Top Ten Horrible Histories Songs

Horrible Histories is a popular British television series based on the best-selling book series by Terry Dreary. The show was produced for CBBC by Lion Television with Citrus Television and ran from 2009 to 2013 with an additional ‘reincarnation’ in 2015. Here in Australia, reruns are constantly being shown and the show is very popular in my home (and not just with the kids!).

The show is ‘hosted’ by a black rat puppet by the name of Rattus Rattus and stars  Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond, alongside a large supporting cast headed by Sarah Hadland, Lawry Lewin and Dominique Moore.

Each episode lasts for half an hour and covers different time periods with interesting titles such as ‘Gorgeous Georgians’ or ‘Vile Victorians’. The show consists of  Live-action sketches—which often parody other UK media or celebrities—and music videos, intercut with animations and quizzes, with Rattus Rattus explaining the facts behind each segment.

Horrible Histories was a critical and ratings success, winning numerous domestic and international awards (including being the first children’s show to win best sketch at the Comedy Awards) and has been named among the greatest British children’s television series of all time — with good reason, in my opinion. The show is entertaining for all ages, including adults, with the added benefit of being educational. Some of the most popular sketches and songs from the show have attracted more than half a million hits each on YouTube.

Frankly, I have learned more from this show than I ever did in History class. Continue reading

Arthur C. Clarke in ‘The Hammer of God’

“It came in vertically, punching a whole ten kilometres wide through the atmosphere, generating temperatures so high that the air itself started to burn. When it hit the ground, rock turned to liquid and spread outwards in mountainous waves, not freezing until it had formed a crater two hundred kilometres across.

That was only the beginning of disaster; now the real tragedy began.

Nitric oxides rained from the air, turning the sea to acid. Clouds of soot from incinerated forests darkened the sky, hiding the sun for months. Worldwide, the temperature dropped precipitously, killing off most of the plants and animals that had survived the initial cataclysm. Though some species would linger on for millenia, the reign of the great reptiles was finally over.

The clock of evolution had been reset; the countdown to man had begun.”

—Arthur C. Clarke in ‘The Hammer of God’