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The Story of China Ancestors

   2016    History
Michael Wood embarks on a great historical adventure, exploring the stories, people and landscapes that have helped create China's distinctive character and genius over four thousand years. Is the history of the world's newest superpower, from its ancient past to the present day.
Starting in Wuxi, Michael joins the Qin family reunion, when 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day. 'Like the nation, the family has been through so much,' one says. 'Now everyone wants to know - what are our roots?'
Looking for the origins of the Chinese state, he visits the excavations at Erlitou and sees an exquisite turquoise dragon sceptre from 2000 BC. China's first writing is found on 'oracle bones' dug up from the Shang royal tombs at Anyang in the 1920s. At the Beijing Planetarium, Michael travels back in time as astronomers plot the planetary conjunction that the ancients believed foretold the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty. Next, the Age of Philosophers and Confucius, whose book Analects has had greater influence worldwide than even the Bible, according to some. In Xi'an, we hear how the First Emperor united China and created the authoritarian Qin state that gave us the word China. Finally, Michael returns to the temple fair in Henan for a dramatic night ceremony to give thanks to the ancestors. China, Michael concludes, is rising again, not just because of its economic strength, but because of the incredible solidarity of the Han Chinese view of their own civilisation, their sense of family and, of course, the presence of the ancestors.
Series: The Story of China

Finding Life in Outer Space

   2019    Science    HD
Over billions of years, planet Earth has become home to an amazing interdependent ecosystem, containing a dizzying variety of animals and plants. But how did life here begin? And does it exist anywhere outside of our solar system? We uncover the secrets of our world by tracking the evolution of the cosmos itself, from the Big Bang onwards. Follow scientists responsible for some of the major breakthroughs in understanding the origins of life and witness how their discoveries are fundamentally changing the way we perceive the universe.

Traceroute

   2016    Culture
A Personal Journey Into The Uncharted Depths Of Nerd Culture, A Realm Full Of Dangers, Creatures And More Or Less Precarious Working Conditions.
Artist and life-long nerd Johannes Grenzfurthner is taking us on a personal road trip from the West Coast to the East Coast of the USA, to introduce us to places and people that shaped and inspired his art and politics. Traceroute wants to chase and question the ghosts of nerddom's past, present and future. An exhilarating tour de farce into the guts of trauma, obsession and cognitive capitalism.

Virgilio Martinez

   2017    Art
Virgilio Martínez is the chef/owner of Central, a restaurant in Lima, Peru that currently sits at number four on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. After a decade spent cooking in kitchens around the world, Martínez only found his true identity as a chef when he began exploring the different regions of his native Peru, from the ocean to the Andes. While some chefs are obsessed with a 'sense of place,' Martínez strives to offer his guests a sense of many places — entire ecosystems over the course of a tasting menu.
Martínez always had an adventurous spirit, but growing up in Peru during the 70s and ‘80s meant that many parts of the country were closed off to him. As a teenager, he learned that pursuing a career in the kitchen would allow him the freedom to travel all over the world. The chef ended in charge of a restaurant in Madrid. This is really where Virgilio started to develop his experimental style. Martínez decided to leave Spain to go and work on opening his own restaurant in Peru. He decided to explore the idea of cooking dishes based on altitudes and ecosystems. Martínez runs Central’s kitchen with his wife, Pia León. They developed the altitude-based menu concept together. Martínez’s sister, Malena, has a science background, so he brought her on as part of the team to explore different terrains in search of ingredients that they could use at the restaurant. Virgilio remarks: 'We use 180 ingredients, and 50 percent of them are unknown.' The altitude-themed tasting menu was introduced in 2012, and the following year, Central landed at the bottom of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Two years later, it soared to number four.
Series: Chef's Table

Can We Build a Brain

   2018    Technology    HD
Artificially intelligent machines are taking over. They’re influencing our everyday lives in profound and often invisible ways. They can read handwriting, interpret emotions, play games, and even act as personal assistants. They are in our phones, our cars, our doctors’ offices, our banks, our web searches... the list goes on and is rapidly growing ever longer. But how does today’s A.I. actually work—and is it truly intelligent? And for that matter, what is intelligence?
The world’s brightest computer programmers are trying to build brighter machines by reverse-engineering the brain and by inventing completely new kinds of computers, with exponentially greater speed and processing power. The documentary looks at how far we’ve come and where machines are headed as their software becomes ever more... cerebral. How close are we from a world in which computers take over—from diagnosing cancer to driving our cars to targeting weapons? If we place more and more of our lives under the control of these artificial brains, what are we putting at risk?
Series: Nova Wonders
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science
The Secrets of Quantum Physics
The Secrets of Quantum Physics

   2014    Science
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

   2014    Science
Earthflight
Earthflight

   2012    Nature
Apocalypse: World War 1
Apocalypse: World War 1

   2014    History
Human Planet
Human Planet

   2011    Culture
Human Universe
Human Universe

   2014    History
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome

   2006    History