Radio 4's wonderfully insightful series A History Of The World In 100 Objects, presented last year by British Museum director Neil MacGregor, results this week in an unexpected and moving spin-off, peg of my heart.
A vastly overweight bon viveur and enthusiastic cook became one of the central pillars of the Scottish Enlightenment, breaking the old moulds of received thought and established religious belief, to make way for ground-breaking advances in philosophy, science and economics.
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This is the tree that formed the coal that fuelled the power station that fed the grid that lit the bulb that ...
In his Doctor Who days, David Tennant negotiated some bizarre plots, but tomorrow's drama on 3 – kafka the musical perhaps takes the biscuit.
Science fiction again ... sort of, as sound recordist Chris Watson travels to Iceland and Eyjafjallajokull, whose volcanic ash cloud last year blew aft agley many best-laid schemes, and another volcano, Snaefellsjokull, through whose crater sci-fi pioneer Jules Verne despatched his explorers to the Centre of the Earth.
Those of us of a certain age will recall the seismic impact on world affairs when on 12 April, 1961, a hitherto obscure Soviet pilot, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, became the first man to fly into space and complete an orbit of our home planet.
When American Polaris missile submarines and their depot ship Proteus first sailed into the Holy Loch in March 1961, and the Proteus's captain compared the kayak-borne CND protesters who greeted them to "a bunch of goddam Eskimos", his disparaging remark rebounded gloriously in protest songs such as The Glesga Eskimos, sung to the tune of Marching Through Georgia (or The Billy boys, depending on your cultural affiliations).
For someone whose image is one of intense gloominess, A L Kennedy keeps brightly busy.
Radio listener: The Scots: A Genetic Journey | David Attenborough's Life Stories | Book of the Week – The 33
The Scots: A Genetic Journey Wednesday, Radio Scotland, 3:30pm David Attenborough's Life Stories Friday, Radio 4, 8:50 Book of the Week – The 33 Mon-Fri, Radio 4, 9:45am
As deep-water drilling proceeds apace off Shetland, what would happen if there was an oil spillage on the scale of last year's catastrophic Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico? Radio Scotland evokes such a scenario in a docu-drama, america's oil disaster – could it happen here?, which postulates a major oil spill off Shetland in 2013.
It's open season on disembowelled haggis and mangled Scots verse once again as the Burns Supper season looms, while BBC Scotland completes its three-year project to record all 718 of Robert Burns's poems.
"When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand ..." Most folk know the laconic epigram by Raymond Chandler, whose anti-hero, Philip Marlowe established the template for the classic, world-weary American detective who steered readers down the mean streets of Los Angeles.
A year after the earthquake which devastated Haiti, the Caribbean island's beleaguered population are battling poverty, instability and most recently the grim spectre of cholera.
I WAS mightily amused, the other morning, to hear Janey Godley and Hardeep Singh Kohli being interviewed on the Today programme about the 60th anniversary of The Archers.
In the beginning was the Word, as the book says, and James Naughtie marks the genesis of a new year with a major three-parter, the story of the king james bible.
Christmas with Taggart? Not quite, but the long-running Glasgow crime series's star Alex Norton takes us on a tour of these mean streets as viewed in the 1900s by none other than Stan Laurel, half of one of the greatest comedy duos ever.
'Tis the season of goodwill, and also of nostalgia, and there are lashings of both in this week's run-up to Christmas, but also some alternatives.
Remembrance Sunday once again, as we remember the fallen of the two great wars, and those who have just kept on falling since.
He may have belonged to Glasgow, as his most famous song assured us, but in fact Will Fyffe was a Dundonian.
This coming week witnesses the end of an epic as Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, presents the last five instalments of Radio 4's mammoth and often marvellously insightful a history of the World In 100 Objects.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
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