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Life Rocky Start

   2016    Science
Four and a half billion years ago, the young Earth was a hellish place, a seething chaos of meteorite impacts, volcanoes belching noxious gases, and lightning flashing through a thin, torrid atmosphere. Then, in a process that has puzzled scientists for decades, life emerged. But how? Join mineralogist Robert Hazen as he journeys around the globe. From an ancient Moroccan market to the Australian Outback, he advances a startling and counterintuitive idea—that the rocks beneath our feet were not only essential to jump-starting life, but that microbial life helped give birth to hundreds of minerals we know and depend on today. It's a theory of the co-evolution of Earth and life that is reshaping the grand-narrative of our planet’s story.

Invisible Universe Revealed 25 years of Hubble

   2015    Technology
25 years ago, NASA launched one of the most ambitious experiments in the history of astronomy: the Hubble Space Telescope. In honor of Hubble's landmark anniversary, know the remarkable story of the telescope that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it". But amazingly, when the telescope first sent images back to earth, it seemed that the entire project was a massive failure; a one-millimeter engineering blunder had turned the billion-dollar telescope into an object of ridicule. It fell to five heroic astronauts in a daring mission to return Hubble to the cutting edge of science. Hear from the scientists and engineers on the front line who tell the amazing Hubble story as never before. This single telescope has helped astronomers pinpoint the age of the universe, revealed the birthplace of stars and planets, advanced our understanding of dark energy and cosmic expansion, and uncovered black holes lurking at the heart of galaxies. For more than a generation, Hubble's stunning images have brought the beauty of the heavens to millions, revealing a cosmos richer and more wondrous than we ever imagined. Join us for the story of this magnificent machine and its astonishing discoveries.

David Attenborough Meets President Obama

   2015    Nature
In a far cry from the steamy jungles of Rwanda or the icy waters of the Arctic, British naturalist Sir David Attenborough has donned a necktie and met with US president Barack Obama to discuss climate change and the future of the planet. The two met at the White House — a place the naturalist had never yet explored — on Sir David's 89th birthday in May to film the interview". It was the first time the respected wildlife filmmaker had met an American president and he seemed a little awed by the experience. Mr Obama, who grew up watching Sir David's programs, seemed equally thrilled. The president has the environment and climate change on his radar and is anxious to see progress made as his presidency comes to a close. He faces stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress on his plans to tackle climate change, but remains determined to make changes before leaving office. "I don't have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real," he said. "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society." Sir David, who has been called "the godfather of natural history TV" by the BBC, brought to the meeting six decades dedicated to sharing the wonders of the natural world with television audiences. After initially being rejected for television because his teeth were deemed "too big", Sir David went on to make his Life on Earth television series, which has been watched by more than 500 million people worldwide. His name is now synonymous with nature, conservation and wildlife. During the television interview, the men discussed global warming, renewable energy and how children and young people hold the key to reversing the damage.

Childbirth: All or Nothing

   2015    Medicine
What's your idea of the perfect birth? Do you want every medical intervention known to science or do you want to go it alone, without the help of a doctor or midwife? And what about after birth? Perhaps you'll hang on to your baby's placenta and carry it around with your newborn until it dries and drops off naturally? Or maybe you'll decide to eat it by whizzing it up into a smoothie? This film follows four pregnant women all making very different choices around their births, all determined to do it their way." 37-year-old Jo plans to deliver her baby completely alone on board her barge, without the assistance of any medical professional. By contrast, 34-year-old Anna is opting to sidestep the pains of labour and book in for a c-section at the Portland Hospital in London. Anna wants all the medication available and she doesn't want to feel a thing. There are plenty of unusual plans for after the birth too. In Devon, 33-year-old Lisa plans to lotus birth - she'll leave her baby's umbilical cord attached to its placenta and she'll keep it fresh by dusting it with salt, rose petals and lavender oil. 35-year-old Kati from Manchester is going to whizz her afterbirth into a smoothie and consume it over a number of days. She hopes it will help her stave off post-natal baby blues and bounce back as quickly as possible. Fending off bewildered looks and concerns from friends, family and medical professionals, each woman is going against convention to have the birth she wants. There are free and frank discussions between mums and daughters and decisions to go against medical advice. So does breaking with the norm and sticking to your guns pay off? And what really is the perfect birth?

Private Life of a Christmas Masterpiece: The Adoration of the Christ Child

   2010    Art
Painted over five centuries ago, Filippo Lippi's nativity is like none other: it shows the birth of Christ in a dark, wooded wilderness. There are no shepherds, kings, ox, ass – there is no Joseph. Its beauty inspired Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. But it also conceals a deeply personal story. It was painted for Cosimo de Medici, a wealthy banker who feared that his money was dragging him straight to hell. The artist's life was equally surprising. One of the most celebrated painters of his day, Filippo Lippi was also a Carmelite friar, but he was no stranger to the temptations of the flesh, to which he frequently yielded. Shortly before painting his Adoration, he caused uproar by seducing a twenty year-old nun. His paintings rejoice not only in divine beauty, but in the beauty of women. In later times, the Adoration's history was interwoven with that of rulers and dictators. It became a bargaining chip after Napoleon's allies seized twenty merchant ships. And in the 20th century, it was hidden by the Nazis in a potassium mine, where specialist american officers, known as Monuments Men, stumbled upon it. they were now told to get it ready to be shipped out. In an unprecedented turn of events they refused. This is the only known case in the whole of the Second World War of American officers refusing an order. It was sent to the National Gallery of Art, but in 1949 Lippi's Adoration was returned to Germany.
Meet the Romans
Meet the Romans

   2012    History
Earth, the Power of the Planet
Earth, the Power of the Planet

   2007    Nature
Racism: A History
Racism: A History

   2007    Culture
The Beauty of Maps
The Beauty of Maps

   2010    Art
How Earth Made Us
How Earth Made Us

   2010    Science
Apocalypse: World War 1
Apocalypse: World War 1

   2014    History
Himalaya with Michael Palin
Himalaya with Michael Palin

   2004    Culture
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science