Nature “The Mystery Of Eels“ at 7 pm
Though much of the natural world is discovered and understood, a few great mysteries remain. Consider the eel — snakelike and slimy, with a row of jagged teeth. Yet aside from these fearsome qualities, we know little about its life. Where it goes, what it does, and how it dies, nobody knows. Hailed by poets as the “siren of the North Sea” and “love’s arrow on Earth,” this shadowy creature has fascinated researchers for centuries. And now James Prosek, artist, writer, and eminent naturalist, takes on the mystery of the eel himself, shedding light on the animal and the strange behavior it inspires in those who seek to know it.
NOVA“Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Life Explodes“ at 8 pm
Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. NOVA’s mini-series takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from high-energy host and scientist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. This is the untold story of the Land Down Under, the one island continent that has got it all. How did life storm the beaches and dominate planet Earth? Ancient Australian fossils offer clues. While the oceans were teeming, the world above the waves remained an almost lifeless wasteland – until the Silurian period, when the conquest of the land began. Host Richard Smith introduces Earth’s forgotten pioneers: the scuttling arthropod armies that invaded the shores and the waves of green revolutionaries whose battle for the light pushed plant life across the face of a barren continent. Join NOVA’s prehistoric adventure as four-legged animals walk onto dry land, with the planet poised for disaster.
Guts With Michael Mosley at 9 pm
This program uncovers the secret life of our digestive tract in an eye-opening and detailed exploration of the side of the body we normally never get to see. Using the latest in medical imagery and a tiny state of the art camera “pill” that he swallows at the start of the film, Michael Mosley takes viewers on a remarkable journey through his own internal system. At each stage he talks to medical experts and explains the amazing functions that happen without our conscious effort. This is one of the most fundamental parts of our bodies, controlled by its own nervous system and automatically providing our energy, water and nutrients; yet unless we get sick, we rarely think about what it’s doing.
Nature “Clash: Encounters Of Bears And Wolves” at 7 pm
What happens when two great predators come face to face in Yellowstone? The grizzly and the wolf — they couldn’t be more different. The bear is a loner, ranging far and wide in search of a rich variety of resources. The wolf hunts to survive and finds its strength in speed and teamwork. Their strategies have taken them to the very top of Yellowstone, and it’s no simple matter when they meet. In every encounter, the opposition must be measured, strengths must be tested, and risks must be carefully weighed. Each time, one of them will have a tactical advantage — but which one, and when? What emerges as each remarkable scene unfolds, is the keen awareness that runs through all of Yellowstone. Elk and eagle, coyote and raven, otter and owl, every creature must assess, decide, and act — to fight or to flee? It’s all in knowing your own strengths and limitations in the heat of the moment in Yellowstone.
NOVA “Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Awakening“ at 8 pm
Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. NOVA’s mini-series takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from high-energy host and scientist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. This is the untold story of the Land Down Under, the one island continent that has got it all. Hidden in the red hills of Australia are clues to the mysteries of Earth’s birth, how life arose and how it transformed the planet into the world we now live in. Experts unveil the earliest forms of life: an odd assortment of bacterial slime. Life like this would flood the atmosphere with oxygen and spark the biological revolution that conquered the planet. Travel with NOVA and host Dr. Richard Smith to meet the cast in the first scenes of the great drama of life on earth.
Truth About Exercise With Michael Mosley at 9 pm
Whether you’re running, swimming, cycling or hula hooping, we have always been told that doing regular exercise will improve our bodies and is one of the keys to a healthy and happy life. Our one-size-fits-all approach to maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is very rarely questioned, but with recent advances in genetic testing technology and brain stimulation techniques, scientists are uncovering the new and surprising truths about what exercise is really doing to our bodies, and why we all respond to it differently. In this program, Michael Mosley uses himself as a human guinea pig to discover the truth about exercise.
Nature“What Plants Talk About“ at 7 pm
This program integrates hard-core science with a light-hearted look at how plants behave, revealing a world where plants are as busy, responsive and complex as we are. From the stunning heights of the Great Basin Desert to the lush coastal rainforests of west coast Canada, scientist J.C. Cahill takes us on a journey into the “secret world of plants,” revealing an astonishing landscape where plants eavesdrop on each other, talk to their allies, call in insect mercenaries and nurture their young. It is a world of pulsing activity, where plants communicate, co-operate and sometimes, wage all-out war.
NOVA “Ancient Computer“ at 8 pm
In 1900, a storm blew a boatload of sponge divers off course and forced them to take shelter by the tiny Mediterranean island of Antikythera. Diving the next day, they discovered a 2,000-year-old Greek shipwreck. Among the ship’s cargo they hauled up was an unimpressive green lump of corroded bronze. Rusted remnants of gear wheels could be seen on its surface, suggesting some kind of intricate mechanism. The first X-ray studies confirmed that idea, but how it worked and what it was for puzzled scientists for decades. Recently, hi-tech imaging has revealed the extraordinary truth: this unique clockwork machine was the world’s first computer. NOVA follows the ingenious sleuthing that finally decoded the truth behind the amazing ancient Greek computer.
“Eat, Fast And Live Longer With Michael Mosley” at 9 pm
Michael Mosley has set himself a truly ambitious goal: he wants to live longer, stay younger and lose weight. But he wants to make as few changes to his life as possible along the way. And he thinks he’s found the answer — the ancient idea of fasting. Could the powerful new science behind this idea lead to a longer, healthier life? Mosley thinks he’s found a way of fasting that still allows him to enjoy his food. It sounds too good to be true. So he decides to take a road trip across the U.S. to investigate how a little hunger can make you younger — and of course — to try out some of this new science for himself.
NOVA ”Hunting the Elements“ at 8 pm
Where do nature’s building blocks, called the elements, come from? They’re the hidden ingredients of everything in our world, from the carbon in our bodies to the metals in our smartphones. To unlock their secrets, David Pogue, the lively host of NOVA’s popular “Making Stuff” series and technology correspondent of The New York Times, spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry: the strongest acids, the deadliest poisons, the universe’s most abundant elements, and the rarest of the rare—substances cooked up in atom smashers that flicker into existence for only fractions of a second.
But first …
Nature ”River Of No Return“ at 7 pm
Central Idaho’s Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness is the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 States. Endless rugged mountains, wild rivers, forests, and deep canyons define this land – a home to numerous species of wildlife including wolves, who have just returned after 50 years of near absence – and a young couple, Isaac and Bjornen Babcock, who chose this wilderness for their year-long honeymoon. But what begins as a romantic adventure becomes something much greater for the couple – and a tale of hope and celebration for every life trying to make it in the unforgiving heart of the wilderness.
Nature “The Loneliest Animals” at 7 pm
The loneliest animals are the most endangered species on the planet. Collected and protected by dedicated scientists, these animals represent the end of the line for their species. In many cases, intensive captive breeding programs have been launched with the aim of sustaining these animals and the hope of returning them to the wild. Viewers will be taken into high-security, high-tech labs where scientists attempt to breed new generations and into the field to discover what forces have led to the demise of entire species. Featured animals include Yangtze turtles under 24-hour surveillance; a baby Sumatran rhino; a special collection of lemurs; the Spix’s macaw, a bird declared extinct in the wild in 2000; and “Lonesome George,” a giant tortoise from the Galapagos, who is the last of his kind.
NOVA “Smartest Machine On Earth“ at 8 pm
What’s so special about human intelligence and will scientists ever build a computer that rivals the flexibility and power of a human brain? In “Artificial Intelligence,” NOVA takes viewers inside an IBM lab where a crack team has been working for nearly three years to perfect a machine that can answer any question. The scientists hope their machine will be able to beat expert contestants in one of the USA’s most challenging TV quiz shows — Jeopardy, which has entertained viewers for over four decades. “Artificial Intelligence” presents the exclusive inside story of how the IBM team developed the world’s smartest computer from scratch. Now they’re racing to finish it for a special Jeopardy airdate in February 2011. They’ve built an exact replica of the studio at its research lab near New York and invited past champions to compete against the machine, a big black box code — named Watson after IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson. But will Watson be able to beat out its human competition?
Nature“Animal Odd Couples” at 7 pm
Love apparently knows no boundaries in the animal kingdom. Despite the odds, there are countless stories of the most unlikely cross-species relationships imaginable. Instincts gone awry? Nature investigates why animals form these special bonds and what these relationships suggest about the nature of animal emotions. Support KLRU today and get the Animal Odd Couples DVD, The Emotional Lives of Animals book, or the Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story book.
Nature “Echo: An Elephant To Remember” at 7 pm
Echo, the elephant matriarch, was the subject of many NATURE films and the leader of a carefully studied herd of elephants in Africa. Last year, she died of natural causes. This film is a look back at this remarkable animal through extraordinary footage and interviews with the researchers that cared for and studied this amazing herd.
“Battle For The Elephants” at 8 pm
In 2012, the world witnessed the greatest slaughter of elephants since an international ban on the ivory trade was first put in place in 1989. According to some sources, as many as 50,000 elephants were killed across Africa for their tusks. Who is perpetrating the wholesale slaughter of elephants? What is driving the decimation of elephant herds and why is it happening now? What happened to the ban on the trade? Now, National Geographic follows five people, each of whom is waging a battle for the elephant. Their stories reveal that this is an epic tale of supply and demand, of passion and profit, of love and loss, themes borne out in the quests of our five main characters and the many others whose paths they cross.
NOVA “Japan’s Killer Quake” at 9 pm
In its worst crisis since World War II, Japan faces disaster on an epic scale: a rising death toll in the tens of thousands, massive destruction of homes and businesses, shortages of water and power, and the specter of nuclear reactor meltdowns. The facts and figures are astonishing. The March 11th earthquake was the world’s fourth largest earthquake since record keeping began in 1900 and the worst ever to shake Japan. The seismic shock wave released over 4,000 times the energy of the largest nuclear test ever conducted; it shifted the earth’s axis by 6 inches and shortened the day by a few millionths of a second. The tsunami slammed Japan’s coast with 30 feet-high waves that traveled 6 miles inland, obliterating entire towns in a matter of minutes. JAPAN’S KILLER QUAKE combines authoritative on-the-spot reporting, personal stories of tragedy and survival, compelling eyewitness videos, explanatory graphics and exclusive helicopter footage for a unique look at the science behind the catastrophe.
Nature “Crows” at 7 pm
Crows do not have the best of reputations. They are generally dismissed as spooky – Hitchcock used them quite successfully to frighten moviegoers, or as a general nuisance – scarecrows were, after all, invented to scare crows away from crops. But their image is about to take a real turn. New research has shown they are among the most intelligent animals in the world, able to use tools as only elephants and chimpanzees do, and to recognize each other’s voices and 250 distinct calls. They are very social, mate for life and raise their young for up to five years. And they are able to recognize individual humans and pick them out of a crowd up to two years later. Crow experts from around the world sing their praises and present us with captivating new footage of crows as we have never seen them before.
NOVA “Mind Of A Rampage Killer” at 8 pm
This program is part of KLRU’s & PBS’ After Newtown specials. Find out more
What makes a person walk into a theater or a church or a classroom full of students and open fire? What combination of circumstances compels a human being to commit the most inhuman of crimes? Can science in any way help us understand these horrific events and provide clues as to how to prevent them in the future? As the nation tries to understand the tragic events at Newtown, NOVA correspondent Miles O’Brien separates fact from fiction, investigating new theories that the most destructive rampage killers are driven most of all, not by the urge to kill, but the wish to die. Could suicide and the desire to go out in a media-fueled blaze of glory be the main motivation? How much can science tell us about a brain at risk for violence? Most importantly, can we recognize dangerous minds in time — and stop the next Newtown?
Nature “Cold Warriors: Wolves And Buffalo” at 7 pm
For thousands of years, wolves hunted buffalo across the vast North American plains until the westward settlement of the continent saw the virtual extinction of these vast herds and their eternal predators, the wolves. However, this ancient relationship was not lost altogether and continues uninterrupted in just one location — on the northern edge of the continent’s central plains in a place named Wood Buffalo National Park. Today the ancestors of those ancient buffalo and wolves still engage in epic life and death dramas across this northern land. Packs of wolves up to 30 strong hunt the largest land mammals on the continent — buffalo. By getting to know a specific pack of wolves and the individuals that make up the pack, we get a sense of how these two animal species (wolves and buffalo) live together in what seems like a forgotten corner of the world.
NOVA “Earth From Space” at 8 pm
This film reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine “waterfall” off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun’s heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, this show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.
Nature “Attenborough’s Life Stories, Our Fragile Planet” at 7 pm
In honor of Sir David Attenborough’s 60th anniversary on television, this three-part miniseries focuses on three fields that David Attenborough feels have been transformed most profoundly: film-making, science and the environment. In “Our Fragile Planet,” Sir David Attenborough reflects on the dramatic impact that human beings have had on the natural world during his lifetime. He tells surprising, entertaining and deeply personal stories of the changes he has seen, the pioneering conservationists in whose footsteps he has followed, and the revolution in attitudes towards nature that has taken place around the globe.
NOVA “Building Pharaoh’s Chariot” at 8 pm
Historians claim that the chariot launched a technological and strategic revolution, and was the secret weapon behind Egypt’s greatest era of conquest known as the New Kingdom. In this film, a team of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers and horse trainers join forces to build and test two highly accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots. They discover astonishingly advanced features, including spoked wheels, springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and even a convex shaped rear mirror, leading one of them to compare the level of design to the engineering standards of 1930′s-era Buicks! By driving our pair of replicas to their limits in the desert outside Cairo, NOVA’s experts test the claim that the chariot marks a crucial turning point in ancient military history.
Life on Fire “Pioneers Of The Deep” at 9 pm
In the vast emptiness of the Pacific Ocean, tectonic movements construct or swallow islands. In the Tongan archipelago, two little-known animals have learned to cope with these ephemeral lands risen from the ocean depths: the sooty tern, a seabird that never dares wet its wings for fear of drowning, and the Alvin shrimp, a blind crustacean that manages to find its way around the abyss. When an underwater volcano becomes an island, the fates of these two extraordinary paradoxes are linked.