PBS' "NOVA" 2013 Premieres!: Doomsday Volcanoes, Drone Technology, Earth Seen From Space & Much More
NOVA EXPLORES DOOMSDAY VOLCANOES, DRONE TECHNOLOGY, OUR NEANDERTHAL GENES, EARTH SEEN FROM SPACE, THE LINDBERGH CASE, AUSTRALIA AND ANCIENT WORLDS IN NEW 2013 PROGRAMMING
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 9PM/8c
In April 2010 the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano turned much of the northern hemisphere into an ash-strewn no-fly zone, stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers. But Eyjafjallajökull was just the start. Now, an Icelandic volcano ten times bigger, Katla, has begun to swell and grumble. Two more giants, Hekla and Laki, could erupt without warning. Iceland is a ticking time bomb: When it blows, the consequences will be global. As CGI takes us inside these geological monsters, we meet atmospheric scientists who are working to understand just how devastating an eruption could be - not just for air travel but for the global food supply and for Earth's climate. Could we be plunged into years of cold and famine? What can we do to prepare for the disaster to come?
30-second preview: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/doomsday-volcanoes.html
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 9PM/8c
Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans - people physically identical to us today - left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there for hundred of thousands of years. So what happened when the first modern humans encountered the Neanderthals? Did we make love or war? That question has tantalized generations of scholars and seized the popular imagination. Then, in 2010, a team led by geneticist Svante Pääbo announced stunning news. Not only had they reconstructed much of the Neanderthal genome - an extraordinary technical feat that would have seemed impossible only a decade ago - but their analysis showed that "we" modern humans had interbred with Neanderthals, leaving a small but consistent signature of Neanderthal genes behind in everyone outside Africa today. In Decoding Neanderthals, NOVA explores the implications of this exciting discovery. In the traditional view, Neanderthals differed from "us" in behavior and capabilities as well as anatomy. But were they really mentally inferior, as inexpressive and clumsy as the cartoon caveman they inspired? NOVA explores a range of intriguing new evidence for Neanderthal self-expression and language, all pointing to the fact that we may have seriously underestimated our mysterious, long-vanished human cousins.
30-second preview: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/decoding-neanderthals.html
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 9PM/8c
Rise of the Drones
Drones. These unmanned flying robots - some as large as jumbo jets, others as small as birds - do things straight out of science fiction. Much of what it takes to get these robotic airplanes to fly, sense, and kill has remained secret. But now, with rare access to drone engineers (including an interview with the "Father of the Predator," Abe Karem), and those who fly them for the US military, NOVA reveals the amazing technologies that make drones so powerful as we see how a remotely-piloted drone strike looks and feels from inside the command center. From cameras that can capture every detail of an entire city at a glance, to swarming robots that can make decisions on their own, to giant air frames that can stay aloft for days on end, drones are changing our relationship to war, surveillance, and each other. And it's just the beginning. Discover the cutting edge technologies that are propelling us toward a new chapter in aviation history, as NOVA gets ready for "The Rise of the Drones."
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9PM/8c
Who Killed Lindbergh's Baby
In the aftermath of his 1927 solo transatlantic flight, Colonel Charles Augustus Lindbergh - the Lone Eagle - became the most famous human being on earth. And when he and his lovely wife Anne produced an adorable baby son, Charlie, an eager press quickly dubbed him Little Lindy or sometimes just the Eaglet. But on the evening of March 1, 1932 Lucky Lindy's luck ran out. Bold kidnappers snatched his baby from the family home near Hopewell, New Jersey while everyone in the house was awake. Negotiations with the kidnappers stretched out for weeks. But Little Charlie never came back. His body was discovered not five miles from Hopewell. Now, NOVA is reopening one of the most intriguing, grisly and confounding crime mysteries of all time as a team of expert investigators employ state-of-the-art forensic and behavioral science techniques in an effort to determine what really happened to Lindbergh's baby... and why.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 9PM/8c
Building Pharaoh's Chariot
Reliefs in Egyptian tombs and temples, dated to around 3,600 years ago, depict pharaohs and warriors proudly riding into battle on horse-drawn chariots. Some historians claim that the chariot launched a technological and strategic revolution, and was the secret weapon behind Egypt's greatest era of conquest known as the New Kingdom. But was the Egyptian chariot really a revolutionary design? How decisive a role did it play in the bloody battles of the ancient world? In Building Pharaoh's Chariot, a team of archeologists, engineers, woodworkers, and horse trainers join forces to build and test two highly accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots. They discover astonishingly advanced features, including spoked wheels, springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars, and even a convex shaped rear mirror, leading one of them to compare the level of design to the engineering standards of 1930's-era Buicks! By driving our pair of replicas to their limits in the desert outside Cairo, NOVA's experts test the claim that the chariot marks a crucial turning point in ancient military history.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 9PM/8c
Earth From Space (2-hour special)
Earth From Space is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9PM/8c
In 1900, a storm blew a boatload of sponge divers off course and forced them to take shelter by the tiny Mediterranean island of Antikythera. Diving the next day, they discovered a 2,000 year-old Greek shipwreck. Among the ship's cargo they hauled up was an unimpressive green lump of corroded bronze. Rusted remnants of gear wheels could be seen on its surface, suggesting some kind of intricate mechanism. The first X-ray studies confirmed that idea, but how it worked and what it was for puzzled scientists for decades. Recently, hi-tech imaging has revealed the extraordinary truth: this unique clockwork machine was the world's first computer. An array of 30 intricate bronze gear wheels, originally housed in a shoebox-size wooden case, was designed to predict the dates of lunar and solar eclipses, track the Moon's subtle motions through the sky, and calculate the dates of significant events such as the Olympic Games. No device of comparable technological sophistication is known from anywhere in the world for at least another 1,000 years. So who was the genius inventor behind it? And what happened to the advanced astronomical and engineering knowledge of its makers? NOVA follows the ingenious sleuthing that finally decoded the truth behind the amazing ancient Greek computer.
Wednesdays, April 10, 17, 24 & May 1, 2013 at 9PM/8c
Australia's First 3 Billion Years (four-part series)
Of all continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. NOVA's four-part Australia's First 3 Billion Years takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from high-energy host and geologist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. Epic in scope, intimate in nature, this is the untold story of the Land Down Under, the one island continent that has got it all. Join NOVA on the ultimate Outback road trip, an exploration of the history of the planet as seen through the mind-altering window of the Australian continent.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 9PM/8c
Predators in Your Backyard (wt)
Can returning predators to the wild help heal our damaged ecosystems? Over the last few hundred years, humans have conquered the animals that used to thrive in the wild. But a growing number of scientists are discovering that in eliminating predators, we have damaged the environment. Their solution is simple, but terrifying. They want to return these animals to the wild. Removing beasts from their natural habitat has thrown ecosystems off-kilter, triggering domino effects that scientists are just beginning to understand. NOVA follows scientists from California to Florida, who are undertaking a simple, but frightening, solution: returning apex predators like coyotes, bears, and panthers to their natural environments. Will these animals restore the natural balance of their ecosystems--or will they threaten the humans who live among them?