Thursday, 28 August 2008

VIDEO: Feeding the voracious deer in Nara 奈良市,

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According to the legendary history of Kasuga Shrine, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer were regarded as heavenly animals to protect the city and the country. Wiki



Attempting to feed the deer whilst avoiding being nibbled on ourselves.


My good friend and esteemed palaeontology colleague Dr Aaron Hunter feeds the deer


My other good friend and travel buddy Dr Alistair Fielding gets into the swing of things.

Fossil Detectives doing well on BBC4

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Fossil Detectives is doing brilliantly with an audience of 158,000 which for BBC FOUR at 19.30 is pretty good. As a big sign of recognition it's already had three really positive previews/Pick of the Days.
Below are the highlights...

For the first programme:
EVENING STANDARD
“The Beeb’s doing well at inventing telegenic young female science presenters… she’s endearingly enthusiastic especially as she gets to interview telly wildlife God Sir David Attenborough.”
THE TIMES
This entertaining new 8 part series follows the scientist ( and regular Adam Hart-Davis cohort) Hermione Cockburn and her team as they tour the UK…..
For this weeks’ second programme...
THE TIMES
“More dinosaurs in the second in this well-made 8-part series… and you can see David Attenborough get all misty eyed as he caresses the vertebrae of a long-lost Diplodocus.”
 
Visit the website for more fascinating information on the world of Palaeontology, and to hear more "Favourite Fossil Stories"
http://www.open2.net/fossildetectives/

Click below to hear Prof Richard Fortey describe his favourite fossil

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Sumo Honbasho, National Tournament in Nagoya 名古屋市

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Sumo (相撲, sumō) is a competitive contact sport where two wrestlers (rikishi) attempt to force one another out of a circular ring (dohyo) or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet. The sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally. The Japanese consider sumo a gendai budō (a modern Japanese martial art), though the sport has a history spanning many centuries.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


Honbasho (本場所) is any of the six official professional sumo tournaments held each year. Only honbasho results matter in determining promotion and relegation for rikishi (sumo wrestlers).

Honbasho last for 15 days. Sumo wrestlers ranked in the top two divisions (makuuchi and juryo) wrestle once each day, while those of the lower divisions wrestle seven times, approximately once every alternate day. The first aim for most wrestlers is to achieve kachikoshi, or a majority of wins, and thus ensure a promotion for the next honbasho tournament. In addition for each division there is a championship prize (yūshō) for the wrestler with the most wins at the end. A playoff on the final day is used to decide the winner in case of a tie. Wiki

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Natural History meets Entertainment to bring you the Ultimate Talent Show

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For the first time the BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) and BBC Entertainment will be joining forces to create To The Ends Of The Earth – a gripping format for BBC One combining cutting-edge natural history filming techniques with high entertainment values.

Presented by Nick Knowles, eight individuals who are passionate about wildlife compete to prove that they have what it takes to become part of the BBC's award-winning Natural History Unit.
Judged by knowledgeable and skilled experts, only one will win this opportunity of a lifetime. The candidates have to track down and film extraordinary animals in extraordinary places. Each week they will face ever tougher physical, mental and emotional challenges.  They will be judged on what footage they get and, just as importantly, how they get it.
Peter Salmon, Chief Creative Officer, BBC Vision, says: "This is an exciting collaboration. The first of its kind in the BBC, a marriage of two in-house centres of excellence, responsible for current hits Last Choir Standing and Lost Land Of The Jaguar.
"Further proof, if any were needed, that our programme-makers will go anywhere to win a commission, even To The Ends Of The Earth..."
Nick Shearman, Commissioning Editor, In-house, BBC Knowledge, adds: "This is a thrilling, innovative and distinctive format joining some of the brightest talents in the BBC from world leading production units – Entertainment and the NHU.
"It's also a fascinating look behind the scenes at what goes into making some of the best natural history films in the world."
To The Ends Of The Earth has been commissioned by Nick Shearman; the Executive Producer for the Natural History Unit is Fiona Pitcher; and Clare Pizey is the Executive Producer for BBC Entertainment.

This eight-part series of 60-minute programmes will broadcast on BBC One in 2009.
Anyone wishing to apply to take part in To The Ends Of The Earth should email their name to endsoftheearth@bbc.co.uk and an application form will be sent.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Wildscreen 2008: Rough guide to Multiplatform

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If anyone is planning on visiting Wildscreen 2008. I am running a workshop called Breaking out of the box: A rough guide to Multiplatform and what it can do for you.

'Battle of the Kruger' and 'Springwatch'. One is a shakey homemade video that became an instant hit when it was posted to YouTube just over a year ago and has since been viewed 36 million times, the other is a core multiplatform production from the BBC. One required nothing more than a fortunate moment and a cheap camcorder, the other cost millions and took months of careful planning and preparation. Both are a huge success in their own right and reveal a thirst for natural history content online in all its guises, and in a world where anyone can be a player.

From 'World on the Move' to 'Big Cat Live' TV, Radio and web are colliding, leading the way to a multiplatform future from which no producer can escape. This workshop aims to introduce you to the wonderful world of Web2.0, a world where you can put anything anywhere at anytime to create a truly unique and individual web experience.

Get to grips with the basics, understand some of the key tools readily available on the web, create a blog, upload video, geotag content and learn what RSS is and how to make it a powerful ally taking your content directly to the audience.

If you thought Multiplatform was a term used to describe Paddington Station then think again.

The workshop will be hosted by Paul Williams BBC NHU and colleagues from BBC Multiplatform and World on the Move.

Tutor: Paul Williams and colleagues
Venue: Marriott Royal Hotel

Friday, 15 August 2008

Fossil Detectives starts Aug 21st

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The Open University and BBC Present Fossil Detectives
The brand new series starts next week, Thursday 21st August 2008
7.30pm on BBC Four


Visit the Fossil Detectives website now at http://www.open2.net/fossildetectives/index.html
 Featuring series and programme summaries, and exclusive online clips from amongst others, Sir David Attenborough, Billy Bragg and Richard Fortey.

Also available online - your free 40 page Fossil Detectives Field Guide.

Coming soon and published by BBC Books -
The Fossil Detectives - Discovering Prehistoric Britain - By Hermione Cockburn and Douglas Palmer
Out 4th September 2008

Get ready for some time travel with the Fossil Detectives
The series will broadcast in the following order -

Central England Thursday 21st August - 7.30pm BBC Four

London Thursday 28th August - 7.30pm BBC Four

West and Wales Thursday 4th September - 7.30pm BBC Four

North of England Thursday 11th September - 7.30pm BBC Four

South West England Thursday 18th September - 7.30pm BBC Four

East of England Thursday 25th September - 7.30pm BBC Four

Scotland Thursday 2nd October - 7.30pm BBC Four

 South of England Thursday 9th October - 7.30pm BBC Four
Times and dates may change so please check listings

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Pacific Abyss

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Episode 1 - Sunday 17th August, BBC1 8pm

In the first of this three part series, Kate Humble and Mike deGruy join forces with a team of world class divers, scientists and underwater film makers as they embark on a 2000 mile journey across the Pacific Ocean. As Kate dives some of the most intact World War 2 shipwrecks in Truk Lagoon, it's one drama after another for the deep dive team as they begin their quest for new species.....
Read their Diary from the Deep on Love Earth

Series Producer: Dale Templar
Executive Producer: Tim Martin

Friday, 8 August 2008

Jimmy and the Wild Honey Hunters

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This Sunday on BBC 1 at 8pm
Jimmy Doherty, of “Jimmy’s Farm” and “Jimmy’s Farming Hero’s”, is a pig farmer from Suffolk, and a keen amateur naturalist with a passion for bees and honey. He keeps bees and has always been blown away by the sheer variety of honey flavours, appreciating a good honey like others enjoy a fine wine. So when he heard about an ancient group of people in Nepal who are willing to risk their lives to taste their local honey – he knew he wanted to share the experience. As a “honey hunter” Jimmy must scale a massive cliff home to more than two million giant bees. Dangling 200ft up he must take away the bees honey. The risks are extreme, but if successful the reward is not only to find out more about these amazing bees, but to taste one of nature’s finest bounties – beautiful wild honey.
Producer: Roger Webb
Series Editor: Tim Martin

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Natural World: A Turtle's Guide to the Pacific

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Tonight 8pm on BBC 2
This beautiful programme follows a loggerhead turtle as she journeys across the Pacific. On the way she meets dolphins and whales, sharks and giant squids, typhoons and fishermen. She swims over deep canyons, and uses underwater mountain tops like motorway service stations. Blue whales thunder by like juggernauts, and sharks dance a beautiful midnight ballet around her. Pacific means peaceful, but it is clearly not. One minute she is underfire from marlin, the next swimming over a coral reef, with crocodiles as well as sharks. This is a unique and wonderful adventure, and has many surprises, not least the ending.
Produced & Edited by Mark Fletcher
Series Editor Tim Martin

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

VIDEO: Exploring Tsukiji Fish Market 築地市場, Tokyo

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Exploring Tokyo's famous fish market. Madness, mayhem and Sushi!



Tsukiji fish market (Japanese: 築地市場, Tsukiji shijō) is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, and is a major attraction for foreign visitors (few Japanese casually visit the market).
The Tsukiji fish market is located near the Tsukijishijō Station on the Toei Ōedo Line and Tsukiji Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. There are two distinct sections of the market as a whole. The "inner market" (jonai shijo) is the licensed wholesale market, where the auctions and most of the processing of the fish take place, and where licensed wholesale dealers (approximately 900 of them) operate small stalls. The "outer market" (jogai shijo) is a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood, and many restaurants, especially sushi restaurants. Most of the shops in the outer market close by the early afternoon, and in the inner market even earlier. Wiki

Coming Soon: Fossil Detectives on BBC4

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There has been life in Britain for more than a billion years, and when dinosaurs roamed our land and strange sea monsters swam in our seas, they left fascinating clues behind. Fossils hold the key to discovering the mysteries of ancient life, and provide a tantalizing glimpse of worlds long gone. The Fossil Detectives are on a journey throughout the British Isles, piecing together the clues that unlock the secrets of Britain’s extraordinary past.


Fossil Detectives is a brand new eight part series showcasing Britain’s amazing wealth of fossil remains. Produced by the prestigious BBC Natural History Unit, the series is fronted by Coast presenter Hermione Cockburn, an Open University specialist with a life long interest in fossils. Hermione is joined by a team of regular Fossil Detectives – world renowned scientist and Britain’s number one dinosaur expert Dr Phil Manning; James Wong, a botanist from Kew Gardens, and an expert on the evolution of plants; and Dr Anjana Khatwa, a glacial geologist and the education co-ordinator of Britain’s Jurassic Coast.

Throughout the series they’ll be joined by some famous fossil fans: Alex James, bassist of Britpop legends Blur; songwriter and campaigner Billy Bragg; and they have two interviews with the world’s most famous naturalist - Sir David Attenborough.

Each packed episode is based in a different region of Britain, breathing life into the country’s most spectacular fossil finds, and discovering how fossils are at the cutting edge of scientific research. Fossils touch our lives in subtle and intriguing ways; Fossil Detectives explores the sometimes philosophical and emotional connection we have with fossils, how they impact on our everyday lives, and even what fossils can reveal about our future. Fossil Detectives also explores the best places in the country for you to search out and find your own fossils - a rough guide to the best and safest ways to make your own amazing discoveries.

Fossils are the tangible remains of once living and breathing animals and plants; they link us to past distant worlds, worlds which can actually reveal so much about the present, and the way we live our lives today. Fossils are the ghosts of our planet’s incredible history, transporting us back through time, and inspiring the explorer in all of us. So get ready for some time travel with the Fossil Detectives.

Find out more on the official Open University website



Monday, 4 August 2008

Lost Land of the Jaguar

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A major new 3 part series following an expedition to the jungles of Guyana. An international team of explorers, scientists and film makers discover the plants and animals that inhabit the spectacular landscape of Guyana. Places that only a handful of people have ever seen before.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/jaguar/

The Team: George McGavin, Steve Backshall, Justine Evans, Gordon Buchanan, Raquel Thomas and Dan Huertas talk about their best moments in the Guyanan wilderness.

"Magic" Radio Times

"This stunning series will have you under its spell" Daily Mail

"Spellbinding worthwhile television" Observer

21st edition of World on the Move

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Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11.00 on Radio 4 "live from the BBC Natural History Unit" is the 24th edition of World on the Move, and the last before a 4 week break. It will return on 2nd September and will broadcast weekly until December 16th.


Tomorrows show is anchored, as ever, by Philippa Forrester and the NHU's very own Brett Westwood. And you'll also hear from two other members of staff: A thrilling piece about Humpback Whales bubble netting in Alaska reported by Joe Stevens (Natures Great Events) and the third instalment from Grant Sonnex as he follows the migration of Salmon through the river systems of Alaska. We also have our World on the Move scribe Paul Evens delivering his prose on the show - And a fascinating insight into how Alaskan Bar-tailed Godwits sustain their migration between Alaska and NZ.

So an Alaskan fest as a mark of poignancy for this hugely important part of the world for migrating animals. And all can be seen and heard on www.bbc.co.uk/worldonthemove

And you can listen to the 21.00 repeat on Wednesday or hear elements of the programme on World Service Science in Action.

21st Edition of World on the Move

Please click here to comment
Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11.00 on Radio 4 "live from the BBC Natural History Unit" is the 24th edition of World on the Move, and the last before a 4 week break. It will return on 2nd September and will broadcast weekly until December 16th.

Tomorrows show is anchored, as ever, by Philippa Forrester and the NHU's very own Brett Westwood. And you'll also hear from two other members of staff: A thrilling piece about Humpback Whales bubble netting in Alaska reported by Joe Stevens (Natures Great Events) and the third instalment from Grant Sonnex as he follows the migration of Salmon through the river systems of Alaska. We also have our World on the Move scribe Paul Evens delivering his prose on the show - And a fascinating insight into how Alaskan Bar-tailed Godwits sustain their migration between Alaska and NZ.

So an Alaskan fest as a mark of poignancy for this hugely important part of the world for migrating animals. And all can be seen and heard on www.bbc.co.uk/worldonthemove
And you can listen to the 21.00 repeat on Wednesday or hear elements of the programme on World Service Science in Action.