James May, journalist and self-acknowledged geek, travels the globe in search of implementations for concepts widely considered science fiction. In this episode James looks at whether robots can exceed the boundaries of their programming.
In December 1872, the merchant ship The Mary Celeste was found drifting deserted in the mid Atlantic Ocean. She was a ghost ship with no sign of her captain or the eight crew aboard, but mysteriously, her cargo of 1700 barrels of pure alcohol was intact in her hull. The mystery of her plight has stood for 135 years, baffling scientists, historians and mariners. Now a descendant of the ship's captain has a look at evidence that throws some fascinating new light on what really happened.
James May's Big Ideas is a three-part series in which James, journalist and self-acknowledged geek, travels the globe in search of implementations for concepts widely considered science fiction or his 'Big Ideas'. The first episode documents his search for the ultimate form of personal transport, ranging from jetpacks to flying cars.
Entrepreneurial farmer Jimmy Doherty turns his attention to foods that people either love or hate, like chewing gum. He is eager to see how the makers of the supermarket variety get the stretchy consistency to happen.
Planned obsolescence is the deliberate shortening of product life spans to guarantee consumer demand. This program traces the untold story of planned obsolescence, from its beginnings in the 1920s with a secret cartel, set up expressly to limit the life span of light bulbs, to present-day stories involving cutting edge electronics and the growing spirit of resistance amongst ordinary consumers.