Science Night 1/23

Nature “Attenborough’s Life Stories: Life on Camera” at 7 pm
In honor of Sir David Attenborough’s 60th anniversary on television, this three-part miniseries focuses on three fields that David Attenborough feels have been transformed most profoundly: filmmaking, science and the environment. Richly illustrated with the sequences (re-mastered in HD) that Attenborough has spent 60 years capturing, new interviews in which he revisits the content, stories and locations that were featured in his landmark series, and packed with the personal anecdotes of the BBC’s most accomplished raconteur, “Attenborough’s Life Stories” is a singular synopsis of a unique half-century plus. In “Life on Camera,” Sir David Attenborough revisits key places and events in his wildlife filmmaking career, reminisces through his old photos and reflects on memorable wildlife footage, including swimming with dolphins and catching a komodo dragon. Returning to his old haunts in Borneo, he recalls the challenges of filming on a seething pile of guano in a bat cave.

NOVA “Rise of the Drones” at 8 pm
Drones. These unmanned flying robots – some as large as jumbo jets, others as small as birds – do things straight out of science fiction. Much of what it takes to get these robotic airplanes to fly, sense and kill has remained secret. But now, with unprecedented access to drone engineers (including a rare interview with the “Father of the Predator,” Abe Karem) and those who operate drones for the U.S. military, NOVA reveals the amazing technologies that make them so powerful. Discover the cutting-edge technologies that are propelling us toward a new chapter in aviation history.

Life On Fire “Phoenix Temple” at 9 pm
Around the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua, life has struggled for thousands of years to re-emerge from the ashes. Underground, vampire and other bat species have colonized the miles of tunnels created by hot flowing magma. In the crater, parakeets and vultures have made nests on cliffs exposed to toxic gases. On the flanks of this still active mountain, the vegetation has been burnt away by lava flows leaving barren stretches that are recolonized over hundreds of years. At the foot of the volcano, fields, pastures and towns have grown over the oldest lava flows. In this harsh environment, nature struggles to conquer ash and lava before the next eruption erases its efforts … and the phoenix must rise again.