Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
 

DS Forums

 
 

The Genius of Invention, BBC2&HD 9pm, 24 - 31 Jan, 7-14 Feb


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-02-2013, 19:41
barbeler
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,792
Some of the comments on here surprise me. I learned a lot from the episode last night and thought it hit just about the right balance. I thought the presenters were okay and I certainly didn't think it was dumbed down. At least it didn't have Darrah O'Briain.
barbeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Please sign in or register to remove this advertisement.
Old 08-02-2013, 19:44
sandydune
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 9,166
I did like the experiment they showed, that involved sticking an aerial on a balloon.
sandydune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 19:46
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,729
Some of the comments on here surprise me. I learned a lot from the episode last night and thought it hit just about the right balance. I thought the presenters were okay and I certainly didn't think it was dumbed down. At least it didn't have Darrah O'Briain.
Well there you go, it's all a question of personal perception.
You are obviously one of many who probably thought the level at which this was pitched was OK.

I still smile when I think to what extraordinary lengths they went, showing in two different ways, what was "a third of something."

Doh!
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 20:17
barbeler
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,792
You are obviously one of many who probably thought the level at which this was pitched was OK.
Yep. Count me in.
barbeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 20:50
anielled
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 813
Well there you go, it's all a question of personal perception.
You are obviously one of many who probably thought the level at which this was pitched was OK.

I still smile when I think to what extraordinary lengths they went, showing in two different ways, what was "a third of something."

Doh!
Whilst i tend to agree on what you are suggesting in priniciple, it is not the BBC's place to educate people as if they were in school.

The programme hopefully may spark some interest in people to actually go and buy a book or research an area that they felt interested in whilst watching it and do a proper read up.

These programmes do however get rehashed every few years with different presenters telling the same story (the atlantic cable laying one has been done a dozen times on the bbc) which is a little dissapointing, but with a country in need of intelligent engineers and not bankers it may point a few youngsters the right way.
anielled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 21:02
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,729
Whilst i tend to agree on what you are suggesting in priniciple, it is not the BBC's place to educate people as if they were in school.

The programme hopefully may spark some interest in people to actually go and buy a book or research an area that they felt interested in whilst watching it and do a proper read up.

These programmes do however get rehashed every few years with different presenters telling the same story (the atlantic cable laying one has been done a dozen times on the bbc) which is a little disappointing, but with a country in need of intelligent engineers and not bankers it may point a few youngsters the right way.
The problem is of course they aren't showing "engineering" they're showing "presenting"... in "triplicate."

They showed cable laying, recovering, splicing etc., off the coast of South America on "Quest" not so long ago. No dumbing down on that programme.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 22:13
SmartTIIam
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 440
I watched this programme with interest. I didn't realise it was being shown but caught it last night when they were explaining the communications stuff. I have a science background and thought it lacked depth of actual science content, but then the title of the show is the Genius of Invention, no mention of science and they do demonstrate the actual inventions, though IIRC Marconi didn't actually invent much, he simple nicked everybody else's work, put it together and then patented it. If you want the serious science then Jim Al-Khalili is the one to watch. A while ago I came across these

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yF5...IYiQww&index=2

These were done by a guy called David Stringer, in Canada who produced science shows aimed at kids and IMHO he gets the mix right between demos and content. However the content is a little dated now as these date back to 1990 or so, but I found these entertaining and informative.
SmartTIIam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 23:12
jonbwfc
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Bolton. lancs
Posts: 2,649
They showed cable laying, recovering, splicing etc., off the coast of South America on "Quest" not so long ago. No dumbing down on that programme.
If you're a telecoms engineer, I'm sure it would be enthralling.

Jon
jonbwfc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2013, 23:46
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,729
If you're a telecoms engineer, I'm sure it would be enthralling.

Jon
You obviously didn't see it, so I could anticipate that sort of daft comment.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 00:04
jonbwfc
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Bolton. lancs
Posts: 2,649
You obviously didn't see it, so I could anticipate that sort of daft comment.
Yes, I'm sorry I disappointed someone of such obvious intelligence as yourself.

The simple fact is this : The number of people who would want to watch a TV show about transatlantic cables is minimal, which is why a show on it was on Quest, a channel that would kill for the viewing figures BBC1 gets in the middle of the night.

A show about the history of how we got to the point where we needed transatlantic cables (and why, to a degree, we don't need them any more) is of more interest to many more people. Which is why the BBC made it instead.

There are three requirements to the Reithian principle, and throwing out two of them to pander to some bizarre sense of intellectual superiority the remaining few people who would watch the resultant half an hour of paint drying level tedium wish to maintain, well, anyone who thinks the BBC are actually going to do that isn't half as smart as they think they are.
jonbwfc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 01:02
SmartTIIam
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 440
I always enjoy a program about the laying of transatlantic cables. The other issue I have with this show is that by taking the British inventors in isolation, they're not telling the "complete" story. Next week they're covering television and will probably have everybody believe it was the British who soley invented it when in fact, Zworykin in the US had a large hand in it. The Americans actually had a working design before the British, but the British started the first "high definition" service from Ally Pally, so it will be interesting to see how they portray that in next week's programme.
SmartTIIam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 10:17
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,729
Yes, I'm sorry I disappointed someone of such obvious intelligence as yourself.

The simple fact is this : The number of people who would want to watch a TV show about transatlantic cables is minimal, which is why a show on it was on Quest, a channel that would kill for the viewing figures BBC1 gets in the middle of the night.

A show about the history of how we got to the point where we needed transatlantic cables (and why, to a degree, we don't need them any more) is of more interest to many more people. Which is why the BBC made it instead.

There are three requirements to the Reithian principle, and throwing out two of them to pander to some bizarre sense of intellectual superiority the remaining few people who would watch the resultant half an hour of paint drying level tedium wish to maintain, well, anyone who thinks the BBC are actually going to do that isn't half as smart as they think they are.
Well, I'm smart enough to know that this is an unnecessarily dumbed down programme and the BBC are not giving credit to the level of intelligence of the average viewer.

Also smart enough to recognise someone getting their knickers in a twist when I have the "audacity" to come back at them when they think they've made a smart-assed comment in an unnecessarily silly post about another contributor's opinion, which wasn't directed at you in the first place.

So many on here like to unnecessarily dish it out to others, but don't like the inevitable response. So get over it.

But your reaction did make me smile.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 11:34
lundavra
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,170
I always enjoy a program about the laying of transatlantic cables. The other issue I have with this show is that by taking the British inventors in isolation, they're not telling the "complete" story. Next week they're covering television and will probably have everybody believe it was the British who soley invented it when in fact, Zworykin in the US had a large hand in it. The Americans actually had a working design before the British, but the British started the first "high definition" service from Ally Pally, so it will be interesting to see how they portray that in next week's programme.
I haven't had chance to watch yet because I was out on Thursday but the "first" always claimed for British television is the world's first scheduled high definition television service. Several countries were experimenting with television but the BBC was first actual scheduled service.
lundavra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 11:37
lundavra
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,170
... A show about the history of how we got to the point where we needed transatlantic cables (and why, to a degree, we don't need them any more) is of more interest to many more people. Which is why the BBC made it instead. ....
I thought submarine cables have become more important in recent years and are carrying far more traffic than some years ago. Transmission delays are much lower than satellite circuits so they are the preferred method for data.
lundavra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 11:39
SmartTIIam
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 440
I haven't had chance to watch yet because I was out on Thursday but the "first" always claimed for British television is the world's first scheduled high definition television service. Several countries were experimenting with television but the BBC was first actual scheduled service.
Yes, the Germans . The Germans in particular because Hitler identified early on that it was a potential tool for his propoganda, but rather than get people to watch television in their homes, he orchestrated the watching of television in public by crowds. I guess the distinction also has to be made that it was probably the first scheduled "home" transmission, too. I know how it started with the experiments between Baird and Marconi. Nobody liked the Baird system.

Thanks for clearing up the distinction.
SmartTIIam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 11:48
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,729
I thought submarine cables have become more important in recent years and are carrying far more traffic than some years ago. Transmission delays are much lower than satellite circuits so they are the preferred method for data.
The laying of cables got more sophisticated over time. When you consider the lengths the Victorians had to go to insulate their cables given the materials available back then, it's remarkable that they ever got the job done.

What impressed me, was the recovery of an older cable by the Great Eastern. The location had to be found using the navigational aids available at the time and an estimate made of the location of the break by measuring the resistance of the cable from the source end. Then trawling back and forth with a grappling iron on the end of a rope!

Laying Victorian cables was a bit of "hit and hope" as they'd not much idea of the surface of the sea bed.

Now specialised ships have the equipment to know exactly the best place to lay the cables and a huge plough is towed along the sea bed laying the cable in the trench it digs which is filled in by blades on the rear of the plough as it progresses.
Cable laying ships are in constant use as cables with greater carrying capacity are required by many countries due to the increased demand of modern technological communication requirements.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 12:44
technologist
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: London
Posts: 6,059
. .... but the British started the first "high definition" service from Ally Pally, so it will be interesting to see how they portray that in next week's programme..
And it was NOT Baird but Shoenberg and his dream team who invented "high" definition Tv....
Wil they get a mention ???!!!!!
technologist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 13:17
brangdon
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Nottingham, UK
Posts: 10,622
The whole point is that it's a very cursory overview. You cannot be expected to do a history of telecommunications in one hour.
You could include more if you didn't keep telling people how amazing it was.
brangdon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 13:39
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,729
You could include more if you didn't keep telling people how amazing it was.
Exactly!

and using three presenters who seemed to spend a lot of time "in your face" (no doubt there as an attempt to hold the attention of those less than enamoured of science) means even more content is omited.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 13:58
lundavra
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,170
The laying of cables got more sophisticated over time. When you consider the lengths the Victorians had to go to insulate their cables given the materials available back then, it's remarkable that they ever got the job done.

What impressed me, was the recovery of an older cable by the Great Eastern. The location had to be found using the navigational aids available at the time and an estimate made of the location of the break by measuring the resistance of the cable from the source end. Then trawling back and forth with a grappling iron on the end of a rope!

Laying Victorian cables was a bit of "hit and hope" as they'd not much idea of the surface of the sea bed.

Now specialised ships have the equipment to know exactly the best place to lay the cables and a huge plough is towed along the sea bed laying the cable in the trench it digs which is filled in by blades on the rear of the plough as it progresses.
Cable laying ships are in constant use as cables with greater carrying capacity are required by many countries due to the increased demand of modern technological communication requirements.
There are several of the devices used for picking up cables from the seabed outside the Porthcurno museum. Basically a plough like device with a series hooks.

There used to many more submarine cables in inland waters with links across to islands or just across loch/lakes/estuaries to take the shortest route. Some were laid in WWII to bypass urban conurbations and ensure continuity of communications in the event of heavy bombing. Places like Scapa Flow seem to have had many interconnecting gun batteries again because less susceptible to bombing. There were also submarine detection loops and controlled minefields. And there was SOSUS and similar out in deeper waters. There was a lot of cable down there!
lundavra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 14:02
lundavra
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,170
You could include more if you didn't keep telling people how amazing it was.
At least the BBC are doing something about science and engineering on mainstream television. Can't think of anything on ITV or much on CH4. There is more serious stuff on BBC4, this was aimed at a wider audience.
lundavra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 14:30
SmartTIIam
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 440
At least the BBC are doing something about science and engineering on mainstream television. Can't think of anything on ITV or much on CH4. There is more serious stuff on BBC4, this was aimed at a wider audience.
The BBC uses the license fee money, ITV and CH4 do not have access to this. The problem is the quality. I have just re-watched the first one, from Drax Power Station on YT and I actually enjoyed it. It claims to be a show about inventions, not about the actual science. I don't think I have actually seen a claim that they will explain the science but in the past there have been people who have done this. I have already mentioned this guy but I will post another link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kifC0...YiQww&index=33

I had great fun watching his stuff

I just happened to find these and I found them a great watch and also I came across this guy. He was a physicist by the name of Julius Sumner. The programs are quite old but still relevant for "proper" (almost Open University) like physics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCcZyW-6-5o

If you look on YouTube there is all sorts that have been posted. Also a good watch are the following:

The AT&T archives. It may not necessarily be on television, but if you nosy around there is some good science stuff to watch.

http://techchannel.att.com/showpage.cfm?ATT-Archives

I prefer the science to be delivered in a "straight" style. I found the zany approach of The Genius of Invention a bit too much, though I liked their reports. It doesn't fit Michael Mosely, et al. Those guys are serious academics.
SmartTIIam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 17:57
lundavra
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,170
The BBC uses the license fee money, ITV and CH4 do not have access to this. The problem is the quality. I have just re-watched the first one, from Drax Power Station on YT and I actually enjoyed it. It claims to be a show about inventions, not about the actual science. I don't think I have actually seen a claim that they will explain the science but in the past there have been people who have done this. I have already mentioned this guy but I will post another link ....
I would have thought that ITV has more money available than the BBC, they just spend in different ways. But the mind boggles at what they would do if they did a science or engineering series, presumably would have to be fronted by a couple of Z-List celebrities!

Dan Snow's recent series got around 1.99 and 2.7 million in the public available figures, I would expect this series to be similar so it is more than much that Channel 4 have on.
lundavra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 19:18
SmartTIIam
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 440
I would have thought that ITV has more money available than the BBC, they just spend in different ways. But the mind boggles at what they would do if they did a science or engineering series, presumably would have to be fronted by a couple of Z-List celebrities!

Dan Snow's recent series got around 1.99 and 2.7 million in the public available figures, I would expect this series to be similar so it is more than much that Channel 4 have on.
Speaking of CH4, I was a fan of Equinox when it was on. They did some good stuff in the early days. For science content, there is some good stuff on PBS if you have a Sky subscription. the PBS output is superlative to that of the BBC these days.
SmartTIIam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2013, 21:17
lundavra
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,170
Speaking of CH4, I was a fan of Equinox when it was on. They did some good stuff in the early days. For science content, there is some good stuff on PBS if you have a Sky subscription. the PBS output is superlative to that of the BBC these days.
I had forgotten all about Equinox, shows how CH4 has gone downhill in recent years.
lundavra is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:08.