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OpenLearn Live: 2nd September 2015

Updated Wednesday, 2nd September 2015

The devil's music is just the start of a day of free learning.

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OpenLearn Live is an experiment in linking free learning to the world around us. This page will be updated during the day, or you can follow our Twitter feed @OpenLearnLive.

Yesterday we celebrated the life and work of Oliver Sacks, saw a whale crash live TV, and counted the Four Freedoms

See the full collection of OpenLearn Live

Today's Posts

The sharing economy

Is the sharing economy at risk of becoming derailed by a few large Silicon Valley corporations? Chris Martin fears so, but his research suggests alternatives might be difficult to get going:

There are some downsides to running a democratic platform, however. The most prominent being that Freegle’s democratic model has made growing the network even more challenging than it might otherwise have been. Lengthy decision-making processes, based on discussion and voting, have meant that opportunities to expand have been missed.

It also means that financial backers geared toward supporting more streamlined for-profit companies have been deterred from investing by the complexity of Freegle’s structure. These issues suggest that efforts to create a more democratic sharing economy may face considerable resistance; in particular from actors with a more commercial focus.

Read: Fair shares?

BBC Two, tonight, 9pm: The Ascent of Woman

There's a new series from the BBC and The OU tonight, as Dr Amanda Foreman explores how early civilisations treated women - what status were they accorded, and what legacy have they left modern societies?

Find out more about the series

Order the free postcards which accompany the series

Explore our map of the women who changed history

Listen over lunch: Bringing Up Britain

Today's suggestion of something to listen to while eating something delicious  is the BBC/OU co-production Bringing Up Britain, which returned this morning at 9am. In the first of the new series, Mariella Frostrup and guests watch Britain's children as they head back to school, and ask what parents can do to help their children become smarter.

Listen to Bringing Up Britain via iPlayer

Discover more about the programme

You can hear the programme on BBC Radio 4 in a shortened repeat at 9.30pm this evening

New free courses: Teaching in Chinese

We've just launched a collection of teaching skills resources which have been translated into Chinese - there's courses for teaching assistants; supporting teacher development and learning to teach.

Four Things: The Augmented Fourth

Because (except in Scotland) this is a four-day week, we're marking the week with a collection of four things related to the number four. It's the sort of idea you come up with the morning after a bank holiday. Yesterday, we focused on the Four Freedoms.

Today, we're looking at the Augmented Fourth. This is the musical interval f-g-a-b. It's different from a diminished fifth, which is b-c-d-e-f. And obviously it's not a perfect fourth... You know what? It's probably easier to show you:


The discordant sound of the augmented fourth led to it being dubbed "diabolus in musica" and was banned during the Renaissance from being used in church music. But it doesn't have to be painful - it's used, for example, in Maria, from West Side Story:

Not so devilish in the right hands - although not easy to sing.

Inspired? Why not try our free course An Introduction To Music Theory?






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