We all love the beautiful game, right? Whether that is true or not, there is going to be a lot of football on TV over the next month as the World Cup kicks off in Russia, and let’s face it, not all the games are going to be 10 out of 10 for entertainment (Australia v Peru anyone?).
So instead of spending 90 minutes of your life you’ll never get back watching a bore draw, why not kick back with these sure-fire hits of science, nature and technology on the BBC iPlayer. Back of the net!
You might not get a thrill from football, but if you’re anything like us we’re suckers for anything with a hint of tech about it – and of course the World Cup is brimming with it.
In this special episode, the Click team heads over to FIFA HQ to get the lowdown on all the special technology that goes into making the World Cup to life, examine what goes into designing and making the World Cup football, how VR is used to improve a player’s game and takes penalties against an (almost) unstoppable robot goalkeeper.
Yes, the World Cup might be spectacular, but aside from the odd Messi or Ronaldo wonder goal it’s generally something we’re all used to seeing week in, week out on Match of the Day. Something that really is the ‘greatest show on Earth’ (so much so that’s the name of an episode) is the wildlife on offer in Africa.
Sir David Attenborough’s landmark series explores the richness of the natural world across this vast continent, revealing bizarre new creatures with unusual behaviours along the way. And there’s not a tattooed arm or novelty haircut to be seen anywhere.
Christopher Eccleston’s First Scene | “I’m The Doctor By The Way” | Rose | Doctor Who | BBC (YouTube/Doctor Who)
Put your footie boots away and dust off the sonic screwdriver. At 44 minutes a pop (give or take the odd Christmas special), you can easily squeeze an episode of Doctor Who into every half of the World Cup, and that doesn’t even include extra time and penalties!
iPlayer currently has every Christopher Ecclestone and beyond episode of the popular sci-fi on offer, and with 64 matches over the next month you can easily work your way up to Series 5 of the show. After that just hop aboard your Tardis and hop back to when Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia and watch the rest of the series.
Should evolution have created this as the perfect human body? – BBC (YouTube/BBC)
World Cup footballers might be some of the finest specimens of the species at the peak of physical fitness, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve reached the top of the evolutionary tree (in fact, if you listen to this week’s Science Focus Podcast you’ll discover our evolution is only just good enough).
So what would we look like if we had evolved to 100 per cent efficiency? In 90 minutes completely devoid of any sort of football, Alice Roberts discovers how animals have evolved incredible adaptations and abilities through natural selection, and teams up with a SFX model maker to create a different sort of specimen – one that has the perfect body for modern humans. How it would take a penalty though is beyond us…
ans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats – BBC Four (YouTube/BBC)
Goals scored, metres run, shots on target, most wins – there are going to be an awful lot of statistics to get your head around over the next few weeks, but they aren’t all as useless as something like “last time these two teams met was in 1984 and it was a draw”.
The late Professor Hans Rosling was the Neymar of statistics in his day, whose incredible talks and lectures about stats and maths helped us understand what was really happening in the world around us. In this show, Rosling uses huge quantities of public data to reveal the story of the world’s past, present and future development, and tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers – in just four minutes.
Of course, if you do want to watch the games you can see selected matches live and highlights on BBC iPlayer and check up on the latest World Cup news here.