The Why Factor

The Why Factor

Why do we do the things we do? Mike Williams searches for the extraordinary and hidden histories behind everyday objects and actions to inform us about the way we live in the 21st Century. Broadcast and podcast every Friday.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Letters - 22 Nov 2014

    Sat, 22 Nov 14

    Duration:
    18 mins

    Why do letters have such power to move us? Three stories of love from the vanishing world of handwritten correspondence.

    Download 9MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Poetry - 15 Nov 2014

    Sat, 15 Nov 14

    Duration:
    19 mins

    Jo Fidgen asks why do we read, or write poetry? What can poetry do that prose can’t? And why do we respond to poetry in a way that we don’t respond to prose? Jo talks to award-winning American poet Jane Hirshfield, to cognitive psychologist Matt McGlane, to cognitive neuroscientist Usha Goswami, to Brazilian “cordel” poetry expert Paulo Iumatti and to Rachel Kelly who uses poetry as a means to help recovery from depression.

    Download 9MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Memorialisation - 8 Nov 2014

    Sat, 8 Nov 14

    Duration:
    19 mins

    In this special edition of The Why Factor Mike Williams explores how the dead have been remembered around the world and through the ages.

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  • Memorialisation - 6 Nov 2014

    Thu, 6 Nov 14

    Duration:
    50 mins

    In this special edition of The Why Factor Mike Williams explores how the dead have been remembered around the world and through the ages.

    Download 23MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Chess - 1 Nov 2014

    Sat, 1 Nov 14

    Duration:
    18 mins

    The Why Factor looks at Chess – why has the game endured over more than 1500 years, how has it mirrored politics and changes in society?

    Download 9MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Embarrassment - 24 Oct 2014

    Fri, 24 Oct 14

    Duration:
    18 mins

    We’ve all felt squirms of embarrassment when we wanted the ground to swallow us up. Mike Williams discovers why we feel embarrassed and if there’s any prospect of relief from it.

    Download 9MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Karma - 17 Oct 2014

    Fri, 17 Oct 14

    Duration:
    18 mins

    Millions of people believe in Karma around the world. What impact does this belief have on individuals and communities? Mike Williams explains

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  • Brands - 10 Oct 2014

    Fri, 10 Oct 14

    Duration:
    18 mins

    The world as a whole has long had a love affair with brands, but how has this relationship come about? Mike Williams asks Why we believe in them so much

    Download 9MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Charisma - 3 Oct 2014

    Fri, 3 Oct 14

    Duration:
    18 mins

    Why is it so hard to pin down what we mean by Charisma? Mike Williams explains

    Download 9MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • The Rivals - 26 Sept 2014

    Fri, 26 Sep 14

    Duration:
    18 mins

    What is rivalry? In this episode of the Why Factor we’ll hear about some of history’s greatest rivals and explore the creative and destructive side of rivalry.

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