Nature “Siberian Tiger Quest” at 7 pm
Chris Morgan has tracked large predators in some of the wildest and most remote places on Earth. He now embarks on his greatest challenge – to find and film the Siberian tiger living wild and free in Russia’s far eastern forests. This film features the work of Korean cameraman, Sooyong Park, who spent two years in the forest tracking and filming the world’s biggest cat. Park’s tracking technique was very unconventional. He dug himself into an underground pit and, incredibly, waited there for weeks at a time, hoping for a glimpse of a wild tiger. Morgan adopts the same method while he shares with us firsthand the difficulty of seeing the rare Siberian tiger.
NOVA “Secrets of the Viking Sword” at 8 pm
The Vikings were among the fiercest warriors of all time. Yet only a select few carried the ultimate weapon of their era: the feared Ulfberht sword. Fashioned using a process that would remain unknown to the Vikings’ rivals for centuries, the Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as a work of art. Considered one of the greatest swords ever made, it remains a fearsome weapon more than a millennium after it last saw battle. But how did Viking sword makers design and build the Ulfberht, and what was its role in history? Now, NOVA uses cutting edge science and old-fashioned detective work to reconstruct the Ulfberht and finally unravel the “Mystery of the Viking Sword.”
NOVA ScienceNow “What Makes Us Human?” at 9 pm
Scientists have struggled for centuries to pinpoint the qualities that separate human beings from the millions of other animals who have evolved on this planet. David Pogue explores the traits we once thought were uniquely ours – language, tool-making, even laughter – to uncover their evolutionary roots. He traces some of the crucial steps that transformed cave men to accountants – and learns how much of his own DNA came from a Neanderthal ancestor.
Nature “Kilauea: Mountain of Fire” at 7 pm
Kilauea, on Hawaii’s Big Island is the world’s most active volcano. Its latest eruption began in 1983 and it hasn’t stopped since. Since that time it has created 544 acres of new land and has consumed 200 homes. But as we watch nature’s own fireworks display and witness the devastation wrought by flowing lava, we’ve also been able to observe a process that’s central to life on these islands. The most spectacular moment of creation is when lava pours into the ocean creating new land and it is here that filmmaker Paul Atkins finds himself getting a shot few have ever filmed – the cataclysmic meeting of 2000 degree lava and 75 degree ocean water – a sight to behold.
Nature “The Animal House” at 7 pm
Animals build homes for reasons very similar to our own, but they’ve been doing it for much longer. From a small depression in the sand to an elaborate, multi-chambered tunnel – animal structures can be simple or architectural marvels. In each case, the goal is the same – protection from predators and a nearby source of food. These structures, whether a nest, a burrow or a mound, are also the site of great dramas and extraordinary behaviors. From master builders like termites and beavers, to master decorators like the bowerbird, which places colorful flowers at the entrance to its nest, “The Animal House” will be a global look at the “homelife of wildlife.”
NOVA “Making Stuff Cleaner” at 8 pm
From carbon nanotubes to artificial skin, our world is poised at the frontier of a revolution in materials science as far-reaching as the biotech breakthroughs of the last two decades. This series explores how materials changed history and are shaping the future, ranging from cost-effective fuel cells and solar panels to quantum computers and ultra-light automobiles. The New York Times’ technology correspondent and best-selling author David Pogue brings his trademark goofball humor and techie zeal to this exploration of the future of “stuff.” Each episode explores the talent, luck and determination that can turn a wild idea into a cutting-edge material or high-tech breakthrough. Making Stuff Cleaner – Host David Pogue is on a quest to clean up, using new green materials to build and power the devices of the future. Batteries grown from viruses, plastics made of sugar and solar cells that cook up hydrogen are just the beginning of a new generation of clean materials.
NOVA “Making Stuff Smarter” at 9 pm
From carbon nanotubes to artificial skin, our world is poised at the frontier of a revolution in materials science as far-reaching as the biotech breakthroughs of the last two decades. This series explores how materials changed history and are shaping the future, ranging from cost-effective fuel cells and solar panels to quantum computers and ultra-light automobiles. The New York Times’ technology correspondent and best-selling author David Pogue brings his trademark goofball humor and techie zeal to this exploration of the future of “stuff.” Each episode explores the talent, luck and determination that can turn a wild idea into a cutting-edge material or high-tech breakthrough. Making Stuff Smarter – An army tanker truck that heals its own bullet wounds. An airplane wing that changes shape as it flies. Clothing that can monitor its wearer’s heart rate, health and mood. Host David Pogue looks into the growing number of smart materials that can respond, change and even learn.
Nature “Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story” at 7 pm
2010 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Born Free” — a book and then a film that forever changed the way we think about wildlife. What has happened to lions since this story? And what has happened to the people featured in the film? What has “Born Free” taught us?
Nature: Frogs: The Thin Green Line, 7pm
It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Population by population, species by species, amphibians are vanishing off the face of the Earth. Despite international alarm and scientists scrambling for answers, the steady hemorrhaging of amphibians continues like a leaky faucet that cannot be fixed or a wound that will not heal. Large-scale die-offs of frogs around the world have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those they can.
Nature: Bears of the Last Frontier, 7pm
It’s early November and winter is coming on. But each year, the polar bears struggle for extended periods on dwindling fat reserves, waiting for the opportunity to hunt on sea ice that takes longer to freeze. In early spring, Chris Morgan joins local hunters in Barrow, the northernmost city in Alaska, as they go out on their own hunts, facing some of the same challenges as the bears. In late spring, Morgan travels to the North Slope of the Brooks Range, where countless thousands of caribou cover the ground for miles. The grizzlies are waiting for them, as they have for thousands of years.
Nova: The Fabric of the Universe “Quantum Leap”, 8pm
Join Brian Greene on a wild ride into the weird realm of quantum physics, which governs the universe on the tiniest of scales. Greene brings quantum mechanics to life in a nightclub like no other, where objects pop in and out of existence, and things over here can affect others over there, instantaneously and without anything crossing the space between them. A century ago, during the initial shots in the quantum revolution, the best minds of a generation—including Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr—squared off in a battle for the soul of physics. How could the rules of the quantum world, which work so well to describe the behavior of individual atoms and their components, conflict so dramatically with the everyday rules that govern people, planets, and galaxies?
Nova: The Fabric of the Universe “Universe or Multiverse? “, 9pm
Hard as it is to swallow, cutting-edge theories are suggesting that our universe may not be the only universe. Instead, it may be just one of an infinite number of worlds that make up the multiverse. Brian Greene takes us on a tour of this brave new theory at the frontier of physics, explaining why scientists believe it’s true and showing what some of these alternate realities might be like. Some universes may be almost indistinguishable from our own; others may contain variations of all of us, where we exist but with different families, careers and life stories. In still others, reality may be so radically different from ours as to be unrecognizable.
Nature: White Falcon, White Wolf, 7 pm
On Canada’s remote Ellesmere Island, where June is spring, July is summer and August is already autumn, the race is on for two remarkable species to raise their families. The white gyr falcon is enormous, the largest and most powerful falcon in the world. Yet last summer, the nesting falcon pair here failed to raise any young. The rare Arctic wolves rely on every member of the pack to chase and bring down the prey that keeps them alive. Last year was good to them, and they raised three cubs. But for the wolves and the falcons, as well for as the snowy owls, musk oxen, lemmings, Arctic foxes and hares who share this fragile ecosystem with them, fortunes are always precarious.
Nature: Bears of the Last Frontier, 7pm
Chris Morgan explores the world of black bears caught in the crossroads of urban development in Anchorage and the wilderness. This is a new normal for bears and for their human neighbors. Some bears are so comfortable living in urban surroundings that their primary habitat is a golf course. In residential areas, bears frequently raid garbage bins and birdfeeders for easy snacks. But these behaviors are less than ideal for bears and residents alike. Morgan heads north out of Anchorage to Denali National Park, where the mountains loom over treeless plains and bears get by on a diet of thousands of berries a day.
Nova: The Fabric of the Cosmos “What is Space?”, 8pm
Space. It separates you from me, one galaxy from the next and atoms from each other. It is everywhere in the universe. But to most of us, space is nothing, an empty void. Well, it turns out space is not what it seems. From the passenger seat of a New York cab driving near the speed of light to a pool hall where billiard tables do fantastical things, Brain Greene reveals space as a dynamic fabric that can stretch, twist, warp and ripple under the influence of gravity.
Nova: The Fabric of the Cosmos “The Illusion of Time”, 9pm
Time. We waste it, save it, kill it, make it. The world runs on it. Yet, ask physicists what time actually is, and the answer might shock you: They have no idea. Even more surprising, the deep sense we have of time passing from present to past may be nothing more than an illusion. How can our understanding of something so familiar be so wrong? In search of answers, Brian Greene takes us on the ultimate time traveling adventure, hurtling 50 years into the future before stepping into a wormhole to travel back to the past.
Nature: Bears of the Last Frontier, 7pm
Bear biologist Chris Morgan sets up camp at a remote spot in the heart of Alaskan wilderness, alongside the largest concentration of grizzlies in the world. It is June in the Alaska Peninsula. The sun sets well into night and bears are taking advantage of the long days to feed, mate and raise new cubs. Morgan tracks their progress as they feast on the riches of the season and re-establish the complex hierarchal social dynamics of bear society. Along the way, he experiences close encounters with bears, observing brutal battles among males during mating season as well as tender moments between a grizzly mom and her cubs.
Nature Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions at 7 pm
The returning saga of Cloud, the wild, white stallion finds us back in the Arrowhead Mountains of Montana. Cloud is now a confident band stallion in his prime. As he rules the mountains, gathering mares and expanding his reign, the story turns to his two sons. Bolder is his by birth — beautiful and golden, the success of his father and grandfather flowing in his veins. Flint, sired by another stallion, is the colt Cloud raised. Now, Bolder has gathered some mares of his own while Flint has joined a group of bachelor stallions, young guns roaming the mountains. Who will rise to challenge the mighty Cloud? Will nature or nurture produce the next great stallion of the Arrowheads?
Nova Hunting the Edge of Space: The Ever Expanding Universe at 8 pm
In this miniseries, Nova examines how a simple instrument, the telescope, has fundamentally changed our understanding of our place in the universe. What began as a curiosity — two spectacle lenses held a foot apart — ultimately revolutionized human thought across science, philosophy and religion. The series takes viewers on a global adventure of discovery, dramatizing the innovations in technology and the achievements in science that have marked the history of the telescope. This tale of human ingenuity involves some of the most colorful figures of the scientific world — Galileo, Kepler, Newton, William Herschel, George Hale and Edwin Hubble — leading up to today’s colossal telescopes, housed in space-age cathedrals or orbiting high above the Earth. Now at the center of an international space race, a new generation of ever-larger telescopes is poised to reveal answers to longstanding questions about our universe and, in turn, to raise new questions. The conclusion.
Inside Nature’s Giants Camel at 9 pm
Mark Evans and Joy Reidenberg brave the baking desert to dissect a camel. They uncover the secret of the camel’s hump and investigate how its elastic legs, stretchy lips and pedestal (a strange bump on its chest) are among the many surprising adaptations that enable the camel to thrive in such a dry and hostile environment.