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The Story of Maths The Language of the Universe

   2008    Science
This four-part British television series outlines aspects of the history of mathematics. Written and presented by University of Oxford professor Marcus du Sautoy, it is a co-production between the Open University and the BBC. In the first episode, Marcus du Sautoy in Egypt uncovers use of a decimal system based on ten fingers of the hand and discovers that the way we tell the time is based on the Babylonian Base 60 number system. In Greece, he looks at the contributions of some of the giants of mathematics including Plato, Archimedes and Pythagoras, who is credited with beginning the transformation of mathematics from a counting tool into the analytical subject of today. A controversial figure, Pythagoras’ teachings were considered suspect and his followers seen as social outcasts and a little be strange and not in the norm. There is a legend going around that one of his followers, Hippasus, was drowned when he announced his discovery of irrational numbers. As well as his work on the properties of right angled triangles, Pythagoras developed another important theory after observing musical instruments. He discovered that the intervals between harmonious musical notes are always in whole number intervals.
Series: The Story of Maths

Dinosaurs Myths and Monsters

   2011    Science
From dinosaurs to mammoths, when our ancient ancestors encountered the fossil bones of extinct prehistoric creatures, what did they think they were? Just like us, ancient peoples were fascinated by the giant bones they found in the ground. Historian Tom Holland goes on a journey of discovery to explore the fascinating ways in which our ancestors sought to explain the remains of dinosaurs and other giant prehistoric creatures, and how bones and fossils have shaped and affected human culture.
In Classical Greece, petrified bones were exhibited in temples as the remains of a long-lost race of colossal heroes. Chinese tales of dragons may well have had their origins in the great fossil beds of the Gobi desert. In the Middle Ages, Christians believed that mysterious bones found in rock were the remains of giants drowned in Noah's Flood.
Tom encounters a medieval sculpture that is the first known reconstruction of a monster from a fossil, and learns about the Native Americans stories, told for generations, which contained clues that led bone hunters to some of the greatest dinosaur finds of the nineteenth century.

The Kingdom How Fungi Made Our World

   2018    Science
You find fungi in Antarctica and in nuclear reactors. They live inside your lungs and your skin is covered with them. Fungi are the most under appreciated and unexplained organisms, yet they could cure you from smallpox and turn cardboard boxes into forests. They could even transform Mars into Eden. There are vastly more fungi species than plants and each and every one of them plays a crucial role in life’s support systems. Join us on a journey into the mysterious world of Fungi to witness their beauty, unravel their mysteries and discover how this secret kingdom is essential to life on Earth, and may in fact hold the key to our future.

The Great Flood

   2009    Nature
The great flood in the Okavango turns 4,000 square miles of arid plains into a beautiful wetland. Elephant mothers guide their families on an epic trek across the harsh Kalahari Desert towards it, siphoning fresh water from stagnant pools and facing hungry lions. Hippos battle for territory, as the magical water draws in thousands of buffalo and birds, and vast clouds of dragonflies. Will the young elephant calves survive to reach this grassland paradise? The experienced mother elephants time their arrival at the delta to coincide with the lush grass produced by the great flood.
In a TV first, the programme shows the way they use their trunks to siphon clean water from the surface layers of a stagnant pool, while avoiding stirring up the muddy sediment on the bottom with their feet. Lechwe swamp deer, zebras, giraffes, crocodiles and numerous fish and thousands of birds arrive in the delta. And, in a phenomenon never before filmed in the Okavango, thousands of dragonflies appear - seemingly from nowhere - within minutes of the flood arrival, mating and laying eggs. As the flood finally reaches its peak, elephants and buffalo, near the end of their epic trek across the desert, face the final gauntlet of a hungry pride of lions. In a heart-wrenching sequence, a baby elephant is brought down by a lion in broad daylight.
Series: Nature Great Events

Fire Ants The Invincible Army

   2012    Nature    3D
For more than 80 years, Solenopsis Invicta has been on a ceaseless march across the United States, racking up six billion dollars every year in crop damage, equipment repair, and pest control. They have conquered more than 320 million acres in 13 states and killed at least 80 people. And the invader is still on the move. Globally. Now, scientists are cracking the ant's ancient secrets to success and breeding winged assassins to hunt them down. Stunning 3D macro photography explores the secret world of the fire ant and the cutting-edge research into stopping it
Pets: Wild at Heart
Pets: Wild at Heart

   2015    Nature
The Sky at Night
The Sky at Night

   2018    Science
Generation Iron
Generation Iron

   2017    Culture
Lost Kingdoms of South America
Lost Kingdoms of South America

   2013    History
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today

   2017    Art
How Art Made the World
How Art Made the World

   2006    Art
Natural World
Natural World

   2009    Nature