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China Coronavirus Cover-Up

   2020    Medicine
Did China hide crucial information about Covid-19 from the world? What began with a handful of mystery pneumonia cases in Wuhan late last year has now left more than half a million dead worldwide. Beijing says it has been open and transparent throughout, but former BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie investigates how it delayed reporting the initial outbreak and evidence that Covid-19 could be spread by people. It also silenced doctors who tried to speak out.
The film also hears from one high-level insider who believes the animal market at the centre of the Wuhan outbreak should have been treated as a 'crime scene' and from experts who warn that this crisis may be a 'dress rehearsal' for an even more deadly pandemic in the future.

Words on a Page

   2020    History
Writing itself is 5,000 years old, and for most of that time words were written by hand using a variety of tools. The Romans were able to run an empire thanks to documents written on papyrus. Scroll books could be made quite cheaply and, as a result, ancient Rome had a thriving written culture. With the fall of the Roman Empire, papyrus became more difficult to obtain. Europeans were forced to turn to a much more expensive surface on which to write: Parchment. Medieval handwritten books could cost as much as a house, they also represent a limitation on literacy and scholarship.
No such limitations were felt in China, where paper had been invented in the second century. Paper was the foundation of Chinese culture and power, and for centuries how to make it was kept secret. When the secret was out, paper mills soon sprang up across central Asia. The result was an intellectual flourishing known as the Islamic Golden Age. Muslim scholars made discoveries in biology, geology, astronomy and mathematics. By contrast, Europe was an intellectual backwater.
That changed with Gutenberg’s development of movable type printing. The letters of the Latin alphabet have very simple block-like shapes, which made it relatively simple to turn them into type pieces. When printers tried to use movable type to print Arabic texts, they found themselves hampered by the cursive nature of Arabic writing. The success of movable type printing in Europe led to a thousand-fold increase in the availability of information, which produced an explosion of ideas that led directly to the European Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution that followed.
Series: The Secret History of Writing

Changing the Script

   2020    History
The written word is so important in everyday life that there can be few more radical acts than forcing an entire nation to learn a new script. Yet that is what happened in Turkey in 1928 when Mustafa Kemal decreed that the Arabic script would be replaced by the letters of the Latin alphabet. Communication with computers using human language is usually made with Latin letters. This is how most Chinese people interact with their computers and smart phones, using a Latin-based phonetic script called Pinyin. As a result, even highly educated Chinese are losing the ability to write using Chinese characters. Could what is happening in China be the future of writing everywhere?
Series: The Secret History of Writing

Colourful Planet

   2019    Nature    HD
From space, Earth is a kaleidoscope. Turquoise plankton blooms trigger a feeding frenzy, China turns yellow with rapeseed flowers, and mysterious green lights appear in the ocean. Satellites give us a new perspective on its greatest and most beautiful spectacles allowing us to make new discoveries We can watch landscapes change through the seasons and marvel in the scale of their transformations.
Satellite cameras capture a kaleidoscope of extraordinary colours surprising and constantly changing, created by natural phenomena, by animals and by people. These colours are revealing new insight into the health of our fragile planet, transforming our understanding of our colourful home.
Series: Earth from Space

China Has a Plan

   2019    Technology
From fears about work and privacy to a rivalry between the U.S. and China, the series explores the promise and perils of AI. It traces a new industrial revolution that will reshape and disrupt our lives, our jobs and our world, and allow the emergence of the surveillance society.
Today, China leads the world in e-commerce and is a society that bypassed credit cards. Now shops in stores are without cashiers, where the currency is facial recognition. No country has ever moved that fast. And in a short two-and-a-half years, China's A.I. implementation really went from minimal amount to probably about 17 or 18 unicorns, that is, billion-dollar companies. The progress was powered by a new generation of ambitious young techs pouring out of Chinese universities, competing with each other for new ideas, and financed by a new cadre of Chinese venture capitalists.
Series: In the Age of AI
Coldplay Live
Coldplay Live

   2012    Art
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood

   2016    History
Life of a Universe
Life of a Universe

   2017    Science
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
The Great Acceleration
The Great Acceleration

   2020    Technology
The Story of India
The Story of India

   2007    History