Tag Archives: BBC

QI : If you are curious you are interesting

National Television Awards 2013 - Show - London

QI, which stands for ‘Quite Interesting’, is a BBC panel knowledge game show like no other. I cannot begin to describe how much I enjoy finishing off the day with any past episode of the 10 seasons that this abnormal quiz has completed so far. Last week the new season started, so get ready for some more fun while learning opportunities from this ‘oh so British’ idea of a game.

QI is presented by the wonderful Stephen Fry and 4 panelists play each time, with Alan Davies being a permanent one. It is a general knowledge (and ignorance) quiz game with an amazing twist: The panellists gain points by providing, yes, the right answer but also by coming up with an Interesting one, whilst they lose points if they give an obvious or boring reply and they do not lose (or gain) any points at all if they give flat out wrong answers.

As QI says on their website:

“We live,  they say, in The Information Age, yet almost none of the information we think we possess is true. Eskimos do not rub noses. The rickshaw was invented by an American. Joan of Arc was not French. Lenin was not Russian. The world is not solid, it is made of empty space and energy, and neither haggis, whisky, porridge, clan tartans or kilts are Scottish. So we stand, silent, on a peak in Darien a vast, rolling, teeming, untrodden territory before us. QI country. Whatever is interesting we are interested in. Whatever is not interesting, we are even more interested in. Everything is interesting if looked at in the right way. At one extreme, QI is serious, intensely scientific, deeply mystical; at the other it is hilarious, silly and frothy enough to please the most indolent couch-potato.”

Curiosity is the driving force of QI, which has now grown to be more than just a comedy panel quiz show. Now it is a podcast channel, a series of books, etc. Check all these out on their website, where you can also find their Manifesto. But don’t miss the actual QI show! Here is an episode from series C (all series are available on youtube):

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Raphael’s ‘School of Athens’ and the Religious themes at the Stanza della Segnatura, a reflection on Pope Julius II library

Stanza Rafael, Musei Vaticani

Stiched panorama of the four walls in the Stanza della Segnatura, painted by Raphael

The philosophical and religious discourse that took off in Renaissance Italy is beautifully depicted by Raphael in the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican (Musei Vaticani).

Pope Julius II, in the early 1500’s, commissioned Raphael to paint his private apartments. Raphael painted the frescoes of four Rooms. All rooms are accessible to visitors today, they make part of the Musei Vaticani complex, which are known as the Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms).

One of these four Rooms is known as ‘The Stanza della Segnatura’, which is the very room that housed the Pope’s private library. For this Room, Raphael decided to make four frescoes (one on each wall) that depict the Renaissance newly (re)discovered Classical ideals in relation to the values of the Christian tradition. This choice of themes was meant to reflect the contents of the Pope’s library, the categories of which were : theology, philosophy, jurisprudence and poetry.

Of course the most famous fresco in this Room is none other than the ‘School of Athens‘….

school_of_athens

There is an interesting discussion on BBC Radio 4 about this painting, its relation to the other frescoes in the room and the concepts, ideas and discussions that were contemporary to the painting. I felt that this podcast gave me a bit more information on the choices made by Raphael (and Pope Julius II). The discussion is an episode of the ‘In Our Time’ program with Melvyn Bragg on BBC 4, available as a podcast for free. I am a fan of Melvyn’s podcasts… Here is the link to the ‘School of Athens’ episode:

'The School of Athens' episode

‘The School of Athens’ episode

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: