Lazy blogging, I know, but I have a deep love for Richard Feynman’s way of making physics simple and fun. This is a 12 part series that showed originally on BBC back in 1983.
Posts Tagged ‘BBC’
In 1973 the BBC released a TV documentary series in 13 episodes by mathematician Jacob Bronowski called The Ascent Of Man. 35 years later I purchased it as a DVD box set on the recommendation of a fellow science documentary aficionado.
It’s extremely good! And I’m not just saying that in the context of the era in which it was produced. Sure, some of the music grates on the nerves and some of the graphics don’t compare to what we are capable of these days but overall it’s got a depth that is often missing from the kind of documentaries found on the Discovery Channel. Actually, I take back my comment about the music; it features music from Meddle – my second-favourite Pink Floyd album – which, for me, redeems a multitude of musical sins.
Bronowski is thoughtful, poetic and very deliberate in every sentence. He gives you the feeling that he is treating you, the viewer, as an equal throughout and he conveys a sense of awe that is impossible to resist.
Most moving for me was a scene where Bronowski is visiting a Nazi concentration camp where many of his relatives were murdered. According to the interview with Attenborough in the bonus material the entire scene was spontaneous and filmed in a single take:
Bronowski died a year later of a heart attack at the age of 66.
I regularly listen to the weekly BBC In Our Time podcast with Melvyn Bragg. It’s a podcast that covers a huge range of topics from a historical perspective. The usual format is Melvyn accompanied by two or three experts who then spend about 40 minutes dissecting whatever the topic du jour is.In the past he’s covered things like the Fibonacci sequence, oxygen, guilt, Socraties, hell, Zoroastrianism, relativism, tea… the list just goes on and on. If you are into diversity then I thoroughly recommend you check it out.
The point of this post is that next week he’s going to be addressing the topic of the Nicene Creed which, to be honest, has me positively squirming with excitement. The reason for my excitement is that it’s very difficult to find a neutral and informed conversation on this topic and I’m looking forward to hearing what his panel of experts have to say about it.
Going by the usual gold standard he sets with regard to the quality of his experts this will be a must for anyone who’s ever heard of the Nicene Creed.
(If you haven’t heard of it before it’s to do with how the Bible was originally compiled about 1600 years ago and the politics that surrounded the task).
 As pointed out by Dale in the comments, the creed is quite different from the council where they compiled the list of books for the Christian Bible.
Also, I was away on holiday when this aired and I’m unable to download the archived version so if anyone has an mp3 copy of this show please let me know!