Science Night 6/18

Nature zooms in on animals’ family lives in the surreal landscape of Africa, detailing the delicate processes of parenthood and young life starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Can scientists unravel the mysterious phenomena that lurk between Earth and space? Watch NOVA‘s At the Edge of Space at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

Who really is the man behind the iconic image of Stephen Hawking? The film Hawking gives insight into the personal life of one of the most remarkable minds of the modern age, starting at 9 on Wednesday night.

Science Night 6/11

This week Nature looks at the bears in Alaska and Nova takes you into space!

Nature: Fortress of the Bears - 7:00 p.m.
Alaska supports the largest concentration of bears anywhere in the world who feast on mass amounts of salmon. For the first time when the salmon don’t arrive, their food chain is in jeopardy.

NOVA: Earth From Space - 8:00 p.m.
This film presents the Earth as you’ve never imagined. Satellite images transformed into spectacular sequences show us how dust from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon, an Antarctica “waterfall” that helps drive the world’s ocean currents, and more.

June Science Nights!

This month, take a break from sitcoms and dramas with some enlightening science programs on KLRU. Check out the lineup:

Wednesday, June 11
Nature: Fortress of the Bears – 7:00 p.m.
Alaska supports the largest concentration of bears anywhere in the world who feast on mass amounts of salmon. For the first time when the salmon don’t arrive, their food chain is in jeopardy.

NOVA: Earth From Space – 8:00 p.m.
This film presents the Earth as you’ve never imagined. Satellite images transformed into spectacular sequences show us how dust from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon, an Antarctica “waterfall” that helps drive the world’s ocean currents, and more.

Wednesday, June 18
Nature: Great Zebra Exodus – 7:00 p.m.
This feature is not just on zebras, but a look at the nature of parenting and the fragility of young life in the wild. Watch various species in Africa as they experience procreation, new life and raising the young.
NOVA: At the Edge of Space – 8:00 p.m.
What’s between Earth and space? See scientists attempt to explore the phenomena on this science night.

Wednesday, June 25
Nature: Fabulous Frogs – 7:00 p.m.
One of the most successful amphibians, frogs are excellent survivors and adapters, while they’re also a little weird. Learn about the vast species of frogs from all around the world.
NOVA: Deadliest Earthquakes – 8:00 p.m.
2010 marked a year of severe earthquakes around the world, racking up one of the highest annual death tolls. Reflect on these devastating disasters and look further into the nature of the phenomena.

Science Night 5/28

Wednesday is Science Night on KLRU!

Nature American Eagle at 7 pm
Unique to North America, the bald eagle is the continent’s most recognizable aerial predator, with a shocking white head, electric yellow beak and penetrating eyes. In the 1960s, this symbol of the United States became an emblem of environmental degradation, as the pesticide DDT and other human pressures brought it to the brink of extinction. Following their protection as an endangered species, bald eagles have come roaring back. Photographed by three-time Emmy-winning cinematographer Neil Rettig, this first-ever HD hour on bald eagles focuses on the drama of the nest. Even in the best of times, it’s a surprisingly tough struggle to maintain a one-ton home and raise chicks until they can hunt on their own. This is an intimate portrait of these majestic raptors’ lives in the wild.

NOVA D-day’s Sunken Secrets at 8 pm
On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched the biggest armada in history to invade the Normandy beaches and liberate Europe from the Nazis. In less than 24 hours, more than 5,000 ships crossed the English Channel, along with thousands of tanks and landing craft and nearly 200,000 men. Throughout the operation hundreds of ships sank running the gauntlet of mines and bunkers, creating one of the world’s largest underwater archaeological sites. Now, NOVA has exclusive access to a unique collaboration between military historians, archaeologists, and specialist divers to carry out the most extensive survey ever done of the seabed bordering the legendary beachheads. Dive teams, submersibles, and underwater robots discover and identify key examples of the Allied craft that fell victim to German shellfire, mines and torpedoes. The team uses the latest 3D mapping tools to plot the relics on the sea floor. Highlighting the ingenious technology that helped the Allies overcome the German defenses, “D-Day’s Sunken Secrets” unfolds a vivid blow-by-blow account of the tumultuous events of D-Day and reveals how the Allies’ intricate planning and advanced technology was vital to assure the success of the most ambitious and risky military operation ever launched.

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.

Science Night 5/14

Wednesday is Science Night on KLRU!

Nature Leave It To Beavers at 7 pm
A growing number of scientists, conservationists and grass-roots environmentalists have come to regard beavers as overlooked tools when it comes to reversing the disastrous effects of global warming and world-wide water shortages. Once valued for their fur or hunted as pests, these industrious rodents are seen in a new light through the eyes of this novel assembly of beaver enthusiasts and “employers” who reveal the ways in which the presence of beavers can transform and revive landscapes. Using their skills as natural builders and brilliant hydro-engineers, beavers are being recruited to accomplish everything from finding water in a bone-dry desert to recharging water tables and coaxing life back into damaged lands.

NOVA Escape From Nazi Alcatraz at 8 pm
Colditz Castle, a notorious prisoner of war camp in Nazi Germany, was supposed to be escape-proof. But in the dark days at the end of World War II, a group of British officers dreamt up the ultimate escape plan: in a secret attic workshop, they constructed a two-man glider out of bed sheets and floorboards. Their plan was to fly to freedom from the roof of the castle, but the war ended before they could put it to the test. Now a crack team of aerospace engineers and carpenters rebuild the glider in the same attic using the same materials, and they’ll do something the prisoners never got a chance to try: use a bathtub full of concrete to catapult the glider off the roof of the castle. As the hair-raising launch 90 feet up draws near, the program explores the Colditz legend and exposes the secrets of other ingenious and audacious escapes. Then, after a 70-year wait, the team finally finds out if the legendary glider plan would have succeeded.

Nazi Mega Weapons Fortress Berlin at 9 pm
April 1945. Hitler is in the center of Berlin, 10 meters underground, surrounded by four-meter thick concrete walls, safe from any air attack the Allies can throw at him. But the Russians are advancing on the ground: the Red Army is lined up along the Oder River and going for the Fuhrer. Blocking the way are rings of ingenious defenses, kill zones and strong-points that have turned Berlin into a fortress. At the heart of this fortress is the Fuhrerbunker.

Science Night 5/7

Wednesday is Science Night on KLRU!

Nature Shark Mountain at 7 pm
Underwater filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall have spent 25 years diving and documenting the most remote and beautiful underwater locations, always learning something new about the fantastic creatures that live there. Yet even these remote places and creatures are at risk in today’s world, and being able to share their experiences with the rest of us is increasingly important to the Halls, and to us. They take us along on the dive of a lifetime, to a tiny outpost 300 miles off the coast of Central American – Shark Mountain.

NOVA Why Sharks Attack at 8 pm
In recent years, an unusual spate of deadly shark attacks has gripped Australia, resulting in five deaths in 10 months. At the same time, great white sharks have begun appearing in growing numbers off the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, not far from the waters where Steven Spielberg filmed the ultimate shark fright film, Jaws. What’s behind the mysterious arrival of this apex predator in an area where they’ve rarely been seen for hundreds of years? Are deadly encounters with tourists inevitable? To separate fact from fear, NOVA teams up with leading shark experts in Australia and the United States to discover the science behind the great white’s hunting instincts. Do sharks ever target humans or is each attack a tragic case of mistaken identity? Can a deeper understanding of shark senses lead scientists to design effective deterrents and help prevent future attacks? With shark populations around the world plummeting, scientists race to unlock the secrets of these powerful creatures of the deep in their quest to save people — and sharks.

Nazi Mega Weapons Jet Fighter Me262 at 9 pm
Explore the most technologically advanced plane of World War II, the Messerschmitt Me262, a fighter jet that inspired a revolution in aerial warfare. Learn the remarkable story of an awe-inspiring aircraft, the subterranean bat-cave where it was built and the battle for air supremacy that decided the fate of the war.

Science Night 4/23

Wednesday is Science Night on KLRU!

Nature Snow Monkeys at 7 pm
In the frigid valleys of Japan’s Shiga Highlands, a troop of snow monkeys make their way and raise their families in a complex society of rank and privilege where each knows their place. Their leader is still new to the job and something of a solitary grouch. But one little monkey, innocently unaware of his own lowly social rank, reaches out to this lonely leader, forming a bond with him that manages over time to warm his less than sunny disposition. It is a rare and remarkable gesture that alters both their lives. Changing seasons bring new babies to care for, a profusion of insects and blossoms to eat, family disagreements to squabble over and tragedies to overcome. Mating season brings competition for females as the days grow shorter and colder in a rush toward winter. But with their now confident leader to guide them and their families to shelter and care for them, this troop of snow monkeys is ready to face the world.

NOVA Inside Animal Minds: Who’s The Smartest?
What would it be like to go inside the mind of an animal? We have all gazed into a creature’s eyes and wondered: what is it thinking about? What does it really know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In this mini-series, NOVA explores these breakthroughs through three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins. We’ll travel into the spectacularly nuanced noses of dogs and wolves, and ask whether their reliance on different senses has shaped their evolution. We’ll see through the eyes of a starling in flight and test the tool-using skills of the smartest of birds, the crow. We’ll listen in as scientists track dolphins in the Caribbean and elephants on the African savannah, trying to unlock the secrets of animal communication. As we discover how researchers are pushing the animal mind to its limits, we’ll uncover surprising similarities to — and differences from — the human mind. What makes an animal smart? Many scientists believe the secret lies in relationships. Throughout the animal kingdom, some of the cleverest creatures – including humans – seem to be those who live in complex social groups, like dolphins, elephants and apes. Could the skills required to keep track of friend and foe make animals smarter? To find out, NOVA goes inside the social lives of some of the smartest animals on the planet.


Your Inner Fish Your Inner Monkey at 9 pm
Our primate progenitors had bodies a lot like those of modern monkeys and spent tens of millions of years living in trees. From them we inherited our versatile hands, amazing vision and capable brains – but also some less beneficial traits, including our bad backs and terrible sense of smell.

Science Night 4/16

Wednesday is Science Night on KLRU!

Nature Touching The Wild at 7 pm
Joe Hutto’s idea of research is anything but normal, dedicating seven years of his life to becoming a wild mule deer. The herd would ordinarily run from any human but, incredibly, these keenly intelligent animals come to regard this stranger as one of their own. Accepted by the matriarch, he walks among them, is even groomed by them, and can lie with a pregnant doe talking to its unborn fawns. As he crosses the species divide, Joe is tapping into a new understanding about these elusive animals, literally entering a deer society. The captivating joy he feels for his new family is nothing short of infectious, but this human predator also learns to see the world from the point of view of prey — and it’s an experience that will ultimately rock him to his very core; sharing their world so personally finally takes a toll that sends him back to his own kind.


NOVA Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses at 8 pm
What would it be like to go inside the mind of an animal? We have all gazed into a creature’s eyes and wondered: what is it thinking about? What does it really know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In this mini-series, NOVA explores these breakthroughs through three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins. We’ll travel into the spectacularly nuanced noses of dogs and wolves, and ask whether their reliance on different senses has shaped their evolution. We’ll see through the eyes of a starling in flight and test the tool-using skills of the smartest of birds, the crow. We’ll listen in as scientists track dolphins in the Caribbean and elephants on the African savannah, trying to unlock the secrets of animal communication. As we discover how researchers are pushing the animal mind to its limits, we’ll uncover surprising similarities to — and differences from — the human mind. What is it like to be a dog, a shark or a bird? This question is now getting serious attention from scientists who study animal senses. Humans rely on smell, sight, taste, touch and sound; other animals have super-powered versions of these senses, and a few have extra senses we don’t have at all. From a dog that seems to use smell to tell time to a dolphin that can “see” with its ears, discover how animals use their senses in ways we humans can barely imagine. But it’s not just the senses that are remarkable – it’s the brains that process them. NOVA goes into the minds of animals to “see” the world in an entirely new way.


Your Inner Fish Your Inner Reptile at 9 pm
A key moment in our evolutionary saga occurred 200 million years ago, when the ferocious reptile-like animals that roamed the Earth were in the process of evolving into shrew-like mammals. But our reptilian ancestors left their mark on many parts of the human body, including our skin, teeth and ears.

Science Night 4/9

Wednesday is Science Night on KLRU!

Nature My Bionic Pet at 7 pm
The animals of the world may increasingly need our help with big issues like preserving habitat or species conservation. But sometimes individual animals need our help as well. Left disabled without fins, flippers, beaks or tails because of disease, accidents or even human cruelty, these unfortunate creatures need what amounts to a miracle if they are to survive. Luckily for them, sometimes miracles do happen. Amazing prosthetics made possible by the latest engineering and technology are able to provide just what they need. And scientists are finding that innovations created in the process are benefitting both animals and humans.


NOVA Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius at 8 pm
What would it be like to go inside the mind of an animal? We have all gazed into a creature’s eyes and wondered: what is it thinking about? What does it really know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In this mini-series, NOVA explores these breakthroughs through three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins. We’ll travel into the spectacularly nuanced noses of dogs and wolves, and ask whether their reliance on different senses has shaped their evolution. We’ll see through the eyes of a starling in flight and test the tool-using skills of the smartest of birds, the crow. We’ll listen in as scientists track dolphins in the Caribbean and elephants on the African savannah, trying to unlock the secrets of animal communication. As we discover how researchers are pushing the animal mind to its limits, we’ll uncover surprising similarities to — and differences from — the human mind. Today, researchers are discovering that some creatures have mastered skills purportedly restricted to humans. Many are bird brains. Meet a cockatoo with a talent for picking locks; a wild crow on a mission to solve an eight-step puzzle; and a tame raven who can solve a puzzle box so quickly that his performance has to be captured with high-speed photography. Are these skills really evidence of high intelligence or just parlor tricks, the result of training and instinct? To find out, NOVA tests the limits of some of the planet’s brainiest animals, searching for the secrets of a problem-solving mind.

Your Inner Fish at 9 pm
Our arms, legs, necks and lungs were bequeathed to us by a fish that lumbered onto land some 375 million years ago. The genetic legacy of this creature can be seen today in our own DNA, including the genes used to build our hands and limbs.