New additions to the GatewayPublished: 26 July 2012
The BUFVC Moving Image Gateway includes nearly 1,200 websites relating to video, multimedia and sound materials. These have been subdivided into over 40 subject areas. To suggest new entries or amendments, please contact us by email or telephone or visit the Gateway at: http://bufvc.ac.uk/gateway/
Free site which was set up in July 2009 and provides links to over 2100 streaming documentaries, covering a wide range of subject areas and arranged according to genre. The subjects covered include Archaeology, Atheism, Art and Artists, Biology, Business, Environment, History, Philosophy, Religion, Science, and Space to name just a few. Most, although not all, of the videos are hosted by YouTube. The site is easy to browse and contains much that is interesting, such as this video made by scientists from the University of Nottingham who talk about the nature of the elementary particle the Higgs Boson and its implications for our understanding of the universe.
Meaning of Life TV
Despite the jokey tagline – ‘Cosmic thinkers on camera’- and a somewhat playful presentation, this website, the brainchild of journalist, scholar and science writer Robert Wright, presents a series of stimulating video interviews and discussions with leading theologians, scientists, psychologists, mathematicians and philosophers who grapple with the fundamental questions of human consciousness, the existence of God and the meaning of the universe. The debates on the website form a sort of ongoing colloquy with speakers arguing from positions of rationalism, atheism, mysticism. Catholic and Islamic scholars and advocates of the New Atheism alike are all encouraged to justify or explain their take on the big questions. This interview with Daniel Dennett on quantum weirdness , free will and determinism, is a good example. Some of the subject headings also give an idea of the approach: Science and Religion; Faith and Reason; The Problem of Evil; Limits of Science. Other interviewees include Steven Pinker, Karen Armstrong, Francis Fukuyama, John Maynard Smith and Freeman Dyson.
Open Culture boasts that it offers “the best free cultural & educational media on the web” and their site does a lot to live up to that claim, providing access to a large number of free educational resources, including online courses, language lessons, films and audiobooks. More than simply a list of links, Open Culture is divided into various sections which provide users with a variety of different approaches to navigating the web’s cultural and educational resources, such as a section called 125 Great Science Videos, which features this fascinating lecture by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor who describes her own experience of having a stroke:
Another useful section of the site is a round-up of Intelligent YouTube Channels, which does a good job of sorting the wheat from the chaff and includes a list of universities which have collections of material on YouTube, offering brief comments on each site.
The Paris Review
Website of the quarterly literary magazine which in addition to providing online access to the text of interviews, poems and letters also has a smallish but interesting selection of audio material, including readings and interviews with writers such as Philip Roth, Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut and Denis Johnson as well as younger writers such as Julie Orringer and Nicole Krauss.
This Week in Virology
This Week in Virology (TWiV) is a site featuring podcasts, lectures and videos about viruses – “the kind that make you sick” – as the website puts it. It was begun in September 2008 by Vincent Racaniello and Dick Despommier, two science Professors at Columbia University Medical Centre. Although obviously likely to appeal to those with an academic or professional interest in the subject, the website aims to be accessible to everyone, “no matter what their scientific background”. The main content of the site is audio but there is a smaller collection of videos, such as Making Viral DNA about how viruses with DNA genomes duplicate themselves.