These are radio drama staircases

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These unusual "radio drama staircases" are inside the BBC's sound studios. When an actor is recorded walking up or down the stairs, the different surfaces (wood, carpet, cement) give the acoustic impression of unique locations for the radio drama. Samuel West shot the image above at BBC's Maida Vale Studios. Apparently, they are actually functioning staircases that lead somewhere in the building.

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

BBC picks greatest films of the 21st century

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"We believe that the new classics on this list are destined to become old classics," writes the BBC. "Whether or not that happens is ultimately up to you, the moviegoers. But one thing is certain: cinema isn’t dying, it’s evolving." Read the rest

BBC will use surveillance powers to sniff Britons' wifi and find license-cheats

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If you live in the UK and watch live TV or use the Iplayer video-on-demand service, you have to pay a "license fee" that directly supports public media in the UK (in other countries, public media is funded out of the tax-coffers, but in the UK, it's a direct transfer from viewers to the media, which is meant to make the BBC independent of the whims of government and thus more able to hold it to account). Read the rest

Watch this osprey catch a trout in super slo-mo

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From the BBC series The Highlands, narrated by Ewan McGregor. From their site: Read the rest

Debullshitifying the Brexit numbers

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On the BBC's More or Less podcast (previously), Tim Harford and his team carefully unpick the numerical claims made by both sides in the UK/EU referendum debate. Read the rest

The time the BBC News reported that "there is no news"

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I suppose no news was good news on April 18, 1930. At 6:30pm during the regularly scheduled news bulletin slot, the BBC News announcer turned on the mic and said:

"Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news."

Piano music followed.

(BBC News History via r/todayilearned) Read the rest

Four days in, and the BBC hasn't even mentioned the biggest bribery scandal in history

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On Wednesday, Fairfax and Huffington Post broke the Unaoil story, revealing that they had been leaked a trove of email from an obscure Monaco family business that had acted as a global fixer in bribery and bid-rigging that looted the treasuries and oil-fields of some of the world's poorest countries, from Iraq to Yemen, acting on behalf of blue-chip companies like Rolls-Royce and Halliburton. Read the rest

UK government spent a fortune fighting to keep the number 13 a secret

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The BBC's Social Affairs Correspondent, Michael Buchanan, wanted to know how often the UK government's new "red tape-busting cabinet panel, the Reducing Regulation Committee" was meeting, because he thought that it was probably "all froth and no action." Read the rest

BBC helps Saudis whitewash arms trade to Syrian jihadis

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The BBC quoted an anonymous Saudi source who insisted that the arms the country imports en masse from the UK are only funnelled to the good Syrian rebels and not the Al Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front. Read the rest

Listen: Ted Chiang's short story "Understand" as a BBC radio-drama

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Ted Chiang (previously) may be the best short story writer in science fiction today; though he produces very infrequently, he wins accolades and awards for every story. Read the rest

Smurfs vs phones: GCHQ's smartphone malware can take pics, listen in even when phone is off

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In a new episode of the BBC's Panorama, Edward Snowden describes the secret mobile phone malware developed by GCHQ and the NSA, which has the power to listen in through your phone's mic and follow you around, even when your phone is switched off. Read the rest

100 bold ideas the BBC can use to fight back

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With five more years of Tory government on the horizon, the BBC is at its most perilous moment. Government ministers are attacking it in every way, from wanting to cut the license fee to demanding that it end all popular programming so as not to "compete" with the private sector. Read the rest

BBC fires UK government's Meterological Office, opens up weather prediction to global firms

It's a complex story -- partly about the Beeb facing privatisation and being required to bid out its work; partly about the Met having made some spectacular recent blunders in providing the weather. Read the rest

UK bigotry party hates Time Lords, too

UK Independence Party Nigel Farage is an equal-opportunity bigot, hating Gallifreyans just as much as he hates Bulgarians and Romanians. Read the rest

The BBC made a 'controversial' new game about Syria

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Games aren't just playful -- they let players inhabit characters, visit unfamiliar places or practice problem-solving within complicated systems. Read the rest

This baby goat will crash your cute-o-meter

It doesn't get cuter than Benjamin the baby goat. This BBC video has been making the rounds on social media, and you can practically hear the collective "SQUUUUUUEEEEEEE!" Read the rest

Englandland: BBC plans a theme-park

The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, is in plans to build a themepark in the Thames estuary, in cooperation with a Kuwaiti property developer and Paramount Pictures. Read the rest

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