Nature takes a look at some of the animal kingdom’s most unlikely friendships, NOVA recreates the ancient techniques of the Roman Colosseum and Earth A New Wild ventures deep into the world’s forests for the Feb. 11 Science Night.
Nature Odd Animal Couples at 7 p.m.
A tiger cub with no mother in sight. A baby hippo. An abandoned meerkat pup. Without nurturing, these infants face certain death. Enter stories of the most unlikely cross-species relationships imaginable: a chimp bottle-feeding a tiger cub; a giant tortoise snuggling a baby hippo; a black crow parenting a meerkat. Aberrations of nature? Instincts gone awry? Does this kind of bonding form only when animals are removed from their natural environments? Or are they evidence of a broad array of emotions among animals? This film will look at these remarkable relationships firsthand, and through caregivers, biologists and animal behaviorists, explore what they suggest about the nature of animal emotions.
NOVA Colosseum — Roman Death Trap at 8 p.m.
The Colosseum is a monument to Roman imperial power and cruelty. Its graceful lines and harmonious proportions concealed a highly efficient design and advanced construction methods that made hundreds of arches out of 100,000 tons of stone. In its elliptical arena, tens of thousands of gladiators, slaves, prisoners and wild animals met their deaths. Ancient texts report lions and elephants emerging from beneath the floor, as if by magic, to ravage gladiators and people condemned to death. Then, just as quickly, the Colosseum could be flooded with so much water that ships could engage in sea battles. Could these legends be true? Now, with access to one of the world’s most protected world heritage sites, archaeologists and engineers team up to re-create ancient Roman techniques to build a 25-foot lifting machine and trap-door system capable of releasing a wolf into the Colosseum’s arena for the first time in 1,500 years.
Earth A New Wild Forests at 9 p.m.
Journey deep into the great forests of Earth for a new way of looking at these wild places and the animals that live there. Sanjayan travels into an uncharted area of the Amazon that scientists believe is the most bio-diverse place on Earth. From there he follows unique animal behavior in Alaska’s Great Bear Rainforest and then meets the farmers in Portugal’s cork forests. Frightening elephant battles are exploding on the edge of the forest in Sumatra; in the Amazon, ancient remains are helping change our perception of how to value the world’s great forests.
February’s first Science Night tells the story of the majestic Lipizzaner stallions and explores the wildlife of the planet’s plains.
Nature Legendary White Stallions at 7 p.m.
This story of the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions focuses on the bond that develops between the horses and their caregivers, beginning at the moment of their birth and culminating in the perfect harmony between horse and rider demonstrated at the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. Their carefully choreographed movements were originally developed for the training of war horses; only the strongest and most athletic horses qualified. The Lipizzaner stallion is bred for its courage, strength and character, but the horse is also gentle, sensitive, and exceptionally responsive to praise.
Earth A New Wild Home / Plains at 8 p.m.
Home – Travel deep into the wild to take a fresh look at humankind’s relationship to the big animals that live alongside us. From cuddling baby pandas to avoiding man-eating tigers, Dr. M. Sanjayan investigates our changing relationships with the wilderness. The severe peril of extraordinary animals and their habitats is ever-present, but Sanjayan focuses on the powerful stories that prove animals and humans can thrive side by side. It’s a new kind of wild, but one on which we all depend. Plains – Explore the giant herds that roam the wild grasslands of the plains. Home to the greatest gathering of animal life on the planet, they are also increasingly our bread basket – and among the most endangered places on Earth. Dr. Sanjayan follows a unique elephant conservation project in South Africa and tracks the prairies to see how Americans are saving their most-endangered mammal. His journey uncovers a vital new understanding about how both humans and predators can help the animals found on the plains.
Science Night for Jan. 28th goes to a penguin nesting ground, looks at why sink holes occur and examines what bones found in Ben Franklin’s home actually mean.
Nature Penguin Post Office at 7 pm
In the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula there’s a post office surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery and 3,000 gentoo penguins. Every summer, as staff put stamps on postcards, the penguins return from their fishing grounds to their breeding grounds, trek nearly two miles across sea ice and snow, rush to find a partner, build a nest, lay eggs and protect them from predators, and finally get down to the task of raising their young. We see their four-month drama unfold as cruise ships come and go, bringing tourists to buy postcards and photograph penguins — the backdrop to the penguins’ lives.
NOVA Sink Holes at 8 pm
In Tampa, Florida, in February 2013, a giant hole in the ground opened up and swallowed half a house, killing 36 year-old Jeffrey Bush as he slept in his bedroom. A month later, a golfer in Illinois survived an 18-foot fall when the 14th hole caved in beneath his feet. Both were victims of sinkholes-a notorious worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone bedrock is found. Filled with compelling eyewitness video of collapsing sinkholes and authoritative science from expert geologists, NOVA investigates what it’s like to have your world vanish beneath your feet.
Secrets of the Dead Ben Franklin’s Bones at 9 pm
When skeletal remains of at least 10 people, including several infants, turned up in the basement of Benjamin Franklin’s British residence, people wondered if the Founding Father might have had a much darker side, as the bones had been meticulously cut and drilled. Franklin was aware of the bodies in his basement, but they weren’t the victims of violent acts. Rather, they were used for the purposes of an illegal anatomy school that helped shaped modern medicine.
Science Night for Jan. 21st looks at human’s changing relationship with dogs, salvages a sunken ship and examines Hitler’s SS.
Nature Dogs That Changed the World Part 2 at 7 pm
Some working dogs are able to use their skills to perform tasks they were bred for; there are still jobs today for herders, hunters and guard dogs. But as we multiply and transform the many breeds of dogs, honing their looks and their sizes, we also change our relationship with them, and theirs with us. How can we learn to cope with the hard-wired instincts of our pets, and what roles can they play in a world their ancestors would hardly recognize?
NOVA Sunken Ship Rescue at 8 pm
NOVA follows the epic operation to secure, raise and salvage the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which ran aground and tragically capsized off the coast of Italy on January 13th 2012, killing 32 passengers. Moving the ship – which stretches the length of three football fields, weighs over 114,000 tons and lies half submerged on the site of a protected reef with a 50-meter long hole in its hull – from its precarious perch on the edge of a 60 meter high underwater cliff will be a huge technical and logistical challenge. Now, NOVA joins a team of more than 500 divers and engineers working around the clock as they attempt the biggest ship recovery project in history.
Nazi Mega Weapons The SS at 9 pm
As Hitler’s power grows within Nazi Germany, so does that of the SS. From its humble beginnings as Hitler’s personal body guard, the SS under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler becomes a terrifying cult that engineers Hitler’s vision for a new Germany. By the start of the war, the SS holds sway in politics, police and security and is responsible for the creation of the concentration camps. Its power, influence and terror spread with the creation of a military wing: the Waffen SS. By the end of the war, the SS has grown into a machine that controls of every aspect of the Third Reich and brutally disposes of any opposition to Hitler.
Science Night for January 14th explores the world of dogs, looks at subatomic particles and goes inside Hitler’s command complex.
Nature Dogs That Changed The World, Pt. 1 at 7 pm
From the tiniest Chihuahua to the largest St. Bernard, all dogs claim the wolf as their ancestor. Using DNA analysis and other research, scientists have now pieced together the puzzle of canine evolution, creating a fascinating picture of some of the essential dogs vital to the canine population. Part one chronicles the evolution of dogs and how they infiltrated human society. Part 2 will air on Jan. 21st.
Nova Big Bang Machine at 8 pm
On July 4, 2012, scientists at the giant atom smashing facility at CERN announced the discovery of a subatomic particle that seems like a tantalizingly close match to the elusive Higgs Boson, thought to be responsible for giving all the stuff in the universe its mass. Since it was first proposed nearly fifty years ago, the Higgs has been the holy grail of particle physicists: if they can find it, it will validate the “standard model” that underlies all of modern physics. CERN’s scientists are still scrutinizing the results from July to see how well they fit the Higgs prediction. If the data conceals surprises, they could upend much of what we thought we knew about the particles and forces that make up our universe.
Nazi Mega Weapons The Wolf’s Lair at 9 pm
As European countries fall like dominoes to the all-conquering German armies, Hitler becomes convinced of his own military genius. He plans to invade Russia and orders the construction of a huge, heavily protected command complex of bunkers and buildings named the Wolf’s Lair. But as he isolates himself in his concrete city, the war begins to slip from his grasp and a conspiracy is hatched to make the secret base his tomb.
Science Night for January 7th features a trip to France, a look at drones and a look at one of Hitler’s most dangerous weapons.
Nature Wild France at 7pm Wednesday
For most, a trip to France includes fine food, local wines, beautiful cities and celebrated culture of all kinds. This is a trip of a different sort altogether, featuring the unexpected flora and fauna of the country, both great and small. Journeying from the Pyrenees to the Alps, all around the mainland and farther on to Corsica, it is the story of the wild side of France. Breathtaking photography reveals wolves, wild boar and even bears living among France’s many mountains, valleys and forests.
Nova Rise of the Drones at 8 pm Wednesday
Meet a new breed of flying robots, from tiny swarming vehicles to giant unmanned planes.
Nazi Mega Weapons V1: Hitler’s Vengeance Missile at 8 pm Wednesday
In retaliation for devastating Allied bombing raids on German cities, Hitler orders the development of a groundbreaking weapon. This is the story of one of the most ambitious projects of the Third Reich: Hitler’s Vengeance weapon, the V1. Though it was ready too late to make a difference to the outcome of the war, its legacy is the cruise missile – a weapon that changed the face of war forever.
Every Wednesday on KLRU is Science Night. Don’t miss this week’s programming beginning at 7 pm!
Nature The Himalayas
The Himalayan mountain system is the planet’s highest and home to the world’s highest peaks. Nature explores the diversity of wildlife and habitats of this mountain chain starring the mysterious snow leopard.
NOVA Building the Great Cathedrals at 8 pm
Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spiderweb of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry. But how did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Consuming the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking 100 years to build, these architectural marvels were crafted from just hand tools and stone. Many now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell towers for clues to how the dream of these heavenly temples on earth came true. NOVA’s teams perform hands-on experiments to investigate and reveal the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their soaring, glass-filled walls. This program reveals the hidden formulas, drawn from the pages of the Bible itself, that drove medieval builders ever upward.
NOVA Great Cathedral Mystery at 9 pm
The Duomo in Florence is a towering masterpiece of Renaissance ingenuity and an enduring source of mystery. A team of U.S. master bricklayers help build a unique experimental “mini-Duomo” using period tools and techniques. Will it stay intact during the final precarious stages of closing over the top of the dome?
Science Night on KLRU begins at 7 pm Wednesday evening. Here’s a quick look at the exciting programs set for Wednesday:
Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story
“Born Free” – a book and then a film that changed forever the way we think about wildlife, marked its 50th anniversary of the publication in 2010. 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?
NOVA | Making Stuff Wilder at 8 pm
David Pogue explores bold innovations inspired by the Earth’s greatest inventor, life itself. From underwater wi-fi based on dolphin communication, to robotic “mules” and “cheetahs” for the military, to swarms of robotic bees, Pogue travels the world seeing the “wildest” ideas put into action in new inventions and technologies. It is a journey that sees today’s bacteria turned into tomorrow’s metallurgists, viruses building batteries, and even DNA, the Code of Life, put to work in “living” computers. Will the stuff of the future take on a life of its own?
NOVA | Making Stuff Colder at 9 pm
For centuries we’ve fought it, shunned it and huddled against it. Cold has always been the enemy of life, but now it may hold the key to a new generation of science and technology that will improve our lives. David Pogue explores the frontiers of cold science, from saving the lives of severe trauma patients and cooling a warming planet to ultracold physics, where bizarre new properties of matter are the norm and the basis of new technologies like levitating trains and quantum computers. In this brave new world, cold isn’t to be avoided. Cold is the new hot.
Every Wednesday night KLRU hosts Science Night. It’s educational fun for the entire family starting at 7 pm!
Celebrate the natural world with Nature’s Best of Birds at 7 catalogue pledge special featuring some of the most memorable bird scenes from Nature’s award-winning library. Included in the special will be excerpts from fan favorites like My Life as a Turkey, An Original DUCKumentary, Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air, Raptor Force, Birds of the Gods, Ireland’s Wild River and more.
When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, he won instant fame. Yet this accomplished engineer and test pilot was so determined to stay out of the limelight that few know the personal story of how his rare combination of talent, luck and experience led to his successful command of Apollo 11. Nova | First Man on the Moon at 8 pm presents an intimate portrait of an unassuming American hero through interviews with Armstrong’s family and friends.
In Great Railway Journeys of Europe at 9:30 pm, Historian and archetypal Englishman Julian Davidson travels from the frozen wastes of Norway to the sunny shores of the Italian Adriatic coast, sampling the delights of some of the most dramatic and fascinating railway journeys in Europe.
Don’t miss three Nature specials for this week’s Science Night on KLRU.
First at 8 pm, Nature brings you My Life As A Turkey. After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother.
Masters of the water and air, they have conquered the globe. From deft dabblers to great divers, these are one of the Animal Kingdom’s ultimate athletes. Take a fascinating look at one of our most familiar birds on An Original DUCKumentary at 8 pm.
From our kitchen windows we spot them, nibbling away at our gardens and shrubs. They wander along our highways, reminders of the wilderness we have paved our way through. From coast to coast some 30 million white-tailed deer make their home in the United States. But once they retreat from our view, where do they go? What secrets do they carry back into the forest, away from our prying eyes? Working with scientists, special camera equipment, and deer experts and devotees of every kind, The Private Life of Dear at 9 pm reveals the hidden world of white-tailed deer in a whole new light.