The Experiment Continues, but the Need for Resources Remains

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS needs to raise $240,000 in the next 17 days.  If we reach our goal early, we’ll return to uninterrupted programming immediately.

As you know KLRU has experimented this year with ways to reduce our need to raise money via pledge.  In recent years we’ve reduced on-air pledge from 86 days to just 49 days so far this year.  In June, we tested pledging our regular schedule on five-consecutive nights, while highlighted groups doing good work in our community.  We stopped fundraising after 11pm on weeknights, so that Charlie Rose airs at its regular time.  During our March drive, we reduced the number of pledge interruptions by 20%, while investing new resources to raise money online.  Finally we reduced the use of expensive thank you gifts by offering tickets to events that fulfill our mission, while showing you our appreciation.

Next year, we plan to cut back on pledge as never before. However, the need for resources remains.  A total of 80% of our funding comes from right here in Central Texas, at an average gift amount of $80.  Our ability to provide you the highest quality PBS programming, local productions, one-of-a kind events and outreach activities depends on you.  We help you explore your world, and your support makes that exploration available to everyone.

Thank you for supporting and watching KLRU!

On air testing in progress this weekend

KLRU will be running a test on the air this weekend to determine the feasibility of adding a Mobile DTV channel to our signal. We have reserved 3Mbps of data space to simulate the configuration we would use if we add the Mobile DTV channel. This test could potentially cause some display problems, particularly with the HD signal. Please let us know here if you have any issues with picture quality over the weekend. KLRU’s engineering department will be closely monitoring the situation and if there is any significant signal degradation, KLRU will revert back to our standard configuration.

Design Squad Contest Seeks Kids’ Recyclable Ideas

Design Squad logoPBS’ engineering competition series Design Squad is offering kids a chance to get in on the action. The 2010 Trash to Treasure Competition challenges kids ages 5 to 19 to take everyday discarded or recycled materials and re-engineer them into functional products. Three winners will win a trip to Boston to see their designs built and will appear on the TV show and Web site. 25 finalists will also be featured on the Web site. Find out more and enter online by September 5, 2010.

August 2010: NOVA's “Four-Winged Dinosaur”

Microraptor model

NOVA “Four-Winged Dinosaur”

7-8 pm, Tuesday, August 24th

Imagine a moment from the age of dinosaurs frozen in time: primitive birds, bees, insects, early mammals, the first known flowering plants and of course, dinosaurs, all exquisitely preserved in fine-grained fossils from China’s Liaoning Province. Volcanic eruptions killed and buried victims quickly in this dinosaur Pompeii, capturing soft, fragile features not normally preserved in fossils – notably the feathers on animals that had never been known to have them before. Now, with state-of-the-art animation to bring this lost world to life, NOVA investigates the mysterious feathered dinosaurs that are challenging old ideas about the origin of bird flight. The central character in this drama is a strange little dinosaur with wings on its legs as well as its arms. The pigeon-sized microraptor is the smallest adult dinosaur ever found, perhaps the first known tree dweller. But could it really fly? Is it the key to understanding the origin of flight or merely an evolutionary dead end unrelated to the ancestry of birds? To help solve the riddle, NOVA assembles a team of top paleontologists, aeronautical engineers and paleo-artists to reconstruct microraptor and build a sophisticated model for a wind tunnel experiment. The results have surprising implications for long-accepted ideas about how winged flight began.

For more information, go to the NOVA website.

1-2 & 4-5 a.m., Wednesday, August 25
3-4 a.m. & 6-7 p.m., Sunday, August 29

The Charlie Rose Brain Series

Cross image of a human brainThe Charlie Rose Brain Series explores one of sciences final frontiers, the study of the human brain.

Charlie will interview the most knowledgeable scientists and researchers in hopes of illuminating a new topic of study. Each monthly episode will examine different subjects of the brain, including perception, social interaction, aging and creativity.

We will also look at scientific discovery and advances in technology, in the hope that someday terrible illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s will be history.

Our special colleague on this journey is Dr. Eric Kandel.
He is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist and professor at Columbia University. He’s also affiliated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

He received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2000 for his research into the biological mechanisms of learning and memory.


  1. The Great Mysteries of the Human Brain
  2. The Perceiving Brain
  3. The Acting Brain
  4. The Social Brain
  5. The Developing Brain (great program for parents)
  6. The Aging Brain
  7. The Emotional Brain
  8. The Anxious Brain
  9. The Mentally Ill Brain

Programs may be viewed online or check out the broadcast schedule on KLRU.

Upcoming Shows:

July 20: The Disordered Brain

September 28: The Deciding Brain

October: The Artistic Brain

November: The New Science of the Mind

August 2nd Half of Life shows

As your PBS station, it is KLRU’s mission to bring people together around important issues. KLRU does this through various educational and outreach initiatives. This year, KLRU will present 2nd Half of Life project. Created for one of the best-educated, healthiest, and most privileged generations in American history — the Boomers — the series aims to help people reinvent life after the age of 50. In the coming months, 2nd Half of Life presents episodes of  The Seasoned Traveler.

August 1
The Seasoned Traveler introduces viewers to one of Canada’s most picturesque cities, Vancouver. George Bauer travels from historic Gastown to the top of Grouse Mountain, a skiing and sightseeing attraction just 15 minutes from downtown. Then he boards the ferry for Vancouver Island, a largely unspoiled part of British Columbia that is home to the lovely provincial capital of Victoria and The Butchart Gardens-one of the most beautiful green spaces in North America.

August 8
The Seasoned Traveler heads to Europe for a river cruise on the Rhine. The ship departs from Amsterdam, then enters the busy Rhine River in Germany. There is much to see as the ship sails along: verdant hills, majestic castles, picturesque towns and cities, and lush vineyards. River cruises have become hot travel tickets for mature travelers; George Bauer talks to some about the journey.

August 15
There are many great places to see in southern Germany, and in this episode, The Seasoned Traveler shows viewers some beauties. Stops include Koblenz, Rudesheim, Mainz, Heidelberg, Wertheim, Wurzburg, Rothenburg and Bamberg. George Bauer shows viewers what each of these gems has to offer.

August 22
After leaving Germany-one of Europe’s largest countries-The Seasoned Traveler downsizes to take in five tiny European lands. George Bauer shows viewers the mountain highs and valley lows of the fairy-tale country of Liechtenstein-which is about the size of Washington, D.C.- and also briefly highlights Europe’s other little lands: Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and Vatican City.

August 29
Every year, as Advent arrives and people’s thoughts turn to the joy of Christmas, Europe repeats a tradition that is more than 500 years old. In countries from Sweden to Spain and in cities from Paris to Prague, Christmas markets are set up in town squares. The markets have become a commingling of commerce and community, selling holiday ornaments and gifts, as well as food and the omnipresent gluhwein, a hot, spiced red wine that cheers shoppers on a cold night. George Bauer takes viewers to several Christmas markets, beginning in Vienna and Salzburg in Austria, then going on to towns including Passau, Regensburg and Nurnberg.

Highlights 7/25 to 7/31

While on holiday in Syria, Poirot finds himself drawn into a murder investigation located at an archaeological site on Masterpiece Mystery! at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Rhonda Bradley never met her father. He’s still listed Missing in Action from the Korean War. In a letter dated 1953, her father mentioned a man he said saved his life. History Detectives at 8 p.m. Monday researches the “Korean War Letter” to find the man Rhonda believes is a hero.

In episode three of Turmoil and Triumph: The George Shultz Years at 9 p.m. Monday, Shultz leaves the State Department and continues to travel the world as a passionate advocate for nuclear disarmament.

Faces of America episode four at 10 p.m. Monday reveals both distant relatives and surprising shared ancestral connections for several celebrities including Meryl Streep, Mike Nichols, Yo-Yo Ma and Eva Longoria.

Nova at 7 p.m. Tuesday explores the origins of the first fighter planes and the evolution of aerial tactics on “Who Killed the Red Baron?”

Alan Alda explores his own brain as he searches for the features that make humans unique on Human Spark at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“Presumed Guilty” is the story of two young lawyers and their struggles trying to free innocent people from the criminal justice system in Mexico on POV at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Las Misiones: the Missions of Texas at 10 p.m. Tuesday is a visual celebration of the structures as historic monuments, religious symbols, and important centers of community and fellowship.

Paul McCartney accepts the annual Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in a celebration at the White House at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Legendary New Orleans songwriter Allen Toussaint hits the Austin City Limits stage at 10 p.m. Wednesday with songs from his LP, The Bright Mississippi, and classic hits like “Southern Nights.”

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, talks about health care and other issues on Texas Monthly Talks at 7 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Celtic Pilgrimage at 8 p.m. Thursday journeys through the sacred landscape of western Ireland, guided by best-selling Irish author, poet and philosopher John O’Donohue, with an introduction by actor Mike Farrell.

James Taylor and Carole King perform at the Troubadour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Los Angeles club at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Highlights 7/18 to 7/24

Poirot finds he cannot ignore the pleas of a young heiress when she approaches him with the bizarre claim that she may be a murderer on Masterpiece Mystery! at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Tukufu Zuberi sets out to find whether these metal “Duke Ellington Plates” printed the first copy of the Ellington hit, Take the A Train, on History Detectives at 8 p.m. Monday.

Episode two of Turmoil and Triumph: The George Shultz Years at 9 p.m. Monday, Shultz works to set up a summit meeting with the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Faces of America episode three at 10 p.m. Monday tells the story of how land came to define the settling and identity of America.

Nova at 7 p.m. Tuesday joins the search for the wreck of the Brittanic, the Titanic’s sister ship.

Alan Alda sets out to explore the difference between chimps and humans, and quickly finds that the scientists studying chimps and other non-human primates are themselves separated into opposing worldviews on Human Spark at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Past and present collide as award-winning filmmaker Natalia Almada (“Al Otro Lado”) brings to life audio recordings she inherited from her grandmother, daughter of Plutarco Elias Calles, a revolutionary general who became Mexico’s president in 1924 on POV at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Tavis Smiley and Jonathan Demme Collaborate on Tavis Smiley Reports: Been in the Storm Too Long at 7 p.m. Wednesday. This documentary captures the mood and spirit of New Orleans residents five years after Hurricane Katrina.

American Masters at 8 p.m. Wednesday follows musician Merle Haggard for two years, on tour and at home on his ranch.

Singer/songwriter Aimee Mann debuts on Austin City Limits at 10 p.m. Wednesday and 9 p.m. Friday. Folk rockers Iron & Wine, showcasing their acclaimed songs.

Journalist and author Carl Hiaasen discusses his career on Texas Monthly Talks at 7 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 p.m. Friday.

In Context Presents: Changing Lives Through Art at 8p.m. Thursday looks at two community arts projects: The Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble and The Cipher: Austin’s Hip Hop Project. Both projects work to engage youth and the community in social change.

Legendary New Orleans songwriter Allen Toussaint hits the Austin City Limits stage at 7 p.m. Saturday with songs from his LP, The Bright Mississippi, and classic hits like “Southern Nights.”