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December 3, 2007

Look Around You

Posted by John Baez

The Catsters have finally got some serious competition on the math video front. Check out this gem, brought to the Café’s attention by Allan Erskine:

But before you do, set your calculator to maths!

This video is part of a series. Does anyone know who created this series?

Posted at December 3, 2007 10:18 PM UTC

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7 Comments & 1 Trackback

Re: Look Around You

It’s a BBC2 comedy series (see also here).

Posted by: Blake Stacey on December 3, 2007 11:09 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Look Around You

could be titled
Monty Python does maths

Posted by: jim stasheff on December 4, 2007 1:13 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Look Around You

I’ve not lived in the UK for a while so was kind of slow to discover this series, but when I did I nearly choked laughing. That 70s/80s BBC education programme style that Dan mentions (back when there was a BBC Micro in every school) — it’s so spot-on it’s surreal!

The production quality is also superb — so for those who like their deadly puns (“releasing the new albumen” from a boiled egg) and their periodic tables (element To - Toronto) in high-def I would highly recommend the DVD.

The music is great too, with atmospheric test-tube clanking noises that don’t really come across on YouTube, not to mention the full version of “Little Mouse” :-)

Posted by: Allan E on December 5, 2007 5:27 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Look Around You

I like the episode on germs.

“Germs. Nasty germs. Nasty, filthy germs. Germs are everywhere. Where do germs come from?”

(I won’t give away the punchline…)

Posted by: John Baez on December 5, 2007 5:32 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Look Around You

It really is a fantastic Series. “What are Birds anyway?” It is actually a relatively recent series, I believe it aired in 2002 or so, They even had a 2nd season! Water, Sulfur and Iron are great episodes as well. A lot of it is on Youtube.

Posted by: Sean Tilson on December 4, 2007 4:52 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Open University

Hey! Spot the BBC Micro in that video. Those were the days.

Anyway, anyone (from Britain) remember the days of Open University broadcasts in the 70s? Maybe they’re still going.

I’d be at home during the vacations and turn on the TV hoping to watch something exciting and I’d be faced with strange bearded men talking about calculus, algebra and all kinds of other stuff. Almost every day we were faced with programmes on logarithms, or contour integration, or I think I even remember one on the Hartree-Fock approximation. On daytime TV! They are an icon of Britain in the 70s.

These were the days when there was only BBC1, BBC2 and ITV. Can you believe that there was a time in Britain when for extended parts of the day one third of broadcast TV would be university level mathematics and physics?

Posted by: Dan Piponi on December 5, 2007 2:33 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Look Around You

Web page at the BBC.

Posted by: ssp on December 5, 2007 9:51 AM | Permalink | Reply to this
Read the post One Geometry
Weblog: The n-Category Café
Excerpt: A rappin' proof of the Bolzano--Weierstrass theorem, by Steve Sawin.
Tracked: December 7, 2007 5:43 AM

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