Rory Bremner's new show on Radio 4, "Tonight," is very good. A great mix of comedy and informed comment on important issues. (Each episode can be heard online on deman for several days after the first live broadcast.)
Rory Bremner hosts a topical satire show with a mix of stand-up and sketch, investigative satire and interviews
From Tyler Cowen's "The Inequality That Matters," The American Interest, January-February issue:
For 2004, non-financial executives of publicly traded companies accounted for less than 6% of the top 0.01% income bracket. In that same year, the top 25 hedge fund managers combined appear to have earned more than all of the CEOs from the entire S&P 500. The number of Wall Street investors earning more than $100 million a year was nine times higher than the public company executives earning that amount. The authors [Tyler Cowen quoted] also relate that they shared their estimates with a former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, one who also has a Wall Street background. He thought their estimates of earnings in the financial sector were, if anything, understated.
I doubt most Occupiers sporting Guy Fawkes masks (these particular ones are licensed TimeWarner products) realize they're wearing the face of a homicidal, Papist, anti-democratic royalist bent on blowing up what was at the time one of the most democratically representative national governing assemblies since Antiquity.
"....by the 1890s the Collodion [photographic] process had cut exposure times to two or three seconds. ..... These pictures are drawn from the Flickr group 'The Smiling Victorian' and show a perhaps surprising side to the people who’s “now” was a hundred years before our own."
It's the brazenness of the Taliban that is unexpected - within 20 minutes they are throwing grenades from hidden positions just a few metres from the patrol and firing others from low-slung launchers. The grenades dance towards the landing zone as a medevac helicopter lands to pick up the casualty.
The contact lasts the best part of an hour and it is not until the helicopters overhead finally open up with their missiles that the insurgent guns lie quiet.
In the silence, all you can hear is the metallic click-clack of weapons being reloaded and the song of the swallows that flit through the air.
A gripping and grim telling of the situation with US and UK troops in Helmand. "Britain's 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment is currently moving into the area, taking over from US marines of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment."
The weekly Saturday meetings with the handful of prematurely old men with deep facial lines and hawkish features who attend are little more than convivial sit-downs with the fathers of the local Taliban. They know it, the marines know it, and the Afghans laugh among themselves, talking in circles as they often do when sitting down with foreign soldiers.
"Why is my son in jail?" asks Mohammed Sarif. Tall and with a large, round face adorned with a white beard, his eyes glisten with emotion.
"Because your son is a bad man," states the CO. "We caught him with explosives on his hand, and we have seen him laying bombs in the ground."
"My son has not done these things."
"Yes, he has, and we have seen him do it."
"Then I will kill him myself."
"He will be brought to justice."
"Give us tanks and guns and we will fight for justice in our area."
"That's good, we are recruiting for local police. Get 15 men and we will give them all the training they require."
"We cannot join the police."
"The Taliban would kill us."
"Money is not an issue," says Captain Terrell afterwards.
"We've got plenty of money we can bring to the area but since nobody cares about projects here there's little point in spending money because it won't improve the situation.
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Etruscan civilisation.
Around 800 BC a sophisticated civilisation began to emerge in the area of Italy now known as Tuscany. The Etruscans thrived for the next eight hundred years, extracting and trading copper and developing a sophisticated culture. They were skilled soldiers, architects and artists, and much of their handiwork survives today. They are also believed to have given us the alphabet, an innovation they imported from Greece. Eventually the Etruscan civilisation was absorbed into that of Rome, but not before it had profoundly influenced Roman art and religion, and even its politics.
The Bodleian Libraries’ autumn exhibition ‘Treasures of the Bodleian’ [opened] to the public [on] Friday 30 September.... The exhibition will feature a selection of the Bodleian’s rarest, most important and most evocative items – from ancient papyri to medieval oriental manuscripts to twentieth-century printed books and ephemera.
There are great video presentations on the website. A mobile app will be launched in October.
Astounding treasures here, including:
"Bakhshali manuscript – first evidence of the concept of zero, represented by a round dot;" "William Shakespeare, First Folio, 1623;" "Wilfred Owen, ‘Anthem for Dead Youth’, 1917, handwritten draft;" "Letter from an Egyptian boy to his father, 2nd or 3rd century AD: a petulant schoolboy called Theon complains to his father for leaving him behind."
Below is a video introduction in which--beginning at 1min.: 41seconds--a few of the items are shown with commentary.
More on the exhibition:
The exhibits are arranged into broad themes: the classical heritage; mapping the world; the sacred word; the animal and plant kingdoms; works of the imagination; the sciences of observation and calculation; historical moments in time.
The ‘Treasures of the Bodleian’ exhibition looks towards the new permanent exhibitions gallery in the Weston Library which will open in 2015. Members of the public can give their thoughts on which of the library’s treasures should be put on permanent display in the new building. Visitors to the exhibitions are also invited to take part in the debate on what makes a particular book, manuscript or relic – out of a collection of nine million – a treasure? They can offer their own views when visiting the exhibition, or via the website.