Americas and the Caribbean
Long ago, a powerful king named Midas lived in a place called Phyrgia. Midas had a large kingdom, a beautiful palace, and a loving daughter. But the thing Midas loved most of all was gold. One day, a god gave Midas the power to turn everything he touches into gold. But was this power a blessing, or a curse?
Sherlock Holmes is a great detective. There are few cases that he cannot solve. In these three stories we meet a young woman who is terrified of a mysterious ‘speckled band’, a family who think that five orange pips are a sign of death, and a banker who believes that his son is a thief. But are things really as they seem?
It is more than forty years since the Great Train Robbery. But what happened to the rest of the money that was taken? Two million pounds has never been found. Perhaps some of the robbers would like to know the answer to this question too... Many great crimes end in a question. Who really killed President Kennedy? What happened to Shergar? Who knows the truth about Azaria Chamberlain? Not all the answers are known.
Who will speak for the poor? Who will listen to slaves, and those who have no rights? Who will work for a future where everyone is equal? Who will give up his house, job and money to fight for people who are shut out by everyone else? 'I will,' said Mohandas Gandhi. And he began to fight in a way the world had not seen before - not with weapons, and wild crowds, and words of hate, but with the power of non-violence.
From out of the sky, from under the earth, from far out at sea - disaster comes. We build and invent new things - and sometimes bring disaster on ourselves. Today television and the Internet mean that we can watch disasters as they happen, and see their terrible results. From Pompeii to the Asian Tsunami, from the Great Fire of London to Chernobyl, the stories of disasters are frightening, but they have much to tell us.
About a quarter of the people in the world today speak or use English. In homes and schools, offices and meeting rooms, ships and airports, people are speaking English... How has this happened? How did English begin, and what will become of it in the future? The history of the English language is a journey through space and time, from thousands of years ago to today and beyond, and to all parts of the world.
In 1918 in the peaceful province of Transkei, South Africa, the Mandela family gave their new baby son the name Rolihlahla - 'troublemaker'. But the young boy's early years were happy ones, and he grew up to be a good student and an enthusiastic sportsman. Who could imagine then what was waiting for Nelson Mandela - the tireless struggle for human rights, the long years in prison, the happiness and sadness of family life, and one day the title of President of South Africa?
The United States in the 1950s and 60s was a troubled place. Black people were angry, because they did not have the same rights as whites. It was a time of angry words, of marches, of protests, a time of bombs and killings. But above the angry noise came the voice of one man - a man of peace. 'I have a dream,' said Martin Luther King, and it was a dream of blacks and whites living together in peace and freedom. This is the story of an extraordinary man, who changed American history in his short life.
Imagine an animal with teeth as big as bananas - and a brain as big as an orange. Or a flying animal with wings as wide as a small plane. Think about a tail that could knock a man's head off, or a mouth with hundreds of teeth. Is it any surprise that people are interested in dinosaurs? Nobody has ever seen a living dinosaur, but millions of us go every year to stare at the bones of these enormous animals. In books, films and games, we can't get enough of the secrets of the dinosaur world ...
It's an exciting life - full of fast cars, money, and travel. The names of Formula One champions are known all over the world. And everywhere young drivers dream of success one day in Monaco, Melbourne, Monza ... But it is a difficult life too. Drivers need strong bodies - and minds. They need to think quickly, drive hard, and sometimes look death in the face. This is the dangerous, exciting world of Formula One - where the world's best drivers have only seconds to win or lose a race.
From 1942 until 1944, Anne Frank and her family lived secretly in a few small rooms at the back of her father's office in Amsterdam, never leaving the building. Like many other Jewish families at that time, they were hiding from Hitler's Nazis.
It is beautiful to look at, hard to reach, and terribly difficult to climb. Winds of 200 kilometres per hour or more scream across it day and night, while the temperature falls to -20 DGC or lower. Every year, some who try to climb the highest mountain in the world do not return. But for a century people have been coming to climb Everest - some alone, some in groups, but all with a dream of going to the highest place in the world. This is their story.
What do you find in these two countries at the end of the world? One is an enormous island, where only twenty million people live - and the other is two long, narrow islands, with ten sheep for every person. One country has the biggest rock in all the world, and a town where everybody lives under the ground; the other has a beach where you can sit beside the sea in a pool of hot water, and lakes that are bright yellow, green, and blue.
From the smallest fly to the biggest elephant, and from fish living at the bottom of the ocean to birds that fly several kilometres above land: this is the animal kingdom, the biggest group of living things in the world. Some are very different, others are the same in many ways - but these mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates have all managed to live for thousands and thousands of years. How do they find food, grow, keep safe, and have young - and what is the future for them in this fast-changing world?
What will we do when there is nowhere to put our rubbish? Every day, all over the world, people drop cans, boxes, paper, and bottles into bins and never think about them again. And the rubbish mountains get bigger and bigger. But there is another way - a way that makes old paper into houses, broken bottles into jewellery, and old cans into bridges. Anyone can recycle - it's easy, it saves money, and it's a way to say, 'I care about the Earth.' Saving the world starts with you - here - now.
You're fast asleep, and nothing is happening. Or is it? In fact, your body is hard at work. Your lungs are taking oxygen from the air, and your heart is pumping blood round your body. Millions of pieces of information are travelling backwards and forwards to your brain all the time. Muscles are repairing themselves, and in your lymph nodes special cells are cleaning germs and waste from the body. You may think that nothing is happening, but in the extraordinary machine that is the human body, it is very busy indeed...
It is hard to imagine the modern world without information technology. At home, at work, and at play, mobile phones, emails and computers have become part of daily life. The story of information technology is a story of machines - from the ancient abacus to the small powerful computer chips of today. But it is also a story of people.