Radio: Pick of the Day

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The Independent Culture
IN BEHIND THE IRON HORSE (2.30pm R4), Ludovic Kennedy (right) looks at the way the railroads helped to unify the United States, settle the West and wreak havoc on the lives of native Americans.

Between the Ears - Virtual Spires (9.35pm R3) takes us, to new territory - the virtual community of Alphaworld, "the size of California" but only three years old. It already has its own newspaper - Richard Coles meets its editor, who has given himself the unpromising avatar of "Simon Says".

Coles pops up again later for the much quainter Airs of England (11pm R4), a new four-part series on forgotten English popular music, which begins with the sounds of Dickens' London.

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