Science Night July 29

On this week’s Science Night, after Life on the Reef explores wet season at the Great Barrier Reef, NOVA and Uranium tell the stories of nuclear power. On NOVA, learn about the Fukushima nuclear disaster and on Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail, unlock the secrets of one of the most powerful elements involved in nuclear power: uranium.

Life on the Reef at 7 pm
On the second episode, witness the explosion of life on the reef as the wet season approaches: corals spawn, sea birds nest and thousands of turtle hatchlings erupt over the beaches. But soon, torrential rain and storms will bring change and upheaval to the delicate ecosystem.

NOVA Nuclear Meltdown Disaster at 8 pm
Four years after one of history’s worst nuclear accidents, NOVA reveals the minute-by-minute story of the Fukushima nuclear crisis and its ongoing aftermath, told by the brave workers who stayed behind as an earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant.

Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail at 9 pm
On the second episode of Uranium, join physicist Dr. Derek Muller to unlock the mysteries of uranium, one of the Earth’s most controversial elements. Uranium has brought hope, progress and destruction; revolutionized society, from medicine to warfare; and profoundly shaped the past.

Cicadas, loneliness and Animal Crossing: Our picks from PBS Digital Studios

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PBS Digital Studios is brimming with fascinating, well-produced content on a wide range of topics. There are so many videos posted each week, in fact, that we can’t possibly begin to share them all with you – so we’ve decided to do a round-up of our favorite videos each week.

This week? Smart cicadas, the science of loneliness and potentially evil video games.

Why are cicadas so good at math? (It’s Okay To Be Smart)
They may look weird and scary crawling out of the ground, but this is no zombie movie – they’re just periodical cicadas. And they’re nothing to be afraid of – they just suck up plant juices underground. The periodical cicada, or magicicada, has the longest life cycle of any insect – they only emerge every 13 or 17 years. Why 13 or 17? Well, they’re surprisingly good at math. It’s Okay to be Smart explains:

If you want to know more about periodical cicadas (specifically, why they don’t have butts) check out this video from Gross Science.

Why do we feel lonely? (BrainCraft)
There are lots of people who choose to be alone and are not necessarily lonely – solitude isn’t a bad thing. But you don’t always feel that way, and some of us are more prone to feel lonely than others. Recent research has linked loneliness to our genes, causing a yearning for social connection in the same way hunger makes us crave food. Hungry for company, if you will. BrainCraft explains:

Is Animal Crossing evil? (Game/Show)
It’s one of the most popular video games of its kind, one of Nintendo’s highest-crossing franchises, and it may be evil. It sells itself as an idyllic, peaceful, slow life game, and your neighbors are charming, cute little animals. But your house is full of cockroaches, you’re in crippling debt, and your town is run by authorities who are capitalism mongers at best and dictators at worst. Join Jamin on this week’s episode of Game/Show as he explores the game’s underlying themes of debt, forced-labor and capitalism:

Click here to check out more videos from PBS Digital Studios.

2015 Summer of Mystery

Whip out your magnifying glasses because this summer is about to get puzzling. KLRU is bringing back some of your favorite whodunits for a month full of mystery!

Foyle’s War Trespass
Saturday, August 1 at 8 pm
The son of a prominent Jewish man is assaulted as a right-wing manifesto inflames anti-Semitic tensions.

Foyle’s War Elise
Saturday, August 1 at 9:30 pm
After an assassination attempt on Hilda Pierce (Ellie Haddington), Foyle examines her Special Operations Executive activities during the war and rumors of a traitor.

Foyle’s War Revisited
Saturday, August 8 at 8:30 pm
Saturday, August 15 at 10 pm
Go behind-the-scenes of the acclaimed, must-see series with host John Mahoney (Fraiser) and learn the secrets of the final Foyle’s War episodes in season 8.

Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case
Saturday, August 8 at 10 pm
After returning to Styles with Hastings, Poirot confronts a killer and his own conscience as he tries to stop a series of murders. Confined to a wheelchair and crippled with arthritis, the now elderly Hercule Poirot is reunited with his old companion Captain Hastings – back where it all began. He must summon the last of his strength and push his “little grey cells” to the very limit, as he battles his ultimate nemesis in his last ever case.

Masterpiece Mystery! Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Saturday, August 16 at 8:30 pm
Saturday, August 29 at 8 pm
Sherlock and Watson are plunged into a case of blackmail involving crafty dominatrix Irene Adler, whose motto is “know when you are beaten.” It seems she has incriminating photos of a session with a British royal. Can she outsmart Sherlock at his own game? And at a battle he is ill prepared to wage – love?

Masterpiece Mystery! Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville
Saturday, August 29 at 9:30 pm
Sherlock and Watson pursue the trail of the Baskerville experiments – top-secret government research on genetically engineered gigantic animals for military use. Or so it is rumored. Whatever the truth, something big is up on the moors.

Masterpiece Mystery! Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall
Sunday, August 30 at 8 pm
In what may be the climatic case of his career, Sherlock faces Moriarty’s diabolical plot to “get Sherlock,” which begins innocently enough when the criminal mastermind breaks into the Crown Jewels. As the scheme unfolds, Moriarty poses the “final problem,” and a tabloid reporter reveals the “shocking truth” about the great detective.

CASA Superhero Run 2015

Runners, it’s time again to pull out those magical capes, strap on those evil-avenging masks and double-knot those superhuman running shoes because KLRU is “calling all super readers” and superheroes to the CASA Superhero Run, because “every child needs a hero, but abused children need superheroes.”

KLRU is proud to be a media sponsor for this year’s CASA Superhero Run 5K & Kids 1K, an annual event that raises money to help ensure that someday every child in Travis County who needs their own superhero will have one. The 6th annual race will take place on September 13 from 7 am to 10 am.

For more information and to register in advance, visit the race’s official site!

Want to see just how superhuman these heroes are? Check out highlights from last year’s race!

The Bomb + Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail

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Using state-of-the-art transfer techniques to turn recently declassified images into vivid, jaw-dropping footage, The Bomb tells a powerful story of the most destructive invention in human history. From the earliest testing stages to its use as the ultimate chess piece in global politics, the program outlines how America developed the bomb, how it changed the world and how it continues to loom large in our lives.

Viewers witness the raw power and strangely compelling beauty of rare and pristine images of above-ground nuclear tests. The documentary includes interviews with historians Richard Rhodes, Martin Sherwin, Robert Norris, Sergei Khrushchev and others, along with men and women who helped build the weapon piece by piece.

Audiences also hear from former Secretary of State George Shultz and Secretary of Defense William Perry, who reveal how the bomb was viewed inside government circles, as well as those who hold firsthand memories of seeing the first mushroom clouds fill the skies.

The Bomb premieres on July 28 at 7 pm on KLRU.

Also timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the first explosion of an atomic bomb and the bombing of Hiroshima, Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail embarks on an epic journey across the globe to explain the fascinating details of uranium’s birth and life.

Born from the collapse of a star, uranium has brought hope, progress and destruction. It has revolutionized society, from medicine to warfare. It is an element that has profoundly shaped the past, will change the future and will exist long after humans have left the Earth.

The first episode of Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail premieres on July 28 at 9 pm on KLRU, while the second episode airs on July 29 at 9 pm.

Compassion for Those We Love: A Town Meeting on Caregiving for Alzheimer’s in the Hispanic Community

Host Tsi Tsi Ki RGB

More than 200,000 Spanish-speaking people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, that number could potentially increase to 1.3 million by 2050 – a growth rate of 600 percent.

Alzheimer’s presents its own set of problems in the general population, but it seems to affect the Latino population at a higher rate. Latinos, studies suggest, possess more risk factors (diabetes, high blood pressure) for developing dementia than other groups and exhibit Alzheimer’s symptoms at an earlier age than non-Hispanics. In addition, surveys indicate Latinos’ reluctance to see doctors may result from financial and language barriers or because they mistake dementia symptoms for normal aging, thereby delaying the diagnosis.

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KLRU presents Compassion for Those We Love: A Town Meeting on Caregiving for Alzheimer’s in the Hispanic Community on Friday, July 24th at 8pm on V-Me; Sunday, July 26th at 1 pm on KLRU; Monday, July 27th at 6 pm on KLRU Q. Taped in Spanish in front of an audience—and subtitled in English—this program focuses on the human stories of the caregiving crisis in a town-hall style format. Hosted by Tsi-tsi-ki Felix, a Telemundo news anchor and reporter, this program features a panel discussion and a question-and-answer session with experts including Dr. Maria Carrillo, Ph.D from the National Alzheimer’s Association and clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Marla Marquine, Ph.D from the University of California, San Diego.

One of the Hispanic community’s strengths—the strong cultural value of family responsibility and the desire to care for elders and loved ones in the home—make the need for accurate information and access to care giving resources all the more critical. This educational program addresses these issues and others in a linguistically and culturally sensitive manner. Although geared specifically to the Hispanic community, much of the information presented is universal and applicable to most Alzheimer’s caregivers.

Compassion for Those We Love: A Town Meeting on Caregiving for Alzheimer’s in the Hispanic Community airs:
Friday, July 24th at 8 pm on V-Me
Sunday, July 26th at 1 pm on KLRU
Monday, July 27th at 6 pm on KLRU Q

KLRU News Briefs: Black-Owned Businesses See Opportunity in Pflugerville, and Combating Summer Learning Loss

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In April, the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce capitalized on the “Greater Austin” part of its name and expanded operations to Pflugerville. The GABCC signed a deal with the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation to offer services and programs to black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

According to the PCDC, Pflugerville ranks “among the top cities in Central Texas for greater ethnic diversity, higher wages and lower unemployment rates based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2013 results.” The city has the highest African-American population, at 14.4%, in the region. Austin’s African-American population is 8% and declining as many families relocate to the suburbs.

“We talk a lot about social capital and community, and what happens when you have someone who can not only inspire you, but can connect you to a new opportunities to advance yourself and your company,” Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce CEO Natalie Cofield says. “And having more black entrepreneurs in the city of Austin, having more entrepreneurs, period, is important to the fabric of any city. So why would we not want more black entrepreneurs to be part of the equation of what happens with this city’s growth?”

We also spoke to April Kearney who owns Blling Salon and Retail in downtown Pflugerville. Alsmot 10 years ago she moved her business from Austin to Pflugerville. You can see that story on Saturday during NewsHour or here.

Summer Brain Drain, or “Summer Slide” or “Summer Learning Loss,” is used to describe the estimated 43 million children in the U.S. who miss out on learning opportunities in the summer. Low-income youth lose more than 2 months worth of reading skills, while their higher income peers make small gains. Those numbers come from The Boys and Girls Club, which runs a national program called Summer Brain Gain aimed at keeping at-risk children on track.

The Boys and Girls Club of Austin runs the program at Thurmond Heights and Chalmers Court apartments, which are operated by the Housing Authority of the City of Austin. Participants are rising Kindergartners through upcoming 5th graders. The program also runs during the school year, allowing children who are at-risk to obtain quality out of school time all year long.

“[Our participants] are high risk for everything,” Boys and Girls Club of Austin CEO Mark Kiester says. “What we try to do is flip the school day for the kids. We feed them, they get some exercise, but we turn learning into engaging activities. That’s what makes learning different.”

We hear more from Kiester and from Dr. Walter Stroup, Associate Professor at UT’s School of Education in our Sunday story. You can see it in the video below.

KLRU News Briefs air locally at 6:30pm during PBS NewsHour Weekend. Our Sunday story is part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative which is aimed at increasing awareness about factors that lead to dropout in Central Texas. 

Do you have an American Graduate story idea? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at CivicSummit@klru.org, post a comment, or tweet at us using #amgradtx. 

What’s happening this weekend: July 17-19

Happy weekend, Austinites! Stay cool this weekend with these (mostly) local events.

Take a road trip to Winedale for UT’s annual Shakespeare productions

“Shakespeare at Winedale,” a University of Texas program which presents various Shakespeare productions in Winedale, Texas, is in its 35th year this summer. This year, the students are presenting Twelfth Night (opening July 16), Henry V (opening July 17) and Pericles (opening July 18). Established in 1970 as a UT English course, Shakespeare at Winedale has grown into a year-round program reaching many different groups. Students in the summer program spend two months in the Texas countryside, studying and performing three plays in a nineteenth-century barn converted into a theatre.

So, load up in the car this weekend and journey about 80 miles east to Winedale to appreciate the students’ hard work. But before you go, watch this episode of Shakespeare Uncovered, in which Jeremy Irons researches Shakespeare’s history plays such as Henry V, as well as the differences between the real history and the father-son drama that Shakespeare creates.

Admission: $5 with a UT ID, $10 for all others. Hours: Showtimes vary. Details and ticket information here. 

Revisit your childhood fairytales at the Blanton Museum of Art

Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm opened last week at the Blanton and features more than 30 gouache and pastel drawings by artist Natalie Frank, a New York-based Austin native. Organized by The Drawing Center in New York, this presentation explores the nineteenth-century fairy tales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, including well-known stories such as Cinderella and Snow White, and more obscure tales such as The Lettuce Donkey and The Ungrateful Son.

Before you go, watch On Story: Reimagining The Classics as writers of re-imagined classics & popular franchises such as Ghost, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Twins and Snow White and the Huntsman deliberate how to keep stories fresh while staying true to the original.

Admission: Free for Blanton members and UT students, faculty and staff. $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for college students with valid ID and youth ages 13-21, free for children 12 and under. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Details about the exhibit can be found here.  

Dance and sing along to Hairspray at the Zilker Hillside Theatre

Zilker Theatre Productions’ annual free summer musical this year is Hairspray, and trust me, you’ll have a hard time resisting the urge to sing and dance along with the energetic characters and catchy tunes.

Before you get down with “The Nicest Kids In Town,” check out this interview with John Waters, who directed the 2007 movie.

Admission: Free. Hours: Thursday through Sunday nights beginning at approximately 8:15 p.m. Details here.

Mix up your musical interests with the Austin Chamber Music Festival

Each summer the Austin Chamber Music Center presents an exciting line-up of world-class artists, programmed by Artistic Director Michelle Schumann. The 19th annual Austin Chamber Music Festival wraps up this weekend with performances from Trio con Brio Copenhagen, Time for Three and Cactus Pear Ensemble in the Bates Recital Hall on UT campus.

Austin’s own Mother Falcon performed as part of the festival last weekend. Check out this episode of Arts In Context documenting the band’s inspiring story.

Admission: $25 for general admission, $50 for premium seating. Hours: Concert times vary. Details and ticket information here.

Love your rescue pet (and all local rescue pets) with Austin Pets Alive!

In Austin, we love our rescue pets. Local rescue Austin Pets Alive! has devoted an entire day to loving your rescue cat or dog. APA! has partnered with local businesses to help raise money to save more local pets. Click here for a list of participating businesses.

Additionally, it’s supposed to finally hit 100 degrees this weekend in Austin…so make sure to check out these tips for keeping your furry friends safe during the summer.

Shop at the biggest garage sale you’ll ever attend

Austin’s City-Wide Garage Sale is Saturday and Sunday at the Palmer Events Center. If you’re an antiques junkie or you’re just looking to get a good deal on some gently used items, it’s worth checking out. Before you go, make sure to binge-watch some of our online episodes of Antiques Roadshow. You never know when you’ll find something really valuable at a garage sale!

Admission: $6 for adults, kids 12 and under get in free, $10 for early shoppers on Saturday only. Hours: Early shopping Saturday at 8:30 a.m., all other shopping 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Details here.

Q Night at the Movies 7/18

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

On this week’s Q Night at the Movies, after an all-new On Story, Risky Business and Film School Shorts focus on romance and the art of seduction. Then, in a triple-header of Ain’t It Cool with Harry Knowles, Harry talks to legendary filmmakers and actors. Finally, Billy Joel’s remastered performance of A Matter of Trust – The Bridge to Russia airs for the first time since its VHS release.

On Story Better Call Saul: A Conversation with Peter Gould at 7:30 pm
Peter Gould, writer, producer and director of Breaking Bad and co-creator of its spinoff Better Call Saul discusses shifting gears, schemes and swindles within the world of Saul Goodman pre-Walter White.

All-Star Film Collection Risky Business at 8 pm
A call girl (Rebecca De Mornay) helps a Princeton applicant (Tom Cruise) turn his home into a one-night brothel.

Film School Shorts On the Prowl at 9:31 pm

  • App – Desperate to get funding for his groundbreaking new dating app, shy software developer Paul agrees to use the app to seduce a beautiful stranger, but his calculations backfire when he starts to feel a genuine connection.
  • Banana Trip – Three South Korean college boys head to Florida for spring break, hoping to hook up with white girls.

Ain’t It Cool with Harry Knowles Burt Reynolds at 10:02 pm
Screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, Sinister/Sinister 2, and Harry explore the backbreaking world of stuntmen. Special focus is given to the late Hal Needham, an incredible Stunt Coordinator as well as Director of Smokey and the Bandit, which leads to a rare guest appearance from Hal’s great friend and legendary actor, Burt Reynolds.

Ain’t It Cool with Harry Knowles Wes Craven at 10:30 pm
Horror guru Wes Craven, Director A Nightmare on Elm St/Scream franchises, and Harry explore the world of horror and discuss early battles with censors to the current trend on television with shows like The Walking Dead, which seem to have no limits with graphic content.

Ain’t It Cool with Harry Knowles Danny Boyle at 10:58 pm
Revered Writer/Director Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire/127 Hours/Trainspotting and Harry discuss auteurs, filmmakers who have so much personal influence and artistic control over a movie that they become regarded as the author of the movie.

Billy Joel: A Matter of Trust – The Bridge to Russia at 11:25 pm
This historic 1987 concert event was restored in HD from the original 35mm footage and shot from over six concerts in Moscow and Leningrad. It has been re-mastered with six previously unreleased songs. The program has not been available since its original VHS release.

KLRU-Q is broadcast channel 18.3. It is also available to digital cable subscribers of Grande on 284 and Time Warner on 20.

Highlights July 19 to July 25

KLRU Highlights

On Last Tango in Halifax at 7 pm on Sunday, Caroline is overwhelmed at the prospect of looking after baby Flora, until a stranger walks into her life and may be the answer to her prayers.

Poldark and Demelza start a family on Poldark on Masterpiece Part Five at 8 pm on Sunday. Meanwhile, Demelza plays matchmaker, the miners riot and Francis takes desperate measures to recoup his losses.

Grace is threatened by an aggressively rude and war-scarred commander, while Joan waits anxiously for news from her fiance on Crimson Field Episode Five at 9 pm on Sunday. Then, a series of events draws Joan into danger, risking her profession and possibly her life.

POV Return to Homs at 9 pm on Monday brings you the transformation of 19-year-old Basset Saroot from star goalkeeper for the Syrian national soccer team to peaceful advocate for reforms to armed insurgent. Get an inside look at the brutal war Assad’s regime has waged, a conflict that many accuse the world of overlooking.

Presenting clips from and info about the films you loved or that slipped under your radar this past year, SXSW Flashback 2015 at 10 pm on Monday and 10:30 pm on Friday features interviews with the creative forces behind various SXSW hits.

Frontline Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty at 9 pm on Tuesday is a feature documentary about two filmmakers who set out to interview El Chapo Guzman, leader of one of the biggest drug cartels in history. Before his capture in 2014, he had been on the run from the U.S. and Mexican governments for over a decade.

Featuring cutting-edge science on gambling addiction, Growing Up Gambling at 10:30 pm on Tuesday takes viewers inside the brain of an online gamer and online gambler, telling the story of a student’s downward spiral into addictive online sports betting.

From the perspective of space, trace humankind’s journey from hunter-gatherer to dominant global species. With mind-boggling data and CGI, Humanity From Space on Tuesday at 7 pm shows how we’ve transformed our planet and produced a world of extraordinary complexity.

Life on the Reef Episode One at 7 pm on Wednesday allows you to view the reef as tourists enjoy the perfect weather, humpback whales give birth and fire destroys a luxury yacht. On the most protected island in Australia, 20,000 green sea turtles return to the biggest reptilian breeding colony on Earth.

Find out the answer to the question, “Can new technology prevent aircraft like Flight MH370 from disappearing without a trace?” during NOVA Why Planes Vanish at 8 pm on Wednesday.Then, at 9 pm on Wednesday, a team of 500 engineers and divers struggle to raise the Costa Concordia cruise ship on NOVA Sunken Ship Rescue.

Queens of the Stone Age performs rock anthems from its latest LP … Like Clockwork on Austin City Limits at 10 pm on Wednesday and 9:30 pm on Friday. On Saturday at 7 pm, ACL showcases acoustic music with Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids. Multi-instrumentalist Jarosz highlights her album Build Me Up From Bones while the Milk Carton Kids play folk songs from their LP The Ash & Clay.

Arts in Context Somos Krudas at 7:30 pm on Wednesday highlights Cuban hip-hop duo Krudas Cubensi. Lyrically, nothing is off limits as they spit lines about politics and sexuality with a frankness that is seldom seen. With an Afro-Cuban rhythm, Odaymara Cuesta and Olivia Prendes use their art as a weapon “to fight against oppression, for justice, for balance, for our rights, to celebrate the life.”

Aaron sends out a little leftover brisket to some chefs around Austin to see how they are inspired by brisket on BBQ with Franklin Leftovers at 8 pm on Thursday. We end with a taste test that turns into a party.

In a triple header, Chet heads to Round Rock, Texas, the “Sports Capital of Texas,” on The Daytripper at 8:30 pm on Thursday. He eats a Texas-sized donut, takes a beekeeping class from Round Rock Honey, and then explores the history of town on Hairy Man Road and Main Street, where outlaw Sam Bass faced his final shootout. At 9 pm, Chet explores the “Painted Churches of Texas” and dives into the German and Czech history of Central Texas in Schulenburg, Texas. At 9:30 pm, Chet explores the history of Aquarena Springs tubes with the college students from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

On Friday at 8 pm, Great Performances Dudamel Conducts a John Williams Celebration brings you the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s gala celebration of Williams’ peerless achievements as it reunites Williams with violinist Itzhak Perlman. The performance features noted Williams compositions, including themes from Schindler’s List.

See how to transition from tomatoes to lettuce on Central Texas Gardener Summer to Fall Vegetables at 12 pm on Saturday. On tour, meet incredible succulents and cacti.