The Human Body

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[edit] General Information

Health-Medical Documentary narrated by Robert Winston and published by BBC in 1998 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: The-Human-Body-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

The Human Body documentary is the sort of televisual undertaking that continues to justify the BBC licence fee. Presented by Robert Winston, it takes us on a journey from birth to death using time-lapse photography, computer graphics and various state-of-the-art imaging techniques to explore every aspect, every nook and crevice of the human body in its various stages of growth, maturity and eventual decay. Conception, toddlerhood, the awkward growing pains of adolescence, the incredibly complex workings of the brain (which burns up more energy than any other part of the human body, viewers of daytime TV included, apparently) and finally death are vividly depicted and explained. Winston's lucid, avuncular tones make The Human Body accessible to an intelligent 10-year-old and ages upward, though the more squeamish viewer might baulk at scenes of food being digested, or childbirth in all its inevitable messiness. Statistics abound--the average human will eat for three-and-a-half years during his or her lifetime, eat 160kg of chocolate and spend six months on the toilet. Though heart-warming in that it shows the commonality of human experience, The Human Body is also a potentially depressing reminder of our frail physicality and mortality. However, the most moving programme here features Herbie, a cancer victim who, in agreeing to have his last moments filmed as he lies dying in a hospice, has perhaps achieved a deserved immortality through this programme.

[edit] Life Story

Life Story is where Robert Winston explains the journey that he is about to take you on and what will be covered over the length of the series. Between his roller-coaster ride to symbolise the ups and downs of puberty to a visit to the oozing hot springs where life began, you know it's going to be an incredible ride.

[edit] An Everyday Miracle

Follow Jeff and Phillippa from conception to the birth of their first child Bob in An Everyday Miracle. Learn why conception is the most dangerous part of your life, and the struggles that you must go through to even reach the first step. The couple openly discuss their concerns and joy throughout their entire pregnancy and this episode in particular would be well worth viewing by those who are expecting their first child. From experience, this tasteful and informative section captures aspects of pregnancy that the hospital-run Maternity Classes don't explain as well. You even get to see the birth of their child which makes for a great lead into the next section. And in case you were wondering, every day there are around 100 million acts of sexual intercourse taking place in the world resulting in around 910,000 conceptions.

[edit] First Steps

See what changes the body undergoes to enable us to take our First Steps in life. Covering the first four years of development, this is a compelling insight into our involuntary reflexes and their evolution as well as some interesting topics such as an explanation of how babies can breathe and drink milk at the same time (which would probably be the best time to teach them the didgeridoo). Parents with children in this age bracket will find the teething, walking and the ongoing development skills shown here of particular interest.

[edit] Raging Teens

Raging Teens follows a group of young boys and girls throughout their teenage years and captures the changes that the body undergoes through puberty. Its main focus, however, is on Beatrice and the changes she undergoes such as shopping, growing breasts, pubic hairs and her first period (her mother bought her some Chocolate Éclairs to help celebrate which must be a British thing). The boy's side covers testosterone and what changes it spurs in a lad's body such as facial hair, their voice cracking at the wrong time, and parts of the body that have until now lain dormant. You also learn that a pubic hair only grows for 6 months, which keeps it short, and is actually flat oval and not round which is why they curl.

[edit] Brain Power

As the name suggests, Brain Power provides a detailed insight into the most complicated object in the universe. My favourite section was the one depicting how alcohol reacts with your brain and makes you do things that you probably shouldn't have. There are numerous graphical presentations which delve right inside your brain to show in different colours what each section of your brain is responsible for. We all know that the right half of your brain controls the left side of your body, but did you know that it only took 2 1/2 million years to evolve from our ape-like ancestors to humans, which is a relatively short time by evolutionary standards and would have involved an increase of 150,000 nerve cells every generation.

[edit] As Time Goes By

As Time Goes By follows Bud and Viola from Kansas in their twilight years. The camera has not long been rolling and poor old Bud is picked on by the missus for losing his hair, getting rounder in the middle and only marrying Viola to clean, cart water and cook for him. This section really opens your eyes to what is yet to come and what makes us all age (some more gracefully than others), thanks in no small part to oxygen - the very thing that gives us life in the first place. You also gain a greater understanding into why our senses such as hearing and sight start to deteriorate when the couple leave the farm and take their first trip to the big smoke (New York). What makes the visit to the city even more interesting is that it is the first time Bud (78) and Viola (63) have seen skyscrapers, subways and noisy streets except on TV. The noisy streets provide a good backdrop for the camera to zoom into Bud's ear and down his ear canal to discuss how hearing works.

[edit] End of Life

The End of Life is a sobering section where we watch the last days and inevitable death of Herbie from stomach cancer, and how his physical life is undone. It discusses why the Rate of Living Theory is no longer thought to be correct, which believed that 1 - 2 billion heartbeats was the limit for all living things, so a hare with a rapid heart rate has a shorter life than a tortoise with a slower heart rate.

[edit] Screenshots

Image: The-Human-Body-Screen0.jpg Image: The-Human-Body-Screen1.jpg Image: The-Human-Body-Screen2.jpg Image: The-Human-Body-Screen3.jpg Image: The-Human-Body-Screen4.jpg Image: The-Human-Body-Screen5.jpg

[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: DivX5.05
  • Video Bitrate: 1789 kb/s Qf 0.296 bits/pixel
  • Video Resolution: 656x368
  • Video Aspect Ratio: (1.78:1) [=41:23]
  • Audio Codec: AC3
  • Audio BitRate: 192 kb/s Fs 48000 Hz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • RunTime Per Part: ~49minutes
  • Number Of Parts: 7
  • Part Size: ~700Mb
  • Ripped by Red Kite

[edit] Links

[edit] Release Post

[edit] Official Website

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