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When Lightning Strikes

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx listening time: 28 minutes.

In October 2005 Allan MacDiarmid was struck by lightning as he played football with a group of friends near Sudbury in Suffolk. Amazingly he survived with barely a scratch. Combining Allan’s extraordinary testimony with the latest scientific thinking and the work of amateur storm chasers, What Happens When Lightning Strikes deconstructs the moments before and after he was hit by the blinding flash in an effort to better understand one of the most powerful forces in nature.

This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

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When Madmen Sailed the World

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx listening time: 28 minutes

“When Madmen Sailed the World” – a look back at the extraordinary events of 1968 when nine yachtsmen set out to become the first person to sail non-stop, single-handed around the world. Only one made it, as yachting journalist, Bob Fisher, recalls

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Still Joined

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx listening time: 28 minutes

The moving and inspirational story of Lori and Reba* Schappell, the world’s oldest surviving female conjoined twins. Fiercely independent, they argue passionately against the current medical trend for separation. And, as Richard Uridge discovers, if you think of them as anything other than two very different individuals you’d better watch out!

This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

* Since this programme was made Reba has identified as male and is now know as George. They continue to live in Pennsylvania.

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Who Goes First?

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx listening time: 28 minutes

Should scientists be able to act as “Guinea pigs” in their own experiments? Self-experimentation has a long and often bizarre history, from the scientist who drove into a “brick wall” at a hundred miles an hour, to the doctor who swallowed his patients (or at least a part of them). And that’s not to mention the modern day Jekyll and Hyde with a three and a half thousand mile long body. Richard Uridge explores the arguments for and against with the help of scientists who have experimented on themselves and have the scars to prove it.

This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

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Death of the Building Site

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx. listening time: 30 minutes

Richard Uridge discovers if bricks and mortar have finally had their day and asks what the future holds for the construction industry.

This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

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The Bridge at the Bottom of the Sea

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx listening time: 14 minutes

The North Sea is a baby in geological terms. Before it was born at the end of the last Ice Age Britain was joined to the rest of Europe. Conventional wisdom says by a land bridge. But a student, searching through seismic data discarded by oil companies, has discovered what archaeologists believe is the best-preserved prehistoric landscape in the world. Richard Uridge dives to the seabed in search of evidence that’ll force history textbooks to be rewritten.

This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

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Clever Trees – Westonbirt

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx listening time: 14 minutes.

In the last of his current series celebrating Clever Trees Richard Uridge visits the National Arboretum at Westonbirt in Gloucestershire – with 18,000 specimens a veritable tree university – and talks to the trees.

This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Other episodes in this series:

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Clever Trees – Heligan

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx listening time: 14 minutes

In the fourth of his programmes on Clever Trees Richard Uridge visits the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall where he finds a relative of the culinary bay that’s so potent it can give you a headache and another trees that’s smart enough to provide the cure.This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Other episodes in this series:

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Clever Trees – Malaysia

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx listenning time: 14 minutes

Of all the clever things that trees can do telling the time has to be one of the smartest. This week Richard Uridge travels to Malaysia in search of the Simpoh, a tree which according to legend, flowers at precisely the same time every day.

This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Other episodes in this series:

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Clever Trees – Washington

Approx. reading time: < 1 minute

Approx listening time: 14 minutes.

In the first of five programmes on arboreal “intelligence” Richard Uridge visits George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon to meet two conjoined holly trees .

This podcast was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Other episodes in this series: