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Numbers as God

   2018    Science
Mathematician Dr Hannah Fry explores the mystery of maths. It underpins so much of our modern world that it's hard to imagine life without its technological advances, but where exactly does maths come from? Is it invented like a language or is it something discovered and part of the fabric of the universe? It's a question that some of the most eminent mathematical minds have been wrestling with. To investigate this question, Hannah goes head first down the fastest zip wire in the world to learn more about Newton's law of gravity, she paraglides to understand where the theory of maths and its practice application collide, and she travels to infinity and beyond to discover that some infinities are bigger than others.
In this episode, Hannah goes back to the time of the ancient Greeks to find out why they were so fascinated by the connection between beautiful music and maths. The patterns our ancestors found in music are all around us, from the way a sunflower stores its seeds to the number of petals in a flower. Even the shapes of some of the smallest structures in nature, such as viruses, seem to follow the rules of maths. All strong evidence for maths being discovered. But there are those who claim maths is all in our heads and something we invented. To find out if this is true, Hannah has her brain scanned. It turns out there is a place in all our brains where we do maths, but that doesn't prove its invented.
Experiments with infants, who have never had a maths lesson in their lives, suggests we all come hardwired to do maths. Far from being a creation of the human mind, this is evidence for maths being something we discover. Then along comes the invention of zero to help make counting more convenient and the creation of imaginary numbers, and the balance is tilted in the direction of maths being something we invented. The question of whether maths is invented or discovered just got a whole lot more difficult to answer
Series: Magic Numbers

Libraries Gave Us Power

   2012    Art
The story of the British Library's Royal Manuscripts collection reaches its end with the last great flowering of illumination, in the magnificent courts of the Tudors. Dr Janina Ramirez investigates astrological texts created for Henry VII, and unwraps his will - still in its original, extravagantly-decorated velvet and gold cover. She hears music written for Henry VIII, which went unperformed for centuries; and reads love notes between the king and Anne Boleyn, written in the margins of a prayer book. Nina also visits Bruges, the source of many of the greatest manuscripts, where this medieval art form collided with the artistic innovations of the Renaissance.
Series: Illuminations: the private lives of medieval kings

Score: A Film Music Documentary

   2016    Art
For a predominately visual medium like cinema, its musical component plays a vital role as well, especially its score. In that essential musical accompaniment, the soul of the film is expressed whether it be sweepingly majestic fanfares or delicate lyrical pieces. This documentary explores the artistic role of this special musical discipline that completes the cinematic artistic creation process and the artists who have devoted their careers to this contribution.
We explore the form's history and examine the masters who defined it with their own distinctive artistic vision. In doing so, the various components of this delicate creative process are revealed as they create a musical compositional work that has inspired a popular appreciation of music in all its forms, which gave some old musical ways their own new lease on life.

Roger Waters The Wall

   2014    Art
Details one of the most elaborately staged theatrical productions in music history as Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters performs the band's critically acclaimed album The Wall in its entirety. With lots of footage from the concerts and other materials that have been filmed recently by Roger Waters – like his visit to his father’s grave in Italy that featured a film crew. Directed by Waters and Sean Evans

Joe Cocker

   2017    History
The turbulent life of soul and blues singer, the late Joe Cocker. A former gas fitter from Sheffield, catapulted to world stardom in 1969 at Woodstock with his legendary performance of the Beatles song, 'A Little Help from My Friends'. But in the early 1970s, Joe Cocker's inner demons nearly killed him. Overcoming his struggles with alcohol and drugs, he rebuilt his reputation as 'one of the great primal rock and roll vocalists of all time' (Billy Joel).
The Universe
The Universe

   2010    Science
Conquest of the Skies
Conquest of the Skies

   2015    Nature
Lost Kingdoms of South America
Lost Kingdoms of South America

   2013    History
A Traveler Guide to the Planets
A Traveler Guide to the Planets

   2010    Science
Capitalism A Love Story
Capitalism A Love Story

   2009    Culture
How the Universe Works
How the Universe Works

   2014    Science
Tales by Light Season 2
Tales by Light Season 2

   2017    Nature