Margaret (pling) wrote,

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The Genius of Omar Khayyam; The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart

Started the evening with a BBC4 programme about Omar Khayyam - we'd been putting it off coz we thought it was 2 hours, but it seems our PVR decided to record an extra hour of the "BBC4 returns at 7pm" screen, which was a tad odd. We'd also managed to record the sign-language translated one, which isn't half distracting if you're not deaf & thus don't need it. However, technological niggles aside, it was an interesting programme and I think I want to pick up a copy of the FitzGerald translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam :) The programme both told us a bit about Omar Khayyam himself, covering the fact that he was a mathematician, astronomer & philosopher as well as a poet, and a bit about Fitzgerald & the impact his translation of Khayyam's poetry into English had on the Victorian Western world. It also looked at the impact Khayyam still has in modern Iran - both as a poet, and because of his astronomical & mathematical achievements - for instance he calculated a calendar even more accurate than the (initial form of?) the Gregorian calendar. And also lots of bits of visuals with the poetry read out over them in either English or Persian. Interesting programme, although it didn't go into much detail on any of it - but gave a flavour both of Khayyam's time & achievements and of the poetry as translated by FitzGerald.

And because we had a "spare" hour, we watched the other of the two nature programmes about Africa that we had. This one being all about the savannah - lots of antelope (including giraffes as the world's tallest antelope, not how I normally think of them), lots of shots of lions & cheetahs (cheetahs are awesome). And hippos feeding in the night time! Don't think I've ever seen footage of that before. And a little bit at the end about how people are savannah apes really.
Tags: africa, history, islam, maths, nature, persia, poetry, tv

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