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On trains, in cafes, offices and in the street, we cannot help overhearing conversations not intended for our ears. Catherine Carr explores why we eavesdrop, and whether it is a harmless habit or a dangerous invasion of privacy. The poet Imtiaz Dharker takes ‘furtive pleasure’ in ‘lying in wait for secrets that people don’t even know they’re telling’ and sometimes what she hears ends up in her poems. Canadian journalist, Jackie Hong, eavesdropped on the radio communications of police and paramedics to get the news in real time. Not everything we hear in public is interesting to us: Lauren Emberson devised a psychology experiment to show why we find other people’s mobile phone conversations so difficult to ignore. In some circumstances, eavesdropping can be problematic. The historian Anita Krätzner-Ebert, who works at the Stasi Records Agency, has been conducting new research into cases of neighbours and strangers who eavesdropped and reported on each other in East Germany. Professor of Acoustic Engineering, Trevor Cox explains how some buildings have allowed embarrassing secrets to be overheard and literary scholar, Ann Gaylin says that eavesdropping scenes in novels show writers have always been curious about human curiosity. (Photo: Woman cupping ear, Credit: Dmitro Derevyanko/Shutterstock)
Why Raise Other People's Children?
Raising children is demanding. It takes time, money and devotion. So, why would anyone want to raise another person’s child? In this edition of the Why Factor, Mary-Ann Ochota, explores what it means to be a parent. Can mothers who adopt or foster have the same connection to their children as a birth mother would? And, what does it say about human society that we choose to take in the offspring of others? (Photo: Family, Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock)
Every country in the world has at least one Sign Language. Each is a complete communication system with its own grammar, lexicon and structure and has evolved over centuries, just like their verbal counterparts. Although many have legal status under disability legislation, only four have been given the status of a recognised official language. But not everyone who is deaf uses sign language, and not everyone who uses sign language is deaf. There is a debate in deaf communities as to whether they have ‘hearing loss’ or ‘deaf gain’ Why do some people view deafness as a disability, while others celebrate it as a cultural inheritance? Some deaf rights campaigners say that Sign language is a signifier of belonging to a Deaf community, with a rich cultural legacy. But does the choice to use hearing aids and cochlear implants to help use verbal language really mean a rejection a deaf culture and a deaf identity – or a practical way to integrate with a predominantly hearing world? (Image: Smiling mother signing with child, Credit: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock) Presenter: Lee Kumutat
Why Do Some People Crave the Limelight?
We sweat; we feel sick and even shake when we’re faced with the limelight. Our bodies release stress hormones and begin fight or flight response. So why then do some people crave the limelight so badly? Presenter Jordan Dunbar undergoes an experiment to find out what the limelight does to our bodies, to get a chemical answer. We speak with an historian of Fame, Leo Braudy, to hear how Alexander The Great started it all and how he used the Ancient Greek version of twitter to let everyone know how ‘great’ he was. We meet a Celebrity Psychologist, Dr Arthur Cassidy who reveals that attention is hardwired into our brains and how social media get us hooked as well as telling us why we want attention so badly. Star of 52 reality television shows Lisa Appleton knows a thing or two about the limelight, she talks about the main reason behind her search for fame. Rainbow Riots is a group of performers who highlight the injustices happening to the LGBT community around the world. They have come together from some of the most dangerous countries in the world to be gay. Kowa is a performer from Kampala who tells us why she’s willing to risk her life to bring attention to her struggle. George Bamby is an infamous paparazzo, a celebrity photographer who controls the limelight and he tell us what the world behind the camera is like. You’ll never look at the celebrity magazines in the same way again. We’ll find out the reasons behind the obsession with fame and the limelight around the world. Music by Petter Wallenberg and Rainbow Riots (Photo: Presenter Jordan Dunbar performing / Photo credit: Prague Fringe Festival )
Anybody who watched the European Championships of football last summer in France would have seen shocking scenes of violence between fans. The vast majority, if not all, were men. Men also commit more than 90% of murders across the world and are more likely to join a gang. Why are men more violent than women? Caroline Bayley speaks to ex-football hooligan Cass Pennant about his experiences and motivation when violence became his way of life. Former British Army officer Jane Middleton explains the differences between men and women on the battlefield when she served in Afghanistan. And, Caroline also hears views from Sweden about how equal violence between men and women in relationships is. (Photo: Group of football fans fighting in street. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images)