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Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2011
Greek Heroes in Popular Culture Through Time video icon

History & The Arts 

Greek Heroes in Popular Culture Through Time

What does ‘2001: a Space Odyssey’ have to do with Odysseus? How does Brad Pitt's Achilles in 'Troy' match up to Homer's original hero? And is Arnold Schwarzenegger the new Heracles? This collection of video animations and audio discussions examines how the heroes of Greek mythology have been represented in popular culture, from ancient times to the modern day. Odysseus is the archetypal questing hero - a blank canvas on which every era has projected its own values. Heracles is the original strongman. And Achilles is the fighter whose sexuality vies with his heel for popular attention. The videos mix archive film and TV clips with character animation, bringing a playful approach to classical myth, while the audio discussions shine a more scholarly light on how today’s popular culture sees these myths differently from the Ancient Greeks.

Video
1 hr
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2011
Digital Film School video icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Digital Film School

Have you ever wanted to pick up a video camera and make a short video or film, but felt intimidated by your lack of knowledge? The explosion of film-making for websites and mobiles gives people and organisations the opportunity to tell their stories and show what they have to offer, at low cost. This collection of exciting videos features The Open University’s experienced team of filmmakers, who will show you some of the craft secrets that underpin good filmmaking, and how professionals stay up to date. You will learn the basics of editing, how to conduct an interview, the role of the producer and other crew members and how to archive your finished project. This material forms part of The Open University course T156 Digital film school.

Video
1 hr 15 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Soaring Achievements audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Soaring Achievements

How does an aircraft without an engine stay up in the air? What factors affect a glider's performance and how far it can travel? Scientific experiments with gliders have been carried out since the 1930’s, particularly with relation to design. Mathematical modelling is used to make and refine gliders that perform as well as possible. The 8 video tracks on this album describe some of the highly mathematical concepts used by pilots, such as glide angle, the ‘best speed to fly’, and the intricacies of competition flying. The principles of gliding are described with the help of 3D graphics and archive film. This material makes up part of the course MST209, Mathematical methods and models.

Audio
35 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2008
Environment: LA River audio icon

Nature & Environment 

Environment: LA River

Who killed the river that runs through Los Angeles? Did you even know there was a river? Using a mix of archive and new footage , this album tells the fascinating story of a city that has ignored the benefits of its river for decades. Now waking up to the fact that it could be a green belt with more acreage than all of Central Park, river activists are fighting developers to bring back nature to central Los Angeles. Up till now the city conquered the threat of floods by concreting over the river to make it the backbone of the urban drainage system, overriding the needs of deprived local communities. But laying ever more concrete and asphalt is no longer the way to meet 21st Century environmental needs; an alternative approach to flood protection and habitat restoration is necessary. This material forms part of The Open University course U216 Environment.

Audio
35 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
The Internet at 40 audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

The Internet at 40

2009 is the 40th anniversary of the first computer network - the precursor of the internet - and the 20th anniversary of the brilliant idea that led to the creation of the world wide web. What exactly is the internet, and how does it differ from the world wide web? Who were its pioneers, and what technological surprises has it sprung? This album opens with a specially recorded interview with John Naughton, Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at The Open University and author of 'A brief history of the future - the origins of the internet'. He explores some of the key moments in the short but spectacular history of an extraordinary phenomenon, the people who made them happen, and some of the problems that have emerged. The album also features archive interviews with Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Donald Davies and other pioneers of the internet age, recorded in the late 1990s. The album is completed by a newly recorded interview with Rodney Harrison, lecturer in Heritage Studies at The Open University, in which he talks about his research into Second Life: Cyber-Archaeologies, Heritage and Virtual Communities. The interviews are presented by radio journalist Penny Boreham.

Audio
1 hr 30 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Finite Element Analysis audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Finite Element Analysis

Formula 1 is the ultimate motor sport. It demands the highest level of skill from both drivers and the engineers behind the cars. So what are the secrets of good car design? How are Formula One cars engineered for maximum performance? This album takes a behind the scenes look at Red Bull Racing, a front-runner on the F1 grid. Using thrilling archive and expert testimony, the tracks explore how the techniques of Finite Element Analysis are used to optimize the performance of different elements of a Formula One racing car. The album is presented by Lara Mynors and features extensive contributions from Lewis Butler, Red Bull's senior structural analyst and Dr Ray Martin of the OU. The material is forms part of The Open University course T884 An introduction to Finite Element Analysis.

Audio
55 mins