Contagion on the airwaves: Samba, strings and the story of HIV

Click to listen to More or Less programme

Last weekend, the BBC World Service’s resident numbers nerd Tim Harford dedicated a whole episode of the wonderful “More or Less” programme to Song of Contagion. On air, I heard a few bars of the show’s music for the first time, and got a bit overexcited.

You can also listen to the programme, and to a few bars of the HIV song, here:

Youth versus beauty: the science of violins

BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science ran an interesting story this week about the audio-science of violins. Many people take it as given that a squillion-pound Stradivarius that has weathered the centuries has a richer sound than a newer instrument. That was put to the test in a “blind listening” — even the musicians playing the instruments were blindfolded.

And the winner was…

Well, listen and judge for yourself (mp3).