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Posts Tagged ‘television’

Many of us, when I was young, were at least half convinced that we'd never live to be thirty, let alone the half century I've so far managed. This is not a conviction anyone should be getting nostalgic about! But alas, it seems, no one ever learns and a whole new generation is now going to be introduced to a state of constant existential dread. Welcome to the collective childhoods of Generation X, whipper-snappers! You won't, I'm afraid, enjoy the visit.

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Owa Taphoo Lamai

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14:1

As many a wit has told me over the years, my birthday being on the first day of April means that I must be a fool. Ho ho. As you might imagine, Gentle Reader, constant repetition by people who never stopped to think that I just might have heard it a few hundred times before has made the "joke" something of a sore point.

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From Jacob Bronowski's excellent nineteen seventy-three television series, The Ascent Of Man, episode eleven: Knowledge Or Certainty. Still, to my mind, one of the most simple yet articulate and moving discussions of the dangers of dogma, of claims to certainty—both religious and secular—ever broadcast.
Daz


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Clicking through YouTube videos of Humphrey Lyttleton's music, I came across this televised recording of the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue radio show. Humph passed away only nineteen days after making this, which makes the choice of song for his trumpet performance at the end somewhat poignant to say the least. I'll admit to having had something of a lump in my throat during that part.

There's nothing wrong with Jack Dee—in fact he was a great choice of replacement—but damnit, I miss Humph.
Daz

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And here's the post I wanted to make last night.

Today in 1938 (now yesterday here, but there's ten or so hours of it left in more westerly portions of the globe), the BBC broadcast a live excerpt from Karel Čapek's play R.U.R.. For those who care about such things, this was the first, as far as is known, televised science fiction show. (more…)

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AJP Taylor: The War Lords

Here's some nostalgia for those who, like me, grew up thinking of AJP Taylor as a kind of demigod of history. Auntie Beeb are currently showing his 1976 series, The War Lords. No flashy re-enactments, no hammy dramatics; just a half-hour lecture to camera. Damn, but I miss telly like this.
Daz

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Mechanical Marvels, Clockwork Dreams

If you've got an hour to kill, here's an enjoyable documentary on the history of automata.
Daz

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A classic from Mitchell & Webb.
Daz

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I've been slowly working my way through season two of James Burke's Connections TV series. Though I must have watched them when they were first broadcast, I remember very little of the second and third series, and I must admit I'm a tad underwhelmed by the second. It was cut down to a length of a little over twenty minutes per episode—presumably half an hour including ads, on a commercial station—and seems rather gimmicky by consequence. Whereas the first season made a serious point about trying not to view historical developments in too linear a fashion, the minute or two allowed in this much shorter format to explain each concept in the chain, makes it seem more like a kind of history-inspired, slightly over-contrived game of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" than a documentary. (more…)

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It’s Only A Flesh Wound

About ten grammes of metal, travelling at around four-hundred metres per second (mach 1.2) has just imparted all or most of its kinetic energy to an initial impact-area of nine millimetres diameter…

It's just a flesh wound. Dig the bullet out, couple of stitches, slap a bandage on it, take two aspirins and have the afternoon off. You'll be swinging punches and sprinting after bad guys by tomorrow lunch-time. No worries. What's that? It's an important case and you can't take the afternoon off? Okay, take three aspirins, but for God's sake let your partner drive. (more…)

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