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Nova Previous Broadcasts

Deadliest Earthquakes (Episode #3801)

KQED Life: Fri, May 31, 2013 -- 9:00 PM

In 2010, epic earthquakes all over the planet delivered one of the worst annual death tolls ever recorded. The deadliest strike was in Haiti, where a quake just southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince, killed more than 200,000, reducing homes, hospitals, schools, and the presidential palace to rubble. In exclusive coverage, a Nova camera crew follows a team of US geologists as they first enter Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. It is a race against time as they hunt for crucial evidence that will help them determine exactly what happened deep underground and what the risks are of a new killer quake. Barely a month after the Haiti quake, Chile was struck by a quake 100 times more powerful, unleashing a tsunami that put the entire Pacific coast on high alert. In a coastal town devastated by the rushing wave, Nova follows a team of geologists as they battle aftershocks to measure the displacement caused by the earthquake. Could their work, and the work of geologists at earthquake hot-spots around the US, one day lead to a breakthrough in predicting quakes before they happen? Nova investigates new leads in its investigation of a deadly scientific conundrum.

Manhunt - Boston Bombers (Episode #4014H)

KQED Life: Fri, May 31, 2013 -- 8:00 PM

At 2:50pm on April 15, two bomb blasts turned the Boston Marathon finish line from a scene of triumph to tragedy, leaving 3 dead, hundreds injured, and a city gripped by heartbreak and terror. Less than 5 days later, the key suspects were identified and apprehended - with one dead, the other in custody. How did investigators transform the chaos of the bombing into a coherent trail of clues, pointing to the accused killers?
Nova follows the manhunt step by step, examining the role modern technology - combined with old-fashioned detective work - played in cracking the case. Given hundreds of hours of surveillance and bystander videos, how did agents spot the bad guys in a sea of spectators? Why couldn't facial recognition software I.D. the criminals? How much could bomb chemistry analysis, cell phone GPS, infrared imagery and crowd sourcing reveal about the secrets behind this horrific crime? With the help of top criminal investigators and anti-terrorism experts, Nova explores which technological innovations worked - and which didn't - in the most notorious case of today, and how the world of crime fighting could be transformed tomorrow.

Oklahoma's Deadliest Tornadoes (Episode #4015H)

KQED World: Thu, May 30, 2013 -- 12:00 PM

On May 20th 2013, a ferocious F5 tornado over a mile wide tore through Moore, Oklahoma, inflicting 24 deaths and obliterating entire neighborhoods. It was the third time an exceptionally violent tornado had struck the city in 14 years. Yet predicting when and where these killer storms will hit still poses a huge challenge. Why was 2011 - the worst ever recorded tornado season that left 158 dead in Joplin, Missouri - followed by the quietest ever year of activity prior to the Moore disaster? Can improved radar and warning technology explain why so many fewer died in Moore than in Joplin? And will tornadoes get worse as Earth's climate heats up? In this Nova special, we meet scientists in the front ranks of the battle to understand these extreme weather events. We also meet storm survivors whose lives have been upended, and learn how we can protect ourselves and our communities for the uncertain future.

Manhunt - Boston Bombers (Episode #4014H)

KQED World: Thu, May 30, 2013 -- 11:00 AM

At 2:50pm on April 15, two bomb blasts turned the Boston Marathon finish line from a scene of triumph to tragedy, leaving 3 dead, hundreds injured, and a city gripped by heartbreak and terror. Less than 5 days later, the key suspects were identified and apprehended - with one dead, the other in custody. How did investigators transform the chaos of the bombing into a coherent trail of clues, pointing to the accused killers?
Nova follows the manhunt step by step, examining the role modern technology - combined with old-fashioned detective work - played in cracking the case. Given hundreds of hours of surveillance and bystander videos, how did agents spot the bad guys in a sea of spectators? Why couldn't facial recognition software I.D. the criminals? How much could bomb chemistry analysis, cell phone GPS, infrared imagery and crowd sourcing reveal about the secrets behind this horrific crime? With the help of top criminal investigators and anti-terrorism experts, Nova explores which technological innovations worked - and which didn't - in the most notorious case of today, and how the world of crime fighting could be transformed tomorrow.

Oklahoma's Deadliest Tornadoes (Episode #4015H)

KQED World: Thu, May 30, 2013 -- 6:00 AM

On May 20th 2013, a ferocious F5 tornado over a mile wide tore through Moore, Oklahoma, inflicting 24 deaths and obliterating entire neighborhoods. It was the third time an exceptionally violent tornado had struck the city in 14 years. Yet predicting when and where these killer storms will hit still poses a huge challenge. Why was 2011 - the worst ever recorded tornado season that left 158 dead in Joplin, Missouri - followed by the quietest ever year of activity prior to the Moore disaster? Can improved radar and warning technology explain why so many fewer died in Moore than in Joplin? And will tornadoes get worse as Earth's climate heats up? In this Nova special, we meet scientists in the front ranks of the battle to understand these extreme weather events. We also meet storm survivors whose lives have been upended, and learn how we can protect ourselves and our communities for the uncertain future.

Manhunt - Boston Bombers (Episode #4014H)

KQED World: Thu, May 30, 2013 -- 5:00 AM

At 2:50pm on April 15, two bomb blasts turned the Boston Marathon finish line from a scene of triumph to tragedy, leaving 3 dead, hundreds injured, and a city gripped by heartbreak and terror. Less than 5 days later, the key suspects were identified and apprehended - with one dead, the other in custody. How did investigators transform the chaos of the bombing into a coherent trail of clues, pointing to the accused killers?
Nova follows the manhunt step by step, examining the role modern technology - combined with old-fashioned detective work - played in cracking the case. Given hundreds of hours of surveillance and bystander videos, how did agents spot the bad guys in a sea of spectators? Why couldn't facial recognition software I.D. the criminals? How much could bomb chemistry analysis, cell phone GPS, infrared imagery and crowd sourcing reveal about the secrets behind this horrific crime? With the help of top criminal investigators and anti-terrorism experts, Nova explores which technological innovations worked - and which didn't - in the most notorious case of today, and how the world of crime fighting could be transformed tomorrow.

Oklahoma's Deadliest Tornadoes (Episode #4015H)

KQED 9: Thu, May 30, 2013 -- 4:00 AM

On May 20th 2013, a ferocious F5 tornado over a mile wide tore through Moore, Oklahoma, inflicting 24 deaths and obliterating entire neighborhoods. It was the third time an exceptionally violent tornado had struck the city in 14 years. Yet predicting when and where these killer storms will hit still poses a huge challenge. Why was 2011 - the worst ever recorded tornado season that left 158 dead in Joplin, Missouri - followed by the quietest ever year of activity prior to the Moore disaster? Can improved radar and warning technology explain why so many fewer died in Moore than in Joplin? And will tornadoes get worse as Earth's climate heats up? In this Nova special, we meet scientists in the front ranks of the battle to understand these extreme weather events. We also meet storm survivors whose lives have been upended, and learn how we can protect ourselves and our communities for the uncertain future.

Manhunt - Boston Bombers (Episode #4014H)

KQED 9: Thu, May 30, 2013 -- 3:00 AM

At 2:50pm on April 15, two bomb blasts turned the Boston Marathon finish line from a scene of triumph to tragedy, leaving 3 dead, hundreds injured, and a city gripped by heartbreak and terror. Less than 5 days later, the key suspects were identified and apprehended - with one dead, the other in custody. How did investigators transform the chaos of the bombing into a coherent trail of clues, pointing to the accused killers?
Nova follows the manhunt step by step, examining the role modern technology - combined with old-fashioned detective work - played in cracking the case. Given hundreds of hours of surveillance and bystander videos, how did agents spot the bad guys in a sea of spectators? Why couldn't facial recognition software I.D. the criminals? How much could bomb chemistry analysis, cell phone GPS, infrared imagery and crowd sourcing reveal about the secrets behind this horrific crime? With the help of top criminal investigators and anti-terrorism experts, Nova explores which technological innovations worked - and which didn't - in the most notorious case of today, and how the world of crime fighting could be transformed tomorrow.

Oklahoma's Deadliest Tornadoes (Episode #4015H)

KQED 9: Wed, May 29, 2013 -- 10:00 PM

On May 20th 2013, a ferocious F5 tornado over a mile wide tore through Moore, Oklahoma, inflicting 24 deaths and obliterating entire neighborhoods. It was the third time an exceptionally violent tornado had struck the city in 14 years. Yet predicting when and where these killer storms will hit still poses a huge challenge. Why was 2011 - the worst ever recorded tornado season that left 158 dead in Joplin, Missouri - followed by the quietest ever year of activity prior to the Moore disaster? Can improved radar and warning technology explain why so many fewer died in Moore than in Joplin? And will tornadoes get worse as Earth's climate heats up? In this Nova special, we meet scientists in the front ranks of the battle to understand these extreme weather events. We also meet storm survivors whose lives have been upended, and learn how we can protect ourselves and our communities for the uncertain future.

Manhunt - Boston Bombers (Episode #4014H)

KQED 9: Wed, May 29, 2013 -- 9:00 PM

At 2:50pm on April 15, two bomb blasts turned the Boston Marathon finish line from a scene of triumph to tragedy, leaving 3 dead, hundreds injured, and a city gripped by heartbreak and terror. Less than 5 days later, the key suspects were identified and apprehended - with one dead, the other in custody. How did investigators transform the chaos of the bombing into a coherent trail of clues, pointing to the accused killers?
Nova follows the manhunt step by step, examining the role modern technology - combined with old-fashioned detective work - played in cracking the case. Given hundreds of hours of surveillance and bystander videos, how did agents spot the bad guys in a sea of spectators? Why couldn't facial recognition software I.D. the criminals? How much could bomb chemistry analysis, cell phone GPS, infrared imagery and crowd sourcing reveal about the secrets behind this horrific crime? With the help of top criminal investigators and anti-terrorism experts, Nova explores which technological innovations worked - and which didn't - in the most notorious case of today, and how the world of crime fighting could be transformed tomorrow.

Secrets of the Sun (Episode #3907H)

KQED World: Thu, May 23, 2013 -- 5:00 AM

It contains 99.9% of all the matter in our solar system and sheds hot plasma at nearly a million miles an hour. The temperature at its core is a staggering 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. It convulses, it blazes, it sings. You know it as the sun. Scientists know it as one of the most amazing physics laboratories in the universe. Now, with the help of new spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes, scientists are seeing the Sun as they never have before and even re-creating what happens at the very center of the Sun in labs here on Earth. Their work will help us understand aspects of the sun that have puzzled scientists for decades. But more critically, it may help us predict and track solar storms that have the power to zap our power grid, shut down telecommunications, and ground global air travel for days, weeks, or even longer. Such storms have happened before-but never in the modern era of satellite communication. Thid episode reveals a bright new dawn in our understanding of our nearest star-one that might help keep our planet from going dark.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Sat, May 25, 2013 -- 10:00 PM
  • KQED Life: Fri, May 24, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
  • KQED Life: Thu, May 23, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
  • KQED World: Thu, May 23, 2013 -- 11:00 AM

Hunt for the Supertwister (Episode #3107)

KQED 9: Wed, May 22, 2013 -- 9:00 PM

A powerful tornado is a terrifying phenomenon that continues to defy decades of scientific efforts to predict it. During one of the worst tornado seasons on record, a Nova camera team chased across the Midwest, capturing hair-raising footage of highly destructive twisters in action. But this is much more than just another "extreme weather" show, focusing on the efforts of two scientists at the University of Oklahoma to develop radically different approaches to forecasting twisters: one relies on "virtual tornadoes" created inside supercomputers, while the other involves hunting down real-life storms to collect data firsthand (the method that inspired the movie Twister). With jaw-dropping 3-Dgraphics generated by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, this program features spectacular footage of these terrifying twisters and gives viewers a front-row seat to the risky and thrilling art of storm chasing.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Thu, May 23, 2013 -- 3:00 AM

Decoding Neanderthals (Episode #4002H)

KQED 9: Wed, May 15, 2013 -- 9:00 PM

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 Paabo 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.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Sat, May 18, 2013 -- 10:00 PM
  • KQED Life: Fri, May 17, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
  • KQED Life: Thu, May 16, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
  • KQED World: Thu, May 16, 2013 -- 11:00 AM
  • KQED World: Thu, May 16, 2013 -- 5:00 AM
  • KQED 9: Thu, May 16, 2013 -- 3:00 AM

Ancient Computer (Episode #4007H)

KQED Plus: Tue, May 14, 2013 -- 8:00 PM

An unpromising lump of metal found in a 2000-year-old shipwreck turns out to be an extraordinary treasure: the world's first computer. Nova follows the ingenious detective work that painstakingly discovered the truth about the ancient Greek device: it was an astonishingly sophisticated astronomical calculator and eclipse predictor, unrivaled until the era of modern science and believed to be from the workshop of Archimedes.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Plus: Wed, May 15, 2013 -- 2:00 AM

Venom: Nature's Killer (Episode #3808H)

KQED Life: Thu, May 9, 2013 -- 8:00 PM

Venom scientists are in a race against time. Inside the bodies of many creatures, evolution has produced extreme toxic cocktails, all designed for one reason: to kill. It took millions of years to perfect these ultimate brews of proteins and peptides and we have only just begun to discover their potential. Now, the race is on to collect and study them before the animals that produce them disappear. But how does venom do its deadly work?
Nova reveals how venom causes the body to shut down, arteries to bleed uncontrollably and limbs to go black and die. But nature's most destructive and extreme poisons could contain the building blocks for a new generation of advanced drugs that could treat heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and cancer. This episode follows scientists on their expeditions to track down and capture the planet's most deadly creatures, risking life and limb just to tease out milligrams of venom and get it back to the lab. Find out how nature's deadliest cocktails could be medicine's brightest new hope.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Sat, May 11, 2013 -- 10:00 PM
  • KQED Life: Fri, May 10, 2013 -- 2:00 AM

Meteor Strike (Episode #4013)

KQED World: Thu, May 9, 2013 -- 5:00 AM

A blinding streak of light screaming across the Russian sky, followed by a shuddering blast strong enough to damage buildings and send more than 1000 people to the hospital. On the morning of February 15th, a 7000 ton asteroid crashed into the Earth's atmosphere, exploded and fell to earth across a wide swath near the Ural mountains. According to NASA, the Siberian Meteor, which exploded with the power of 30 Hiroshima bombs, was the largest object to burst in the atmosphere since a 1908 event near Siberia's Tunguska river. That time there were few eyewitnesses and no record of the event except for thousands of acres of flattened trees. This time however the event was captured by countless digital dashboard cameras, which have lately become a common fixture in Russian autos and trucks.
Within days, armed with this unprecedented crowd-sourced material, Nova crews hit the ground in Russia along with impact scientists as they hunt for debris from the explosion and clues to the meteor's origin and makeup. To understand how lucky we were this time, we explore even greater explosions in the past, from Tunguska to the asteroid that extinguished the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. This episode puts it all together and asks: Is our solar system a deadly celestial shooting gallery - with Earth in the cross-hairs? What are the chances that another, even more massive asteroid is heading straight for us? Are we just years, months or days away from a total global reboot of civilization, or worse?

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Thu, May 9, 2013 -- 11:00 AM

Venom: Nature's Killer (Episode #3808H)

KQED 9: Wed, May 8, 2013 -- 9:00 PM

Venom scientists are in a race against time. Inside the bodies of many creatures, evolution has produced extreme toxic cocktails, all designed for one reason: to kill. It took millions of years to perfect these ultimate brews of proteins and peptides and we have only just begun to discover their potential. Now, the race is on to collect and study them before the animals that produce them disappear. But how does venom do its deadly work?
Nova reveals how venom causes the body to shut down, arteries to bleed uncontrollably and limbs to go black and die. But nature's most destructive and extreme poisons could contain the building blocks for a new generation of advanced drugs that could treat heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and cancer. This episode follows scientists on their expeditions to track down and capture the planet's most deadly creatures, risking life and limb just to tease out milligrams of venom and get it back to the lab. Find out how nature's deadliest cocktails could be medicine's brightest new hope.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Sat, May 11, 2013 -- 10:00 PM
  • KQED Life: Fri, May 10, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
  • KQED 9: Thu, May 9, 2013 -- 3:00 AM

Meteor Strike (Episode #4013)

KQED Plus: Tue, May 7, 2013 -- 8:00 PM

A blinding streak of light screaming across the Russian sky, followed by a shuddering blast strong enough to damage buildings and send more than 1000 people to the hospital. On the morning of February 15th, a 7000 ton asteroid crashed into the Earth's atmosphere, exploded and fell to earth across a wide swath near the Ural mountains. According to NASA, the Siberian Meteor, which exploded with the power of 30 Hiroshima bombs, was the largest object to burst in the atmosphere since a 1908 event near Siberia's Tunguska river. That time there were few eyewitnesses and no record of the event except for thousands of acres of flattened trees. This time however the event was captured by countless digital dashboard cameras, which have lately become a common fixture in Russian autos and trucks.
Within days, armed with this unprecedented crowd-sourced material, Nova crews hit the ground in Russia along with impact scientists as they hunt for debris from the explosion and clues to the meteor's origin and makeup. To understand how lucky we were this time, we explore even greater explosions in the past, from Tunguska to the asteroid that extinguished the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. This episode puts it all together and asks: Is our solar system a deadly celestial shooting gallery - with Earth in the cross-hairs? What are the chances that another, even more massive asteroid is heading straight for us? Are we just years, months or days away from a total global reboot of civilization, or worse?

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Thu, May 9, 2013 -- 11:00 AM
  • KQED Plus: Wed, May 8, 2013 -- 2:00 AM

Australia's First 4 Billion Years: Strange Creatures (Episode #4012H)

KQED 9: Wed, May 1, 2013 -- 9:00 PM

Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. Nova's mini-series 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 scientist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. This is the untold story of the Land Down Under, the one island continent that has got it all.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Sat, May 4, 2013 -- 10:00 PM
  • KQED Life: Sat, May 4, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
  • KQED Life: Fri, May 3, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
  • KQED World: Thu, May 2, 2013 -- 11:00 AM
  • KQED World: Thu, May 2, 2013 -- 5:00 AM
  • KQED 9: Thu, May 2, 2013 -- 3:00 AM

Smartest Machine On Earth (Episode #3806H)

KQED Plus: Wed, May 1, 2013 -- 2:00 AM

What's so special about human intelligence and will scientists ever build a computer that rivals the flexibility and power of a human brain? Nova takes viewers inside an IBM lab where a crack team has been working for nearly three years to perfect a machine that can answer any question. The scientists hope their machine will be able to beat expert contestants in one of the USA's most challenging TV quiz shows -- Jeopardy, which has entertained viewers for over four decades. This program presents the exclusive inside story of how the IBM team developed the world's smartest computer from scratch. Now they're racing to finish it for a special Jeopardy airdate in February 2011. They've built an exact replica of the studio at its research lab near New York and invited past champions to compete against the machine, a big black box code - named Watson after IBM's founder, Thomas J. Watson. But will Watson be able to beat out its human competition?

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