Science Night 1/30

NatureAttenborough’s Life Stories: Understanding the Natural World.” 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 “Understanding the Natural World,” Sir David Attenborough shares his memories of the scientists and the breakthroughs that helped shape his own career. He also recalls some of his more hair-raising attempts to bring new science to a television audience: standing in the shadow of an erupting volcano as lumps of hot lava crashed around him or being charged by a group of armed New Guinean tribesmen.

NOVA Who Killed Lindbergh’s Baby?” at 8 pm
In the aftermath of his 1927 solo transatlantic flight, Charles Lindbergh became the most famous human being on earth. When he and his wife, Anne, had a son, Charlie, the press dubbed him Little Lindy. On March 1, 1932, kidnappers snatched Little Lindy from the family home near Hopewell, New Jersey. Negotiations stretched out for weeks, but Charlie never returned. His body was discovered not five miles from Hopewell. Now, NOVA is reopening one of the most confounding crime mysteries of all time as a team of expert investigators employs state-of-the-art forensic and behavioral science techniques in an effort to determine what really happened to Lindbergh’s baby – and why.

Life On FireAsh Runners” 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.