Catching up with transmissions

Posted by @ 4:31 pm on Wednesday 1st August, 2007.
Categories: On the box

Having spent so much time being kept away from the telly (the kids are on holiday, so they're in charge of the remote control, apparently), I've been grabbing a few chances to catch up with some of the interesting programmes that I've been missing.

Many blogs and forums have told of the latest batch of outdoors epics from Julia Bradbury and Griff Rhys Jones, so I needn't go into much detail here, except to say that I've watched them with much enjoyment.

The programmes that I really needed to catch up with, and eventually did, aren't outdoorsy at all, so if you're already losing interest, look away now...

OK, let's start with The Music of the Primes. I found this to be fascinating - I've had more than a passing interest in prime numbers for many years now. This programme told the story well, in terms that the layman could understand, but not belittling the learned viewer. Chris (maths degree, senior computer systems analyst) would have enjoyed it, but managed to sleep through the whole programme, so she's a bit miffed about it.

Next up (or should that be down?) is Absolute Zero, a two-parter retelling the story of "a remarkable group of pioneers who wanted to reach the ultimate extreme: absolute zero, a place so cold that the physical world as we know it doesn't exist, electricity flows without resistance, fluids defy gravity and the speed of light can be reduced to 38 miles per hour". Brilliant stuff, every A-Level physics student should be given the opportunity to watch it. For myself, I can understand the physics behind superfluids and superconductors, but I've yet to get a mental grip on the concept of the Bose-Einstein condensate.

Then there's Atom, another mini-series. Part One was good, a sort of potted history of the concept of the atom. The series continues tomorrow (Thursday)... Part Two "tackles world-changing discoveries such as radioactivity, the Atom Bomb and the Big Bang, and tries to answer the biggest questions of all - why are we here and how were we made?" I reckon that I can cope with that, but I fear that I'll need a beer or two to get me through Part Three.

Finally, there's Dangerous Knowledge, a one-off documentary that's on next week. Sounds intriguing, and slightly depressing. I'll need to get even more beer in.

The astute will note that all of the above are BBC programmes... I just thought that I would mention it.

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