It’s Okay To Be Smart – PBS Digital Studios

Do you find yourself asking a lot of questions that tend to incite responses like, “I don’t know, it just is,”? Well, PBS Digital Studios may have the answers you’re looking for. Host Joe Hanson, Ph.D., creates weekly videos with different topics about things we didn’t even know we were curious about.

When you grow up, more often times than not you learn about the Inuit and the traditional Igloo. Hanson tells us why they actually work, and the science behind heat that you didn’t even know existed.  

Owls, the source to that spooky hooting in the middle of the night, actually have a lot more to their existence than meets the eye – literally. Hanson tells us that even though some owls have superb eyesight, feathers all over the face can actually help them to hunt without using their eyes.

I’ve always wondered why salt and pepper could be found on any dining table around the western world. Hanson enlightens us about the natural chemical dependency humans have with salt, and how pepper made it’s way to become the great rock’s sidekick.

In the Studio: Blackademics Television tapings on 2/21 & 2/22

blackademics tv

Please join KLRU for this year’s Blackademics Television tapings on Tuesday, February 21 and Wednesday, February 22 in KLRU’s legendary Studio 6A (map). Doors open both nights at 6:30 p.m.Please complete the forms below to RSVP.

Past seasons have featured presenters from a range of academic, entrepreneurial and creative backgrounds. This season is no exception!

Austin-based Jackie Venson will present for S5 of Blackademics + musical performance!

Tuesday, February 21 at 7 p.m.
KLRU’s Studio 6A (map)
Doors at 6:30 p.m.

RSVP for 2/21 featuring:

Jackie Venson, Austin-based singer, songwriter and musician, is best known for her vocals and blues guitar. Along with presenting, catch a musical performance from Venson on the original Austin City Limits stage.

Courtney Santana has been working in the nonprofit sector for more than a decade and is the executive director of her own project-based charity JONAH. A survivor of domestic violence, she recently started the survivor support initiative Survive2Thrive Foundation.

Dr. Daina Berry is an Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies and the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Fellow of History at the The University of Texas at Austin. An author, award-winning editor, and an advocate for public history, she also served as one of the technical advisors for the remake of ROOTS (A+E).

Rolf Straubhaar is an Assistant Research Scientist at the Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education at the University of Georgia. Some of his most recent work explores the views held by the officials who imported U.S.-based educational reforms to Brazil, and the resistance expressed by Afro-Brazilian students and community members.

Dr. Sharell Luckett is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Muhlenberg College. She is also lead editor of Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches. Her forthcoming book, YoungGiftedandFat: Size, Sexuality & Privilege, engages with her life as an actress who experienced extreme weight loss.

Jeremy Hills, founder of The Factory

Jeremy Hills founded The Factory in 2015 to pursue his dream of training the best athletes in the nation and having them at their peak performance year in and year out.

Jeanine Staples is an Associate Professor of Literacy and Language, African American Studies, and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Penn State. Her new literacies scholarship, teaching, and coaching push forward anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-ableist education through an ideological concept called Supreme Love.

Dr. Jennifer Adair is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Her work focuses on the connection between agency and discrimination in the early learning experiences of children of immigrants.

Entrance is based upon capacity. 


Fatima Mann, cofounder of the Austin Justice Coalition

Wednesday, February 22 at 7 p.m.

KLRU’s Studio 6A (map)
Doors at 6:30 p.m.

RSVP for 2/22 featuring:

Letsie Khabele is a co-founder of Headwaters School, formerly known as Khabele School, an independent school in Austin serving students from early childhood through grade 12 that begins with a Montessori foundation and progresses to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Tshepo Chéry is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies. Her research specialities include African History, Social Movements, Religious Activism & Religious Fundamentalism, Education Policy in Africa, and Global Health & International Aid.

Tequia Hicks was the Senior Advisor for Congressional Engagement and Legislative Relations in The White House Office of Legislative Affairs during the Obama Administration. Her team managed all interactions between the White House and Members of Congress.

Dr. Omi Tinsley is an Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the The University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches “Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism” each spring. Her research focuses on queer and feminist, Caribbean and African American performance and literature. She is currently at work on a new book project, Finding Beyoncé: A Black Femme-inist Journey through Popular Music, Eroticism, and Activism in the U.S. South.

Fatima Mann cofounded the Austin Justice Coalition. She is also the co-founder and Executive Director of Counter Balance: ATX and is currently studying law at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Dr. LaGarret King is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research interests include Black history education, critical theories of race, social studies, and curriculum history.

Yewande Austin has gone from M.T.V. and B.E.T. to the historic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her socially charged music has taken center stage with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5 and India Arie. However, she is most proud of her work as an award-winning lecturer, activist and honorary U. S. Cultural Ambassador.

Bavu Blakes

Bavu Blakes, Scholar Emcee

Bavu Blakes walking through the intersection of Hip Hop, education, and spirituality. The scholar emcee is a 7th grade humanities teacher, graduate student, servant-leader, and award-winning musician whose studio collaborators include Grammy winners Adrian Quesada, Symbolyc One, and Gary Clark, Jr., as well as people’s champ Paul Wall.

Entrance is based upon capacity. 


Blackademics Television is back for its fifth season of top Black Studies scholars, activists and community leaders sharing projects and research focused on education, performance and youth empowerment. Please join us and be part of the studio audience for these tapings. And don’t forget, you can watch past episodes anytime online!

Blackademics Television is a presentation of The Institute for Community, University & School Partnerships (ICUSP) in combination with KLRU-TV, Austin PBS.

Highlights Feb. 12-18

KLRU Highlights

After the Second Battle of Bull Run, Hopkins and Emma set out to rescue a stranded group of wounded Union soldiers while Hopkins and Emma share an intimate moment on Southern Mercy airing at 7 pm Sunday and 9 pm Thursday.

At loose ends in a foreign land, Albert finds a noble cause. Victoria gets her way at court and resorts to a folk cure in the bedroom. Francatelli does Miss Skerrett a favor – for a price, on Victoria, airing at 8 pm on Sunday and 8 pm on the following Saturday.

Tales From The Royal Wardrobe, airing at 9 pm on Sunday and 9 pm on the following Saturday, examines the significance of the royal wardrobes of English monarchs over the last 400 years on.

In the new Father Brown, when Kembleford’s new cricket captain is framed for murder, Father Brown must prove his innocence to give his team any chance of beating neighbouring village Hambleston, airing at 10 pm Sunday night.

Meet African-American musician Daryl Davis, who has a peculiar passion – meeting and befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan in an attempt to change their minds and forge racial conciliation, one racist at a time, in this week’s Independent Lens, airing at 9 pm Monday night.

In the new Arts-In-Context airing at 10:30 pm Monday, The House of Songs connects international & U.S. songwriters to bridge cultures & spark creativity.

Uncover a long history of military service in the families of Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore and John McCain, and how this has instilled in each of them an enduring spirit of strength and integrity in Finding Your Roots, airing at 7 pm Tuesday.

Examine the 1992 FBI siege at Ruby Ridge that helped launch the modern militia movement through eyewitness accounts, including Randy Weaver’s daughter and federal agents involved in the deadly confrontation. Ruby Ridge: American Experience airs at 8 pm on Tuesday.

Explore the deadly August 1, 1966, mass shooting at the University of Texas that left 16 dead. “Tower” reframes the events of that day via the perspectives of those who lived through it and examines the effects of the shooting over the last 50 years. This Independent Lens airs Tuesday at 9:00 pm and repeats on Friday at 8:00 pm.

On these segments of Living Springs, see Cleaning Day, Didgeman, Baptism and Eternal Vigilance, airing Tuesday at 10:30 pm and Friday at 9:30 pm.

Spy Creatures and their new wild friends rely on each other to look out for predators. A Spy Meerkat babysits meerkat pups while a Spy Cobra pretends to attack the mob. Spy Crocs witness a convenient partnership between real crocodiles and birds. Watch the Friendship installment of Spy In The Wild, this Wednesday at 7 pm.

The ancient art of paper folding is sparking scientific advances, affecting drug development and future NASA space missions. Discover how the art of origami is reshaping the world around us as scientists uncover the power of folding in this episode of NOVA, airing at 8:00 pm Wednesday.

Examine the hidden army that keeps your plane safe, and explore just what it takes to keep the “city in the sky” functioning and safe between take-off and landing. Learn why flying has become safer than ever, all on City In The Sky, this Wednesday at 9:00 pm and again on Saturday at 10 pm.

On this Austin City Limits which airs at 10 pm on Wednesday and Friday, revel in an hour of modern rock with UK superstars Foals and Texas legend Escovedo. Foals play tunes from the album What Went Down, while Texas bard Escovedo showcases Burn Something Beautiful, joined by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and alt-rock luminaries.

Overheard With Evan Smith airs at 7 pm Thursday night, featuring Marcus Samuelson, a chef and restaurateur who has written numerous cookbooks, talks about his newest book, The Red Rooster Cookbook which is titled after his New York City restaurant.

On these segments of Living Springs, see Barton 4 Springs, Barbara Mahler, Science Detective, Salamander Captive Breedings and Waterworks, airing at 7:30 pm on Thursday.

Chet tours Boerne, a German community with stops along Main Street for “fickle” pickles and milkshakes at an vintage drive in, all on The Daytripper at 8:00 pm Thursday.

At 8:30 pm, catch Chet in The Daytripper as he dives in the rich history and food of this East Texas town. He takes a trip back in time in the old high school, eats at a hamburger institution, and then investigates a little-known NASA facility sending scientific balloons up into the sky.

Doctor Who airs at 10:00 pm, in which one morning in every city and town in the world, the human race wakes up to face the most surprising invasion yet. Everywhere, in every land, a forest has grown overnight and taken back the Earth. It doesn’t take the Doctor long to discover that the final days of humanity have arrived.

Saturday at 7:00 pm, join Austin City Limits and enjoy “Life of Sin” and other tunes from Sturgill Simpson’s acclaimed LP Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, as well as Western swing classics from Asleep at the Wheel’s album Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.

Science Night Feb. 15

This Science Night At The Movies brings you friendship, space and sky. Join the friendly critters on the ground and the helpful technology and hidden army that makes sure that you fly safely in the sky.

Spy Creatures and their new wild friends rely on each other to look out for predators. A Spy Meerkat babysits meerkat pups while a Spy Cobra pretends to attack the mob. Spy Crocs witness a convenient partnership between real crocodiles and birds. Watch the Friendship installment of Spy In The Wild, beginning at 7 pm.

The ancient art of paper folding is sparking scientific advances, affecting drug development and future NASA space missions. Discover how the art of origami is reshaping the world around us as scientists uncover the power of folding in this episode of NOVA, airing at 8:00 pm.

Examine the hidden army that keeps your plane safe, and explore just what it takes to keep the “city in the sky” functioning and safe between take-off and landing. Learn why flying has become safer than ever, all on City In The Sky airing at 10 pm.

A legacy of trust for you to take action

Your world is much more than just today’s headlines … and PBS’ legacy of being America’s most trusted institution allows you to explore what’s next so you can take action now. Give now

Programs like PBS NewsHour explore key issues from as many viewpoints as possible, so that you can see and understand the bigger picture. Programs like Frontline have challenged conventional thinking, investigating issues before reaching national attention. KLRU news and public affairs programming covers a full spectrum of local and national issues. These programs — that serve as a constant, reliable source of trustworthy news for all Central Texans — are more essential now than ever before.

Your support is also more essential than ever before! Your investment is our commitment to superior, balanced journalism that you can trust. Your gift today will keep local public television thriving and bring you more quality, straight-forward reporting for years to come.

Q Night At The Movies Feb. 11 features Laura and Scarlet Street

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

This week’s Q Night At The Movies brings you more science and classics. Go back in time – from discussing and dissecting old movies to watching and admiring them, the classics theme is one you won’t want to miss.

The conversation continues with movie producer, Lynda Obst, about the importance of using real science in movies, her relationship with Carl Sagan and her experience meeting Stephen Hawking in Science Goes To The Movies, airing at 7:00 pm.

In this week’s On Story, Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential) discuss the modern day Neo Noir – a genre-bending response to the Film Noirs of the 1940s and 50s – and dissect the basic styles, impulses, themes, and tones that embrace this form of storytelling, which airs at 7:30 pm.

An arrogant New York columnist (Clifton Webb) taunts a detective (Dana Andrews) obsessed with a slain woman’s (Gene Tierney) portrait in Laura, provided by the All Star Film Collection, airing at 8:00 pm.

When a man in mid-life crisis (Edward G. Robinson) befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has. The Corinth Films Collection brings you Scarlet Street at 9:30 pm.

Independent Lens – Tower airs 2/17

On what seemed like a typical summer day, August 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand. Using a unique blend of historical archival footage, interviews and rotoscope animation, TOWER reveals the action-packed, untold stories of the witnesses, heroes, and survivors of America’s first mass school shooting, when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others. TOWER steps out of the shadow of history to reveal the subjects as they are in the present day, exploring the legacy of the shooting through the eyes of the survivors of a story they’ll never forget, but in some cases had not talked about for decades. Watch this episode of Independent Lens Tuesday, February 14 at 9:00 pm, and again on Friday, February 17 at 8:00 pm.

Talk: Race In America airs 2/20

The Talk – Race in America is a two-hour documentary about the increasingly common conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police. The Talk airs Monday, February 20 at 8:00 pm.

In many homes, “the talk,” as it is called, usually contains phrases like this … If you are stopped by the police: Always answer “yes sir, no sir”; never talk back; don’t make any sudden movements; don’t put your hands in your pockets; obey all commands; if you think you are falsely accused, save it for the police station. I would rather pick you up at the station than the morgue …

The film will present six personal stories to illustrate the issue from multiple points of view: parent, child, the police and the community. Filmed across the country, in communities including Long Beach, California; Oakland, California; St. Louis, Missouri; Richland County, South Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; and Cleveland, Ohio, the stories will include interviews with academics, police force members, community activists and family members.

Get in the Way: The Journey of John Lewis Screening and Discussion 2/21

In honor of Black History Month our partners at The LBJ School of Public Affairs present a screening and discussion of the new PBS film Get in the Way: The Journey of John Lewis. The film airs on KLRU Feb. 10th at 10:30 pm; Feb. 12th at 1 pm; and Feb. 20th at 10 pm.

The screening takes place Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the LBJ Presidential Library (10th floor Atrium). The event is free but you mus register online. Register now

Get in the Way is the first documentary biography about Congressman John Lewis, the civil rights hero and respected legislator whose unwavering fight for justice spans the past 50 years. The film captures Lewis’ courageous struggle and hard-won achievements and reminds audiences that passion and persistence can make the ordinary, extraordinary.

A discussion will follow the screening. Our panelists include:

  • Kathleen Dowdey, Film Director
  • Nelson Linder, President of the NAACP’s Austin Chapter
  • Dr. Tasha Philpot, Associate Professor of Government at The University of Texas at Austin and a scholar of black congressional history

The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Please register online if you plan to attend.

Overheard tapes John Doe 2/14

Please join KLRU’s Overheard with Evan Smith for an interview with John Doe on February 14 at 11:15 a.m. in KLRU’s Studio 6A (map). Doors open at 10:45 a.m. The event is free but an RSVP is required. Please complete the form here to RSVP. 

John Doe John Doe is an actor and musician who co-founded the Los Angeles punk band X. He has appeared in over 50 films and television productions including Great Balls of Fire!, Roadside Prophets, Roswell and more. His latest book, Under the Big Black Sun, explores the LA punk rock movement and its evolution.

Tuesday, February 14 at 11:15 a.m.
KLRU’s Studio 6A (map)
Doors at 10:45 a.m.
Entrance is based upon capacity.

We hope you’ll be there as Overheard with Evan Smith continues its seventh season of interviews featuring engaging conversations with fascinating people. The show airs on PBS stations nationally and presents a wide range of thoughtmakers and tastemakers from the fields of politics, journalism, business, arts, sports and more. Please join us and be part of the studio audience at this taping with John Doe. And don’t forget you can watch past episodes anytime at