Category “Science”

EP1/6 Speed

The Thrill of Speed The central premise of Speed is an intriguing one, that human beings are the only species capable of exceeding the speed limit that nature intended. Clarkson sets out to explore both what compels us to pursue these limits--often at considerable risk to our own safety--and what effect the quest has on us. The result was an immensely engaging series, a few highlights of which are collected on this...

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The Mystery of Empty Space

Get ready to re-think your ideas of reality. Join UCSD physicist Kim Griest as he takes you on a fascinating excursion, addressing some of the massive efforts and tantalizing bits of evidence which suggest that what goes on in empty space determines the properties of the three-dimensional existence we know and love, and discusses how that reality may be but the wiggling of strings from other...

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The Lobotomist

Early in the 20th Century, individuals who suffered from mental illness had little hope of recovery. Psychiatric medications had yet to be discovered, and the afflicted were often locked away in overcrowded asylums. In 1935 a radical new medical procedure, called a lobotomy, was being performed on the most severely mentally ill. Initially this form of brain surgery appeared to offer hope for patients by lessening the severity of psychotic symptoms. This is the gripping tale of Dr. Walter Freeman, who in 1936 began performing the operation, and championed it as a general cure for everything...

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Human Cloning

Panayiotis Zavos is a controversial fertility doctor. He said to “The Independent” that he had already cloned human embryos and transferred 11 of them into the wombs of four women who had been prepared to give birth to cloned babies. Since cloning embryos into the human womb is a criminal offense in most countries, Dr. Panayiotis Zavos is said to have worked at a secret laboratory in the Middle East where there is no cloning ban. Dr. Zavos also revealed that he has produced cloned embryos of three dead people, including a 10-year-old child called Cady, who died in a car crash. He...

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Alan and Marcus Go Forth and Multiply

Ever since he was at school, actor and comedian Alan Davies has hated maths. And like many people, he is not much good at it either. But Alan has always had a sneaking suspicion that he was missing out. So, with the help of top mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy (The Story of Maths and How Long Is A Piece Of String?) Alan is going to embark on a maths odyssey. Together they visit the fourth dimension, cross the universe and explore the concept of infinity. Along the way, Alan does battle with some of the toughest maths questions of our age. But did his abilities peak 25 years...

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The Elephant: Inside Nature’s Giants

A four-part documentary that dissects the largest animals on the planet to uncover their evolutionary hidden secrets. A team of experts examine the anatomy of an elephant, a crocodile, a giraffe, and even a 55 tonne fin whale measuring over 19 metres long. Inside Nature's Giants is an intriguing four-part series that gives insight into the evolution of the world’s largest animals, revealing how their bodies work from the inside out, and demonstrating how the magnificent creatures have adapted to their surroundings over thousands of...

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Why Can’t We Predict Earthquakes?

Last century, earthquakes killed over one million, and it is predicted that this century might see ten times as many deaths. Yet when an earthquake strikes, it always takes people by surprise. So why hasn’t science worked out how to predict when and where the next big quake is going to happen? This is the story of the men and women who chase earthquakes and try to understand this mysterious force of nature. Journeying to China’s Sichuan Province, which still lies devastated by the earthquake that struck in May 2008, as well as the notorious San Andreas Fault in California, Horizon...

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Nuclear Nightmares

For the last 50 years the world has lived in fear of radiation. Hiroshima, Nagasaki and accidents at nuclear power stations struck terror in our hearts. As the world faces up to a new threat from global warming and the controversial alternative provided by nuclear power, a growing number of scientists are asking whether it's time to think again about the dangers of radiation. It's the fear of huge doses of radiation that makes people reluctant to accept solutions based on nuclear power, but Nuclear Nightmares claims to have uncovered evidence to suggest these fears could be unfounded....

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Fractals: The Colors of Infinity

The Mandelbrot set – someone has called it the thumb-print of God – is one of the most beautiful and remarkable discoveries in the entire history of mathematics. With Arthur C. Clarke as narrator and interviews with a number of notable mathematicians, including Benoît Mandelbrot, this program graphically illustrates how simple formulas can lead to complicated results: it explains the set, what it means, its internal consistency, and the revolutions in thought resulting from its discovery. Asked if the real universe goes on forever, Stephen Hawking defines its limit of smallness; the...

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