* the "invisible city" series showing on SBS on Sunday nights - where they go underneath various Italian ancient cities and map them in 3D detail with laser scanners - has been really interesting. Last week's episode, about Rome itself, really surprised me as to the vast extent of ancient, empty quarries underneath it. (As well the awesomeness of Roman engineering generally.) You see some of the scanning results at this website, and I'm sure it would still be able to be viewed in the SBS on Demand.
* Last night's Foreign Correspondent about the large Kerokbokan prison on Bali was pretty fascinating too. A more or less self run (by the inmates) prison, it seems a remarkably happy and relaxed place, despite serious overcrowding. (Apparently, the prisoners who never attempt breaking out despite the relatively low tech security arrangements.) Perhaps it has a not so scary atmosphere because most of the prisoners are just unlucky drug users/couriers/dealers? Or is it because there is pretty access to drugs within the prison - a point the show did not spend any time explaining? (With the relaxed looking monthly family days, smuggling drugs in does not look like a problem at all.)
With shows like these, I always feel like chaining News Ltd columnists and whiny Catallaxy economists to a chair and make them watch such quality TV which is unmatched by commercial networks. Do they want us to only watch fake reality TV contests and pathetic things like shows made about other people watching shows?