Wednesday, 31 March 2010

BBC Wildlife Photography Masterclasses

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For photography masterclasses on everything from mammal portraits to capturing birds in flight visit the BBC Wildlife Magazine website

Nature by Numbers - a short film

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Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila

For more information go to http://www.etereaestudios.com/ This film is inspired and based on theories anc concepts such as Fibonacci, Golden Ratio, Delaunay, Voronoi… The website also has stills and screenshots showing the development of the film. Plus free training materials and 3D workshops.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Get ready to Go WILD with the BBC Wildlife Fund 2010

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To get involved visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/wild/


Monday, 29 March 2010

Tiger Tracking: Poo, Pee & Pugmarks

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Mandanna Dilan shows me the signs to look out for when tracking Tigers in South India.
(Read my live report from the field: July 2009)



Directed by Kalyan Varma, Filmed by David Heath 

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Wonders of the Solar System: Dead or Alive

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In the penultimate programme in this spell-binding series, Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most dramatic locations on Earth to explain how the laws of nature create astonishing natural wonders across the Solar System.

The worlds that surround our planet are all made of rock, but there the similarity ends. Some have a beating geological heart, others are frozen in time. In this episode Brian travels to the tallest mountain on Earth, the volcano Mauna Kea on Hawaii, to show how something as basic as a planet’s size can make the difference between life and death. Even on the summit of this volcano, Brian would stand in the shade of the tallest mountain in the Solar System, an extinct volcano on Mars called Olympus Mons, which rises up 27kms.

Yet the fifth Wonder in the series isn’t on a planet at all. It’s on a tiny moon of Jupiter. The discoveries made on Io have been astonishing. This fragment of rock should be cold and dead, yet, with the volcanic landscape of Eastern Ethiopia as a backdrop, Brian reveals why Io is home to extraodinary lakes of lava and giant volcanic plumes that erupt 500kms into the sky.

Written & Directed by Paul Olding
Assistant Producer: Ben Finney
Series Producer: Danielle Peck
Exec Producer: Andrew Cohen

for further details, please visit programme link below
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rtg5k

Friday, 26 March 2010

Human Planet sneak preview

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The Human Planet team (from the BBC Natural History Unit) have just launched their programme website - www.bbc.co.uk/humanplanet

Each month they will be uploading new content and launching one of the eight episodes - they've started with Arctic, including two great videos about Greenland dogs and camping on the ice, plus Norwegian yoiks (have to be heard to be believed). There are also interviews with award winning musician Nitin Sawhney who's composing the music for the series and photographer Tim Allen.

Next month, Jungles!

Please take a look at the website - also see the blogs - the amazing photos of Tim Allen, and the fascinating stories from the team.

The series is due to be broadcast this Autumn on BBC1.


Rare EarthTones: free endangered species ringtones

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The eerie warble of the Puerto Rican crested toad, the siren song of the Okinawa dugong and the call of a relatively pint-sized elephant seal pup as it cries for its mother. All these and many more are now available as free endangered species ringtones

View and download all available ringtones

The Center for Biological Diversity offers you free endangered species ringtones and phone wallpapers — a collection of high-quality, authentic sounds and images of some of the world’s most threatened birds, owls, frogs, toads and marine mammals.

Whether the cry of the Mexican gray wolf or the underwater warbles of the beluga whale, these ringtones provide a great starting point for talking about the plight of threatened species worldwide.
The Center for Biological Diversity

Monday, 22 March 2010

VIDEO: Watched by a protective elephant & calf, South India

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From www.ironammonite.com

Shortly before our BIG elephant encounter (See: July 2009 - King of the Road Elephant Encounter video coming soon) Kalyan and I met a mother and calf in the forest - although she kept an keen eye on us it was a much tamer experience which allowed us to discuss these wonderful animals - and move on before she became too stressed by our presence.

This was filmed at Biligirirangan Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka.



Visit Kalyan Varma's website and photo-journal

VIDEO: Watched by a protective elephant & calf, South India

Please click here to comment
Shortly before our BIG elephant encounter (See: July 2009 - King of the Road Elephant Encounter video coming soon) Kalyan and I met a mother and calf in the forest - although she kept an keen eye on us it was a much tamer experience which allowed us to discuss these wonderful animals - and move on before she became too stressed by our presence.

This was filmed at Biligirirangan Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka.



Visit Kalyan Varma's website and photo-journal

Friday, 19 March 2010

Wonders of the Solar System: Thin Blue Line

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Sunday March 21st 9pm, BBC2

This week Professor Brian Cox reveals how something as flimsy as an envelope of gas - an atmosphere - can create some of the most wondrous sights in the Solar System.

Brian takes a ride in a English Electric Lightning and flies 18kms up to the top of Earth’s atmosphere, where he sees the darkness of space above and the thin blue line of our atmosphere below. In the Namib desert in south-west Africa, he tells the story of Mercury. This tiny planet was stripped naked of its early atmosphere and is fully exposed to the ferocity of space.

But it’s against the stunning backdrop of the glaciers of Alaska, that Brian reveals his fourth Wonder. Saturn’s moon Titan is shrouded by a murky, thick atmosphere. In this episode Brian reveals that below the clouds lies a magical world. Titan is the only place beyond Earth where we’ve found liquid pooling on the surface in vast lakes, as big as the Caspian Sea. But the lakes of Titan are filled with a mysterious liquid, and are quite unlike anything on Earth.

Written & Directed by Chris Holt
Assistant Producer Tom Ranson
Series Producer Danielle Peck
Exec Producer: Andrew Cohen

For further details, please visit programme link below
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rmpqh

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Museum of Life is on BBC2 Now!

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Since my time researching at the Natural History Museum in London I have had a passion for this unique and esteemed institution that resides in one of our greatest and well known buildings (Nov 2009). I was especially excited to hear that the BBC were producing a series looking behind the scenes and I sit here anxiously awaiting its broadcast. 'Museum of Life' starts tonight at 8pm on BBC2. Peculiarly it's presented by Jimmy Doherty but I'm not going to let that put me off!

I really hope that it does the museum justice.

Visit the official BBC website. 



 

Noah's Ark in Kensington

While I'm pushing this promising new series I want to also tell you about a discovery that I made in the BBC archives. In 1970 the BBC produced an episode of Horizon called 'Noah's Ark in Kensington' - you could say that it's a version of tonight's programme from an age gone by. A charming film with a faded sepia look that gives it an air of being produced in World War II. The people who feature in it are lovable parodies of the eccentric British upper-class scientist.

Here's a few screenshots I need to dash as 'Museum of Life' is just starting....


The 1970s Natural History Museum security lining up for inspection by the 'Major' in the morning. http://twitpic.com/18zh3e


Where's the Diplodocus? According to Richard Fortey it was moved from the reptile gallery, now the Dinosaur Hall, to be the centrepiece of the main hall in 1979. http://twitpic.com/18ziov



Museum of Life

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'Museum of Life' starts 18th March 8pm on BBC2.
Jimmy Doherty goes behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum to join the people who are uncovering secrets, solving mysteries and making discoveries among the historic collections
Visit the official BBC website. 


Noah's Ark in Kensington

(Reposted from Paul Williams http://www.ironammonite.com/)

While I'm pushing this promising new series I want to also tell you about a discovery that I made in the BBC archives. In 1970 the BBC produced an episode of Horizon called 'Noah's Ark in Kensington' - you could say that it's a version of tonight's programme from an age gone by. A charming film with a faded sepia look that gives it an air of being produced in World War II. The people who feature in it are lovable parodies of the eccentric British upper-class scientist. Here's a few screenshots...

The 1970s Natural History Museum security lining up for inspection by the 'Major' in the morning. http://twitpic.com/18zh3e

Where's the Diplodocus? According to Richard Fortey it was moved from the reptile gallery, now the Dinosaur Hall, to be the centrepiece of the main hall in 1979. http://twitpic.com/18ziov

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Wonders of the Solar System: Order out of Chaos

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What they've been saying about last week's episode:
"utterly compelling...spectacularly good - Auntie at her best" Daily Mail

"literally the best hour of TV I have ever seen" Chris Evans, R2 Breakfast Show

"The sort of television that captivates hungry young minds, the sort that’s recalled as inspirational for years to come." Daily Telegraph

In the second episode of his stunning exploration of the Solar System, Professor Brian Cox reveals how all the beauty and order we see in our cosmic backyard was carved out of nothing more than a chaotic cloud of gas.

Chasing tornados in Oklahoma, Brian explains how the same physics that creates these spinning storms shaped the young Solar System. And out of this celestial maelstrom emerged the jewel in the crown, Brian’s second Wonder - the magnificent rings of Saturn. Brian travels to an ice-choked lagoon in Iceland to see the nearest thing to Saturn’s rings we have here on Earth. Using the latest scientific imagery and breath-taking graphics, he explains how the intricate patterns are shaped by the cluster of more than 60 moons surrounding Saturn. One of those moons makes a spectacular contribution to Saturn’s rings, and is his third Wonder of the Solar System. Brian describes the astonishing discovery of giant fountains of ice erupting from the surface of Enceladus, which soar thousands of kilometres into space.

Series Producer: Danielle Peck
Written & Directed by Michael Lachmann
Assistant Producer: Diana Ellis-Hill
Exec Producer: Andrew Cohen
for further details about this series, the BBC's new Solar System website and CBBC's spin-off series, Space Hoppers go to
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Natural World: Forest Elephants - Rumbles in the Jungle

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BBC 2 - 8PM TONIGHT

The woman who 'speaks elephant'. Deep in the rainforest of Central Africa lies an elephant oasis - a remarkable place that holds the key to the future for Forest Elephants. Over the last 20 years, Andrea Turkalo has been studying these enigmatic giants, getting to know over 4,000 intimately. She has begun to unravel the secrets of their complex social lives and the meanings of their unique vocalisations. Today, new acoustic research is shedding light on the many mysteries that still surround forest elephant society. Will these endangered elephants finally speak out and tell Andrea what it is they need to survive?

Producer LUCY MEADOWS
Series Editor TIM MARTIN

Lambing Live with Kate Humble

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Starts March 7th, 8pm, BBC2

Springtime in Britain brings lambing season. It’s the biggest event in the farming calendar and, this year, BBC TWO will be there for every long night in the lambing shed. From young ewes lambing for the first time, to orphans who’ve lost, or been rejected, by their mothers. From the farmer’s hard graft and determination, to the glimmer of hope as a hypothermic lamb is nursed back to health – this is Lambing Live.

Over five nights in March, Kate Humble will be following this life and death drama as it unfolds on a 900 ewe sheep farm in South Wales. She’ll be joined by Countryfile presenter and farmer, Adam Henson, and the family who’ve been running this farm for generations, the Beavans. But this story doesn’t start in Spring. Since September, Kate’s been apprenticed to the Beavan family, grappling with the fundamentals of being a shepherdess. She’s been learning how to pick the best ram, how to raddle, how to trim feet and tails – next up will be her very first lambing in February.

In March Kate will have to put her newfound skills into practice but, until then, there’s still a lot to learn……

How many lambs will be born? How many will survive? Watch and find out from Sunday 7th March on BBC TWO. And check the webpage for regular updates on the Lambing Live sheep as well as Kate’s trials as a shepherdess.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pxqv3

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Natural History Museum: Life Behind the Camera

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I'll be speaking at the Natural History Museum's Attenborough Studio on Sunday 14th March at 12.30 and 2.30pm

NHM Darwin Studio events page

Have you ever dreamt about what it would be like to venture out into the wild and make a wildlife documentary? Ever wondered how hard it is to capture elephants on camera? Come and meet a wildlife film-maker from the BBC and discover the highs and lows of his enviable job. Ask him your questions and discover what it's like to be involved in groundbreaking series such as the recent How Earth Made Us and Life.