A series of four programmes which tells the human stories of some of the computer pioneers in three countries, Britain, America and the Ukraine. Each is a little cameo of social history of the early post-war years half a century ago, from a time when, in the words of one of them, 'everything you did was new, no-one had ever done it before'. No anorak needed to enjoy these programmes!
Who do you call when your bees stop buzzing or the honey goes off? Why, the Bee Inspector of course. He may be the man from the Ministry, but David Kemp is the saviour of many a bee-keeper. What's more he's full of fascinating facts about these extraordinary little creatures and he has that rare gift of conveying his enthusiasm in everyday language. You don't have to own a bee suit to enjoy this series! The first programme finds David in the spring, checking how well bee colonies have survived the winter and looking for the first signs of disease as the days get warmer.
The patent system in the USA is so distorted it's now more lucrative for companies known as 'patent trolls' to sue manufacturers rather than actually make anything. The problems so serious that President Obama has got involved - and British companies are targeted if they do business in the US. Rory Cellan-Jones investigates and finds one of the world's biggest trolls in his lair in Dallas. For centuries patents have helped stimulate innovation by rewarding inventors. But in recent years millions of US patents have gone to minor developments often in terms so general they seem to cover whole technologies like podcasting or wi-fi. Producer: Mike Hally. A Square Dog Radio production for BBC Radio 4.
Includes two programmes: 'Poppies are Red, Cornflowers are Blue' and 'The Art of Remembrance'. Poppies are Red, Cornflowers are Blue: It's not just about how the Poppy became the symbol of remembrance in Britain - though that is a fascinating story, rarely told in full - this is also a deeper analysis of why it rapidly became such a strong and enduring symbol, to the point where some fear it is becoming over-exploited. Plus we look at France's rather less ubiquitous flower of remembrance, the blue cornflower... The Art of Remembrance: Mark Whitaker looks at some of the more unusual ways that artists remembered the Great War, through the works of a painter, an architect, a film-maker, a sculptor and a poet.
The story of the Government's response to an earlier epidemic of binge-drinking - the nationalisation of Carlisle's pubs and breweries as a wartime experiment in 1916, an experiment that lasted until 1971.
An account of the astonishing exchange of letters between a very determined lady from Watford and some of the highest officials in the BBC that led on 2 January, 1928, to the first of 75 years of Daily Services.