Gideon Coe  permalink

Brian Cox on BBC2 Sunday 9pm

This discussion has been closed.

Messages: 1 - 29 of 29
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Saturday, 6th March 2010

    "The Seven Wonders Of the Solar System"

    "We’re living in a new golden age of exploration where we can marvel at the icy oceans of distant moons – and value Earth’s rarity, says Brian Cox."

    I think as this board is the Breakfast Show board until Monday, I can post this here - especially as we may have had Propaganda on Friday, but not Coxy!

    VIZ cites a report from UCLA bemoaning that modern academics fail to live up to the standard of "proper boggly-eyed professors with wild hairstyles, shuffling around around university corridors with a bumbling detachment from reality" and slamming Brian Cox for not ticking any of the boxes for being too cool and, if anything, "looking more like the keyboard player from the late 80s synth band [D:Ream]"

    I hadn't realised that Coxy was involved in designing the Large Halfords* Collider. Here is an interesting article about his day there:

    (*as New Order said "Up, Down" and as Dead Weather said "Left, Right" - but which band sang "Charm, Strangeness"? Siouxsie and the Banshees? other shops named after particles are available. Probably.)

    But what HASN'T Coxy done? This was found on a site named after the initials of the Justice League of America and (unlike the two newspapers above) I think they are selling his services for weddings and bar mitzvahs, so I won't link to it...

    "He received critical acclaim when he organised a concert featuring techno band 808 State and astronomer Patrick Moore"

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by LoudGeoffW (U11943874) on Saturday, 6th March 2010

    I always thought he was the best Hannibal Lecter.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Cyril Benson in Penrith (U2611279) on Saturday, 6th March 2010

    There was me, thinking that you referred to a point in the not-too-far-distant future when branches of Halfords become so large and so plentiful that they begin to encroach onto each other, ultimately forcing a collision. This could be resolved by a merger with a cheap supermarket chain, and calm is restored, until Haldifords itself has covered the planet with its pile-em-up-knock-em-down -----

    Hello Nurse, was I out for some time?

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Sunday, 7th March 2010

    At the time of posting, it is only about two hours to seeing Coxy on the telly.

    Will he tell us there is a planet Kwik-Fit? (other planets are available, but you can no longer say "Oi! Cox! No! You are talking out of Pluto!" as that is no longer officially a planet and, instead, you must say: "Oi! Cox! No! You are talking out of Neptune!" or whatever the furthest planet now is officially...)

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by haroldseye (U14257712) on Tuesday, 9th March 2010

    Good prog, weren't it? A good balance between wow factor and information. Science docs tend to be a bit "Blue Peter" these days so this was a step in the right direction.

    Some good telly over the past few days, including last Friday's jaw-dropping instalment of "Embarrassing bodies" which was the perfect adjunct to our evening meal of curry and choc fudge cake.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by LoudGeoffW (U11943874) on Tuesday, 9th March 2010

    Pretty good. Reminded me a lot of 'Cosmos' if you're of a certain age.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Tuesday, 9th March 2010

    It *was* good.

    The funny thing is that Brian did seem to be smirking for the whole time - maybe along the lines of "wonder which radio station they'll want to cut next to fund my expenses?"

    I thought this:

    "Professor Brian Cox's "Seven Wonders of the Solar System" is impressive stuff. This sort of programme can be made more distinctive by ensuring that the medium does not become the message as follows:
    - concentrating more on the presenter and less on his or her surroundings
    - the presenter remaining still, like Sir Kenneth Clarke in "Civilisation", rather than continually walking about or, worse, in repeated shots of driving
    - written graphical reinforcement of placenames, concepts and formulae coupled with very clear enunciation of these without talking down to the audience (as Adam Hart-Davis does, e.g. when talking about the Romans)
    - where the mathematical basis for something is explained (e.g. how you can calculate the sun's radiation power using a tin of water, a thermometer, a stopwatch and an umbrella) this is made clear rather than faded out as a joke."

    I suppose if you're still trying to work out "whodunnit" from German detective TV it's hard going.

    I also remembered a spoof on James Burke's fantastic series "Connections" - "Now you may wonder why I am lying in a bath of liquid gold inside a jumbo jet" ... smiley - winkeye

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by haroldseye (U14257712) on Tuesday, 9th March 2010

    Adam Hart-Davis: why isn't he on anymore? Too interesting, perhaps. Wish he'd been a sciece teacher at my school, I might have stayed awake. He's a member of the British Toilet Association, or something (here I pause to make a note to buy my best mate a subscription for his next birthday - he'll be thrilled).

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by Ade Brown (U9691169) on Tuesday, 9th March 2010

    I am not of a certain age, but I thought of Cosmos, but with Buggles lyrics instead of Yes.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by U6679583 (U6679583) on Wednesday, 10th March 2010

    Ha! I'm related to a man who did actually build the Hadron Collider, and he says cox had nowt to do with it except exercise his jaw.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Valour Gull (U1637480) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    The programme was a bit light on science. Was it really necessary to get Professor Brian Cox? They could have done that show with Claudia Winkleman, no offence likes...

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by haroldseye (U14257712) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    It would seem that most science documentaries are aimed at kids or people who can't cope with too much detail. Those of us who know some stuff will have to stick to reading good old books. I did enjoy the footage of the ebola biryani though.

    Does anybody else remember "The secret life of machines"? I think those progs were made by a bloke called Tim Hunkin. Fascinating stuff on a shoestring budget.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    Do you know, I do hope we get Coxy Superstar on the first day of 6Music's 9th year tomorrow.

    There is no point in a mission statement that's more than about ten words.

    There's no point in a science programme that says "meh, this is difficult, we'll just fade out while a team of antacid firemen do their stuff during the science bit, whatever."

    He is so good at explaining difficult stuff in simple terms when a bloke called Gideon hasn't written his script! smiley - winkeye

    So what's on Sunday? "Brian remembers where he left his mobile phone"?

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Sunday, 14th March 2010

    Brian is on again this evening. He is in the news for changing his political views today - do you think that will help him locate his phone?

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by haroldseye (U14257712) on Sunday, 14th March 2010

    I hope tonights prog is good, doubt if it will be as good as last nights Detroit stuff. Embarrassing bodies was a bit disappointing on Friday.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Tuesday, 16th March 2010

    I found Sunday's programme really interesting.

    I think I had been expecting the earthbound bits to hang together like in James Burke's "Connections" but in fact they are only there to illustrate a point from the solar system.

    The diagram with the stick in the ground was top stuff. I also now know that Saturn's rings are all shiny because they are water ice from one moon, squashed out by gravity, and the ice keeps colliding with stuff.

    I had an "explain F1 tyres moment" - where they say "and here the tyres can't use mechanical grip, so they use..." and I go "chemical grip"? when Coxy says "this ice isn't forced out by geezers smiley - winkeye, but an altogether more powerful force" and I said before him "gravity?"

    *starts really concentrating* and we have days because the Earth turns on its axis - the Pole Star is coincidentally just over the axis - always? - and seasons because the axis tilts up to 23° - and on Venus, it's gone round the sun (in 88 days?) before it's rotated so a day is longer than a year...

    It's the law of conservation of angular momentum I like. Things that get compressed spin faster. Without looking that up, I bet the angular momentum A = force N x distance m. If m gets smaller, N (no it isn't neutrons!) increases!

    How I would have loved to hear that and seen overhead projector slides of these points...

    Natural History Museum programme on Thursday night...

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by squemster (U12119325) on Tuesday, 16th March 2010

    It was a great programme wasn't it? If only I could borrow Brian Cox to to teach retrograde motion every time I need to cover the heliocentric model of the solar system vs the geocentric model.

    Force x distance is actually equal to work done (or energy transferred), if the force acts in the direction of the distance moved.

    Force x perpendicular distance from the pivot is equal to moment , which is the turning effect of a force (also known as torque).

    Angular momentum is equal to angular velocity x moment of inertia. (Moment of intertia of a rotating object depends on how the mass of the object is distributed about the rotational axis). Brian Cox is pretty good at making physics interesting- I think he's fantastic, and I hope programmes like this will introduce more young people to science. Another example of niche programming that the BBC excels at!

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Cyril Benson in Penrith (U2611279) on Tuesday, 16th March 2010

    I had a moment of ertia the other day, but it didn't last and my inertia was restored. I envy those who only have moments of inertia. You may turn over the paper.

    Show that work done diminishes to 0 as you get older. (5)

    Using squemster's text, argue that there is no such thing as centrifugal force - only centripetal. (8)

    Explain why it is that as moment (or torque) rises, so does the likelihood that the bolt head will shear off. (3)

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Tuesday, 16th March 2010

    hmm must return to this post in the morning.

    <quote>heliocentric model of the solar system vs the geocentric model.<.quote> Sir, sir, I can explain that!

    It's Greek: heliocentric = Sun in the middle, geocentric = Earth in the middle.

    Simples. *squeak*

    Q.E.D. <- not Greek. smiley - winkeye

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Tuesday, 16th March 2010

    can't even get the switches(?) for quotes  to work!

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by alan_lloyd (U1160366) on Tuesday, 16th March 2010

    I tried watching a bit of this. The fellow looks about 15. How am I supposed to take a science program seriously when it's presented by an 'O' level student?

    Except they don't even do 'O' levels these days, do they? Tsk.

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by Cyril Benson in Penrith (U2611279) on Tuesday, 16th March 2010

    I'm 90, so everyone looks about 15 to me. In my day, we sent a man ahead of the car with a red flag, but at least our trains went faster than them modern ones you have nowadays.

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Tuesday, 16th March 2010

    Brian Cox. He can't be a professor. If anything, he looks more like the keyboard player from the late 80s synth band D:Ream.

    How am I supposed to take a science program seriously when it's presented by an 'O' level student?  In the future, there will be no "O" levels and many people will consider education in Britain to have gone downhill.

    Following that - doubtless incorrect - argument, in the land of the uneducated , the kid with one "O" level will be king.

    Alternatively, it will be the one who can discuss the rings of Uranus without smirking.

    (Coxy reckons the rings (A to E?) are round Saturn - but I'm sure I saw him smirk!)

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Sunday, 21st March 2010

    So if the solar system is heliocentric, does the sun shine out of the sun?

    If the solar system is neptunecentric, does the sun shine out of Neptune?

    What if the solar system is uranuscentric?

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 24.

    Posted by Cyril Benson in Penrith (U2611279) on Monday, 22nd March 2010

    I once had a music centre that was musicentric, but in them days the sun always shone on TV.

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Monday, 22nd March 2010

    Sunday's programme was about atmosphere, as in the gas in Mars, the gas in Jupiter etc.

    I learned that how warm the sun is must be inversely proportional to the square of the distance from it...somewhere five times further away from the sun gets 1/25 of the heat...(?)

    ...and what about wandering through Saskatchewan looking for bits of meteorite? "Whew dawgie! that there space rawk done plain melted! Yes sirree! How hot must that have been?" Coxy: "About 6,000°C?"

    smiley - cool

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Tuesday, 6th April 2010

    Well, the series has finished now though you can see it on the iPlayer.

    Unlike "Connections", I think we can be sure that Brian knows a lot more about what he is talking about than James Burke ever did (remember "in the future, we shall only work two hours a week and car mechanics will also fix sewing machines"?)

    Also unlike "Connections", I think Brian was given a poor structure for his ideas despite (or because of?) the opulent settings.

    However, I can now recall the building blocks of the Sun, remember what it is that keeps the solar wind off the earth, and reel off the four important moons of Jupiter (though a member of D:Ream should surely not be surprised to find the icy moon beyond Io is a revelation to astronomers - he would know of the Skids' "Daze in Europa"...)

    What an interesting programme!

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by GiddyAunt (U14387663) on Thursday, 8th April 2010

    Personally I loved the loose unstructured format.

    On a musical note - was that Clem Snide at the end of episode 1?

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by tolhurst (U14241236) on Friday, 9th April 2010

    A new Coxy series "The Universal" is likely to hit our screens this time next year, he told Shaun "Chris" Keaveny this morning.

    "The Universal"? Well, with a name like that I'm not paying for it!

    Report message29

Back to top

About this Board

Talk about Gideon's show and Freak Zone on the 6 Music Message boards.

or register to take part in a discussion.

The message board is currently closed for posting.

Mon-Fri 0900-0000 Weekends 1000-0000

This messageboard is reactively moderated.

Find out more about this board's House Rules

Search this Board

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.