February 2012: NATURE "Raccoon Nation"

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: NATURE: Raccoon Nation where we learn that we might actually be making racoons smarter.

Nature’s “Raccoon Nation”
Wednesday, February 8, 7pm

repeating:
Friday, February 10, 4-5am
Sunday, February 12, 2-3am & 5-6pm

Are we, in an effort to outwit raccoons, actually making them smarter and unwittingly contributing to their evolutionary success? Are the ever more complex obstacles that our fast-paced urban world throws at them actually pushing the development of raccoon brains? In this film, scientists from around the world share their thoughts and work to help explore this scientific theory. Attempting to do something that has never been done before, they closely follow a family of urban raccoons as they navigate the complex world of a big city.

January 2012: ARTS IN CONTEXT “Opera Odyssey”

Arts in Context #201 “Opera Odyssey”

Thursday, January 12th at 7:30 pm
repeats: Sunday, January 15th at 2 pm


Every summer the Austin Lyric Opera organizes “Opera Odyssey”, an opera camp with kids ages 8 to 12. Students produce their own original musical work, design and build sets and costumes, and learn the business of opera. ARTS IN CONTEXT followed their journey through the creative process which resulted in the original production “The Quarantine”.

December 2011: Lidia Celebrates America

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: Lidia Celebrates America where Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich Encourages Viewers to Cook Together, Eat Together, Be Together.

Lidia Celebrates the HolidaysLidia Celebrates America “Holiday Tables and Traditions
Tuesday, Dec. 20th at 7:00 pm
repeats:
Wednesday, December 21, 1 & 3 am
Thursday, December 22, 3 am
Saturday, December 24, 3 am
Sunday, December 25, 5 pm 

An Italian Christmas Eve. A Mexican-American Christmas Day. A Chinese New Year. A Passover Seder. Four holidays, four different tables and traditions. Join celebrity chef and culinary author Lidia Bastianich as she travels across America in a celebration of culture through food in LIDIA CELEBRATES AMERICA “Holiday Tables and Traditions.

At the heart of LIDIA CELEBRATES is my own immigrant experience,” says Lidia. “When I came to this country at the age of 12, I had already spent two years in a political refugee camp. Whenever I meet American families with roots in other countries, I know immediately that we have something in common.”

An Italian Christmas Eve
This delicious holiday adventure begins in New York City, where Lidia prepares a traditional Italian Christmas Eve La Vigilia — feast of the seven fishes — with actor Stanley Tucci (Julie and Julia, Big Night). But first, actor Mo Rocca (“Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”) accompanies Lidia on an unforgettable shopping trip to a fish market on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. “Cooking and food is about more than sustenance,” says Rocca. “The sacredness of family and friends eating together is something that crosses all lines. It may be the only thing that crosses all lines.” Back in her kitchen with Stanley Tucci, Lidia prepares a feast that includes octopus salad, linguine and clam sauce, whipped baccala, insalata di mare, mozzarella with peppers, broccoli rapini, stuffed lobster and monkfish.

“The idea of taking those recipes that have been around for centuries … it’s a way of passing on family history, emotions — it’s a way of connecting with somebody,” says Tucci. “It’s a way of expressing love … and that’s the thing for me that makes food so interesting.”

A Mexican-American Christmas Day
As Christmas Eve turns to Christmas Day, Lidia travels to San Antonio, Texas, to celebrate the holiday Mexican-style with the Cortez family, owners of the famed Mi Tierra restaurant. “America has a lot to offer to anyone who is willing to work hard,” says Michael Cortez, current owner of the restaurant. “My grandfather would often say he was an American by choice, not by chance.”

What started as a small counter operation has expanded to fill an entire city block, employing four generations of the Cortez family. Here, Christmas is all about making the traditional Mexican-American tamales — and some decadent desserts. Traditional pecan pralines, peanut patties, macadamia pralines — there’s even a candy the color of the Mexican flag, a long-held family tradition! Here, Lidia learns how to make Mexican bunuelos, a fried dough topped with cinnamon and sugar that the children gobble up as fast as it’s made.

A Chinese New Year
From San Antonio, Lidia heads to San Francisco to celebrate a colorful and plentiful Chinese New Year, the most important holiday of the year for Chinese Americans. With the late Shirley Fong-Torres, renowned travel writer and chef as her guide, Lidia visits Chinatown for tea and dim sum before returning to Fong-Torres’ kitchen to make Chinese dumplings, also known as pot stickers. “My granddaughters and I love to make pot stickers together,” Fong-Torres explains. “Dumplings are very significant in the New Year. It’s like enveloping the fillings, and enveloping love.”

The Chinese New Year symbolizes the beginning of a new season and a hope for a better year. Much of the symbolism has to do with prosperity and rebirth. “This is what America is all about … this great exchange of culture,” Lidia says. “The more I discover about new cultures, the more I notice how close they are to each other. They are all about the family, staying together, and being good to each other.”

A Passover Seder
Finally, Lidia returns to New York City to celebrate a Passover seder with food author Ruth Reichl and the fourth-generation owners of the specialty food shop Russ & Daughters. On the menu: smoked salmon, charoset, chicken soup with matzo balls, and, of course, beef brisket and horseradish. Reichl, former editor of Gourmet and a longtime Russ & Daughters customer, joins Lidia in the kitchen. “As you know, my mother was the world’s worst cook,” says Reichl. “So this is maybe the only recipe of hers that I would ever dare to share. She loved showing up at seder with her brisket and everyone would gasp and say I’ve never seen anything like that before!”

As viewers participate in the various ethnic and religious celebrations across the country, it’s clear food is the common denominator that ties all human beings. “No matter what your religion, or your ethnicity,” Lidia says, “we have the opportunity to celebrate whatever we worship, whoever our families are, and this is something to celebrate: America is something to celebrate.”

November 2011: My Life As a Turkey

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: NATURE: My Life As a Turkey.

A turkey perches on Jeff Palmer's head.

NATURE: My Life As a Turkey
Wednesday, November 16, 7-8 p.m.

repeats:
Friday, November 18, 4-5 a.m.
Sunday, November 20, 2-3 a.m. & 5-6 p.m.
Monday, November 21, 2-3 a.m.

Based on the true story of writer and naturalist Joe Hutto, portrayed by wildlife photographer Jeff Palmer, this film chronicles Hutto’s remarkable experience of imprinting wild turkey eggs and raising the hatchlings to adulthood. Deep in the wilds of Florida, Hutto spent each day out and about as a “wild turkey” with his family of chicks — until the day came when he had to let his children grow up and go off on their own. As it turned out, this was harder than he ever imagined. Hutto’s story also became a book, Illumination in the Flatlands.

October 2011: Lords of the Gourd

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: Lords of the Gourd: The Pursuit of Excellence.

Small child on a large pumpkin Sunday, October 30. 4-5 a.m. and 6-7 p.m.

The extreme gardeners who compete at the annual Cooperstown Weigh Off have one obsessive goal — to raise the biggest giant pumpkin in the world. These gurus of the gourd nurture their fruits through harsh weather, floods, animal attacks and even sabotage to produce glorious pumpkins of gigantic proportion. This program follows Joe Pukos and his fellow competitors through the final harrowing days of harvest and the journey across New York State with the bulging behemoths strapped into the backs of their pick-ups. Joe is a real contender — at least until last minute rumors circulate that another grower may be set to smash the world record.

Check out the only Giant Pumpkin Festival, “Floydada Punkin’ Days”  in Floyd County, Texas. http://www.floydadachamber.com/punkin.htm.

September 2011: Nature "Hummingbirds…"

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: NATURE “Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air.”

NATURE “Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air”
Sunday, September 25, from 7-8 p.m.
repeats:
Monday, September 26, from 2-3 a.m.
Tuesday, Sepember 27, from 4-5 a.m.
Wednesday, September 28, from 7-8 p.m.
Sunday, October 2, from 2-3 a.m.

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.

August 2011: Nature "Is That Skunk?"

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: NATURE “Is That Skunk?”

NATURE “Is That Skunk?”
Sunday, August 28, from 7-8 p.m.
(repeats,  Tuesday, August 30, from 4-5 a.m.)

We find them in the evening digging through our garbage, hiding under our houses, or walking through our yards, streets, and parks. Skunks seem perfectly adapted to life around us. But we are less comfortable around them, for fear of their potent spray. As we expand our urban areas, many skunks find themselves increasingly unwelcome neighbors. It seems everyone has their own skunk story. But what do we really know about these infamous black and white creatures?

Watch as a California town overrun with skunks deals with their furry problem, and see what life is like for an evolutionary biologist in New Mexico who runs one of the few sanctuaries for skunks. Meet a researcher on the sandy shores of Martha’s Vineyard who stalks her striped specimens at night, and a woman in Ohio who runs a shelter and adoption agency for abandoned pet skunks. Is That Skunk? paints a complete portrait of the misunderstood skunk family, Mephitidae, and the people who love them.

July 2011: NATURE “Oceans of Glass”

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: NATURE “Oceans in Glass: Behind the Scenes of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.”
Moon Jellyfish

Sunday, July 10th at 7:00 p.m. and repeats Wed., July 13th at 7 p.m.

Because of its realistic presentations, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is recognized as one of the most significant and spectacular aquariums in the world. Instead of exhibiting collections of animals, the aquarium presents entire habitats, virtual slices of ocean that include 30,000 animals and plants. But how does an aquarium work? What’s the science behind the magic?

Family Choice June 2011: Nature "Underdogs"

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is:
Nature “Underdogs”
Sunday, June 5, at 7 p.m.

Two pure-bred dogs are selected from animal shelters and adoption centers in
the U.S. and England — a Bearded Collie (sheep herding) and a Bloodhound (scent tracking). With the help of trainers, they are each taught to hone their skills as working dogs, then tested, to judge their success. By the end of the film each dog will have a new home.

May 2011: Secrets of the Dead "Silver Pharaoh"

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is:
Secrets of the Dead “Silver Pharaoh”
Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m.

The royal tomb of Pharaoh Psusennes I is one of the most spectacular of all the ancient Egyptian treasures – even more remarkable than that of Tutankhamen. So why hasn’t the world heard about it? What mysteries does it contain? And what does it reveal about ancient Egypt? The tomb was discovered filled with lavish jewels and treasure almost by accident in 1939 by the French archaeologist Pierre Montet while he was excavating in northern Egypt..The royal burial chamber came as a complete surprise no Egyptologist had anticipated a tomb of such grandeur in this area. Unfortunately, the tomb was found on the eve of World War II in Europe and attracted little attention. One of the most startling discoveries inside the tomb was the sarcophagus in which the body was held: It was made of silver with exquisite detail and craftsmanship. No other silver sarcophagus has ever been found and it is now recognized by many Egyptologists as one of the most exquisite artifacts of ancient Egypt ever to be found. The elaborate tribute within the tomb suggested it was the burial site of someone very important but as archaeologists, using the hieroglyphs inside the tomb, pieced together the identity of the pharaoh, they were left to wonder who Psuesennes I was and why he received such grand treatment. The investigation reveals political intrigue, a lost city and a leader who united a country in turmoil and became the Silver Pharaoh.