James Burke’s Connections


in Daily updates, Films and movies, Geek stuff, Internet matters, Science

Bike wheel

I have mentioned it before, and may well mention it again. James Burke’s Connections is a television series worth seeing. Each episode wanders through history from one invention to another, with fascinating asides along the way.

As of this evening, someone put a stack of them on YouTube. The series was made at taxpayer expense by the BBC, so there is really no reason for which it shouldn’t already be available online for free. Watch a few episodes and you will learn a wealth of interesting (though often very esoteric) facts to break out at dinner parties.

As is generally the case when I am busy and need to come up with a blog post idea in a hurry, this was yanked from MetaFilter.

PS. By the end of each exam, I was coughing my lungs out. Now, I am taking little sips from my bottle of nasty tasting (and ineffective) cough syrup every three hours or so. Now, I feel like I have an especially nasty cold, with all the ill effects involved therein.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan June 11, 2007 at 8:21 pm

Evidence of cold-based nonthinkingness:

“I could use some dinner. Soup might help with my coughing.”

*rummages through grocery bags*

*grabs container shaped like plastic container of pre-prepared soup*

*carries to kitchen*

*places in microwave*

*sets time*

*glances into microwave*

‘Low Fat Strawberry’

“That’s a funny flavour for soup”

*pushes start button*

“Oh, wait. That’s probably the yogurt.”

*gets actual soup*

Anon June 11, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Connections, Episode 3 Part 2 of 5 involves the same play as your quote today.

Anon June 11, 2007 at 8:47 pm
Kerrie June 12, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Sweet, I love Connections!

And yogourt.

. July 1, 2007 at 8:37 pm

The Day The Universe Changed is also very good.

Milan September 15, 2007 at 2:36 am

Re-Connections is an interview with Burke 25 years after the original show:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII

Great stuff.

See also: this post

Litty November 5, 2007 at 11:49 am

All three Connections documentaries are available in their entirety as DVD box sets.

Connections, Vol. 3
Connections, Vol. 2

Sounds like a good thing to buy, no?

Milan February 22, 2009 at 9:30 pm

This seems to be the place to go for episodes now:


R.K. June 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm

The ‘JamesBurkeFan’ YouTube account seems to have been shut down.

Milan June 6, 2009 at 6:13 pm

JamesBurkeWeb has it.

Watch this episode. It is excellent.

. February 9, 2021 at 5:25 pm

If you grew up in the late 70s or early 80s, there’s a chance you had your mind at least slightly blown by one of James Burke’s TV programmes. In these he charged across the history of science and technology making, well, Connections between things you might not have thought were linked. It’s a while since we had anything new from him, but if you can get hold of BBC Radio 3 then you can listen to to him doing his James Burke thing for 15 minutes every evening this week. The voice is older, but it’s still James Burke.


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