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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

Panic!

The BBC plans to jettison the Douglas Adams-founded H2G2, but the H2G2 Community Consortium is trying to raise money to buy it back.
posted by rhiannonstone on Jan 25, 2011 - 30 comments

What is reality?

Horizon asks "What is reality?" -- youtube for links for those outside the UK: 1, 2, 3, 4. It's a hard question. To help you answer it, Stanford has a set of free courses available on line by Leonard Susskind: General Relativity, Cosmology, New Revolutions in Particle Physics, Quantum Entanglement, Special Relativity, Classical Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, The Standard Model. (Each link is to lecture 1 of a full college course of a dozen or so lectures.) If you need help with the math, the Khan Academy should help get you up to speed.
posted by empath on Jan 23, 2011 - 67 comments

Human Planet

Human Planet the new nature series from the BBC: Thousands of fishermen empty lake in minutes :: Girls Judge Boys in Desert Sex Factor :: 3,000 Arctic Reindeer Face a Mighty River Crossing :: Sea Bed Hunting On One Breath :: Pa-aling divers :: Ken Bradshaw's Big Wave Hold Down :: Paddle Surfer Rides Monster Wave
posted by puny human on Jan 19, 2011 - 33 comments

Mapping Kibera

Kibera is a slum in the southwest of Nairobi, often called the biggest slum in the world; some estimates of the population put it as high as 1.5m, although the 2009 Kenyan census puts the population at a rather more sober 170k(ish). Now, Kiberans are carrying out two similarly named but unaffiliated projects, Map Kibera and Map Kibera Project, to create maps of their home. MKP has a pair of rather slick-looking PDF maps showing the terrain and structures in Kibera. MK uses OpenStreetMap, which means that their cartographers can be rapidly update it to more accurately reflect how quickly things change in Kibera. They also have, inevitably, a twitter account, flickr stream and a blog to keep the world up to date with their work, including their ambition to start mapping another Nairobi slum, Mathare. Via the Beeb, which also has a nice wee audio slideshow about MK.
posted by Dim Siawns on Jan 18, 2011 - 8 comments

This Man is The One!

A comedy about an English adventurer, very much a product of his time, frozen for decades only to be defrosted in modern-day London, where his challenges range from fighting petty thugs to understanding a world with totally different behaviors and sexual mores*, to the inevitable face-off with a villain from his own time.

And all this with a great swinging 60's vibe! [more inside]
posted by John Kenneth Fisher on Jan 15, 2011 - 29 comments

Tuned in all majors?

How musical are you? ← the test. The BBC is teaming up with researchers at Goldsmiths University of London to find out whether personality or practice creates great musicians.
posted by Gyan on Jan 11, 2011 - 79 comments

It's that time of year again...

THE HOMEMADE XMAS VIDEO by Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones from 1986 (1, 2, 3, 4)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 23, 2010 - 3 comments

Have a ball with this one ...

"Snowball Cam has no visible moving parts but [is] able to roll across most terrains, even up hill." A new generation of spycams - very mobile spycams - have been prowling the northern arctic islands of Norway for an upcoming BBC TV program on polar bears. Bilzzard Cam has two electric motors that propel it across the snow - on skis - at speeds up to 40 mph. When threatened by the bears, it releases the onboard decoy device - the Snowball Cam - seen in action here.
posted by woodblock100 on Dec 23, 2010 - 34 comments

Epic; house of Gilgamesh

MOAR HOUSE AND WHATEVER [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 21, 2010 - 6 comments

He counted them all out...

BBC Correspondent Brian Hanrahan, who rose to fame during his coverage of the Falklands Conflict in 1982, has died at the age of 61. [more inside]
posted by penguin pie on Dec 20, 2010 - 10 comments

A BBC Correspondant Reflects on Three Years in the USA

A Foreigner's Guide to American Culture After De Tocqueville, just about every European sent to the United States has treated the posting as an invitation to help diagnose the country's faults and suggest ways in which they might be fixed.
posted by modernnomad on Dec 20, 2010 - 162 comments

Walk on the Wild Side

Friday Frivolity: A highlight reel of clips from the BBC show Walk on the Wild Side, featuring voiceovers for animals so you finally get to know what's really going on in all those nature documentaries. This BBC playlist has previews for a lot of the individual episodes. (I got region-blocked on a few of those videos, but most seem to work fine.) [more inside]
posted by kmz on Dec 17, 2010 - 13 comments

1984 in 1954 (Watch the 1954 BBC adaptation of Nineteen Eighty Four)

Nigel Kneale's adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four was one of the most controversial television programmes of its time. Broadcast live, it made "unusually extensive and imaginative use of filmed inserts (14 in total). These sequences bought time for the more elaborate costume changes or scene set-ups, but also served to 'open out' the action." And now you can watch it too! The full version is currently on Youtube. Short of the John Hurt film released in 1984 being posted online, the 1954 BBC TV adaptation is about as doubleplusgood as it gets for now. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 12, 2010 - 12 comments

Words of Warcraft

This week the BBC broadcast a Panorama special (UK only link, YouTube links here and here) on what it presented as the alarming rise of game addiction. Thoughtful responses from Rock, Paper, Shotgun and EDGE, both of whom point out a number of problems with it.
posted by Artw on Dec 8, 2010 - 20 comments

Who can say cunt to millions and get away with it?

The naughtiest word in English? In an unbelievable coincidence, first a prime time Radio broadcaster [on the serious BBC Radio 4 station], then the well known political correspondent & broadcaster Andrew Marr on the same station, then Nick Herbert MP in the House of Commons, all managed to Spoonerise the name of a government minister with his position. His name? Jeremy Hunt. His department? Culture. All started by... James Naughtie. See what he did there?
posted by dash_slot- on Dec 6, 2010 - 58 comments

BBC - Hans Rosling - The Joy of Stats

Hans Rosling [previously, previously] compares the health and wealth of 200 countries over 200 years in 4 minutes using the best infographic ever. Interactive Flash version here.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Dec 2, 2010 - 36 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

I see you driving 'round town with the girl I love, and I'm like...Barbra Streisand

The Blanks perform Katy Perry, Cee-Lo, and Duck Sauce. You might know them from elsewhere.
posted by djgh on Dec 1, 2010 - 11 comments

Why Do We Talk

Watch a language evolve in a single afternoon in part 6 of BBC Horizon's fascinating documentary, "Why Do We Talk." (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)
posted by Avenger50 on Nov 24, 2010 - 11 comments

Wibbley wobbley livey wivey.

"On Monday morning, you can tell all your friends at school about this." Matt Smith makes a surprise appearance at the Doctor Who Proms 2010. (SLYT)
posted by jbickers on Nov 14, 2010 - 44 comments

A 1963 blue police box

Meanwhile in the TARDIS - two bonus ‘mini-episodes’ from the fifth season of doctor who. Can't wait to see the next season? If you're overseas it may get to you a bit quicker, as the BBCs iPlayer goes international. Bonus link: Amy Pond by way of Alphonse Mucha, by Bill Mudron.
posted by Artw on Nov 10, 2010 - 61 comments

Not Only... But Also

Not Only... But Also, the 1960s Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sketch show, was one of the many programmes where many of the episodes were lost due to the BBC's strangely appalling archival policies. Last month, however, audio recordings of 11 of the lost episodes were found at the home of NOBA fan Graham Webb, who had recorded them off the TV at the time of transmission, using a reel-to-reel tape recorder. [more inside]
posted by dng on Nov 2, 2010 - 13 comments

No creaking gates, no gothic towers, no shuttered windows...

Broadcast on Halloween night 1992 Ghostwatch - a live investigation into a haunted house - was one of the most controversial and terrifying programs the BBC has ever shown. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 31, 2010 - 36 comments

From Shakespeare To The Sitcom

Graham Crowden, character actor, has died at 87 after a 52 year career on stage, television, and film. In the United States he may be best known for playing the whimsical Tom Ballard alongside Stephanie Cole's cynical Diana in the BBC series Waiting for God, often shown on PBS. Born in Edinburgh in 1922, he had a distinguished career on stage, particularly at Olivier's National Theatre, undertaking (among other roles) The Player King in Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. In 1974, citing an inability to commit to a single role, he turned down the part of the Fourth Doctor, which eventually went to his friend Tom Baker. A few years later, in 1977, he played in Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky. He had another star turn on television in a previous BBC series, A Very Peculiar Practice, as the physician Jock McCannon. His last role was in 2008 in an episode of Foyle's War, "Broken Souls." Said his agent Sue Grantley to the BBC, "We will all miss him enormously."
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy on Oct 30, 2010 - 23 comments

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