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Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions
1/2 - When Worlds Collide
Sunday 4 January 2009
9:00pm - 10:00pm
The first programme in a two-part documentary reveals the awe-inspiring world of animal swarms. We discover
what happens when superswarms invade our lives and, using the latest camera techniques, we go to the heart
of the swarm, to reveal how the creatures view our world.
Real-life footage from camcorders and mobile phones captures the amazing impact they can have on our lives.
Killers bees mount an attack on an international football match in Costa Rica, while in the US the Illinois River
literally boils with leaping silver carp, an alien species that has hijacked the river smashing into boats and
In South Australia a sea of mice raid farms as millions consume and destroy on a scale that defies belief.
The largest swarm on Earth erupts from Lake Victoria, trillions of flies blanket villages, but the locals have
learnt to turn this swarm into a highly nutritious fly-burger. In Rome, cameras fly alongside ten million starlings,
the largest swarm in Europe. Their mesmeric waves stop many residents in their tracks, but as they roost
they smother the city in tons of excrement.
One man has learnt to control the ultimate swarm, he has become their 'queen bee' with startling results,
learning to control what most people fear, and to understand one of the most incredible forces of nature.
Swarms - hundreds of small blobs moving randomly round the screen - do not compress very well with existing
video codecs. If you freeze frame, you'll see some frames pixellate quite a bit - they appear as larger squares.
The same is true of the broadcast PDTV MPEG-2 source.
I've used a video bit rate that offers the best picture for a reasonable file size. The pixellation isn't really visible
on a standard TV at 25fps, but if you're fussy, I'd recommend a HDTV torrent for this programme.
Some of the other rather spiffing shows available now and always if you signup free @ www.TheBox.bz:
Comedy: The Office, Peep Show, Coupling, Chef, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, The IT Crowd, Brass Eye, Nathan Barley, Young Ones, Monty Python, Blackadder, Alan Partridge, Father Ted, Coupling, Little Britain, Mr Bean, Extras, Green Wing, Mighty Boosh
Drama: Casualty, Holby City, The Bill, Hustle, Skins, Shameless, Ashes To Ashes
Game/Quiz Shows: Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Have I Got News For You, Deal Or No Deal (UK), Q.I.
Education/Documentary: Planet Earth, Horizon, Panorama, Mark Thomas (Comedy) Product
Food: Hell's Kitchen, Jamie Oliver, The F Word, Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, Great British Menu, Gordon Ramsay's Cookalong
Home/Property/Garden: Property Ladder, How Clean Is Your House?, Changing Rooms, Grand Designs, Homes Under The Hammer, To Buy Or Not To Buy
Motoring: Top Gear, Fifth Gear
Music: Top Of The Pops, Jools Holland, Glastonbury
Reality: Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here!, Any Dream Will Do, Grease, Pop Idol, Wife Swap, X Factor, Badger Or Bust, Apprentice UK, Dragons' Den, Britain's Got Talent
Sci-Fi: Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Torchwood, Primeval
Sport: Football (Soccer), Cricket, Rugby, Snooker, Darts, Formula One (F1GP)