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)

  • Sharing

    Sat, 13 Dec 14

    Duration:
    19 mins

    We teach our children that it’s good to share… but why? What exactly is it? Why do we do it? And what happens inside our brains when we do.

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  • Nudity - 6 December 2014

    Sat, 6 Dec 14

    Duration:
    18 mins

    We are all born naked, yet there’s a taboo about displaying naked bodies in public. Mike Williams asks why the naked human form provokes such strong reactions?

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

  • Cookery - 29 Nov 2014

    Sat, 29 Nov 14

    Duration:
    18 mins

    Jo Fidgen asks why do we cook and not just eat raw food, and hears that cooking made us human.

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

  • 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?

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  • 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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