Science Night 1/18

Watch A Mischievous Tiger on PBS. See more from Nature.

Wednesday Science Night for January 18th presents:

7:00 PM Nature – “Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey”
Irish cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson spent almost 600 days filming Broken Tail and his family for some of the finest tiger documentaries ever made. Broken Tail was the most charismatic tiger cub ever seen in Ranthambore, one of India’s best protected tiger reserves. But suddenly and without warning Broken Tail abandoned his sanctuary and went on the run, moving through farmland and scrub until he was killed by a train nearly 200 miles from his home. To track Broken Tail’s incredible journey, Colin and his soundman, Salim, retrace the tiger’s path and piece together the cub’s last days – and through his story reveal the fate of the few surviving tigers in India.

8:00 PM NOVA – 3D Spies of WWII

During World War II, Hitler’s scientists developed terrifying new weapons of mass destruction. Alarmed by rumors about advanced rockets and missiles, Allied intelligence recruited a team of brilliant minds from British universities and Hollywood studios to a country house near London. Here, they secretly pored over millions of air photos shot at great risk over German territory by specially converted, high-flying Spitfires. Peering at the photos through 3D stereoscopes, the team spotted telltale clues that revealed hidden Nazi rocket bases. The photos led to devastating Allied bombing raids that were crucial setbacks to the German rocket program and helped ensure the success of the D-Day landings. With 3D graphics that recreate exactly what the photo spies saw, NOVA tells the suspenseful, previously untold story of air photo intelligence that played a vital role in defeating Hitler.

9:00 PM Inside Nature’s Giants – “Sperm Whale”
Veterinary scientist Mark Evans and comparative anatomist Joy Reidenberg dissect a sperm whale’s enormous organs to reveal the secrets of this 45-foot deep-sea giant, which stranded and died on Pegwell Bay, Kent, England. As the team ventures inside the whale, biologist Simon Watt tracks whales in the Azores with a modern-day Jonah, Malcolm Clarke, who shows him the huge number of squid beaks in a whale’s stomach. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, marveling at the gigantic teeth that have evolved in the lower jaw of a sperm whale, digs out his copy of the King James Bible for a reading about Leviathan from the Book of Job.