Category Archives: BBC

150 years since ‘On the Origin of Species’

Darwin’s theory of natural selection was finally published (and sold-out) in November 1859. The idea had been in his head, and a talking point of others, for years before. We’re still talking about it today.

Here’s a clip from a BBC documentary called Legacy about the impact of Darwin’s ideas:

The Guardian newspaper has a great page devoted to Darwin, including key excerpts from ‘On the Origin of Species…‘ and an article by Richard Dawkins.

You can download the full text of the first edition in pdf format from the University of New South Wales, or read it online at Talk Origins.

Earth: The Power of the Planet

Thanks to bogstandardcomp again for the idea for this one. Being out of the country, I miss a lot of the new shows.

The BBC series ‘Earth: The Power of the Planet’ looks like good craic. Scottish presenters always make things more interesting, I think (I’m not Scottish). This little clip of methane deposits throwing flames from ice is the only one I could find via google video so far. There are, however, more clips on the BBC Website.

The Lyre Bird – King of Mate Attraction?

This is just amazing. Thanks to Dan for the link.

Stephen Fry: HIV and Me (very mature content)

Stephen Fry hosts this brave documentary on the experiences of British HIV sufferers. A good watch, shows how perceptions of HIV/AIDS have changed and how it is ignored.

Be warned – there are graphic descriptions during some parts of the documentary and careful editing would be advised before you show it to a group of students.

Of the six parts available on here, part six (after the jump) is a good one to show – Stephen is talking to a teenage girl born with HIV who has made a stand against bullies and made it her prerogative to inform others. This part doesn’t need editing, either.

Again for older students, there is a link to the GI Jonny website at the end of the show. Looks like a bit of a gimmick, to be honest, but might get through to some.

Part 1 of 6 (Parts 2-6 after the jump):

Read the rest of this entry

Planet Earth: An Inconvenient Spoof

While trawling Google Video for short Planet Earth excerpts, I came upon this mock trailer. It’s filed under ‘comedy’ but is a stark reminder of our destructive influence on the world.

Mate Attraction: Bird of Paradise

It almost doesn’t look real, but this we chappy comes direct from Attenborough – so it must be true!

BBC’s Planet Earth is awesome. I wish my telly was bigger than 14″

Eaten Alive/ Monsters Inside Me: Parasites

This clip from Animal Planet has a couple of good examples of parasites in action*:

Animal Planet have some clips of their site: Monsters Inside Me (YouTube channel here)

And this one from the BBC’s Planet Earth shows the Cordyceps parasite take over an ant:

This clips from NewScientist shows the jewel wasp turning a cockroach into its slave/zombie/mobile dining centre – scary!

*Sadly, the best clips have been removed from GoogleVideo. You can buy the 3-part series from Discovery, for the bargain price of $449.85. I still don’t understand why some producers have to charge such a ridiculous fee for their programmes – surely that restricts their use in education? Hats off to all the documentary makers who post them up for free after a while (such as The 11th Hour and SuperSizeMe).

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