PBS' premiere science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, it demystifies science and technology and highlights people involved in scientific pursuits.
Bombing Hitler's Supergun (#4314) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Growing desperate in 1943, Hitler hatches a diabolical weapon: a bank of "superguns" housed in a massive underground complex in Nazi-occupied northern France. Together the guns would be able to pump 600 high explosive shells 100 miles into downtown London every hour. This weapon could spell doom for the allies. But how can such a massive gun possibly work? Join NOVA as engineers, archaeologists, and WWII historians investigate this fearsome weapon. And discover the two audacious missions designed to destroy the seemingly impregnable supergun complex, one of which is led by none other than Joseph Kennedy, Jr.
Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius (#4108H) Duration: 54:21 STEREO TVG
What would it be like to go inside the mind of an animal? We have all gazed into a creature's eyes and wondered: what is it thinking about? What does it really know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In this mini-series, Nova explores these breakthroughs through three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins. We'll travel into the spectacularly nuanced noses of dogs and wolves, and ask whether their reliance on different senses has shaped their evolution. We'll see through the eyes of a starling in flight and test the tool-using skills of the smartest of birds, the crow. We'll listen in as scientists track dolphins in the Caribbean and elephants on the African savannah, trying to unlock the secrets of animal communication. As we discover how researchers are pushing the animal mind to its limits, we'll uncover surprising similarities to - and differences from - the human mind.
This episode: When it comes to intelligence, we humans are clearly the most gifted animals around. But what make us so special? Is it our ability to make and use tools? To solve complex problems? Or plan for the future? It might seem that way, but today, researchers are discovering other creatures with impressive brains that have mastered all those skills. Surprisingly, many are bird brains. Crows bend and shape sticks to create custom-made spears for hunting grubs, and they are just one among a growing list of bird species whose impressive problem-solving abilities are shocking scientists and revolutionizing our understanding of animal intelligence. At the head of the class, we meet animals like Muppet, a cockatoo with a talent for picking locks; 007, a wild crow on a mission to solve an eight-step puzzle for the first time ever; and Bran, a tame raven who can solve a puzzle box so quickly that his performance has to be captured with high-speed photography. But are these skills really evidence of high intelligence, or just parlor tricks, the result of training and instinct? To find out, Nova tests the limits of some of the planet's brainiest animals, searching for the secrets of a problem-solving mind.
Mystery of a Masterpiece (#3904H) Duration: 55:15 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
In October 2009, a striking portrait of a young woman in Renaissance dress made world news headlines. Originally sold two years before for around $20,000, the portrait is now thought to be an undiscovered masterwork by Leonardo da Vinci worth more than $100 million. How did cutting edge imaging analysis help tie the portrait to Leonardo? Nova meets a new breed of experts who are approaching "cold case" art mysteries as if they were crime scenes, determined to discover "who committed the art," and follows art sleuths as they deploy new techniques to combat the multi-billion dollar criminal market in stolen and fraudulent art.
Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses (#4109H) Duration: 54:21 STEREO TVG
What is it like to be a dog, a shark, or a bird? Long the subject of human daydreams, this question is now getting serious attention from scientists who study animal senses. The senses define our experience of the world - they shape our minds, and help make us what we are. Humans rely on smell, sight, taste, touch, and sound, but other animals have super-powered versions of these senses, and a few, like electrically-sensitive sharks, even have extra senses we don't have at all. From a dog who seems to use smell to tell time, to a dolphin who can "see" with his ears, we will discover how animals use their senses in ways we humans can barely imagine. But it's not just the senses that are remarkable - it's the brains that process them. How does a swallow's tiny, one-gram brain take in the flood of visual information that enables the bird to whiz within inches of buildings while flying at 40 miles per hour? How does a dog's mind turn the sight of a hand signal into the happy anticipation of a treat? How has the evolution of the dog - from its wolf ancestors-reshaped its brain? Nova goes into the minds of animals to "see" the world in an entirely new way.
Secrets of Noah's Ark (#4212H) Duration: 55:41 STEREO TVPG
A 3700-year-old inscribed clay tablet reveals a surprising new version of the Biblical flood story, complete with how-to instructions for assembling an ark. Following the directions, expert boat builders assemble and launch a massive reed boat.
Inside Animal Minds: Who's The Smartest? (#4110H) Duration: 1:29:21 STEREO TVG
What makes an animal smart? What forces of evolution drive brains to become more complex? Many scientists believe the secret lies in our relationships. Throughout the animal kingdom, some of the cleverest creatures - including humans - seem to be those who live in complex social groups, like dolphins, elephants, and apes. Could the skills required to keep track of friend and foe make animals smarter? To find out, Nova goes inside the social lives of some of the smartest animals on the planet. Off the coast of Florida, we see dolphins team up to catch fish by whipping up a wall of muddy water that drives the meal right into their companions' waiting mouths. It seems that the dolphins are working together to plan their hunt. But are they really? Biologists go on a quest to decipher the secrets of animal societies, from the seas of the Caribbean to the plains of Africa. Do dolphins and elephants have "language?" Do chimps have a sense of fairness? And are any animals besides ourselves capable of feeling empathy?
Building Pharaoh's Chariot (#4005H) Duration: 55:31 STEREO TVPG
Around 3,600 years ago, reliefs in Egyptian tombs and temples depicted 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 this film, a team of archaeologists, 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.
Vampire Sky Tombs (#4401H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
A team of scientists and explorers probe high altitude caves in the Tibetan Himalayas looking for clues to how humans found their way into this forbidding landscape and adapted their bodies to survive. ? Along the way they discover evidence of ritual burials, thousands of years old: skeletons, mummies, and evidence of practices designed to ward off ancient vampires and even zombies.
- KQED 9: Wed, Jan 4, 2017 -- 9:00pm Remind me
- KQED 9: Thu, Jan 5, 2017 -- 3:00am Remind me
- KQED 9: Thu, Jan 5, 2017 -- 1:30pm Remind me
- KQED World: Fri, Jan 6, 2017 -- 5:00am Remind me
- KQED World: Fri, Jan 6, 2017 -- 11:00am Remind me
- KQED World: Sun, Jan 8, 2017 -- 3:00pm Remind me
- KQED Life: Tue, Jan 10, 2017 -- 8:00pm Remind me
- KQED Life: Wed, Jan 11, 2017 -- 2:00am Remind me
The Nuclear Option (#4402H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Five years after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the unprecedented trio of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, scientists and engineers are struggling to control an ongoing crisis at the wrecked plant. What's next for Fukushima? What's next for Japan? And what's next for a world that seems determined to jettison one of our most important carbon-free sources of energy? Despite the catastrophe, a new generation of nuclear power seems poised to emerge phoenix-like from the ashes of Fukushima. NOVA investigates how the realities of climate change, the inherent limitations of renewable energy sources, and the optimism and enthusiasm of a new generation of nuclear engineers is seeding a renaissance in nuclear technology, all while the most recent disaster is still being managed. What are the lessons learned from Fukushima? And how might we be able to build a safe nuclear future?
- KQED 9: Wed, Jan 11, 2017 -- 9:00pm Remind me
- KQED 9: Thu, Jan 12, 2017 -- 3:00am Remind me
- KQED World: Fri, Jan 13, 2017 -- 5:00am Remind me
- KQED World: Fri, Jan 13, 2017 -- 11:00am Remind me
- KQED World: Sun, Jan 15, 2017 -- 3:00pm Remind me
- KQED Life: Tue, Jan 17, 2017 -- 8:00pm Remind me
- KQED Life: Wed, Jan 18, 2017 -- 2:00am Remind me
- KQED Plus: Sun, Jan 29, 2017 -- 8:00pm Remind me
- KQED Plus: Mon, Jan 30, 2017 -- 2:00am Remind me
Sunken Ship Rescue (#4202H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Nova follows the epic operation to secure, raise and salvage the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which ran aground and tragically capsized off the coast of Italy on January 13th 2012, killing 32 passengers. Moving the ship - which stretches the length of three football fields, weighs over 114,000 tons and lies half submerged on the site of a protected reef with a 50-meter long hole in its hull - from its precarious perch on the edge of a 60 meter high underwater cliff will be a huge technical and logistical challenge. Now, Nova joins a team of more than 500 divers and engineers working around the clock as they attempt the biggest ship recovery project in history.