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Man First Friend

   2018    Culture
We call them 'man’s best friend', but their story is almost as old as man himself. Our very first friend in the world, they have walked by our side for over 20,000 years, helping us to hunt for food and offering us companionship and protection. Man’s First Friend is an epic new primetime documentary event that combines natural history, science and anthropology to explore the enduring relationship between humankind and dogs, how the two species have co-evolved together, where did they come from to take such a prominent position in our lives, and how did we learn to harness their unique talents.
The film takes viewers on an extraordinary journey through some of the most remote locations in the world to answers these questions and more. It highlights what dogs are capable of: from the Pariah dog in India who protects her owner’s banana plantations from daily attacks by Black-headed Monkeys; to Kenyan Bloodhounds trained to track ivory poachers. Dogs comfort us, relieving loneliness and helping us cope with old age.

Living Together

   2006    Nature
The documentary deals with the future of conservation. It begins by looking at previous efforts. The 'Save The Whales' campaign, which started in the 1960s, is seen to have had a limited effect, as whaling continues and fish stocks also decline. In the 1990s, as head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Richard Leakey took on the poachers by employing armed units. Although it was successful in saving elephants, the policy was detrimental to the Maasai people, who were forced from their land. The need for "fortress" areas is questioned, and the recently highlighted Raja Ampat coral reef in Indonesia is an example. The more tourism it generates, the greater the potential for damage — and inevitable coastal construction. Sustainable development is viewed as controversial, and one contributor perceives it to currently be a "contradiction in terms". Trophy hunting is also contentious. Those that support it argue that it generates wealth for local economies, while its opponents point to the reducing numbers of species such as the markhor. Ecotourism is shown to be beneficial, as it is in the interests of its providers to protect their environments. However, in some areas, such as the Borneo rainforests, the great diversity of species is being replaced by monocultures. The role of both religion and the media in conservation is argued to be extremely important. Contributors to the programme admit a degree of worry about the future, but also optimism.

Surviving

   1995    Nature
the final episode deals with plants that live in hostile environments. Attenborough visits Ellesmere Island, north of the Arctic Circle, to demonstrate that even in a place that is unconducive to life, it can be found. Algae and lichens grow in or on rock, and during summer, when the ice melts, flowers are much more apparent. However, they must remain close to the ground to stay out of the chilling wind. In the Tasmanian mountains, plants conserve heat by growing into 'cushions' that act as solar panels, with as many as a million individual shoots grouped together as one. Others, such as the lobelia in Mount Kenya, have a 'fur coat' of dense hairs on their leaves. The saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert flourishes because of its ability to retain vast amounts of water, which can't be lost through leaves because it has none. Many desert dwellers benefit from an accelerated life cycle, blooming rapidly within weeks after rainfall. Conversely, Mount Roraima is one of the wettest places on Earth. It is a huge sandstone plateau with high waterfalls and nutrients are continuously washed away, so plants have to adapt their diet if they are to survive. A bladderwort is shown invading a bromeliad. Inhabitants of lakes have other problems to contend with: those that dominate the surface will proliferate, and the Amazon water lily provides an apt illustration. Attenborough ends the series with an entreaty for the conservation of plant species.
Series: The Private Life of Plants

The Cities

   2011    Culture
Humans are so clever they’ve built their own habitat, designed to keep wild nature out. Yet as we discover the urban environment is totally dependant on the natural world. Over the three years of filming for Human Planet, the teams have spent time with over seventy different communities in countries across the planet. Despite seeing many different ways of living, there are some aspects of family life that remain the same whether you live in a tree house in West Papua, or a brick house in Bolton. These similarities became very clear when the urban team went to film on a rubbish dump in Kenya. Here on the Kibarani dump on the outskirts of Mombasa, Ali, Ashe and their family live and survive amongst the rubbish, and even here, just like anywhere on the planet, everything stops for a nice cup of tea!
Series: Human Planet

The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Fifth Ape

   2008    Culture
Richard Dawkins deals with some of the philosophical and social ramifications of the theory of evolution. Dawkins starts out in Kenya, speaking with palaeontologist Richard Leakey. He then visits Christ is the Answer Ministries, Kenya's largest Pentecostal church, to interview Bishop Bonifes Adoyo. Adoyo has led the movement to press Kenya's national museum to sideline its collection of hominid bones pointing to man's evolution from ape to human.[5] The collection includes the Turkana Boy discovered by Kamoya Kimeu, a member of a team led by Richard Leakey in 1984. Dawkins discusses social darwinism and eugenics, explaining how these are not versions of natural selection, and that 'Darwin has been wrongly tainted'. He then meets with evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker to discuss how morals can be compatible with natural selection. He goes on to explaining sexual selection, with peafowls as an example. To find out whether sexual selection plays a role for altruism and kindness among humans, he visits women who are looking for sperm donors, as well as a sperm bank manager. Dawkins also explains kin selection and selfish genes.
What is the Right Diet for You
What is the Right Diet for You

   2015    Medicine
Wonders of Life
Wonders of Life

   2013    Science
Through the Wormhole Season 7
Through the Wormhole Season 7

   2016    Culture
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature
The Story of Science
The Story of Science

   2010    History
The Real History of Science Fiction
The Real History of Science Fiction

   2014    Technology
Bronze Age
Bronze Age

   2016    History
Walking with Cavemen
Walking with Cavemen

   2003    History