Tag Archives: bbc

Life on Earth

Life on Earth is being repeated on iPlayer. It’s an incredible series.

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Feynman “Fun to imagine”

Video series on Youtube. Showing once again that Richard Feynman was a genius and a brilliant communicator.

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David Cameron does weird christian self-parody

Hardly need to say much more than what is said already in the news item.


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Why is there no “abolish Thought For The Day” group?

I don’t usually get up early enough to listen to Thought For The Day, but I happened to catch it this morning, and it reminded me just how ludicrous and out of place this segment is in the otherwise sober and serious Today Programme on Radio 4.

(Don’t just believe me, listen to the nonsensical ramblings of Akhandadhi Das [MP3] from their podcast)

Oddly I find myself in agreement with AN Wislon (warning: Daily Mail link). Don’t put an atheist “counterbalance” on this program. Just abolish it altogether. There’s no place for it in a news programme.


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My interview on Radio 4 about spam, 3 years ago

The interview (MP3 file) is here.

Just over 3 years ago, I was interviewed by Eddie Mair for the iPM programme on Radio 4 about spam.

This happened because I used to have a spam archive, collecting every spam email I had received since c.1997. I don’t exactly know how the interview came about — I was just contacted on the morning of the interview by a researcher from Radio 4. But being a big fan of the BBC of course I was happy to come in to London and talk to them.

I expected to be in a studio discussion, perhaps with others, but that wasn’t quite how it happened. About an hour after I arrived, I was shuffled into a small booth and connected up to Eddie who was “on the line” in some other London studio. Nevertheless we had a conversation about spam and other things. What was finally broadcast was heavily edited and condensed down to about 4 minutes, from an original which must have been 10 minutes or more.

I still to this day collect every email — spam or otherwise — that I receive, but I no longer put them online because that caused all sorts of problems. My total mail archive is 11 gigabytes, of which 7.5 gigabytes is classified as spam [note this is just a “du” of various compressed files]. The earliest spam is from Oct 2 1997 (an advert for “Teeth Bleaching and Whitening”), and the latest is almost certainly from about 1 minute ago, whenever you are reading this posting.

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504 programmes in the In Our Time archive

The BBC have put 504 programmes — almost the complete archive — from Melvin Bragg’s In Our Time on iplayer.

UK usersUsers from anywhere in the world can download all of them with get_iplayer:

./get_iplayer --type=all --get 'in our time'

At around 30 minutes per programme, there’s about 250 hours of excellent entertainment here.

The full listing is after the break …

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14 Days in May

I just watched 14 Days in May on Youtube. Actually I watched it again, since I remember it from the first time it was broadcast on the BBC in 1987. It’s an extraordinary documentary about the murder by the state of Mississippi of a young man who was probably innocent.

The same user on YouTube has also uploaded “Welcome to North Korea”, which was also interesting.

Also a good time to point out youtube-dl which is a great little tool for downloading youtube videos.

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