweeping the town. Trapped in their church basement broadcasting booth, Mazzy, Briar, and intern Laurel-Ann Drummond struggle to understand the odd nature of the crisis and warn the wider world before it's too late. But this is no ordinary virus, and they find their efforts may be causing far more harm than good. You can watch the film on YouTube horror channel Dead By Dawn (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), but if you're pressed for time you can also experience it in its more logical form: as a one-hour BBC radio drama voiced by the original cast. And after the credits, make sure not to miss the film's playful non-sequitur coda.
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 25, 2011 - 49 comments

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace. Professor Geoff Ward discusses David Foster Wallace. [more inside]
posted by sixo33 on Feb 19, 2011 - 15 comments

Tortilla cars and refried sick with cheese

Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond call the Mexican sportscar Mastretta the "tortilla car" and say that since cars reflect national characteristics, a mexican car will probably be "a lazy, feckless, flatulent oaf with a moustache, leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat". The Mexican ambassador in London complained to the BBC about the comments and demanded a public apology from the presenters. Meanwhile, [person who is pretty clearly not] James May continues to attack Mexicans over on his Twitter page.
posted by CrazyLemonade on Feb 2, 2011 - 161 comments

It's Thrilling. Ish.

Champion Swedes to take on British Challengers... in rabbit jumping.
posted by sonika on Jan 30, 2011 - 12 comments

Gonna play that guitar any-old-how

Jimmy Page, age 14, plays skiffle on BBC TV in 1957.
posted by Crane Shot on Jan 29, 2011 - 45 comments

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