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Foresight: The week ahead

Saturday 17 January

Diggers, tractors and trucks: road builders The story of Britain's roads from farm tracks to Roman roads to the surge in car ownership that started in the 1930s. Narrated by John Peel who once championed a pop combo called Half Man Half Biscuit, notable for songs such as '99% of gargoyles look like Bob Todd'.

Discovery Channel, 2.30pm


Ultimate guide: birds of prey All you ever wanted to know about birds of prey. Did you know that the telephone number for the owl sanctuary was 2820 2820? Think about ità Discovery Channel, 6am Nature - dung science Or the science of dung and, believe me, it's not to be pooh poohed.

BBC Radio 4, 9pm


Super structures: world's largest shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard sure is a big 'un.

Discovery Channel, 10pm


Material world Some scientists believe that sending the first astronauts to Mars can be done cheaper and quicker than NASA would have us believe. In fact, they are confident the first mission to the red planet could be as soon as 2011 with colonisation to follow shortly after.

So says Robert Zubrin, head of the Mars Society.

BBC Radio 4, 4.30pm

Until 28 February

Bricks and water exhibition Using drawings, paintings and photographs, Kew Bridge Steam Museum celebrates the architecture of London's waterworks and pumping stations.

Of course the museum has a rather attractive water tower of its own as well as being home to the world's largest collection of steam pumping engines. Add all this to the fact that we love them dearly, it would be churlish not to go and see the good folk at Kew.

Kew Bridge Steam Museum, Green Dragon Lane, Middlesex Tel: (020) 8568 4757 www. kbsm. org

New book

A century of innovation A hefty and impressive tome by George Constable and Bob Somerville that celebrates engineering over 20 chapters ranging from electronics to highways to nuclear and points in between. A foreword by former astronaut Neil Armstrong, an afterword by Arthur C Clarke and a contribution from Bill Gates confirm the book's weighty credentials, as does the price - £27.95 -but let's not quibble about that.

From Plymbridge Distributors ISBN 0-309-08908-5 Tel: (01752) 2023011 and also at The Talking Newspaper Association Those unable to read normal print may like to know that New Civil Engineer is available in audio form.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could choose the reader?

Fenella Fielding, or how about Lorraine Chase? Alas, such an option is not available.

For more details tel: (0870) 442 9590 If you know of events, exhibitions, books, programmes or websites that ought to be included in Foresight, contact Karl Thompson, tel (020) 7505 6682, e-mail karl. thompson@ construct. emap. com

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