This is Radio Three! Or for those of you with stereo:
(left channel) This is Radio One And A Half
(right channel) This is Radio One And A Half
Before the next programme, we’ve just got time for a Radio Three pause. And the particular pause we’re going to play is one we’ve had hundreds of requests for; it’s part of the final seventy-five seconds of the embarrassing gap between last year’s recital of the Corelius Suite by Sibelius, and the Test Match commentary from Lord’s. And here it is: (pause)
(coughs) Ahem, well I’m afraid we, we seem to be having some difficulties in er, in bringing you that pause, erm, so, in the meantime:
Open University theme, breaking down halfway with a raspberry
This is the Half-Open University. There now follows Unit 1 in our series for Block 3 students on the Environmental Sciences Degree course. The programme is introduced by Professor Nigel Rees, Doctor Christopher Emmett, Doctor Timothy Davies, and Professor Christine Ozanne. (applause) The first explanatory lecture covers the principles governing hydrostatics. Professor Einstein speaks first.
Hello, students. My name is Professor Einstein, Jim Einstein. That’s no relation of course to my famous cousin Ethel Einstein. But enough of my relativity problem. Right. Are there any questions?
Hello? Who? Arthur Springfield of Edinburgh? Yes, yes, alright, alright, you may leave the room, but make it quick. Right. Well, while we’re just waiting for Springfield to get back, I’d like to introduce my two assistants to you. Professor Frank Copernicus…
… and Doctor Fiona Faraday.
Thank you. And now…
Yes? Oh, right, thank you. Oh well, Springfield’s apparently back from the toilet. Which brings us to Archimedes’ Principle.
The weight of fluid displaced is equal to the upthrust.
Exactly. Now, if we all get out our little booklets D one o six, and turn to page one five nine, we’ll be wasting our time, because the bit we want is on page two three six. As you’ll see, Archimedes discovered his principle in the bath, in the second century BC.
To help us understand more fully how science evolved in ancient Greece, I want you all to switch off your radio sets. Have you done that? Good. Now turn on your televisions to the, to BBC 2 for the following piece of film.
Tomorrow’s World opening signature tune, then down for
Hello, this is Raymond Backstopoulous, welcoming you to Ancient Greece for another edition of Yesterday’s World.
And in tonight’s programme we have a report from Troy on the new developments in synthetic horse technology, the latest on Apollo from Mount Olympus, and the revolution in labyrinth mining caused by the introduction of the Minotaur. But first, Archimedes, the scientist who is now a law unto himself. Archimedes is here to demonstrate his remarkable discovery.
I name this ship Argo!
No, no Helen, not yet.
Let me introduce Archimedes.
(coughs) Ahem, er hello, er, er Euripides?
I don’t think so.
Oh! I must have torn them sitting down.
Now Archimedes, I believe that…
Archimedes’s little dog starts barking
I’m terribly sorry, that’s my dog. Achilles, heel!
Er, Archimedes, Archimedes, getting back to your discovery…
I name this ship…
No, Helen, not yet. I’ll tell you when…
…, go on dear. I bel…, I believe Archimedes, your principle has something to do with water.
(coughs) Ahem, yes, it’s perfectly simple, really. You see, when a body is wholly or partly immersed in water, ahem, it becomes almost instantaneously, ahem, much less arid in a hydroprogressive sort of direction.
You mean, it gets wet?
(excited) Yes! That’s it! It gets wet! Yes, heureka, it gets wet!
Er, erm no, Archimedes, we know it gets wet.
What? Oh yes, so we do. The Oracle told me only next Tuesday. Er now what was it? Excuse me, I shall have to get into my bath. (he does so)
Er yes, well…
(excited) Heureka, I’ve found it, I’ve found it!
The soap. Oh [damedliest ?], I’ve lost it again.
… how you’re getting on?
Oh sure’ll be a minute; erm I’ve just got the feet to do, and then my er…
No, no the bath.
What? Oh, the bath! That’s it, heureka, the bath, I’ve found it!
I name this ship Argo.
bottle crashing into ship, fog horn tooting
Look out, it’s going into the bath.
I said not yet, Helen!
(bored) Oh really, that’s the thousandth time.
Archimedes, are you all right?
(coughs a lot) Oh dear, I almost came [??, sounds like Acropolis] there, you know? Or as I said to the Gorgon the other day, stone me.
Could we have someone to clean up all this water on the floor, please.
Water on the floor? That’s it, heureka, heureka, I’ve found it, I really have found it!
Well, wha… wha… what is it, what have you discovered?
[Writing ?] damp. Somebody fetch the [mopeline ?, clear it up ?]
Tomorrow’s World closing signature tune fading up
Well, that appears to be ‘it’ for tonight, next week a report on the new tube trains, from Orpheus, in the underground; and the Cyclops will be half-looking at Circe’s new pig farm, till then, good night.
Thank you. Background literature on the Yesterday’s World series in the original Latin can be obtained from the Half-Open University’s book shop, priced at just a few pence.
Er, just one moment, Dr. Faraday, I see that Phillips of the Firth of Forth has only just switched on. Er, look Phillips, I’ve warned you about being late for lectures before! Go and watch television for fifty minutes, and take four or five lines.
knocking at the door
Oh, excuse me…
foot steps, door opening
A letter for you, Sir.
(in the distance) Oh, thank you.
foot steps, letter being opened
What?! How dare you answer me back like that, Phillips? Take six to five lines instead. Yes, that’s right, BBC2, go on. At this point, we move on a little deeper into physics, with Heisenberg’s famous Uncertainty Principle.
Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that, er… er… well… we..we..what it states is that, is that, erm, eh, er well… er… that is, that er… er er erm…
I hope you all made a note of that.
(getting quieter and quieter) The thing, the thing is, you see… that, er well it’s, it’s tricky really, isn’t it? (Pause) The point really is that [??] is, it’s interesting, it’s…
This is the Half-Open University. That was Unit 5 of our very rough Woman Underwear Foundation course, for students studying course foundations. There now follows Block 5, Unit 1, pull one, knit two together and cast off, for students on the inter-faculty course on Kinetics, Kinematics and Knitting. Professor Einstein speaks first.
Good Evening. And first of all, we look at the Law of Gravity. A very serious subject indeed.
And now, Dynamics! The moment of inertia.
And now, and now, have you got biology book TSR 2 ready? Good. Well, take its appendix out. Have you done that? Right. Now I want you all to turn to frogs.
The most economical way of doing this can be found in the current issue of Witch.
But, for a more detailed report on frogs, Professor Einstein speaks first. The frog speaks second.
countryside atmosphere, with birds singing etc.
Hello again. Well, I’m speaking to you now on a recording I made several month ago out in the countryside. Here with me, I have a small fishing net and a multidimensional electron microscope; both of which you can purchase yourself for just a few pence. Now here is our freshwater pond, and I think you’ll be able to get a closer view of our friend, the frog, in just a minute.
musical xylophone impression of the frog hopping along
Ah, yes. Here he comes, look, he’s just hopped over that clump of weeds, and here he is. Whoops-a-daisy, on to my hand.
Croak, croak! Croak.
Stop! Just one minute there. I’m sorry to interrupt you, common frog, but of course, you thought you were coming along to this pond this evening to appear in a Half-Open University documentary. But in fact, we’ve got lots more surprises in store for you tonight. Because tonight, Common Frog, inhabitant of most areas of Great Britain outside the Outer Hebrides and Orkneys, This Is Your Life!
This Is Your Life signature tune, then down & out
Well, I know you weren’t expecting any of this, but if you’ll just perch back there on the bank and relax, we’re going to look back over that four year life cycle of yours. The year is 1970, and your father and mother are thrown together by the currents of the water. The couple mate there and then and produce a collection of frogspawn, containing two-thousand-five-hundred eggs, which all hatch out two weeks later. Well, you haven’t seen all your brothers and sisters since that first day you wriggled out of the jelly. But, we’ve managed to round them all up, and here they all are:
This Is Your Life signature jingle
lots of frogs croaking
Well, I know that brings a tear to your eyes and well it should be, because you can probably remember what a narrow escape they had back in 1971 from a flock of hungry crows. Well, at great expense, we’ve managed to fly those crows two-hundred miles from Cornwall and here they are tonight:
This Is Your Life signature jingle
Frogs & crows croaking
And Common Frog, that was your life!
This is still the Half-Open University, taking part in that lecture were Professor Einstein of the Half-Open University, Professor Common Frog of the Half-Filled Lilypond and Doctor Eamonn Andrews of the Half-Witted Imbecile. Now here’s some information for listeners who are not members of the Half-Open University: Push off. Now our course in Human Biology. Professor Einstein speaks first. Doctor Heinrich Vogelheimer speaks seventeenth and Professor Hans Heimervogel doesn’t speak at all.
Good evening. Human biology. Stop sniggering, Perkins of the Upper Clyde. Now, first of all, I want to take medicine.
And while he’s doing that, let’s look at some the advances in the field of medical science. First, anesthetics.
Until the eighteenth century, when people wanted to have operations, the only way they could put them to sleep was by hitting them over the head with a very large mallet.
Then, came the brilliant discovery of chloroform. For just a few pence, patients would use this and become totally anaesthetised. Then they could be hit over the head with a very large mallet without feeling any pain at all.
Let’s just have a look at our own bodies now for a moment, shall we? I hope you’ve each got your skeleton, if not, you may fall behind. As well as forwards, sideways and all over the place. Now then, first of all, the arm. Roll up the skin as far as your elbow. That’s it, and now, take your pulse. Good, and put it back again. Now, a little experiment with your insides. Just undo your abdomen and run your intestines through a bowl of water to see if there are any leaks. If there are, you’d better lay off liquids and eat as much chewing gum as possible.
Next, the blood stream. Inside your blood are thousands of little germs, all constantly fighting for survival.
This is known as germ warfare.
Or the cold war.
So, let us listen then to this recording taken inside the human blood stream and magnified three million times.
battlefield atmosphere, with machine guns, grenades etc. being constantly fired
Mein Führer, ze enemy are approaching.
Silence! The German Measles will never be defeated.
I’m sorry, but zey are believed to be invading ze blood stream zis very moment!
Ha! It is all in vein!
In vein! Very funny, mein Führer! Hahahaha! Ahahaha! Hahahahaha!
Be quiet! How many times do I have to tell you, the German Measles is a serious disease. Our bacteria are capable of complete infection within twenty-four hours. Look how we annex the pancreas. Today the lymph vessels, tomorrow, ze world!
Alarm! Alarm! Unser Führer, unser geliebter Führer, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil…
Haha! Listen to those viruses out there.
But, but mein Führer, …
We are the mightiest disease on earth, sea, and gland. We will introduce compulsory prescription for the over-sixteens, we will, we will…
What that noise?
(speaking through a loudhailer) Alright Measles, we know you’re in there, …
… this is the British Artery Artillery, come on out with your temperature up and you won’t get hot.
You’ll never get us alive, Britischers.
Alright, if that’s the way you want it, we’[ll carry?] you.
Führer, ze blood cells are advancing on us from ze stomach, with their tummy guns.
Very vell. We will show zem. Prepare to launch helic attack.
Helic attack it is, Führer!
fighting plane flying by and shooting
(normal) Uagh, these swines, they, they knew we weren’t expecting that. [Coppers ??]…
Tell the men to prep… Tell the men to prepare their advances at great care. This area is littered with dangerous spots, you know.
And if their missions do not succeed, Sir?
Tell them to scratch them.
Right. Now let’s get off.
battlefield atmosphere/shooting restarts
Look, that! They’ve got the nose on the run.
And by the look of things, they’ll have the throat on fire soon. I don’t know how they [got the gall?]
I bet they have, I’m afraid. And the bile, and the small intestines.
Hahaha! Britscher Schweins! You are finished, you are doomed, you aaare…
big explosion, shooting stops
Sir! Sir! Are you alright?
(cough) I, I think there… What in hell’s name was that??
Hi there, you Limeys. [Just ?] we got here just in time.
Sorry we had to do that, but we got official orders from the GP himself at 0036 hours.
You mean, you’ve…
That’s right. We’ve dropped the antibiotic pill on Bacteria. Wiped the whole lot of ’em out.
So perish all diseases against the United State of Health. For we are the nameless fighters…
… of the health service, small in stature but great in number, we are the men who have become not just a byword in hospitals, but a way of life. Men who fight for what we believe to be right. It takes guts to get inside people’s stomachs. You get no thanks, little encouragement, and yet we will never die, for our fight goes on, wherever a measle is left to threaten humanity; and remember:
We kill ninety-nine percent of all known Germans.
This is me, telling you this is still the Half-Open University. Now for some news of Half-Open University publications, available for just a few pence. To biology students, we recommend ‘Teach yourself how to dissect’ by Arthur Sprode, parts one and two. Parts three and four of Mr Sprode will be published shortly. Also available: ‘Trees in Autumn’, a special loose-leaf edition; ‘Vertebrates’, hardback; and ‘Invertebrates’, no back at all; ‘The Firth of Forth before the great railway engineers’, unabridged; finally, for those of you haven’t had time to finish ‘The Killing of the Small Pox Virus’; we may as well tell you, it was Louis Pasteur who done it. Now, Part 3 of our course in Acoustic Wave Propagation for unit five of D block at St. Mary’s Hospital, Chislewick, from Ada and all the kids at 47 A. Professor Einstein speaks first.
Good Evening. At this point, I want to look at sound. Unfortunately I can’t, so I shall have to listen to it instead. In particular, we’re going to hear the sounds made by particular objects.
First, we listen to a plane going faster than sound.
There have been many clever inventions connected with sound of course, but probably none is more famous than the one associated with the name of Alexander Graham Bell. Let’s just refresh our memories about his celebrated experiment.
Er, how are you getting on, Mr Bell?
Well, if I’m right, this could be an historic turning point in the development of communications; let’s see…
rotary phone dialling
At the third stroke, it will be an historic turning point in the development of communications, precisely.
At the third stroke, it will be an historic turning point in the development of communications, and ten seconds.
Yes, you’ve guessed it, this is the Half-Open University. The repeat of that lecture on sound can be missed by remaining asleep at four o’clock next Monday morning on Radio Three. Regular listeners to Radio Three shouldn’t find this too difficult. Details of how to miss other broadcasts can be obtained by writing to the Half-Open University book shop. Pens for writing to the Half-Open University book shop can be obtained from your nearest stationer. Maps to find out where your nearest stationer is can be obtained from any map shop, priced at just a few pence. And now our course in Interstellar [Vacuity ?]. Professor Einstein, doesn’t speak first.
Also sprach Zarathustra; when the drums start down for
The universe. A vast, never ending void of nothingness. As we gaze at the infinite star-clusters of the galaxy, we know that we cannot be alone. And we ask ourselves the question that every man has asked over the years: Whoever they are, why do they always play the same damned piece of music?
up for the drums, then out
This is the Half-Open erm Half-Universal er er the Half-Open University. Now for the second level of Unit 169 in our course in experimental chemico-mechanics, mechanico-experimental chemistry and exponential Mexican chameleons. Professor Einstein speaks first.
Many aspects of engineering rely upon the physical properties of heat. Heat can be generated by a simple piece of apparatus, such as the Bunsen burner. Which is of course named after the famous person who invented it, Doctor Gustav Burner.
And yet, what exactly do we mean by heat? Half-Open University lecturer Clifford Gannett carried out a short experiment to investigate the properties of fire.
Good evening. Well I’m standing here inside a blazing furnace, just to show you how hot fire can get. Now, there are flames roaring all around me and you can take my word for it, it’s, it’s pretty warm. In fact, my microphone’s already beginning to melt here, I don’t know if you can quite see that, and I believe that… yes! In fact, one of my feet has just been reduced to carbon. (he is slowly starting to shout, while the flames are getting louder) Well, within the next four or five minutes, I’m expecting to be completely burned to a cinder, and then I think you’ll be able to get some idea of what we’re talking about, when we say that fire is hot. Clifford Gannett, Half-Open University, five thousand degree centigrade.
Thank you, the late Doctor Clifford Gannett. Charred samples of Doctor Gannett for analysis are available from the Half-Open University book shop, priced at just a few pence. Well, to end our investigation, we turn to chemistry. Gases and elements.
Different gases have different densities. Here is a gas which is lighter than air:
And here is one which is heavier than air.
And now, can you guess what this gas is?
That’s right, air.
Alright. So now, we come to a rather more complicated experiment, into the sciences of terrotology. Or, how to make monsters. The equipment you’ll need is already listed in your literature. One rambling, moss-covered castle on the moor, a thunderstorm and a disfigured dwarf. All of which can be bought for just a few pence. Right. Are you ready? Good. Now, I want all you students to go through the experiment with us.
windy atmosphere with thunder rolling occasionally, heavy footsteps
(slightly laughing) You wanted to fee me, Baron Frankenstein?
Yes, come in, Igor.
Oh, thank you.
Oh, I see you’ve lost the limp in your left leg…
You’re walking normally again.
Er, no no, I’ve got a limp in my right leg as well.
Well, so long as your other three legs are okay, we have nothing to worry. Now then, I’ve called you in because I’m at last ready to inject life into my new creation.
I’ve spent three years collecting the pieces to put him together, look at him!
Isn’t he magnificent?
He has the heart of an ape, the liver of an ape…
…the kidneys of an ape…
… and the brain of Anthony Wedgwood Benn.
If you didn’t manage to get the brain of Anthony Wedgwood Benn at home, just leave it out, it won’t make any difference.
… all I need now is just one more part of the body, Igor.
A part without which this man would never be the same…
Igor! I must ask you to provide me with that part.
Yef. Doef that mean, erm…
Yes! The bolt from out of your neck.
Oh, oh. Oh very well then, you can have it.
unscrewing the bolt, squealing
I take it out. Yes. Ye…
There, I told you it was of no use to you.
But it was, ehh…
Nonsense! What good was it?
Igor’s head hitting the floor
Oh, pull yourself together man!
(laughs crazily) Open the window! I’m now about to begin the final operation. Now is the moment, when the moon is full and the storm rages, I shall harness the lightning, channel its pulsating energy into the inert body I have moulded from the dust, and then, and then, I shall give birth to a monster! (laughs crazily)
Perhaps we’d better just go over that bit again in case you didn’t catch it. You’ll notice that this system differs from the normal method of childbirth in that, as a rule, maternity wards do not use lightning of any kind. In fact, the method employed here by Baron Frankenstein depends largely upon Nutter’s Insanity Principle, which states that any person creating a monster is entirely round the twist. The reverse is of course also true. Twist the round entirely is monster a creating person any. Anyway, I hope you’re all keeping up with the experiment at home, because the most important part is just coming up.
Look. He’s opening his mouth.
He’s going to speak!
Ahhhhh… Ahh I’ve got splitting head ache.
In that case I shall remove the axe from your head.
… the final… the final test.
The final teft.
To make sure he’s emotionally sound, bring in the girl.
Yef, Baron. Haaa, aahahaha…
With this beautiful young maiden we shall test…
Yeahh, come on!
… your sexual responses.
(continues making his weird noises throughout)
Oh let me go, let me go, please let me go! Ohh! Ohhh! Oh, what a man! What er, what in the name of god is that horrible, ghastly monster?
Never you mind.
Ohh! It speaks, too!
Less of your impertinence, girl. Igor!
Take her clothes off!
Yees! Hmm. Right to my heart.
And don’t ever let me catch you wearing them again.
Now then, bring her over to the marble slab.
Ohh, ohhh, let me go, let me go, do you hear? Ohh!
Right, my monster. I think you’ll know what to do. (laughs crazily)
I understand, master. A ha ha ha…
Well, we leave the rest of that experiment as an exercise for you at home. To measure your own monster’s emotional responses, you’ll need a notepad, pencil and a steel tape measure.
In that Half-Open University broadcast you heard Nigel Rees, Christopher Emmett, Timothy Davies and Christine Ozanne. The research was written up by Andrew Marshall, John Mason and David Renwick, and the programme was produced by Simon Brett who can be purchased, for just a few pence.