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Life

   2020    Science
Genetic breakthroughs have shed light on how life evolves in real-time. From filling in the missing links to creating a new species, in the last 50 years scientists have solved some of the biggest mysteries of evolution. In this episode, we look at revolutionary discoveries that shook the world and may shape our future.
Series: The Great Acceleration

Energy Revolutions

   2020    Technology
Over the last years, the world has experienced an energy revolution, driven by an urgent need to green the grid and save life on Earth as we know it. 50 years ago, a devastating oil crisis kicked off an energy revolution. The world set course to cut the costly habit of burning fossil fuels. With the urgent new threat of a changing climate, the drive to unleash the power of the sun, earth and wind has accelerated into a race for humanity's survival. Change is taken place but, is it happening fast enough to secure our future? Technologies are right here, right now, and they will enable the transition to 100% renewables, because winning the energy race means a win for the entire world.
Series: The Great Acceleration

Exploring The Universe

   2020    Science
This remarkable science-history series investigates the blistering pace of human endeavour in space exploration, computing, energy, resources, Earth science and our understanding of the evolution of life itself. Across the last 50 years, humans have set a blistering pace and scientific discovery. We've crossed the boundaries of our solar system, made machines that can learn harnessed the power of the sun and built life from scratch. It's a period like no other in history, where human endeavour is changing everything: this is The Great Acceleration. As we race toward the future, we must examine the journey.
In the first episode, Dr Shalin Naik explores the ambitious space shuttle mission that began in the '70s plus the future colonization of Mars. Over the past 50 years, space has become central to everything, from communications to entertainment to climate modelling. And as private enterprise enters space exploration, our understanding of the universe will only continue to expand. We will know if we can survive on other objects - the moon, maybe Mars, maybe even some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Deep space is the last and infinite frontier. That's what we do as human beings. We explore, we learn, we make discoveries, from the moment we're born to the moment we die.
Series: The Great Acceleration

Words on a Page

   2020    History
Writing itself is 5,000 years old, and for most of that time words were written by hand using a variety of tools. The Romans were able to run an empire thanks to documents written on papyrus. Scroll books could be made quite cheaply and, as a result, ancient Rome had a thriving written culture. With the fall of the Roman Empire, papyrus became more difficult to obtain. Europeans were forced to turn to a much more expensive surface on which to write: Parchment. Medieval handwritten books could cost as much as a house, they also represent a limitation on literacy and scholarship.
No such limitations were felt in China, where paper had been invented in the second century. Paper was the foundation of Chinese culture and power, and for centuries how to make it was kept secret. When the secret was out, paper mills soon sprang up across central Asia. The result was an intellectual flourishing known as the Islamic Golden Age. Muslim scholars made discoveries in biology, geology, astronomy and mathematics. By contrast, Europe was an intellectual backwater.
That changed with Gutenberg’s development of movable type printing. The letters of the Latin alphabet have very simple block-like shapes, which made it relatively simple to turn them into type pieces. When printers tried to use movable type to print Arabic texts, they found themselves hampered by the cursive nature of Arabic writing. The success of movable type printing in Europe led to a thousand-fold increase in the availability of information, which produced an explosion of ideas that led directly to the European Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution that followed.
Series: The Secret History of Writing

Elvis Presley: The Searcher First Part

   2018    History
Elvis Presley grew up to become the biggest star in music, thanks to a staggering range of influences that created a revolutionary sound in his lifelong search for self-expression. This two-part documentary reveals his creative journey from childhood through his final recording sessions in 1976. It features more than 20 new, primary source interviews with session players, producers, engineers, directors and other artists who knew him or who were profoundly influenced by him. It also features never-before-seen photos and footage from private collections worldwide, and an original score by Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready.
The first part begins with his early life in Tupelo, Mississippi, and his unprecedented rise to fame over a single year.
Series: Elvis Presley: The Searcher
Building Giants
Building Giants

   2019    Technology
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science
D-Day
D-Day

   2013    History
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Himalaya with Michael Palin
Himalaya with Michael Palin

   2004    Culture
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

   2014    Science