an antidote to the bloated hours seen on television

Radio Part of AudioGo’s attempt to release everything Fry, here’s an Archive on Four episode, Stephen Fry Does The Knowledge from a couple of months ago in which Stephen takes a ramble through radio history presenting clips vaguely connected with the subject of knowledge with the starting point of the reams of geographical data London cabbies must learn before going on the road. There’s some genuinely fascinating clips here from Fred Housego chatting about his gift to Nationwide, to a quiz mixing cricket rules with general knowledge and an interview with a knowledge instructor who explains that the reason they’re particular harsh on their pupils isn’t because they enjoy it. It’s because if they can’t button up and deal with their criticism, there’s no way they’ll be safe on the roads with the general public.

Also out this month is Stephen Fry on the Phone, his brief series on the history of the mobile from its early origins as a car phone, through the Rabbit system to ARM chip manufacturer born from the flames of Acorn computers who now have technology in every smart and less than smart phone on the planet. Recorded in short chunks to fill the new gap between the extended World At One and The Archers, it’s a neat demonstration of just how entertaining and informative a twelve minute documentary episode can be and an antidote to the bloated hours seen on television (a "conversation" we'll have some other time). It’s also unafraid to highlight some of the technological and marketing failures, like the public mobile telephone designed for minicabs which led to fins often seen on roofs which were ultimately too expensive for the average passenger.  If only they'd had the knowledge.

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