I can believe it too
Just about says everything that is wrong with the BBC and country in general.
The BBC tried to put the kibosh on rock-star physicist Brian Cox's plan to eavesdrop on a planet with a radio telescope - because the corporation was apparently afraid the discovery of alien life could violate the Beeb's editorial guidelines. Perhaps Auntie feared the little green men, if found, would drop a very large swear …
Stop slagging the BBC off. I am really confused about the attitude to the BBC by the people in the UK. If you come from another country, like I do, you know that the BBC is one of the best national broadcasters in the world, and doing their best to be as impartial and even-handed as possible. And when you are trying to be impartial, I guess it is natural for extremists of any colour to be upset by a broadcaster that doesn't take their side. But that the population as a group to be so down on the BBC is a mystery. You have been brainwashed into believing the BBC is crap by Rupert Murdoch and the Daily Mail.
Shame on you.
"Stop slagging the BBC off. I am really confused about the attitude to the BBC by the people in the UK."
The BBC is a fantastic institution. IMHO something to be proud of, as a Brit, like the NHS.
However, like the NHS, when you are used to it, it fades into the background. You forget how special it is, and focus on the small problems with it. For example, I am still upset with them for spending shed loads on moving to a new building while dropping Formula 1. Also, with the NHS, people complain about waiting times etc. while forgetting all the good things it does for us. It is natural.
Let's take, for instance, cars. You buy a brand new car to replace your ageing rust bucket. For the first few months you love it. It's the best thing in the world, reliable and comfortable. You are proud to be seen with it.
After a few months, however, you have become used to it. You start noticing small faults: The seats don't support your back quite right, the wipers are too loud, the radio sounds a bit tinny. You then start focussing on these small things, which you complain about, forgetting how damn good the car is.
The British Politically Correct Broadcasting Corporation.
You can tell from the news anymore really. Its sad, they used to be quite good up until recently.
We only got their news on the BBC America subsidiary in 2001 and Ive been watching it ever since, but the quality has declined as the bias toward talking about every form of discrimination against minorities (even very obscure ones like Iraqi emo kids or Uzbekistani goths for instance) and also coverage of any kind of intolerance against their obvious favorite minority, the homosexuals, has increased exponentially.
Its still better than the fluff like CNN, MSNBC, and such, but honestly I think PBS' Newshour has better editorial quality and depth of coverage anymore. Which sucks, Id rather stick with what I know, and what I know is BBC. But its getting ridiculous.
It doesn't say much for Cox's powers to explain science that he couldn't persuade the Beeb's bosses of his idea. Maybe just saying "it's incredible" over and over again is not working.
Seriously though, any alien signal from the planet is going to be massively swamped by the nearby star, unless we're suggesting the star emissions themselves have been modulated to carry the alien's signalling, and how the feck is that supposed to be done?
He's a nice enough bloke, but when it comes to presenting popular science, he's no Carl Sagan, James Burke, or even Raymond Baxter. (The bunch off Bang Goes the Theory are pretty good though.)
He seems to be downplaying the news here :-
Brian Cox: 'BBC did not ban search for aliens on Stargazing Live'
It sounds to me like the usual, you can't make any jokey comment if there's potential to put the BBC in a bad light. 'Health and Safety gawn mad!' and BBC bashing in one story... quelle surprise.
...cos there's certainly bugger all down there at the BBC.
(With apologies to Eric Idle, although it is another opportunity for the two of them to do the Galaxy Song together and this time not change the best bit by leaving the punchline in).
In defence (able?) of the BBC, their real concerns are any/all of:
- The cost of billing those aliens for the licence fee (should Prof Cox send a reply, especially...)
- The world's entire population might litigate against thet BBC for any of "...being a party to the Cultural Shock incurred...", "...diminishing my personal place in the Universe...", "...for mandating yet another set-top box that UK citizens will require to recieve BBC re-broadcasts of said ET messages..."
- Concern about the copyright position the aliens may take, should the BBC record and/or re-broadcast such a signal
- The intergalactic etiquette of the BBC doing their annoying 'voice-over' / copy spoilers - Just when did the ET broadcaster finish broadcasting? Was that part 1 of a 13 part set? But only one of six in the galactic autumn season?
- Will they have to re-brand / "re-imagine" BBC Wordwide to, perhaps, BBC Universe? If so, what does that do to the copyrights owned by the old brand? What media formats will be acceptable to the ET marketplace?
Infrared Ray, Ultraviolet Ray? Copyrighted encoding formats - MPEG NTSC, MPEG PAL, MPEG ET, MPEG 4 ET - Just thinking about this could be a major H & S health hazard to the person(s) that have to propose and negotiate rights with the ETs...
- There could be cause for Major Concern about BBC output the ETs have received and that they have found objectional - "Welcome to this special edition of Univerersal PoV..."
Mine's the one with the weird radio "Universal Transceiver" gizmo in the secret pocket...
>fsst< "Greetings Earth creatures. This is Zarg from the planet you call Threapleton Holmes B".
>click< "We have observed your puny attempts to intercept our broadcast signals and rebroadcast them on your own BBC network."
>squark< "Unfortunately you have failed to purchase a licence to do this, and our saucers containing crack teams of IP lawyers are entering your atmosphere even as you hear my words. Resistance is futile."
>crackle< "I warn you, we know about, and have already neutralised, your small dog defence system." >pop<
The elf'n'safety bollox was probably the BBC trying to save the aliens from first contact with the Cox-ter. 5 mins listening to that nutter would probably have the aliens raising an armada to seek and destroy the infestation.
Mind you, I don't really care in the matter of Cox v BBC. As a Scotsman, it would be like watching England v England. You don't care who wins but you hope for a lot of injuries.
This decision (even thought there's bound to be more in it than we've been told) is bizarre, but well in keeping with lots of other BBC decisions - and compares well with some of the decisions they make regarding programme commissioning, cancellations, scheduling and content.
The BBC is simply too big to manage effectively. That's why it seems to have evolved lots of little (or big) fiefdoms that seem to act independently of their charter, the DG's wishes or public opinion. While they pride themselves in being "independent" of government, they are also independent of the country as a whole and only distantly related to common sense. That is the only reason I can think of for why they have developed such a knack for pinning KICK ME signs on their own arses. For which they duly and frequently get the result due to them.
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For once I have to agree with the BBC. I presume the intent was to do this stunt live. Well pointing a microphone at some random planet outside of BBC editorial control might sound like an "exciting" idea, but if it's done before the 9pm watershed with children listening in that is a recipe for disaster. Looks like the BBC have learned an important lesson from the Jimmy Savile affair.
Since, I believe, he got a PhD in High Energy Particle Physics, and the following ( Extract from Wikipaedophile)
" particle physicist, a Royal Society University Research Fellow, PPARC Advanced Fellow and Professor at the University of Manchester. He is a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester, and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. He is working on the R&D project of the FP420 experiment in an international collaboration to upgrade the ATLAS and the CMS experiment by installing additional, smaller detectors at a distance of 420 metres from the interaction points of the main experiments."
That, in my book, makes him a top flight boffin.
Just think for a minute, about what would *actually* happen if live on air, extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered. I'm not necessarily saying "Welles' War of the Worlds", but still ...
At the very least you'd want a Helpline set up in advance. "If you have been affected by any of the issues in this programme, call 0800 ..."
The War of the Worlds radio broadcast certainly created a few casualties.
On similar lines, when I was in my teens there was a SciFi on the telly which also started with a fictitious news broadcast. Even though this had been widely announced beforehand, quite a few people believed it was real. The next day I remember seeing a middle-aged woman who had been totally freaked out by it, explaining to anyone and everyone on the street that the aliens were coming.
There are enough people already who think they see UFOs and Angels and so forth without reinforcing their beliefs and adding to their unfortunate numbers.
If you asked these BBC people why they don't buy a lottery ticket, they would probably say that the odds are "too astronomical" (although they probably make £240,000 pa anyhow).
Ask them if they would consider a program looking for aliens (Alien Watch Live!?) and they would cite H&S reasons.
Is anyone with that magnitude of judgement impairment employable?
Reminds me of a column in the Viz comic a year or two ago entitled something like 'Cox not c*cks".
Prof Cox was (supposedly) answering questions on the universe, except that the questions would meander on to comparisons using his namesake in anatomy...
The Professor himself towards the end meandered onto his previous life in a pop band before new Labour ruined it for him....
The real season the BBC didn't want Professor Brain Cox pointing his big antenna at that planet is because it's clearly the home world of Jimmy Saville.
All those people who thought David Icke was mental when he banged on about shape-shifting aliens in high places are looking very silly now. Very silly indeed.