James Burke’s Connections

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.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

12 thoughts on “James Burke’s Connections”

  1. 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*

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

  3. 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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