The Why Factor

The extraordinary and hidden histories behind everyday objects and actions

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00xtky9

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      School Reunions


      Why do people go to their school reunion? Caz Graham goes to a 50th anniversary school reunion in the North of England where she meets people who are encountering friends who have not seen each other for years. She hears how the event prompts their memories of school days from the 1960s and also what they have done in the years since leaving school. Caz explores the strength of feelings that school day memories produce and finds out from experts why these enduring memories draw people...


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         23m
       
       

      Us and Them


      Dividing people into groups is part of our social experience. Be it through race, gender, nationality; we build our identities through groups we belong to. And these identities can be numerous and elastic. But, what makes us decide who is like us and who is the other? In this week’s Why Factor, Sandra Kanthal asks; why do we divide the world into us and them? (Image: Baseball caps, Credit: Sandra Kanthal/BBC)


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         23m
       
       

      Status


      How often do you think about other peoples’ opinion of you? In many parts of the world status is something we can change through education, occupation and wealth but what if you come from a culture where the status you are born with is inescapable? We speak to author Sujatha Gidla about growing up as one of India’s Untouchables: the outcasts of the country’s rigid Caste system. Lifestyle and fashion blogger Sasha Wilson shows us how high the status stakes are in the completive online wo...


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         23m
       
       

      Fishing


      People have been fishing for thousands of years – it is one of the last hunter gatherer activities. But increasingly it is becoming more difficult, as fish stocks dwindle or regulation limits the number of fishes that can be caught. Caz Graham asks why do people continue to fish despite these difficulties. She goes out into the Solway Firth in the north of England, with a group of haaf net fishers who use a traditional form of salmon fishing that dates back over a thousand years. She h...


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         22m
       
       

      Why Football is the world’s game


      Why has football becomes the world’s favourite team sport? Aasmah Mir asks why “soccer” has developed such a huge following. As the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia, Aasmah talks to players and fans across the world about the game’s accessibility, simplicity and unpredictability. (Image: Children playing football on beach, Credit: Shutterstock)


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       2018-06-18  23m
       
       

      Why Do We Love Landscapes?


      What is it about a beautiful landscape that people like so much? Caz Graham explores the appeal of landscapes, starting with a visit to the English Lake District and the site of William Wordsworth’s poem, Daffodils. Caz meet local poet Harriet Fraser and her husband, photographer, Rob Fraser, to hear what it is about the lakes and mountains where they work that so inspires them and other artists. She meets high altitude mountaineer Alan Hinkes to find out why he is drawn to wild and p...


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       2018-06-11  23m
       
       

      Self-Help


      Why do we believe complete strangers can guide us in improving every aspect of ourselves. Mary-Ann Ochota explores whether the self-help industry really changes peoples’ lives. Mary-Ann visits a self-improvement workshop, talks to the owner of an Indian finishing school and to two academics who spent a year in bitter competition as each attempted to outdo the other in self-improvement. (Image: Yes you can, Credit: Shutterstock)


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       2018-06-04  23m
       
       

      Dogs


      Why do we have such a close and complex relationship with dogs? No matter whether you love or hate them, it’s undeniable they’ve built up a special relationship with us that most animals haven’t. On this episode of The Why Factor, we find out why dogs are so special. Mary-Ann Ochota delves into the emotion, science and history that sets them apart - be they friend, foe or food. (Image: Essex Search and Rescue, Credit: Gabriela Jones/BBC)


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       2018-05-28  23m
       
       

      Immortality


      Although we don’t like thinking about it, most of us are resigned to the fact that we won’t escape death in the end. But there are people who have dedicated their entire lives to conquering death. This relatively new movement of so called ‘transhumanists’ believes that science is close to finding a cure for aging and that immortality may be just around the corner. Chloe Hadjimatheou asks why some people chase immortality. (Image: Theatre, Credit: Copyright ©2018 Alcor Life Extension Found...


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       2018-05-21  23m
       
       

      Self-Marriage


      Why do people marry themselves – and what even is self-marriage? The Why Factor meets the self-married, who argue if marriage is about committing to an individual - to love and cherish, in sickness and in health - who better to commit to… than yourself? Mary-Ann Ochota finds out why this emerging phenomenon is so popular amongst women in particular. And why self-marriage can be either a radical act of self-love, or the ultimate cosplay. And sometimes both. (Image: Grace Gelder, C...


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       2018-05-14  23m