James May’s 20th Century

I’ve just spent an hour in front of the gogglebox watching James May’s 20th Century. “What’s that?”, you may ask. It’s a new BBC/Open University television programme looking at technology and how it’s changed the way in which we live over the last hundred-or-so years.

Tonight featured two episodes: the first looking at how the world became smaller with the development of air and motorised road travel and how, ironically, it was not supersonic aircraft travel that became the accepted means to “shrink” our planet but computers, fibre optics and the Internet; and the second looking at how the space race grew from one man’s dreams to a desire for military supremecy and eventually to a means to communicate (bit of a theme running here…) – I never realised just how many satellites are in orbit around the world.

Anyway, for UK readers with even the remotest interest in technology (and if you don’t have that, I’m surprised that you’re reading this blog), it’s fascinating viewing. Even my wife was interested, although as our toddler son is asking more and more “who?, “what?”, “when?” and “why?” questions this could be the science lesson that she needs in order to be able to keep up!

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