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Conquistadors: The Search for El Dorado

   2002    History
Francisco de Orellana failed to find El Dorado, but discovered the Amazon. Early in 1541, a rumor swept Quito that beyond the mountains, there lay a land richer than Mexico, or even Peru - a land of gold. The ruler of this land was so rich that he covered himself with gold dust every day and washed it off every evening. He was "the golden man", El Dorado. They had tree goals: to find La Canela, the land of cinnamon: to assess new lands for colonization; and to find El Dorado. On march 1541, They marched eastwards with more that 200 Spanish troops and thousands of native servants.
Series: Conquistadors

The Great Levelling

   2010    Technology
Twenty years on from the invention of the world wide web, this major new series takes stock of its profound impact – how, for better and for worse, the digital revolution is reshaping our lives. Dr Aleks Krotoski explores the meaning of a phenomenon that is transforming everything, from how we learn to how we shop, vote and make friends. With a quarter of the planet connected so far, this series examines what is in store for the remaining 75 per cent of the world's population as they come online." In the first part series, Aleks charts the extraordinary rise of blogs, Wikipedia and YouTube, and traces an ongoing clash between the freedom the technology offers us, and our innate human desire to control and profit. Dr Aleks Krotoski looks at how it is reshaping almost every aspect of our lives. Joined by some of the web's biggest names - including the founders of Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, and the web's inventor - she explores how far the web has lived up to its early promise.
Series: The Virtual Revolution

Mighty Amazon

   2005    Nature
A look at the unique habitat which is formed every year when the Amazon floods an area of forest the size of England. It creates a world that is home to turtles, caiman and giant otters, and where fish fly through the air and dolphins hunt amongst the tree tops.
Series: Wild South America

The Cost of Free

   2010    Technology
In the third programme of the series, Aleks gives the lowdown on how, for better and for worse, commerce has colonized the web - and reveals how web users are paying for what appear to be 'free' sites and services in hidden ways. Joined by some of the most influential business leaders of today's web, including Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google), Chad Hurley (CEO of YouTube), Bill Gates, Martha Lane Fox and Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix), Aleks traces how business, with varying degrees of success, has attempted to make money on the web. She tells the inside story of the gold rush years of the dotcom bubble and reveals how retailers such as Amazon learned the lessons. She also charts how, out of the ashes, Google forged the business model that has come to dominate today's web, offering a plethora of highly attractive, overtly free web services, including search, maps and video, that are in fact funded through a sophisticated and highly lucrative advertising system which trades on what we users look for. Aleks explores how web advertising is evolving further to become more targeted and relevant to individual consumers. Recommendation engines, pioneered by retailers such as Amazon, are also breaking down the barriers between commerce and consumer by marketing future purchases to us based on our previous choices. On the surface, the web appears to have brought about a revolution in convenience. But, as companies start to build up databases on our online habits and preferences, Aleks questions what this may mean for our notions of privacy and personal space in the 21st century
Series: The Virtual Revolution

Patterned Planet

   2018    Nature    HD
Earth's surface is covered in weird and wonderful patterns. The Australian outback is covered in pale spots, the work of wombats; a clearing in the endless green canopy of the Congo rainforest has been created by an incredible elephant gathering; and the twists and turns of the Amazon make a home for rehabilitated manatees. This is our home, as we've never seen it before.
Series: Earth from Space

The Great Feast

   2009    Nature
Every summer in the seas off Alaska humpback whales, sea lions and killer whales depend on an explosion of plant life, the plankton bloom. It transforms these seas into the richest on Earth. But will these animals survive to enjoy the great feast? The summer sun sparks the growth of phytoplankton, microscopic floating plants which can bloom in such vast numbers that they eclipse even the Amazon rainforest in sheer abundance of plant life. Remarkably, it is these minute plants that are the basis of all life here. But both whales and sea lions have obstacles to overcome before they can enjoy the feast. Humpback whales migrate 3,000 miles from Hawaii, and during their 3 month voyage lose a third of their body weight. In a heart-rending scene a mother sea lion loses her pup in a violent summer storm, while another dramatic sequence shows a group of killer whales working together to kill a huge male sea lion.
In late summer the plankton bloom is at its height. Vast shoals of herring gather to feed on it, diving birds round the fish up into a bait ball and then a humpback whale roars in to scoop up the entire ball of herring in one huge mouthful. When a dozen whales work together they employ the ultimate method of co-operative fishing - bubble net feeding. One whale blows a ring of bubbles to engulf the fish and then they charge in as one. Filmed from the surface, underwater and, for the first time, from the air, we reveal how these giant hunters can catch a tonne of fish every day.
Series: Nature Great Events
The Life of Mammals

The Life of Mammals

2002  Nature
How Earth Made Us

How Earth Made Us

2010  Science
Chemistry

Chemistry

2010  Science
Cosmos

Cosmos

1980  Science
Dirty Money

Dirty Money

2018  Culture
Order and Disorder

Order and Disorder

2012  Science