Tuesday Live on KLRU

The theme Tuesday night in studio 6B was exploration. Brought together by a heated debate over Pluto and the zeros and ones of the digital frontier, fans of science and media gathered together to support Austin’s PBS station

While members of the Austin Planetarium (@austinplanet) answered phones during NOVA program The Pluto Files, executive director Torval Hessel explained to viewers that the argument over Pluto was not a new one. In fact a book on astronomy published more than 100 years ago numbers 450 planets in our solar system, including Pluto. Mr. Hessel spoke earlier in the day to the host of NOVA, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson about Pluto. Listen to their conversation about angry letters from 4th graders, Neil’s first encounters with the night sky, and his thoughts on why Austin needs a planetarium.

The Austin Social Media Club (@SMCAustin) tweeted, blogged and updated their support throughout Frontline: Digital Nation. Co-founders David J Neff and Mike Chapman explained in interviews that social media is a two way conversation. If you’re just starting out try to just listen for awhile, it’ll be easier to understand the conversations taking place and your participation with have more value.

If you’d like to explore the summer sky through a telescope check out the free Austin under the Stars event, more information at Austin Planetarium’s website.

The Austin Social Media Club invites you to attend their next meeting and learn about the latest trends in social media with like minded folks. Check the events calendar at their facebook group.

A big thanks to everyone who supported NOVA and Frontline in their regular Tuesday time slots.

Monday Live on KLRU

On Monday night, members of the community joined staff live in the studio to help fundraise for KLRU. It was a great kickoff to this week of live television breaks during the regular primetime lineup.

Throughout Antiques Roadshow Austin appraisers gave two lucky KLRU fans a professional examination of their jewelry. Rebekkah Kwast brought in watches that had belonged to her grandmother. After Ralph Mothnar gave a closer look at one of the pieces, a gold watch he discovered to still be in working condition, he determined the value to be around $300.

Elizabeth Chapman’s antique ring proved to be a big surprise. She knew the piece was from her grandmother, a Mardi Gras queen in New Orleans, but was thrilled when Sarah Williams valued the Victorian era ring at more than $3000.

During American Experience we were joined for an interview with Sebastian Puente CEO, Cultural Strategies. Along with his insights on Austin’s Mexican American community he shared a touching story about watching A Class Apart together with his daughter and the important discussion on culture and history that followed.

Thank you to the phone volunteers and guests that made the evening very engaging. Our appraisers were Ralph Mothnar 512-797-1026 and Sarah Williams 512-452-6641.

Review: Masterpiece Classic Anne Frank

Masterpiece Classic “The Diary of Anne Frank”
Sunday, April 11, at 8 p.m.
Note: This program airs on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Anne Frank’s story is one that has been recounted in many forms. Her writing is a unique slice of existence during the Nazi occupation and persecution of the Jewish people in Europe during World War 2. Masterpiece‘s authentic adaptation brings Anne’s writings to life with the help of an excellent performance by actress Ellie Kendrick (An Education). Kendrick aptly coveys the passion and longing of a girl coming of age in such a restrictive environment.

Stashed away in a hidden annex behind a bookcase, Anne’s family and a handful of their fellow Jewish neighbors struggle for two years to remain resourceful, quiet and hopeful, aided by a dwindling but dedicated group of supporters on the outside. As Amsterdam’s streets fill with Nazi soldiers, word of Jews disappearing from their homes makes it back to the hidden
group. The shock of which causes Anne’s mother to nearly break down with anxiety. Anne is in many ways too preoccupied with adolescence and what she may be missing outside to allow herself to be affected the same. She is an intelligent girl and understands the consequences of war, but her youthful spirit, perhaps an unconscious element of self-preservation, cannot be
darkened by her confinement.

The last entry in her diary perhaps best illustrates her spirit:
“I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart”

A spirit that will surely live on forever. This is a Masterpiece not to be missed.

About the reviewer: Mark Pedini is KLRU’s Graphic Designer. He also enjoys illustrating and screen printing show posters with his wife Farley. Mark is the father of a two-year-old daughter who loves Elmo and Clifford. Mark’s favorite Masterpiece programs are Sense and Sensibility, Forsyte Saga and Bleak House.

KLRU staff night

For the final night of the December fundraising drive KLRU staff volunteered to man the phones while their co-workers worked to produce live pledge breaks during Nature.

Between live tv breaks we gathered around the monitors and watched the episode which was called “Born Wild: The First Days of Life” and highlighted struggles the animal kingdom face from birth.

Many of us at KLRU have animal babies in our lives so in honor of Sunday’s episode of Nature we present these furry members of our families:

Three-part Nova explores human ancestors

NOVA  Becoming Human: Unearthing Our Earliest Ancestors
7 p.m. Tuesday, November 3, 2009 (Part 1)
7 p.m. Tuesday, November 10, 2009 (Part 2)
7 p.m. Tuesday, November 17, 2009 (Part 3)

NOVA presents a comprehensive three-part, three-hour special — investigating explosive new discoveries that are transforming the picture of how we became human. The first program explores fresh clues about our earliest ancestors in Africa, including the stunningly complete fossil nicknamed “Lucy’s Child.” These three-million-year-old bones from Ethiopia reveal humanity’s oldest and most telltale trait — upright walking, rather than a big brain. The second program tackles the mysteries of how our ancestors managed to survive in a savannah teeming with vicious predators, and when and why we first left our African cradle to colonize every corner of the earth. In the final program, NOVA probes a wave of dramatic new evidence, based partly on cutting-edge DNA analysis, that reveals new insights into how we became today’s creative and “behaviorally modern” humans and what really happened to the enigmatic Neanderthals who faded into extinction. Shot “in the trenches” as discoveries were unearthed throughout Africa and Europe, each hour of “Becoming Human” unfolds with a forensic investigation into the life and death of a specific hominid ancestor, such as Lucy’s Child. Dry bones spring back to vivid life with stunning animation, the product of a unique NOVA collaboration between

In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina

In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina airing tonight (10/15) at 7 p.m. on KRLU is a concert hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama on the South Lawn of the White House that celebrates Hispanic musical heritage. The program includes Marc Anthony, Jimmy Smits, Pete Escovedo, Gloria Estefan, José Feliciano, George Lopez, Thalía, Tito “El Bambino”, the Bachata music group Aventura, and the Chicano rock band Los Lobos, with Sheila E. leading the house band.

Reading Rainbow says goodbye

Reading Rainbow will no longer be provided by PBS to stations for broadcast starting on Aug. 28. No new episodes of the children’s program have been produced for several years and PBS removed the series from its daily lineup last fall to make room for new programs with reading and science/math content. After nearly a after a quarter century on public television, the series will no long be broadcast over the air. Producers of the series are working to continue the show online and DVDs of episodes will be available through Shop PBS.

Editor’s Note: Reading Rainbow has been an influential part of the learning expereince for many children.  Please share your story about the show’s impact by leaving a comment below.

Sneak preview of ACL with Willie and The Wheel

Program: Austin City Limits with Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel
Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Sunday, August 2

Viewers in Austin will get an early look at a very special new episode of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS featuring Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel, which was taped earlier this year for ACL’s 35th anniversary season. The new episode marks the first time the two recording legends have shared the ACL stage, though both have performed many times separately in the show’s 35-year history. The sneak peek event will air on KLRU-TV in Austin on August 2 at 7:00 pm as part of the PBS channel’s summer pledge drive. It’s the only chance to see the broadcast until it airs nationally on November 14.

Longtime fans of the show might recall that Willie Nelson appeared on the original pilot episode for AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, recorded in October 1974, and Asleep at the Wheel appeared on the first episode of the first official season in 1976. This new episode finds Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel performing songs from their recently released Willie and The Wheel (**** Rolling Stone) as well as classics like “On the Road Again” and “Always on my Mind.”

Viewers making a pledge during the special August 2 broadcast between 7:00 and 9:30 pm will receive Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel thank you gifts, including a limited number of ticket packages to see Asleep at the Wheel at the famed Lukenbach Dance Hall on August 8th.

Additionally KLRU-TV is giving away 100 pairs of tickets to a special simulcast of the August 10 AUSTIN CITY LIMITS taping featuring the Dave Matthews Band. Anyone pledging a gift of $100 or more during the first weekend of the pledge drive will be automatically entered for a chance to receive two tickets.

The 35th anniversary season of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS premieres nationally on October 3 with Dave Matthews Band. Other performers in the new season include Kenny Chesney, Pearl Jam, Elvis Costello, Ben Harper and Relentless7 and more.