If you feel like you’ve packed your brain in blankets for a long winter nap, it’s time to flip open the covers. Curiosity Stream (DStv 185) has some great documentaries that promise to intrigue, excite and fill you with wonder. You could uncover a new passion, or just sneak some facts up your sleeve to trounce the opposition on trivia night.
The spark of curiosity
The Story Of Electricity is one of our favourite doccies this week. Presenter Jim Al-Khalili has a gift for explaining things clearly and illustrating what he’s saying in a fun, practical way. “With all good science communication, it is all about the language that is used. What is also important is the acknowledgement that the wider public is not ‘less intelligent’ than me, nor that I need to ‘dumb down’, but simply to use the appropriate images and words that can be understood without the benefit of years of study of the specialist jargon,” says Jim. “If I discover something new about the universe, then why would I want to keep it to myself? I want to share with the whole world my love and fascination with the laws of nature.”
Jim drives home those words with arresting visual images and demonstrations – looking like a superhero as he plays with lightning while wearing a wire mesh Faraday suit, or showing how flakes of gold leaf fly up toward his fingers. And with access to the Royal Society’s museum, he’ll show us objects like the world’s earliest electric motor.
In this series, he explains how life creates and uses electricity. He’ll also talk about the excitement in the scientific community as the link between electricity and magnetism emerged, and electricity itself was first investigated during the early 1800s. And finally, he’ll talk about the different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond what we can see and feel.
Did you know? You can light a glass of alcohol on fire with a static spark from the tip of your finger if you’re carrying enough charge (from touching an electrostatic generator).
Watch The Story Of Electricity S1 from Monday, 6 July on Curiosity Stream (DStv 185) at 21:00