Higher Channels

August 6, 1999

John Davies puts on his viewing glasses (all times pm unless stated).

Pick of the Week TV programmes on major European philosophers are about as common as total eclipses, so as well as scanning the skies this week it is worth watching Human, All Too Human (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 11.15 BBC2). Three are profiled: Nietzsche (Monday), Heidegger (Tuesday) and Sartre (Wednesday). Although we learn less about their thought than their lives - Heidegger's relationship to Nazism, for example - there are insights from the likes of Jonathan Ree, Richard Rorty and Mary Warnock.

SATURDAY August 7 The Sky at Night (11.25am BBC2). Patrick Moore previews the eclipse.

Into Africa (8.10 BBC2). Henry Louis Gates in Ethiopia.

SUNDAY August 8 Proms Feature - A Musical Ostrich? (5.45 R3). Richard Strauss and his relationship with the Nazis (as close as Heidegger's?).

Biographies (6.35 C4). More Nazism: a US-made documentary on Adolf Eichmann.

The Nixon Resignation (6.00 History Channel). Senators, speechwriters and others recall the last days of the Nixon presidency in a useful 30th anniversary documentary.

Fruitful Earth (6.40 BBC2). Enclosures and improvement in England, clearances in Scotland, famine in Ireland - Alun Howkins sweeps through the 18th and 19th centuries in his history of the land.

Total Eclipse: Shadow Chasers (7.30 BBC1). What Francisco Diego (University College London), John Parkinson (Sheffield Hallam) and other eclipse chasers saw at the 1998 solar eclipse, on Curacao.

Big Ideas (7.30 BBC2). Helen Wilkinson on the family, with contributions from Helena Cronin, Bob Rowthorn and others.

The Mayfair Set (8.00 BBC2). More on Goldsmith and Rowland in last of revealing series on where power really lies.

The Cowboy and the Eclipse (8.00 C4). Artist James Turrell and his Cornish installations built for the eclipse.

MONDAY August 9 Block on Block (7.30 World Service). The world's tallest towers.

What I Believe (8.00 R4). Michael Nazir-Ali, bishop of Rochester, considers the state of religious belief in Britain.

Local Heroes (8.00 BBC2). Final programme in Adam Hart-Davis's series features heroes of the Royal Institution: Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday etc.

True Stories: Men in Pink (11.10 C4). About Rwandan genocide and its aftermath: pink is the colour of the prison uniform worn by those awaiting trial.

Human, All Too Human (11.15 BBC2). See above.

TUESDAY August 10 Global Witness (11.00am R4). Cambodian deforestation and the "environmental detectives" who have exposed it.

Blue Peter Eclipse Special (5.10 BBC1); Total Eclipse: First Contact (8.00 BBC1) and Sun Science (9.00 R4). More build-up.

Secret History "The Great Train Robbery" (9.00 C4). Now-it-can-be-told version of big 1963 news story reveals bungling, corruption and injustice. Not that "great" then.

The Planets (10.55 BBC1). Timely repeats of two episodes -the ones about the moon and the sun - of BBC2's recent series.

WEDNESDAY August 11 Total Eclipse Live (9.45am BBC1); Eclipse Live (9.55am C5); Eclipse Live from Cornwall (11.00am C5). From Patrick Moore to Russell Grant - coverage to suit all tastes.

THURSDAY August 12 Western Front (7.30 BBC2; Saturday in Wales). Part three of Richard Holmes's first world war series concentrates on Verdun.

Email: Davieses@aol.com 20 FeaturesThe Times HigherJAugust 6 1999 pictures: corbis Neil Turner Caption 9/9.3pt Helvetica2 Black u/lc ranged left Jencks, now nearing 60, continues to be busy. He recently visited Chandigarh in India, the Punjab capital planned and built by Le Corbusier. He is now rewriting his landmark work Le Corbusier and the tragic view of architecture.

Writing and teaching - he has lectured at more than 40 universities around the world - have given Jencks scant opportunity to work as an architect. Houses in New England, California and London plus a scatter of other smaller projects comprise his portfolio.

This is emerging from contemporary science and cosmology, which are again asking deep questions: Where do we come from? Who are we? How do we fit into an evolving world?

"We are seeking another architecture that more accurately reflects the new world view, the truth that we inhabit a self-organising universe, more surprising and open ended than previously imagined," he says.

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