Inconspicuous Consumption

Episodes

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02Clock Face2017020220180417 (R4)

Comedian and presenter Aatif Nawaz considers why the old fashioned clockface continues to survive in the modern-day.

It's over 300 years old, it's hard to learn and doesn't give as accurate a reading as its, cheap modern digital counterpart, yet there's no sign of the analogue dial - hands, face and all - losing popularity.

Or is there?

Aatif Nawaz doesn't wear a watch on stage or off. For a comic to look at his or her watch mid-set is a mistake, as Aatif finds out talking to fellow comedians. Many younger people just use their smartphone.

Aatif visits the keepers of Edinburgh's famous floral clock, more novelty than useful timepiece. And he meets primary school pupils grappling with the big hand and the little hand. Their teacher says they start school with a knowledge of digital time telling but must learn the less intuitive analogue system.

Dr David Rooney, Keeper of Technologies and Engineering at the Science Museum, provides a history of the portable timepiece. We learn from him and watch journalist Suzanne Wong of high-end watch magazine Revolution that the first wristwatches were for women. Men regarded wrist wear as effeminate. It was only with the advent of World War 1, that the wristwatch's practicality made it male friendly.

Professor Joe Smith, social scientist at the Open University, sings the aesthetic praises of the old face - confessing, as a family member of the venerable clockmaker Smith of Derby, a special interest. Dr Smith says the public clock is and always was an expression of social and aesthetic values nationally and internationally.

Aatif, his wrist still naked, agrees, citing Mecca, not London as the home to the world's biggest clockface.

A Testbed production for BBC Radio 4.

Aatif Nawaz on why the old-fashioned clock face continues to survive in the modern day.

Documentary series that takes a forensic look at how humans consume culture.

02Clock Face2017020220180418 (R4)

Comedian and presenter Aatif Nawaz considers why the old fashioned clockface continues to survive in the modern-day.

It's over 300 years old, it's hard to learn and doesn't give as accurate a reading as its, cheap modern digital counterpart, yet there's no sign of the analogue dial - hands, face and all - losing popularity.

Or is there?

Aatif Nawaz doesn't wear a watch on stage or off. For a comic to look at his or her watch mid-set is a mistake, as Aatif finds out talking to fellow comedians. Many younger people just use their smartphone.

Aatif visits the keepers of Edinburgh's famous floral clock, more novelty than useful timepiece. And he meets primary school pupils grappling with the big hand and the little hand. Their teacher says they start school with a knowledge of digital time telling but must learn the less intuitive analogue system.

Dr David Rooney, Keeper of Technologies and Engineering at the Science Museum, provides a history of the portable timepiece. We learn from him and watch journalist Suzanne Wong of high-end watch magazine Revolution that the first wristwatches were for women. Men regarded wrist wear as effeminate. It was only with the advent of World War 1, that the wristwatch's practicality made it male friendly.

Professor Joe Smith, social scientist at the Open University, sings the aesthetic praises of the old face - confessing, as a family member of the venerable clockmaker Smith of Derby, a special interest. Dr Smith says the public clock is and always was an expression of social and aesthetic values nationally and internationally.

Aatif, his wrist still naked, agrees, citing Mecca, not London as the home to the world's biggest clockface.

A Testbed production for BBC Radio 4.

Aatif Nawaz on why the old-fashioned clock face continues to survive in the modern day.

Documentary series that takes a forensic look at how humans consume culture.

02Clock Face20170202Aatif Nawaz on why the old-fashioned clock face continues to survive in the modern day.

Documentary series that takes a forensic look at how humans consume culture.

02Eating and Watching20170119Peter Curran investigates our compulsion to consume snacks and movies at the same time.

Documentary series that takes a forensic look at how humans consume culture.

02Eating and Watching2017011920180403 (R4)Peter Curran investigates the history and psychology of our 100 year-old compulsion to consume snacks and movies at the same time.

Peter hangs about cinemas finding out how eating and watching interact in the dark. Why popcorn? Why eat at all? Among those answering the questions, Game of Thrones star Iain Glen reveals how he deals with noisy eaters and Andi Oliver, cook and great British menu judge, creates a bespoke 21st century cinema snack with a delicious, but hefty calorie tariff, aimed at silent scoffing.

On a visit to the Popcorn Museum Peter discovers how the yellow stuff, originally a street food, was brought into cinema foyers during the great American depression of the early 1930s. The arrival of the "talkie" helped the cravers of the crunchy. A new breed of hungrier, less literate cinemagoer could enjoy movies now that the ability to read cue cards was a thing of the past.

The idea of unhealthy cinema food is a post-War concept and, in 1939, The Ritz cinema in Belfast offered Dover sole, roast beef and a wide selection of vegetables for lunch, dinner and supper - a far cry from the nachos and chemically enhanced cheese available today.

A Testbed Production for BBC Radio 4.

Peter Curran investigates our compulsion to consume snacks and movies at the same time.

Documentary series that takes a forensic look at how humans consume culture.

02Eating and Watching2017011920180404 (R4)Peter Curran investigates the history and psychology of our 100 year-old compulsion to consume snacks and movies at the same time.

Peter hangs about cinemas finding out how eating and watching interact in the dark. Why popcorn? Why eat at all? Among those answering the questions, Game of Thrones star Iain Glen reveals how he deals with noisy eaters and Andi Oliver, cook and great British menu judge, creates a bespoke 21st century cinema snack with a delicious, but hefty calorie tariff, aimed at silent scoffing.

On a visit to the Popcorn Museum Peter discovers how the yellow stuff, originally a street food, was brought into cinema foyers during the great American depression of the early 1930s. The arrival of the "talkie" helped the cravers of the crunchy. A new breed of hungrier, less literate cinemagoer could enjoy movies now that the ability to read cue cards was a thing of the past.

The idea of unhealthy cinema food is a post-War concept and, in 1939, The Ritz cinema in Belfast offered Dover sole, roast beef and a wide selection of vegetables for lunch, dinner and supper - a far cry from the nachos and chemically enhanced cheese available today.

A Testbed Production for BBC Radio 4.

Peter Curran investigates our compulsion to consume snacks and movies at the same time.

Documentary series that takes a forensic look at how humans consume culture.

02Listening and Driving2017012620180410 (R4)Laura Barton drives the highways and byways, seeking out the musical memories and stories of fellow drivers and passengers.

Childhood family holidays, first forays behind the wheel after the successful driving test, the daily commute - our journeys in cars are often measured, and remembered, by the music on the stereo. It's a common experience, but one that we rarely discuss once we leave the personal bubble of the car.

Why do we listen to what we do, and what does it add to the journey?

Laura meets the family who spent months living on the road in Morocco, their choice of listening enhancing the fantasy of the road trip. With the right thing on the stereo, it's easy to create a sense of being in your own film, and Laura explores this with sound psychologist Michael Bull.

But is what we choose to listen to always safe? Laura tries out some bespoke driving music, created with the help of psychologists to aid concentration, before heading to a motorway service station to sample the listening tastes and habits of the 21st-century driver.

As night draws in, Laura lets a cabbie take the wheel and reflect on mood, music and the road ahead.

A Testbed production for BBC Radio 4.

Laura Barton explores the music we choose when we are in the car.

Documentary series that takes a forensic look at how humans consume culture.

02Listening and Driving2017012620180411 (R4)Laura Barton drives the highways and byways, seeking out the musical memories and stories of fellow drivers and passengers.

Childhood family holidays, first forays behind the wheel after the successful driving test, the daily commute - our journeys in cars are often measured, and remembered, by the music on the stereo. It's a common experience, but one that we rarely discuss once we leave the personal bubble of the car.

Why do we listen to what we do, and what does it add to the journey?

Laura meets the family who spent months living on the road in Morocco, their choice of listening enhancing the fantasy of the road trip. With the right thing on the stereo, it's easy to create a sense of being in your own film, and Laura explores this with sound psychologist Michael Bull.

But is what we choose to listen to always safe? Laura tries out some bespoke driving music, created with the help of psychologists to aid concentration, before heading to a motorway service station to sample the listening tastes and habits of the 21st-century driver.

As night draws in, Laura lets a cabbie take the wheel and reflect on mood, music and the road ahead.

A Testbed production for BBC Radio 4.

Laura Barton explores the music we choose when we are in the car.

Documentary series that takes a forensic look at how humans consume culture.

02Listening and Driving20170126Laura Barton explores the music we choose when we are in the car.

Documentary series that takes a forensic look at how humans consume culture.