TV Show Review: Big History
Watched on: Hulu, home computer
Part of what helps me write stories, is constantly learning about topics and trying to look at normal things in a different way. As a part of this, I'm a huge fan of watching documentaries and shows that explore information about random things.
Big History is the perfect show for this. Along the lines of 'Modern Marvels' and such shows, the idea is taking one simple thing we all know about, and explaining it from all the different points of view like manufacturing, use and such things. What Big History does, that Modern Marvels doesn't, is connect all the strange things you would never think of.
For example? In the latest episode about horses, it explained the interesting coincidences that the spread of vast empires like Rome tended to coincide with how far a human could ride on a horse in a day. This lead to quick message delivery and made it easier to control a large group of people. Also, things like how pants tended to follow the use of horses, because it was really painful to ride them in tunics.
I just discovered this show recently on Hulu, but I'm loving it and flying through episodes. I don't know if I'll ever use the information, but it's still really interesting to know in the back of my head.
As a thought, this would be a great show to watch if you're building a fantasy world or a new culture.