Missing CHRISTMAS LECTURES | The Royal Institution

We are asking people across the country and beyond to search the long-forgotten contents of dusty attics or little-used store cupboards, to help unearth past series of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES from the Royal Institution, described by Sir David Attenborough and other past Christmas Lecturers as ‘national treasures from a golden age of broadcasting’.

We are in the process of making the entire BBC archive of these broadcasts available on our website for the first time. However 31 episodes broadcast between 1966 and 1973 are missing. Included in the missing episodes is footage of Sir David Attenborough not seen since it was first broadcast live nearly 50 years ago.

via Missing CHRISTMAS LECTURES | The Royal Institution: Science Lives Here

Hopefully someone out there has them on tape somewhere. The list of missing lectures and who to contact are listed on the site.

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Orbital Reflector – Nevada Museum of Art

Orbital Reflector is a sculpture constructed of a lightweight material similar to Mylar. It is housed in a small box-like infrastructure known as a CubeSat and launched into space aboard a rocket. Once in low Earth orbit at a distance of about 350 miles (575 kilometers) from Earth, the CubeSat opens and releases the sculpture, which self-inflates like a balloon. Sunlight reflects onto the sculpture making it visible from Earth with the naked eye — like a slowly moving artificial star as bright as a star in the Big Dipper.

via Orbital Reflector – Nevada Museum of Art

Orbital Reflector launches December 1st and should appear in the southern hemisphere first, according to the FAQs.

I’m looking forward to seeing it after missing out on seeing the Humanity Star discoball!

Top Gear: McGuinness and Flintoff announced as new hosts – BBC News

Paddy McGuinness and Andrew Flintoff will be the new presenters of Top Gear, the BBC has confirmed.
The pair will take over from Matt LeBlanc, after he steps down from presenting duties at the end of the next series.

via Top Gear: McGuinness and Flintoff announced as new hosts – BBC News

I like Paddy McGuiness, but I really don’t get this line up. Hopefully Rory can continue to own Extra Gear as he has been, he’s still my preferred front-man.

Brazil National Museum fire: Key treasures at risk – BBC News

The National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro is a treasure trove which contains more than 20 million scientific and historical items.
A massive fire spread through the 200-year-old institution on Sunday engulfing almost all of its rooms and gutting large parts of the building.
Most of its priceless collection is thought to have been burnt.

via Brazil National Museum fire: Key treasures at risk – BBC News

A huge (if not total) loss.

There is a movement to create a virtual museum with appeals for any previous visitors who have photos of exhibits to submit them and effectively digitise the museum. If you have any photos, consider sending them.

LeBlanc Leaving Top Gear

I always thought Matt was an odd and token choice – picked for global appeal rather than natural fit. I liked the films he appeared in and he was a natural behind the wheel, however the studio pieces always felt awkward, to me.
I felt the recent season was one of may favourites. Its a shame that once again they have to build a team again. I’m still a fan of Rory, who I think should front the show. He’s great on the Extra Gear show.

The death of the newsfeed

One basic problem here is that if the feed is focused on ‘what do I want to see?’, then it cannot be focused on ‘what do my friends want (or need) me to see?’ Sometimes this is the same thing – my friend and I both want me to see that they’re throwing a party tonight. But if every feed is a sample, then a user has no way to know who will see their post. Indeed, conceptually one might suggest that they have no way to know if anyone will see this post. Of course, Facebook’s engagement teams won’t let that happen – if I feel too much that I’m shouting into the wilderness I’ll leave (this is one of Twitter’s new user problems), and so I’ll be rationed out at least enough exposure to friends and engagement feedback to keep posting. Until you don’t. But if something was really important, why would you put it on Facebook?

I think one could suggest that this is some of what’s behind the suggestions of systemically lower engagement on Facebook newsfeeds, and behind the obvious growth of person-to person chat (most obviously WhatsApp, iMessage, FB Messenger and Instagram – three of which Facebook of course owns). The social dynamics of a 1:1 chat work much more strongly against overload, and even if one person does overshare they’re in a separate box, that you can mute if you like.

via The death of the newsfeed — Benedict Evans

Two Types: The Faces of Britain

We are surrounded by types, the words on signs, buses, shops and documents which guide us through our lives. Two types in particular are regarded as the faces of Britain – Johnston and Gill Sans.

I stumbled across this one night and I am so glad I watched it back and learned more about these fonts, which are part of British culture.

A surprising journey from its creation, to break out away from the chaos of serif font advertising, to falling out of favour as old fashioned and associated with wartime posters, on to re-emerging as fashionable and anti-establishment in the 1960s and 80s.

The programme also features a preview of the new BBC Sans typeface which has begun to roll out already.

via BBC Four – Two Types: The Faces of Britain