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BBC

Foundation coverBack in 1973, the BBC aired a radio adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s seminal Foundation Trilogy. The Foundation series details a far future universe populated by a decaying empire of humanity spread across the Milky Way galaxy. In order to prevent humanity from falling into an extended galactic dark age, Hari Seldon, founder of the prophetic statistical and sociological science of psychohistory, works to establish a Foundation of knowledge and educated society on the remote planet of Terminus. The Foundation trilogy follows the lives and adventures of a variety of Terminus citizens throughout the decades and centuries after the establishment of the Foundation.

The Internet Archive is hosting the 1973 Foundation BBC radio adaptation of the Foundation Trilogy as part of their Old Time Radio collection. It is available here for both streaming and download in multiple formats.

If you are interested in listening to the original story on audiobook rather than the radio adaptation, you can check it out through the Library! Follow these links to Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation.

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Nov 9 2011

Seven Billion

by Jimmy L

According to the United Nations, the world population reached seven billion on Monday October 31, 2011. This figure is completely inconceivable to me, but the BBC website has created a website that makes it easier to see this number in the context of its numerous contributing factors. If you enter in your date of birth (since this is a British website, make sure you enter day first, then month and year), it will tell you what your number is,  i.e. how many people were alive at the time you were born. It will also tell you how many people have ever lived since history began (78.7 billion). If you click “Next”, it will break down population growth by country, gender, and other factors. If you’re interested in thinking about this topic more, check out some of these books:

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Feb 26 2008

DVD Recommendation: Planet Earth

by Chris S

Planetearth
I’m a big fan of IMAX movies. They use high-resolution video and audio and huge screens to bring the audience into a sensation that what they’re seeing is “more real than real.” IMAX films on video or DVD do not translate very well and, for me anyway, always disappoint on the small screen. The BBC series Planet Earth (not an IMAX film), defies this trend, and left me gasping at the awesome beauty that I didn’t know could come across on a television screen.

In this 5-disc, 14 episode series, these film makers take you to the most remote areas of the world, untouched, and for the most part, unseen, by human beings. From the deepest darkness of the ocean floor to the highest peaks in the world, from the lushest tropical rainforests to the barest deserts, from the Arctic north to the Antarctic south, these film crews braved the harshest of the elements to gather footage. The results are truly breathtaking. Guided by David Attenborough’s warm and grandfatherly narration, and employing film techniques that in some cases were invented for this film project, Planet Earth explores life at its most desperate and its most abundant extremes, and shows film making at its most daring and creative.

Now if we can just get them to show it in IMAX . . .

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Nov 13 2007

DVD Recommendation: Civilisation

by Chris S

My wife recently had to take an entrance exam for graduate school and had to study up on some of the great figures of western civilization.  So we decided to watch the DVD edition of Civilisation: A Personal View by Lord Clark, a television series originally produced in the late sixties by BBC 2.  Kenneth Clark acts as tour guide and museum curator as he leads the viewer from the beginnings of the middle ages all the way to present day.  He follows the development of civilization through the lens of the arts, including visual arts, literature, and music that truly express the great potential of humanity as creators and not destroyers of society and beauty.  The series was produced and released during the turbulent sixties and serves as Lord Clark’s answer to a time of great cynicism that grew under the threat of global nuclear annihilation.

Visually stunning, with lovely classical music and insightful commentary, Civilisation pleases the mind, the heart, the ears, and the eyes.

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