Science Night 9/28

Wednesday Science Night presents

Nature: Hummingbirds: Magic In The Air 7 pm
Hummingbirds represent one of nature’s most interesting paradoxes — they are the tiniest of birds, yet they qualify as some of the toughest and most energetic creatures on the planet. New knowledge gained from scientists currently making great breakthroughs in hummingbird biology makes this a perfect time to focus on these shimmering, flashing jewels of the natural world. Stunningly beautiful high-definition, high speed footage of hummingbirds in the wild combined with high-tech presentations of their remarkable abilities help us to understand the world of hummingbirds as we never have before.

NOVA: Japan’s Killer Quake 8 pm
In its worst crisis since World War II, Japan faces disaster on an epic scale: a rising death toll in the tens of thousands, massive destruction of homes and businesses, shortages of water and power, and the specter of nuclear reactor meltdowns. The facts and figures are astonishing. The March 11th earthquake was the world’s fourth largest earthquake since record keeping began in 1900 and the worst ever to shake Japan. The seismic shock wave released over 4,000 times the energy of the largest nuclear test ever conducted; it shifted the earth’s axis by 6 inches and shortened the day by a few millionths of a second. The tsunami slammed Japan’s coast with 30 feet-high waves that traveled 6 miles inland, obliterating entire towns in a matter of minutes. JAPAN’S KILLER QUAKE combines authoritative on-the-spot reporting, personal stories of tragedy and survival, compelling eyewitness videos, explanatory graphics and exclusive helicopter footage for a unique look at the science behind the catastrophe.

Surviving The Tsunami: A NOVA Special Presentation 9 pm
The earthquake that hit the northern coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 was recorded at magnitude 9.0 the worst ever to strike Japan. It generated an unprecedented tsunami, obliterating coastal villages and towns in a matter of minutes. Amazingly, amateur and professional photographers captured it all on video, including remarkable tales of human survival, as ordinary citizens became heroes in a drama they never could have imagined. As the waves rush in, a daughter struggles to help her elderly mother ascend their rooftop to safety; a man climbs onto an overpass just as the wave overtakes his car. These never-before-seen stories are captured in video and retold after-the-fact by the survivors who reveal what they were thinking as they made their life-saving decisions. Their stories provide lessons in survival and how we should all act in the face of life threatening disasters.