Science Night 5/21

Wednesday is Science Night on KLRU!

Nature The Gathering Swarms at 7 pm
This program looks at some of the most extraordinary swarms on the planet, including a view from inside a locust swarm, mayflies along the Mississippi, 17-year cicadas, and brine fly hatches over Lake Victoria. Superswarms of finch-like quelea in Africa merit attempts at control through assaults on their roosts, while aggressive swarms of silver carp in North American seem able to overcome any kind of restraint. Dangerous swarms of killer bees, however, can be controlled to the point that they can be worn as a human bee suit. But beyond the power of sheer numbers, increasingly complex and organized swarms eventually give rise to swarm intelligence that allows complex decisions to be made.

NOVA Bombing Hitler’s Dams at 8 pm
In 1943 a squadron of Lancaster bombers staged one of the most audacious raids in history — destroying two gigantic dams in Germany’s industrial heartland and cutting the water supply to arms factories — with a revolutionary bouncing bomb invented by British engineer Barnes Wallis. Wallis and the pilots of 617 Squadron — a lively mix of Britons, Australians, Americans and Canadians — were hailed as heroes and dealt a mighty blow to the German war machine. In this program, NOVA recreates the extreme engineering challenges faced by Wallis and the pilots with the aid of six spectacular experiments. A crack team of experts including dam engineers, explosives specialists, mechanics and aircrew step into the shoes of the Dambusters and attempt to overcome each obstacle in turn.